A survey conducted by the Health Ministry placed the average age of sexual debut for males at 15.3 for males and for females at 14.4.
* Beating even the French, survey shows Sri Lankans are sexually active from early teens
* Need for proper sex education in schools
* 2 abortions for every 3 babies born
“These are shocking figures in a country that thinks that traditions and culture will not allow for such activities till a later age,” Consultant Psychosexual Specialist Dr. Kapila Ranasinghe said at a workshop organised at the Family Planning Association last week.
“Developed countries such as France have an average age of 17.5 and 17.2 for men and women respectively. This is because they have a proper sex education system which educates the youth to be more cautious and less curious,” he continued adding that the sex education included in the local syllabus is inadequate and does not comprehensively inform students on sexual topics with a scientific backing. “This can go a long way in dispelling the myths and taboos we see in our country.” He explained that further shocking evidence was disclosed by the Health Ministry survey. “Among the school children over the age of 15 years, 72% are sexually active with 43% engaging in heterosexual activities, 43% engage in homosexual activities and 29% watch pornographic movies frequently,” he stated. Family Planning Association Medical Director Dr. Shreen Willatgamuwa explained that proper education can lead to the minimising of unplanned pregnancies, and the number of abortions in the country. “Abortions are restricted by law, but our studies show that 650-1000 abortions take place every day. That is 125000-175000 annually and for every three babies born, two are aborted.” These are shocking figures and Dr. Shreen explained that most of the women who come for abortions are educated, married and with two children already. “These situations can be avoided if the youth are given a proper education on reproduction and contraception with a scientific background from a young age.”
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Dr. Hemantha Perera explained that the prevalence of female and male sexual dysfunctions among the population can be easily rectified, but the lack of awareness and education keep their issues hidden leading to deteriorating mentalities and families.