Family, Peer and Protective factors related to Sex Behavior among Urban Adolescents in Secondary Schools in Mombasa County, Coast Province, Kenya
Wang'eri, T. W.
Otanga, H. F.
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The intention of this paper was to explore family and peer factors related to adolescents’ engagement of selected sexual behaviours. To establish this, the study sought to find out if adolescents engaged in behaviours like engaging in romantic relationships, holding hands, kissing and fondling the body of a person of the opposite sex. Other sexual behaviours investigated were if adolescents visited parks, beach or music clubs, watched pornography or took drugs to gain courage and sexual intercourse. The study sought to establish if parents’ social economic status, family structure and parenting styles had any relationship with the sexual behaviours adolescents engaged in. Further to this, the study wanted to establish if peer influence had an effect on adolescent sex behaviour. The study was conducted in secondary schools in Mombasa a coastal Kenyan town. Data were collected through a paper based questionnaire from 217 randomly selected students from 6 secondary schools aged between 12-20 years. The study findings revealed that moderate percentages of students engaged in all the sexual behaviours investigated. Few males and even fewer females reported having engaged in sexual intercourse. Across social economic statuses the study revealed that slightly higher percentages of respondents from business class and unemployed parents reported having engaged in the sexual behaviours than adolescents from the other social economic categories. Parental monitoring seems to be a protective factor since few adolescents reported having engaged in the sexual behaviours. Majority of adolescents reported that they did not experience peer pressure to engage in the sexual behaviours investigated. Health guidance was found to be a protective factor for females since a significant number of males but a small number of females reported having engaged in sexual intercourse after receiving health guidance. The study recommended that all schools should run health education programs that train about consequences of sexuality,assertiveness and how to resist negative peer pressure. Moreover, they should be trained how to make short term and long term objectives for their life goals as a protective factor. Another recommendation of the study is that forums should be created to train parents on how to relate withAdolescents and how to provide for their physical and psychological needs as a protective factor