Sexuality is now a norm commonly found in teenagers as a result of many factors but most importantly peer pressure. Here are two scenarios of what is expressed as typical of many boys and girls in the environment. Stanley at 15 was influenced by his friends in school to engage in a sexual relationship with girls from three different schools to play a tricky game to avoid being caught by these girls. He compiled and got two of them pregnant at the same time after a few months.
Felicia had wanted to finish school and get a good job, but her poor parents could not afford to send her to school. Worse still, her friends advised her to go into a “sex-runs” business with them to meet her needs. Not only did Felicia get away with her will, but also had more intense issues added – unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The stories above typically reveal what’s happening currently in our societies.
What do Sexuality and Peer Pressure mean?
Sexuality simply means being attracted to or capacitated for sexual feelings concerning gender. Peer pressure, then, is the persuasion exerted by our friends and neighbors and those of our age or social circles.
It’s natural for people to identify with and compare themselves to their peers as they consider how they wish to be (or think they should be), or what they want to achieve. People are influenced by peers because they want to fit in, be like peers they admire, do what others are doing, or have what others have.
Then the question arises: who are the consumers of these reflections of sex? Children. Teens. Adolescents. Adults. They, consciously or unwittingly, are the audience. Sadly, young people become victims or propagators most especially due to their peer groups.
What is the aftermath of sexuality among peer pressure? Is it on the drive of positive or negative outputs?
- UNSAFE ABORTION
Research carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 4.4 million abortions are sought each year. Unsafe abortion is a leading – but preventable – cause of maternal deaths and morbidities. It can lead to physical and mental health complications and social and financial burdens for women, communities, and health systems.
Lack of access to safe, timely, affordable, and respectful abortion care is a critical public health and human rights issue. Lack of access to safe, affordable, timely, and respectful abortion care, and the stigma associated with abortion, pose risks to women’s physical and mental well-being throughout the life course. Each year, 4.7–13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion (3). In developed regions, it is estimated that 30 women die for every 100 000 unsafe abortions.
- UNWANTED PREGNANCIES
Worldwide, the unintended pregnancy rate is approximately 45% of all pregnancies, but rates of unintended pregnancy vary in different geographic areas and among different sociodemographic groups. Peer influence has increased the peck of pregnancies gotten as a result of sexuality.
- SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDs)
STDs are diseases passed through sexual intercourse among parties. More than 1 million STIs are acquired every day. In 2020, WHO estimated 374 million new infections with one of four STIs: chlamydia (129 million), gonorrhoea (82 million), syphilis (7.1 million), and trichomoniasis (156 million). Sadly, WHO reveals that More than 1 million STIs are acquired every day.
More than 490 million people were estimated to be living with genital HSV (herpes) infection in 2016, and an estimated 300 million women have an HPV infection, the primary cause of cervical cancer. An estimated 296 million people are living with chronic hepatitis B globally. Both HPV and hepatitis B infections are preventable with vaccination.
These diseases have caused some damaging effects on victims about their well-being. This has brought a drastic increase in the demands for hospitals’ pieces of machinery and types of equipment for effective performances.
What are the remedies? Is there hope to eliminate these consequences we found in our societies today?
- GOOD SEX EDUCATION
Not only does sex education give us knowledge about sexual health, but it also helps students learn how they should treat others and themselves when engaging in intimate behaviour. This lesson can benefit everyone by helping them develop healthy relationships with their partners as well as protecting themselves from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The material contents of sex education according to respondents’ perspectives include (1) how to avoid sex and promiscuity; (2) the knowledge improvement on proper sex education; (3) the impacts of free sex, including sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy; (4) self-protection (e.g. from free-sex and sexual harassment).
- POSITIVE PEER GROUPS
At an early age, the peer group becomes an important part of socialization. Unlike other agents of socialization, such as family and school, peer groups allow children to escape the direct supervision of adults.
A peer group is both a social group and a primary group of people who have similar interests (homophily), age, background, or social status. The members of this group are likely to influence the person’s beliefs and behaviour.
- AVOID NEGATIVE SEXUALLY ACTIVE DOCUMENTARIES
One in five people who regularly watch porn admitted to feeling controlled by their sexual desires. A study at Brigham Young University College of Nursing found that “pornography consumption can be as ‘mood altering’ and as addictive as narcotics.”
There is another bonus reason why porn addiction is the most dangerous we’re facing today and that is endless amounts of novelty. Watching related documentaries releases large amounts of dopamine in our brains. If you constantly watch porn and masturbate to orgasm the brain down-regulates dopamine receptors as a way to maintain homeostasis.
When it does this you typically need to watch more to feel good. But what’s worse is that the pleasure you gain from everyday activities also doesn’t feel as good anymore.
“Sexuality is one of the biggest parts of who we are”, Carla Gugino said. Indeed, with these above-structured principles, our world will have problem-free issues related to sexuality concerning peer influences.
The Editorial Team, God is Love Educational Foundation