Risk-taking and sexual behaviours of the unmarried male youth in rural India

Ravi K. Verma, Population Council
Hemkhothang Lhungdim, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

This paper examines the likely relationship between risk-taking behaviours and sexual behaviours of unmarried male youths in five rural states of India. The analysis is based on a study (supported by UNFPA) that covered 2910 men between ages 18-40 years from 50 villages in five states, viz. Haryana, Karnataka, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Youth (18-24 years) constitute 29 percent, and from the total youth sample, the unmarried youth comprised of about 49 percent (409 males). Of this, 32 percent of unmarried youth reported to have had penetrative sexual intercourse in the last 12 months. For 65 percent the first sex was with an unmarried woman.The sexually active unmarried male youth reported first sex at 17.8 years (median age of is 18 years) and only about 17 percent had ever used condom with the last partner, although 85 percent had heard of HIV/AIDS.

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Presented in Session 7: Sexual debut in developing countries