Boy/Girl friend and virginity values, and stigma related to condom among jimma university students.

Ethiopian journal of health sciences

PubMedID: 22434976

Ambaw F, Mossie A, Gobena T. Boy/Girl friend and virginity values, and stigma related to condom among jimma university students. Ethiop J Health Sci. 2010;20(3):169-77.
Individual factors such as the value given to virginity and boy/ girl friend, and stigma attached to condom can strongly affect success in preventing early sexual initiation and in using condom consistently. To the best knowledge of the authors, no literature was available in Ethiopia on these issues until the time of this study. The objective of this study was to assess the value given to virginity, boy/ girl friend, and stigma related to condom access and use.

A cross-sectional survey was conducted on a random sample of 1986 students in May 2009 in Jimma University using both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Data were collected using piloted and pre-coded questionnaire and from six focus group discussions. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS for windows version 13 where descriptive statistics, ANOVA, and t-test were computed. P-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant and effect size was measured in Eta squared. The qualitative data findings were triangulated with the quantitative ones.

Of 1986 respondents, 1612 (81.2%) were males, 365 (18.4%) females and 9 (0.4%) their gender not indicated. The age of respondents ranged from 17- 45 years with median of 20 years. Virginity value-scores were significantly lower among females (p< 0.001, Eta squared= 0.023). In contrast to many males, most females appeared to be not concerned about virginity during the focus group discussions. Many respondents of both genders reported that boy/girl friend is very important in campus life. Although the stigma to condom was slightly higher among females (p< 0.001, Eta squared= 0.009), most respondents of both genders had a stigmatizing attitude.

Lower virginity value among females with high value given to boy/girl friend appeared to indicate the liberalization of sex. Liberalization of sex and stigma to condom were occurring together. Sex educators targeting university students should focus on problems of liberalized unprotected sex in relation to success in life.