einstein (São Paulo). 10/Sep/2018;16(3):eAO4265.

Sexual behaviors: study in the youth

Patrícia Sofia Ferreira Miranda ORCID logo , Joana Margarida Gonçalves Aquino ORCID logo , Ricardo Miguel Patrício de Carvalho Monteiro ORCID logo , Maria dos Anjos Coelho Rodrigues Dixe ORCID logo , Alexandra Maria Branco da Luz ORCID logo , Pascoal Moleiro ORCID logo

DOI: 10.1590/S1679-45082018AO4265



To characterize sexual behaviors in a sample of adolescents and youth.


An analytical descriptive study using a questionnaire about sexual behaviors, adapted from the World Health Organization. It was distributed to students from a Portuguese city aged 14-24 years, during two months. Two age groups were defined: G1 – students aged 14-19 years; G2 – aged 20-24 years.


The sample included 2,369 students, 61% females and 70% in G1. The mean age of first sexual intercourse was 16.4±1.8 years; 93% used some contraceptive method in the first sexual intercourse. Out of those who did not use contraception in the first sexual intercourse, 83% were in G1 (p<0.001). Emergency contraception was used at least once by 54% (63% in G2, p<0.001). Among those who had unprotected sexual intercourses, 9% were under the influence of alcohol, 53.6% were female and 53.4% were in G2 (p<0.001). Homosexual contacts occurred in 21% of cases; in that, 62% in G1 and 84% among females (p<0.001).


The use of contraceptionin the first sexual intercourse was common in our sample. However, the number of adolescents not using any contraceptive method in subsequent sexual intercourses, and the high percentage of them who consider it unnecessary, are a concern. Unprotected sexual intercourses, as well as unplanned intercourses and under influence of alcohol or drugs, especially in the youngest, urge the need for intervention regarding sexual education.

Sexual behaviors: study in the youth