India accounts for the second largest population of people living with HIV/AIDS (5.1 million), and almost half of new infections occur in young men below age 30. While there are multiple factors influencing young men’s HIV risk in India, one that is receiving increasing attention is early socialization about masculinity. Young men in India mature and develop in a male-dominated context, having little contact with female peers and virtually no sex education. In this context, most boys develop a sense of masculinity characterized by male dominance in the sexual arena and other areas. Although there is increasing awareness of the role that norms that encourage gender inequality play in fostering HIV risk behaviors and partner violence, few studies have attempted to influence these norms and measure changes in support for them among young men exposed to an intervention. As detailed in this research summary, the Horizons Program, CORO for Literacy, and Instituto PROMUNDO conducted operations research to examine the impact on young men of promoting gender equity as part of an HIV-prevention program.
Verma, Ravi K., Vaishali Sharma Mahendra, Julie Pulerwitz, Sujata Khandekar, Gary Barker, P. Fulpagare, and S.K. Singh. 2006. "Shifting support for inequitable gender norms among young Indian men to reduce HIV risk and partner violence," Horizons Research Summary. New Delhi: Population Council.