By Engr. Carlos Cornejo
There was an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer back in August, 2019 that caught my attention because it was entitled “Teenage Pregnancies now a National Emergency in the Philippines”.
The article raised an alarm because in Mindanao alone 15 to 18 per cent of teenagers have become mothers according to a demographic health survey.
Former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said that this would translate into P24 billion to P42 billion lifetime earnings women in the country would lose, due to early childbearing. The government apparently could not trace the root cause of this unfortunate rampant teenage pregnancies happening in our country.
I recall a Department of Health official saying that this unprecedented occurrence could be caused by social media. I would beg to disagree. Social media would not make our teen agers pregnant or sexually active. There is an underlying cause that is still coming from the internet though, but not from social media. It is from the widespread plague of pornography.
The spread of pornography went hand in hand with the availability of the internet. I could not recall for example back in my high school days, when there was no internet yet, and I was studying in a public high school at that time, of any female classmate who got pregnant.
Today if you ask students in a public high school if there is a female classmate of theirs who got pregnant, surely you would not get zero for an answer. In fact, it would be 15 to 18 per cent as the demographic survey has claimed. That is a staggering figure, that would be equal to at least 8 female students getting pregnant out of a class of 50.
My suggestion on this would not be a total quarantine or lockdown of our young people in accessing the internet much like what we did with the covid-19 virus, but to educate them on the virtue of chastity. The internet will always be there and likewise the availability of porn. We also can’t fully supervise them 24/7.
But only by enlightening them on the sacredness of sex would they respect the use of it and not abuse it. Sex is sacred because its work is procreation, which is an image of God’s work of creation, and because what it procreates, or co-creates with God, is an immortal soul destined for eternity. If you misuse sex much like if you misuse the natural activity of eating or drinking, it will have unhealthy consequences.
The bad news is that misuse of sex has more serious consequences because unlike eating and drinking, sex aside from being physical, has psychological, emotional, relational and spiritual side to it. Misuse of sex will cause break up of families because of philandering of husbands, teenage pregnancies, addiction to porn, girls being looked at as sexual objects, rape, etc.
More on this in the next article.