Thailand has one of the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in the world. It’s estimated that 120,000 unplanned teen pregnancies happen each year, and it seems popular social networking site Facebook is partly to blame for the unwanted pregnancies, if we are to believe the conclusion of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB):
The NESDB has revealed that people in the age group of 18-24 are the biggest group of facebook users, accounting for 40% of all users.
The Board said that the social media growth is partly to blame for the teen pregnancy problems as some youngsters post seducing messages or video clips online.
Saksith Saiyasombut, on the other hand, highlights the inadequacies of Thailand’s sexual education program:
Of course the largest social network is to be blamed for the all the steamy content that drive teenagers to have unprotected sex. Or it could be the much more simple explanation – Thailand has a severe problem with sexual education.
If the moral outrage could be put to one side, the powers that be might be able to see that the only reasonable solution to avoid teen pregnancies is to have proper sexual education and face the naked truth about the existence of sexuality instead of tucking it away.
Ricefieldradio comments that social media has nothing to do with teen pregnancies:
Facebook and other Social media has nothing to do with teen pregnancies or sex. It's hormones. Young people managed to have sex way before any of the social network founders mothers was even inseminated.
Tasty Thailand also points out the reduced sex education classes in Thailand:
After all, 18 may be technically a ‘teen’ but, by law, it's actually the age of an adult. So that doesn't fit the ‘blame Facebook’ camp for teen pregnancies at all
Because, after all, Thailand's growing teen pregnancy rate can't be because sex education classes in Thai schools have been drastically reduced in recent years, or because Thai parents don't teach their kids about contraception now can it?
FACT – Freedom Against Censorship Thailand recognizes the role of parenting:
Sure, Facebook may make it easier for our kids to hook up. But it’s bad parenting which fails to supervise your kid on a computer. Maybe kids just need to play football with friends…a lot of football!]
Here are some reactions on Twitter. From @thaimythbuster:
#THailand #Facebook did it and shares the blame for Thailand's teen pregnancies. Wondering who was to blame ten years ago… Prem?
@CoconutsBangkok To think, we always thought unprotected sex causes teen pregnancies. Apparently Facebook does actually!
This is not the first time that Facebook was blamed for rising teen pregnancies. Last year, a religious leader in Central Java, Indonesia also blamed the giant social network for the rise of underage marriages and unwanted teen pregnancies in the country.