Background: Currently, adolescents are more sexually active than ever before. Being sexually active exposes them to various sexual and reproductive health problems, such as; unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, obstructed labour, contracting sexually transmitted infections and death. Thus the Prevalence of Pre-marital Sexual Practices and Associated Factors among students should be an area of concern for researchers.
Methods: A facility based cross-sectional study (both quantitative and qualitative) design was conducted on 361 students of Jimma Teacher Training College from February 28 to March 05, 2013. A structured questionnaire adapted from different literatures used to collect data. A self administered questionnaire was completed by sampled and systematically selected students. The data was entered, cleaned and analyzed by using SPSS version 16.0. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used for quantitative data analysis while thematic analysis was used for qualitative data analysis.
Result: One hundred forty two (39.7%) of participants reported to have practiced pre-marital sexual intercourse, of whom 90 (63.4%) were males and 52 (36.6%) were females. The mean age at first sexual intercourse was 17.75 years for males and 17.98 for females. Variables such as, years at college, students whose mothers are having private business, having pocket money, students having friends with dating experience, communication with families, source of sexual and reproductive health information and seeing pornography were the independent predictors of pre-marital sexual practices, (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The study reflected that there is high prevalence of pre-marital sexual practices (39.7%) among the young people. Young people were practicing risky sexual behaviors including having multiple partners, having sex with commercial sex workers, substance abuse, drinking alcoholic beverages, seeing pornography etc. Therefore, this requires an integrated effort of governmental and non-governmental agencies and parents to address young people’s sexual and reproductive health problems and intervene accordingly.