Socio-cultural dynamics of adolescent reproductive health in Pakistan

Durre Nayab, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE)

Adolescents need information and education on reproduction, sexuality, and sexual and reproductive health, but certain cultures are more restrictive than others on imparting such knowledge. Taking example of Pakistan, with its prevailing Islamic cum South Asian cultural traditions, the paper looks into the issues related to reproductive health of not just female adolescent but also their male counterparts. With the inclusion of both married and unmarried adolescent, in both rural and urban areas, the paper gets a deeper understanding to the reproductive health needs of males and females of these ages. The paper deals with the beliefs and status of knowledge of adolescents regarding puberty, marriage, childbearing, maternal-child health and contraception, which are found to be more myth ridden than factual. Early marriage, followed by prompt childbearing, for females seems to be frequent, while getting antenatal care and using contraceptives are not common nor considered desirable by majority.

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Presented in Poster Session 1