LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- College students in the Cordillera can be best protected from teenage or early pregnancies when higher learning institutions integrate avenue for students to understand more their sexual feelings, attitudes, and behaviors.
Benguet State University (BSU) professor Ann Heather Kiwang underscored this in her research study titled “Exploring the Sexual Scripts of Adolescents” aims toward finding possible solutions and interventions to help students deal with their sexual desires.
Kiwang recommended in her study in the case of BSU, the institution through the Office of the Students’ Services, must formulate programs and projects geared towards helping students to stay away from sexual contacts to protect women from early teen pregnancies.
The professor found out in her research there is an apparent distinction between male and female when it comes to the context of sexual fantasies.
Around 249 students enrolled in Society and Culture with Family Planning at BSU were respondents of the research which was carried out to identify the common sexual desires and sexual acts of adolescents; determine how adolescents deal with their sexual desires and to understand how socio-cultural factors influence the sexual scripts of adolescents.
For instance, female respondents felt love and security when they engage into kissing, embracing and holding hands with their boyfriends but for men, it’s having sexual acts and fantasies that make them feel good about their relationship.
This confirms that some of the respondents already have experienced sexual acts at a young age.
The research stated too that respondents admitted to have encountered sexual issues during their high school years at age 15 to 17.
The research likewise revealed that 45 percent of females claimed they do not have sexual fantasies and have not experienced any sexual acts while 55 percent revealed that they had already sexual fantasies and acts.
To protect students from early sexual contacts and teen pregnancies, the researcher cited there should be proper management and expression of sexual feeling among students, as their attitude is strongly being influenced by the kind of environment they are accustomed to in a bid to mitigate the alarming consequences of sexuality issues among adolescents.
The study says values inculcated by families, religion, and friends can help the youth to exercise caution or self-control for their sexual desires.
Last year, the National Youth Commission announced it is working closely with concerned agencies in a bid to increase awareness and disseminate the right information to lower high teenage pregnancy rate in the Cordillera.
In the Young Adult Fertility Sexuality Survey (YAFS) conducted from 2022 and 2013 by the Cordillera Population Commission for a period covering 15 to 24 years old, risky sexual and nonsexual behaviors were high among Cordilleran youth.
On premarital sex, survey shows 77 percent of first premarital sex is unprotected while it is only in the Cordillera that young women are more sexually active than men.
Cordillera also topped the number of youth nationwide who have engaged in premarital sex in 2013 with 34 percent compared to the national average of 32 percent.
The region also topped the percentage of young women who have begun childbearing in 2013 at 18 percent or five percent higher than the national average.
One of the recommendations in the YAFS to address risky behaviors of Cordillera youth is to create avenues for teens and youth to interact positively to address these concerns.
Teachers must also be trained to handle or facilitate discussions on reproductive health in the classrooms and in extracurricular activities. (Premalyn Malado/BSU-DevCom)