Reproductive behavior of the adolescents in St. Petersburg

Reproductive behavior of the adolescents in St. Petersburg

P.N. Krotin, T.Yu. Kozhukhovskaya, N.A. Fedorova, L.V. Merkulova, E.A.

Tovstukha, I.G. Sharanova

St-Petersburg, Russia

Reproductive attitude being formed in the family in the early age in the main

determines perspective birth rate in the country. Anonymous survey (1998–2002)

of more than 6000 school children in St. Petersburg testifies to the fact that

only 80% of boys and 89,6% of girls at the age of 15–17 years plan to have

children in their own families, 93,0% of teenagers initially want to have a

small number of children. In the opinion of young boys and girls an ideal number

of children in a family are 2,0 and 1,8 and a planned number are 1,7 and 1,6

respectively; that is much lower than a level of simple reproduction.

Undoubtedly, wide spread of harmful habits among schoolchildren in St.

Petersburg results in the decrease of reproductive potential: thus 13,3% of them

use alcohol regularly, 27,8% smoke, 7% tried to take drugs. The absolute

majority of teenagers thinks that pre-marital sexual relations are quite

possible. The number of virgins among 14 years old schoolgirls in St. Petersburg

is 93,7%; at the age of 15 their number decreases and becomes 92,5% and the age

of 16 the number is only 43,9%. Among the girls having sexual relations, 21,1%

had two partners, 14,3% – three sexual partners and 29% – more than three. Only

for 26,0% – 43% of girl families are the main source of information on

physiology in adolescence, the figure for boys is only 6%- 14%. The figures of

sexual relations are 13,0% – 22,0% and 4,0%–6,0% respectively. School is the

source of information in adolescence on safe sexual life for only 4% of

teenagers; the figure for doctors is a bit higher and constitutes only 4,0–0,8%.

Mass media help 15,0–32,0% of teenagers get the required ‘knowledge on sex’.

And, regrettably, the main information on sexual life is provided by adolescents

and sexual partners (36,0–48,0% – girls, and 43,0–61,0% – boys) and so, many

sexual myths are being spread among teenagers which do not correspond to modern

medical views on family planning. Among teenage respondents having sexual

relations only 54,9% take measures to prevent pregnancy and sexually

transmissible infections; 28,4% do it from time to time and 16,7% of adolescents

don’t take any measures at all. It is necessary to emphasis that modern

effective preventive measures are used regularly only by 14,9% of sexually

active teenagers.

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