Weekly and seasonal variation in sexual behaviors among adolescent women with sexually transmitted diseases

J. Dennis Fortenberry, Donald P. Orr, Gregory D. Zimet, Margaret J. Blythe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


Purpose: The objective of this research is to describe aspects of the organization of adolescent sexual behavior in order to understand factors associated with risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Methods: Subjects were 82 females (ages 16-19 years; 77% African-American) participating in a larger STD study. Subjects completed diaries for each coital event, recording date of event, partner initials, condom use, and use of drugs or alcohol before intercourse. Partner change was defined as any event for which the sex partner initials differed from those listed for the most recent previous coital event. Results: The 82 subjects recorded 1265 coital events; the average span of the records was 10 weeks. Intercourse was least likely on Sundays (154 of 1265; 12.2%) and most common on Friday and Saturday (221 of 1265 for each day; 17.5%). The proportion of coital events associated with drugs or alcohol increased from Sunday to Saturday, although the proportion of coital events in which a condom was used did not vary significantly. Intercourse was most common in spring and summer, and least frequent in winter. Conclusions: These data indicate substantial temporal organization of adolescent sexual behaviors that may be related to risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Some STD-preventive interventions may be most effective when targeted to higher risk times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-425
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1997


  • Adolescents
  • Seasonality
  • Sexual behavior
  • Temporal patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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