More youngsters in villages have sex before marriage than their urban counterparts, reports a study of 58,000 men and women released by the Health Ministry on Saturday.
One in six (17 per cent) men in rural areas has sex before marriage compared to 10 per cent men in towns and cities, found the study by Mumbai’s International Institute for Population Sciences and the Population Council, New Delhi. For women, 4 per cent in villages had pre-marital sex against 2 per cent in urban areas.
Almost all sexually active young people in both cities and villages reported unsafe sex with multiple partners, prompting Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to underline the need for sex education and allied services such as condoms and contraceptives.
“Data shows more than 8 per cent people below 19 have experimented with sex. In our changing society, the unmarried definitely need information and counselling,” said Azad, who released the report with Amartya Sen.
Men and women between 15 and 29 years were polled in six states between 2006 and 2008 for the survey.