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Adolescents’ and young adults’ transition into premarital romantic relationship, sexual activity, and marriage in the Gilgel Gibe Region of Ethiopia

Inku Subedi, Brown University
David P. Lindstrom, Brown University

This study explored the role of premarital romantic relationship in young adults’ transition into sexual activity and marriage in Ethiopia utilizing the Gilgel Gibe Social and Sexual Relationship History Survey that collected information on the demographic characteristics, and romantic, sexual, and marital history of adolescents and young adults. The study utilized discrete-time hazard models to estimate the effects of education and semi-urban residence on young men’s and women’s transition into premarital romantic and sexual activity, and marriage. Results showed that education had significant but different impact on the formation of these relationships for men and women. Specifically, education had a protective effect on the risk of premarital and marital sexual initiation and marital union formation for women. In terms of the three relationship events, young women and men had high likelihood of entering into sexual activity if involved in a romantic relationship. Premarital relationships transitioned into marriage only for women.

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Presented in Session 83: Adolescent transition to adulthood in a changing context in developing countries