My 10am class was cancelled today for the student’s sexual health training! As you probably suspected, only a very small percentage of Korean teenagers are having sex! The average age that they started though, was as young as 14, and that doesn’t just affect them academically. Or at least, that’s the take-away message of a news article which appeared on the front page of Yahoo! Korea some two years ago. The article seems to ignore teenage prostitution and it led to calls for improved sex education at Korean schools.
The “Survey of Korean Adolescents’ Sexual Activity” waspublished in The Korean Gynecological Journal in 2006. The survey suggested that adolescents with sexual experience tended to feel that they were already adults, and so paid less attention to their studies, you can only imagine how frowned upon that would be in SK. Of the 16 year-olds that had already had sex, 39% said that they were through with schooling and did not plan to go on to university, but only 24% of virgins felt the same way. The report suggested that “those adolescents that first had sex at an early age wanted to spend more and more time with members of the opposite sex,” and that they “felt that they were pioneers.” Adolescents that act on their urges to have sex before they are mentally ready for it tend to have feelings of anxiety, uneasiness and depression afterward.
In Korean society, there is almost a universal taboo against adolescents dating, meaning that they have to do it secretly. Indeed, having sexual relationships or even dating the opposite sex is virtually considered a crime by adolescents and hence that which does occur is in places far from the eyes of adults. According to Dr. Yu Wae-sook at Consult 21 Sexual Health Research Institute, “adolescents are defenseless against what they see on the internet, and naturally get caught up in and want to physically experience those things for themselves,” but also that once they do, “they worry about such things as if they are pregnant, if they were good enough and if their parents will somehow find out. This causes them a great deal of anxiety, and lowers their self-worth and confidence.”
Moreover, “adolescents don’t really have anywhere or anyone to go to for answers, and so have to continue worrying about them alone” and “that these worries can become so serious that they become reclusive. This can have grave consequences for their future sex lives once they reach an age when they would normally be physically and emotionally mature enough to start one.”
Ironically there is a Loveland Theme-park on Jeju Island.
With reference to a earlier post maybe more sex would lead to less suicide…who knows?