SRI LANKA (Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka ; formerly CEYLON)


IndexAsiaSri Lanka

Featured: Tamils


Miles (2000)[1] found in 145 anonymous questionnaires among 13 to 17-year-old students that 46% had learned sex from videos and magazines, 32% from friends, 10% from parents and 12% from teachers. Over a quarter claimed not to be told by anyone. 10% claimed any sexual act (“sexual things”) in their life-time: 8% with peers, 5% with adults and 6% with adults for money. 1997 data for median coitarche age lie above age 20 for both sexes[2].

Winslow (1980)[3] provides a discussion of menarche rites.



“Children run naked up to three, four, five, and later in the villages, but are slowly brought to accept the attitudes of society, largely derived from Buddhism, which are as much those of shame as of modesty. Girls have restricted freedom, especially after the first menstruation, with which are associated particular rites-de-passage. No girl or young woman travels alone after dark, or even in daylight, except in very familiar situations. Heterosexual contacts are limited to home and school and the relations between the sexes closely guarded” (p295).


Featured: Tamils



Further references:


·        CRLP (2004) Women of the World: Laws and Policies Affecting Their Reproductive Lives: South Asia. []

·         De Silva, W. Indralal; Aparnaa Somanathan, and Vindya Eriyagama (January, 2003) Adolescent Reproductive Health in Sri Lanka: Status, Issues, Policies, and Programs. []





Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. VolumeI. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Dec 2004


[1]Miles, G. M. (2000) “Children don’t do sex with adults for pleasure”: Sri Lankan children’s views on sex and sexual exploitation, Child Abuse & Negl 24,7:995-1003

[2] UNAIS / WHO, Epidemiological Factsheet on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections, 2000 Update, p10

[3] Winslow, D. (1980) Rituals of First Menstruation in Sri Lanka, Man, N. S. 15,4:603-25

[4] Green, T. L. (1956) Cross Cultural Educational Adaptation in Ceylon,J Educ Sociol 29,7:292-304