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Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP

On-line version ISSN 1980-220X


BORGES, Ana Luiza Vilela. Gender relations and sexual initiation among adolescent women. Rev. esc. enferm. USP [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.4, pp. 597-604. ISSN 1980-220X.

This is a cross-sectional study con-ducted with 222 15 to 19 year-old female adolescents who lived in the area of a family health unit in the East part of the city of São Paulo. The aim was to describe their motivation for starting sexual life or remaining virgin, as well as the associated factors to the onset of sexual life. The girls that had already initiated their sexual life were older, did not cohabitate with both parents, were out of school, lived in illegally-occupied houses and were dating in a higher proportion than the virgin ones. It was also observed a decrease in the value of virginity, but the first intercourse independently of marriage seemed to be acceptable only when there was a romantic relationship with the partner, showing that traditional gender relations continue to be the basis for those girls' sexual behavior.

Keywords : Adolescent health; Sexual and reproductive health; Gender and health.

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