Influence of prior sexual experience on sexual health knowledge and attitudes among youth
Methods: As part of the YF outcomes evaluation, baseline surveys were collected and analyzed from 420 high-school age youth. Youth were categorized according to self-reported sexual behavior at baseline (‘abstinent’, ‘previously sexually active’ or ‘currently sexually active’). Associations between sexual experience and sexual health knowledge and attitudes at baseline were compared using chi-square and t- tests. Longitudinal analyses are planned to compare change between the three groups at follow-up.
Results: 71% reported ever having sexual intercourse, of those 58% were currently sexually active. Mean sexual knowledge scores were significantly lower among those abstinent compared to those previously or currently sexually active (P<0.0001). Similar differences were observed for knowledge of community health services. However, attitudes were consistent across groups.
Conclusions: Results suggest that prior sexual experience may greatly influence youths’ sexual health knowledge prior to participation in EBP programming. While delaying sexual debut is effective, timing of sexual education among sexually non-experienced youth could be critical for equipping youth’s readiness for sexual encounter.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Discuss how prior sexual experience may serve as a predictor of sexual health knowledge and attitudes. List the measures used to document youth sexual health knowledge and attitudes.
Keyword(s): Adolescents, Sexual Risk Behavior
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work to evaluate this program and am a public health researcher with interests and expreience in sexual reproductive health.
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.