Unprotected first premarital sex common among young Filipinos; other risky sexual activities also reported

Despite years of information campaigns on the risks of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy from unprotected sex, majority of today’s young people had their first premarital sex experience without the use of condom or any other form of contraception to protect from pregnancy or sexually-transmitted disease.

The 2013 Young Adult Fertility Study (YAFS 4) conducted by the Demographic Research & Development Foundation and the University of the Philippines Population Institute shows that 32 percent of young Filipinos between the ages 15 to 24 have had sex before marriage. Of these, 78 percent reported that their first sexual encounter was unprotected: 84 percent among young women and 73 percent among young men.

The same study also found that 7.3 percent have engaged in casual sex while 3.5 percent have had regular sex without emotional attachment (FUBU). Five percent of young men disclosed having experienced sex with another man (MSM). Among individuals who are either formally married or in a live-in arrangement, 3 percent said they ever had an extra-marital affair.

“Clearly, what we see here is not only the increasing level of premarital sexual engagement of young people, but that it has also evolved into other forms of sexual activities. The more worrisome though is the fact that most of these activities go unprotected”, said Prof. Maria Paz Marquez, one of the authors of the study.