Determinants of gender-specific standards in attitudes about pre-marital sex and sexuality among rural and urban young boys in western Tamil Nadu State, India

Narayanaswamy Audinarayana, Bharathiar University

1964 unmarried young boys, aged 15-24 years, from two districts of western Tamil Nadu state, India, surveyed with semi-structured interview schedule to investigate the patterns of gender-specific attitudes about pre-marital sex and sexuality (pooled score of 4 items) and its determinants. The mean score of gender specific (double) standards in attitudes related to pre-marital sex was 2.36 and such score is moderately higher (2.42) among rural boys than their urban counterparts (2.35). Multiple regression analyses highlighted that, irrespective of place of residence, the young boys’ level of gender-specific attitudes (liberal towards boys, and conservative for girls) significantly increased with the time spent on various leisure activities, frequency of participation in risk-taking behaviour and level of knowledge about reproduction and sexuality. Conversely, such attitudes score had reduced with an increase in the educational status and to some extent appear to be less when young boys’ parents were very religious.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility, family and children