Factors Associated with Early Sexual Debut among Senior Secondary School Students in Okrika Local Government Area, Rivers State, Nigeria

Isaac Harold *

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Olutoyin O. Sekoni

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aim: To determine the factors associated with early sexual debut among senior secondary school students in Okrika Local Government Area, Rivers State, Nigeria. 

Study Design:  Descriptive cross-sectional study

Place and Duration of Study: Okrika Local Government Area, Rivers State, Nigeria between January 2018 and October 2018.

Methodology: Four hundred and twenty (420) senior secondary school students aged 15 – 19 years participated in this study. Data were collected using a semi-structured interviewer-assisted questionnaire. Frequency tables were generated and Chi-square statistic was used to determine the factors associated with an early sexual debut. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine predictors of early sexual debut. The level of significance was set at 5%.

Results: The mean age of respondents was 15.7± 0.8 years. The mean age at sexual debut and mean age of early sexual debut was 13.3 ± 1.4 years and 12.2 ± 1.2 years respectively. The prevalence of early sexual debut and ever-had sex among the respondents was 46% and 54.8% respectively. There was a statistically significant association between early sexual debut and respondents having ever worked for pay, currently working for pay, marital status of parents, living status of the respondents, father’s occupation and respondents’ age at first sexual partner. Respondents that had ever worked for pay, currently working for pay and had their first sexual partner at age <14 years were more likely to have engaged in early sex initiation (OR = 4.6; 95% CI = 1.6 – 12.7; P = 0.004, OR = 6.6; 95% CI = 1.9 – 23.7; P = 0.003 and OR = 3.1; 95% CI = 1.3 – 7.2; P = 0.009).

Conclusion: The study showed that senior secondary school students having worked for pay, working for pay while still in school, and having a sexual partner at a very young age are danger factors against delaying first sex initiation among adolescents. Therefore, adolescents should be given more attention and support from parents, teachers and significant agencies. Sexuality education and programmes aimed at encouraging adolescents to delay first sex initiation in life should be encouraged. This will help them not to be exposed to early sex sequelae.   

Keywords: Early sexual debut, behavior, unintended pregnancy, coeducational secondary school

How to Cite

Harold, Isaac, and Olutoyin O. Sekoni. 2023. “Factors Associated With Early Sexual Debut Among Senior Secondary School Students in Okrika Local Government Area, Rivers State, Nigeria”. International Journal of Research and Reports in Gynaecology 6 (1):10-23. https://journalijrrgy.com/index.php/IJRRGY/article/view/79.


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