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PIA Press Release

Study presses need for sex education

by RG Alama

Davao City (29 June) -- Results of a study focusing on youth pregnancy in the Davao Region have highlighted the need for sex education among youths in the region.

Conducted by the National Statistics Office in its National and Demographic Surveys, youth pregnancy (young child-bearing women 15-24) has been on the increase from 2003 to 2008.

Percentage of pregnant young women posted a 3.6% increase from 2003 to 2008.

In 2003 about 25% of women ages 15-24 were already childbearing, these figures increase to 28.6 in 2008.

In its survey among young men and women engaging in sexual intercourse it was found out that about 12% of young women age 15-24 had higher-risk sexual intercourse in the past 12 months preceding the survey.

Higher-risk sexual intercourse refers to intercourse with non-marital, non-cohabiting partners.

It was also found out in the 2008 survey that condom-use among the surveyed young-women who had high-risk sexual intercourse was found to be almost zero.

As observed by the study, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases is usually transmitted to unprotected sexual activity and the relatively large percentage of high risk sexual activities among young women of Davao City will pose a challenge of adolescent reproductive health advocates.

During the presentation of the survey results at the Kapihan sa PIA press conference last Friday, Family Planning of the Philippines Davao head Atty. Romeo Cabarde said that the results of the survey shows the necessity of conducting an age-specific, culture sensitive comprehensive sex education program among the youth.

"These modules must be tailored fit to the capacity of the students. A sex education module for Grade one students is different from a Grade six module," Cabarde said.

According to him, education is a powerful tool in curbing incidences of pregnancies and STIs among the youth. Based on Allan Guttmacher Institute study in 2002 levels of teen pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections decreased in places where comprehensive sex education is taught among the young population.

However in places where abstinence-type of sex education was the preferred method of teaching, there was a noted increase of pregnancies and sexually-transmitted infections among the youth.

Meanwhile National Statistical Coordinating Board (NCSB) Region XI head Estrella Turingan said that the office is not taking sides between those who are pro-sex education and those against it. Rather they are showing scientifically-gathered data to help in solving the problem. (PIA XI) [top]

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