13 Nov 2005

Teen abortions, STDs on the rise

SINGAPORE (dpa) - Four teenagers have abortions in Singapore every day and more than 600 teens get sexually transmitted diseases each year, published surveys said on Saturday.

The latest government data in The Straits Times showed an average of 1,500 teenagers having abortions annually in each of the last five years and 840 having babies each year.

The results of three separate surveys indicate as many as one in five teenagers could be sexually active in the conservative city-state. In 2002,238 youngsters aged 10 to 19 were infected with STDs.

Many parents and teachers in Singapore treat their charges as sexual innocents, and sex education programmes in schools promote abstinence without mentioning condoms.

Pro-contraception advocates maintain an over-emphasis on abstinence is unrealistic when media and the Internet are feeding teens portrayals of sexual encounters as the norm.

They question the effectiveness of the current abstinence approach, which does not deal with protection from disease or unwanted pregnancy.

A survey by Action For AIDS (AFA) found one in four of 500 at-risk and out-of-school youths between 15 and 21 had sex. Of these, 80 per cent had done so "at short notice", and 60 per cent said they never used condoms.

Muslim Malays in predominantly Chinese Singapore form a disproportionately large group among the teens who become pregnant or have abortions, the data showed.

Last year, 417 Malays aged 19 and younger gave birth, nearly 53 per cent of all teen births.Malay teens are also over-represented in the abortion statistics, accounting for a third compared to 21 per cent in 2000.

Teen abortions, STDs on the rise


Though perceived more of a social issue than political(the focus of this blog), it is important in that it shows the failure of the education system in educating our youth about sex and sexuality. The MOE, I've found, tends to over-protect its youth, to their detriment. Our teenage "hookers" show that all too well.

The ironic part about this? The government will likely react with a stricter clampdown on sexual education and outreach to youth.


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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The article is from Brunei, what do the prudes over there know about sex?! But I'm quite sure we were taught about contraceptives like condoms. And anyway, the article's main focus is on muslim malays, who I've learnt, think is a waste of money to buy condoms or use contraceptives cuz they're actually supposed to abstain from pre-marital sex.

The ironic part about this? The government will likely react with a stricter clampdown on sexual education and outreach to youth.

The ironic part is there's really nothing much to clamp down on unless you include drawing the womb and shy female teachers giving vague answers and dispensing silly advice like, "if you people feel the need to jerk off, go take a cold shower or exercise!" which is probably true but doesn't tackle the root of the problem.

The military should just dispense leftover condoms meant for overseas exercises to civilians huh.

Anonymous said...

"The ironic part about this? The government will likely react with a stricter clampdown on sexual education and outreach to youth" is very unfair and basicaly untrue.

Years ago sex edu was a taboo topic but now it is discussed in closed-door sessions with specialised speakers for boys and girls separately. Primary 6 students, Sec 1 and 2 students should have went through this.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Isn't this article a remarkably lousy one? The title asserts:

"Teen abortions, STDs on the rise"

But in fact the figures do not tell you whether teen abortions are really on the rise, and whether teen STD cases are really on the rise.

We are told that "four teenagers have abortions in Singapore every day", but is this really a rise? Where were the figures in 2003, or 2000, or 1995?

We are told that "more than 600 teens get sexually transmitted diseases each year", but is this really a rise? How many teens were getting the disease in 2004 or 2002 or 2000 or 1998?