Introduction (1, 2). Ethiopia with an estimated 98

Introduction

Adolescents
population  aged  10–19 is estimated to be 1.2 billion or about
20 % of the worlds’ population and an estimated 82 % of adolescents aged 19 and
under live with at least one sibling which is a higher percentage than living
in a household with a Father 78 %, among them more than two-thirds engage in
sexual intercourse before age 19 years (1, 2).

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Ethiopia
with an estimated 98 million population, 41 % accounts adolescents less than 19
years old (3). Among those
only 12% adolescents’ visit, youth friendly service but the programs are
generic which doesn’t recognize age and gender need. The massages also fail to
recognize the distinct need of girls and boys at a different age which leaves
them to set a reference and lead their sexual life through perceptions of their
environment especially parent, peers, older siblings and significant others (4, 5).

Scholars
interested in adolescent sexual behavior often have focused on the role of
family and friends as reference group, suggest that individuals actively use
specific persons as references when they shape their own beliefs and behaviors,
older siblings are mostly the trusted choices and a key arrays that can
transmit beliefs about sexual activity and childbearing; provide information
regarding sexual activities, including safe sexual practices and even exert
pressure to engage in sexual activities. (6-8).

Sibling
similarities in sexual behaviors are greatest for same-Gender siblings, a
similarity in age (less than two years), if there is modeling, intimacy, warm
relationships and when siblings share friends. Beyond this older siblings may
play a matchmaker role, introducing their brothers and sisters to partners who
are older and possibly more sexually experienced which leads them to an
increased sexual risk (9-11).

Nonetheless,
the magnitude of the sibling effect has varied among continents. For instance,
in a systematic review of more than 200 studies on an adolescent sibling in the
United States show, Adolescents with sexually active older siblings were 2.5- 6
times more likely than other adolescents to be sexually active(12). In case of
Africa, a summary of DHS from four sub-Saharan countries(Cameron, Chad, Ghana,
and Malawi ) shows that girls born in families with male firstborn are
significantly reduced (50%) to have premarital teen pregnancy as compared to
their counterparts in female firstborn families (13, 14).

Although
studies agree in older sibling’s influence, Controversies arise in older
sibling’s role whether it is positive or negative(6). The majority
emphasizes how older siblings’ behaviors can negatively influence their younger
siblings’ sexual behaviors. On the other hand, some research highlights the
positive role of sexually active older siblings in directing their younger
siblings to safe sexual practice(9, 15).

As
an indicator of the extensive sexual and reproductive problems, Ethiopian
adolescent age pregnancy rate is over 13 % and unwanted pregnancy is one of the
major challenges faced by adolescents in Ethiopia. As a result, about 54% of
pregnancies to girls under age 19 are unwanted. This leads to early
childbearing and generates important socio-economic consequences that can shape
and alter the entire future life of an adolescent (5, 16-18). These indicators of sexuality and
reproduction problems among adolescents in Ethiopia increase particular
devotion for in-depth analysis of the possible determinants of sexual behavior.

However,
all existing studies on sibling’s effect have been conducted in U.S. and
western, leaving a large gap in the literature about other world regions. In
all sub-Saharan Africa although a considerable body of research examines parental
and peer influence on adolescent behaviors, comparable data on sibling influence are more limited and in Ethiopia, as to my knowledge,
there was no directly studied and published articles. So to address this gap,
this study aimed to assess, the role of older sibling’s activities in
influencing younger siblings own sexual behaviors.