A study conducted by the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health affiliated with the National University of Singapore on youths paying for having sex with female sex workers have come up with statistics that are alarming, to say the least. This kind of trial was carried out for the first time in the island nation and the study steered by Associate Professor Wong Mee Lian inferred that more adolescent and teenage boys were visiting prostitutes and call girls in Singapore.
This alarming trend has caused considerable concern amongst social workers, health experts, and medical practitioners. These professionals are worried that the increasing numbers of young men and teenage lads indulging in unbridled promiscuity without using condoms might see a proliferation of STD cases. Alternatively, these infected teenagers may pass on the viruses to their girlfriends and sexual partners.
Reviewing the Causes Fuelling This Distressing Trend
The interviews were conducted at the DSC Clinic (Department of Sexually Transmitted Infections Control) in association with researchers from the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (under National University of Singapore). They had personal interviews with nearly 300 heterosexual boys in the age 16-19 age group who had visited a government STD clinic in the years starting from 2009 till 2014. Nearly 2 boys out of every 5 interviewed had been to a prostitute which is about 40% of the total number of youngsters surveyed.
This figure was just 15% for the entire group of lads interviewed who paid a visit to a government health center for STD testing following a romp with a female sex worker in the years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. As per the study, not having a girlfriend with whom one could engage in sex and periodically viewing pornographic content on the web and other audio-visual mediums were the prime stimulators that goaded teenage boys to rush to prostitutes.
Having coitus with a FSW by paying off was a much easier way of fulfilling one’s sexual desires rather than finding a girlfriend or a female sexual partner for the same purpose. It is somewhat akin to having instant coffee but of course more exhilarating. Another possible cause for this upsetting spurt in such activities is that more boys are having sex for the first time before they turned 16.
These boys might have attained puberty earlier and/or had friends who were senior to them. These acquaintances tempted their younger mates to drink and smoke and enjoy sex with a prostitute. Low self-esteem was another reason why these teens visited a sex worker as they could brandish their masculinity without much opposition. Surprisingly, the educational or family background did not play any decisive role in coaxing teenagers to visit a prostitute.
The Findings of the Study
Some significant findings of the study were:
- 38% of the teenage boys had been to a prostitute for the first time
- The interviewed boys had an average of 4.5 sexual cohorts which included friends of opposite sex and girlfriends
- 30% of the teenagers had unprotected sex (didn’t use a condom) every time they had intercourse with a female sex worker
- The average age of these adolescents and teenagers was sixteen
- 42% tested positive for STDs but when HIV test was conducted everybody tested negative
- The incidence of STI was higher with those who refrained from using condoms