Mexican adolescents' risky sexual behavior and migration intentions

Stephanie L. Ayers, Flavio Marsiglia, Steven Hoffman, Jildyz Urbaeva, Jaime Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to identify the association between risky sexual behaviors and migration intentions among adolescents living in Guanajuato, Mexico. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaires to students enrolled in an alternative schooling system in Guanajuato, Mexico, during the school year of 2006-2007. The sample size for this study includes 538 unmarried students, 35 percent male, ages 14-19. Ordinal logistic regression is used to estimate the odds of engaging in risky sexual behaviors. The results reveal that male adolescents with higher intentions to migrate have significantly higher odds of engaging in risky sexual behaviors than both males who are less interested in migrating and females, regardless of their migration intentions. Interventions on both sides of the US/Mexico border are needed in order to address this concern particularly among males who express a desire to migrate to the US someday. These findings highlight the importance of examining risky sexual behaviors even before migration to the US occurs. By engaging in high risk sexual behaviors prior to migrating, adolescents are putting themselves and both their sexual partners in Mexico and their future sexual partners in the US at increased risk of contracting STIs and HIV. The study examined risky sexual behavior of adolescents in Mexico prior to migration. Knowledge about risky sexual behaviors prior to departure is vital for policy makers and researchers as they seek to design and implement interventions aimed at quelling this growing public health concern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-71
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2012


  • Adolescents
  • Gender
  • Immigrants
  • Mexico
  • Migration intentions
  • Risky sexual behaviours
  • Sexual behaviour
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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