Maticka-tyndale, Eleanor; Barrett, Michael; Mckay, Alexander
March 2000
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;Spring2000, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p41
Academic Journal
Canada has a reliable national data base on rates of teen pregnancy and reportable sexually transmitted infection (STI) and these measures are often used as indicators of trends in adolescent sexual health. In contrast, access to routinely-gathered, national-level information on the sexual health-related behaviour of adolescents and young adults is more limited. This paper used data from the 1996 National Population Health Survey to track, for various age groups. the age at first intercourse, number of intercourse partners in the past year, and condom use at last intercourse. The findings were then employed to determine the association of these measures with immigrant status, household income, and school/work status. In addition, the 1995 General Social Survey provided data on trends in currently-used contraceptive method across age groups as a basis for comparison with the few other national studies available on contraceptive practices in Canada. Median age at first intercourse has not only declined in the last 40 years, it is now almost the same for females and males. Both this measure and the other behavioural indicators were shown to be associated, to varying degrees in both males and females, with the social and economic indicators. The findings demonstrate the value of such national information for the planning of interventions to prevent Sri and unintended pregnancy among teens and young adults. They also highlight the need for better national data on a wider range of sexual behaviours pertinent to reproductive health.


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