Effects of Home- and School-Leaving on Filipino Adolescents’ Sexual Initiation

by Elma P. Laguna, Master of Arts in Demography (2003)

This paper looks at the effect of timing of home-and school-leaving on Filipino adolescents’ sexual initiation. The paper describes the prevalence and timing of home- and school-leaving and sexual initiation among Filipino youth. Factors that affect propensity to engage in PMS among young adults were explored.

The 1994 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS 2), a nationally representative sample survey of about 11,000 youth aged 15-24 is the major data source for this analysis. Descriptive profile of respondents and life-table estimates for the probability of home- and school-leaving were provided. Event-history analysis was used by creating person-age records that reflect the time-varying variable such as age first lived-away from home, age first left home and age of sexual initiation. Logistic regression was used to predict factors affecting occurrence of premarital sex at certain ages. The paper also took into consideration the varying effect of age and gender, thus separate analyses was done for males and females, as well as for the different age groups: 15-19 and 20-24. Multiple classification analysis was applied to compute for age-specific probabilities of PMS while controlling for the timing of home- and school-leaving.

Findings reveal higher proportion of young females leaving home compared to males while a slightly higher percentage of young males on the other hand were no longer in school at the time of the survey.

PMS prevalence varies across subgroups of the population. The results highlight the significant predictors of premarital sex among young people. Logistic regression analysis suggests that the odds of PMS increase among males, older respondents, urban residents, Catholics, among those exposed to X-rated films/videos, among those with sexually active friends and those who experienced living-away from home and leaving school.

Being observant of religious activity, raised by both parents, exposure to movies and being resident of Luzon, are found to be protective factors against premarital sex.

The results show that early departure from home hastens sexual initiation for both male and female adolescents. Effects of school departure on premarital sex on the other hand manifests only among younger females. Further, the reinforcing effect of early departure from home on premature sexual initiation holds true even when specific characteristics such as association with sexually active friends, religion, family set-up while growing up and exposure to movies were controlled.

Based on the findings, the study proposes some policy and program implications.