Type of Primary Education Is Associated With Condom Use at Sexual Debut Among Chilean Adolescents

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Abstract

Background

Although condom use in adolescence is related to higher lifetime educational attainment, the association between primary education (from kindergarten to eighth grade) and adolescent sexual behavior is not well understood. This study examined the association between type of school in which primary education was completed—public, charter, or private—and condom use at sexual debut among Chilean adolescents.

Methods

Drawing on the 2009 Chilean National Youth Survey, a population-based sample of general community youth aged 15 to 29 years, we conducted a study of the 4217 participants who reported onset of sexual activity during adolescence. Bivariate and multple logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between type of primary school attended (60.1% public, 30.3% charter, and 9.6% private) and condom use at sexual debut while controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and sexual behavior.

Results

Compared with students who completed their primary education in private or charter schools, students who completed their primary education in public schools had 1.85 (95% confidence interval, 1.12–3.04) and 1.67 (95% confidence interval, 1.26–2.23) higher odds, respectively, of not using condoms at sexual debut. Odds were similar for students living in urban settings, whereas there were too few students attending private schools in rural areas to allow meaningful estimates.

Conclusions

Independent of household income, primary schooling is associated with sexual health behaviors among Chilean adolescents living in urban areas and can serve as a target for public health interventions designed to prevent sexually transmitted infections in adolescence.

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