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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Early marriage and sexual and reproductive health vulnerabilities of young women: a synthesis of recent evidence from developing countries

    Purpose of review: To review current evidence on the links between early marriage and health-related outcomes for young women and their children. Recent findings: Every third young woman in the developing countries excluding China continues to marry as a child, that is before age 18. Recent studies reiterate the adverse health consequences of early marriage among young women and their children even after a host of confounding factors are controlled. …

  2. How reliable are reports of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events in demographic and health surveys?

    CONTEXT: Age at sexual debut, age at first marriage or first union and age at first birth are among the most widely used indicators of health and well-being for female adolescents. However, the accuracy of estimates for these indicators, particularly for younger adolescents, is poorly understood. METHODS: For each of nine countries in Africa and Latin America, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from two surveys conducted five years apart were used to examine women’s reports of age at sexual debut, marriage or first union, and first birth. …

  3. On the impact of early marriage on schooling outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia

    This paper examines the effect of age of marriage on women’s schooling outcomes for 36 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia. We employ an instrumental variable approach to account for the endogeneity of early marriage driven by socio-economic and cultural factors. Our results show that delaying early marriage by one year is associated with an increase of half a year of education in Sub- Saharan Africa and nearly one third of a year of education in South West Asia as well as a lower likelihood of dropping out from secondary school of 5.5% in South West Asia.

  4. Individual and community-level tolerance of spouse abuse and the association with the circumstances of first sex among youth from six sub-Saharan African countries

    Youth who engage in early and premarital sex are at risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Most prevention programs ignore the mediating influence of the threat and experience of violence on these outcomes. Using nationally representative data from Lesotho, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, the autors used multivariate analyses to examine the association between individual- and community-level tolerance of spouse abuse on the age and circumstances of sexual debut among female youth. The youth sample sizes ranged from a high of 5007 in Malawi to a low of 3050 in Lesotho. …

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