Submitted to: Prof. IRMA R. TAN

Submitted by: MARC JOSEPH T. LOYOLA Comm 2 – B

January 11, 2010 The Philippines remains flooded with various developmental issues which, at present are still unresolved. One of which is poverty, that was reported by the National Statistical Coordination Board to exist or to be true for 26.9% all families in the year 2006. This figure, then, rapidly increased to a significant number of 42% in 2008. Such developmental issues include and are deeply associated with corruption, poor quality of education, unemployment, health issues, crimes, and environmental degradation (Stiftung, 2009). However, these are the only apparent incidents that are present in the country and there is another problem existing behind every person’s knowledge that needs to be paid attention to – premarital sex.

According to Mong Palatino (2007), the incidence of premarital intercourse is continuously growing in an alarming rate. In a study conducted by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI), it was found and stressed out that for every four Filipinos at least fifteen years old and at most twenty-four years old, one admittedly was engaging in premarital intercourse. Though there is the absence of comparable data from earlier periods, recent studies prove the hike in the rate of occurrence of premarital sex in the country. Data obtained from a research done in 1994 showed 18% of the respondents both male and female engage in the said act (Laguna, 2001). Moreover, the 1998 National Demographic and Health Survey reported that 3.6 million teenagers got pregnant and this is only a small fraction of those who had premarital sex and were unfortunate enough to get pregnant. Additionally, it was also shown in the 2002 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study of the UPPI and Demographic Research and Development Foundation that nearly one-fourth of the population aging fifteen to twenty-five already had sex experience. And in 2008 another research showed that this alarming case rose to almost 30% of the population of the same age group (Singson, 2008). This goes to show that indeed everyone needs to be aware of what is happening nowadays, not only of the big political scandals and other obvious societal issues but more importantly on social issues which may be the breeding ground for other problems of the community. To better put into perspective what is in the content of this paper, it is fairly important to fully comprehend what premarital sex is all about. Sex in a broad sense, as defined by the modern society, includes or refers to the insertion of the male reproductive organ into an anal, oral, or vaginal opening. Also, it may or may not involve penetration or genital contact and intercourse between members of the same sex (Grolier, 2002). It is now the modern era and it is undeniably true that liberalism has the zeitgeist of this time. Hence sex can be of any form especially in the urban areas (Frias, 2001). However, in the strictest manner, sexual intercourse is an act of penetration of the female reproductive organ by the male reproductive organ. Furthermore, it is an intimate act between two individuals of different sex for whatever their purpose may be (Baumer & South, 2001). The word “premarital” as defined in MerriamWebster’s Dictionary means relating to marriage or before marriage. With this knowledge, premarital sex, therefore, is the intimate act of sexual intercourse engaged in, with their free will, by two persons who are, at the time the act was or will be done, unmarried. Moreover, the term is generally used to refer to young adults, particularly the adolescents or more precisely the teenagers who are not yet considered to be of marriageable age. Nevertheless, it does not mean

that adults are excluded from it. It includes those who are presumably yet to be married (Baumer and South, 2001). Different religions and cultures have various views on the morality of sexual intercourse between unmarried persons: some strongly disapproves while some regards marriage is completely optional. This is an issue that the country should be concerned about. There has been a rise in the number of researches that deal with this issue and indeed, this has proven a lot of things. This cannot just be disregarded because the persons involved are not merely adults. Studies present that occurrence of premarital sex is more frequent in younger age groups. In fact in the data presented by Mong Palatino (2007) shows that 20% of premarital sex surprisingly occurs among high school students. And among all occurrences of this act, most were not planned or wanted and are not protected. Certainly, these do not just happen without a cause. All of these happen for various reasons and presented here are some of the major factors. Dr. Raymundo noted that those persons who more frequently drink alcohol and use drugs are more likely to commit premarital sex (Palatino, 2007). Drugs and alcohol play a big part in the change of sexual behavior of those who use them. In connection with this, a survey shows that those who drink and use drugs are prone have more than one sexual partners and have unsafe sex (Buddy T., 2008). In addition, alcohol, gives a ‘disinhibiting’ effect, which gives the individual a more confident feeling. Though it may cause impotency after long continued use, alcohol was also found to increase the sexual drive of individuals, more often the men, who drink. Furthermore, it makes the individual, preferably the male, more comfortable in engaging or initiating sex (Silverberg, 2007). Family is the refuge of everyone who is looking for love; however it can also be a major factor in pushing the youth to have sex. Singson (2008) cited, for instance, parents at home who feels inadequate or, in some way, uncomfortable in having a dialogue with their youngsters regarding the topic sex. This leaves the youngsters to find answers or clarifications for themselves, which would soon lead to curiosity and eventually experimentation. What is even worse is living away from parents, wherein maternal control is lost. Elma P. Laguna (2001) emphasized that young adults living away from parental supervision is exposed to greater likelihood of engaging in premarital sex. Without proper guidance, they face a greater temptation of indulging themselves to risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking, drug use, and most of all premarital sex. She further stressed that what they see from their parents have great impact in

their perception about sex, such as in the case of live-in and getting married sooner or later after giving birth to the children. Aside from the ones already mentioned, peers also have a big impact on an individual’s perceptions. Nonconformity, thrill-seeking, and peer group pressure are all very influential factors during adolescence and even in adulthood (Roediger et al, 1998). Combined with an emerging sexual maturity, the youth are certainly vulnerable to having sex at an early age. Singson (2008) also noted that peers have greater influence than parents do. Since the parents and the child may have awkward feelings of talking about sex, peers greatly affect the child’s thinking. This may not happen in adults anymore but it is a fact that peers, Singson further noted, exert pressure and expect an individual to conform to the rest of them. Moreover, a study presents that close association with sexually active peers seems to influence an individual’s sexual behavior (Laguna, 2001). It was evidently shown as higher prevalence of premarital intercourse was noted among those whose friends had already sex experiences. It is important to mention that this was observed for both females and males. As a matter of fact, Frias (2001) mentioned that association with a sexually experienced friend was figured out to be one of the strongest risk factor to premarital intercourse. Lastly, exposure to media is also a major factor in committing premarital sex. It is needless to say that almost everyone is aware of the media particularly the optical media. In terms of the effects of mass media on sexual behavior, exposure to any of its form is associated with higher prevalence of premarital sex (Laguna, 2001). Though it was found that males had higher rate of sexual encounter after exposure to it, females are not excused. What people see on TV, magazines, internet and other forms of media is most likely what they follow. It’s just sad to note that unregulated lewd and indecent multimedia can be accessed in almost all medium of communication. Erna Gorne (2006) disclosed that media plays a crucial role in this social dilemma. With the presence of these media and their easy accessibility, premarital sex would indeed get worse. Gorne even concluded that media is now considered the surrogate parents of the youth today. It has been found and proven several times that indeed the prevalence of premarital sex in the Philippines has risen to a bigger number for the last decades. Different studies also suggest that the occurrence of premarital intercourse is apparently invading the younger age groups to include even the high school students. Atkinson (1985) said that these young people are only being more open to things which their parents do in secret. Nevertheless, there were causes and

major factors cited that lead to the increase of premarital sex in the country. One is the use of drugs and alcohol which enhances and increases sexual drives of the users and makes them confident to initiate sex. Second is separation from parents and lack of parental guidance which leaves the youth with wrong perceptions about sex. Third is peer pressure and presence of sexually active peers who greatly influence the individual’s sexual behavior. Last is media, of which sexual suggestiveness have great impact on the individual. All of these have crucial effects on an individual. But the main point is that premarital sex has become an alarming problem, which the Philippines, with her people, has to be aware of.

References: Atkinson, Ritz and Ernest Hilgard. 1985. Introduction to Psychology, 9th ed. USA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc. Baumer, E. and South S. 2001. Community Effects on Youth Sexual Activity. Journal of Marriage & the Family. 63. 540-554. Buddy, T. 2008, Jun 11. Using Alcohol and Drugs to Enhance Sex – A Dangerous Practice. 2010, Jan 3. <>. Encyclopedia Britanica. 1989. USA: Encyclopedia Britanica Inc. Frias, Nuela. 2001. Urbanization and Premarital Sex in the Philippines [Abstract]. 2010, Jan 3. <>. Gorne, Erna. 2006, Oct 1. Teenage Pregnancies and Premarital Sex Alarming in Southern Leyte. 2010, Jan 3. <>. Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge. 2002. USA: Grolier Incorporated. Laguna, Elma. 2001, Nov. On their Own: Effects of Home- and School-Leaving on Filipino Adolescents’ Sexual Initiation. 2010, Jan 3. <>.

Palatino, Mong. 2007, Nov 20. Commentary: Sex and Filipino Youth. 2010, Jan 3. <>. Roediger, Henry L., J. Philippe Rushton, Elizabeth Deutsch Capaldi and Scott G. Paris. 1998. Psychology, 2nd ed. Canada: Little Brown and Company. Silverberg, Cory. 2007, Jul 2. Sex and Alcohol. 2010, <>. Jan 3.

Singson, Rebecca. 2008, Jun 14. Teen Pregnancies in the Philippines. 2010, Jan 3. <>. Stiftung, Bertelsmann. 2009. Philippines Country Report. 2010, Jan 3. <>. UNICEF. 2004, Nov 9. UNICEF Supports HIV/AIDS Prevention among Children, Young People. 2010, Jan 3. <>.

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