February 25, 2010

Times of India

Heart-to-heart? Not with parents, say youngsters

New Delhi: Are your children talking to you? It does not seem so. Fathers seem worse off when it comes to communicating with their children. Only 7% boys and 4% girls (aged 15-24) discuss “growing up’’ issues with their dad, a recently-concluded youth survey has revealed.
Mothers were equally bad when it came to their sons, with only 6% boys confiding and “discussing life’’ with them. In comparison, girls (77%) spoke more freely to their mothers, mostly about issues relating to menstruation The survey, conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences and Population Council and endorsed by the Union health ministry, covered nearly 51,000 married and unmarried young males and females from six states— Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. It found that school performance, a nonsensitive topic, was the most common area of discussion between kids and parents. In contrast, more touchy topics, such as romantic relationships and reproduction, were rarely discussed with either parent (only 2% of young men and 6% of young women did so). In fact, when it came to reproductive issues, children were equally secretive with both their parents.
The findings also suggest that parents controlled the social interactions of youngsters, particularly those involving members of the opposite sex. For example, 69% of young men and 84% of young women expected parental disapproval if they brought home a friend of the opposite sex.


Sympathy for one who raped a child? No

Mumbai: Rejecting the plea of inadequate defence owing to a poor legal aid counsel, a Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court last month stated no sympathy could be granted to an accused who raped a child.

The convict, Ganpat Nadekar, 60, wanted the 2007 case sent back to the trial court on grounds that he didn’t have “effective opportunity to be defended by an advocate of his own choice”. The Nagpur trial court in 2008 convicted Nadekar on charges of rape and kidnapping and sentenced him to 10 years in jail.
Nadekar, however, alleged that the legal aid counsel appointed by the court did not have time to go through the charge sheet and cross-examine witnesses effectively.
Considering the efforts made by the trial court judge to get Nadekar a lawyer, Justice AP Bhangale, in his judgment dated January 8 stated that there was “no adequate and sufficient or special reason warranting sympathy” to Nadekar.
Nadekar had raped a minor girl, studying in the Std VI, after luring her with money on May 5, 2007 in the jurisdiction of Jalalkheda police station, Nagpur district. The medical evidence also supported the prosecution.
As per the trial court records, at the time of framing of charges, Nadekar was offered legal aid. However, Nadekar refused it on grounds that he wanted to engage a private lawyer.
Justice Bhangale considered the records which indicated that Nadekar didn’t hire a lawyer despite being given ‘ample’ time to do so. Eventually, Nadekar accepted the legal aid counsel appointed by the court.
“It is not a case where the appellant had requested the trial court to be represented by a particular private lawyer of his choice and that such a prayer was rejected. Hence, there is no question of infringement of his fundamental right,” stated the judgment.
The judge also noted that courts are expected to deal with cases of sexual crime very sensitively and they need to be “dealt with sternly and severely”.

Times of India

Sex before 15, girls pip boys: Study

NEW DELHI: This could come as a shocker for those resisting introduction of sex education in Indian schools.Premarital sex has been found to be common among young men but
• a higher percentage of women aged 15-24 years have had sex before reaching the age of 15.

A large scale youth survey conducted under the aegis of the Union health ministry in the six states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu has thrown up some interesting findings.
• Around 15% of young men and 4% young women interviewed admitted to having pre-marital sex.
• Shockingly, 24% of the women had premarital sex for the first time before age 15 compared to 9% men.
• Premarital sex was also found to be more common in rural India. According to the report prepared by Population Council, Delhi, and International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai,
• youth in rural areas were also more likely than those in urban areas to have initiated a pre-marital romantic relationship at age 15 (29% compared to 17% among young men, and 46% compared to 31% among young women).
• Around 6% of rural youth compared to 1% of urban youth had their sexual debut before age 18.
• Over 26% of young men and 40% of young women reported that they had spent time alone with their first romantic partner at age 15 or below. Many of the pre-marital sexual experiences reported by the youth were risky.
• Around 25% of young men and 21% of young women reporting pre-marital sex had sex with more than one partner.
• Moreover, consistent condom use was limited only 13% of young men and 3% of young women reported condom use in all pre-marital encounters.

While sexual relations were generally unsafe across all the six states, some notable state-level differences were found. For example, among young men,
• multiple partner relations were reported by 32% in five of the six states, but by relatively few (14%) in Rajasthan.

Releasing the study, Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said young people in India face multiple risks associated with sexual and reproductive health that include pregnancy related morbidity and mortality, delayed abortion seeking, unmet contraceptive need and lack of knowledge to make informed decisions.

• "One-third of the total reported AIDS cases are below the age of 29 years. More than 8% of young people in the age group of 15-19 years have experimented with sex either before or outside marriage.
• And only 37% of young men and 45% of young women knew that a woman can get pregnant at first sex.

It is, therefore, of utmost importance that India addresses the challenges of youth effectively," Azad said. The surveyors spoke to nearly 51,000 married and unmarried young males and females for this youth study. The survey found that
• significant minorities of young men and women had made or received a proposal for a romantic relationship (23%) before marriage,
• with one in four such relationships progressing to becoming sexual.
• The first reported romantic partner was typically a neighbour or friend (reported by 33% of young men and women), a fellow student or colleague (reported by 30% of young men and 16% of young women) or an acquaintance from outside the village/neighbourhood (reported by 25% of young men and 19% of young women).
• Around 27% of young women compared to 9% of young men reported that their first pre-marital partner was a relative.
• As far as consensuality of first sex is concerned, a larger percentage of young men than young women reported that their first experience of pre-marital sex was mutually consensual (76% versus 66%).
• One in seven young women (14%) reported that their partner had forced them to have sex the first time.

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