Knowledge of Personal and Sexual Development Amongst Young People in Pakistan

Cult Health Sex. Jul-Aug 2005;7(4):319-32. doi: 10.1080/13691050500035367.


Pakistan has one of the largest cohorts of young people in its history, yet research on their circumstances and needs is still relatively new. In this study, twenty four focus group discussions were conducted to explore young peoples' experiences of gaining knowledge of personal and sexual development. Young women typically gained information from a limited number of sources within the home, while young men accessed a wide variety of information sources outside the home. Gaining information was frequently event-based, whereby specific events (i.e. puberty, marriage) trigger information provision to young people, however often too late to be educative. Overall, young people were critical of the quality of information they received, which often led to confusion and stress in understanding sexual development. Findings highlight a gap in formal systems of information provision. Although young people highlighted the merits of school-based information delivery, low school attendance and high drop-out rates amongst girls mean that alternative mechanisms of reaching young Pakistani women need to be identified.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Developing Countries
  • Family Planning Services / methods
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods*
  • Male
  • Narration
  • Pakistan
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Peer Group
  • Sex Education / methods*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires