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Characteristics of adult women who abstain from sexual intercourse
Learn More. To evaluate demographic and behavioural characteristics of sexually active women compared to those who had abstained from intercourse in the past 6 months.
The study participants were women of childbearing age from six sites in three states in the USA. Survey questions were asked of women who were not surgically sterile and who had not gone through menopause. The main outcome measures were correlates of sexual abstinence. Univariate analysis revealed that abstinent women were less likely than sexually active women to have used illicit drugs [odds ratio OR 0.
Abstinent women were more likely to be aged over 30 years OR 1. Prolonged sexual abstinence was not uncommon among adult women.
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Periodic, voluntary sexual abstinence was associated with positive health behaviours, implying Adult searching sex MD abstinence was not a random event. Future studies should address whether abstinence has a causal role in promoting healthy behaviours or whether women with a healthy lifestyle are more likely to choose abstinence. Sexual abstinence has been discussed largely in the context of adolescent medicine, 1 — 4 but adults also experience periods of sexual abstinence.
We used survey data to identify factors associated with sexual abstinence in women aged between 18 and 44 years drawn from six diverse settings: women recently admitted to a large urban jail Texas ; residential alcohol and drug treatment facilities Texas ; a gynaecology clinic serving low-income women Virginia ; two primary care clinics serving low-income populations Virginia and Florida ; and women responding to an urban media solicitation Florida. Abstinence was defined as not having vaginal intercourse with a man during the 6 months.
Women who were in jail or a residential setting were asked about behaviours prior to entry into these settings. Questions about abstinence were only asked of women who were pd fertile because they denied surgical sterilization or menopause. The survey was administered in a face-to-face interview in order to characterise women for a future interventional study. The study methodology has been described in detail ly.
The MHI-5 score was defined as high or low compared to the median value for the survey population. Some variables might be expected to be confounded with abstinence including sexually transmitted infection STIhistory of pregnancy and marital status. Therefore, we included these variables and the effect of setting in the logistic regression to control for their effects.
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Twenty-four respondents had never had sexual intercourse with a man virgins and were included in the abstainer group. The setting variable was included in the logistic regression. Compared to sexually active women, abstainers were ificantly more likely to be aged over 30 years and have a high school degree or equivalent Table 1.
The statistical ificance of the associations did not Adult searching sex MD when women who had never had intercourse virgins were eliminated from the sample. Stepwise logistic regression revealed that abstainers were ificantly less likely to have used illicit drugs, to report physical abuse or to have health insurance and were more likely to be aged over 30 years than women who were sexually active Table 2. Women who abstained from sexual intercourse differed from sexually active women in several ways.
Specifically, they were older and more educated. They were less likely to engage in risk behaviours such as using illicit drugs, risky drinking or smoking. Due to the nature of the study, it was not possible to determine if abstinence had a causal role in these favourable behaviours or if the type of woman who exhibited these behaviours was simply more likely to choose abstinence. We studied short-term abstinence, defined as reported abstinence during the past 6 months.
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One limitation of our study was that sexual abstinence was self-reported and could not be verified. However, women reporting abstinence during the 6 months were less likely to have ever been married or pregnant or have had a STI. These findings are consistent with a sexually abstinent population. Another limitation was that the reason for sexual abstinence was not explored.
Women may have been abstinent because they made an active decision to refrain from intercourse or because they wished to have intercourse but were, by chance, without a partner. Sexual activity is a normal part of adult life. Periods of sexual abstinence also appear to be part of a normal pattern, in that they are not associated with adverse health behaviours. Further studies are needed to further explore sexual abstinence in adults. Competing interests.
None identified. National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Author manuscript; available in PMC May Author information Copyright and information Disclaimer.
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Copyright notice. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Abstract Objectives To evaluate demographic and behavioural characteristics of sexually active women compared to those who had abstained from intercourse in the past 6 months. Methods The study participants were women of childbearing age from six sites in three states in the USA. Conclusions Prolonged sexual abstinence was not uncommon among adult women.
Introduction Sexual abstinence has been discussed largely in the context of adolescent medicine, 1 — 4 but adults also experience periods of sexual abstinence. Methods Abstinence was defined as not having vaginal intercourse with a man during the 6 months. Univariate analysis Compared to sexually active women, abstainers were ificantly more likely to be aged over 30 years and have a high school degree or equivalent Table 1.
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Table 1 of univariate analysis. Open in a separate window. Multivariate model Stepwise logistic regression revealed that abstainers were ificantly less likely to have used illicit drugs, to report physical abuse or to have health insurance and were more likely to be aged over 30 years than women who were sexually active Table 2. Table 2 of logistic regression. Discussion Women who abstained from sexual intercourse differed from sexually active women in several ways. Key message points Sexual abstinence was associated with positive health behaviours.
Sexually abstinent women were more likely to be older than 30 years of age.
Sexually abstinent women were more likely to lack health insurance. Acknowledgments Statements on funding and competing interests Funding. Footnotes Competing interests. References 1.
Stammers T, Ingham R. For and against: doctors should advise adolescents to abstain from sex. Abstinence and safer sex HIV risk-reduction interventions for African American adolescents: a randomized controlled trial. Khouzam HR. Promotion of sexual abstinence: reducing adolescent sexual activity and pregnancies. South Med J. Keeping middle school students abstinent: outcomes of a primary prevention intervention.
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J Adolesc Health. Project Choices Research Group. Alcohol-exposed pregnancy: characteristics associated with risk. Am J Prev Med. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.