Gendered Socialization and Youth Sexual Behavior: Exploring the Dynamics in Orissa, India

Manas Pradhan, MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child
Usha Ram, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

The present study attempts to explore the interrelation between the gendered socialization process and its subsequent impact on sexual behavior of youth, using qualitative data i.e. focus group discussions (N=8) and in-depth interviews (N=42) of rural married youth (15-24) years from Orissa, India, collected during 2006-07. Software packages like Atlas ti and ANTHROPAC has been used for the analysis and has found that the patriarchal sexual culture manifest in the development of male sexuality an assertive and in the cultivation of sexual passivity and a sense of shame in females. Again, males are often socialized to engage in sexual activity so as to express their masculinity, mostly leading to unintended pregnancy, reproductive/sexually transmitted infections besides psychological stress to the partner. Information education and communication on gender equity besides awareness about the consequences of sexual health problems can work towards better sexual health of the youth.

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Presented in Poster Session 7