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Until recently the study of sexual behavior, despite being a very important area of human behavior, has remained an untouchable subject. The sensitivity of the subject and difficulties collecting required information discouraged social scientists from venturing into this area of human behavior. However, the advent of AIDS and its rapid spread in India has changed the scenario. Today the study of sexual behavior is an important subject and both national and international agencies, as part of the AIDS control program, are encouraging research on the subject. This paper addresses a totally neglected area, which is sexual coercion within marriage. The paper is based on a detailed qualitative study carried out by the Centre for Operations Research and Training on the decision-making process involved in seeking abortion. The study was carried out in two villages of Lucknow district located in central Uttar Pradesh. Data were collected by two trained social scientists, who spent five months in the field using various qualitative approaches—in-depth case studies, focus-group discussions with community members, and informal interviews with health and abortion service providers.






Asia & Near East Operations Research and Technical Assistance Project