Community-Level Influences on Early Sexual Initiation in Nigeria

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Author(s): Agha S, Van Rossem R, Ankomah A

Year: 2006

Using national survey data from Nigeria, this study examines individual and community-level determinants of early sexual initiation. Community-level factors exercise important effects on the early onset of sexual initiation. Consistent with the social capital hypothesis, young people living in communities that are more knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention, communities that are open to receiving HIV/AIDS information, and communities that support condom use as well as family planning are more likely to delay sexual initiation than others. The disadvantages associated with living in a community that is less well informed, less supportive of condom use and less open to receiving information on HIV/AIDS are significantly higher for women. Women who live in communities where attitudes about reproductive health are not positive or where there is lack of social support for condom use are at a heightened risk of early sexual initiation.

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