Sexuality and Health: a study of sexual behaviors and health surveillance in young adults

  • Maria José Santos Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
  • Carlos Almeida Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
  • Anabela Figueiredo Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
  • João Castro Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
  • Fátima Cardoso Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
  • Filomena Raimundo Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
  • Maria do Carmo Sousa Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro

Abstract

A descriptive-correlational and cross-sectional study was carried out to characterize the sexual behaviors and health surveillance of young adults and to determine the factors associated with them. The sample consisted of 171 young adults (19.9% male; 81.1% female), with a mean age of 21 years attending a high education institution in the north of Portugal. Information on sociodemographic characteristics, sexual behaviors, and health surveillance were obtained through a questionnaire.  Data analysis was based on descriptive and inferential statistics (chi-square). It was observed that in the last 12 months, 93.0% of the participants had sexual intercourse, of which 77.0% always used a contraceptive method, and the condom was the most used (35.7%); nonetheless, 38.6% of young people showed an inconsistent use. Sexual risk behaviors are more frequent in male students and consist of having casual partners (p<0.001) and alcohol (p<0.001) associated with sex. It is essential to continue investing in young adult sexuality education, allowing them to make more informed choices and to improve the adherence to sexual and reproductive health surveillance.

Published
2019-12-31

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