Knowledge and Practices About Sexual Health and Its Socioeconomic Correlates Among Adolescent Girls in Sikkim, India

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Research Article

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Oriental Anthropologist


Adolescents constitute a quarter of total Indian population. Many of them become sexually active despite being informed of the risks which they may encounter. The present study aims to address knowledge and perception on HIV/AIDS, STIs, and safe sex among adolescent girls (15 to 19years) in Sikkim, India. The study also evaluates their attitudes, and practices of sexual activities among their peer groups. The study is based on randomly selected 1031 unmarried adolescent girls residing in Gangtok, the capital town of Sikkim, and also in different blocks of the other three districts. The self-administered questionnaire was completed by participant girls to obtain data on socioeconomic characteristics, knowledge, awareness, and practices about sexual health issues such as HIV/AIDS, STIs, safe sex. Bivariate and multivariate analyses have been used for data analysis. Higher number of urban girls reported sexual activities among their peer group as compared to rural ones. However, unprotected sexual activity was reportedly higher among rural girls (10.26%). Results of multivariate analysis establishes role of media in raising sexual health awareness among girls in the study area. Role of socioeconomic characteristics of adolescents is important in raising awareness, building attitudes, and determining practices pertaining to sexual and reproductive health among them. Health care institutions along with media can raise awareness about sexuality and also can inculcate responsible sexual attitudes and practices among adolescents.

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