Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

Sexual Attitude: A Comparative Study of Tribal and Non-Tribal College Students

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

Sexual Attitude: A Comparative Study of Tribal and Non-Tribal College Students

Article excerpt

The Indian constitution assigns special status to the Scheduled Tribes (ST). Traditionally referred to as adivasis, Vanvasis, Tribes or Tribals. Scheduled Tribes constitute about 8% of the Indian Population. There are around 570 scheduled Tribes living in different parts of the country, having their own languages different from the one mostly spoken in the state where they live. So, India is second largest country after South Africa, Having large population of scheduled Tribes. The Gujarat state in India has 15% population as scheduled tribes.

Sexuality is an integral component of human behaviour and is considered to be central to the human contact and communication. It is the expression of an individual's identity and Sexual Attitude. Sexuality is regarded as the ability to have sexual feelings, involving a person's feelings about the self, self-esteem, body image, ability to relate sexually to others, and ability to communicate such feelings, thus giving an identity and acknowledgement to the sexual nature of abeing.

While religion has influenced the attitudes of society towards sex and love throughout history, the relationship between them has not followed a consistent path. In Ancient times, sexual love was viewed as being divine. This arose from the perception that the Gods possessed a sensual power. Poems contained in the Bible told of the love affairs of the Gods. The joy of sexual love was central to Judaism and expressing it was regarded as imitation of the Gods' behaviour.

The position of men and women in relation to sex and love has fluctuated. The mythology of Ancient Egypt was based on equilibrium between two forces, such as day and night, or men and women. With such equality, sexual love was viewed positively for both genders. As sex was seen as a mirroring of the sexual acts of the Gods, there had to be one or more female god, yet she was removed and denied existence, initiating the sexual suppression of women. The words of the Book of Genesis negatively impacted on women, with their role as life-giver no longer celebrated. Instead, they were condemned as the cause of evil. Christians regarded the world as belonging to men, with females inferior; the property of males. Intriguingly, it was the influence of Islam, concealing and yet honoring women, which improved European attitudes.

In general, Indian men and women are not expected to have sex before marriage. While there is some laxity with regard to men's sexual behaviour, women's chastity is still greatly valued. However, studies show that there is premarital sexual activity in the country, with the rates being higher for men than women in every study. As mentioned earlier, Jejeebhoy's review of studies on adolescent sexuality (2000) showed that the rates for women ranged from 0-10% of unmarried girls and women and from 20-30% of unmarried boys and men, depending on the study. These studies varied in type from self-administered questionnaires in magazines and respondent interviews to reports from clinical examinations. They were not comprehensive and tended to cover sub-populations. The first type of study tended to cover urban upper and middle class populations due to self-selection in readership, while the community studies were mostly of students, and poor and tribal populations.

In the popular media, there is now a sense that sex before marriage is on the rise with the social and economic changes brought about by globalisation. The increasing exposure of youth to western culture is thought to have effected a change in moral attitudes towards sex before marriage. That premarital sex is entering popular culture was reflected in a mainstream Hindi movie which had the protagonists, played by popular actors, living together and having a child before marrying each other. Further, certain trends such as the increase in urbanisation, financial independence among young women through employment, and the age at marriage support this argument, as do studies gauging the attitudes of youth to premarital sexuality. …

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