People define “sex” in different ways. Everyone have their own definition of what “sex” and “having sex” means. Some may define sex as ‘just for fun’ others may define it as a means of making or expressing love. However regardless of your definition, sex or age, you are probably still embarrassed to talk about sex in public or with your parents.
Recently I conducted an online survey, and asked 10 young youths, what is their view on sex, and whether they ever discussed sex at home and whether they are embarrassed to buy a contraceptive.
The majority view sex as an expression of love and as an important factor in a relationship, as it shows a certain comfort with your partner. On the other hand, there are those who do not see a link between sex and love; in their perspective to have sex with a person one does not need to feel any attachment towards the other person, let alone love.
Ironically, although many young youths may admit that they have sex casually or with their partner, they still feel embarrassed to purchase a contraceptive. When asked the same group of youth whether they feel embarrassed to purchase a contraceptive, 7 out of 10 people admit that they are not shy, as long as they do not know the pharmacist. The blame seems to be on the conservative mindset of people.
One way to overcome this is better sex education, not only at school but also getting across to the older generation, as they seem to be the most conservative.
I believe that the quality of information given at school has improved drastically, but the fact remains that many young youths are having unprotected sex. Be it because they are embarrassed to purchase a contraceptive or rather because it is done on the span of the moment, unprotected sex is not the easy way out.
However, there is more than that. Getting the message across to parents may also help in improving the perception that Maltese citizens have on sex. Nine out of 10 people never discussed sex at home, and I believe that this is due to generation gap.
This shows that parents refrain from discussing such topics with children, regardless whether they are still adolescents or in their twenties. This is ultimately resulting in many young youths lacking valuable information about sex, which is bound to lead to more teen pregnancies. Parents should deliberately talk about sex with their children, outlining the fact that it should be done responsibly. Taking such approach with your children will avoid the consequences later on.
Taking everything into account, I believe that better sex education would help both adolescents and parents. Adolescents and young youths would make better decisions and parents would be more at ease with their children about such issues. Education remains the key element to change the conservative mindset of people to a more liberal open-minded society.