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'Premarital sex common among youth'

sex-and-relationships Updated: Nov 11, 2009 16:38 IST
Binod Dubey
Binod Dubey
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

CoupleA survey on youth in India has now come up with the startling revelation that a sizeable number of young men and women in Bihar are engaging in sex before marriage. The worry is that most persons indulging in pre-marital sex are uninformed of the risks.

Condom use is almost non-existent and engaging in such activity with multiple partners is also not uncommon, a population study centre said in its report.

The report issued by the International Institute for Population Sciences and Population Council warns that policies and programmes can no longer assume that pre-marital sex does not exist in our culture, rather they must ensure that sexual relations, should they occur, are informed, safe and wanted. Several steps are urgently needed to ensure that.

The findings, which accessed 8,136 respondents suggest that 20 percent of young men and 12 percent of young women were approached by or they themselves approached a person of the opposite sex to form a romantic liaison.

Moreover, 17 percentof young men and 5 percent of women acknowledged romantic partnership before marriage. This was despite norms prohibiting pre-marital mingling with the opposite sex. Interestingly, while parents mostly did not report knowledge of such liaisons, almost four out of five (78 percent) young men and women reported that their peers were aware of the relationships. However 23 percent young men and 37 percent women reported that their parents were aware of the relationships.

The data suggests that sexual indulgence included physical intimacy, including kissing, touching and engaging in sex.. However, consistently fewer respondents reported more intimate behaviours, including sex.