Relationships among sociodemographic markers, behavioral risk, and sexually transmitted infections in U. S. female Marine Corps recruits

Mil Med. 2008 Nov;173(11):1078-84. doi: 10.7205/milmed.173.11.1078.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of sociodemographic factors and constructs derived from the Information, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills (IMB) model on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and a composite STI risk score in female Marine Corps recruits.

Methods: Data were collected in 1999 to 2000 through self-administered questionnaires and laboratory-confirmed tests of STIs. Logistic regression analyses were used to assess factors associated with sexual risk and STIs.

Results: Recruits with the highest STI risk scores were younger, single, had high STI knowledge, less positive condom attitudes, perceptions of higher STI risk, perceived that sex is more likely and enjoyable under the influence of alcohol, and were heavy alcohol and drug users before recruit training entry. Recruits diagnosed with STIs had higher STI risk scores, had last sexual partners who were non-Caucasian, and resided in rural locations before recruit training entry.

Conclusions: A significant proportion of young women entering the Marine Corps present with STIs and/or recent sexual behavior that put them at risk for acquiring STIs despite high group means for prevention skills. Deficiencies in STI/human immunodeficiency virus knowledge and motivation to reduce risk (denoted by negative attitudes toward condom use and acceptance of the connection between sex and substance use) are possible targets for intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Military Medicine*
  • Military Personnel*
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / transmission
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers