Saturday, 25 November 2017

‘22% boys, 29% girls in Bihar have sex before 15 years of age’

Almost 22% boys and 29% girls had sexual encounters before attaining the age of 15 years whereas 30% boys, 5% unmarried and 27% married girls had multiple partners, a survey conducted on 'understanding the lives of adolescents and young adults' (UDAYA) in Bihar has found.
Population Council, a research organization, conducted the survey between January and July 2016 on 10.433 adolescents in the age group of 10 to 19 years in 36 districts of Bihar. The findings were released by health minister Mangal Pandey, education minister K N Prasad Verma and social welfare minister Kumari Manju Verma here on Tuesday.
The study also highlighted the fact that most of the adolescents were not aware about safe sex and only 31% of the boys and 17% of the girls surveyed used contraceptive during their first sexual encounter and only 28% boys and 7-11% girls had always used contraception methods.
Out of the 1821 unmarried boys (15-19), 62.3% knew about using condoms correctly whereas only 13.5% of the 3428 unmarried girls (15-19) and 37.9% out of 3408 married girls (15-19) had specific knowledge about condoms. Only 7.7% boys, 7.6% girls and 17.6% married girls (15-19) had correct information related to oral contraception. Only 4.1% boys, 1.6% girls and 2.3% married girls (15-19) knew about emergency contraceptive pills, the study found.

Comprehensive awareness about HIV/AIDS was limited to 1-2% adolescents (10-14) and 11-12% in 15 to 19 age group had ever heard of other sexually transmitted diseases.
The survey found that 7% girls (10-14) had experienced unwanted sexual touch while 1% boys in that age group had non-consensual sexual touch perpetrated by another boy or man. Almost 4% of unmarried girls and 3% married girls in 15-19 age bracket reported forced sexual encounters, including those perpetrated by their partners. Over 27.5% of physical violence and 37.4% of sexual violence were reported by married girls in the same age group at the hands of their husbands.

"The main objective of the survey was to profile the needs of adolescents based on their situation, track the changes in their situation as they grow older and provide help to ensure their holistic well-being," said PC's lead researcher K G Santhya. She said Bihar had a population of 23 million adolescents (10 to 19 years), which meant that every one out of 10 adolescents in India lived in Bihar.
"The aim of the survey is to facilitate how these findings can be put into action, for which the council is ready to provide technical support to the government," Santhya added.



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