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International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 54, Supplement 2, pp 209–215 | Cite as

How well protected are sexually active 15-year olds? Cross-national patterns in condom and contraceptive pill use 2002–2006

  • Saoirse Nic GabhainnEmail author
  • Adriana Baban
  • William Boyce
  • Emmanuelle Godeau
  • the HBSC Sexual Health Focus Group
Original article

Abstract

Objectives:

To present comparative data on sexual initiation, and condom use and contraceptive pill use at last intercourse among adolescents in Europe, Israel and Canada.

Methods:

Data were collected by self-report questionnaire from nationally representative samples of 15 year olds in school classrooms in two cross-national surveys undertaken in 24 countries in 2001/02 and 30 countries in 2005/06.

Results:

In 2005/06 almost 27% of those surveyed had had sex and almost 86% reported using condoms or the contraceptive pill at last intercourse. This reflects little change since 2001/02 in prevalence of sexual initiation and a general increase in being well-protected at last intercourse. There were wide variations with up to a third of sexually active 15 year olds in some countries at risk for either Sexually Transmitted Infections or pregnancy, or both.

Conclusions:

Most adolescents were well protected against Sexually Transmitted Infections and pregnancy, but an important minority remain at risk, with very wide cross-national differences.

Keywords:

Adolescence Sexual behaviour Contraception use Cross-national comparisons HBSC 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saoirse Nic Gabhainn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adriana Baban
    • 2
  • William Boyce
    • 3
  • Emmanuelle Godeau
    • 4
  • the HBSC Sexual Health Focus Group
  1. 1.Health Promotion Research Centre, School of Health SciencesNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Babes-BolyaiCluj-NapocaRomania
  3. 3.Social Program Evaluation GroupQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  4. 4.Service Médical du Rectorat de Toulouse, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Unit 558University of Toulouse IIIToulouseFrance

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