Name: Loh Hui Xin
Matriculation No.: U061710N
Date of Submission: 23/2/2009
The main reproductive health issues faced by adolescents and young adults are Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea, syphilis, AIDs and Chlamydia and unwanted pregnancies. The main issues mentioned above are mainly faced by youths in developed countries. It is reflected by the increasing prevalence of STIs and unwanted pregnancies among youths in developed countries such as Singapore (“Teen sex as a health issue”, 2008). The globalization of Western beliefs about sex and marriage, lack of parental guidance and peer pressure led to increasing liberalizations of beliefs about sex and earlier sexual activity among more youths. The suggested ways of addressing these problems will also be discussed. a) Globalisation of Western Beliefs and Change in Attitudes towards marriage
The change of beliefs about sexual activity could be caused by the globalization of undesirable Western values about sex. These values are often spread by the mass media. For instance, Western celebrities such as Paris Hilton posted her sex video with her boyfriend online that attracted the attention of the media and young people. The TV stations in many countries also broadcast American TV series such as Sex and The City and Friends which stresses the joy of unprotected pre-marital sex over the potential drawbacks of it. The negative influences from the media may lead to youths believing that having sexual intercourse before marriage is fine (Study links teen pregnancy, racy TV, 2008). Consequently, some youths experiment with unprotected sex and some become pregnant or infected with sexually transmitted diseases.
On the other hand, the attitudes of youths towards marriage had changed. Youths today do not view marriage with the same degree of importance as their predecessors and there is less prejudice against not getting married (Martin, Specter, Martin & Martin, 2003). Therefore, more people including youths feel that there is no need to abstain from sex before marriage. Hence, premarital sex becomes more ubiquitous and the reproductive health mentioned above arises. (b)Lack of Parental Supervision and Guidance
Parents in developed countries today are often preoccupied with work to spend time with their children. Hence, they neither have time to inculcate desirable values and beliefs about sex in their children, nor to supervise what their children do with their peers outside. If teenagers watch television programmes that advocate risky sexual behavior without guidance from their parents, they may believe that having unprotected premarital sex is permissible and safe (Study links teen pregnancy, racy TV, 2008). Some teenagers try to find information on the internet to satisfy their curiosity about sex, which may be unreliable (“She Googled to learn about sex”, 2008). Consequently, if they choose to be sexually active early, they may become victims of infections and unwanted pregnancies. (c)Ignorance of reproductive health and contraceptives
STIs and unwanted pregnancies become more common among youths because of their lack of knowledge about the male and female reproductive systems and contraceptives (Chong, 2008). As a result, they do not take any precautions. Some youths hold wrong beliefs that a female is infertile in the first few years after their menarche (Hatcher, Stewart, Stewart, Guest, Schwartz, Jones & Oakley, 1985), so they do not take any precautions against pregnancies or STIs. Some youths hold wrong beliefs about contraceptives or do not know how to use them correctly. Some youths wrongly believe that male condoms reduce the joy of love-making. Actually, condoms can delay premature ejaculation (Hatcher et al., 1985) and do not reduce the joy of sex. Newer designs of male condoms are infused with spermicides that kill sperms and are highly effective in preventing pregnancies and...