Thirty-three per cent of M'sian teens had sex before turning 14
SHAH ALAM: Thirty-three per cent or 51,036 teenagers in Malaysia, have admitted to having had sex even before they turn 14 years old.
This worrying fact was revealed in the Institute for Public Health's National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS): Adolescent Health Survey (AHS) 2022.
The survey, which was conducted from June 12 to July 18 last year, involved secondary school students aged 13 to 17 years.
The survey also revealed that 154,646 adolescents in Malaysia who took part in the survey admitted to having engaged in sexual activities, including 33 per cent who said they had engaged in sex at the very young age of 14 years.
The age of consent for sex in Malaysia is 16.
Further, another 75 per cent of teens who were reported to be sexually active said they had had recent sexual encounters.
What is even more troubling is the fact that 88 per cent of teenagers who are sexually active admitted to not using any birth control or condoms.
This is definitely an issue that needs to be seriously looked at, as the sexual health of teenagers is at stake if there are not proper measures taken to safeguard their health against infections and diseases.
Without proper use of contraceptives, these teenagers will be exposed to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and pregnancies out of wedlock.
It was also revealed that 11 per cent of these sexually active teens have multiple sexual partners.
In a report published by the Asean Work-Life Balance Project (2015–2017), it was revealed that in Malaysia, teenage births hit an all-time high of 18,000 in 2012 and the latest of 7,700 in 2018.
Out of this number, 25 per cent or about 4,500 cases, involved pregnancy out of wedlock.
Malaysia is ranked 8th among the ASEAN countries in terms of teenage pregnancies, with roughly 11.5 pregnancies recorded for every 1000 teenagers aged 15–19 years.