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Journal of Human Growth and Development

versão impressa ISSN 0104-1282versão On-line ISSN 2175-3598


CRUZEIRO, Ana Laura Sica et al. Sexual initiation among adolescents of Pelotas, state of Rio Grande do Sul. Rev. bras. crescimento desenvolv. hum. [online]. 2008, vol.18, n.2, pp. 116-125. ISSN 0104-1282.

This study aims to evaluate the age of the onset of sexual activities and associated factors in adolescents. It is a cross-sectional study with a representative sample of adolescents between 15 and 18 years old, living in the city of Pelotas. Ninety tracts were randomly drawn from 448 census tracts, and in each tract 86 households were visited. The adolescents answered a self-reported and anonymous questionnaire containing questions about socioeconomic level, sex, adolescent's and parents' education, age, religion, living with parents, paid work, use of drugs, tobacco use, alcohol consumption and sexual behavior. Sexual initiation was evaluated through the age of the first intercourse. The median of the age of the first sexual intercourse was calculated using survival tables, and the medians were compared through the long rank test. In the multivariate analysis, Cox regression was used. In the study, 960 adolescents were interviewed. The median of the age of the first sexual intercourse was 16.7 years. The risk of having sexual initiation in a younger age was larger among men, as well as in those adolescents who do not live with mother/father. The same happened with the youths that do not have paid jobs, those who do not practice their religiosity, those who consumed alcoholic beverages or used tobacco in the last month and those who carried a weapon in the last 12 months. The age of the first sexual intercourse was lower among adolescents who used tobacco, marijuana or cocaine in the last 12 months, as well as among those who drank alcoholic beverages in the same period. The association between sexual initiation and tobacco or other psychoactive substances suggests that these health behaviors are interrelated.

Palavras-chave : Adolescent; Sexual initiation; Sexual relationship; Coitus.

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