11,102 male respondents aged between 15 and 24 participated in the study, conducted through systematic random sampling in all 64 districts
As many as 63% men approve resorting to physically assaulting their partner if they withhold sex, a nationwide study has found.
The findings of the report, “Male Youth and Their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Bangladesh: A Mixed-Methods Nationwide Study,” conducted by James P Grant School of Public Health of Brac University, funded by The Netherlands Embassy in Bangladesh, was unveiled at a webinar on Thursday.
Meanwhile, 73% of the respondents worried about their sexual performance. They said they worried whether their partners were satisfied sexually.
The study represents the poor sexual health scenario for male partners in the society, starting from education to the healthcare arena.
Some 11,102 male respondents aged between 15 and 24 participated in the study, conducted through systematic random sampling in all 64 districts (from 81 urban and 289 rural clusters).
Samples were collected using three different methods from August 2019 to February 2020, as the study eyed three objectives, whereas, the qualitative research was done in Chittagong, Satkhira, Sunamganj, and Bandarban.
According to the study, 60% respondents first learned of puberty from their peers while it was found that 75% of the respondents have watched pornography at least once during lifetime. The average age for watching pornography for the first time was around 15 years.
About 11% of the respondents used sexual stimulants during sexual activity at least once such as viagra, yaba, alcohol, and herbal potions, the researchers found.
It was a shocking revelation that 62% of the respondents believed that there are times when wives “deserved to be beaten." And some 63% of the respondents agreed, from both urban and rural areas, that "wives can be beaten if they deny to have sex with their husbands."
The research found that only 6% males consulted healthcare professionals at least once while most could not out of shyness and embarrassment. Informal health care providers like Kabiraj, homeopathy doctors, and local pharmacists (with or without degrees) are the most reported first points of contact for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) problems, such as erectile dysfunctions, wet dreams, or genital ulcers.
About 54% of the respondents had not heard of STI/STDs. While 27% of young males had not heard of the term “family planning.” Researchers termed the trends as sensitive and said for 59% of erectile dysfunction cases, and 61% of urethral discharge cases, the respondents sought advice from the informal sector.
Interestingly, unmarried males were more prone to use condoms but still only 55% used them, while only 30% married used condoms during sexual intercourse. At least 29% of young males said that condoms reduce pleasure, the study found.
The average age for the first sexual experience is 16.5 years and 18% of young unmarried males had sexual experience at least once while it was also found that the married respondents had more than one sexual partner in the last three months, apart from their wife.
The study also found that male SRH issues are not equally and elaborately described in textbooks compared to females, and teachers are not adequately sensitised to these issues, which is why sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) sections of the textbooks are mostly ignored in classrooms and exams.
According to the study, despite having 11 SRHR programs, there are no programs solely designed for male youth as they are included only for female SRHR.
Replying to a question, Mushfiqua Zaman Satiar, senior policy advisor-SRHR and Gender of The Netherlands Embassy in Bangladesh, said the project is to promote comprehensive sexuality education in madrasa and school level so that no one can get any wrong information.