Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 619–629 | Cite as

Individual, Partner, and Partnership Level Correlates of Anal Sex Among Youth in Baltimore City

  • Luciana E. HebertEmail author
  • Pamela S. Lilleston
  • Jacky M. Jennings
  • Susan G. Sherman
Original Paper


Anal sex is an efficient mode of STI transmission and studies indicate that anal sex is common among heterosexuals, including adolescents. We examined the association between individual, partner, and sexual partnership-level characteristics with anal sex among a household survey of 263 individuals aged 15–24 years in Baltimore City, Maryland. We used weighted multiple logistic regression to examine correlates of anal sex in a heterosexual partnership by gender. Twenty-nine percent of males and 15 % of females reported anal sex in a partnership in the past 6 months. For males, anal sex was associated with having two or more partners in the past 3 months (AOR = 13.93, 95 % CI 3.87–50.12), having been tested for HIV (AOR = 0.30, 95 % CI 0.12–0.72), and oral sex with a partner (AOR = 8.79, 95 % CI 1.94–39.78). For females, anal sex was associated with reporting having a main partner (AOR = 6.74, 95 % CI 1.74–23.65), partner meeting place (AOR = 3.03, 95 % CI 1.04–8.82), partner history of STI (AOR = 0.20, 95 % CI 0.05–0.85), and oral sex with a partner (AOR = 8.47, 95 % CI 1.08–66.25). Anal sex was associated with inconsistent condom use for both males (OR = 5.77, 95 % CI 1.68–19.79) and females (OR = 5.16, 95 % CI 1.46–18.30). We conclude that anal sex is a prevalent risk behavior among heterosexual youth and is associated with a range of factors at the individual and partnership levels. These findings provide support for comprehensive sex education that includes information about anal sex; findings from this study can inform public health campaigns targeting youth at risk for STIs.


Anal sex Adolescent Sexual partners HIV/STI risk Heterosexual 



This project was funded under a grant from the National Institutes of Health (R01 HD057789-05) (PI: Sherman). All authors made substantive contributions to this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luciana E. Hebert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pamela S. Lilleston
    • 2
  • Jacky M. Jennings
    • 3
  • Susan G. Sherman
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive HealthUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health, Behavior and SocietyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, Center for Child and Community Health Research (CCHR)Johns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

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