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Urbanization and Premarital Sex in the Philippines

The study analyzed the interrelationship of premarital sex (PMS) incidence, socialization and urbanization in the Philippine setting. It specifically aimed to examine how the level of urbanization affected the socialization experiences of young Filipino adults and how these socialization experiences in turn impact on their engagement to PMS. This study was a secondary analysis of the Young Adult FertilitySurvey (YAFS II) which was undertaken in 1994. A total of 10,879 Filipino males and females aged 15-24 at the time of the survey served as respondents. To operationalize the level of urbanization, the respondents were regrouped into three categories namely: metro cities, urban cities and municipalities and rural barangays accounting for high, moderate and low levels of urbanization, respectively. This variable only applied to the residential characteristics of the respondents during the time of the survey. Results showed that young adults from metro cities were generally more liberal in outlook and actually engaged in early sexual relations more than their counterparts from less urbanized areas. The socialization experiences of the respondents differed according to level of urbanization. The socialization process of the adolescents from highly urbanized area was characterized by high incidence of family disorganization, low level of family religiosity, high level of parental control and high exposure to all forms of media. The peer, more than any other socialization agents, prominently registered the strongest impact on the values, norms, and practices of the young regardless of level of urbanization. The family, the church and mass media were also influential in shaping the values and attitude of the young adults from urban cities and municipalities and rural areas. Regression analysis showed that adolescents with liberal attitude, involved in high-risk behavior and went out to date, are at higher risk to PMS. The socializing agents that significantly impacts on the PMS involvement of the respondents, in order of importance, were the peer group, the family and the church. Among these, however, association with a sexually experienced friend prominently figured out as the strongest risk factor to PMS. Its impact became more important as familial control over the young weakens.


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