187395 Unmarried Vietnamese Young Adults' Attitudes towards Premarital Sex -- Current View and Gender Difference

Monday, October 27, 2008: 5:42 PM

Hongyun Fu, M A , Department of International Health and Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Background: Traditional sex norms in Vietnam prohibit premarital sexual activities, particularly among young women. However, anecdotes suggest there is a drastic change on social tolerance towards youth's pre-marital sex. Using data collected from a recent population based survey; this study explores the attitudes of unmarried young Vietnamese adults towards pre-marital sex and the extent to which young men and women hold different attitudes toward it in contemporary Vietnam.

Methods: The study includes a sample of 3,984 never-married young adults (age:15-24) from 2005 Vietnam Population and AIDS Indicator Survey (VPAIS). VPAIS-2005 is a randomly selected and nationally representative sample of the entire population (age:15-49) of Vietnam. The survey provides broad information on sexual behaviors, HIV related knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Specific questions were asked about the respondents' pre-marital sexual activities and attitudes.

Results: Over 80% of the respondent's support that youth should wait for sex until marriage; and those who are sexually active should have only one sexual partner. Preliminary analyses reveal a significant gender difference on those attitudes. Young men are about three times more likely to approve pre-marital sex than young women. Furthermore, higher education, being religious, living in rural, the North, smaller household, having higher level of knowledge on HIV prevention among young adults are related to higher likelihood of disapproving pre-marital sex activities.

Significance of the study: Findings from this study would contribute to understanding the attitudes of Vietnamese youth towards pre-marital sex. This would be of significance in designing intervention strategies in reducing youth's risks for unintended pregnancy and HIV in current Vietnam social context.

Learning Objectives:
1) To assess the attitudes of young unmarried adults towards pre-marital sex in contemporary Vietnam. 2) To investigate the correlates of young unmarried adults' approval to pre-marital sex activities and the difference on attitutues between men and women. 3) to provide insights in designing intervention strategies in reducing youth’s risks for unintended pregnancy and HIV in current Vietnam social context.

Keywords: Sexual Behavior, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This is a piece of research the author conducted based on existing DHS data (AIS Vietnam 2005) during her Ph.D degree program at tulane University
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.