Sexual Behavioral Patterns of Kenyan University Student-Athletes: Implications for Sports Managers
Background. The debate on whether participation in sports enhances or curtails risky sexual behavior among athletes continues. The purpose of the study was to establish the sexual behavior patterns and associated high risks among University student-athletes.
Methods. A cross-sectional survey research design was used to collect self-report data on sexual behaviors from university student-athletes (n = 151) who participated in a University sports tournament. Descriptive statistics of frequencies and proportions and inferential statistics of chi-square test of independent measures were used to analyze the data. Majority (65%) of the student-athletes were taking part in Ball games and Racket games (13.9%).
Results. About a third (33%) of the student-athletes had their first sexual debut while aged between 18 and 20 years, 60% had regular sexual partners, over 30% had more than one sexual partner and 67% would have sexual intercourse with strangers; only 58% of these would seek the sexual history of the strangers. More than half (55%) of the student-athletes frequently used condoms to prevent pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, but only 39% of them always used condoms with their sexual partners in the last six months. The participants’ sexual behaviors differed significantly (p < .05) by their gender. Males tended to start having sexual intercourse earlier (p < .002), had more than one sexual partner (p < 0.001) and would always use condoms (p < .001) than females, but more females than males would have sexual intercourse with a stranger (p < .001).
Conclusions. Kenyan University student-athletes are sexually active and are faced with high risk sexual behaviors like multiple sexual partners and sexual intercourse with strangers. The difference in patterns of sexual behavior between male and female student-athletes calls for gender specific interventions by programmers, policy makers and health workers.
Keywords: sexual behaviors, student-athletes, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s).