Sexuality Research and Social Policy

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 103–111 | Cite as

Sexual Initiation Decisions Among Adolescent Women: The Uruguayan Case

  • Zuleika FerreEmail author
  • Mariana Gerstenbluth
  • Máximo Rossi
  • Patricia Triunfo


We analyze teenage sexual initiation of Uruguayan women younger than 24 years of age using a multinomial logit model for the alternatives of not initiating, initiating without a contraceptive method, and initiating with a contraceptive method. In this article, we find three relevant results. First, the level of education has a strong impact on the probability of initiating with a contraceptive method. Second, we observe that the information given through the educational system substantially reduces the probability of initiating without methods. The information given through the health system, although it can be biased because of endogeneity problems, is effective because women that obtain it have a higher probability of initiating with the use of contraceptive methods. Finally, there is an intergenerational behavior transmission. Those women whose mothers gave birth for the first time as teenagers have less probability of not initiating, whereas those with highly educated mothers are less probable that they initiate without a contraceptive method.


Sexual initiation Adolescent sexual behavior Multinomial models 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zuleika Ferre
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mariana Gerstenbluth
    • 1
  • Máximo Rossi
    • 1
  • Patricia Triunfo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics, School of Social SciencesUniversity of the RepublicMontevideoUruguay

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