Saturday, December 13, 2008

Contraception should be allowed in unmarried sexually active adolescent. - a debate

Thank you all for the kind wishes and luck =) Today was indeed a pleasant experience.

Can you imagine? Reading the whole format for a parliamentary debate, researching, preparing speech and practicing all in one night? I was indeed crazy…

I would like to thank Lingesh for helping me with this debate.I owed this to him. Seriously, before this, I didn’t even know the format for a parliamentary debate. And I am glad that I was assigned a part which could be pre-prepared. and Lingesh had this theory that 'to overcome stage fright, you must scare or 'frighten' the stage first. :)


The wait could be rather stressful. I hate it when I had to rush back to my room, in between brunch, in heels, because of some stupid thing, and rush back for the debate. Anyway, I’ll leave that story for another day.

The hall was exceptionally cold today. I tried to reassure myself repeatedly, ‘this is okay’. Eventually, the atmosphere became more relaxed.


Special thanks to my friends and zhimuis who where cheering back there.. hehe... and thanks to everyone who offered a pat on the shoulder and help relieve the anxiety..

May Luu commented that my performance was more like giving a speech, like story telling, rather than debating, haha! If you can read Chinese, you can check out her interesting blog post of the whole event. Very entertaining description..


I guess I lacked the ‘powerful voice’ and the style (gaya).. Unlike Ija and MK who memang got gaya… Lingesh don’t need to say lah.. he memang pro one…. and I lacked ‘witty-ness’ too! Hah!! I am really really glad to have Lingesh and Ija on the team! (if you know what I mean, hehe) We were against Ihsani, Jie Ying and Yee Cherng. It was great, the debate.. I finally understood the ‘adrenaline rush’ which Lingesh described the day before.

Amirtha did a really good wrap up for her team. And I think Susan looked quite cute up there…


Conclusions:


1. Debating is fun!

2. I am a writer, not a debater
3. Becoming a debater does not happen overnight.
4. I am not really good at spontaneous crapping
5. I cannot be a lawyer/politician/sales person

I do not really agree with part of what I said during the debate. (OF COURSE WE SHOULD NOT HAPPILY GIVE OUT FREE CONDOMS VIA VENDING MACHINE WITHOUT ESTABLISHING PROPER SEX EDUCATION!!) Then again, this is just a game. =P


p/s: There is a poll on the right middle column of this page on premarital sex (nuffnang poll). Do feel free to fill it up. thank you. =)

Here is part of the content of the debate; you may read on if you are interested, it’s a little lengthy:


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Contraception should be allowed in unmarried sexually active adolescent.


Good morning Mr Speaker, fellow team members, worthy opposition, and members of the house. We, the government, stand here today, to support the motion, ‘Contraception should not be allowed in unmarried sexually active adolescent.’


By ‘contraception’, we meant promoting safe sex amongst unmarried sexually active adolescent, by means of distributing free condoms, in secondary schools. We defined adolescents as people between 13 to 19 years of age.


I shall illustrate the problem and the extend of the problem. Why we need to address this issue? Why is it the responsible of the government to protect the society? And how, how are we going to do it?


My second speaker shall later bring you a journey, a journey to understand the social economy implication of this problem to the government and the society. While my third speaker shall rebut arguments from the opposition.


More and more of today’s adolescents are sexually aware and engaged in sexual activities, furthermore with unfiltered mass media, especially via the internet. We cannot control the global stream of information, but we can, at least, prevent complications from unprotected sex amongst adolescents.


To presume that adolescents will be prevented from experimenting with sex if they are denied access to contraception is simply ridiculous!


The second National Health and Morbidity study in 1996 showed that 600 out of 10000 secondary school students had premarital sexual experience.


A national study on the reproductive health of adolescents in Malaysia conducted by LPPKN, National Population and Family Development Board Malaysia, in 1994, had found that 20% of young people had their first sexual intercourse between the age of 15-18 years old.


In a study lead by University Putra Malaysia’s Associate Professor, Dr Lekhang Rampal, in 2004, on the behavioural risk that could lead to HIV infection, it was found that out of 18805 respondents, 34% had their first sexual experience from the age group 16-18 years old, while 8.4% were below 15 years of age. What was more shocking was 80%, I repeat 80%, of them did not use any form of contraception!


One third thought that condoms cannot help prevent HIV spread. A quarter said that a person can be infected by HIV though mosquito bites, fleas or bed bugs.


In October this year, there was the emergence of 3 videos of secondary school students, in uniforms, engaging in extreme sexual acts in the classrooms.


These are VERY real events happening in our country. And this may be just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed our adolescents are very sexually active, yet, very very ignorant.


POI: Offering contraception to them will increase the amount of sexual activity amongst them, thus encouraging them.


Reply: Experimentation with sex is independent of condom. It is derived from exposure to sex, and not merely a piece of rubber.


Reducing access to contraception will certainly not dissuade an adolescent from having sex. Unprotected sex eventually leads to unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortion, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection. The end results are obvious. Very likely you get a very young girl, going through the emotional trauma of an unwanted pregnancy and a child growing up in a non-conducive environment. This is assuming that the mother had a safe delivery. However, life is not a bed of roses. According to WHO, 75000 women die daily from unsafe abortion.


Therefore, the government felt that it is our paternalistic duty to protect our younger generation. While regulations were made for motorist to wear helmet and drivers to buckle up, it is our duty to stand up and promote safe sex. It is our duty to offer these unmarried sexually active adolescents the benefit of putting on a condom.


With this, we would like to propose distribution of free condoms in secondary schools, accompanying pamphlets on sexual education, the proper use of condoms and the consequences of unprotected sex. Contacts for further information, sex education and support groups shall be also made available. These shall he distributed via vending machines in secondary schools. A condom, when purchased in bulk, would cost the government only a minute amount of 20-30 cents each, being a very cheap and effective method of contraception.


Ignoring this problem and denying access to contraception would only push these naive adolescents further underground. If these sexually active teenagers are going to have sex anyway, we rather let it be safe sex. We cannot afford risking them suffering from the consequences of unprotected sex.


I would like to emphasize that we are not promoting or discouraging sex per se, but we are promoting safe sex amongst sexually active adolescents.


This house would

1. Allow contraception in unmarried sexually active adolescents
2. Promote safe sex amongst adolescents via free condoms distribution in secondary schools, with accompanying pamphlets on sex education, proper use of condoms, the consequences of unprotected sex and contacts for further information and support group.

We support the motion that contraception should be allowed in unmarried sexually active adolescents.


Thank you.

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We, the government, had painted the picture of the problems that arises from unprotected sex. We have illustrated the social and economy implication of this problem to the government and the society; the emotional and financial stress rest upon single mothers who are rejected by their families; the risk of STD and HIV infection; the impact of a child growing up in an incomplete family; the desperation leading to abortion and ‘baby dumping’; the financial burden arrowed back to the government to support these unwanted unwedded mothers, unwanted children.


We shall distribute free condoms in secondary schools with accompanying sexual education materials via vending machine.


The opposition had brought up several interesting points:


Firstly, promoting abstinence. Although abstinence is indeed the best form of contraception, however, as I had illustrated earlier, with hard facts from studies and the papers, we do not live in an ideal world. Today, the topic is about already sexually active adolescents, and what can we do for them. You cannot propose status quo, because status quo have shown to have failed. Abstinence and morality had failed.


You have talked about contraception being only for married couples. Again, our motion today is for already sexually active adolescents.


The opposition feared that when students were given access to contraception and knowledge on sexual education, they would engage in sexual practices. I would like to reemphasize that, reducing access to contraception will not, I repeat, will NOT, dissuade adolescents from having sex. In fact, given timely information, access to contraception and proper guidance would give positive effects, where children would be more responsible and careful when engaging in sexual activities.


Therefore, these adolescents have everything to gain, and nothing to lose.


We can ask many questions – why? We can give many reasons. However, seldom, the people would be given solutions. What can be done? And how can we address this issue? Putting a curtain across this problem, dismissing them and continuing living in ignorance would not work!


Therefore, today, the government offers a solution.


We the government felt the need to bravely face the hard facts and reality. No doubt we are dealing with very personal issues, but because of the social and economy and other ramification, we can no longer choose to ignore them. How many more adolescents should be left ignorant with unprotected sex?


We, the government believed that it is our duty to protect the younger generation, leaders of tomorrow. We have laid the tiles, strong and firm, and we hope that you shall lay your trust on us, and start walking.


Charlie Cham, our local artist once illustrated in his artwork, ‘Play safe, use Malaysian rubber’. ^^


Lastly, we believe that the motion still stand strong, contraception should be allowed in unmarried sexually active adolescents.


With that, I thank you.

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6 comments:

  1. An interesting debate topic with no concrete solution indeed. One need to seek the root cause of the problem in the first place before tackling this issue.

    Another thing I notice here is most condom here are made for male. Where is the condom for female? I seen this before in the UK and some manufacturer did fabricate this type of condom.

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  2. Another one of your lengthy post and certainly took up some time to finish reading from head to toe.

    Above all, its definitely worth reading. Powerful verbs and adjectives. Assuring and reassuring public on your stand point. Although i didnt have a chance you attend your debate, however i could picture the scenario. Tense atmosphere.

    I like this sentence, "We have laid the tiles, strong and firm, and we hope that you shall lay your trust on us, and start walking.". Very much of parlimentary debate. And i enjoy reading it very much. JIA YOU!!! =)

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  3. cg, thanks :) glad you liked it!

    peanut, pandai pun.. i see that you are enjoying May Luu's blog.. :) but re ji ji sounds a bit geli leh..

    borneo falcon, yes, there are condoms for females, also know as diaphragm... for married couples, my supervisor, Prof Emeritus Adeeb, she don't really believe in condom or OCP (oral contraceptive pills).. but rather, from what i have observed, she usually advice patients to use IUCD (Intra-Uterine Contraception Device), as it has been one of the most effective form of family planning in our country, so far... when comes to condoms and OCP, can you ensure compliance in patients? if you follow up Prof Adeeb's patients, they have a 100% success rate of successful family planing, which i think, is a very good thing :)

    Dann, thanks for sparing some time to read the lengthy post.. wished you could have seen the debate :) but, you'll probably be laughing at me, telling you a story... haha..

    michelle, thanks... yup it's over... it was great! guess what? WE WON THE DEBATE!!! yeay!! so happy~~ lalala~~~~ =D

    ReplyDelete

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Author's Note

Dear friends and readers, Thank you for dropping by and leaving comments/ shoutouts. More importantly, thank you for being there... please accept my apology that, lately, i may be busy with work and not have time to reply youir messages/comments, but rest assured, each and everyone is read, and highly appreciated :) have a nice day! ^^

of love

Today, i heard a story which was not a story of falling...
of living in the dark end of winter turmoil..
instead, it was a love story..
of a couple who did not live happily ever after...
but they live, loving each other..