Purpose: To compare female students’ engagement in behavioral risk factors for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) between a 4-year university and a 2-year community college and determine the impact of institutional setting on risky sexual behavior.

Methods: Participants aged 18-24 years were recruited from a local community college or university and 143 female students were included in the study. Paper questionnaires were distributed to all participants to identify various socioeconomic and behavioral risk factors known to be associated with a high incidence of STIs among college-aged students.

Results: Between the two institutional types, females from the community college were more likely to have parents with less educational attainment and a lower family income (p<0.001). In fact, students whose parents’ highest level of education was a high school diploma were more likely to report not always using condoms during vaginal intercourse in comparison to students whose parents had a post graduate degree (OR: 8.62; 95% CI: 2.67-27.89, p<0.001).

Findings: Students within the community college reported lower parental income and education attainment in addition to more sexual partners and alcohol consumption in the past week. Conclusion: The findings suggest a potential correlation between low socioeconomic status and STI contraction.



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