More than 50% of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 have had sex and more than 35% have had sex before the legal age of 16, a local social organization has found.
Hong Kong Children and Youth Services conducted a survey of 300 teenagers aged 12 to 18 from June to September last year, and found that only 11% of respondents consider responsibility legal before intercourse.
The group said teenagers are likely to create false impressions or values via online in the digital age, saying teenagers might have little access to information and fair channels to seek help.
Asked about the consideration of respondents when having sex for the first time, 33% of respondents agreed that they should protect themselves and not have casual sex, and 19% of respondents feared being seen as promiscuity.
Only 11% of respondents said they considered legal responsibilities when they had sex for the first time, 69% of them were women and 31% were men.
The group claimed that teenagers today seem more open-minded about sex, but the survey results revealed a contradictory phenomenon: they tend to value ‘love and care’ more in relationships despite their openness.
All respondents said they tend to be conservative in their acceptance of sexuality. Both genders scored high because they agreed that “love and care” is essential and meaningful in relationships.
The 22% of respondents who have had sex with a non-romantic partner also stress that “love and care” is an essential element in relationships.
“Existing sex education only emphasizes the physical aspect, but other aspects such as psychological and social aspects are less covered. Sex education should be more up to date to inculcate right concepts about sex sex and gender relations, etc,” said social services coordinator Eugene Chau Yui-chi.
Chau added that cross-platform collaboration can encourage teenagers to reach out and perceive the correct concepts, adding that education for different age groups should have a different approach to sex education. From conceptions of love and gender relations to individual critical thinking, new ways should be introduced to correct misguided ideas.
Social worker Chong Yim-ping said adolescents can be curious about gender relations and the lack of platforms in society, at home or at school, to openly discuss sexuality, adolescents are likely to seek help through online forums or dating apps.
“They access a colossal amount of information in this digital age, such as dramas or reality shows revolving around sex, but also perceive false values and conceptions at the same time,” Chong said and pointed out that teachers might be ignorant of sex education as well due to insufficient training.
The group reaffirmed the need for advanced sex education, especially in the new information age.