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All individuals present on the day of the interview were eligible for participation; our sample comprised 21% of youths enrolled in school.
Understanding what influences young people's sexual behavior and the consequences of that behavior may facilitate the design of effective pregnancy and disease prevention strategies.The 40-item questionnaire included respondents' age at first intercourse; coital frequency during the previous month; lifetime number of sexual partners; current partner's profession; and pregnancy, abortion and contraceptive histories.Pupils were selected through a stratified cluster-sampling procedure, in which the different school grades (6-13) were defined as the strata and randomly selected classes from each grade as the clusters.Young people are exposed to health hazards through their sexual behavior, and timely gender-specific sexuality education must be made available.
School-based sexuality education could benefit even out-of-school youths, because their partners often are students.
While the first sexual partner typically is a peer, the majority of young women later become involved with older, wealthy partners, whom they view as more attractive spouses than young men or as more likely to provide support if they become pregnant.