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This study sought to determine the prevalence of transactional sex among university students in Uganda and to assess the possible relationship between transactional sex and sexual coercion, physical violence, mental health, and alcohol use. In , undergraduate students at a Ugandan university responded to a self-administered questionnaire that assessed mental health, substance use, physical violence and sexual behaviors including sexual coercion and transactional sex. The prevalence of transactional sex was assessed and logistic regression analysis was performed to measure the associations between various risk factors and reporting transactional sex.
Sexual coercion in men and women was significantly associated with having accepted money, gifts or some compensation for sex. Men who were victims of physical violence in the last 12 months had higher probability of having accepted money, gifts or some compensation for sex than other men. Women who were victims of sexual coercion reported greater likelihood of having paid, given a gift or otherwise compensated for sex.
Respondents who had been victims of physical violence in last 12 months, engaged in heavy episodic drinking and had poor mental health status were more likely to have paid, given a gift or otherwise compensated for sex.
University students in Uganda are at high risk of transactional sex. Young men and women may be equally vulnerable to the risks and consequences of transactional sex and should be included in program initiatives to prevent transactional sex.
The role of sexual coercion, physical violence, mental health, and alcohol use should be considered when designing interventions for countering transactional sex. Editor: Matt A. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.