Media reported that more young people are having sex at a younger age, constituting a potential social youth problem. Also, as reported on Jan 13, the number of sexually-transmitted disease is also on the rise. Our writers share with you their thoughts and opinions.
Ex beauty queen Ris “Boomz” Low is now the new spokesperson for a certain brand of condoms. An astute move by the brand? I think so. Negative publicity is no longer pariah given the popularity of reality TV whereby the most famous contestants (read: those that got acting or modeling offers after their stints) are those who are the most devious, loud and probably not the most suitable ambassadors of morality.
Sad to say, this piece of news is going to generate more heated discussion amongst our shiny, happy citizens than the dour news that more young Singaporeans in their 20s and 30s are being infected by sexually transmitted diseases being reported.
Someone I knew just shared with me, as we commiserated with each other over our recent misfortunes, that she had just undergone an abortion. At that point, whatever misfortune I had experienced seem minute when compared to what she had to go through just a week ago. But what really hit me, was that a single, smart, university graduate in her late 20s like her did not use a condom when having sex with a fling from her workplace. She barely knew the guy except that “he doesn’t seem like those who would sleep around”.
I was flabbergasted. I not going to stand on moral high ground and judge the act. What was truly worrying that a highly educated individual, a child of the Information Super Highway we know as the Internet made her decision not to use any protection based purely on how the man looked. What more can we expect of teenagers and young adults who might not be as savvy with information? Suddenly, the rising trend of STIs among youths does not seem all that surprising. What exactly went wrong here?
In our rush to equip our youngsters with the necessary education and skills to cope with the increasing demands of the 21st century economy, have we forgotten to teach them simple life skills like not judging a book by its cover, to consider the consequences of your actions? How about assessing and evaluating risks?
Morally, sex has been devalued. Teenagers speak of it more like a sport. Like a game of Soccer, they are eager to earn their own high scores. Even with sport, you wear protection when you run the risk of physical injury. Would anyone in the right mind play ice hockey without a helmet? Why shouldn’t this simple truth apply to the sport they call sex?
Perhaps its just a numbers game. Since more people have it, the disease is bound to spread and even more will be infected. That is unless we find a cure to completely eradicate it. If this is so, we then arrive at the issue of social responsibility. Those infected aren’t “retiring” from the game yet. The lack of social responsibility has far reaching implications, especially in this age of terrifying pandemics like the H1N1.
We need to address the problem fast and the carrot and stick approach will no longer work with our youths. We need to change mentalities, capture hearts and minds. Youths need to really know what they are getting into.
Miss Low certainly has her work cut out for her.
Writer: Mok Wen Guang, Educator