Sex and BC East Asian teenagers

A new study by University of British Columbia researchers shows that although 90 per cent of East Asian adolescents in British Columbia are not sexually active, those who are may engage in high-risk sexual behaviours.

"Most East Asian-Canadian adolescents have not had sex, but among those who have, one in four used alcohol or drugs before sex last time, and one-third have had two or more partners," says Yuko Homma, lead author and a post-doctoral research fellow with UBC School of Nursing. "Nearly half the girls had not used a condom."

"Since about half of these students were new Canadians and spoke a language other than English at home, we wonder if they might be missing key information in classes because of language barriers," says Elizabeth Saewyc, senior author and Professor with UBC School of Nursing.

This study is also the first population-based survey in Canada that asked East Asian adolescents their reasons for abstaining from sex: the top two reasons for waiting were not feeling ready and wanting to meet the right person.

Published recently in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, the study used data from the British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey to examine the prevalence of among both Canadian-born and immigrant East Asian adolescents in B.C. The study looked at contraceptive use, health outcomes as a result of , and differences in behaviour among male and .


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