Young people in India face traditional age- and sex-stratified norms that espouse gender double standards. Premarital partnerships are taboo and anecdotal evidence suggests that in many settings in India, the hint of a romantic relationship or even social interaction between young girls and boys is sufficient to damage a family's reputation and/or result in accelerated arranged marriage, particularly for the girl. While there is a prevailing perception at the community level that in these circumstances, premarital partnerships are rare, there is a small body of literature that suggests that such partnerships are indeed formed and sexual relations experienced, among, typically, fewer than 10 percent of young women and 15–30 percent of young men. At the same time, little is known about the lives of young people and the contexts in which they form romantic, marital, and other partnerships. This report describes the situation of young unmarried and married women and men aged 15–24 in rural and urban slum settings in India, namely Pune district, Maharashtra.
Alexander, Mallika, Laila Garda, Savita Kanade, Shireen J. Jejeebhoy, and Bela Ganatra. 2006. "Formation of partnerships among young women and men in Pune district, Maharashtra," report. New Delhi: Population Council.