Determinants of sexual activity, awareness, and use of contraception among Malaysian college students

Renjhen, Prachi; Wah Yun Low; Wen Ting Tong
May 2016
Australasian Medical Journal;2016, Vol. 9 Issue 5, p78
Academic Journal
Background: Young people's vulnerability to risky or unwanted sex and other unhealthy behaviours is tied to host of individual, family, and community factors and is closely related to economic and educational opportunities. Aims: This study aimed to identify factors determining the sexual activity, awareness and use of contraception among college students in Malaysia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among students aged 17-24 years in four colleges of Malaysia. Data were collected via a self-administered multiple response questionnaire. Data analysis was performed on 552 completed questionnaires. Results: The mean age of the participants was 19.7±1.6 years. The majority of the respondents were females, Malays, residing in rented accommodations. Contraceptive awareness, sexual activity and use of contraception increased significantly with age of the respondents and were more in males. Better contraceptive awareness was found in those staying away from parents and those studying in colleges with urban exposure. Almost 40 per cent respondents had indulged in sexual activity but only 37 per cent reported use of contraception. A significantly higher proportion of respondents who did not use contraception were females, those in the age group of 19-20 years old and those who were studying in colleges with rural exposure. Male students were more likely to engage in sexual activity and use contraception compared to females. Conclusion: There is a need to impart sexual and reproductive health knowledge during the adolescent period so that young people can make informed choices and be motivated to use of contraceptives effectively.


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