Socio-psychological constructs of premarital and risky sex behaviour among adolescent girls in India

R.S. Goyal, Indian Institute of Health Management (IIHMR)

This paper discusses socio-cultural constructs and attributes of premarital and risky sex behavior among adolescent girls in India. Data are drawn from an operations research study carried out in Ajmer district of Rajasthan. The analysis is based on interviews with 614 randomly selected unmarried adolescent girls (13-19 years). The study shows that 23.4 per cent girls had premarital sex relationships,largely held in the known circles of friends or relatives. Higher sexual activities were noted among urban residing, out of school and employed girls. At micro level, peer behavior was most influencing factor.Exposure to television and gender discrimination , had a poor impact. Though, sexually active girls were better informed about STDs, HIV/AIDS and usage of condoms, actual use of condom was low. The study brings into focus that lack of schooling, peer pressure and inability to use the knowledge are major attributes of premarital and risky sex behavior among girls.

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Presented in Poster Session 1