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This article describes the sexual behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes of Asian and Pacific Islander California high school students and compares them to other racial/ethnic groups. Data were collected in April 1992 from an anonymous self-administered survey of 2026 ninth to 12th graders in a Los Angeles County school district; 186 of the respondents described themselves as Asian and Pacific Islander. A higher percentage of Asian and Pacific Islander adolescents compared with African-American, Latino, white, and other adolescents had never had vaginal intercourse. Asian and Pacific Islander high school students in one California school district appear to be at lower sexual risk than other racial/ethnic groups. However, a large minority are engaging in activities that can transmit disease and lead to unwanted pregnancy. Efforts to develop culturally sensitive clinical and community-based approaches to sexual risk prevention should include this group.

Originally published in: Journal of Adolescent Health, v. 23, 1998, pp. 221-231.

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