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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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