Perception of Sexuality and Body Image among Adolescent Girls

  • Sneha Parve Department of Community Medicine, Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Aritra Bose Department of Community Medicine, Topiwala National Medical College and BYL Nair Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Pratik Chide Department of Pathology, Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Keywords: Body Changes, Adolescent, Sexuality, Body Image


Background: Adolescence is a phase during which major developments of sexuality take place. Development of sexuality is an important bio-psycho-social development, which takes an adult shape during this period.
Objective: To study how adolescent girls perceive changes in their bodies during the growing period of adolescence and to study their sexual behaviour during this period.
Methodology: The study was a community-based cross-sectional study conducted among adolescent girls undergoing vocational training course at the rural health center. 100 participants enrolled in the institute for the course were included. A semi-structured questionnaire was prepared with informed assent. One to one interviews were conducted maintaining privacy, Data were statistically analysed using SPSS version 23.
Results: The mean age of the study participants was 16.02+/-1.2 years. We found that a prior awareness of menses is significantly related to a good feeling after menarche. About a third of the Community Health Workers (CHWs) felt shy or weird about their breast changes during adolescence and 66% were unhappy about their heights. 66% of the adolescents were practising masturbation and 38% among them were open to a physical relationship. 60% of them were not aware of medical intervention and 28% admitted to having experienced sexual assault.
Conclusion: Understanding adolescent development and the factors influencing it is of utmost importance as it will help the parents to guide their children in the crossroads of adolescence. Due to incomplete knowledge, accepting bodily changes during adolescence becomes difficult. We, as public health experts, need to commit to an educative practice of support for adolescents.


How to cite this article:
Parve S, Bose A, Chide P. Perception of Sexuality and Body Image among Adolescent Girls. Ind J Youth Adol Health. 2021;8(1):22-26.


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