This study tests the hypothesis suggested by many smaller studies that young people prefer to use private providers to access contraceptive methods. It examines the patterns in young women's levels of sexual activity, use of modern methods of contraception, and sources of modern contraception by age group and union status, using Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data. In addition, while controlling for other important explanatory variables, the study seeks to answer the question of whether young women are more likely to choose private sector providers than older women. Results indicate that young women ages 15-24 have higher levels of sexual experience in Africa than in the Latin American, Caribbean, or Asian countries included in this analysis. Overall proportions of young women currently using modern contraceptive methods in Africa, however, are quite low when compared with countries included in the analysis from the Latin American, Caribbean, and Asian regions. Data examining whether young women are more likely than older women to choose private sector providers-while controlling for important explanatory variables-reveal mixed results. In Africa, data for most countries indicate that young women are significantly more likely to choose private and commercial sector providers. In two of the four countries examined in Asia, young women were significantly more likely to choose the private sector. Only in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries were young women generally less likely to choose private and commercial sector providers than older women.
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