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Knowledge, behavior, and attitudes toward sex among adolescent students at a junior/high school in Cote d'Ivoire



Knowledge, behavior, and attitudes toward sex among adolescent students at a junior/high school in Cote d'Ivoire



Japanese Journal of Public Health 48(2): 132-141



To be able to provide appropriate information about sex to adolescent students in the Cote D'Ivoire, we conducted a study to determine knowledge, behavior, and attitudes toward sex. We conducted a cross-sectional study at a junior/high school using a self-administered questionnaire which contained students' characteristics (age, sex, grade, tribe, region), their knowledge about sex, sexual behavior (including experience of sex and contraception), and attitudes toward sex. Knowledge about sex and proportions employing contraception were compared between males and females and between the lower and the upper grades. We also examined associations between attitudes toward sex and contraception. A total of 695 (males: 278, females: 417) students filled in our questionnaire (response rate: 33.1%). The proportion of the students who had experienced sex was 84.2% for males, 46.5% for females, and the average age of the first sex was 14.3 and 15.6 years in males and females, respectively the proportions using contraception was 49.6% and 46.9%. In students of the lower grades, males had greater knowledge than females, but this difference was reduced with progression through the upper grades. The proportion using contraception in the upper grades was also higher and an association between attitude toward sex and contraception was clear. Adolescent students' knowledge, behavior, and attitudes toward sex could be relatively easily investigated at a junior/high school of Cote D'Ivoire. The majority of males and half of the females in this setting already had experience of sexual intercourse. The study showed that difference in sexual knowledge between males and females shrunk with increase in school grade. We also showed an association between attitude toward sex and contraception.

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PMID: 11268622


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