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Category Archives: Sex Education

While You Were Sleeping (On Reproductive Health Issues)

“While You Were Sleeping” is a romantic comedy which tells a story of a train token collector who has a crush on a regular commuter, saves him when from being ran over by a train when muggers pushed him onto the rail track, and misinterpreted as the fiancee when he falls into coma. But while the man she has a crush on is in a deep sleep, she made the family come closer and fell in-love with her “fiance’s” brother.

In the Philippines, reproductive health bill has been proposed, and few months shy from her debut, several have happened white it was ignored since drafting.

While You Were Sleeping…

The Philippine population ballooned to a population of 101,833,938 (July 2011 est, http://www.indexmundi.com/philippines/demographics_profile.html). The estimated birth rate is at 25.34 births/1000 population. The age structure is as follows:

  • 0-14 years: 34.6% (male 17,999,279/female 17,285,040)
  • 15-64 years: 61.1% (male 31,103,967/female 31,097,203)
  • 65 years and over: 4.3% (male 1,876,805/female 2,471,644) (2011 est.)
  • According to the World Bank report, our population density on 2010 reported on 2011 was 312.78 persons per sq. km, from a previous of 307.55 on 2009. (Source: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/philippines/population-density-people-per-sq-km-wb-data.html). This is a far cry from the ideal population density of 50-100 people per sq. km.

Consequently,

  • A big fraction of the population ranked themselves poor, and this kept increasing annually. In order to survive, people resorted to odd jobs, to the extent of trading themselves just to earn a living — organ donor, drug mules, prostitutes, escorts, cybersex partners, and what have you.
  • Mothers, whose body cant take anymore the burden of successive pregnancies, have been dying and dying, at an average of 11 per day.
  • Many parents cannot afford to send their children to school. Instead, they send them begging at the street (one father even had the nerve to buy cigarettes with his child’s earnings), pimp them to pedophiles and child pornography and whatever sort, just to augment the family’s income.
  • Many parents cannot afford to feed all of their children adequately, making them malnourished and sickly. Some parents even gather leftovers from fastfood restaurants, cook and feed it to their children as “pagpag”. And there was one senator who complained why this was featured in an international news network, as if denying this will cloud the fact that it exists. Malnutrition underlies all of the disorders causing under-five children’s mortalities.
  • Many parents cannot afford life-saving vaccines not offered in government health centers, making their children contributors to the mortalities among under-five population.
  • Parents are forced to go abroad to: (1) find employment as there’s no suitable job appropriate for their skills; (2) augment the meager income of the spouse; (3) help sustain the expenses of the (super-) extended family.
  • Unwanted and unplanned pregnancy has also led to abortions. Unfortunately, some mothers have died of complications from this.

While some Filipinos opted to work abroad…

  • Some OFWs contracted HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, brought it home and spread to their partners.
  • Children lost mother/father figure who’s supposed to guide them growing up, making some of them end up as juvenile delinquents.
  • Adolescents who were not being guided during that most important phase of their life when parental guidance is badly needed, ended up pregnant/impregnating someone, significantly increasing to 70% over a decades time, as attested by UNFPA.
  • Some priests blamed rise in incidence of teenage pregnancies to moral values breakdown. (What? Why, how did it happen this way? I thought you were the moral shepherd in the country! Does that mean, you’re not being heard by your flock, irrelevant?)
  • Husbands left in the country had been committing incestuous crimes, adultery, bigamy, etc.

While mothers are dying…

  • Their children became unattended and thus their kids ended up juvenile delinquents (paulit-ulit? E sa totoo naman kas!)
  • Daughters tend to get pregnant earlier
  • Bereaved children experienced significant decline in physical health status, increased psychological distress and even increase in alcoholic consumption. (Source:  http://www.jstor.org/stable/2096138 )

While you thought sex education is taboo and should never be introduced to young children…

  • Children are resorting online for their inquiries and sexuality. Unguided, they are already accessing pornography online. (In fact, in a related incident, a child in the US was enlisted as a sex offender for life, at age 13, even without kissing a girl or having had sex with any but by mere accessing child pornography, online.)
  • Because of peer pressure and ignorance, teenagers are experimenting, ending up getting pregnant earlier, when their physical body isn’t prepared yet. UNFPA reported that incidence of teenage pregnancy ballooned to 70% from ten years ago.
  • HIV/AIDS and STI have explosively increased from 1984 to present… (see http://www.doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/NEC_HIV_Feb-AIDSreg2012.pdf). Philippines is one of the only 5 countries where HIV/AIDS incidence is increasing.
  • Studies revealed that age-appropriate have delayed exposure to intercourse, increased use of contraceptives at first sexual intercourse, and did not promote promiscuity. (And yet the CBCP blames loose moral values as the culprit. Wasn’t that their job in the first place? So they have slackened? Shouldn’t they be ashamed pointing fingers and passing judgements?)
These are but few of the obvious implications of “sleeping” on this important measure. The casualties of reproductive health bill non-passage and non-implementation aren’t only the mothers who died because of abortion nor complicated pregnancy. It goes beyond, it also those children less than five years old – neglected and not having cared for thoroughly, appropriately and adequately due to poverty – which emanated from…?
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Teenage Pregnancy – The Cases

Teenage Pregnancy – The Cases.

 

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(photo credit: http://www.blogrunner.com/snapshot/news/0/5/jamie_spears_tv_teen_pregnancy/)

Adolescent or teenage pregnancy is defined as pregnancy in girls aged 19 or younger. In the United States, adolescent pregnancy and babies born to adolescents have dropped since reaching an all-time high in 1990. This is mostly due to the increased use of condoms. Adolescent pregnancy is a complex issue with many reasons for concern. Kids age 12 – 14 years old are more likely than other adolescents to have unplanned sexual intercourse . They are more likely to be talked into having into sex. Up to two-thirds of adolescent pregnancies occur in teens age 18 – 19 years old.

Risk factors for adolescent pregnancy include:

  • Younger age
  • Poor school performance
  • Economic disadvantage
  • Older male partner
  • Single or teen parents (1)

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(image credit:  http://www.cdc.gov/TeenPregnancy/AboutTeenPreg.htm)

Developing countries proudly claim of steadily declining prevalence of teenage pregnancies, thanks to a functioning reproductive health program. On the contrary, our country’s demographics surged by 70% in a decade’s period. It is not dumbfounding to learn this as we have no reproductive health program in effect.

Here are some actual cases I have come across with…

Case 1. 15-year-old innocent girl, living with her grandmother, acquaints with a 21-year-old guy she first knew as text mate. On their first meeting, the girl was talked to having sex. Being innocent that she is, she agreed. A few days later, she became pregnant while the guy never showed up thereafter.

Case 2. 15-year-old third year high school student begets a boyfriend who is 17-years old. No guidance from parents, no sex education. As teenagers, they tend to experiment. Girl became pregnant.

Case 3. 17-years old female freshman, meets a fellow 17-year-old boyfriend. She became pregnant and delivered. Luckily the baby was healthy.

Case 4. 19 years old girl became pregnant while studying in the city. Parents of both are from the province. She never told anyone except her boyfriend that she was pregnant. She never went home while pregnant. She never had prenatal check-ups. At 28 weeks of pregnancy, she had preterm labor and she had to be admitted for control of labor. Labor couldn’t be controlled and she had to deliver prematurely. Baby was admitted immediately to the neonatal ICU. Only then were the parents of both the teenagers notified – that the girl was pregnant, that she delivered, that the baby was premature, and that the baby is in critical condition. (Can you imagine how shocked the parents were upon learning all these facts in a few minutes phone call?) The grandparents then rushed to attend to the mother and the baby. Unfortunately, baby had severe complications and didn’t make it.

Case 5. 13-years old girl, just recently graduated from elementary school, allowed to have a boyfriend, who was 15. She became pregnant and had to undergo emergency cesarean section for complications of labor.

Case 6. 19-years old student in an urban school while parents were left in the province. At 2nd year college, she stopped, kept on dating boyfriend, but pretending she was still going to classes. Her allowance was being used for their dates and what have you. She became pregnant but never informed parents of the condition. One time, mother visited her (while she was 28 weeks old pregnant). She had abdominal cramps. Her mother thought she was having appendicitis. She was brought to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. The initial attending resident was a surgeon, as expected by the mother, called an obstetrics resident, which surprised the mother. Upon evaluation by the OB resident, clueless that the mother didn’t know her daughter was pregnant, informed the mother the her daughter is about to give birth as the cervix was already fully dilated. She had to undergo immediate cesarean section as the baby was in breech position. (Preterm babies usually have bigger head relative to their body size. Thus when in breech position, there is a tendency for the head to be trapped within the uterus after the body was delivered, hence the indication for cesarean delivery). Baby was critical and was then at the neonatal intensive care unit. Luckily, they were able to support the needs of the baby and the latter survived.

I could go on enumerating cases with various surrounding circumstances and dramas. For as long as the Catholic Church keeps on intervening and “shielding” these young people with its infallible “teaching” and “morality,” preventing formal sex and reproductive health education to be incorporated into the student’s curricula, this social problem will keep on occurring, increasing and menacing each family, as what obviously happened; 70% increase over a 10-year period!

Seriously, THIS HAS TO STOP!

References

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002484/

2. http://www.cdc.gov/TeenPregnancy/AboutTeenPreg.htm

Teenage Pregnancy – The Cases

 

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Sex Education Among The Young – Scientific Evidence

Sex Education Among The Young – Scientific Evidence.

 
 

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Sexuality and Digital Media

Sexuality and Digital Media.

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in RHBill, Sex Education

 

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Sexuality and Digital Media

(Photo credit: http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/349386/enlarge)

Jamie is 13 and hasn’t even kissed a girl. But he’s now on the Sex Offender Register after online porn warped his mind… (Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2135203/Jamie-13-kissed-girl-But-hes-Sex-Offender-Register-online-porn-warped-mind-.html#ixzz1tC9S3XSW)

My mind was blown when I read this headline. It was benumbing to learn that a 13-year-old boy, who never touched a girl gets enlisted as a sex offender (for the rest of his life). He is now in the same ranks as those adult perverts who actively, sexually violated other individuals, even if he never committed any similar offense but merely accessed online pornography materials. This is disturbing as it could be a precedent of what will happen to our young and succeeding generations, what with the wide array of accessing the digital media.

SIGMUND FREUD’S PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT

(REFERENCE:  http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/ss/psychosexualdev.htm)

Freud believed that personality develops through a series of childhood stages during which the pleasure-seeking energies of the id become focused on certain erogenous areas. This psychosexual energy, or libido, was described as the driving force behind behavior.

If these psychosexual stages are completed successfully, the result is a healthy personality. If certain issues are not resolved at the appropriate stage, fixation can occur. A fixation is a persistent focus on an earlier psychosexual stage. Until this conflict is resolved, the individual will remain “stuck” in this stage. For example, a person who is fixated at the oral stage may be over-dependent on others and may seek oral stimulation through smoking, drinking, or eating.

1. THE ORAL STAGE
   
Age range: Birth to one year
Erogenous Zone: MOUTH

During the oral stage, the infant’s primary source of interaction occurs through the mouth, so the rooting and sucking reflex is especially important. The mouth is vital for eating, and the infant derives pleasure from oral stimulation through gratifying activities such as tasting and sucking. Because the infant is entirely dependent upon caretakers (who are responsible for feeding the child), the infant also develops a sense of trust and comfort through this oral stimulation.

The primary conflict at this stage is the weaning process–the child must become less dependent upon caretakers. If fixation occurs at this stage, Freud believed the individual would have issues with dependency or aggression. Oral fixation can result in problems with drinking, eating, smoking or nail biting.

2. THE ANAL STAGE

Age Range: 1 – 3 years

Erogenous Zone: Bowel and Bladder Control

During the anal stage, Freud believed that the primary focus of the libido was on controlling bladder and bowel movements. The major conflict at this stage is toilet training–the child has to learn to control his or her bodily needs. Developing this control leads to a sense of accomplishment and independence.

According to Freud, success at this stage is dependent upon the way in which parents approach toilet training. Parents who utilize praise and rewards for using the toilet at the appropriate time encourage positive outcomes and help children feel capable and productive. Freud believed that positive experiences during this stage served as the basis for people to become competent, productive and creative adults.

However, not all parents provide the support and encouragement that children need during this stage. Some parents’ instead punish, ridicule or shame a child for accidents. According to Freud, inappropriate parental responses can result in negative outcomes. If parents take an approach that is too lenient, Freud suggested that an anal-expulsive personality could develop in which the individual has a messy, wasteful or destructive personality. If parents are too strict or begin toilet training too early, Freud believed that an anal-retentive personality develops in which the individual is stringent, orderly, rigid and obsessive.

3. THE PHALLIC STAGE

Age range: 3 – 6 years

Erogenous Zone: Genitals

During the phallic stage, the primary focus of the libido is on the genitals. At this age, children also begin to discover the differences between males and females.

Freud also believed that boys begin to view their fathers as a rival for the mother’s affections. The Oedipus complex describes these feelings of wanting to possess the mother and the desire to replace the father. However, the child also fears that he will be punished by the father for these feelings, a fear Freud termed castration anxiety.

The term Electra complex has been used to described a similar set of feelings experienced by young girls. Freud, however, believed that girls instead experience penis envy.

Eventually, the child begins to identify with the same-sex parent as a means of vicariously possessing the other parent. For girls, however, Freud believed that penis envy was never fully resolved and that all women remain somewhat fixated on this stage. Psychologists such as Karen Horney disputed this theory, calling it both inaccurate and demeaning to women. Instead, Horney proposed that men experience feelings of inferiority because they cannot give birth to children.

4. THE LATENT STAGE

Age range: 6 to puberty

Erogenous Zone: Sexual feelings are inactive

During the latent period, the libido interests are suppressed. The development of the ego andsuperego contribute to this period of calm. The stage begins around the time that children enter into school and become more concerned with peer relationships, hobbies and other interests.

The latent period is a time of exploration in which the sexual energy is still present, but it is directed into other areas such as intellectual pursuits and social interactions. This stage is important in the development of social and communication skills and self-confidence.

5. THE GENITAL STAGE

Age range: puberty to death

Erogenous Zone: Maturing sexual interests

During the final stage of psychosexual development, the individual develops a strong sexual interest in the opposite sex. This stage begins during puberty but last throughout the rest of a person’s life.

Where in earlier stages the focus was solely on individual needs, interest in the welfare of others grows during this stage. If the other stages have been completed successfully, the individual should now be well-balanced, warm and caring. The goal of this stage is to establish a balance between the various life areas.

Given such background, it is but appropriate that the opportune time to educate children regarding human sexuality is during the Latent Stage, the age when rational, cognitive thinking begins. It is but proper that human sexuality be taught as a formal, standardized lesson, incorporated in their curriculum. Surely it will draw laughters and giggles while being taught, it being a formal lesson will eliminate the awkwardness and taboo that comes along with it when discussed by inexperienced and ill-prepared parents. If at this age we already can teach our children how to cook, what the ingredients are, and how to mix them up together to make the best recipe they can enter for a junior masterchef audition and competition, why can’t we teach them about sperm, ovum, penis, vagina, uterus, prostate gland, fertilization, zygote, fetus? Why can’t we teach them about their body parts? If we avoid educating our children at the most appropriate occasion, they will find different ways to fill in the void in their knowledge and nagging questions about themselves and their sexuality. The more it is hidden from their consciousness, the more it triggers their inquisitive minds and curiosity to find out about it through other means possible.

Digital media is a dangerous venue for this exploration, and is easily accessible. Even if parents prohibit their kids at home exploring through adult websites, these kids will just save their allowance and surf through those websites in internet cafes. Shop owners won’t mind nor do they regulate the websites accessed by their customers, as long as they pay. And if this happens, how many “Jamie” who got introduced to online pornography during a seemingly innocent “sleep over” in a friend’s house, are we breeding? Will it bring you pride if your child’s innocent life has been tainted with a lifetime label, a SEX OFFENDER?

Sexuality and Digital Media

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in RHBill, Sex Education

 

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Sex in the Young

(http://www.healthpractical.com/teenage-pregnancy.html)

A colleague of mine blogged about a 12 year old female patient of his… who got pregnant… after a gangbang… with friends of same age. Problem is, she couldn’t personally identify who the father of the child is. (Unless of course DNA testing will be done amongst all suspects).

Just earlier today, a news item showed a 13-year old boy, raping a six-year old girl. According to the news, in as much as the suspect can’t be arrested (for what reason I don’t know and understand), they settled to the tune of… 500 pesos only. Not 500,000, not 500,000,000, but merely 500 pesos. Insulting? A child’s honor and dignity is only worth that much?

Few weeks ago, I was called to attend to the delivery of one mom. When I did my interview with the grandmother, I learned that the mom was only 15 years old. When I asked who the father of the child is, if how old he is as well (because back in my mind, I was already considering a probable case of statutory rape), the grandmother declined to answer. I already understood that it’s something painful to talk about so I did not dig any further.

Bottom line is, all of the involved are minors. These kids are still having their body attain physical maturity in preparation for child-bearing role in the future. Yet here they are, already subjected prematurely to that role. What is wrong? What have gone wrong?

Drastic intervention is badly needed… And one method that will have a very significant impact to abate such increasing incidents is educating them properly about sexuality at a young age. Rational/critical thinking begins at around seven years of age; thus it is but logical to start teaching age-appropriate sex education around this age. Studies have already shown that sex education does not promote sexual promiscuousity among younger individuals; on the contrary, it delays the timing of first sexual encounter.

Until these young people do not understand their body, it’s function, the changes, their curiosity will keep them exploring things whilst unaware of the many consequences. The reproductive health bill includes sexual education of the young. Until RH Bill or similar bill including this scope isn’t enacted let’s not be surprised with increasing prevalence of sex-related issues among younger individuals.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2012 in RHBill, Sex Education