27 February 2011

The Answer to Teenage Sex: More Mosques...

Sexually active young people is hardly a new phenomenon. Maybe the 'scope' of what we read about in the news now is that teenagers themselves are more open about talking about their experiences than they have ever been in the past. So, this might be a case of teenagers being more truthful about their extra-curricular activities for statistical purposes.

Nevertheless, the moral and religious crusaders go to great lengths to tell us that this is indicative of a failing society and that the beginning of the 'end of days'. This leads to obvious "answers" to be put forward by these individuals. The answers always involve religious and moral instruction in places of worship.

So, there is no surprise when the Mayor of West Jakarta, Burhanuddin,  reckons that the best way to combat casual sex amongst teenagers is to build more mosques and indoctrinate them on all things religious and moral.  To each their own. In my mind, the best way to address this issue is to ensure that our teenagers are indeed educated. However, that education is not one of religion or morality. The education, or lesson, is one of responsibility. If you are a teenager and you are dead keen to have sex then it will be almost impossible for adults to prevent it from happening.

Assuming that others are of a similar view, then the issue is one of ensuring that teenagers know the risks and consequences of engaging in pre-marital sexual activity. If the Indonesian Commission for Child Protection (KPAI) are to be believed, then there are some 32% of Indonesian youths in the 14-18 years of age in Indonesia's larger urban centres of Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Medan and Yogyakarta are engaging in sexual activity. Once again, the most critical component of any response to this is to ensure that youngsters understand the risks and consequences, and then act responsibly and from a position of being forewarned and forearmed.

It seems a little naive to think that the solution to this "issue" is one of building new mosques and mandating that youths attend special sessions on pre-marital sex. I wonder whether these are non-denominational sessions or Burhanuddin is only concerned about young Muslims and their sexual appetites? One would have imagined that pre-marital sex is a community issue and not one that is exclusive to Islam, Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism.

I guess to be fair, one must give Burhanuddin a chance to show that his plan is capable of teaching these youths about safe sex, sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and responsibility amongst the expected God prohibits unmarried teenagers from having sex (and if you do so then you are going straight to hell!)

There goes another RAB Experience rant and rail.
Ho hum...


lawbugger said...

32% of Indonesian youths in the 14-18 years of age in Indonesia's larger urban centres of Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Medan and Yogyakarta are engaging in sexual activity

I cant believe this. And, sexual activity is not having sex.

Let society do what society will do to make this a lesser problem. Your last paragraph is well put - we should give him a chance. I would say most adults in Australia wouild not want their kids at 14-18 to indulge in sexual intercourse. And I would say that many in this age group simply don't. Perhaps its because they know better or have a higher sense of responsibility. But no more or less than kids here.

I would be more concerned about the young who are above 18 in Indonesian society. They are likely to be most confused about what to do next.

dyhkas said...

as a one of the teenager who live in Indonesia, the fact is not surprising for me. even I have known group of people who sexually active since I was in junior high school. worse, I also found out some of friends that did abortion. one of the fundamental problem is from parents, I think. Most parents didn't give their children sex education. they think that talking sex is disgusting and forbidden. most teenagers seeking the information from internet which is, only provide little information. they believe what friends say and "myth" even though what they believed sometimes utterly wrong. then... they having sex without knowing what dangerous thing will happen after that.

Rob Baiton said...

@ Lawbugger...

C'mon Lawbugger, you can't believe it! Why not?

"Sexual activity is not having sex"! Ah, how very Bill Clinton of you :)

Mate, I think you might find that there are more kids having sex than we care to believe because it suits us to bury our collective heads in the sand and pretend it is not happening.

Rob Baiton said...

@ Dyhkas...

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. All comments are welcome and appreciated!

I don't know that the most simple of answers is more sex education or parents assuming more responsibility for teaching their kids about the birds and the bees.

My personal opinion is that the responsibilities need to be shared all round. But, when it is all said and done some of that responsibility, and perhaps the ultimate responsibility, falls to the teenagers themselves to get educated and to make good choices and decisions for themselves regarding their sexual practices.