Variable SB1 : Age at first sex

Type: Continuous
Format: numeric
Width: 2
Decimal(s): 0
Range: 0-99
Valid case(s): 2051 (1915.8)
Invalid: 5844 (6002.9)
Minimum: 0
Maximum: 99

File: wm

Women aged 15-24
Source of information
The eligible woman selected for interview


Value Category
0 Never had intercourse
95 First time when started living with partner
97 Inconsistent
99 Missing
Warning: these figures indicate the number of cases found in the data file. They cannot be interpreted as summary statistics of the population of interest.

Check for the presence of others.  Before continuing, ensure privacy.

Check WM9: Age of respondent is between 15 and 24?

  Age 25-49. Go to Next Module

  Age 15-24. Continue with SB1
Literal question
Now I need to ask you some questions about sexual activity in order to gain a better understanding of some family life issues. 
The information you supply will remain strictly confidential.

How old were you when you first had sexual intercourse (if ever)?
Interviewer instructions
The purpose of this module is to obtain information to help programme managers and policy makers plan more effective family planning/reproductive health programmes. This module is to be administered to all women aged 15-24 (including women age 15 and age 24). Before continuing, ensure that no one else, besides you and the respondent, is present for the interview. If the respondent's privacy cannot be ensured, STOP HERE and do not ask the questions in this module.

These questions may be embarrassing for some respondents; therefore, ask them in a matter-of-fact voice and do not make the respondent feel embarrassed by your own behaviour. A common reaction for people who are embarrassed is to giggle or laugh. If you laugh in return or act as if you are embarrassed too, it will make the respondent think that the questions are not serious. Make sure you maintain a serious attitude.


Check the age of the respondent recorded in WM9. If the respondent is aged 25-49, she is not eligible for this module; check the first box, and go to the next module. If the respondent is aged 15-24 (including age 15 and age 24), check the second box, and continue to the next question, SB1.


It is very important that you read the first sentence, and to emphasize to the respondent that her responses will remain strictly confidential. If necessary, explain to her once again that the information she shares with you will only be used for statistical purposes; that her name will never be revealed; and her responses will not be shared with others in the community or elsewhere.

The age we are asking about is the age of the respondent the very first time she had sexual intercourse. It does not matter whether the woman continued to have a relationship with this person. We are not asking about the first time with her current partner, but rather, the first experience of sexual intercourse in her entire life.

There are two ways of asking this question and you will choose which one to ask depending on the particular situation of the respondent. If the respondent has children or is married or living with someone, you will ask "HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU FIRST HAD SEXUAL INTERCOURSE?" If the respondent has not had any children, has never been in a union, you can ask "HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU FIRST HAD SEXUAL INTERCOURSE, IF EVER?"

If the response is 'Never had intercourse', circle '00' and skip to the next module. Otherwise, enter the age in years on the line provided. If she was less than 10 years old, use a zero to fill in the first space.

If the respondent tells you that her first time was when she started living with her first husband, record her response by circling '95'. You will have collected this information in the Marriage/Union module. If the respondent says that her first time was with her first husband, but it was before they began living together, probe for the respondent's age at the time.

If the respondent says she does not know how old she was when she first had intercourse, probe by relating it to how old she was when she first married or had her first child. However, when doing this probing, be certain not to assume that the first time she had sex was at the time of her first marriage. If she has never married and/or never had children, you can probe by relating the timing of the first intercourse to whether she was going to school at the time, or to places that she might have lived. The respondent should feel comfortable in taking her time to think about her response to remember correctly.
Generated: MAR-07-2008 using the IHSN Microdata Management Toolkit