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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

One-Third Of Malaysian Teens Engage In Sex Before 14

The Health Ministry recently reported a deeply-concerning trend in Malaysia, revealing that 33% of teenagers engage in sexual activities before reaching the age of 14.

Photo Insert: The survey also found out that 11% of these adolescents have multiple sexual partners.

This was shared in the key findings from the Institute for Public Health's National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS): Adolescent Health Survey (AHS) 2022, which involved secondary school students aged 13 years to 17 years, Tharanya Arumugam reported for New Straits Times.

The survey, conducted from June 12 to July 8, last year, noted that 154,646 adolescents in Malaysia had engaged in sexual activities, raising significant concerns about the wellbeing of the nation's youth.

Of that figure, 33 percent or one-third of teens, a startling 51,036, fall into the category of engaging in sexual activities at an exceptionally young age. Disturbingly, 75 percent of the total sexually active teens reported recent sexual encounters.

Even more troubling was the revelation that 88 percent of sexually active adolescents admitted to not utilizing any form of birth control or condoms. Sexually active teens who neglect contraception face a staggering 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

It also found out that 11% of these adolescents have multiple sexual partners, compounding the risks associated with their behavior and raising additional red flags. The age of consent (the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally able to give consent to sexual activity) for sex in Malaysia is 16.

The NHMS AHS 2022 is the third in a series of surveys, aimed at assessing the health risk behaviors and protective factors among secondary students in Malaysia, as a proxy of health status among adolescents in Malaysia.

Science & technology: Scientist using a microscope in laboratory in the financial district.

The latest survey was preceded by the Global School-based Student Health Survey in 2012 and the AHS survey in 2017. Bernama had in 2019 reported that around 14 in every 1,000 underage girls in Malaysia became pregnant every year, which adds up to an average of 18,000 girls per year.

Singapore's rate is four pregnancies for every 1,000 underage girls, and Hong Kong's is three out of every 1,000. The cases reported were mostly that of girls from low-income families, unmarried girls, and school dropouts.

Health & lifestyle: Woman running and exercising over a bridge near the financial district.

Malaysia is ranked eighth among the ASEAN countries in terms of teenage pregnancies with roughly 11.5 pregnancies recorded for every 1,000 teenagers aged 15 to 19 years.

A 2015 survey backed by the Health Ministry showed 35% of Malaysian female youths believed that having sex for the first time would not lead to pregnancy and one in five Malaysians believed that sexually transmitted infections could be transmitted by mosquitoes.

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