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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 269-273

Female adolescent sexual behaviour in Calabar, Nigeria

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Calabar, P. M. B. 1115, Calabar, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
S J Etuk
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Calabar, P. M. B. 1115, Calabar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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CONTEXT: A large number of our female adolescents are at risk of reproductive ill health. This may have its roots in their sexual behaviour. There is need to unfold our female adolescent sexual behaviour as this will establish the necessity or otherwise for interventions. METHODS: Senior secondary school adolescents in Calabar were studied with the help of a pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire. This was to unfold their age at menarche and their sexual behaviour. RESULTS: the average age at menarche in Calabar is 12.86 years. About 37.4% of senior secondary school female adolescents are sexually active with an average age at initiation of 13.7 years. About 22.6% of them have more than one sexual partner. Most of them (51.2% ) learned about sexual intercourse from their peers. They go into sexual intercourse for fun, intimacy and friendship (84% ). Only 6.0% of the sexually active adolescents ever used family planning methods. This poor sexual behaviour in these adolescent girls is significantly influenced by the socio-economic status of parents and not by the type of school attended. About 18.4% of them have been pregnant at least once, 15.1% have had genital tract infection and 31.9% have sustained genital tract injury during sexual intercourse. CONCLUSION: Sexuality education both at home and in school is lacking in Calabar. There is need for adolescents in Calabar to be exposed to sexuality education both at home and in school. Schools with adolescent girls whose parents are of low socio-economic status should be targeted more than others. There is a call for the provision of youth care centres in schools where reproductive health matters are discussed and managed.

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