Journal of Womens Health, Issues and Care ISSN: 2325-9795

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Research Article, J Womens Health Issues Care Vol: 6 Issue: 4

Sexual Coercion and Associated Factors among Female Private University Students in Bishoftu Town, East Shewa Ethiopia

Yemsrach Kebede Seyoum1, Aliye Kediro2, Bisrat Zeleke Shiferaw3* and Robera Olana Fite4

1Department of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, Adama General Hospital and Medical College, Adama, Ethiopia

2Department of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, Arsi University, Arsi, Ethiopia

3Department of Nursing, Wolkite University, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wolkite, Ethiopia

4Department of Nursing, College of Medicine and Health sciences, Woliata Sodo University, Woliata Sodo, Ethiopia

*Corresponding Author : Bisrat Zeleke Shiferaw, M.Sc.
Head of Department of Nursing, Wolkite University, P.O.Box. 07, Wolkite, Ethiopia
Tel: +251-911037686
E-mail:
[email protected]; [email protected]

Received: May 22, 2017 Accepted: July 07, 2017 Published: July 11, 2017

Citation: Yemsrach KY, Aliye K, Bisrat ZS, Robera OF (2017) Sexual Coercion and Associated Factors among Female Private University Students in Bishoftu Town, East Shewa Ethiopia. J Womens Health, Issues Care 6:4. doi: 10.4172/2325-9795.1000277

Abstract

Background: Sexual coercion refers to any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advance. Women from all age group are vulnerable. Especially, it is a widely recognized public health problem affecting students from higher educational institution. This study aimed to identify the prevalence of sexual coercion and its predictors among female private university students in Bishoftu town, East Shewa, Ethiopia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study design was employed in Adama and Rift valley Universities branches found in Bishoftu town from May 26 to June 12, 2016.A total of 395 students were involved in the study. Simple random sampling method was employed to select the study participants. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression was conducted. To identify the predictor variables a P-value less than 0.05 were taken as significant association by considering 95% confidence interval.
Results: The study revealed that 171(43.3%) of the respondents experienced sexual coercion. Being a social science student (AOR=2.167; 95%CI=1.139,4.122), respondents fathers’ educational status (AOR=0.406; 95% CI=0.200,0.820), Mothers’ educational status (AOR=0.377; 95% CI=0.191,0.744), respondents source of support (AOR=2.511; 95% CI=1.225, 5.147) and drinking alcohol (AOR=0.358; 95% CI=0.177, 0.723) were found to be the predictors of the sexual coercion among the students.
Conclusion: More than half of the respondents had experienced sexual coercion. The main experience was unwelcomed touch. Faculty in which the students enrolled, fathers’ educational status, mothers’ educational status, source of support for the students and alcohol drinking habit associated significantly with the sexual coercion experience.

Keywords: Sexual coercion; Bishoftu

Background

In ancient civilization, women were considered as the properties of their fathers and of their husbands [1].This increased the risk of sexual coercion. Sexual coercion refers to any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advance. It also includes acts directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion by any person and in any setting [2].

Violence against women had direct and indirect impact on the utilization level of health and legal services. This in turn increased the cost which is allocated for providing the services [3]. Currently, there is an increased emphasis to tackle the problem [4]. It is a widely recognized public health problem affecting students from higher educational institution [5,6]. They are abused physically, sexually and psychologically by intimate partners and other individuals [7].

Violence is devastating to women physical, social, psychological and spiritual well-being [8]. It also increased the risk of pregnancy which is unwanted. Furthermore, it increased exposure to sexually transmitted infections, unsafe abortion, gynecological problems, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, suicide and undesired prostitution [9-11]. In developing countries, social norms challenge the actions done in preventing the sexual coercion and violence against women, so women are reluctant in reporting the problem they encounter [12].

Alcohol intake behavior, families living condition, sexual experience, socio-economic and cultural factors are considered as factors influencing the experience of sexual coercion. So, there is a need to address those factors in order to decrease women susceptibility.

Awareness need to be created on the techniques of defending themselves and on the need to report the problem to the concerned body [13-15].

Sexual coercion is considered to cause psychosomatic trauma, fear, powerlessness, depression, negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Even the children born from those women are exposed to infection transmission and nutritional problems [16].

Even though the level of sexual coercion and its factors among female students were studied in governmental Universities, the study among private universities is low. Therefore, this study aimed to assess sexual coercion and associated factors among female private University students of in Bishoftu town.

Materials and Methods

Study area and period

The study was conducted in Bishoftu town from May26-June12, 2016. Bishoftu is located in Oromia national regional state, East Shewa zone at a distance of 47 km from Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia. Its astronomical location is 8°43ꞌ-8°45ꞌ northern latitude 38°56-39 east longitude. The town was founded in 1917. The 2007 national census reported a total population for Bishoftu of 99,928, of whom 47,860 were men and 52,068 were women. In the town there are 2 governmental and 4 private colleges; and regarding number of universities there are 2 governmental and 2 private universities in the town. This study was conducted among female students of 2 private universities (i.e., Adama and Rift valley universities).

Study design

Institution based cross-sectional study was conducted.

Population

The source population was all female students and the study population was selected female regular students of Bishoftu private universities.

Inclusion criteria and exclusion criteria

Female students whose age was greater than 18 were included and those students who were mentally challenged and unable to respond the questionnaire were excluded from the study.

Sample size and sampling procedure

Sample size determination: Sample size calculated using a single proportion population formula by considering 37.3% prevalence of sexual violence obtained from a previous study among private college in Bahir Dar town in 2013 [17], margin of error (d) is 0.05,confidence interval (Z α/2) of 95% and 10% non-response rate. Finally the sample size was calculated to be 395.

Sampling procedure: The allocated sample was taken from both universities using stratification method. Proportionate allocation was made to determine the sample based on the number of students in each institution. Finally the students were selected randomly from the institution using simple random method.

Variables of the study

Dependent variable: Sexual coercion.

Independent variable: Socio demographic (Age, Marital status, Religion, Ethnicity, Faculty, Parents living condition, Fathers’ educational status, Mothers’ educational status, Family income, Pocket money, Source of support). Substance use History (Cigarette smoking, drinking Alcohol and Chewing Chat).

Operational definitions

Sexual coercion: It is the act of forcing a female student through any means to engage in a sexual behavior against her will.

Data collection tools

A structured self-administered questionnaire was adapted after a review of different literatures. The questionnaire assesses the respondent’s socio-demographic status, history of substance use and sexual coercion.

Data collection procedure: Six nurses working in Bishoftu Hospital were recruited as a data collector. Two supervisors were supervising the study. Training was provided for the data collectors and supervisors.

Data quality assurance: The quality of data was ensured through training of data collectors, close supervision and prompt feedback, reviewing each of completed questionnaires daily. Before the actual data collection was started the prepared questionnaire was pretested in Adama Rift Valley University students and appropriate modifications were made based on the inputs. After completion of the pretest, the selected students were given explanation about the purpose of the study and the actual data collection had taken place under the supervision of the researcher. Finally, data consistency and completeness were checked all the way during data collection, data entry and analysis.

Data processing and analysis: Data were first checked manually for completeness and then coded and entered using EpiData version 3.1.The generated data was exported to SPSS version 20. Frequencies and proportions were computed. Statistical association was done for categorical variables. To assess the association between dependent variables and independent variables, bivariate and multiple logistic regressions analysis was employed to identify different predictors. To determine significant association, p value less than 0.05 at 95% confidence interval were taken.

Results

Socio-demographic characteristics

From the respondents 289 (73.2%) were in the age group 18- 21. Majority of the respondents 341 (86.3%) were single. About 251 (63.5%) were orthodox religion followers. Concerning the educational status of respondent parents, 90 (22.8%) of the fathers attended High school education and 128 (32.4%) of mothers attended elementary school. Regarding to the participants family monthly income, 178 (45.1%) of the respondents family monthly income was between 2000 and 4000 Ethiopian birr. Majority of the respondents 282 (71.4%) had constant pocket money (Table 1).

Variable Frequency Percent
Age Category 18-21 years 289 73.2
>2>=22 years 106 26.8
Marital status Married 38 9.6
Single 341 86.3
Ever married 16 4.1
Religion Orthodox 251 63.5
Muslim 38 9.6
Protestant 64 16.2
Other 42 10.6
Ethnicity Amhara 99 25.1
Oromo 200 50.6
Tigre 35 8.9
Other 61 15.4
Faculty Health science 81 20.5
Social science 62 15.7
Engineering 34 8.6
Business 218 55.2
Current living condition Alone 58 14.7
With parents 250 63.3
With relatives 47 11.9
With husband/boyfriend 40 10.1
Parents living condition Both of them alive 281 70.9
Only Mother alive 69 17.5
Only father alive 21 5.3
Both of them not alive 24 6.1
Father's educational status Degree and above 74 18.7
Diploma 89 22.5
High School 90 22.8
Elementary School 63 15.9
Illiterate 79 20.0
Mothers’ educational status Degree and above 47 11.9
Diploma 45 11.4
High School 88 22.3
Elementary school 128 32.4
Illiterate 87 22
Family income category 501-999 122 30.9
1000-1499 179 45.3
≥ 1500 94 23.8
Pocket money Yes 282 71.4
No 113 28.6
Source of Support Parents 257 65.1
Relatives 53 13.4
Husband 40 10.1
Other 45 11.4

Table 1: Socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents Bishoftu, Ethiopia June, 2016.

Substance use

According to the response of participants, 4 (1%) smoke cigarette, 57 (14.4%) of the students were drinking alcohol and 20 (5.1%) were chewing Chat (Table 2).

Variable Frequency Percent
Smoking Cigarette Yes 4 1
No 391 99
Drinking Alcohol Yes 57 14.4
No 338 85.6
Chewing Chat Yes 20 5.1
No 375 94.9

Table 2: Substance use history among respondent’s Bishoftu, Ethiopia, June, 2016.

Sexual coercion

Among the total respondents 171 (43.3%) had faced sexual coercion. 92 (23.3%), 159 (40.3%), 162 (41%) and 60 (15.2%) had faced unwanted sexual act, verbal threats, unwelcomed touch and unwelcomed kiss, respectively (Table 3).

Variables Frequency Percent
Sexual coercion Yes 171 43.3
No 224 56.7
Unwanted sexual act Yes 92 23.3
No 303 76.7
Verbal Threat Yes 159 40.3
No 236 59.7
Unwelcomed Touch Yes 162 41
No 233 59
Unwelcomed Kiss Yes 60 15.2
No 335 84.8

Table 3: History of sexual coercion among respondents Bishoftu, Ethiopia, June, 2016.

Factors associated with sexual coercion

As shown in Table 4, the factors with significant association in bivariate analysis were entered into multiple logistic regression models to identify independent predictors of sexual coercion experience. Accordingly, faculty in which the students enrolled, fathers’ educational status, mothers’ educational status, source of support for the students and alcohol drinking habit associated significantly with the sexual coercion experience.

Variable Sexual coercion COR (95% CI) AOR (95% CI)
Yes No
Faculty Health science 30 42 1.560 (0.929,2.620) 1.741 (0.985,3.044)
Social Science 17 41 2.305 (1.263,4.207)* 2.167 (1.139,4.122)*
Engineering 11 24 2.444 (1.116,5.354)* 1.984 (0.863,4.562)
Business 112 117 1 1
Father's educational status Degree & above 26 36 0.805 (0.419,1.549) 0.614 (0.280,1.346)
Diploma 44 68 0.932 (0.496,1.750) 0.854 (0.411,1.774)
High school 57 59 0.439 (0.236,0.817) 0.406 (0.200,0.820)*
Elementary school 15 11 0.604 (0.307,1.187)* 0.612 (0.289,1.296)
Illiterate 28 50 1 1
Mother's educational status Degree and above 19 34 0.969 (0.458,2.051) 0.834 (0.367,1.895)
Diploma 17 20 0.571 (0.274,1.193) 0.528 (0.233,1.198)
High school 40 35 0.380 (0.206,0.702)* 0.377 (0.191,0.744)*
Elementary 60 82 0.664 (0.377,1.170) 0.720 (0.386,1.341)
Illiterate 34 52 1 1
Source of Support Parents 105 127 1.725 (0.911,3.264) 2.511 (1.225,5.147)*
Relatives 22 37 1.500 (0.630,3.109) 1.389 (0.586,3.288)
Husband 11 26 2.596 (1.071,6.291) 2.602 (0.984,6.886)
Other 32 34 1 1
Pocket Money No 125 143 0.599 (0.381,0.942)* 0.804 (0.469,1.376)
Yes 46 80 1 1
Drinking alcohol No 157 181 0.375 (0.198,0.712)* 0.358 (0.177,0.723)*
Yes 14 42 1 1

Table 4: Predictors of sexual coercion among respondent’s Bishoftu, Ethiopa, June, 2016.

Students from Social science faculty were 2 times more likely to experience sexual coercion than students from Business faculty (AOR=2.167; 95% CI=1.139-4.122).

Students whose father attended High school were 59.4% less likely to experience sexual coercion than students whose father was illiterate (AOR=0.406; 95% CI=0.200, 0.820).

Regarding mothers’ educational status, students whose mother attended High school were 62.3% less likely to experience sexual coercion than students whose mother was illiterate (AOR=0.377; 95% CI=0.191-0.744).

Source of support was also found as one of the predictors. Students whose source of support was their parents were 2.5 more likely to experience sexual coercion than students who had other source of support (AOR=2.511; 95% CI=1.225, 5.147).

Students drinking habit also showed significant association with sexual coercion experience. Students who don’t drink alcohol were 64.2% less likely to experience sexual coercion than students drink alcohol (AOR=0.358; 95% CI=0.177-0.723).

Discussion

In this study 43.3% of the students had ever experienced sexual coercion. This is lower as compared to a finding from a study conducted in Ambo university of Ethiopia in which 76.4% of the students had previous lifetime experience of sexual coercion [18]. This difference might be due to a difference in the socio-economic status between the study participants. This discrepancy is related with the fact that most of the study participants in this study lives with their parents. So, increased control from the families and lesser exposure to situations which causes sexual coercion decreased the students’ experience of the problem.

In this study from the respondents 41% experienced unwelcomed touch. This finding id higher than a report from a study done in North Eastern Nigeria (31%) [19] and in Medewelabu University of Ethiopia (22.3%) [20]. Of female students experienced unwelcomed touch. The differences might be associated with the fact that in the study area any form of harassment is considered as an action against religious doctrine. This difference might be associated with the difference in time when the studies were conducted. Students’ knowledge on the violation based on gender difference might become greater as time passes.

23.3% of the students experienced unwanted sexual act. On the other hand, according to a study conducted in Medawalabu University of Ethiopia (66%) [20], in Uganda (28%) [16] had experienced unwanted sexual act in the lifetime. The difference might be associated with the socio-cultural difference. Some students might under-report the case for fear.

Students whose father attended High school were 59.4% less likely to experience sexual coercion than students whose father was illiterate. This is similar to a finding from a study conducted in Ambo university of Ethiopia in which students having literate father were 83% less likely to experience sexual coercion than those students having illiterate father [18]. This is due to the fact that fathers who attended any level of education could discuss and share experience to the students about techniques of tackling sexual coercion.

In this study, students who don’t drink alcohol were (64.2%) less likely to experience sexual coercion than students drink alcohol. This is consistent with a finding from a study conducted in Ethiopia which showed that consuming alcohol was significantly associated with the sexual coercion experience [21]. The possible explanation could be alcohol drinking is a risky behavior in which alcohol drinking students are highly exposed to sexual coercion. So, the chance of reporting this act might be higher because of the high prevalence of sexual coercion in those students who engage in risky behaviors.

Conclusion

More than half of the respondents had experienced sexual coercion. The main experience was unwelcomed touch. Faculty in which the students enrolled, fathers’ educational status, mothers’ educational status, source of support for the students and alcohol drinking habit associated significantly with the sexual coercion experience.

Ethical Consideration

The ethical approval and clearance was obtained from the Ethical Clearance Committee of Adama general hospital and medical college. Verbal informed consent was obtained from the participants. Confidentiality was maintained by omitting their names and addresses on the questionnaires. Students were informed of their full right to skip or ignore any questions or terminate their participation at any stage and the participants were assured that their participation recorded anonymously. All the data obtained in due course were confidentially kept.

Availability of Data Materials

The spread sheet data supporting the finding of this thesis is available at the hands of the corresponding author and it can be delivered to the journal based on request at any time.

Funding

Adama Hospital and Medical College has covered the required fund for the research project.

Authors’ Contributions

Yemsrach Kebede conceptualized and designed the study. Aliye Kediro, Bisrat Zeleke and Robera Olana analyzed and interpreted the data, drafted the manuscript and critically reviewed the manuscript. All the authors read and approved the manuscript.

Acknowledgement

We wish to express our sincere gratitude to Adama General Hospital and Medical College for their cooperation on necessary materials in supports to undertake this study. Besides, we would like to appreciate Admas and Rift Valley universities deputy directors. Last but not least; we would like to thank all the study participants, data collectors and supervisors, without whom this research.

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