By Rebecca B. Singson
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:55:00 06/14/2008
Filed Under: Health, Lifestyle & Leisure, Gender Issues
(First in a series)
MANILA, Philippines?The sexual revolution has ushered in a period in which the average adolescent experiences tremendous pressures to have sexual experiences of all kinds. Filipino teens get a higher exposure to sex from the Internet, magazines, TV shows, movies and other media than decades ago, yet without any corresponding increase in information on how to handle the input. So kids are pretty much left to other kids for opinions and value formation when it comes to sex.
Sexual misinformation is therefore equally shared in the group. Parents at home and teachers in school feel equally inadequate or uneasy to discuss the topic of sex with youngsters. The problem mounts because the barkada (gang) has a more profound influence than parents do and they exert pressure and expect the adolescent to conform to the rest of them.
In fact, female adolescents whose friends engage in sexual behavior were found to be more likely to do the same compared to those who do not associate with such peers. If the teen perceives her peers to look negatively at premarital sex, she was more likely to start sex at a later age.
Statistics in the United States show that each year, almost 1 million teenage women?10 percent of all women aged 15-19 and 19 percent of those who have had sexual intercourse?become pregnant and one-fourth of teenage mothers have a second child within two years of their first.
In the Philippines, according to the 2002 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (Uppi) and the Demographic Research and Development Foundation, 26 percent of our Filipino youth nationwide from ages 15 to 25 admitted to having a premarital sex experience. What?s worse is that 38 percent of our youth are...