Journal List > J Korean Acad Nurs > v.45(2) > 1003054

Kim: Effects of Sexual Intercourse on Suicidal Behaviors among Adolescents in South Korea



For the current article an examination was done as to whether engaging in sexual intercourse before or during adolescence has a negative impact on the suicidal behaviors of suicide ideation, suicide attempt, and suicide lethality and whether the impact varies according to the context of sexual intercourse and/or gender.


Adolescents who experienced casual sex and romantic sex were compared to adolescents who retained their virginity. Data was from samples drawn from the three waves (2010~2012) of the Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey. Logistic models were used to adjust for a wide array of confounding variables.


Any type of sexual intercourse increases risk of all suicidal behaviors. Sexual intercourse in a romantic relationship exhibits enhanced risk of suicidal behaviors compared to casual sex. Adjusting for experience of sexual violence, however, decreases risk of romantic sex substantially, turning some estimates statistically insignificant. In addition, risks for suicide lethality are greater for girls than boys.


Romantic sex put adolescents at higher risk for suicidal behaviors than casual sex owing to prevalent sexual violence in the relationships. Girls suffer more substantively adverse outcomes than boys. These results suggest that adolescents will benefit from comprehensive education on sexuality and sexual behaviors regarding how to form and maintain a romantic relationship that is characterized by personal integrity and mutual respect. It is also important to help victims of sexual violence recover from traumatic events by providing emotional support and effective counseling.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

Descriptive Statistics by Sexual Experiences*


* Unless otherwise noted, weights ("w") are applied; Statistics associated with this sign denote mean and the other statistics show percentage of a specific category; Romantic non-sexual relationship; §Casual sexual relationship; Romantic sexual relationship.

Table 2

Odd Ratios Predicting Suicidal Behaviors before Adjusting for Sexual Violence*


*Weights ("w") are applied.

Table 3

Odd Ratios Predicting Suicidal Behaviors after Adjusting for Sexual Violence*


*Weights ("w") are applied.


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