The present study investigated the prevalence of premarital sex and risky sexual practices (behaviors) among students of a private college. It revealed the prevalence premarital sexual intercourse among the study participants, which was 23.3%, is lower than the recentlyreported figures for students of governmental higher institutions in Ethiopia, including Robe Technical and Vocational Education Training College (51.9%) , Aksum University (60%) , private colleges in Mekelle (51.9%) , Addis Ababa Science and Technology University (26.8%), Wollega University (28.4%, 36.4%)[25, 26], Jigjiga University (67.67%), Debre Tabor university (25.9%) , Debre Markos government higher education institutions (25.%) Addis Ababa University (26.8%)and Debre Berhan University (54.3%), and private colleges in Mekelle (51.9%) . The current figure is also lower than the ones reported for nursing students from healthcare training institutions in Enugu State (45.8%) of Nigeria , forfemale undergraduates' students of Muhimbili and Dar es Salaam Universities(70.4%), Tanzania, for students of Uganda Martyrs University (74%)  and for students of Botswana University (65.35%) as indicated by a study published in 2010 and 2012, respectively. These differences may be due to the fact that students of governmentuniversities have greater freedom to practice sexual intercourse compared to private colleges since they live in universities where parents or close relatives cannot have control over them, and where the society in which they grew up cannot see them. About 90 percent of our study participants live with parents or close relatives, and thus it might have not be easy for them to engage in sexual practice (Table 1). This could be the reason why we found that premarital sex was common among those who live alone than those who live together with parents or relatives (Table 2), and this finding is consistent with that of governmental higher institution in Debre Markos Town in Ethiopia .
However, it is greater than that of non-medical students of an Iranian university, called a great university of Mashhad (15.1%) , female undergraduates inWuhan (8.1%), China [5, 18], and students of Dicle University (4.3%) in Turkey .This discrepancy could be explained by religious differences. In Iran and Turkey the dominant religion is Islam which does not only forbids premarital sex practice but also punishes the act. In Ethiopia, the predominant religion is Christianity, which forbids but does not punish premarital sexual practice, which may let considerably a large number of adolescents get a gap to practice premarital sexual practices. This same reason may also explain our finding that premarital sex was common among Christians than among Muslims (Table 2), suggesting that religion and religiosity can play an important role in whether or not adolescent practice premarital sexual intercourse[2, 4]. Religiositydifference may also explain our finding of higher prevalence of premarital sex among study participants who attend religious servicesdaily to one or more times per week (16.9%) compared to those who do so occasionally (43.4%) and those who never attend at all (67.7%) (Table 2), which is consistent with a study done among students governmental higher institution in Debre Markos Town .
Our finding that premarital sex is more frequent in males than females is in consistent with studies conducted among students of Robe Technical and Vocational Training College, Wollega University, Haramaya University and Debre Berhan university in Ethiopia [22, 25, 34, 35], among nursing students in Nigeria , among non-medical students of a great university of Mashhad in Iran, and among students of Dicle University in Turkey . The greater frequency of premarital sex among males compared to females could be for several reasons. Males usually dare to ask females for sex, watch pornography, drink alcohol, participate in night clubs, and care much less about maintaining virginity than females do.
In this study it was found out that premarital sex is common among health students (nursing and public health) compared to business students. Since health students take courses about reproductive health and reproductive organs anatomy, class lessons about this may stimulate students to decide to get involved in more sexual practices compared to business students.
Similarly, the prevalence of premarital sex was found to be higher in degree students compared to level students. The reason for this might be age difference between level students and degree students, and the age categories at which premarital sex is more prevalent. Level students are generally younger than degree students. About 72 % of level students who participated in this study were less than 20 years of age, whereas about 76% degree student whose age was 20 and above took part in this study (p = 0.000). Premarital sex was more prevalent at and above the age of 20 (Table 2).
The present finding that premarital sex prevailed among non-regular students compared to regular students could be due to being greater or equal to 20 years of age, both of which contribute to having premarital sex. About 80% of non-regular students who participated in this study were aged 20 or above, whilst about one-half of regular students study participant were in this age range (p = 0.000).As mention above, premarital sex was more prevalent at and above the age of 20 (Table 2).
Likewise, our study showed premarital sex was more common among students that have income compared to those who do not have. Getting involved in sexual practice might poseexpenses (travel, hotel, refreshment and other related expenses) which student who have income can afford to pay. Moreover, having income may reduce financial stress. Therefore in the presence of income and reduced stress student may have increased interest for practicing sexual intercourse.
The finding that premarital sex was more common among those students who completed grade 12 or 10 outside Addis Ababa and its surrounding compared those who completed in and around Addis Ababa may be due that fact that most (84%) of the former group live alone, which endows them with the freedom or privacythat makes it easier for them to have sexual intercourse.In addition to freedom, living alone may reduce hotel and travel expenses that would have otherwise made sexual practice unaffordable.
Our study revealed that the prevalence of premarital sex was higher in those who seduce opposite sex than those who do not. This was expected since the purpose of seducing to stimulate opposite sex to have sex with.
Premarital sex was also found to be more frequent among those who believe that oral contraceptive pills provide protection against STIs including HIV. Because of this wrong belief they might have thought that the can avoid the two major consequences (pregnancy and contraction o STIs) of having premarital sex by taking contraceptive pills.
The finding of the current study that premarital sex was common among alcohol and drug users than non-users is consistent with a similar study conducted among Robe Technical and Vocational Training College, Wollega university, Bahir Dar university and governmental higher institution in Debre Markos in Ethiopia [23, 25, 35, 41], it might be explained by tendencies of people to do sexual intercourse after taking these substances since they can affect decision making of a person.
Our result that premarital sex was more common among those participants who had girl/boy-fried than those who did not have suggests that the purpose establishing girl/boy fried might be to have sexual intercourse.
Our finding that premarital sex is more common among those students who watch pornography than those who do not is in agreement with a similar study conducted among students of Debre Berhan and Bahir Dar Universities [22, 23]. The effect of watching pornography on premarital sexual practice is also evident among high school students in Ethiopia [39, 40, 44]. The most probable reason for higher frequency of premarital sex among pornography watchers is that watching pornography stimulates them to have sex.
In the present study, the majors reasons reported for having premarital sex was fall in love and fulfilling sexual desire, and this is in agreement with the finding fromstudents of governmental higher institution in DebreMarkos Town , Ambo University andDebre Tabor University [14, 30, 41].
In this study the prevalence of early premarital sex (having sex before the age of 18) was 21%, which is lower than that of students of Mizan Aman College of Health Science (57.6%), Asksum university (37.9%), private colleges in Bahir Dar (47.6%), Bahir Dar University (24.3%) and University of Gondar (23.6%)[23, 29, 36-38]. This might be due to differences in cultural background from which students come. Our finding that early premartital sex was found to be common among boys than girls is consistent with that of Haramaya University students.
In the present study 34.1% of study participants reported to have two or more sexual partners which is less than that of students of Aksum University (64.4%), University of Gondar (54.2%), private colleges in Bahir Dar (45.3%) and Bahir Dar University (42.7%)[23, 29, 36, 38] but greater than that of students of private colleges in Mekelle (30.5%), Mizan Aman College of Health Sciences (16.3%) , and Madawalabu, Wollega, Debre Berhan and Jigjiga universities, and governmental higher institution in Debre Markos, in which33.6%, 31.3%,21.4%, 33.2% and 30.14%had multiple sexual partners,respectively[22, 24, 25, 31, 33, 41].
According to this study, 61.2% of those study participants who experienced sexual intercourse had ever practiced unprotected sex.This value is similar to that of students of Bahir Dar university (62%) , but it is higher than that of students of private colleges in Bahir Dar (38.4%) which also showed that having unprotect sex was association with alcohol intake as it is in our case . In our study, 68.2 % students who practiced premarital sex reported that they did not use condom for the first sex, and this figure is greater than that of students of Addis Ababa Science and Technology University which is 46% . This difference might be explained by variation in the level of awareness.
In the present study, 17.3% had ever watched pornography. This is lower than the figure reported for students of University of Gondar (55.5%), Bahir Dar University (65.4%) and Debre Berhan University (52.6%)[22, 23, 38]. In line with these two studies, we also found that watching pornography was common among males than females, suggesting that male students are more interested in sex than female students.
Our study showed that 17.1% students drink alcohol is similar to that of students of Mizan
Aman College of Health Science which is 17.2% . This is lower than the value reported for students of DebreTabor university, Debre Berhan university and university of Gondar which was 51.6%, 50.9% and 34.6%, respectively[22, 30, 38].
The prevalence of self-reported STIS in this study was 1.9%, which is lower than that of students of Godar University in which 18.2% students reported to have STIs . The difference might be due to difference in being careful about avoiding consequences of unprotected sex. About 96% of our study participants knew the consequences of unprotected sex.