In Adolescence, Girls More In Favour Of Equal Rights Than Boys: Bihar Study

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Between ages 10 and 19, girls were more egalitarian–in favour of equal rights–on gender issues than boys, according to a new study done in Bihar, one of India’s poorest regions.

 

The study, Understanding The Lives Of Adolescents And Young Adults, conducted by the Population Council, a New York, US-based health and development advocacy, in Bihar among 7,025 boys and girls from January to July in 2016, was published in 2017.

 

On being asked if educating boys was more important, 30% of 1,012 boys aged 10-14 said “yes” while only 21% of 764 equally old girls said “yes”. Only 2% girls said “unsure/can’t say” against 6% boys.

 

Source: Understanding The Lives Of Adolescents And Young Adults
Note: Among 1,012 boys and 764 girls aged 10-14 years

 

On whether girls were as good as boys at studies, 70.5% among 1,012 boys aged 10-14 said “yes” against 87% among 764 girls. Only 3% girls were unsure against 7% boys.  

 

Source: Understanding The Lives Of Adolescents And Young Adults
Note: Among 1,012 boys and 764 girls aged 10-14 years

 

While 39% among 1,012 boys aged 10-14 said they should do as much domestic work as girls, 45% girls also said so. At 0.9%, fewer girls were unsure about it than boys at 1.3%.

 

Source: Understanding The Lives Of Adolescents And Young Adults
Note: Among 1,012 boys and 764 girls aged 10-14 years

 

Among 1,821 boys aged 15-19, 23% said it was “ok” for men to beat their wives if they disobeyed. Among 3,428 girls in the same age group, 20% said so. Only 1.3% boys and 0.9% girls said “unsure/can’t say”.

 

Source: Understanding The Lives Of Adolescents And Young Adults
Note: Among 1,821 boys and 3,428 girls aged 15-19 years

 

The share of boys who said girls liked to teased by them rose from 2.8% to 5.2% between 10-14 years and 15-19 years. Among girls, the share dropped from 3.6% to 2.9%.

 

“[O]lder adolescents [aged 15-19 years] were more likely than younger adolescents [10-14 years] to express gender egalitarian views, particularly among boys,” the study said.

 

“Both boys and girls become more egalitarian, contrary to what research literature has so far shown,” said Rajib Acharya, one of the authors of the study.

 

(Vivek is an analyst with IndiaSpend and FactChecker.)