Vol 83, No 11 (2012)

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Sexual activity among young women. Medical and legal aspects

Grażyna Jarząbek-Bielecka, Elżbieta Sowińska-Przepiera, Magdalena Durda, Maria Kaczmarek, Witold Kędzia
Ginekol Pol 2012;83(11).


Objectives: Two main aims of the study were: (1) to examine whether age of sexual debut and patterns of sexual behavior have changed over the past decades among young Polish women and (2) to consider the medical and legal aspects regarding juvenile patients who are sexually active. Materials and methods: Two hundred women, born within two consecutive decades (1975-1995) in the Wielkopolska region (Poland) were asked to fill in a questionnaire concerning the following: age at sexual initiation and the contraceptive method used at the time, preferred forms of sexual activity, current contraceptive methods. Statistical analysis was performed using the Statistica 9.0 software [StatSoft]. Statistical evaluation was based on the chisquare test and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Results: The average age of sexual initiation decreased significantly between the two studied cohorts of women and ranged from 18.9 for women born between 1975 and 1984 (cohort I) and 17.6 for women born between 1985 and 1995 (cohort II), regardless of the place of residence. The percentage of women who had their first sexual intercourse by the age of 15 years was 0 % in cohort I and 8.2% in cohort II. Other characteristics of sexual activity were similar across the studied cohorts of women. Condom use during the first sexual intercourse was the preferred form of contraception (59.2%). 65% women have reported current contraceptive use. As for the preferred type of intercourse, all women (100%) chose vaginal sex. The most frequent number of sexual intercourses per month was 7 or more (41.7%). Conclusions: The age of sexual debut among Polish women has decreased significantly over the last decades. Premature initiation is believed to increase the risk of unplanned pregnancy, STDs and emotional stress. Polish medical and legal circles lack unequivocal stand on how to deal with juvenile patients who are sexually active, expect to receive advice from a gynecologist, a gynecologic examination and prescribed contraceptives.

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