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Religious distributions of knowledge and practices of sexual behaviors among young married women in India

Abhijit Basu Biswas; Md Illias Kanchan Sk; Chiman Kumar Sinha; Md Firoz Sk; Ankit Anand.

Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remain one of the determinants of HIV transmission in India. Most interestingly, women have little knowledge of their basic physiological functions, which is a risk factor for STI and HIV.

Objectives: This study aimed to find the sexual behaviors and practices among young married women of various religions of the country and their knowledge and attitude toward sexuality.

Materials and Methods: The data source for this study was the third round of the National Family Health Survey-3, conducted in 2005-2006. Bivariate analysis and Chi-square test were performed.

Results: Around 5% of women had known that they were in ovulation period only during their periods. It was also found that 30.8% of women did not have any knowledge about their ovulation. Hindu women (5.4%) acquired more knowledge about their ovulation period during their first menstruation as compared to the other religions. Knowledge of ovulation after completion of the period was 26.8% among Muslims, 23% among Hindu, and 19.5% among other religious communities. The use of the traditional contraceptive method was high among Muslims compared to the non-Muslims. More than 14% of women had experienced their first sexual intercourse before marriage.

Conclusion: There is an urgent need for educating young women on the promotion of safe sex and provision of knowledge on physiological functions of the human body.

Key words: Young Married Women;Religion;Sexual Behavior;Knowledge;Practices

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