Sexuality issue in the school environment in a capital city of a West African country
Keywords:Attitude, Knowledge, Practice, Sexuality, Students
Background: Precociousness and abuse of unprotected sexual intercourses among teenagers promote sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies that often result in illegal induced abortions. The goal of this work is to study the knowledge, attitude and practice of students about sexuality.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional and analytical study that took place from 1st March to 30th May 2015. All registered secondary students in both secondary schools Behanzin and Toffa 1er from Porto-Novo city are included. We used a multiple choice and open questions.
Results: The survey concerns 1304 students. Among them, 57% are female and 43% are male. The students’ average age is 18.71±2.31years with extremes of 13 and 25 years. The majority of students in our sample (66.9%), the ideal age for first sexual intercourse is between 15 and 19 years with 60.4% for boys and 65.0% for girls. In our sample, 6 to 7 students out of 10 have at least one sexual intercourse. Among boys, we estimated 7 to 8 cases out of 10 and among girls 5 to 6 out of 10 cases. On the whole, 44.9% of students agreed to have sexual intercourse before marriage. Out of 1304 students, 50.0% have their first sexual intercourse between 15 and 19 years old and 47.2% of these sexual intercourses were unprotected. Having many sexual partners is more observed among boys. Sexually transmitted diseases are known by students of our sample in the following proportions: HIV/AIDS (93.2%), Gonorrhoea (44.2%), Syphilis (21.2%), Chancroid (6.2%), Genital trichomoniasis (5.4%). Out of 433 sexually active girls who were involved in the present study, 165 (38.1%) had at least one unwished pregnancy and 144 which is 87.3% resulted in induced abortions.
Conclusions: Present study showed that the majority of students are sexually active and most of sexual intercourses are unprotected despite the knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases. This attitude is revealed in a certain rate of unwished pregnancies resulting in a significant proportion of induced abortions.
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