Background The initiation of sexual intercourse early in life is associated with an increased number of sex partners and a greater risk for STDs, HIV/AIDS.
Methods Data were drawn from Youth in India: Situation and Needs study. It is conducted by International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai and the Population Council, New Delhi and it focused on married and unmarried young women and unmarried young men (50,848) aged 15–24 during 2006–07.
Results There was a clear progression reported in physical intimacy and sexual experience with romantic/and/or other partners among the young in India. It is reported that 19percent of young men and 9percent of women had been involved in a romantic partnership and significant proportion of young men (15percent) and young women (4percent) experienced pre-marital sex within romantic and/or other partnerships. Around 11percent of young men and 5percent of young women had experienced first pre-marital sex before age 20. Young men tended to initiate pre-marital sex earlier than young women, moreover, about 47percent of young men in rural areas, compared to 30percent of those in urban areas, and 32percent and 15percent of young women, respectively, reported pre-marital sex with romantic partners. Around one-fourth of young men and little above one-fifth of young women had pre-marital sex with more than one partner and only 13percent of young men and 3percent of young women used condoms in all pre-marital encounters. Unmarried youth were more likely than the married to report contraceptive use at first sex (30% versus 23% among young men; 17% versus 8% among young women).
Conclusion This study underscore the fact that youth face numerous challenges while making transition to adulthood and these challenges should addressed by programmes/interventions at the youth, family and service delivery levels.
- Sexual activity
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