The percentage of Latin American teenage women, including Peruvian, reporting having had sex is increasing. There are few studies in Latin America aimed at identifying the predictors of this behavior. This study uses a unique longitudinal dataset from Peru to explore which individual, family and community variables, and changes of these over time, predict sexual behavior by age 15. Results show that early sexual initiation was positively associated with being a male, having a mother with less than complete secondary education, an increase in his/her family wealth over time, being overage in school and reporting drinking alcohol frequently or sexual behavior in his/her group of friends. Peer relations were significant only for boys, while relations with parents were so only for girls. Finally, 11% of participants did not know if their last sexual partner used protection.
This sudy was supported by Young Lives, an international study of childhood poverty, following the lives of 12,000 children in 4 countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam) over 15 years. Young Lives is funded by the UK Department for International Development
Cueto, Santiago and Juan Leon (2016). Early sexual initiation among adolescents: A longitudinal analysis for 15-year-olds in Peru, Interamerican Journal of Psychology/Revista Interamericana de Psicologia, Vol 50, No 2
Early sexual initiation among adolescents: A longitudinal analysis for 15-year-olds in Peru
Published 1 September 2016