Level of Knowledge of Reproductive Health Issues and Sexual Behaviour among Street Adolescents in Mumbai

Dattaram Dhondu Naik


The period adolescence is generally considered to be free from health problems. In reality, most of health problems, particularly concerning reproductive health, emerge during this period. Due to crowded living conditions, changing aspirations, the influence of mass media and developed nations, the adolescents have become aware of sexual relationship early in life, but often have little factual information or understanding of its biological significance. Rapid urbanization, population growth migration, the external debt, unequal income distribution and entrenched poverty in India have led to an increase in the number of street adolescents, who live and work on the streets for income. Street adolescents are exposed to poor health environment and risks for fulfilling their basic needs. An explorative study is undertaken in central and south part of the Mumbai with an objective to investigate knowledge of reproductive health issues and sexual behaviour among Street adolescents. The sample of this study was purposive. Data was collected through personal interview with street adolescents, using a pre-designed semi-structured interview schedule after obtaining informed consent. 315 boys and 332 girls were interviewed during the survey. The mean age of the participants was about 14 years. Results of this study indicate that sexual experience among street adolescents’ increases with the level of knowledge of; contraception, STD symptoms and routes of HIV transmission. Study emphasis need to implement preventive interventions for the street adolescent with social skills to negotiate sexual behaviuor and understand the importance of preventive behaviour. This needs to have behavioural change communication programmes for street adolescents.


Street adolescents, Reproductive Health, Sexual Behaviour

Full Text:



Agrawal R, (1999), Street Children, Shipra Publications, New Delhi, pp 20-21.

D’Souza B, Castelino L and Madangopal D, (2002), A Demographic Profile of Street Children in Mumbai, at http//www.karmayog.org, accessed on Jan 12, 2013.

Ajayi Ayo A., Leah T. Marangu, Janice Miller, John M. Paxman Source, 1991, “Adolescent Sexuality and Fertility in Kenya: A Survey of Knowledge, Perceptions and Practices,” Studies in Family Planning, Vol. 22 (4), pp. 205-216.

Alexander M, Garda L, Kanade S et al., 2007, “Correlates of Premarital Relationships among Unmarried Youth in Pune District, Maharashtra, India,” International Family Planning Perspectives, 33(4), pp. 150-159.

Bang, R. A. and Bang Abhay, 1989, “High Prevalence of Gynecological Diseases in Rural Indian Women,” The Lancet, 1989 Jan; 14: 1 (8629), pp. 85-88.

Bansal, R.K, 1992, “Sexual Behavior and Substance Use Patterns amongst Adolescent Truck Cleaners and Risk of HIV/AIDS,” Indian Journal of Maternal and Child Health 3, pp. 108-110.

Bhende A, 1994, “A study of Sexuality of Adolescent Girls and Boys in Underprivileged Groups in Bombay,” The Indian Journal of Social Work, 1994; 55(4), pp. 557-71.

Coker AL, Richter DL, Valois RF et al., 1994, “Correlates and Consequences of Early Initiation of Sexual Intercourse,” Journal of School Health, 64(9), pp. 372-77.

Devries KM, Free CJ, Morison Let al, 2009, “Factors Associated with the Sexual Behaviour of Canadian Aboriginal Young People and their Implications for Health Promotion,” American Journal of Public Health, 99(5), pp. 855-62.

Donovan JE, Jessor R and Costa FM, 1991, “Adolescent Health Behaviour and Conventionality-Unconventionality: An Extension of Problem-Behaviour Theory,” Health Psychology, 10, pp. 52-61.

Fatusi AO and Blum RW, 2008, “Predictors of Early Sexual Initiation among a Nationally Representative Sample of Nigerian Adolescents,” BMC Public Health, 8: 136, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-136.

Fergusson DM and Lynskey MT, 1996, “Alcohol Misuse and Adolescent Sexual Behaviours and Risk Taking,” Pediatrics, 98(1), pp. 91-96.

George A, and Jaiswal S, 1995, “Understanding Sexuality and Ethnographic Study of Poor Women in Bombay, India,” Women and AIDS Research Programme, Report Series No. 12, Washington DC; international center for Research on Women (ICRW).

Goparaju L., 1993, “Unplanned, Unsafe: Male Students’ Sexual Behavior,” Paper Presented at the Workshop on Sexual Aspects of AIDS/STD Prevention in India. Bombay, November 23-27.

Gupta M, 1994, “Sexuality in the Indian Sub-Continent,” Sexual & Marital Therapy, 9(1), pp. 57-69.

Jain Kalpana, 1994, "Survey Shows Delhi School Kids Sexually Active," The Independent (March 1, 1994), Study Conducted by Chaudhary, Shankar and Paul Francis, "Study of Delhi School Children,” NGO - AIDS Cell. AIMS. New Delhi.

Kayembe KP, Mapatano MA, Busanqu FA et al, 2008, “Correlates of Ever Had Sex and of Recent Sex among Teenagers and Young Unmarried Adults in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” AIDS Behaviour, 12(4), pp. 585-93.

Liu AP, Kilmarx RA, Jenkins et al, 2006, “Sexual Initiation, Substance Use, and Sexual Behavior and Knowledge among Vocational Students in Northern Thailand,” International Family Planning Perspectives, 32(3), pp. 126-35.

Nag Moni, 1996, Sexual Behaviour and AIDS in India, Vikas Publishing House Pvt Ltd, New Delhi.

Mott FL, Fondell MM, Hu PN et al, 1996, “The Determinants of First Sex by Age 14 in A High Risk Adolescent Population,” Family Planning Perspectives, 28(1), pp. 13-18.

Ramasubban Radhika, 1992, "Sexual Behaviour and Conditions of Health Care: Potential Risks for HIV Transmission in India,” In Tim Dyson (eds). Sexual Behaviour and Networking: Anthropological and Socio-cultural Studies on the Transmission of HIV Liege.

Ramasubban, Radhika, 1995, “Patriarchy and the Risk of HIV Transmission to Women in India,” In Das Gupta MM, Chen LC and Krishnan TN (eds), Women’s Health in India Risk and Vulnerability, Oxford University Press, Mumbai.

Reddy D, Narayana, Shivshankar, Meera and Ganesan, Uma, 1993, “A Report on Select Urban (Madras) Sexuality with Reference to Sexual Aspects of AIDS/STDs," Paper Presented at the Workshop on Sexual Aspects of AIDS/STD Prevention in India, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Sathe AG, 1992, “Issues and Problems in Introducing Family Life Education for Boys and Girls of Secondary Schools,” Journal of Family Welfare, 38, pp. 56-67.

Savara Mira and Sridhar CR, 1994, “Sexual Behaviour amongst Different Occupational Groups in Maharashtra, India and the Implications for AIDS Education,” Journal of Social Work, Vol. LV, No.4, pp. 617-632.

Sehgal VN, Sharma AK and Bhattacharya SN, 1992, "KABP Study on AIDS among School Boys," Abstract Published in the 2nd International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, pp. 1920.

Sharma A, Sharma V, 1996, “Sexual Knowledge and Practices of College Girls in Rural Gujarat, India,” The Journal of Family Welfare, 42, pp. 19-26.

Sharma V, Sharma A, 1995, “The Letter-Box Approach- A Model for Sex Education in an Orthodox Society,” The Journal of Family Welfare, 41, pp.31-35.

Sharma V, Sharma A, 1998, “The Pleasure and Guilt of Masturbation: A Study of Young College Girls in Gujarat, India,” Sexual and Marital Therapy 13, pp.63-70.

UNESCO, 2001, Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health: Regional Demographic Profile. Trends, Problems, and Challenges. Bangkok, Thailand, UNESCO, 2001, pp. 3.

Vivan L Towe, Salman ul Hasan et al, 2009, “Street Life and Drug Risk Behaviours Associated with Exchanging Sex among Male Street children in Lahor, Pakistan,” Journal of Adolescent Health, Mar 2009; 44(3), pp. 222-228.

Watsa MC, 1993, “Premarital Sexual Behaviour of Urban Educated Youth in India,” Paper Presented at the Workshop on Sexual Aspects of AIDS/STD Prevention in India, Bombay, November 23-27.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.