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Violent Conflict and Sexual Behavior in Rwanda
Authors: Elina Elveborg Lindskog
Source: Population Space & Place, first published online; DOI: 10.1002/psp.1881og*
Topic(s): First intercourse
Country: Africa
Published: OCT 2014
Abstract: Early and premarital sexual intercourse can be linked to a host of problems in a sub-Saharan African context including unwanted pregnancies and exposure to sexually transmitted infections. This study explores the relationship between violent conflict and premarital first sexual intercourse in Rwanda, a country that experienced violent conflicts leading up to the genocide in 1994, alongside high HIV prevalence. The study makes use of unique data on violent conflict at the regional level that are linked to the sexual histories of individual women across time and place. The study employs indirect and direct conflict indicators to estimate the risk of premarital first sexual intercourse. The method used was piece-wise constant hazard models, which reveal an increased risk of premarital first sexual intercourse during the conflict years of 1993 and 1994. Both the indirect and the direct conflict indicators provided strong evidence of a conflict effect in Rwanda.