By Ilmu Seks
Women in Malaysia have been taught since birth that they can’t say no to their partners’ request for sex even if it means risking their lives. This often leads to abusive and toxic relationships.
Everyday, Ilmu Seks (Malay for ‘Sex Education’) receives hundreds of questions via the Curiouscat platform. Young women write in saying they have trouble saying no to their partner’s pressure to have sex to the point that these women just want to get it done with. It doesn't stop there: They also have to deal with their partners refusing to wear protection while having sex.
These young women, therefore, are concerned when they have their, period late, an anxiety that comes from having unprotected sex. Many people do not know that a woman can get pregnant even if her partner ejaculates outside her vagina, as the cum still contains sperm, even though the risk is slim.
There are 50 cases of teen pregnancies reported everyday in Malaysia. Most of these cases are swept under the rug: These women are married off by their parents or they resort to illegal abortion. Some even commit suicide due to the pressure. All of these could be prevented if only young women are informed of their choices and body authority.
The problem with unprotected sex doesn’t just lead to unwanted pregnancies, but also an increased risk of getting sexually-transmitted diseases (STD). Many men in Malaysia complain that they are too shy to buy condoms or that condoms are expensive. This shows that they are not being responsible in planning to have sex and do not consider the risk of having unprotected sex.
The treatment for STD is much harder in Malaysia, where youths are scared to go to healthcare providers when they sense some symptoms. Often, healthcare providers are judgmental and dismissive towards unmarried women who have pre-marital sex. The women are given the unnecessary advice to practice abstinence to avoid STD. This situation is heartbreaking.
Universal healthcare is a part of human rights and therefore health providers should treat patients without prejudice and discrimination. The stigma that lingers around STD and HIV/AIDS cause many young women to shun away from going to hospitals and clinics, therefore leaving the diseases that they have untreated.
Malaysia, more than ever, needs to start structuring specific sex education for youths so they do not suffer from medical conditions that could be prevented way much earlier.
Ilmu Seks is supported by five non-governmental organizations: Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia, PT Foundation, Malaysian AIDS Council, All Women’s Action Society, and the Federation of Reproductive Health Associations.
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