Sexuality Education During Adolescence and Use of Modern Contraception at First Sexual Intercourse Among Mexican Women

Alyssa R. Hersh, Biani Saavedra-Avendaño, Raffaela Schiavon, Blair Darney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Mexico has implemented comprehensive sexuality education. We hypothesized that young women who received sexuality education as adolescents would be more likely to report modern contraceptive use at first sexual intercourse. Methods: We used a nationally representative survey of Mexican women aged 20–24 years who were asked about experiences during adolescence. We defined our treatment variable in three mutually exclusive groups: comprehensive sexuality education (receipt of education in nine topics); incomplete sexuality education (receipt of at least one topic in each of three themes); or no sexuality education. Our outcome was use of modern contraception at first sexual intercourse. We included individual- and household-level sociodemographic factors. All presented data used survey weights. We used multivariable logistic regression and predicted probabilities to estimate the association between sexuality education and using modern contraception at first intercourse. Results: In our sample (n = 2,725; population N = 4,008,722), 60.6% of participants reported receipt of comprehensive, 15.6% of incomplete, and 23.9% of no sexuality education; 62.5% reported utilizing a modern method of contraception at first intercourse. Women who reported receiving comprehensive (adjusted odds ratio: 2.3, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.7, 3.2) or incomplete (adjusted odds ratio: 2.4, 95% CI: 1.3, 4.2) sexuality education had higher odds of using contraception at first intercourse compared with no sexuality education. The absolute multivariable probabilities of using modern contraception at first intercourse were 57.5% (95% CI: 55.2%–59.8%), 60.4% (95% CI: 56.0%–64.9%), and 37.6% (95% CI: 33.9%–41.3%) among comprehensive, incomplete, and no sexuality education, respectively. Conclusions: Sexuality education is associated with contraception use at first intercourse among young women in Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • Adolescent
  • Contraception
  • Latin America
  • Mexico
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Sexuality education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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