Changing Family Formation in Nepal: Marriage, Cohabitation and First Sexual Intercourse

By Caltabiano, Marcantonio; Castiglioni, Maria | International Family Planning Perspectives, March 2008 | Go to article overview

Changing Family Formation in Nepal: Marriage, Cohabitation and First Sexual Intercourse


Caltabiano, Marcantonio, Castiglioni, Maria, International Family Planning Perspectives


CONTEXT: In Nepal, marriage occurs at a relatively young age and arranged weddings are widespread. However, recent changes in the family formation process and the timing of first sexual intercourse suggest that a transformation may be under way.

METHODS: Data on marriage, cohabitation and first sexual intercourse from the 2001 Nepalese Demographic and Health Survey were used to describe the family formation process. The sequence of these events and the intervals between them were explored for currently married men and women. Hazard models were used to identify factors associated with behavioral changes overtime.

RESULTS: The average age at marriage among women married before age 20 increased from 13.7 years for those born in 1952-1956 to 15.6 years for those born in 1977-1981, while remaining relatively stable for men married before age 25 (17.3 years for the 1942-1946 birth cohort to 17.7 for the 1972-1976 birth cohort). After individual and couple characteristics were controlled for, younger age at interview was associated with greater odds of simultaneous marriage and cohabitation for both genders (odds ratios, 1.3-1.7). Younger age at interview was also associated with premarital sex among men-those aged 39 or younger had significantly higher risks than older men of having had premarital sex, with odds ratios rising from 1.6 among those aged 35-39 to 1.8 among those aged 15-24.

CONCLUSIONS: It is important not only to promote education as a means of delaying marriage and childbearing, but also to implement programs and services that prevent reproductive health problems for young married couples.

International Family Planning Perspectives, 2008, 34(1):30-39

In Nepal, as in other southern Asian countries, marriage is universal and occurs at a relatively young age. However, age at marriage celebration has increased. While women born in 1952-1956 married at the median age of 14.6 years, those born at the end of the 1970s married at 16.5 years. (1)

This description, however, is somewhat incomplete, as in many Asian countries the marriage celebration, which marks the beginning of a conjugal union, often precedes actual cohabitation. Cohabitation may be delayed for months or even years for a variety of reasons, such as waiting for the bride to mature physically or waiting for housing to be made available. Consequently, to fully understand the process of family formation in Nepal,* we must take age at cohabitation into consideration. The median age at first cohabitation has been rising slowly, but still remains below age 18 for women born in the early 1980s. (2) Moreover, because age at first marriage has risen more quickly than age at first cohabitation, the interval between marriage and cohabitation has decreased. Men are also marrying at later ages, although for men born in 1942-1976, age at first cohabitation has remained more or less constant, at around age 20. (3) Recently, however, signs of an increase in men's age at first cohabitation have begun to appear. (2)

Young age at marriage in Nepal is closely linked to the widespread practice of arranged marriages, where relationships and agreements between families prevail over individual choices. Thus, a decline in very early marriage, accompanied by a decrease in the interval between marriage and cohabitation, may indicate a change in the marital decision-making process and an increase in the level of involvement on the part of spouses in the formation of their own marital unions.(4-6) Indeed, a number of recent studies have documented important transformations in Nepalese marital traditions.

For example, an analysis of data from the 1996 Chitwan Valley Family Survey, which was conducted in an area undergoing rapid social change in south central Nepal, showed the strong negative effects of three characteristics--school enrollment, employment and having, visited health care services--on the probability of ever marrying. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Changing Family Formation in Nepal: Marriage, Cohabitation and First Sexual Intercourse
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.