Towards Adulthood: Exploring the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescents in South Asia

  • ISBN 9789241562508

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This pioneering book provides a comprehensive overview of the socio-demographic, and sexual and reproductive health situation of adolescents in South Asia. It presents available evidence about the health risks and challenges that young people face in five South Asian countries Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, as well as insights from other Asian settings, notably China and Thailand. The chapters in this volume are detailed summaries of papers and panel discussions from an international conference entitled, Adolescent Reproductive Health: Evidence and Program Implications for South Asia, held in November 2000 in Mumbai, India. Participants from more than 13 countries attended the conference, including researchers, service providers, program managers, government representatives, policy-makers, representatives of international and donor agencies, and young people themselves. The volume covers a wide range of issues, including: factors that undermine adolescents' ability to make informed sexual and reproductive choices; the social context and health consequences of early marriage and childbearing; the sexual behavior and attitudes of adolescents before marriage; sexual coercion against young people; the extent to which adolescents take measures to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs); abortion among married and unmarried adolescents; the physiological behavioral and social risk factors surrounding STIs/HIV among adolescents; communication between adolescents and adults; and the extent to which family relationships can be dominated by fear and violence. The evidence presented in this collection was drawn from a diverse set of research studies, program evaluations and literature reviews. The papers explore the situation of different groups of young people, ranging from low-income urban college students, to rural adolescent mothers, to nationally representative samples of young people. The methods used to collect this evidence included quantitative surveys, small case studies using in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions and various kinds of program evaluations."
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