Basic Health Research (RISKEDAS) in Indonesia in 2010 showed that 1% of boys and 4% girls across Indonesia have sex before 13 years old. Some even have it under 10. This calls for preventive efforts to overcome pre-marital sex behaviour among teenagers, including through the family and school based intervention.
“Family is the main factor that influences teen development, although they are also influenced by peers, schoolmates and society. A form of family participation that is needed is parental monitoring,” said Linda Suwarni during her open doctoral promotion at Faculty of Medicine at UGM on Monday (18/7).
Previous studies showed that parental monitoring aspect is the most effective in preventing teens from having sex too early. Parental monitoring intervention programme that is designed effectively can affect risky sexual behaviours for 14-16 year old teens.
Linda mentioned that the aspects that can prevent the teens from having pre-marital sex are parental knowledge on presence, activity, and teeange peers, relations between parents and teenagers, parental control, night curfew and consequence for teenagers if violating the rules from the parents. In addition, communication between parents and teenagers.
She emphasised that parental monitoring needs to be balanced, too. Too rigid monitoring will only increase risky behaviour of teenagers while lack of monitoring contributes to risky sexual behaviours.
“Parental monitoring can reduce the frequency of teen intercourse through opportunity limitations for sexual activity. But studies showed that sexual activities tend to increase if there is intrusive parental monitoring,” she said.
Her study into teenagers in Pontianak showed that teenager perception to parental knowledge, relations between parents and teenagers, communication, and behaviour and psychological control are still low. As many as 35.3% teenagers see their relationship with their parents are not good while 57% teeangers see their parents as very busy with their work, having no time for dinner and time to listen to them.
She then suggested both parents to be able to cooperate in doing the monitoring, not only knowing their whereabouts and giving rules, but also having communication and close relationship.