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Substance use and sexual behaviors among young Australian women


The dramatic physical, psychological and emotional changes that occur during late adolescence predisposes young people to problematic substance use and risky sexual behaviors that may lead to serious short and long term health problems. Studies conducted in Britain and San Diego have shown that young people who reported binge drinking or recent illicit drug use were more likely to report non-condom use in their first experience of sexual intercourse, STIs diagnoses, abortions and high rate of unintended pregnancy(Khadr S et al , Tapert SF et al). Thus, the current study intends to examine the pattern of substance use and the relationship between substance use and sexual behavior, including unintended pregnancy, pregnancy loss and early sexual debut, using data collected from the 1988-94 cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH).