CONTEXT: Adolescents' past and current partnerships influence their
sexual health risks. Males' responsibilities and needs in terms of
sexual health have long received less attention than females'. It is
important to examine male adolescent sexual and contraceptive patterns
within the broader context of partnership dynamics.
METHODS: In May 2000, 1,438 males aged 13–19 living in the urban
shantytowns of Recife, Brazil, were surveyed. Adolescents gave detailed
partnership, sexual and contraceptive history data in the form of
month-by-month calendars for the prior two years. Logistic regression
analyses were used to examine the associations between prior and current
partnership experience and contraceptive use.
RESULTS: Overall, 76% of respondents reported having had at least one
partnership in the past two years; 49% of partnerships involved
intercourse. On average, steady and casual partnerships lasted 4.7
months and 1.6 months, respectively. Respondents typically had spent 2.8
months of the past two years in a sexual partnership, 1.2 months of
which were unprotected by contraceptive use. Of those with a recent
partnership, having had a prior sexual partner was associated with
elevated odds of being sexually active in the current or most recent
partnership (odds ratio, 4.0). Of sexually active adolescents, having
used contraceptives at first sex or in a former sexual partnership was
associated with elevated odds of having used a condom in the current or
most recent sexual partnership (7.9 and 6.5, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Prevention programs need to have an accurate portrait of
adolescent partnership dynamics, an adequate understanding of adolescent
sexuality and a realistic estimation of actual exposure to risk, so
interventions and messages can be tailored to adolescents' realities.
Juarez, F.; Castro Martín, T. Partnership Dynamics and Sexual Health Risks Among Male Adolescents in the Favelas of Recife, Brazil. International Family Planning Perspectives (2006) 32 (2) 62-70.
Partnership Dynamics and Sexual Health Risks Among Male Adolescents in the Favelas of Recife, Brazil