Pre-Marital Sex: Rural Youth More Active

New Delhi: Rural youth have more pre-marital sex than their urban counterparts. The less educated are more likely to cast their vote and India's youth is ill-prepared for employment in a globalized economy. It is information like this that the government hopes will help it understand the 'vulnerability' facing the nation's youth.

In a first of its kind study, researchers and policy makers have tracked key phases in a person's life, especially concerning health, marriage, civic participation, pre-marital sexual activity and work force participation. The consolidated data of the study -- conducted in six states -- will be launched by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Youth in India: Situation and Needs is the first `sub-nationally representative' study undertaken by the government to track key transitions experienced by young people in six states in India. The study was conducted in 2006-07, with the sample size ranging from 10,002 in Rajasthan to 7,996 in Tamil Nadu.
The objectives of this project are to provide evidence at the state level on the magnitude and patterns of sexual and reproductive practices in and outside of marriage. The exercise is aimed at giving more knowledge about decision-making practices and attitudes amongst the youth.
Lastly, helping the policy makers understand key factors underlying the sexual and reproductive health, knowledge, attitudes and life choices of young people thereby enabling them to make policies with lesser margin for error.
The study has been undertaken by the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai and the Population Council, New Delhi. The project aims to in- crease the government's investment in youth centric issues and was conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.

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