Correlates of having unprotected vaginal sex among detained adolescent females: An exploratory study of sexual factors

Richard Crosby, Laura F. Salazar, Ralph J. DiClemente, William L. Yarber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Erotophilia, motivations for engaging in sex, and pleasure-related barriers to using condoms may all be important determinants of whether high-risk adolescent females have sex unprotected by a condom. This exploratory study identified associations between these factors and engaging in unprotected vaginal sex (UVS) among a sample of adolescent females recruited from short-term detention facilities in the USA. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 211 adolescent females (14-18 years of age) was conducted. Only those indicating they had sex within the past 2 months were included in the analysis. Adolescents were recruited within eight detention facilities. Measures were assessed using audio-computer assisted self-interviewing (A-CASI). Results: In race-adjusted analyses, adolescents indicating greater pleasure-associated barriers to using condoms were more than 4.3 times more likely than those indicating fewer barriers to report having UVS in the past 2 months (AOR = 4.36; 95% CI = 2.15-8.86). Similarly, those scoring higher in erotophilia (compared with those scoring lower) were more than twice as likely to report UVS (AOR = 2.08; 95% CI = 1.02-4.24). Finally, adolescents who had ever been pregnant were ∼2.5 times more likely to report having recent UVS (AOR = 2.48; 95% CI = 1.1-5.34). With the exception of having five or more sex partners in the past 2 months (P = 0.08), none of the remaining correlates approached multivariate significance. Conclusions: Constructs such as erotophilia and pleasure-related barriers to condom use may be important correlates of UVS among this population of high-risk adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalSexual Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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