Youth is in a state of rapid physical and psychological change. They have curiosity, enthusiasm and urge to experience new phenomena. As a result, they are more likely to be exposed to serious problems including premarital sex with its consequences. So, the aim of this study is to assess prevalence of premarital sex and associated factors among youth residing in Yabello town, southern Ethiopia.
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted from august 10-25, 2012 among out of school youths residing in Yabello town, Southern Ethiopia. Systematic sampling technique was used to select, a sample of 402 participants. Data were collected using a structured and pretested questionnaire by face-to-face interview technique. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to check associations and control confounding.
Result: from total of 402 respondents, 289(71.9%) of the respondents were reported to practiced premarital sex. Being male (AOR= 3.20, 95%CI=1.76, 5.82), being employed (AOR= 6.9, 95%CI= 2.40, 19.84) and having sexually experienced peers (AOR= 1.96, 95%CI, 1.13, 3.42) were found to have significant association with premarital sex.
Conclusion: Prevalence of premarital sex among out-school youth was found to be high. Being male, being employed and having sexually experienced peers were significantly associated with premarital sex. Rising awareness of youth on the consequence of premarital sex by providing gender balanced information, and encouraging youth to select right friends (peer) were recommended in order to reduce the proportion of youth practicing premarital sex.