Promiscuity

Definition

Sexual promiscuity is defined as having sexual relation with a number of partners on a casual basis. A common example of behaviour viewed as promiscuous is a one-night stand.

Historically, stereotypes of the promiscuous girls have tended to be negative, such as “the slut” or bohsia, while male stereotypes are either accepted and called “the stud”, while others are negatively called “womanizer”.

Introduction

Many teenagers in Malaysia indulge in sex although the true incidence is not known. Many have multiple-partners without realising the consequences.

Why Do Teens Indulge In Sex?

  1. Some struggling teen use it as an exit for their frustration.
  2. Teens might believe that having sex is a demonstration of their partner’s love for them or their love for their partner.
  3. Some teens are forced to participate because their friends are doing it (peer and social pressure).
  4. Some teens use it to punish parents whom they believe are trying to control their life.
  5. Mental issues in teens such as depression and underlying anxiety.
  6. Teens with low self-esteem. Sexual activity with many partners is often viewed as a form of self-validation and cited as an effective self-esteem booster. However these “positive” effects are only temporary.
  7. Teens who experienced sexual assault, such as rape or molestation, have also been known to use sexual promiscuity as a means of numbing themselves from the pain of their traumatic memories.
  8. Influenced by media as sex is often portrayed as fun in cinema and television.
  9. Pornography.
  10. Sexual addiction.

Complication

  1. Teenage pregnancy.
  2. Sexually transmitted diseases. HIV and other sexually transmitted infections are becoming very common is teenagers. In one act of unprotected sex with a partner that is infected, a teenage female has a 1% risk of contracting HIV, a 30% chance of getting genital herpes, and a 50% chance of getting gonorrhea.
  3. Low self-esteem (especially in girls). Although some teenagers are promiscuous to boost their self-esteem, promiscuity can also cause low self-esteem.
  4. Recurrent urinary tract infection.
  5. Impact teen delicate emotional and mental development processes in ways that are not yet fully understood.
  6. Promiscuous teens are at a risk of being physically abused by their partners.

What Can Be Done?

  1. Your body is precious and you should think wisely before you engage in sex.
  2. It is never too late to stop and seek help.
  3. Address the issue as soon as possible. If you are a teenager, talk to your doctors, parents or teachers. You can also talk to an older person you can trust e.g. your older sibling or cousin or counselor in school.
  4. Do not use sex as a way to get popular.
  5. Learn how to say NO when pressured to have sex.

How Can Policy-Makers Help?

  1. By introducing sexual education in school at an earlier age.
  2. To train personnel’s at health care facilities and schools on how to guide promiscuous girls.

How Can Parents Help?

  1. Have an open discussion with your teens about self-worth and how to say NO.
  2. Tackle the topic gently and do not criticize your child.
  3. Explain the consequences and hazards of being sexually active.
  4. Be approachable for your teen to seek your opinion or help.

Last Reviewed : 14 Nov 2013
Writer : Dr. Hargeet Kaur Basant Singh
Accreditor : Dr. Sheila Marimuthu