Determining Factors Associated with Sexual Behavior and Undesired Outcomes in Urban,Young, Adult Female Populations: A Comparative Study
*Corresponding author: Nicole E. Brown, Alyssa Abebe, Kaleab Abebe and Duane Eisaman*
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies affect adolescent females annually. This study’s objective was to determine factors leading to disproportionate risk of STIs and unplanned pregnancies utilizing a survey to compare a presumed high-risk urban female population with an age-matched expected low-risk urban female population.
Adolescent women ages 18-24 were surveyed during 2017 utilizing a qualtrics survey. The survey was given at a local urban university and participating students received research credit. The survey was also given at an urban Emergency Department (ED) using an iPad to participants during their visit. The main outcomes measured were STI and unplanned pregnancy rates.
The ED cohort had higher rates of chlamydia (52% vs 5%), gonorrhea (20% vs 0%), trichomoniasis (30% vs 2%), pregnancy (60% vs 2%), and perceived themselves to be a higher-risk for pregnancy (3.4 vs 1.9) than the University cohort. They were younger the first time they had vaginal sex (15.6 vs 16.3-years), though median age of first oral sex was similar between groups. The ED cohort
was older (21.4-years-old vs 19.1-years-old) and more likely to be non-white (64% vs 6%). There were no differences between the cohorts in regard to educational background and sexual orientation. After adjustments were made, the University cohort was more likely to use condoms and had a lower rate of lifetime partners.
Young, urban females use condoms and birth control less frequently and have more male partners than an age-matched university population.
Young; Urban; Females; STI; Sexual behavior.