Forced Sex among Female Adults in Zambia: Results from the Zambian Sexual Behavioural Survey, 2009

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There is growing interest in the study of prevalence and experience of forced sexual intercourse (forced sex), because it is human rights violation with severe physical and psychosocial consequences. The literature on forced sex in southern Africa suggests this could be an important driver of HIV infection in the region. The objectives of the study were to estimate the prevalence and correlates of self-reported history of forced sex among females aged 15-49 years participating in the Zambian Sexual Behavioural Survey of 2009. We used logistic regression to identify correlates of forced sex victimization. Of the 2270 study participants, the majority was from 15 to 35 years age group (56.3%), married (81.4%) and with primary level of education (60.2%). The prevalence of self-reported history of forced sex was 27.8%. Factors associated with history of forced sex were: alcohol use (AOR=1.58, 95%CI [1.06, 2.36]); being employed (AOR=1.43, 95%CI [1.03, 1.99]); younger age (AOR=3.12, 95%CI [1.49, 6.48] for 15-30 years and AOR=2.94, 95%CI [1.41, 6.15] for 31-45 years); sexual debut at less than 21 years old (AOR=1.96, 95%CI [1.33, 2.91]; number of sex partners (AOR=0.13, 95%CI [0.03, 0.57]; and age of sex partner at first sexual intercourse (AOR=0.49, 95%CI [0.29, 0.82]). History of forced sex among Zambian women was common. There is need for concerted effort to address this major public health problem.

Journal Title

International Public Health Journal





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Public Health, Nutrition and Wellness