Marrying Young: Transitions in the Filipino Adolescents' Life Course
Socorro Gultiano, University of San Carlos
Teenage marriage, generally considered disadvantageous to individual and society, persists in many developing countries. This study examines the sequence of events leading to first marriage among Filipino adolescents. Marriage may be legal(M) or consensual(C), and events-sequence refers to first experiences in romance(R), sex(S), pregnancy(P) and contraception(F). Data for this study are taken from the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey which collected information from a cohort of adolescents in Metro Cebu, Philippines born between May 1983 and April 1984. In its 2002 survey, there were 2,051 adolescents in the sample; 1% was legally married, while 9% had been cohabiting. The most prevalent pattern (sequence) of events among married adolescents was "R-S-P-C", signifying first sexual intercourse and pregnancy as antecedents to teenage cohabitation. This pattern, however, was more common for women than men. Equally common among male adolescents was the "R-S-F-C" pattern, implying contraceptive use prior to cohabitation.