This cross-sectional survey examines the association between attitudes and female adolescents’ sexually risky behaviors. A sample of 159 subjects, aged 14 – 20 from three high schools in West Virginia participated in the study. The results indicate that 60.3% (n = 96) reported having had sexual intercourse and, of this sexually active group, 60.4% (n = 58) stated that they had sex the first time at age 15 or younger. Fifty-five percent (n = 88) reported at least one of the following behaviors: (1) sexual initiation at age 15 or younger, (2) frequent sexual intercourse last month, (3) multiple sex partners, (4) unprotected sex during last sex, and (5) had sex with drug or alcohol. Multiple regression analysis indicates that those participants who favor premarital sex were more likely to engage in sexually risky behaviors. The items of “favoring premarital sex” and “living arrangements” were the only two items that were independently found to be related to the sexually risky behaviors. Female adolescents who lived with both parents were less likely to engage in sexually risky behaviors.

Note on the Author

Janet F. Wang, PhD, RN, FAAN (Corresponding Author) Professor, School of Nursing, West Virginia University

Patricia S. Simoni, EdD, RN, Associate Professor Emeritus

Ying Wu, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, West Virginia University

Christine Banvard, MD Assistant Professor, School of Medicine West Virginia University