With 1.8 billion young people aged 10-24 years in the world today, the cohort of adolescents and youth is the largest in history. Concurrently, millions of adolescents are confronting sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges, including high rates of unmet need for contraception, unintended pregnancy, and clandestine and unsafe abortion. Social norms or shared understandings of how oneself and others should behave can alleviate or exacerbate these challenges. Rapid global changes over the past 25 years have increased the spotlight on the interrelationships between social norms, health, and development. Across diverse disciplines (e.g., anthropology, psychology, and economics), there has been an explosion of research exploring the relationships between social norms and SRH. In particular, this body of research has examined the role of gender norms or the subset of social norms that reflect understandings of how women compared with men should behave.
Journal of Adolescent Health 64, S7-S9
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