Main Article Content
“Sexual health is an integral part of overall health, well-being, and quality of life” (WHO, 2022). It encompasses all sexual dimensions such as sexuality, sexual development, sexual decisions, sexual orientation, sexual behaviors, and sexual hygiene. Discussions and discourses regarding adolescent sexuality are significantly less in our society. In the wake of an alarming increase in sexual crimes in our society, it is imperative to discuss adolescents’ sexual health needs in India, particularly Kerala. In 2021, Kerala Police reported 3549 cases under the POCSO Act (Kerala police, 2022). In cases reported among minors, it has been found that there is a growing influence of immature sexual behaviors and decisions due to ignorance in handling relationships and difficulty making decisions about sexual matters.
This study has been conducted among institutionalized male adolescents in the Thrissur and Ernakulam districts of Kerala. There were no studies carried out among institutionalized children on sexual health in India. This study focuses on awareness, attitude, and behavior among institutionalized male adolescents on their sexual health. A descriptive study was carried out among 265 samples from Child Care Institutions (CCIs) using a self-administrated questionnaire. The study results reveal that institutionalized male adolescents have a basic understanding of terms related to physical body developments but no more profound understanding of sexual developments and sexual health matters. The study identified several misconceptions regarding menstruation, masturbation, and pornography. This study’s findings would be insightful to the government authorities, institutional authorities, parents, teachers, social workers and scientists, educational administrators, curriculum planners, activists, and NGOs working for children, to pay attention to the sexual health of adolescents.