Knowledge, information and need for sexual health education in a rural area of Mandya district


  • Suman Fathima Department of Pediatrics, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore Karnataka, India
  • Raghavendra Ramiah Department of Pediatrics, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore Karnataka, India
  • Ramelingegowda Nisarga Department of Pediatrics, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore Karnataka, India


Sexual health education, Sexually transmitted diseases (STD/HIV) Pregnancy preventive measures


Background: Objective: To assess the student’s knowledge, need & information on Sexual Health Education (SHE), Sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy preventive measures and to explore their on content, source and need for implementation of  sexual health education.

Methods: A descriptive and explorative questionnaire based study done in rural Pre-university colleges of BG Nagara, Mandya, Karnataka. Adolescents were included and categorised based on their age and gender. Questions were broadly categorized under pubertal changes, STD’s, pregnancy preventive measures and menstruation and analysis was done.

Results: A total of 430 students were enrolled for the study, 59.1% boys and girls constituted 40.9%. The right age for SHE was 16 years (37%), followed by 18 years (32%). Need for SHE was observed in 72.3%. Preferred source for SHE was doctor’s (35.3%). The mean knowledge about pubertal changes was 65.4 ± 23.5 (P = 0.000), about STD’s was 61.39 (P = 0.00), pregnancy preventive measures was 52.69 ± 27.89 (P = 0.00) and menstruation among girls was 68.75 ± 39.8. Signs of physical maturity were correctly known in 69%. AIDS/HIV was heard and known to be a STD by 69.3%. Most common contraceptive known was oral pill (68.8%) and most common source being internet (40.5%). Information to be included under SHE by the students was mainly regardinggeneral changes at puberty (74.7%), HIV and other STD’s (63%).

Conclusions: Rural adolescent students have lesser minimum knowledge than prescribed in understanding reproductive health issues. Most of them expressed an essential need for SHE and to avail this knowledge of SHE from their doctors and teachers. Hence it is recommended to generate greater awareness to adopt safe behavioural practices for prevention. 


WHO. Defining sexual health. In: WHO, eds. Report of a Technical Consultation on Sexual Health 28-31 January 2002, Geneva: WHO; 2006.

World Association for Sexual Health (WAS). Declaration of sexual rights, 1999. Available at:

Benson MD. Sex education in the inner setting: learning and retention. J Am Med Assoc. 1986;255:43-7.

World Health Organization. Adolescence the critical phase, the challenges and the potential, 1997. Available at:

Goldenring J. A review provided by veriMed Healthcare Network. Medline plus, 2004. Available at:

Senderowitz J. Adolescent health: reassessing the passage to adulthood. In: Senderowitz J, eds. World Bank Discussion Paper No. 272. Washington, DC: World-Bank; 1995.

Shetty P, Kowli S. Family Life Education for non-school going adolescents: an experiment in an urban slum. J Fam Welfare. 2001 Oct;47(2):51-8.

Gupta N, Mathur AK Singh MP, Saxena NC. Reproductive health awareness of school going unmarried adolescents. Indian J Pediatr. 2004;71:797-801.

Shubhangna Sharma, Shipra Nagar, Goldy Chopra. Health awareness of rural adolescent girls: an intervention study. J Soc Sci. 2009;21(2):99-104.

National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). Guidelines on HIV testing, 2007. Available at:

Shireen Jejeebhoy. Population council and care India, 2002. Available at:

Kotecha PV, Patel S, Baxi RK, Mazumdar VS, Misra S, Modi E, et al. Reproductive health awareness among rural school going adolescents of Vadodara district. Indian J Sex Transm Dis. 2009 Jul;30(2):94-9.

WHO. “Coming of age” from facts to action for adolescent sexual and reproductive health. In WHO, eds. WHO/FRH/ADH/97.18. Geneva: WHO; 1997: 4.

Francis PT, Gill IS, Chawdhary S. Knowledge, belief and attitude regarding AIDS, STDs and human sexuality among senior secondary students. Indian J Community Med. 1994;19:16-20.






Original Research Articles