PLoS ONE (Jan 2021)
A true face of Indian married couples: Effect of age and education on control over own sexuality and sexual violence.
IntroductionThough there are several interventions evaluated over the past 25 years, significant knowledge gaps continue to exist regarding the effective prevention of sexual violence. This study explored the socio-economic and context-specific distinctive characteristics of husbands and wives on sexual autonomy and unwanted sexual experiences of currently married women in India.MethodologyWe have utilized the recent round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4, 2015-16) data for this exploration. The NFHS-4 survey had adopted a stratified two-stage sample design to reach out to the survey households. A total of 63,696 couples are included in the analysis comprising of women of 15-49 years age and men of 15-54 years age. Multivariate techniques have been applied to understand the adjusted effects of socio-economic and demographic variables on control over their sexuality and sexual violence.ResultsUneducated women married to uneducated men experienced more sexual violence and had less control over their sexuality than the other categories. The adjusted multivariate logistic model shows that educated husbands were significantly more likely to exercise control over their educated wives' sexuality (AOR = 0.88; CI:0.78-0.99). Women having older husbands were significantly less likely to be having no-control over own sexuality (AOR = 0.89; CI:0.83-0.95) and experienced sexual violence (AOR = 0.81; CI:0.70-0.95). Women having comparatively more-educated husbands were significantly less likely to experience sexual violence (AOR = 0.62; CI:0.47-0.81). Muslim women were significantly more likely to have no control overown sexuality. SC/ST women were significantly more likely to experience sexual violence (28%).ConclusionsThis study highlights the factors associated with control over one's sexuality and preponderance to sexual violence: age, education, spouse working status, wealth status, husband's alcohol consumption, women autonomy, decision-making, and freedom for mobility. This study suggests that empowering women with education, creating awareness regarding reproductive health, and addressing their socio-economic needs to help them achieve autonomy and derive decision-making power.