Sexual relations and the need for information among young people: Colombia.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Teenagers (Sexual behavior)
Teenagers (Surveys)
Pub Date: 11/01/2009
Publication: Name: Reproductive Health Matters Publisher: Reproductive Health Matters Audience: General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Health; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 Reproductive Health Matters ISSN: 0968-8080
Issue: Date: Nov, 2009 Source Volume: 17 Source Issue: 34
Topic: Canadian Subject Form: Teenage sexual behaviour
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Colombia Geographic Code: 3COLO Colombia
Accession Number: 225074449
Full Text: A survey of the sexual behaviour of 3,000 young people aged 12-20 in Bogota, Colombia, found that they are making autonomous decisions regarding their sexual lives. The main reasons for their first sexual relations were "love" (40.7%) and "desire" (30.1%). Few mentioned "boy/ girlfriend's pressure" (1.4%), or "friend's pressure" (0.8%). 61.7% had their first sexual relations with their girl/boy friend and 20.5% with a friend. 76% of young men and 66% of young women had already had sexual relations. The ideal starting age according to the majority was between 15 and 18. A minority (7.5% of young men and 4.5% of young women) considered the ideal age was between 10 and 14, a belief that could signal an increased number of pregnancies at these ages. Reasons for not yet starting their sex lives included "prefer to become adult first" (27%), "not ready for sexual relations" (22.5%), and "do not want to risk pregnancy" (23% of men and 19% of women). Religious or cultural codes did not play an important role--just 3.8% stated as their principal reason that their values and beliefs did not allow them to. However, young people were confused about the function of contraception, with 66.5% answering yes as to whether a contraceptive method can prevent a sexual transmitted disease. Only 35% knew what sexual and reproductive rights were, and less than 11% expressed interest in such rights. HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy were the topics of most interest for them. The findings highlight the need to disseminate clearer messages about contraception, sexual and reproductive rights, affection and sexual diversity, all of which were of little interest to the young people surveyed. (1)

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(1.) Castellanos A. Survey smdies sexual health of Bogota's young people. RH Reality Check, 11 February 2009.
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