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Socioeconomic Differences in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health: Sexual Activity

Jennifer Yarger, Diana Lara, Mara Decker and Claire Brindis

No 93543, Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Knowledge Briefs from The World Bank

Abstract: Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) is one of five areas of focus of the World Bank's Reproductive Health Action Plan 2010 - 2015 (RHAP), which recognizes the importance of addressing ASRH as a development issue with important implications for poverty reduction. Delaying childbearing and preventing unintended pregnancies during adolescence has been shown to improve health outcomes and increase opportunities for schooling, future employment, and earnings (Greene & Merrick, 2005). The key messages relayed in this brief are as follows: Early age at sexual debut puts young people - particularly females - at an increased risk for unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, maternal mortality and morbidity; An analysis of data from six countries showed that adolescent sexual activity is closely tied to marital status. In all six countries studied, nearly all ever-married adolescent women have had sexual intercourse, but almost all those never-married have abstained, except in Burkina Faso and Nigeria where less than one quarter of never-married women have had sexual intercourse; The age at sexual debut is also closely linked to age at marriage. Over one third of ever-married women had sexual intercourse before age 15 in Nigeria (38 percent), Bangladesh (37 percent), and Niger (37 percent); In Burkina Faso and Nigeria, sexual activity is lowest among never-married adolescent women with no education (15 percent and 7 percent, respectively).

Keywords: access to health services; adolescence; ADOLESCENT; Adolescent Fertility; Adolescent Girls; adolescent sexual activity; adolescent women; adolescents; Advocacy; age at ... See More + marriage; aged; childbearing; Congenital Syphilis; developing countries; early sexual debut; Economic Empowerment; family planning; female; female education; females; First Sexual Intercourse; gender; gender roles; Health of Adolescents; health outcomes; HIV; implications for poverty reduction; infections; Journal of Epidemiology; marital status; married adolescent women; married women; maternal mortality; morbidity; Mother; Mother-to-Child; Mother-to-Child Transmission; Nutrition; policy dialogue; Population Knowledge; Premarital sex; primary education; Progress; provision of services; Public Health; REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH; Reproductive Health of Adolescents; rural areas; rural residence; SEXUAL ACTIVITY; sexual intercourse; sexually transmitted infections; SOCIOECONOMIC DIFFERENCES; socioeconomic status; STIs; unintended pregnancies; unplanned pregnancies; unplanned pregnancy; urban areas; vulnerable populations; Young Adults; Young Age; young people (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 4 pages
Date: 2015-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
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