Association between Migratory Experience and Sexual Behaviors among Young Adults in Thailand

Sureeporn Punpuing, Mahidol University
Philip Guest, Population Council
Umaporn Pattaravanich, Mahidol University
Chai Podhisita, Mahidol University

Although there is an extensive theoretical literature that posits a relationship between sexual risk behaviors and migration there has been little empirical research to confirm whether such a relationship exists. Our analysis is based on data from 6,972 Thai youth aged 15-29 collected in 2005 as part of an annual census of residents of 100 rural and urban communities. Respondents were categorized into those with migration experience since the age of 15 and those without migration experience. Approximately one-third of respondents were ever migrants and two-thirds never migrants. Controlling for age, sex and social economic status, ever-migrants, compared to never-migrants, had statistically significant higher odds of engaging in a number of sexual risk behaviors. Statistically significant relationships with risk behaviors were also found among migrants when comparing reasons for migration. Finding from this retrospective analysis supports the hypothesis of a potential association between migration and sexual risk taking.

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Presented in Poster Session 6