The relationship between source of sexual information and sexual behavior among female adolescents

Abbey B. Berenson, Z. Helen Wu, Carmen Radecki Breitkopf, Jennifer Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Introduction: The relationship between the source of sexual information and adolescent sexual behavior is not well understood. Materials and Methods: As part of a larger study, 892 sexually active female adolescents between 15 and 18 years of age completed a paper-and-pencil survey which assessed discussions about sexual intercourse, contraceptive use and condom use among friends and family members and their own sexual behavior. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to examine associations while controlling for key demographics. Results: Adolescents who had never used condoms were less likely to report having had discussions about sexual intercourse with their friends [adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=0.2]. Discussions about condom use among friends and family members were associated with condom use in the past 3 months, with adolescents who used condoms at least half of the time being more likely to report hearing discussions relative to adolescents who never used condoms (AORs 2.0-3.8). Furthermore, the number of sexual partners was related to whether the adolescent had heard discussions among her family about condom use; the higher the number of sexual partners, the more likely the adolescent was to have heard discussions. For adolescents reporting 2-3, 4-5 and 6 or more partners (relative to one partner), the AORs were 1.7, 2.3 and 2.7, respectively. Discussion: Adolescents exposed to information about condom use among the primary individuals in their lives are more likely to be engaging in this behavior themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-278
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Adolescents
  • Condom use
  • Contraception
  • Friends
  • Parental communication
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sexual information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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