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Adolescent Psychology: Ways to Prevent Children from Engaging in Premarital Sex

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Question 1:

Below is the interview of 3 parents who have children in the adolescent stage;

1. How they educate their children about sexuality

· Parents A: father is a policeman and mother is a stay at home mother -has 3 children (13 y/o girl,10y/o boy and 6 y/o girl)-

According to parents A , sexuality means introducing their child to their own body and their emotions. They don’t really use any specific method to teach about sexuality but just during the daily activity, they try to let them know. For example, explaining about their body parts while taking a shower when they are a little younger. Chatting with their son and daughter separately about the differences between both genders. Parents A says, their 13y/o daughter is very active and loves to ask questions about why her younger brother’s body parts are different than hers. So parents take the opportunity to answer her curiosity with explanations like about self-dignity, dressing codes for girls and boys, family values, and good behavior.

· Parents B: Father owns a fruit stall and mother works as a cleaner – has 1 son, 15y/o –

Parents B had some giggles when I approached them about this topic. They were shy and said they never really thought about this before. According to them, sexuality doesn’t have to be thought about or educated much at home because they should learn it at school. Parents A feels it’s taboo to talk about these sensitive matters and believes eventually their son will learn it through school and from his friends just like how it was in the past. However, they claim to raise their son as a good human being by teaching him upright moral values and preventing him from misbehaving with others especially with his opposite-sex friends because it can bring disrespect to the family

· Parents C: Father is an IT officer, mother works as a Pharmacist- has 2 children(15y/o and 17y/o)-

‘Sexuality definitely an important aspect” says parents C . They strongly believe that basic sexuality education plays an important role in their children’s future personality development. Parents C claims they started early when their daughters are still in pre-school. They introduced them to their body parts and also how important to take care of themselves. One interesting answer that caught my attention is when they told me, that from as early as 6years old they have thought both daughters about “good touch and bad touch. I then asked them to elaborate further on this approach. They believe that all children despite gender need to be thought how other people are allowed to touch them especially when it’s their genitals. Through this exposure, the child will not only embrace the uniqueness of their gender but also will be able to notify if there is a sexual abuse experience. They also believe by teaching them about body privacy issues they can raise them into more confident young adults in the future.

B) How do they prevent their children from engaging in premarital sex.

  • Parents A: coming from a strong religious background both parents feel that from young, issues regarding sex need to be implemented through religion. In this case, the mother said that she used to accompany her daughter for daily prayers at home and after the session, they will sit and read some holy verses. During this time she takes the opportunity to explain to her daughter about unmarried sexual relationships and its consequences. When I asked further how about the son, they agreed that they have yet informed or taught anything about sex in general and premarital sex to their son. Mainly because the mother feels shy to approach the son and the father feels it’s too early to expose him, but they are confident that the religious classes that their son attends daily after school would have given him some enlightenment.
  • Parents B: On the other hand, parents B feels that when a child is raised with good moral values, unlikely they will be involved in premarital sex. On asking further, the father said that he teaches his so on how to be a good man and respects everyone just through their daily lifestyle. He also added both husband-wife shows a good example of how they both are living as a married couple so that the son will understand and also follow their steps to marry and create a good family on his own. They also think it’s wrong to give the son an idea about premarital sex knowledge before he reaches the maturity level. They fear that it will create negative ideas rather than prevent them.
  • Parent’s C: Prevention of engaging in premarital sex, for this parents have a different opinions. They started to share their view about the social world in general and also comes back to their own point of view. According to them in western countries, premarital sex is not much of an issue as it has been quite usual for teenagers to be involved in sexual activities as early as 15. In Asian countries, this is certainly a forbidden topic. Both parents feel their daughters must understand the sexual phase which will come soon and they must be ready to make wise decisions. So, they implemented a casual chatting time with their daughters every week or whenever they are free. Mostly their mother will accompany them for an open chat about their daily routine, and issues at school or about any opposite-sex attractions. She says she will encourage them to talk and share their happy and also dull moments and through this sharing period, she tries to give them some ideas about menstruation, safe sex, and consequences that can be faced if they engage in premarital sex like getting pregnant, unable to study further, social stigma and many more.

Interview findings from all 3 parents for question 1(A) and question 1(B) shows a lot of contrast and different opinion. In my point of view, parents with a different family backgrounds such as from the aspect of religion, growing up in the environment, and education play a major role in the way they understood sexuality and premarital sex. Those with higher education and more knowledge about the expanding social world has been more easygoing and have a positive approach in guiding their children towards understanding sexuality and preventing pre-marital sex. Then again, parents from more conservative background turn into religious and moral values to help their children to comprehend sexuality and also to prevent premarital sexual engagement. However, despite all the differences, in Malaysia, a strong family institution definitely plays an important part in shaping the behavior of adolescents and their understanding of pre-marital sex (Shahid, Ah & Wahab, 2017).

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Question 1(C):

The sexual revolution is also known as “sexual liberation” was a social movement that arise in the mid-1960s to 1980s. Generally, it started when feminism ideology expanded which made women openly fight for their sexuality rights from the childbirth control movement until challenged many other traditional codes of behavior related to sexuality (Gutenberg, P.1970,).

The sexual revolution has both positive and negative impacts in general on adolescents, especially on the above children that we discussed . Looking at the positive side, the emergence of the sexual revolution had made adolescents let it be male or female embrace their sexuality, to love themself as they are, and be confident. This liberation also made their parents more open-minded to educating their children about sex without thinking that it’s a taboo. Most importantly through this, they are able to address sexual harassment issues or any other unwanted sexual behavior that their children go through. As for the negative impact, in general as the liberalization expands more traditional behaviors of sexuality are being questioned. Adolescent children have wider access to the open sexual content in the world through the internet and various other platforms and this makes them more vulnerable to gender confusion and identity crisis.

Question 2:

A. Interview with Miss T :

Miss T is a 25 years old woman who is staying in my neighborhood. She is married and has a two-year-old child. According to her, she had matured earlier than most of her classmates. She recalls being the tallest girl in her classroom since she was 8 years old . She was always the last to stand in a row whenever there is an assembly because if she stands in the front she would block all her classmate’s views. Even her teachers make her to sit at the side or at the last bench in the classroom. She admits that many times she felt upset and lonely whenever she was being treated like that. She would question her mother about why she looked different than her classmates. Her mother often comforts her by telling her genetics and being tall run in the family. When she was around 9 years old she attained puberty (menstruation) and she gradually grew heavier in weight. She started to observe many changes in her body structure and also had lots of acne on her face. These changes confused her more added with frequently being bullied for her physical appearance often makes her angry and upset.

B. According to Miss T, the whole experience during her early adolescence made her a very isolated and low self-esteemed person. She was always sad and upset, especially with the physical changes that she went through. Starting to menstruate at 9 years old was totally very frightening for her. She recalls being very moody and rude to her parents and even avoid going to school during that period. It was because actually, she was scared and anxious about being bullied. At times she will feel very miserable and demotivated too. However, as she grows up she started to understand her biological challenges and made friends but yet the sense of nervousness and depression never faded. This issue was prolonged and she claims unable to concentrate on her studies and chooses to drop out of school when she was around 16 years old. Since then her life had been full of turmoil. She believes a lot of her wrong moves and decisions are due to her constant anxiety state. Currently, she is married and also has a job as a salesgirl. She claims she is able to function as a normal adult but some of her insecurities still creep in under certain situations. For example due to their lack of confidence and low self-esteem issues she often fails at job interviews that offer better income.

C. Maturation during the adolescence period can be categorized into early and late-onset. Generally, maturation happens around 10 or 11 years old. This is the period within the life span when most of a person’s characteristics are changing from what is typically considered childlike to adult-like. Changes in the body are the most obviously observed, but other, less definitive attributes such as thoughts, behavior, and social relations also change radically during this period. Changes vary within the different individuals and they develop particular characteristics. Early maturation or precocious puberty happens when this biological process starts earlier which makes bone growth and increases hormone production. For girls, early maturation is around before 8 years old and for boys before 9 years old (“What Parents Need To Know About Early Puberty”,n.d.)

From the interview, it’s very obvious that my respondent’s characteristics are very consistent with the facts categorized in the theory of early maturation. Being taller than others, getting menstruation earlier and changes in body weight, and facial acne before the age of 10 show symptoms of precocious puberty. As explained in an article by ‘Verywellfamily. (2017), an adolescent with early maturation goes through many physical, emotional, and social consequences such as stunted growth, behavioral changes, depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem, body image crisis, poor academic performance, early sexual interest, and many more. Looking back at my respondent’s experience during her adolescence time it can’t be denied that she too faced the majority of the conflicts mentioned above. If evaluated from the psychological perspective puberty is basically a biologically driven transition that involves the early release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn -RH). These hormones in turn stimulate testicles or ovaries to release testosterone or estrogen. Noted that to a certain extent adolescents go through emotional imbalance, psychosocial crisis, and behavioral aggression throughout their journey into adulthood but these are mostly short-termed ill effects. In general, as they grow most of them will function equally well as their same-sex mates by young adulthood (Copeland et.al.).Maybe that is why currently my respondent Miss T is able to function as a young adult with a growing family and have a career despite the negative experiences during her adolescence period.

References

  1. Gutenberg, P. (1970, January 1). Sexual Revolution | Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing – EBooks | Read EBooks Online. Retrieved August 29, 2019, from http://self.gutenberg.org/articles/Sexual_revolution
  2. Shahid, K., Ah, S.,& Wahab, H(2017) Adolescents, and premarital sex: Perspectives from family ecological context. International Journal For Studies On Children, Women, Elderly And Disabled, Vol.1,(January 2017)
  3. WebMD.(n.d) What Parents Need To Know About Early Puberty. Retrieved August 30, 2019, from https://www.webmd.com/children/causes-symptoms#1
  4. Verywellfamily.(2017). The Effects Of Early Puberty. Retrieved August 30, 2019, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/the-consequences-of-early-puberty-3288326
  5. Copeland, W., Shanahan, L., Miller, S., Costello, E.J., Angold, A., Maughan, B. (1995). Do the negative effect of early pubertal timing on adolescent girls continues into young adulthood. Retrieved August 30, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2992443/

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Adolescent Psychology: Ways to Prevent Children from Engaging in Premarital Sex. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/adolescent-psychology-ways-to-prevent-children-from-engaging-in-premarital-sex/
“Adolescent Psychology: Ways to Prevent Children from Engaging in Premarital Sex.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/adolescent-psychology-ways-to-prevent-children-from-engaging-in-premarital-sex/
Adolescent Psychology: Ways to Prevent Children from Engaging in Premarital Sex. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/adolescent-psychology-ways-to-prevent-children-from-engaging-in-premarital-sex/> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2022].
Adolescent Psychology: Ways to Prevent Children from Engaging in Premarital Sex [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2022 Dec 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/adolescent-psychology-ways-to-prevent-children-from-engaging-in-premarital-sex/
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