Social class and contraceptive use among youth. In what ways are emotions and aspects of sexual self associated with contraceptive use among youth in various social contexts?
Valle, Ann K.
Section for Health Promotion and epidemiology University of Oslo Oslo, NORWAY
Department of Psychology University of Oslo Oslo, NORWAY
Urban youth are exposed to stark contrasts of social realities, even in a "so-called egalitarian society" as Norway. Intentions to promote sexual and reproductive health among youth, and to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections has to some extent lead to easier access to contraception among teenage youth over the past decade. At the same time, contraceptive use is not impressively high in Norway, as compared to other countries in Europe. The research report of the sexual awareness for Europe partnership - Sex and Young People in Europe, documented variations in EU-countries between 60 to nearly 90 % use (SAFE). This study can document systematic variations according to social class when it comes to contraceptive use among urban youth in Norway. The study aims to investigate possible mediating effects of not only cognitive but also emotional factors of self in sexual interaction. A randomly selected population sample of youth from Oslo and Bergen responded to postal questionnaires, here selected 18-19 year olds (N 868). Social class are measured by parental occupation (ISCO88,) Sexual self by Winthers Sexual Self Adolescence scales, as adjusted by Tschann, and positive emotions connected to condom use scales as developed by by Roysamb and Valle. Contraceptive use at last heterosexual intercourse are used as dependent variable and devided into three categories, condom, hormones or none-use. Statistical analysis of multinominal logistic regression reveal social class inequity in contraceptive use for both hormonal and condom-use. Emotions and sexual self components have different associations with condom use and hormonal use. In conclusion it may be adviseable to develop more comprehensive studies to investigate both condom use and emotional components of condom use as well as hormonal use among youth of complex and varied social contexts.