KOTA KINABALU 21 Nov 2011 : Many Sabah teenagers have engaged in sex before marriage.
This has resulted in pregnancy out of wedlock, which in turn, led to criminal abandonment of illegitimate babies, said a study undertaken by Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).
According to the study, despite a presence of strong religious and traditional values among the people in Sabah, there were still many teenagers who engaged in pre-martial sex.
Recently, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Heng Seai Kie revealed Sabah recorded the highest number of children born out of wedlock with 41,490, followed by Selangor (18,983) and Sarawak (17,570).
UMS deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Dr Rosnah Ismail (right) said among the main factors that led to these activities was the freedom enjoyed by the teens. She also said that a lack of parental and family social control as well as the rapid development of the Internet had also contributed to many teenagers engaging in sex and having illegitimate children.
She said access to pornographic websites and easily available pornographic videos had also contributed to the problem.
"Pornographic websites can be easily accessed, making it easy for children to watch pornographic videos."
She said the urge by youngsters to try something new had also resulted in more youth involvement in pre-marital sex.
To prevent this, Rosnah said the relationship between parents and their children was important in forming a harmonious family relationship that is free from negative social influences.
Rosnah also advised parents and teachers to continue to monitor teenagers facing such challenges.