New Delhi: Are your children talking to you? Perhaps not.
Fathers appear to be worse off when it comes to communicating with their children. Only 7% boys and 4% girls aged 15-24 discuss “growing up” issues with their fathers, according to a recently-concluded youth survey.
Mothers were equally bad when it came to their sons, with only 6% boys confiding and “discussing life” with them. In comparison, 77% of girls spoke more freely to their mothers, mostly about issues relating to menstruation. The survey, conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences and Population Council and endorsed by the Union health ministry, spoke to nearly 51,000 married and unmarried young males and females from six states — Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
The survey found that school performance, which is not a sensitive topic, was the most common subject of conversation between children and their parents. In contrast, embarrassing topics, such as romance, relationships and reproduction, were rarely discussed with either parent (only 2% of young men and 6% of young women did so).
When it came to reproductive issues, children were equally secretive with both parents. The findings also suggest that parents controlled their children’s social interaction, particularly if it it involved members of the opposite sex. For example, 69% of young men and 84% of young women expected parental disapproval if theybrought a friend of the opposite sex home. In contrast, just 9% of men and 5% of women reported that their mother and father would be angry if they brought home friends of the same gender.
But there were some differences in perception on this matter. Among young men, for example, 64% of those from Maharashtra and the southern states perceived disapproval from both parents, but 71-80% of those from northern states said the same. For young women it was 74-85% and 82-97% respectively.
Papa Don’t Preach Just 7% boys and 4% girls aged 15-24 discussed “growing up” issues with their fathersOnly 6% boys confided and “discussed life” with their mothers but 77% girls spoke freely particularly about menstruationEmbarrassing topics, such as romance and reproduction were rarely discussed with either parentSchool performance, a topic that isn’t sensitive was the most common subject of discussionKids prefer relationship talk with peers: Survey
New Delhi: A government endorsed survey conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences and Population Council found that Indian parents were most likely to disapprove of love marriages for their children, as reported by 84% of young men and 94% of young women.
With regard to perceived parental reactions to a love marriage, state-wise differences were evident for young men, with those from southern states considerably less likely than those from other states to perceive disapproval (67-78% versus 85-94%). Among young women, in contrast, state-wise differences were negligible; over 90% of young women in all the states reported parental disapproval of a love marriage.
Almost all those who were interviewed had an arranged marriage. This led to only 30% of young men and 22% of young women being aware of what to expect from their married life. Friends rather than family were found to be the major confidants for both young men and women. Only 1% men were found to confide in their family members while 85% did so in their friends. In case of women, 20% confided in family and 46% in friends.
Persons with whom youth would most likely discuss personal matters varied considerably by the sex of the respondent and the type of topic. Young women tended to consider their mother as their leading confidante on two matters: those relating to taking a job (38%) and menstrual problems (72%); fewer young women (28%) considered their father in the same role on matters relating to taking a job and hardly did so on menstrual problems. Matters pertaining to boy-girl relationships, in contrast, were rarely confided in parents, the most likely confidants being peers (46%). Patterns among young men were different. As far as non-sensitive issue of taking a job, the leading confidant was their father, cited by 39% of young men.