Are Pinoy teenagers emotionally ready for sex?
An intriguing question: one that is open to endless debate. One will wonder first, though, how sex managed to make its way into our conservative culture. There is no denying the fact that everything has been sexualized in these modern times. The old customs and ideals of modesty and chastity are crumbling under the influence of Western TV shows, movies, books and other forms of media. Filipinos today are becoming more and more open to previously unacceptable situations, such as extramarital affairs and premarital sex. TV shows and movies seem to demonstrate that sex is no longer a private, intimate act, but rather simple physical release which everyone may enjoy. The actors who perform these roles seem no better in upholding what is right in their own private lives. In a society where such morally incorrect actions are made public and sometimes even flaunted by the media and by prominent people such as celebrities and politicians, it is little wonder that the borderline between what is and isn't morally upright has become blurred. It has even reached the point when the concept of puppy and romantic love has been sexualized.
Yes, that is the situation young love today. This is the situation that Filipino teenagers are facing. In the so-called “modern” world, society seems to be impressing upon teenagers that sex is a free-for-all, that two people sharing anything resembling a relationship are then free to have sex. It is slowly becoming the norm: girl meets guy, they fall in love, they make out. Never mind the rest of the world or the rules of morality. Some teenagers today perceive sex not as an act between husband and wife, but as a way of becoming close and intimate to the object of their affections. In a fit of passion or puppy love, some teens may also think that “true love” is at their door, and thus agree to sex. These, along with teenagers' natural tendency to rebel against what is “old-fashioned”, have become springboards for teenage relationships to be overly sexualized.
Not all relationships may be that way. Not all teenagers, after all, are open to the idea of sex - even if it is with someone they have come to know and love. Many, however, are affected by pressure - from their peers and even from the ones they love. Teens naturally find it hard to say no to peers. Sometimes, it also happens that the “if-you-really-love-me” dialogue is played, and teens are pressured to “prove” their devotion. Girls believe that with the sexual act, the relationship is sealed and intact; they have made a lasting commitment to their guys. It's as if they have snagged their guy by agreeing to sex. For guys, sex may be a way of showing their girls how much they really `care'. But in any case, while the sexual act may, for a time being, serve as a bond between the two parties in a relationship, it is not a guarantee that the relationship will last. It is not the sex which makes people see each other with love and accept each other's faults. Nothing - not even intercourse - can take the place of an individual's understanding and patience of the other person.
Sex, therefore, is just one of the channels of expressing affection and desire - and a channel that we can forego for the moment. There are many ways to find friends and to get to know somebody. There are many ways to discover other people and share memories. The teenage years are still too early for someone to attach himself or herself to another through physical exchange; rather, this time should be spent first in getting to know the different people that may play a pivotal role in our lives.
And thus, the answer to the question: no, Pinoy teenagers are not yet emotionally ready for sex. Sexual relationships require not just commitment and maturity, but also a clear head for distinguishing passion and excitement from love and truth. The teen years are confusing enough without that. Pinoy teens should take things one step at a time and enjoy being a teenager - while they still can.