Mexico, adolescents, risky sexual behaviours, migration intentions, gender, young adults, immigrants, sexual behaviour


Purpose - The purpose of this study is to identify the association between risky sexual behaviors and migration intentions among adolescents living in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected by self-administered questionnaires to students enrolled in an alternative schooling system in Guanajuato, Mexico, during the school year of 2006-2007. The sample size for this study includes 538 unmarried students, 35 percent male, ages 14-19. Ordinal logistic regression is used to estimate the odds of engaging in risky sexual behaviors.

Findings - The results reveal that male adolescents with higher intentions to migrate have significantly higher odds of engaging in risky sexual behaviors than both males who are less interested in migrating and females, regardless of their migration intentions.

Practical implications - Interventions on both sides of the US/Mexico border are needed in order to address this concern particularly among males who express a desire to migrate to the US someday.

Social implications - These findings highlight the importance of examining risky sexual behaviors even before migration to the US occurs. By engaging in high risk sexual behaviors prior to migrating, adolescents are putting themselves and both their sexual partners in Mexico and their future sexual partners in the US at increased risk of contracting STIs and HIV.

Originality/value - The study examined risky sexual behavior of adolescents in Mexico prior to migration. Knowledge about risky sexual behaviors prior to departure is vital for policy makers and researchers as they seek to design and implement interventions aimed at quelling this growing public health concern.

Original Publication Citation

Ayers, S., Marsiglia, F. F., Hoffman, S. *Urbaeva, J., & *Booth, J. (2012). Mexican adolescents’ risky sexual behavior and migration intentions. International Journal of Migration, Health, and Social Care, 8, 56-71.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



International Journal of Migration, Health, and Social Care




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Social Work

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor

Included in

Social Work Commons