Ethnicity, Family Structure, Household Socioeconomic Status and Premarital Sexual Initiation and Safe Sex Practices among Adolescents in Zimbabwe

William Sambisa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sian Curtis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
C. Shannon Stokes, Pennsylvania State University

The objective of the paper is to understand the role of ethnicity and household socioeconomic status on sexual behavior as measured by safer sex practices. Prior research points to several individual level factors that may affect sexual behavior in Zimbabwe but much of the work has neglected the contextual perspective of sexual health. In this study, the influence of context on sexual behavior is examined in a sample of male and female adolescent aged between 15 and 24. Based on national data, we used multinomial logistic regression to model safe sex practices and the associated determinants. The results of the logistic regression point to the importance of ethnicity for postponing premarital sexual initiation, adopting safe sex practices of fedility and condom use, and engaging in risky sexual behavior. However, the effects of household socioeconomic status on safer sex and risky sexual behavior are non-significant.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 7