High Prevalence of Child Marriage in India Fuels Fertility Risks, Study Finds

March 31, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

Many thanks to Sarah Hurlburt for this article from Boston University School of Public Health.

Despite India’s economic and educational reform efforts in the last decade, the prevalence of child marriage remains high, fueling the risks of multiple unwanted pregnancies, pregnancy terminations and female sterilizations, according to a new study led by a BU School of Public Health researcher.

The study, led by Anita Raj, PhD, associate professor of Social & Behavioral Sciences at BUSPH, found that nearly half of adult Indian women, aged 20 to 24, were married before the legal age of 18, and that those child marriages were significantly associated with poor fertility outcomes, such as unwanted and terminated pregnancies, repeat childbirths in less than 24 months, and increased sterilization rates.

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