Thursday, August 04, 2005

"Sex and the Filipino youth", PDI, August 3, 2005

4 August 2005

Catherine Young
2bU! Correspondent
Inquirer News Service

Dear Miss Young,

I find your article very interesting (Sex and the Filipino youth, PDI, August 3, 2005). I also get the impression that the article's objective is to generate alarm on the reading public.

Looking at the issue of premarital sex among the youth on a global perspective, let me assure you that our situation is less serious than in the US.

Have you read the Institute for American Values Report, entitled "Hooking Up, Hanging Out and Hoping for Mr. Right: College Women on Mating and Dating Today", published in 2001? (If you wish to read the report, click on the link: http://www.americanvalues.org/html/r-hooking_up.html).

That report mentioned that “hooking up,” a distinctive sex-without-commitment interaction between college women and men, is WIDESPREAD on-campuses and PROFOUNDLY INFLUENCES campus culture, although a minority of students engage in it. Three-fourths of respondents agreed that a “hook up” is “when a girl and a guy get together for a physical encounter and don’t necessarily expect anything further.” A “physical encounter” can mean anything from kissing tohaving sex.

Reassuring you that our situation is not that serious, however, does not mean we should not do anything about our situation. I agree, we have aproblem and we have to act on solving it.

The approach proposed by UP Population Institute and other groups worries me. Your article might be used as a means to justify the use of artificial contraception. Their solution is based on the principle that sex is a kind of "contact sport". Young people should be taught to engage in it using the available protection from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease. For them it, it is a physicalhealth-issue.

Don't you know that sex has an ethical dimension? More than viewing it as a health issue, we have to look at it ethically and its relation to human love, marriage, family and parenting. Our youth must be taught the following ideas:
1. Sex as a way to express a free, total, faithful and fruitful love.
2. Sex must be done within marriage only; between a man and a woman married to each other.
3. In order for sex to be a true expression of love, it must be open to life.
4. Parents are the best teachers of sex education for their children. Thus, future parents must know the truth and meaning of human sexuality.

I must admit that to teach the ethical dimension of sex is easier said than done. But I believe that it is the most effective way to confront the problem that would yield far-reaching benefits for our youth and our country at large. We have to teach the youth the Christian values of self-control, modesty, chastity and faithfulness more than the use of condom, morning-after-pill, and other artificial contraception.
If you wish to know more about the ethical aspect of sex, I recommend you read the book of John Paul II, "Love and Responsibility". An easy-to-read summary of the book can be found in this link:
http://www.catholicculture.com/jp2_on_l&r.html.

I hope you find my feedback worth your time.

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I was born in one of the coastal towns in the Maqueda Bay area, Western Samar. I attended pre-primary school in a city in Metro Manila. I finished elementary school in that Western Samar coastal town. I also attended and finished high school there. I attended college in one of the state universities in Metro Manila. I read and studied inland fisheries, aquaculture and applied biology. I read political-economy in my graduate studies in a college of the same state university. While in college, I attended activities organized by a non-profit firm and later volunteered as staffer in some of its projects. I assisted the editing and writing of a handbook. I worked as salesman for a publishing company. I joined another non-profit firm to start a school in the Southern Tagalog area. I taught highschool chemistry and values education at a private school in Metro Manila. I taught related-subjects at a private technical school. I volunteered in some activities of a non-profit firm and later worked as one of its project officers.