Predictors of Non-Marital Sexual Activity and Pregnancy Experience among Young Females in Urban Kenya

Chinelo Okigbo, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ilene S. Speizer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

With the rising age of marriage in Kenya, non-marital sexual activity and unintended pregnancy rates are higher than ever recorded. This paper assesses the factors associated with sexual activity and pregnancy among unmarried females, ages 15 – 24, living in urban Kenya (weighted N=2264). Half of the unmarried females (56%) are sexually-experienced and 41% of sexually-experienced females had a previous pregnancy. Older age, less education, and slum residence are positively associated with sexual experience and/or pregnancy experience. Among sexually-experienced women, those who had ever been pregnant were significantly more likely to report early sexual debut and non-use of contraception at first sex compared to those who had never been pregnant (26% versus 15% and 11% versus 38%, respectively). Understanding the risk and protective factors in youth sexuality will contribute to programs and interventions focused on reinforcing positive sexual behaviors and ensuring that all pregnancies are intended among youth in Kenya.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility Intentions and Behavior