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Determinants of youth sexual behaviour: program implications for India [Eastern J Med]
Eastern J Med. 2011; 16(2): 113-121

Determinants of youth sexual behaviour: program implications for India

Beena Joshi1, Sanjay Chauhan1

The objective of this paper is to review the current trend of premarital sexual behaviour among youth in India and the factors influencing this behaviour. Studies done in India in the last two decades were considered for the review. However due to paucity of data it could not be a systematic review and data from other developing countries was considered for comparison. Available data indicates high level of premarital and unsafe sexual activity among youth in India. Limited evidence reveals that the risk and protective factors, which play a role in determining the sexual activity of youth in developing countries are different from those in the west and they are more centered on the youth themselves. Small-scale studies done in India also highlight the factors related to the environment such as peers and family apart from individual factors. However the review highlights the need to conduct large-scale representative studies to explore the comprehensive picture of risk and protective factors that could apply to the youth in India, which has a diverse socio-cultural milieu across regions. Programs must focus on the interventions, which improve the protective factors and reduce the risk factors and not focus only on risk awareness alone. Adolescent's access to friendly services and an enabling environment in the community can improve their health seeking behavior. However multiple players other than health sector such as education, media and social agencies need to work in unison to promote protective factors that prevent unwanted health outcomes due to unsafe premarital sex.

Keywords: Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ARSH), premarital sexual activity, risk and protective factors, safe sex, adolescents and youth


Beena Joshi, Sanjay Chauhan. Determinants of youth sexual behaviour: program implications for India. Eastern J Med. 2011; 16(2): 113-121


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