Friday, 21 June 2013

Girls as young as 13 having sex

According to the survey carried out by research firm Consumer Insight, four in every 10 youth aged between 13 and 19 had engaged in sex. FOTOSEARCH
According to the survey carried out by research firm Consumer Insight, four in every 10 youth aged between 13 and 19 had engaged in sex. FOTOSEARCH 
Posted  Friday, June 21  2013 at  23:30
Boys and girls as young as 13 are having sex, exposing themselves to the risk of pregnancy and contracting HIV/Aids, a new study shows.
The study also found that some of the young people engage in sex with multiple partners, meaning that if any one of them contracts a sexually transmitted disease, it would spread faster among the population.
According to the survey carried out by research firm Consumer Insight, four in every 10 youth aged between 13 and 19 had engaged in sex.
However, the study does not indicate if the sex acts were conducted with suitable protection. It says the reported incidents of multiple sexual partners were much higher among boys than girls.
“Although the incidence of having sex grows with age, a significant proportion of teens have engaged in this act,” the study says.
Consumer Insight managing director Ndirangu wa Maina said there was a lot of sex in the environment, drawing youths to the act.
“There is obviously too much sex in the media — magazines, television, and the Internet. There is also a lot of texting with 47 per cent of youth saying they have received or sent a sexual text message. Two-thirds of them say they enjoyed it,” said Mr Maina.
Officially, Kenya’s definition of youth encompasses people aged between 18 and 35, meaning the study’s findings took a portion of the youth age bracket.
People aged below that age are considered children.
According to the study, youth aged between 20 an d 25 years are the more likely group to have engaged in sex, with 78 in every 100 admitting to have engaged in the activity over the past 12 months.
Many youth in the age group are in colleges and universities. A few of them would have graduated and are out in search of jobs.
The study found that half of the boys had sex with more than one partner over the past 12 months, while four in 10 girls had.
The findings differ from the current Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS), which only recorded first sexual activity for youth aged between 20 and 24.
According to the official study conducted in 2008/9, sexual activity starts earliest in Nyanza province (16.5 years) and latest in Nairobi (20.3 years).
The KDHS also established that the lowest median age at first sex for men is in Western province (16.9 years), while the highest median age is in North Eastern (24.3 years).
The study found that friends were the main and most trusted source of information on sex and reproductive health among the young population.
At least half of the youth sampled singled out friends as the main and trusted source, compared to 15 per cent of the respondents who cited television or radio.
Only one in every 10 youngsters said they consulted a priest/pastor for information on sex.
“Friends are filling a void in sexual information created by health professionals and parents,” the report said, referring to the failure by mothers, fathers and medics to attend to the younger population.
“Some of this peer-sourced information is via text, content that is enjoyed by many youth.”
Nearly half (47 per cent) of the respondents said they had sent or received mobile phone text messages with sex content — and were excited by it.
The majority of those enjoying the text messaging with sex content are the older age group, where only five per cent of respondents could be offended by messages on the subject.
It found that most young people spend their free time in public parks (35 per cent) shopping malls (27 per cent), restaurants (21 per cent), disco (17 per cent) and movies (12 per cent).
TV is the most frequently used media, although engagement decreases with age, while radio and Internet usage grows with age.
The study aimed at gaining an understanding of the lifestyles of the youth.

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