Levels and covariates of age at first sexual intercourse among females aged 15-24 in Lesotho
Phateng, Reamogetse Patience
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Background: The main objective of the study is to examine levels and covariates of age at first sex among females aged 15-24 in Lesotho. The sexual introduction for young girls is an indicator of the development from adolescence to adulthood. A person's sexual introduction is deep-rooted with many personal and social relations. Young females are at increased risk of experiencing negative outcomes from early sex initiation due to the conditions they develop in. Methods: This study used secondary data from the Lesotho Demographic and Health Survey (LDHS) of 2014. Analysis of the data was organized in three levels univariate, which includes frequencies, the bivariate included the Log rank test and multivariate to establish the association between age at first sex and background variables. A multivariate Cox regression analysis was conducted to examine the impact of various factors on survivorship before sexual debut. Results: The study findings show that age, level of education, household wealth, exposure to radio and TV, place of residence, and district were statistically associated with age at first sexual intercourse. The mean age for surviving before experiencing sexual debut was lower for female aged 15-19 (15.9) was lower compared to those aged 20-24, moreover females with primary or less education had low mean age 16.3 years compared to those with higher education. Females from urban areas had higher mean age 17.1 years than their counterparts. Hazard ratios of reporting age at first sex were significantly deceasing among females from poorer households [HR=1.3 (95%3 CI: 1.10-1.54), p=0.003], compared to poorest households. Further the results showed that females residing in Quthing district [HR=1.55 (95% CI: 1.28-1.87), p=0.036,] were more likely to have experienced first sex at any point in the survival time when compared to Maseru. Conclusion: There are certain interventions and strategies that could have an important role in delaying early sexual debut among young females in Lesotho. Therefore, these interventions and strategies include Programs that provide females with sexual and reproductive education and familiarize sexual and reproductive education at primary level in schools. Further, these interventions and strategies empower rural women and females from poor households through creation of job opportunities and decent and productive employment, as well as ensuring equal access of girls to education, health services and challenging social norms that bound rural girl’s equal rights and opportunities.
- Humanities