Friday, March 24, 2017

Regional Studies Reveal Why Filipino Millennials Engage in Early Sex

 The word “complicated” nowadays is associated with relationship status as popularized in Facebook. Such word, however, can also describe the factors associated with the sexual behaviors of the young adults of this generation. The various regional studies undertaken by the Commission on Population through the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) and Demographic Research and Development Foundation (DRDF) using the data from the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study revealed that millennials engage in early sex for variety of reasons. Access to internet and social media and new information technologies are among the most prominent factors that facilitates early sexual engagement among young people. For example, the regional study for Metro Manila revealed that most of urban boys in the region are exposed to pornographic materials and have already engaged in sexual activities. Likewise, adolescents in Central Luzon who were exposed to internet early were also more likely to initiate sex. Mass media is also the main source of information on sex among millennials in CALABARZON. Interestingly, the home remains the most popular place for sexual initiation among teenagers in Central Visayas. Some regional further studies also showed the significance of education to the sexual and non-sexual behaviors of the young adults. In Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), young women with low education start childbearing much earlier than the rest of their counterparts. Same finding can be observed in Ilocos Region wherein the proportion of young people who had early sexual initiation is higher among those with low education. Relatively, those who are in school are more likely to smoke in Western Visayas, while in MIMAROPA, higher levels of schooling positively associated with more accurate and complete knowledge on HIV/AIDS. Apparently, there is a very high rate of early school leaving among the youth in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Moreover, various factors that influence the behaviors of this young adolescents were also identified. In Eastern Visayas, the parental living arrangement, primary raiser’s strictness, having same-sex friends with PMS experience, poverty, and perception of community acceptance of cohabitation, among others, were significantly related to their experience with early marriage. Likewise, personal, peer, and community-level factors are more strongly associated than family factors with the youth’s use of ICTs for sex-related purposes in Northern Mindanao. In Bicol, transitioning from being single to married occurred more quickly from age 15 onward for young females than for young males, while half of Caraga women 15 to 24 years old have already experienced being pregnant. Relative to this, young females in Cagayan Valley, regardless of whether they had teenage fertility, experienced complications during their first pregnancy. Majority of females’ sexual debut in Zamboanga Peninsula were unplanned, with a notable proportion forced into sexual intercourse. Further, only four in ten youth in the SOCCSKASARGEN region engaged in physical exercise at least twice a week. In Davao, suicide ideation was a significant determinant of the level of self-esteem, happiness, and life satisfaction, while suicide attempt was a significant determinant of the level of happiness. POPCOM Executive Director Dr. Juan Antonio A. Perez III emphasized the importance of the regional studies based on YAFS. “The YAFS 4 and the 17 regional papers present the current picture of the condition of today’s young adults. These studies helps program managers and the public to understand the sexual and non-sexual behaviors of the millennials. With this evidence, we can have more responsive interventions for young people. ” Dr. Perez said. “The results of the studies are very alarming especially on the increased incidence of unprotected sex among our youth. The risks of teenage pregnancy and STIs are relatively high. These figures support our call to lift the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Supreme Court in the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law. We should not deprive our youth of reproductive health services and comprehensive sexuality and education that would help them become healthy, happy and empowered adolescents.” Perez stressed. YAFS 4 was completed in 2013. It is co-funded by the Australian Government, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). The Commission on Population (POPCOM) together with the Demographic Research and Development Foundation (DRDF) Inc. and the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) will launch the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS4) Book and Regional Further Studies on March 23, 2017 at the Bulwagan ng Dangal, University of the Philippines, Quezon City. ### Information Management and Communications Division – Commission on Population Tel.: (02) 531-6978, (02) 531-6897 Email: Website:

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