Using data from the 1993 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, this study explores the relationship between ethnicity and sexual behavior: having sex before age 17 and premarital sexual experience. All ethnic groups show substantial sexual experience before age 17 and premarital sexual engagement. Logistic regression analyses reveal that in general ethnicity influences the behaviors studied, especially for ever-married women. The data suggest that groups that practice matrilineal and patrilineal systems show differences in the likelihood of having sex before age 17. Contrary to expectation, there is an inverse relationship between education and sexual experience before age 17. The findings highlight the importance of group-specific programs in Africa.
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