oa South African Journal of Child Health - Teenage pregnancy in South Africa : where are the young men involved? - research

Volume 2018 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1994-3032
  • E-ISSN: 1999-7671



Background. The level of unintended pregnancies among teenage girls in South Africa (SA) has remained a public health concern. However, studies and interventions generally do not consider young men’s involvement in teenage pregnancies. 

Objective. To investigate the sociodemographic and sexual behaviour characteristics of young men who have impregnated at least one teenage girl. 

Methods. The study used data from the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (2009), which included responses from young men (aged 12 - 22 years) across all SA provinces. Univariate and bivariate analyses and binary logistic regression were performed. 

Results. The results showed that 93.2% of the sample had ≥2 lifetime sexual partners, 22.4% rarely used condoms and 11.5% had never used condoms. Teenage pregnancy incidence was ≥35% in all provinces except Gauteng and the Western Cape. The likelihood of being involved in a teenage pregnancy was higher among respondents who reported having ≥2 lifetime sexual partners (odds ratio (OR) 2.510; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.43 - 14.77). Respondents with a higher education were less likely to be involved in a teenage pregnancy (OR 0.819; 95% CI 0.36 - 1.84) than those with a lower education (OR 1.219; 95% CI 0.59 - 2.50). 

Conclusion. Engaging in multiple sexual partnerships could increase the vulnerability of young people to sexually transmitted infections or teenage pregnancies. Initiatives to create awareness among SA youth regarding the consequences of sexual behaviour are recommended, with a specific focus on addressing young men’s involvement in teenage pregnancy.

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