When it comes to premarital sex, India’s rural youth score more than their urban counterparts. According to a study done by the International Institute of Population Sciences, 17% of men in rural areas engaged in pre-marital sex compared to 10% in cities while four percent women in rural areas engaged in sex before marriage against two per cent in cities.
The study, which was released by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday, was conducted in six states—Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu—between 2006 and 2008, involving over 58,000 youths in the age group of 15-29 years.
But there also a cause for concern. “Almost all sexually active young people in both cities and villages had unsafe sex with multiple partners,” Azad said.
“Data shows more than 8 per cent people below 19 have experimented with sex,” said Azad. There is also some disturbing statistics that the study has thrown up. Almost 58% of women surveyed believe that wife-beating is justified and a huge chunk of this number comes from southern states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
In Tamil Nadu, 56% accepted wife-beating as a part of life and a shocking 88% from Andhra Pradesh was okay with it.
The study also found that detailed awareness of contraceptive methods was limited, particularly among sexually active young women.
“Awareness of HIV/AIDS was limited among sexually experienced youth with majority of women unaware of it,” the study said.
With agency inputs