Original Research - Special Collection: Sexual Health

Socio-cultural factors perceived to influence sexual behaviours of adolescents in Ethiopia

Semere G. Baraki, Gloria B. Thupayagale- Tshweneagae
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 15, No 1 | a3865 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v15i1.3865 | © 2023 Semere G. Baraki, Gloria B. Thupayagale-Tshweneagae | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 October 2022 | Published: 28 July 2023

About the author(s)

Semere G. Baraki, Department of Public Health, Menelik II Medical and Health Science College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Gloria B. Thupayagale- Tshweneagae, Department of Health Studies, College of Human Science, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: Adolescence is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. It is the age of experimentation. They are vulnerable to the undesirable effect of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) problems such as human immunodeficiency virus, sexually transmitted infections and unsafe abortion and childbirth-related risks.

Aim: To explore and describe perceived organisational, community and societal level factors that influence sexual behaviours among adolescents in Ethiopia.

Setting: The study was conducted by public health care organisations, youth centres and non-governmental organisations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive study design was conducted with purposively selected health professionals and adolescents in Addis Ababa from June 2019 to February 2020. The data were collected using in-depth interviews, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. Transcribed interviews were imported to ATLAS. ti 7 for coding, categorising and creating themes using thematic analysis. Lincoln and Guba’s model was used to ensure trustworthiness and ethical standards were applied.

Results: Poor school involvement, social norms on sexual behaviour and lack of condom acceptability by the general population, financial problems and the gap in law enforcement were found perceived factors influencing sexual behaviour of adolescents.

Conclusion: Adolescents are engaging in various risky sexual behaviours because of various organisational, community level and societal level factors, which emphasises the need to introduce social and culturally acceptable age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education for adolescents and other multilevel interventions.

Contribution: Provide an in-depth understanding of the influence of sociocultural issues related to adolescent sexual behaviour for health system stakeholders.


socio-cultural; influence; sexual behaviours; adolescents; Addis Ababa; Ethiopia

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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