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The Influence of Peers and Other Significant Persons on Sexuality among Secondary School Students in Kisumu District, Kenya

Author(s): Mary A. Ochieng | Rose Kakai and Kisia Abok

Journal: Asian Journal of Medical Sciences
ISSN 2040-8765

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 26;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Behaviour change | HIV prevention | parents | peers | youth

Young people’s sexual relations are often unplanned, sporadic and, sometimes, influenced by social pressure. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of peers, church groups and parents on sexuality among adolescents attending secondary schools in Kisumu District. This was a cross sectional survey targeting adolescents from randomly selected secondary schools in Kisumu District. Data was collected from 384 respondents using self-administered pre-tested questionnaire, and analysed by SPSS. Out of 384 respondents, 53.4% reported that they had ever had sex while the rest had not. Respondents who consumed alcohol, attended social activities such as parties and discos were more likely than those who did not to be sexually active, and to have engaged in casual sex with strangers or people not well known to them. Residence with both parents and maternal influence was associated with decreased sexual activity and condom use but paternal influence revealed no meaningful association with the respondents’ sexual behaviour. Respondents who perceived their peers to be sexually active were more likely to be sexually active. Peer education should be encouraged. Religious groups and parents should be included in AIDS prevention programmes.
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