Thailand: Survey blames Facebook for teen pregnancies
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Thailand: Survey blames Facebook for teen pregnancies

By Saksith Saiyasombut

We recently had Valentine’s Day and like every year, the Thai Moral Taliban Police has been patrolling the streets to crack down on young lovebirds who might commit the crime of love (making) – since some survey suggests that many teenagers are hell-bent to loose their virginity on February 14.

Well, apparently some other arbitrary survey has found another root of evil for the unintended consequences of the sexual urges of young people:

According to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), the famous social networking site, Facebook, has partly contributed to the cause of unwanted teen pregnancies.

The NESDB has revealed that people in the age group of 18-24 are the biggest group of Facebook users, accounting for 40% of all users.

The Board said that the social media growth is partly to blame for the teen pregnancy problems as some youngsters post seducing messages or video clips online.

According to the NESDB, Thai mothers under 20 years old accounted for 14% of all mothers who delivered babies in 2009 and 2010. From this percentage, the UNICEF has placed Thailand on top of the list of teen pregnancy in Asia.

The public health survey in 2010 indicated that out of 760,000 babies born, 411,000 had died. The NESDB said that the figure shows that a number of mothers decided to have abortion.

NESDB: Facebook partly cause of teen pregnancies“, National News Bureau of Thailand , February 28, 2012

Of course the largest social network is to be blamed for the all the steamy content that drive teenagers to have unprotected sex. Or it could be the much more simple explanation  – Thailand has a severe problem with sexual education.

The annual public ridicule that the stupid nature of the O-NET exam questions get, in particular the questions from the health education section (which includes the infamous suggestion for kids to play football when having a sexual urge), are just the tip of the iceberg. If the moral outrage could be put to one side, the powers that be might be able to see that the only reasonable solution to avoid teen pregnancies is to have proper sexual education and face the naked truth about the existence of sexuality instead of tucking it away.

But then again, for them it’s probably easier to ban Facebook altogether…!

Saksith Saiyasombut is a Thai blogger and journalist currently based in Hamburg, Germany. He can be followed on Twitter @Saksith and also on his public Facebook page here.