Sex Education and the Timing of Sexual Initiation among Jamaican Young Women

Terri Ann Thompson, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The sexual and reproductive health of youth has been identified as one of the most important health and development problems facing developing countries. Consequently, this study aimed to investigate whether receiving information about sex, prior to first sex, has an effect on sexual delay among females 15-24 in Jamaica. Additionally, we examined whether there is a difference in effect by source of information about sex. The study uses data from the 2002 Reproductive Health Survey in Jamaica. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess factors that predict the timing of sexual debut. Receiving information from parents was not significantly associated with the timing of sexual debut, but receiving information from school about sex was significantly associated with a delay in sex (HR=0.55, p=0.001). School-based sex education for girls is an important tool in the delay of sex.

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Presented in Poster Session 3