90% of East Asian adolescents in British Columbia are not sexually active, so East Asian parents are doing something right, but the ones who do have sex engage in some risky behavior
The paper in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality
also says it is the first population-based survey in Canada that asked East Asian adolescents their reasons for abstaining from sex: the top two reasons for waiting were not feeling ready and wanting to meet the right person.
The scholars used data from the British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey to examine the prevalence of sexual behavior among both Canadian-born and immigrant East Asian adolescents in B.C. They looked at contraceptive use, health outcomes as a result of sexual activity, and differences in behavior among male and female adolescents.
"Most East Asian-Canadian adolescents have not had sex, but among those who have, one in four used alcohol or drugs before sex last time, and one-third have had two or more partners," says Yuko Homma, lead author and a post-doctoral research fellow with the University of British Columbia School of Nursing. "Nearly half the girls had not used a condom."
"Since about half of these students were new Canadians and spoke a language other than English at home, we wonder if they might be missing key information in sexual health classes because of language barriers," says Elizabeth Saewyc, senior author and Professor with
the University of British Columbia
School of Nursing. An odd thing to worry about, since 90% of these youths had not had sex, a statistic far higher than the majority of native-born Canadians.
"Through the use of large-scale school surveys, this study shines an important light on previously unknown sexual health behaviours of East Asian adolescents. The results argue for the need to tailor programs that take into account where adolescents live," said Nancy Edwards, Scientific Director, Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Population and Public Health, the study funder.