Timing of first sex before marriage and its correlates: Evidence from India
While several studies have documented the extent of pre-marital sexual experience among young people in India, little work has been done to explore the factors that are correlated with the timing of pre-marital sexual initiation. This paper examines age at initiation of pre-marital sex, circumstances in which first sex was experienced, nature of first sexual experience and correlates of age at initiation of pre-marital sex. Life table estimates suggest that pre-marital sexual initiation occurred in adolescence for 1 in 20 young women and 1 in 10 young men. For the majority of these young people, their first sex was with an opposite-sex romantic partner. First sex, moreover, was unprotected for the majority and forced for sizeable proportion of young women. A number of individual, family-, peer- and community-level factors were correlated with age at first pre-marital sex. Moreover, considerable gender differences were apparent in the correlates of age at first pre-marital sex, with peer- and parent-level factors found more often to be significant for young women than men.
Santhya, K.G., Rajib Acharya, Shireen J. Jejeebhoy, and Usha Ram. 2011. "Timing of first sex before marriage and its correlates: Evidence from India," Culture, Health and Sexuality 13(3): 327–341.