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Alcohol – a Predictor of Risky Sexual Behavior among Female Adolescents
Alcohol use has been linked to risky sexual practices among adolescents. However, limited research on alcohol use and risky sexual behavior has been conducted among female adolescents. This study examined a high quantity of alcohol as a longitudinal predictor of risky sexual behavior and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among female adolescents. Three hundred ninety-three adolescent females aged 15-21 were assessed for alcohol use and risky sexual behaviors. Participants also provided 2 swab specimens that were assayed for STDs. Use of high alcohol quantity was defined as ≥3 drinks in 1 sitting. Binary generalized estimating equation models were conducted assessing the impact of alcohol use at baseline on risky sexual behavior and STDs over a 12-month period. Age, intervention group and baseline outcome measures were entered as covariates. The results indicated that use of high alcohol quantity predicted inconsistent condom use, high sexual sensation seeking, multiple sexual partners, sex while high on alcohol or drugs, and having anal sex during 12-month follow-up period. These findings suggest that STD-related behavioral interventions for adolescents should discuss the link between alcohol and STD-risk behavior. Deeper understanding of alcohol as a predictor of risky sexual behavior among female adolescents is of paramount importance for development of efficient prevention programs at individual and community levels. The risk of acquiring an STD is higher among teenagers than among adults.
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