Asia-Pacific Population Journal, Vol. 16, No. 2, June 2001
  • E-ISSN: 15644278


Sexual behaviour is one of the most central, yet mysterious aspects of human life. For many people, it is virtually taboo to discuss such matters in traditional Indian settings, where attitudes remain, by and large, conservative (Bang and others, 1989). Research into sexual behaviour in India has been almost entirely confined to urban populations, particularly among groups of people thought to be at high risk of HIV infection (Pachauri, 1992; National AIDS Control Organization, 1994). Little is known about the sexual behaviour of people in rural areas, who comprise nearly 70 per cent of the country’s population. An understanding of sexuality and gender-based power relations is important to issues of reproductive health because they underlie many relevant behaviours and conditions. Family planning policies and programmes should address a broader spectrum of sexual behaviour and consider questions of sexual enjoyment and risks, and confront ideologies of male entitlement that threaten women’s sexual and reproductive rights and health (Dixon-Muller, 1993).

Related Subject(s): Population and Demography
Countries: India

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