Towards a Typology of Unsafe Sexual Behavior among Filipino Youth

by Marie Grace R. Mateo, Master of Arts in Demography (2003)

The concept of unsafe sexual behavior has long been a contentious issue. No single definition can truly capture the idea behind what is considered as unsafe in terms of sexual behavior. For this study, it offers a theoretical and empirical exploration of this concept.

On the theoretical level, unsafe sexual behavior can cover a wide range of sexual dimensions because it does not merely implication the biological aspect of the individual such as getting pregnant or acquiring sexually transmitted diseases but also on the psychological, economic and social dimensions. Timing of first sex, consent to sexual act, contraceptive use, number of sexual partners and relation to sexual partners surfaced as the sexual dimension where unsafe sexual behavior can occur. From these dimensions, a typology of this behavior can also emerge.

On the empirical level, the different unsafe sexual behaviors were tested on a particular sector – the Filipino youth. Data ion Filipino youth aged 15-24 using the 1994 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality (YAFS) survey were analyzed to test if a typology of unsafe sexual behaviors exists.

Findings show that they have engaged in unsafe sexual behaviors and their unsafe sexual behavior can be categorized according to types. Three sexual dimensions were employed to empirically show the existence of typology. These are the timing of first OMS, contraceptive use during PMS and number of PMS partners. The typology includes eight types. To further show the degree of risk of these types, these were profiled in terms of mean number of reported serious RH problem. However, the typology presented appeared to be more appropriate for male youth so an alternative typology excluding the number of PMS partner was proposed for females. The degrees of risk are evident on the typology of unsafe sexual behavior of the young Filipino males, which is not the case for young females. But for further analysis of the typology of unsafe sexual behavior, these were profiled in terms of selected background characteristics on the personal, familial and peer level variables.