The association between gang involvement and sexual behaviours among detained adolescent males
- D R Voisin1,
- L F Salazar2,
- R Crosby3,4,5,
- R J DiClemente2,3,4,5,6,
- W L Yarber4,7,8,
- M Staples-Horne9
- 1University of Chicago, School of School of Social Service Administration, Chicago, IL, USA
- 2Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, GA, USA
- 3Emory Center for AIDS Research, GA, USA
- 4Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention at Indiana University, IN, USA
- 5Kentucky School of Public Health, KY, USA
- 6Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, GA, USA
- 7Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, IN, USA
- 8Department of Applied Health Science at Indiana University, IN, USA
- 9Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, GA, USA
- Correspondence to: Dexter R Voisin School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, 969 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA;
- Accepted 23 August 2004
Objective: Data were collected from 270 detained male adolescents (aged 14–18 years) to determine the association between ever having been in a gang and a range of sexual behaviours such as sexual activity, male condom use, sex with multiple partners, and drug use during sex.
Methods: Participants answered survey questions using audio computer assisted self interviewing (A-CASI) procedures, which assessed demographic, family factors, history of gang membership, and sexual behaviours.
Results: Multiple logistic regression analyses, controlling for demographic, socioeconomic status, and family factors, indicated that adolescents who reported having been in a gang, relative to their peers reporting no gang involvement, were 5.7 times more likely to have had sex, 3.2 times more likely to have got a girl pregnant, and almost four times more likely to have been “high” on alcohol or other drugs during sexual intercourse, have had sex with a partner who was “high” on alcohol or other drugs, or have had sex with multiple partners concurrently.
Conclusions: Findings suggest that having been in a gang can discriminate between levels of STI associated risk behaviours among an otherwise high risk population—detained adolescent males.