Sex is a topic that everybody thinks of but seldom talks about. It is considered too sensitive that rarely do I see forums, posts or comments that challenges its idea.
Now is the time to break the social stigma on Sexuality, Sex Education and Reproductive Health; especially if Sigmund Freud’s theory of Psychoanalysis is stating that libido is the instinct energy or force contained in what Freud calls the “id” (the strictly unconscious structure of the “psyche” or the mind). As for this belief, the unconscious reveals the truth; hence, many attempts exist on trying to access it like hypnotism or dream analysis. A prime goal of psychoanalysis is to bring the drives of the “id” into consciousness, allowing them to be met directly and thus reducing a person’s reliance on ego defenses. In my opinion, two of the most common among teenage girls are denial (“No, it can’t and will not happen to because i’m not that kind of girl”) and rationalization (“He’s leaving me or stopped loving me because I didn’t do it with him”).
According to Wikipedia on Freud’s theory ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmund_Freud), a person may have the desire for sex but not have the opportunity to act on that desire (personal, moral or religious reasons). On the other hand, one can engage in sexual activity without an actual longing for it. I’m thinking that the latter speaks in behalf of most girls and women. It is an uncharted notion that teenagers who are at a very early stage on discovering their sexuality do the deed for love. In fact, I have read an article on Cosmopolitan once that it takes years before a woman gets to recognize and appreciate her own orgasm. Teenage boys though get to experience and explore on it upon entering early adolescence.
My point exactly is that SEX is a natural phenomenon and I have my man Freud to back me up with the concept of libido and the psycho-sexual stage of development. Maslow’s hierarchy even states that sex is a basic , biologic human need along with water, food and air. So, it is about time that we talk sexy and I mean NOW. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs)
Statistics coming from the most reliable resource (United Nations) indicates that as a country we have a failing mark on maternal mortality rate and a significant increase in the number of teenage pregnancy:
- 3.4 Million pregnancies occur every year, half are unintended and one third end in abortions.
- An estimated eleven mother die of pregnancy-related causes every day; most of them could’ve been prevented in a well functioning health care delivery system.
- United Nations Population Fund
The Philippine government has committed itself along with many other countries to meet the MDG (Millennium Development Goals); the most serious and in need of immediate attention is :Reducing maternal deaths and increasing access to reproductive health services by 2015.
From 2006, Maternal Mortality Rate of 162 deaths/100,000 live births increased to 221 making it more difficult to bring the number down to the government target of 52/100,000 live births two years before the deadline.
The FHS (Family Health Survey) also showed an increasing number of girls who are becoming mothers in their 15-19 and 20-24 age groups.
One among UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin had said on a keynote about teenage pregnancy that caught my attention is Power Imbalances between Adolescent Girls and their Male Partners. I strongly believe that the Philippine society’s girls and women are slowly rising from the shadows of the macho culture, but in a larger point of view there is still a disturbing inequality between men and women or girls and boys. There is no possibility of the two meeting at the exact same orientation which I perfectly understand. The object though is to establish respect, dignity and acknowledge the rights of the opposite gender.
During adolescence, boys reach their sexual maturity while girls are yet to do so until their thirties. For me, it doesn’t help much the fact that girls become more vulnerable during these early years as they are experiencing so many dynamic changes in their body and also challenged by making so many choices about it. If you try to look at it in the most actual sense, think of it this way: a 15-year old girl tries to find love outside the home since she is under the care of a single-working-mom who is almost always outside the house. She finds comfort with a newly-found boyfriend whom she had met probably by random texting or over the internet since her confidence is too low to socialize with people her age. Then with a snap of a finger she trusts him because this guy gives her attention, love and care that she doesn’t get much at home or at least that;s what she thinks. One day, the guy was suddenly a bit cold on her and asks her if she really loves him.
With the pressure she has been exposed to, she’d probably do anything for him not thinking of the consequences and danger she might put herself into. Most people would hate this guy in my story, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves though and try to look beneath the situation. This teenage boy has his testosterone shooting way up the curve and this has a direct increasing effect on his libido making him more predisposed in exploring a lot and sometimes to the point that they get information form the most inappropriate sources: their peers or the internet (it’s quite helpful if you know what and where to look for it). It is with high probability that this scenario will result to an unwanted teenage pregnancy and who knows what desperate measures they might resort to if not given outright help or safe options to proceed and plan their future.
The lesson in all of this is that at any point in time, anything can go drastically wrong unintentionally and helplessly. Director Osotimehin once said “Adolescents and the youth must be provided with age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education to develop the knowledge and skills they need to protect their health throughout their lives. However, education and information are not enough. Good quality reproductive health services must also be readily available in order for adolescents to make informed choices and be healthy.”
The ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) puts emphasis on human Rights particularly the right to RH education and resources. They strongly believe that adolescent girls should be able to enjoy their human rights, which is key to reduce inter-generational cycles of poverty.
This article aims to be an advocate to the pursuit of UNFPA that is in line with MDG and ICPD: The agency supports countries in using population data for policies and programs to reduce poverty. Their vision of the world is; ” Every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every person is free of HIV and AIDS and every mom or girl is treated with dignity and respect.” It’s about time that we strive to see eye-to-eye with UNFPA because if the youth is the future, then society needs to take very good care of their mothers.