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Revista Medica Herediana

Print version ISSN 1018-130XOn-line version ISSN 1729-214X


CHIRINOS, Jesús L et al. Profile of sexualy active adolescent students in high schools from Lima, Perú. Rev Med Hered [online]. 1999, vol.10, n.2, pp.49-61. ISSN 1018-130X.

Objective: To identify the level of knowledge and attitudes regarding sexuality, and sexual practices of female adolescent students in high schools located in Lima, Peru. Material and methods: A self-administered, anonymous survey was completed by 935 female adolescents aged 12-19 as part of a School-Based Sex Education Intervention Model. Questions concerned six areas: sociodemographic information; family characteristics; personal activities; attitudes and knowledge regarding sexuality; couple relationships and sexual experience; and use of contraceptives and pregnancy incidence. Results: Sexuality knowledge was found to be limited (mean=9.9) as measured through 20 basic questions. Females tended to primarily discuss sexuality with their mothers (43%) or their female peers (41%). Attitudes regarding sexuality and use of contraceptives were found to be positive, but some expressed ambivalent feelings regarding use of contraceptives. Of the sample, 8% had ever had sex and the age of sexual debut was 14. While 63% of the sample would use pills, 74% also gave reasons for not using them. Sexual activity was found to be related to age, ever having repeated a grade, talking about sex with her boyfriend or a male friend, if reasons for having sex are "pleasure or fun", having a boyfriend, and having had more than 2 boyfriends. Conclusions: Female adolescents in this sample were found to have limited knowledge regarding sexuality and contraception, ambivalent attitudes towards the use of contraceptives, although they were at risk of an unintended pregnancy or acquiring a STD. These findings clearly document a need for school and community interventions aimed at reducing sexual risk behaviors in adolescents and to assure appropriate contraceptive use in the near future. ( Rev Med Hered 1999; 10:49-61).

Keywords : mujer,; sexualidad; embarazo; anticoncepción; Adolescent; female; sexuality; pregnancy; contraception.

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