keywords: Sexual debut, demographic health, multilevel linear model, intra-class correlation
The age of initiation of sexual intercourse is an increasingly important issue to study given that sexually active young women are at risk of multiple outcomes. Knowledge about the factors associated with age at first sex plays a major role in controlling population growth rate. The purpose of this study is to examine geographical disparities in age at first sexual intercourse, and to examine individual and state – level predictors of early sexual initiation. We adopted Multilevel Linear Modeling, known for its ability to explain the effects of the shared variances present in the study on the variable of interest using survey data from 2008 and 2013 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS), collected via a multistage clustered sampling scheme. We investigated the factors that were thought to be associated with variation in age at initiation of sex among Nigerian women. It was observed that the average age at which a Nigerian woman becomes sexually active is 17 years which is a teenage year. 35% of the variation in ages at first sex can be attributed to the geographical location (geopolitical zones) where they are resident, and 3.31% to the differences in years of the surveys, respectively.