Youth aged 15-24 represent a growing and heterogeneous proportion of the world’s population. Investing in young people’s health and wellbeing is critical to promoting growth and development, not only for individuals but also for communities and nations. The majority of today’s youth are living in urban areas.In an urban or city environment, opportunities for jobs, education, better housing and health care are often more widely available than in rural areas. But these benefits are usually unevenly distributed and urban poor have limited or no access to many urban amenities. The lives of poor urban youth are therefore characterized by inadequate housing, high rates of unemployment, limited or no infrastructure, poor social services, violence and crime. Youth living in urban areas may also be exposed to greater sexual freedoms, more liberal and diverse ideas about sexual relationships and more occasions for engaging in unhealthy sexual behaviors. While harmful traditional practices like early marriage may dissipate in the urban environment, protective traditional values, such as social cohesion and accountability, can also give way. For many urban youth, this shift in values and increased freedom collides with a trying developmental life-stage: adolescence. Adolescence, from 10-19 years of age, is characterized by physical, emotional, cognitive and social changes that are both positive and negative. As adolescents strive for independence, seek autonomy, experiment, challenge authority, explore their sexuality and experience feelings of invincibility, they are prone to take risks that may impact their health. An analysis of DHS data from Benin and Madagascar was conducted to examine how socioeconomic status, education levels, marital status, media use, or other factors might influence urban youth SRH behaviors and outcomes within and between countries.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs
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Dérerminants comportementaux de la santé sexuelle et reproductive des jeunes en milieu urbain: Analyse secondaire des données des enquêtes démographiques et de santé réalisées au Bénin et à Madagscar
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