Does access to money determine sexual exposure among unmarried adolescents in Bangladesh?

Marium U. Mutahara, Population Council
Ismat Bhuiya, Population Council

Adolescents in Bangladesh constitute one-fourth of the total population. Approximately half of the male adolescents are out of school and engaged in different kinds of economic activities. It is commonly believed that unmarried adolescents are not sexually active and do not need information on sexual health. An operations research study conducted in Bangladesh suggests that the unmarried male adolescents are engaged in risky sexual behavior. Knowledge related sexually transmitted diseases were less than 20 percent among employed adolescents. Findings suggest that 16 percent of unmarried male adolescents reported having sex in the last one year. It is observed that unmarried male adolescents who are gainfully employed had higher sexual exposure compared to their counterparts. Both the groups had sex with commercial sex workers and only one-third of them used condom during the sex. Approximately 22 percent experienced symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases and only one third of them received treatment.

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Presented in Poster Session 1