Purpose: To determine whether sexually active adolescent males who report being the victim of forced sexual contact and engaging in health risk and problem behaviors are more likely to report getting someone pregnant.
Methods: In 1995, 4159 students in Grades 9-12 in 59 randomly selected public high schools in Massachusetts were anonymously surveyed using the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). Data were analyzed for 824 sexually active males. Demographic variables and indicators of sexual behavior, pregnancy, violence, and suicide were assessed. Data were analyzed with multiple logistic regression.
Results: A total of 12.0% of sexually active males reported having been involved in a pregnancy. The proportion of males who reported getting a partner pregnant increased with age. Of the sample, 8.1% gave a history of having had sexual contact against their will. Of those who reported forced sexual contact, 36.4% reported having been involved in a pregnancy; of the males who did not report a history of forced sexual contact, 9.4% were involved in a pregnancy (CV = 0.23; p < 0.00001). Based on multiple logistic regression, forced sexual contact [odds ratio (OR) 3.56; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.79-7.09], frequency of weapon carrying on school property (OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.18-1.64), number of cigarettes smoked per day (OR 1.22; 95% CI 1.08-1.38), number of sexual partners in the previous 3 months (OR 1.43; 95% CI 1.25-1.65), and condom nonuse at last intercourse (OR 1.80; 95% CI 1.06-3.02) correctly classified 89.9% of the males who were involved in a pregnancy.
Conclusion: This study highlights the association between health-risk and problem behaviors, forced sexual contact, and involvement in pregnancy among sexually active male high school students. In our analysis, a history of forced sexual contact was associated with a higher risk of high school males' involvement in pregnancy. These results strongly suggest the importance of screening sexually active males for a history of forced sexual intercourse and health risk and problem behaviors in the effort to prevent teenage pregnancy and childbearing.
PIP: The hypothesis that adolescent males who cause a pregnancy are more likely to have been victims of forced sexual contact and to have engaged in health risk and problem behaviors in the recent past than their sexually active counterparts who have not been involved in a pregnancy was investigated through use of a subset of data from the Massachusetts (US) 1995 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. 99 (12%) of the 824 sexually active male survey respondents reported having caused a pregnancy. A history of forced sexual contact was reported by 8.1%. Among those acknowledging forced sexual conduct, 36.4% had caused a pregnancy; of those without such a history, only 9.4% were involved in a pregnancy (p 0.00001). In addition, males who were involved in a pregnancy reported a greater likelihood of engaging in 16 health risk and problem behaviors in the previous 1, 3, and 12 months than those not involved in a pregnancy. Multiple logistic regression analysis identified 5 significant, independent predictors of having impregnated a female adolescent: number of sex partners in the previous 3 months (adjusted odds ratio (OR), 1.43; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.25-1.65); history of forced sexual contact (OR, 3.56; 95% CI, 1.79-7.09); carrying weapons on school property (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.18-1.64); cigarettes smoked/day (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.08-1.38); and condom nonuse at last intercourse (OR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.06-3.02). This model correctly classified 89.9% of sexually active male students who had been involved in a pregnancy. These findings suggest a need to screen sexually active males for these risk factors, especially a history of forced sexual contact, as part of interventions aimed at preventing adolescent pregnancy.