Sexual Debut and Rural-Urban Migration in Thailand

Philip A. Anglewicz, Tulane University
Dusita Phuengsamran, Mahidol University
Mark VanLandingham, Tulane University

Transitions to adulthood are often characterized by (1) sexual debut and (2) migration from a parents’ home. Although many studies have described the health consequences of early sexual debut and migration independently, it has been far less common to examine the association between migration and sexual debut, as we do here for young adults in Thailand. Using longitudinal data from 2005-07 that includes a subsample who migrated to urban areas, we identify characteristics and behaviors associated with sexual debut, and examine the role of migration on debut. In doing so, we reduce common sources of bias that often affect research on migration and sexual debut: (1) the longitudinal nature of the data enables us to distinguish the ordering of sexual debut and other key characteristics and behaviors, (2) the survey on sexual behavior employed a technique that reduces response, and (3) we examine differences in debut by marital status.

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Presented in Poster Session 2