Dynamics of sexual debut and substance use among university youth from Lebanon
The study used online survey data on sexual behaviors, perceptions and attitudes of private university students from Lebanon (N=2543) reporting their first sexual experience (oral, anal, and/or vaginal sex) while using alcohol/drugs. About 11% (n=104) of sexually active students (n=943) used alcohol/drugs at sexual debut; no differences in mean age (17 years) was observed. Males, non-Arab foreigners, and those living independently were at least twice as likely to have used substances at sex debut. Compared to the very religious, the somewhat to not-at-all religious were 3.3 and 5.6 times as likely to report alcohol/drug use at sex debut [p=<0.0001]. Similarly, students who attended a religious high school, always lived in Lebanon, and were in a relationship had 40-60% lesser odds to use substances at first sex [p= 0.004-0.019]. Sex debut under the influence placed youth at a thrice higher odds of engaging in oral sex with an unfamiliar partner, even after controlling for gender, nationality, relationship status, having lived abroad, and religiosity/spirituality [95%CI=1.7-5.2]. In contrast, association with first-time vaginal sex with an unfamiliar partner faded when adjusted for sex (male). Interestingly, ever experiencing sexual coercion was not linked to substance abuse at debut, nor was the use of condoms or paying for sex. The study describes the population to engage in first sex under the influence, and given the patriarchal and/or conservative society that limits the expression of sexual desires, insinuates that the behavior first and most frequented among all youth is oral sex with unfamiliar partners in contrast to vaginal sex among males only.
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the distinct demographic profile and cultural background of students who engaged in first-time sex while using alcohol/drugs.
Discuss the sexual risks linked to drug/alcohol use and sexual debut.
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principle investigator of this project and this study since its initiation 3 years ago and have overseen all its steps til today. I am an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut (AUB). I hold a PhD from Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Masters of Public Health (2001) from AUB.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.