Sociodemographic, Psychosocial, and Health Behavior Risk Factors Associated with Sexual Risk Behaviors among Southeastern US College Students


Objectives: We examined correlates of 1) being a virgin; 2) drug or alcohol use prior to the last intercourse; and 3) condom use during the last intercourse in a sample of college students. Methods: We recruited 24,055 students at six colleges in the Southeast to complete an online survey, yielding 4840 responses (20.1% response rate), with complete data from 4514. Results: Logistic regression indicated that correlates of virginity included being younger (p < 0.001), male (p = 0.01), being White or other ethnicity (p < 0.001), attending a four- vs. two-year school (p < 0.001), being single/never married (p < 0.001), lower sensation seeking (p < 0.001), more regular religious service attendance (p < 0.001), lower likelihood of smoking (p < 0.001) and marijuana use (p = 0.002), and less frequentdrinking (p < 0.001). Correlates of alcohol or drug use prior to most recent intercourse including being older (p = 0.03), being White (p < 0.01), attending a four-year college (p < 0.001), being homosexual (p = 0.041) or bisexual (p = 0.011), having more lifetime sexual partners (p = 0.005), lower satisfaction with life (p = 0.004), greater likelihood of smoking (p < 0.001) and marijuana use (p < 0.001), and more frequent drinking (p < 0.001). Correlates of condom use during the last sexual intercourse including being older (p = 0.003), being female (p < 0.001), being White (p < 0.001), attending a two-year school (p = 0.04), being single/never married (p = 0.005), being homosexual or bisexual (p = 0.04), and a more frequent drinking (p = 0.001). Conclusions: Four-year college attendees were more likely to be a virgin but, if sexually active, reported higher sexual risk behaviors. These nuances regarding sexual risk may provide targets for sexual health promotion programs and interventions.

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Berg, C. , Lowe, K. , Stratton, E. , Goodwin, S. , Grimsley, L. , Rodd, J. , Williams, C. , Mattox, C. and Foster, B. (2014) Sociodemographic, Psychosocial, and Health Behavior Risk Factors Associated with Sexual Risk Behaviors among Southeastern US College Students. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 387-395. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.46046.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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