Factors associated with sexual debut during adolescence in the Republic of Korea

Dong-Yun Lee; Jeong Min Moon; Im Soon Lee; Chang Suk Suh; DooSeok Choi
November 2012
Sexually Transmitted Infections;Nov2012, Vol. 88 Issue 7, p481
Academic Journal
Objective To investigate the factors associated with sexual debut among Korean adolescents. Methods Based on a 2008 cross-sectional nationwide online survey conducted in 75 238 Korean middle and high school students aged 12-18 years (39 278 boys and 35 960 girls), demographic profiles of the reproductive health and factors associated with sexual debut were analysed. Results The proportion of adolescents who had heterosexual intercourse was 5.1%. The cumulative proportion of sexual debut at age 18 was 20%, and the median age was 17 years. Overall, 0.2% of girls reported past pregnancies, while 8.8% of sexually active girls had ever been pregnant. A proportion of girls who underwent an induced abortion was 89.5%. Up to half (46.0% for boys and 48.3% for girls) never resorted to contraception during coitus. After adjusting for covariates, attendance at general and technical high school, low school record, drinking alcohol, smoking, drug use, high economic status and not living with both parents were associated with the increased proportion of sexual debut in both genders. By contrast, internet use was associated with a reduced risk of adolescent sexual debut. Conclusion This study demonstrates the factors associated with sexual debut among Korean adolescents. This information may be helpful for the prevention of unprotected sexual debut and subsequent teenage pregnancy in adolescents who are susceptible to initiating sexual intercourse.


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