Effects of Overweight on Risky Sexual Behavior of Adolescent Girls

15 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2012

See all articles by Susan L. Averett

Susan L. Averett

Lafayette College - Department of Economics & Business

Hope Corman

Rider University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nancy E. Reichman

University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2013

Abstract

We use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health to estimate effects of adolescent girls' overweight on their propensity to engage in risky sexual behavior. We estimate single equation, two‐stage, and sibling fixed‐effects models. We consider both absolute weight and weight relative to other girls in the individual's school. We focus on vaginal intercourse without a condom, any type of sexual activity while under the influence of alcohol, and anal intercourse. Our findings confirm previous research indicating that overweight or obese girls are less likely than their recommended‐weight counterparts to be sexually active. As a result, they are less likely to have vaginal intercourse without a condom. However, overweight or obese girls are not less likely to have sex under the influence of alcohol, and once they have had vaginal intercourse, their consistency of condom use is no different from that of their recommended‐weight peers. The most striking finding is that overweight or obese girls are at least 15% more likely than their recommended‐weight peers to have ever had anal intercourse regardless of whether they have ever had vaginal sexual intercourse. The results from this study underscore the importance of using multifaceted and contemporary measures of risky sexual behavior and have implications for the health and well‐being of adolescent girls.

JEL Classification: I12, J13

Suggested Citation

Averett, Susan and Corman, Hope and Reichman, Nancy E., Effects of Overweight on Risky Sexual Behavior of Adolescent Girls (January 2013). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 51, Issue 1, pp. 605-619, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2182969 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2011.00396.x

Susan Averett (Contact Author)

Lafayette College - Department of Economics & Business ( email )

Easton, PA 18042
United States
610-250-5307 (Phone)
610-250-8961 (Fax)

Hope Corman

Rider University ( email )

2083 Lawrenceville Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
United States
609-895-5559 (Phone)
609-896-5304 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nancy E. Reichman

University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School ( email )

97 Paterson Street
Room 435
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
United States

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