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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


FAILDE GARRIDO, José María; LAMEIRAS FERNANDEZ, María  and  BIMBELA PEDROLA, José Luis. Sexual behavior in a Spanish sample aged 14 to 24 years old. Gac Sanit [online]. 2008, vol.22, n.6, pp.511-519. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: To describe the sexual behaviors and practices of Spanish adolescents and young adults according to gender. Method: Information was gathered by means of a questionnaire administered in participants' homes in the presence of an interviewer. A random sample was used, consisting of 2,171 adolescents and young adults of both sexes, ranging in age from 14 to 24 years old. The participants were from three distinct regions of Spain: Galicia, Madrid, and Andalusia. Results: A total of 1,439 participants (66.3%) reported having been sexually active in the previous 6 months, with no statistically significant differences between male (66.4%) and female (66.2%) respondents. However, significant differences were found between males and females in the following variables: anal intercourse was reported by a higher proportion of males than females, the number of sexual partners reported by females was lower than that reported by males and the frequency of vaginal intercourse reported by females was higher than that reported by males. Condom use in anal intercourse and oral sex was more frequently reported by males than by females. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that sexual behavior differs between genders, with females having a lower number of sexual partners and more frequently using a condom in vaginal intercourse but less frequently in oral sex and anal intercourse. In view of these data, we believe that gender should be taken into account when designing and implementing preventive interventions.

Keywords : Adolescents; Young adults; Condom; HIV prevention; AIDS.

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