1 Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Faculty of Development Studies, P.O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi
2 Witwatersrand University, School of Public Health, Education Campus, Park Town, Johannesburg, South Africa
In Malawi, having multiple sexual partners and engaging in sexual intercourse without using condoms remain a sexual and reproductive health challenge among women. This has consequently increased morbidity and low productivity among women, especially in young women of the country. This paper examined the determinants of risky sexual behavioral practices among teen women in Malawi.
The study used 2015-16 Malawi Demographic Health Survey with a weighted sample of 5263 women under 20 years. Both Bivariate and multivariate statistical analyses were used to estimate factors influencing risky sexual behavioral practices among teen women.
The study found the existence of differential determinants to influence women’s conduct in having both multiple sexual partners and inability to use condom during subsequent sexual intercourses with partners other than spouses. For instance, education (complete primary, IRR=2.755, p<0.001 and complete secondary education, IRR=3.515, p< 0.001); teen motherhood status (IRR = 0.295, p< 0.001), unavailability of the health care services (IRR=1.043, p<0.05) among others positively determined having multiple sexual partners in Malawi among teen women. On the contrary, wealth status (medium, IRR=1.116, p<0.001; rich, IRR=1.194, p<0.001) reduced teen women’s behavior of not using a condom with partners other than spouses during sexual intercourse.
The study asserts that in Malawi, there is an urgent need for advocacy programmes aimed at reducing sexual and reproductive health challenges among girls at primary school levels and upwards. Equipping the girls, at a community level, with basic knowledge and understanding about the dangers of practicing risky sexual behavior is fundamental for the enhancement of their socio-economic support.
Keywords: Sexual intercourse, Education, Wealth, Risky behavior, Malawi, Socio-economic support.
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