Immigrant Generation and Sexual Initiation Among a Diverse Racial/Ethnic Group of Urban Youth

J Immigr Minor Health. 2017 Dec;19(6):1412-1419. doi: 10.1007/s10903-016-0420-4.


Foreign-born youth have a lower risk of sexual initiation than native born youth, yet most research has focused on Latinos. An ethnically diverse sample of 200, 14-21 year-old youth were surveyed in Denver in 2014. We used logistic regression models to predict the odds of intentions to have sex and sexual experience, adding covariates that could account for differences in outcomes by immigrant generation. First generation youth were less likely to intend to have sex and to have sexual experience than third generation youth after controlling for racial/ethnic group, suggesting that first generation immigrants of multiple racial/ethnic groups, not just Latinos alone, have a lower risk for sexual initiation. Having a supportive community reduced the odds of sexual intentions and sexual experience. Our findings support future research using a larger sample of black, white, and Asian immigrant youth to corroborate and to explore reasons behind these associations.

Keywords: Adolescent; Emigrants and immigrants; Ethnic groups; Sexual behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adolescent
  • Colorado
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethnicity / psychology
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Self Efficacy
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult