Ethnicity and Age at First Sexual Intercourse in Ghana

Abstract

This study examines ethnic differences in the age at first sexual intercourse in Ghana. Analysing data from Ghana’s 2014 Demographic and Health Survey, we use ordinary least squares (OLS) regression to examine how ethnicity is associated with the age at sexual debut, net of socio-economic and demographic characteristics. The results show that the patrilineal Mande, Grusi and Mole-Dagbani ethnic groups initiate sex at a later age than all of the other patrilineal groups and also than the majority matrilineal Akans. However, there are no significant differences in the age at first sexual intercourse between the patrilineal Ga Dangme, Ewe, Guan and Gurma ethnic groups compared to the Akans, once we control for socio-demographic characteristics. The results also indicate that for the Mande, Grusi and Mole-Dagbani groups, gender moderates the association between ethnicity and age at first sexual intercourse. The potential reasons for these ethnic group differences are explored.

Résumé

Cette étude examine les différences ethniques dans l’âge au premier rapport sexuel au Ghana. En analysant les données de l’enquête démographique et de santé de 2014, nous utilisons la régression des moindres carrés ordinaires (MCO) pour examiner comment l’ethnicité est. associée à l’âge au début des rapports sexuels, net des caractéristiques socio-économiques et démographiques. Les résultats montrent que les groupes ethniques patrilinéaires Mande, Grusi et Mole-Dagbani initient les relations sexuelles à un âge plus avancé que tous les autres groupes patrilinéaires, et aussi que le groupe majoritaire des Akans, qui sont matrilinéaires. Cependant, il n’y a pas de différences significatives dans l’âge au premier rapport sexuel entre les groupes ethniques patrilinéaires Ga Dangme, Ewe, Guan et Gurma par rapport aux Akans, une fois que nous prenons en compte leurs caractéristiques sociodémographiques. Les résultats indiquent également que pour les groupes Mande, Grusi et Mole-Dagbani, le genre modère l’association entre l’appartenance ethnique et l’âge au premier rapport sexuel. Les raisons potentielles de ces différences entre les groupes ethniques sont explorées.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge Joshua Curtis, PhD, who provided helpful comments on earlier versions of the paper.

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Correspondence to Jenny Godley.

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Teye-Kau, M., Godley, J. Ethnicity and Age at First Sexual Intercourse in Ghana. Can. Stud. Popul. 47, 229–244 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42650-020-00038-4

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Keywords

  • Ethnicity
  • Ghana
  • First sexual intercourse
  • Gender

Mots-clé

  • Appartenance ethnique
  • Ghana
  • Début sexuel
  • Genre