HomeNewsStudy says Filipinos should accept the ‘reality of teen pleasure and sexuality’

Study says Filipinos should accept the ‘reality of teen pleasure and sexuality’

A feminist study suggested that Philippine society should “rethink” its approaches to teenage pregnancy and “help young people turn their pleasure into greater power.”

Oxfam Philippines released the study titled “Saying Yes to Whose Pleasures? A Feminist Study on the Acceptability of Pregnancies for Young Women” in Quezon City on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Lot Felizco, country director of Oxfam Philippines, said teenage pregnancy in a predominantly Catholic country like the Philippines “has always been controversial.” 



“This study seeks to better understand how the youth actually see themselves in relation to pregnancy and sexuality,” she said. 

The study, which was authored by Sabrina Laya Gacad, assistant professor at the University of the Philippines Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, said it does not help that society refuses to accommodate teen sexuality, attraction, pleasure, and desire.

“For this power to grow, the undesirability of teen sexuality should be eliminated and the choice of teenagers to carry their pregnancies to term or prevent them completely must be met with material, health, and psycho-social support from loved ones and the public health and social welfare institutions,” the study read.

During the launch, Gacad said it is not enough to tell the young people that teenage pregnancy is bad. She said it has to “align with their desire, especially since there are some people who want to get pregnant at a young age.” 

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“Maybe we don’t need to change their desire for pregnancy but instead their idea of fulfillment as a woman,” adding that young Filipino women must be guided that there are other ways for women to be accomplished or be fulfilled.

“Broadening that option for young women might change fertility preferences,” she said. 

In 2021, former President Rodrigo Duterte declared the prevention of teenage pregnancies as a “national priority” stressing the need to implement measures that will address the root causes of the rising number of adolescent pregnancies.

Government data showed that there is an alarming increase of births among adolescents aged 10 to 14 despite the overall downward trend on the number of Filipino teenagers giving birth.

The study involved 39 young Filipino women aged 15 to 24 years old from various parts of the country. All of the respondents were sexually active, while some were pregnant or had children at the time of the interview.

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