Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 138-143

A cross-sectional study of factors associated with adolescent sexual activity

Department of Psychiatry, AFMC, Command Hospital (SC), Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
R Shashikumar
Department of Psychiatry, AFMC, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.99532

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Context: Adolescents constitute about 20% of our population and increasingly more of them are initiating sexual activity at an early age. Several behaviors associated with adolescence like masturbation, expression of masculinity/femininity, lifestyle habits like attending late night parties, and consumption of alcohol have been variously implicated in initiating sexual activities. Sexual abuse can also lead to premature sexualization. In view of few worthwhile studies from India that have dealt with these issues this study was undertaken. Aims: To elicit information from two co-education schools adolescent boys and girls on matters related to pubescence, sexual experiences, and sexual health. Settings and Design: Study subjects involved students from class IX to XII in two co-education schools. Consent of parents was taken to administer the questionnaire to their wards. Materials and Methods: A total of 586 out of 1580 students completed a self-reporting questionnaire on matters related to sexuality. Statistical Analysis EpiInfo6 Software was used. Results: Significant association was found among those holding the view that having sex proves their masculinity, being sexually abused, masturbation among boys, and sexual activity. A significantly large number of boys and girls are unaware of role of alcohol on sexual activity and that pregnancy can be caused by single intercourse. Conclusions: This was probably the first such comparative study from India. Mechanisms need to be evaluated to help adolescents understand their sexual attitudes and situations that are likely to provoke sexual activity. Therefore, not only more detailed and longitudinal studies are needed to understand these relations in a better perspective, but also a well-planned educational program for adolescents is a need of the hour.



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