Unwanted Sex Common Among Young Married Women In India
Using survey data and in-depth interviews with 1,644 young married women, authors K.G. Santhya of the Population Council, et al., identify factors that predict a woman's likelihood of experiencing unwanted sex with her husband. They find that wealthier women, women who knew their husbands before they got married and women whose husbands support them during family conflicts are less likely than their peers to experience unwanted sex.
Frequent coerced sex is more likely to occur among recently married young women than among pregnant women or new mothers, suggesting that the pressure to have a first child leaves some young married women especially vulnerable to sexual coercion. In addition, the more circumstances in which a woman believes it is justifiable for a husband to beat his wife, the more likely she is to experience unwanted sex. Young women with lower levels of education are also at greater risk than their more educated peers.
These findings offer valuable insights for programs and policies aimed at protecting young women from unwanted sex within marriage. Such programs should target newly married couples to foster supportive relationships which protect against unwanted sex. HIV and unintended pregnancy prevention programs should incorporate counseling and education on sexual coercion. In addition, programs are needed to address men's sense of entitlement when it comes to sex within marriage.
Also in the September 2007 issue of International Family Planning Perspectives:
"Changes in Contraceptive Method Mix in Developing Countries," by Eric E. Seiber of Ohio State University, et al.
"HIV Risk Perceptions and First Sexual Intercourse Among Youth in Cape Town, South Africa," by Kermyt G. Anderson of the University of Oklahoma, et al.
"Legal Abortion Worldwide: Incidence and Recent Trends," by Gilda Sedgh of the Guttmacher Institute, et al.
The Guttmacher Institute-www.guttmacher.org-advances sexual and reproductive health worldwide through research, policy analysis and public education.
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