Prevalence of Sexual Behaviors among Medical Students in Southeast of Iran

  • Mohadeseh Balvardi Instructor of Biostatistics, Department of Health, Sirjan School of Medical Sciences, Sirjan, Iran
  • Nasim Dehdashti Instructor of Biostatistics, Department of Health, Jiroft University of Medical Sciences, Jiroft, Iran
  • Zahra Imani-Ghoghary Assistant professor of Nursing, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Sirjan School of Medical Sciences, Sirjan, Iran
  • Hamideh Bashiri Assistant professor of Pharmacology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
  • Fatemeh Alavi-Arjas PhD student, Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Keywords: Sexual behaviors; Watching Porn; Masturbation; Sexting


Background and Purpose: This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of sexual behaviors and sexting among students of medical science universities in southeast of Iran by indirect method.

Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, using a multistage non-random sampling method, we recruited 3900 students from eight universities of medical sciences from Kerman and Sistan and Baluchestan provinces, Iran, in 2019. The data were collected using indirect (NSU: Network Scale-up) methods. Statistical analysis was performed using the Chi-square test.

Results: Out of 3900 students (mean (SD) age of 22.5 (3.3) years), 48­% were male and 41% were from Sistan and Baluchestan Province. The prevalence of watching porn, masturbation, sexting (text, photo and video), extramarital heterosexual intercourse by nonpayment, sex in return for payment, homosexuality, child abuse (sexual and behavioral), and abortion was 22.6% (95% CI: 21.3 – 24.0), 19.5% (95% CI: 18.2 – 20.7), 8.8% (95% CI: 7.9 – 9.7), 11.7% (95% CI: 10.7 – 12.7), 5.7 (95% CI: 5.0 – 6.5)%, 3.0% (95% CI: 2.5 – 3.5), 0.9% (95% CI: 0.6 – 1.2) and 1.01% (95% CI: 0.7 – 1.3),  respectively. 

Conclusion: According to the results, watching porn, masturbation, extramarital heterosexual intercourse by nonpayment and sexting were more common sexual behaviors among university students. Repetition and addiction to these behaviors can harm physical and psychological health of young people especially in Iranian custom, religion and cultural context. Therefore, the youth should be given appropriate training to correctly react to sexual situations.