n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Sexual initiation and readiness to have sex among in-school and out-of-school young women in Katima Mulilo district, Namibia : sexual behaviour

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Despite evidence that large proportion of adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa engage in sexual activities at younger ages, studies investigating sexual behavior of adolescents have not focused on the circumstances which lead to sexual initiation. The objectives of the study were to determine the age of adolescents, their perceptions about their readiness to have sex at sexual initiation and assess their subsequent sexual behaviour. Cross-sectional survey was conducted in Katima Mulilo district in Namibia with 339 female in-school and out-of-school adolescents aged 15-19 years. Data were collected using a self-administered pre tested questionnaire and analyzed using descriptive summary statistics. The majority 274 (81%) were in-school and 65 (19%) were out-of-school. High proportion (280; 83%) ever had sex, 142 (50.8%) had first sex between 6-15 years, and 138 (49.2%) between 16-19 years. Over two thirds (186; 66%) had sexual partners who were of their age, and a third (92; 33%) had older sexual partners. Almost half 134 (48%) were not ready to have sex the first time, 37 (34%) were forced to have sex, and 12 (11.2%) were tricked to have sex by their sexual partners. The majority 192 (69.2%) had sex the first time at their partner's home. Early sexual initiation with an older partner and unwanted non-consensual sex were common occurrences. Sex education starting with younger adolescents at primary school level should provide them with sexual, reproductive health, and HIV prevention education. Reproductive programmes for in-school and out-of-school youth should also address non-consensual sex and provide abstinent and sexually active adolescents with skills to remain safe.

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