Gender Differences in the Association Between Conduct Disorder and Risky Sexual Behavior

Published in: Journal of Adolescence Volume 56, April 2017, Pages 75-83. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2017.01.008

Posted on RAND.org on April 27, 2017

by Stephanie Brooks Holliday, Brett Ewing, Erik D. Storholm, Layla Parast, Elizabeth J. D'Amico

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Despite suggestions that there are gender differences in the association between conduct disorder (CD) and risky sexual behavior, limited empirical research has examined this question. Youth (N = 616) were recruited from four primary care clinics and completed questions related to risky sexual behavior, alcohol and marijuana use, and CD. Results of stratified multivariate models indicated that the association between CD and having four or more lifetime partners, having two or more partners in the last 3 months, and engaging in condomless sex was stronger among female youth. However, the association between CD and alcohol and other drug use before sex was stronger in male youth. This is an important contribution to our understanding of gender-specific manifestations of conduct disorder, and has the potential to inform screening and brief intervention efforts for this population.

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