Patterns of Marriage, Sexual Debut, Premarital Sex, and Unprotected Sex in Central Asia
Annie Dude, University of Chicago
This study uses 1995 and 1999 DHS data from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan to chart patterns of marriage, sexual debut, premarital sex, and unprotected sex over the past 20 years among young women aged 15-29. Preliminary findings indicate that, while the median age of first marriage is relatively high in Central Asia compared to other developing regions, the median ages of first marriage and of sexual debut have been declining slightly in all three countries, across all ethnic groups, and that married women have frequent unprotected sexual encounters, relative to their unmarried peers. The prevalence of premarital sex has also been increasing, particularly among women of Russian ethnicity, and, although unmarried sexually active women do not have sex as frequently as their married counterparts, up to a quarter of these sexually active unmarried women have had unprotected sex in the past week.