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Gendered Differences in the Predictors of Sexual Initiation among Young Adults in Cebu, Philippines


Gipson, Jessica D.; Hicks, Andrew L.; & Gultiano, Socorro A. (2014). Gendered Differences in the Predictors of Sexual Initiation among Young Adults in Cebu, Philippines. Journal of Adolescent Health, 54(5), 599-605.


Purpose Social environment and family context exert substantial influence on adolescent sexual behaviors. These influences are especially important to examine in countries undergoing rapid demographic and social change. This study employs unique, intergenerational and longitudinal data (1998–2009) to examine the effects of parental, peer, and household influences on sexual initiation among young adults in Cebu, Philippines. Methods Intergenerational and longitudinal cohort data from the 1998 Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey (CLHNS) are analyzed to examine the effects of household, peer, family, and young adults' sexual attitudes on age at first sex by 2009 among young men and women. Gender-stratified Cox proportional hazards models and Cox regression models are used to model time to first sex. Results Household, family, peer, and individual characteristics have disparate influences on sexual initiation among Filipino boys and girls. Boys' sexual initiation was positively associated with urbanicity, household wealth, and the presence of a family member working abroad, whereas for girls, these variables had no significant effects. Unique effects were also found for girls—mother's education was negatively associated, and girls' number of siblings was positively associated, with higher hazards of sex. Additionally, the effects of some variables on the occurrence of first sex differed across time, indicating that boys and girls may be differentially influenced by contextual characteristics across adolescence. Conclusions Amid substantial sociodemographic changes and persistence of traditional gender norms, this study highlights the importance of examining the unique influences and intersections of gender and context on sexual initiation in the Philippines.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Adolescent Health


Gipson, Jessica D.
Hicks, Andrew L.
Gultiano, Socorro A.