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Journal of Public Health

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 32  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 312 - 321

Sexual intercourse and high-risk sexual behaviours among a national sample of urban adolescents in China

Y Song and C. Y. Ji



To describe the characteristics of a population with high-risk sexual behaviours and associations between sexual intercourse, high-risk sexual behaviours and socio-demographic characteristics among Chinese urban adolescents.


In 2005, 109 754 students in grades 10–12 and 33 653 college students were anonymously surveyed using a Chinese Youth Risk Behaviour Survey. Demographic variables and indicators of forced sex, condom use and unintended pregnancy were analysed with multiple logistic regressions.


Of students surveyed, median age was 17.6 (range 14–24 years) and 76 233 were female (53.2%); 4.8% of high school students reported had experienced sexual intercourse; of these, 32.8% reported had forced sex; 11.3% of college students reported had experienced sexual intercourse and of these, the prevalence of forced sex, condom use and unintended pregnancy were 23.5, 49.7 and 24.2%, respectively. School type and socioeconomic status were found to be independently associated with sexual intercourse and forced sex for high school students. For college students, educational level, school type, family structure, maternal education and socioeconomic status were independently associated with high-risk sexual behaviours.


This study highlights the association between high-risk sexual behaviours and school type and socioeconomic status. These results strongly suggest the importance of providing sex education in high schools and lower socioeconomic areas.

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