Association between educational attainment and risky sexual behaviour among Ghanaian female youth

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Background: Ghanaian female youth aged 15-24 years are especially vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) compared to their male counterparts. Objectives: This study examined the association between educational attainment and risky sexual behavior among Ghanaian female youth. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a nationally representative sample of youth from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (n=1702). The outcome of interest was risky sexual behavior, defined as having last intercourse with a non-marital partner without condoms. Descriptive and inferential statistical tests were utilized. Results: Overall, the prevalence of risky sexual behavior was 66.9%. In the bivariate analysis, risky sexual behavior differed by level of education. Compared to women with a college-level education, a significantly higher proportion of women with secondary education reported risky sexual behavior (72.9%), followed by those with primary education (65.7%) (p<0.001). In the multivariable-adjusted model, there was a significant interaction between education and household wealth index (P =0.030) and between education and the type of place of residence (P =0.045) on risky sexual behavior. Conclusion: Culturally appropriate and targeted interventions are warranted to increase condom use among these subgroups and curb the rising rates of STIs among Ghanaian female youth.