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Leaving teens alone increases risk of pregnancy
PASAY CITY — Apparently, hanging out at home alone with their boyfriends makes teens more likely to get pregnant.
According to University of the Philippines’ Population Institute professor Dr. Josefina Natividad, several factors are driving the increasing rate of teen pregnancy in the country, like lesser parental supervision, increased acceptance of pregnancies outside of marriage, earlier sexual activity and inadequate life skills.
Radically changing socio-economic realities like OFW parents or having both parents working give more opportunities for young people to be on their own.
Dr. Natividad revealed, more often than not, teenagers’ first have sex or engage in sexual activities at home (either the girl’s or the boy’s home).
With young people generally unsupervised most of the time, their peers exert more influence on their perceptions, including a belief that engaging in sexual activities is acceptable.
Speaking at the National Teen Pregnancy Summit, Asec. Perci Cendaña confirmed this, saying, 36.7% of young Filipinos believe “early sexual encounter is acceptable in society”.
According to Dr. Natividad, the rate of teenage pregnancies in the country has remained generally stable yet high for the past 40 years due to the normal practice before of leaving school to get married early.
This is quite different from prevailing cases of teens who have unplanned pregnancies and are often, unprepared to raise children on their own.
“When I was a teenager, it was so unheard of to hear about girls getting pregnant…It’s as if, it was a shame to the family and to the clan if a girl got pregnant (out of wedlock),” Dr. Natividad said in Filipino, explaining how more permissive and accepting people are of teenage pregnancies nowadays.
The National Statistics Office reports, 26.7% of women who gave birth to their first baby in 2010 were aged 15-19 years old. [Nirva'ana Ella Delacruz]