Life is a never-ending process of changes and discoveries. As humans, curiosity is what drives us to discover new things because we are rational thinkers. We want to know explanations of undiscovered phenomena or some unusual occurrences around us. Each day, we change our own routines and our behavior to cater to the demands of the environment and the society. In some way, our beliefs will be altered because of the influence of the people around us. In the Philippines, one of the societal issues that we are experiencing now is the engagement of teenagers to the so called Pre-Marital Sex. As this issue progresses, teenagers become less and less aware of the consequences of the decisions they make at this time.
“But everyone’s doing it”, a common excuse people give themselves when engaging in premarital sex. We live in a society that tells us not being sexually active means you are missing half of life and your life is boring. Many teenagers today are sexually active. Teenagers from all walks of life are having sex at a very young age – One out of 10 adolescents’ reports losing his or her virginity before the age of thirteen – a 15% increase since 1997. Two-thirds of the teenage population are sexually active by the end of high school. This states that a relative amount of young adolescents is widely influenced by the media, groups and societies that they affiliate themselves with; thus, affecting their conceptions and beliefs about almost everything – May it be religious, psychological or sexual behaviors, practices and ideology.
Pre-Marital Sex is the sexual intercourse that happens between people before they get married. The significant and vital role that sex plays in an individual’s desire has remained undisclosed, and even sinful due to cultural-patterned negative attitude of the Filipinos towards human sexuality. In the aspect of science, Pre-Marital Sex the structural and functional characteristics of a person or organism that allow assignment as either male or female; sex is determined by chromosomes, hormones and external and internal Genitalia. Based on the type of gametes produced by the gonads, ova (macrogametes) being typical of the female, and spermatozoa (microgametes) of the male, or the category in which the individual is placed on such basis. Gender is much bigger and more complicated than assigned sex. Gender includes gender roles, which are expectations society and people have about behaviors, thoughts, and characteristics that go along with a person’s assigned sex. Gender is much more complex: It’s a social and legal status, and set of expectations from society, about behaviors, characteristics, and thoughts. Each culture has standards about the way that people should behave based on their gender. This is also generally male or female. But instead of being about body parts, it’s more about how you’re expected to act, because of your sex.
In the social perspective, let us focus more on the sexual affiliations the teenagers have as influenced by their peers. Badiana wrote barkada is the source of peer pressure during sexual initiation. Males really influence their peers to have sex. They always share their own sexual experiences to each other. When a member of a barkada reaches the age of 18 and above, and still without sex experience, the barkada usually pressures his friend to have sex. Female barkadas, on the other hand, advise each other against having sex before marriage. They tell each other that they will be sorry someday if they engage in sex even if they are not yet ready. (The Impact of Gender Sexuality and Social Institutions on Sexual Behavior and Reproductive Health among Youth in Bohol, Philippines – 2005). Furthermore, media-influenced teenage sexuality is also significant. The young adults tend to seek out sexual intercourse and affiliations more because of the exposed sexual content around them. For instance, pornographic websites X – Rated movies and magazines are the recurrent terms associated with sexual urges and reasons behind specific behaviors of teenagers related to premarital sex.
We humans are sexual beings, our sexuality encompasses a wide range of emotions, thoughts and expressions to more fully love others. Sex is pleasurable yes but young adolescents of today are not using it in the proper way, with our sexuality, we have a choice, Tom Ehart wrote, Remember that sex must be looked at as a whole, not just as a singular act physical passion. In addition, sexual intercourse needs to always be looked at for what it was “wholly” created for, to unite a couple in their marriage bond, making them “one,” and be open to the possibility of bringing a new life into the world. (Dating, Sex, Me & GOD – 1995). Clearly premarital sex is viewed as an outdated rule made by the Church because they view sex as a dirty act when in fact the Church views it as a holy and sacred only reserved by those in holy matrimony. We are gifted with sexuality, and what we do with it matters, it’s like being a gifted singer/dancer/actor and overall playing bad, we could sing dirty songs, dance to sleazy songs and act in adult films all the while using the gifts we were given. We were given this gift of sexuality for the whole purpose of re-creation and reproduction.
A growing number of young Filipinos are engaging in premarital sex (PMS), with most girls having their “sexual debut” in their boyfriends’ homes, a report of the United Nations Population Fund and the Commission on Population shows. The report, entitled “State of the Population Report, 2nd Issue suggest that boys are more adventurous than girls as the former identified the classroom as one of the venues for their first (sexual) experience. The workplace can also be the location of these experiences, slightly more so for girls than for boys,” the report says. The report was based on the Young Adult Fertility Survey-3 where about 20,000 youths aged 15 to 24 were interviewed. The survey shows an increase in PMS prevalence from 18 percent in 1994 to 23 percent in 2002 and two out of 10 young Filipino adults. Ninety-four percent of those who had experienced PMS admitted that they were “unwilling and unprepared to become parents.” “Sex becomes risky when done by those who are physiologically and psychologically ill-prepared for its consequences. And early sex among (the) youth is much riskier,” the study says.
At present, the researchers, developing a plan to determine the perceptions and beliefs of SHS Students towards PMS not just to know their thoughts but also to know how to address the conflict between morality and the sexuality in the future. Furthermore, the study is mainly for understanding the factors that affect the SHS Students on their beliefs and perceptions on PMS.