Family life education in its broader sense includes all educational efforts designed to make the most of family living. In this context the present study aimed at understanding the concept of family life education among the rural and urban adolescent girls of Jammu. The sample consisted of 400 girls, 200 from rural areas and 200 from urban areas of Jammu district. As the sample was selected from those who were in school ,a questionnaire was used to collect the data. This tool was based on the content in their books based on five key areas-health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, growth and development, gender sensitization, sibling relationships, personality development, family and interpersonal relationships. In the areas of growth and development issues like puberty, menstruation, and reproduction were included and results show that the adolescent’s knowledge regarding such issues was quite poor. The significance of the findings becomes apparent when one considers the fact that the school curriculum includes most of these topics. None of the respondents was able to give scientific explanation to queries based on these topics. In depth interviews and discussion with some of these girls showed that teachers avoid topics like ‘Human reproduction’, ‘Puberty’ and ‘Menarche’ and such sensitive issues are left for self study. Urban girls had relatively more knowledge about reproduction, nutrition, and HIV/AIDS. The girls want to have information and they want their mothers to be the source of this information but the communication among mothers and daughters on these issues is totally absent as these are taboo. ‘Saheli approach was designed to provide answer to the queries of these girls and the mothers were motivated to talk to the girls on these issues.
This need is particularly felt in India, because the school curriculum till now did not include the crucial elements of family, interpersonal relations, health, nutrition, and reproductive health such as sexual development during the period of adolescence, HIV/AIDS and drug abuse.
There are contents on the biological aspects of the reproductive system, but education in these elements cannot be deemed complete just by simply giving the biological information.
There is a need to focus on physiological, emotional and socio-cultural dimensions of the adolescent reproductive health in a holistic manner.
After serious consideration, now a consensus has been reached on the issue of introduction of adolescence education in schools with a view to providing authentic knowledge to students regarding the process of growing up, HIV/AIDS and drug abuse, and thereby influencing their attitude, behaviour and value orientation.
This education ensures overall development of the adolescents.
There is an ardent need to understand the level of awareness of these concepts among the adolescents, especially girls who are more vulnerable because they don’t have any say in their destiny.
They need to be made aware about all these issues before they drop out for sibling care, sexual relationship like marriage, pregnancy, or due to poverty and socio cultural constraints, or before they face any major life shifts.
With too much emphasis on education and career the developmental needs are
Finding no information from parents they turn to unreliable sources of
As age at marriage is delayed there is dire need to know their level of
knowledge and to devise strategies to TALK to them on these developmental
200 Rural 5 Tehsils 5 villages from each tehsil 2 schools from each tehsil 4 students from each school 200 Urban 73 wards of Jammu 23 wards 2schools from each ward 5 students from each school Random Selection
Adolescents age distribution as shown in the figure.
Age wise distribution of adolescents
PARENT - CHILD RELATIONSHIP SCALE (PCRS) TABLE Showing Children’s Perception of Their Relation with Their Parents * Difference significant at 0.05 level 1.145 23.2 22.4 3.41 24.1 21.6 Neglecting 7.362* 30.9 26.0 7.750 31.2 25.8 Object Reward 5.141* 35.7 32.4 5.396 35.2 31.6 Loving 7.808* 36.7 31.9 6.99 31.5 36.5 Symbolic Reward 5.537* 27.7 24.5 13.08 32.0 23.7 Indifferent 2.120* 33.0 31.6 1.180 32.0 31.2 Demanding 0.242 23.2 23.1 1.497 21.9 23.0 Object Punishment 0.042 23.6 22.6 2.752 22.5 24.7 Rejecting 0.042 30.3 30.3 2.291 28.5 29.9 Symbolic punishment 3.659* 37.3 35.1 1.425 36.1 35.4 Protecting Mother’s Attitude Rural/Urban Mean t value Father’s Attitude Rural/Urban MEAN t value DIMENSIONS
KNOWLEDGE LEVEL REGARDING THE CONCEPT OF PUBERTY 33(17) 167(84) 126(63) 74(37) Prior knowledge regarding.. Yes No 56(28) 29(15) 56(28) 77(39) 31(16) 25(13) Menstruation signifies: Youth Dirt Not aware 191(96) 169(80) 174(87) 104(52) Age at full maturity attained: Girls 15-19 years Boys 15-19 years 112(56) 117(59) 161(80.5) 171(86) Age at which adol starts attaining maturity: Girls 11-15 years Boys 11-15 years RURAL(%AGE) N=200 URBAN(%AGE) N=200 PUBERTY
Knowledge regarding Reproduction, Nutrition and Health 92(46) 89(45) 19(10) 165(83) 17(9) 18(9) Health is: Balanced diet and fitness Good diet Not aware 9(5) - 191(96) 138(69) 23(12) 39(20) Nutrients deficient in a pregnant Indian woman’s diet: Iron Protein and minerals Not aware 176(88) 6(3) 1(2) 10(5) 81(41) 15(8) 11(6) 40(20) Diet required during menstruation : Balanced food Avoid sour food Increase quantity Food fads 66(33) 95(48) 25(13) 131(66) 116(58) 35(18) 64(32) 22(11) Reproductive organ : Female Uterus Not Aware Male Testis and Penis Not Aware RURAL(%AGE) N=200 URBAN(%AGE) N=200 Responses
Knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS 95(48) 43(22) 62(31) 57(29) 40(20) - Is AIDS curable? Yes No Not Aware 15(8) 43(22) 21(11) 32(16) 89(45) 50(25) 26(13) 9(5) 11(6) 104(52) AIDs can spread through ... HIV Physical Relations Infection Blood Transfusion Not Aware 101(51) 90(45) 2(1) 110(550 54(27) 22(11) AIDS is … Not Aware Disease Acquired immuno deficiency syndrome 145(12) 147(740 HIV is… Not Aware RURAL(%AGE) N=200 URBAN(%AGE) N=200 RESPONSES
Preferred Source of Information regarding issues in FLE
Showing Adolescent’s Source of Information Regarding Issues in FLE 165(82.5) 14(7) 20(10) 4(2) 154 (77) 24(12) 20(10) 4(2) Extent of information to be provided in this regard? Full /In-depth Acc to age Not much Not aware 128(64) 20(10) 52(26) 156(78) 38(19) 6(3) At what age should this education be provided? 10-15 years 16-30 years Not aware 48(24) 36(18) 110(55) 4(2) 9(4.5) 13(6.5) 4(2) 66(33) 62(31) 28(14) 27(13.5) 9(4.5) 4(2) 4(2) Who should provide education regarding these issues? Teacher & Mother Mother Teacher Books & Parents Doctor Friends & Sister Not aware School going n=200 School going n=200 Rural (%age) Urban (%age) Source Of Information
India on verge of disaster if it doesn’t equip its adolescents for healthy living –personal and interpersonal
The vision of learning is confined to “homework” and “tuitions”
Searching information by interacting with the right medium is not ingrained either in culture or curriculum
Education system teaching them to be independent
Awareness level of both urban as well as rural adolescent girls was quite poor regarding different issues in Family Life Education-puberty, menarche, reproductive system and organs, nutrition, health, HIV/AIDS etc.
None able to give any scientific explanation for the same even though topics included in the curriculum
Some even said that when a boy kisses a girl she becomes pregnant
There were more misconceptions and lesser knowledge about HIV/AIDS and menstrual cycle.
Parent child relationship scale revealed that parents were protective about their adolescent daughters and hence they didn’t want to expose their daughters to the information that they believe is harmful ,too soon
They believe that over exposure may lead to experimentation
They also don’t know how to start the discussion about these topics and hence they leave it
Chapters regarding these issues not considered important by the rural parents.
Low educational status of mothers is responsible for this
Savara and Sridhar(1992) found that parents and teachers avoid mention of sex in their day to day relation with their children because it is still considered as taboo and they lack scientific knowledge about these.
Sibling relations were positive but sensitive issues were discussed with friends only
Sample believe that mothers and teachers should provide them education regarding these issues at the age of 10-15 years of age
Teachers hesitate in discussing these topics and they are usually left for self study
Primary source of information is peers
Adolescents have positive attitude towards information seeking and a lot of queries
Sachdeva(1998) found that basic knowledge regarding anatomy and functions was obtained primarily through friends and books ,rarely from parents.
Age age at marriage is being delayed due to education and career awareness
But techniques to deal with developmental needs of adolescents still requires to be built up in a society which still is faced with the issues of early marriage
Fathers deny any role in this and they have left it to the mothers.
Sensitive issues like growth and development, familial relationships, personality development etc should be looked beyond the academic achievement
Interpersonal skills AND PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT ARE INCOMPLETE without community interactions, but these children are so busy with their academic pursuits that the only time left is spent with media or peer
Individualization is setting in because of Lack of Time
Adolescents should consider their mothers as “friends”
Should not hesitate in clarifying their doubts
Should avoid information from unreliable sources
Indulge in extra curricular activities , learn about healthy competition and skills required for group work. This would give them a chance to develop healthy heterosexual relationships and teach them that there are other ways of getting along with peer group
Tell your mother if you are uncomfortable about something
It is not your fault if someone hurts you
You have right to be protected
Messages to be incorporated in the text Socialization and stereotyping with specific emphasis on gender issues. b Self, body, and clarifying confusions on sexuality. b Emphasizing the rights of children over their body, the right to say ‘No’, the right to a safe environment. b Issues of child sexual abuse and sexual health. b Exploring a concept of the self and self-esteem b Notions around our body and puberty - the fears and insecurities around it, examining societal norms vis-à-vis an individual’s likes and dislikes, role models, and imaging. b Emotion, caring, and love, sources of information, responsibility vis-àvis HIV/AIDS. b Family and relationships and molding children as motivators for other children (peer educator development).