A recent study has found that often recently married young women (in Gujarat and West Bengal) are likely to be coerced into sex. I admit I haven’t read the whole journal article, but this press release. It is annoying that despite the scope of the research only among two states, the tendency is to generalise this phenomenon for all of India. That aside, I can’t say I’m surprised at the findings:
RESULTS: Twelve percent of married young women experienced unwanted sex frequently; 32% experienced it occasionally. The risk of experiencing unwanted sex was lower among women who knew their husband fairly well at the time of marriage, regularly received support from their husband in conflicts with other family members or lived in economically better-off households. Frequent unwanted sex was associated with not yet having had a child or having become pregnant, with lower education and with agreeing with norms that justify wife beating.
CONCLUSION: For married young women, sex is not always consensual or wanted. Further research is required to determine the effects of unwanted sex on sexual and reproductive health outcomes and to help programs develop the best strategies for dealing with coerced sex within marriage.
This reminds me of a previous post of mine and that of a fellow Desi Critic (I have just joined the club as of today!) The persistence of an ideal type woman who remains coy and uninterested in sex except to fulfill her husband’s need severely limits women’s interest in sex–there is a myth that if they do, they are dirty and loose. Anyway, who can blame them for their lack of interest if men make little attempt to satisfy them? Well I certainly recommend reading the comments on DesiCritic.com because the issue is too complex to fully deal with here.