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Research Articles

Patterns of romantic relationships and dating among youth in Sri Lanka

Authors:

W. Indralal De Silva ,

University of Colombo, LK
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Malith Kumarasinghe,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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M. Suchira Suranga

Family Planning Association, Sri Lanka, LK
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Abstract

The aim of the study is to assess objectively patterns of romantic relationships and dating among the youth in Sri Lanka. Using a structured, pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire, a field survey was conducted in a sample of 1,100 unmarried 15-24-year old youth in  Puttalam, Nuwara Eliya, and Hambantota districts in the latter part of 2019, selected from various vocational and training centres, tuition classes, and NGOs. Of the 1,100 persons contacted, 1,057 completed the questionnaire. In the sample, 89% admitted having had one or more romantic relationships. Some 19% and 10% of males and females respectively reported having three or more such relationships. The proportion of males and females who had been romantically engaged at the time of the survey was 83% and 86% respectively. The continuation of romantic relationships was higher among females compared to their male counterparts with around 62% of the females continuing their present relationships for more than 2 years as compared to 51% of males.  Over 81% of the unmarried males having romantic relationships at the time of the survey, went out with their girlfriends while 85% of the unmarried females reported the same. This widespread prevalence of romantic relationships among youth could have both positive and negative effects on young people, so parents, educational authorities, and policymakers should neither overreact to nor ignore this objective reality.

How to Cite: De Silva, W.I., Kumarasinghe, M. and Suranga, M.S., 2022. Patterns of romantic relationships and dating among youth in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences, 45(1), pp.65–76. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljss.v45i1.8106
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Published on 14 Dec 2022.
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