What? Babies don't come from a stork?
One out of four women doesn’t know the name of her private organ while half of the men involved in the study don’t know when pregnancy occurs, reveals a study.
Turkish youth display a serious lack of knowledge on reproductive and sexual health, showed a survey — conducted jointly by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Population Studies Association — that was published yesterday.
The results come a few days after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on women to give birth to at least three children.
One out of four women didn't know the name of her private organ and half of the men involved in the study didn't know when pregnancy occurs, revealed the study. One out of three participants didn't know precisely where an embryo grew in a mother's womb while only 10 percent of the respondents had accurate information on HIV/AIDS, with half of them thinking that it could harm them if they shook hands with a HIV carrier.
Survey first nationwide study
A press conference promoting the survey was held yesterday with the participation of former President Süleyman Demirel, UNFPA Representative to Turkey Peer Sieben, and Population Studies Association Chairman Filiz Kardam.
The survey was conducted among 2,963 respondents between the ages of 15 and 24 in 3,506 households using the direct question method with the aim of identifying behavior patterns, experiences and knowledge of youth on reproductive and sexual health. The survey is the first of its kind in Turkey as far as coverage is concerned since it is the first study to be carried out nationwide.
"Lack of knowledge and fear are the barriers standing before a healthy sexual life for youth. The survey revealed that there is a significant lack of information on these matters among young people," said Kardam.
"Preparing them for life in every field and directing them in a way that they can cope with the biological change processes in their lives will minimize the risks and costs arising from a lack of knowledge."
She said the results featured different similarities in the behavioral patterns of respondents, which was a reflection of gender discrimination in society.
Media and girlfriend main source for sexuality
The survey showed some interesting outcomes. Only four out of 10 respondents knew that the embryo grows in the womb of women. 48.6 percent of women had accurate knowledge on the matter while the figure was 33.4 percent for men.
A total of 73.8 percent of participants thought that only sexual intercourse was enough for pregnancy while two-thirds of them noted that they would be disturbed by being in the same room with a person with HIV/AIDS.
Media was the main source of information about sexually transmitted diseases for 74.2 percent of the respondents including men and women. Girlfriend and boyfriend held special places for each gender in attaining information about sexuality.
The average ideal marriage age was 22.2 for women and 24.3 for men. The average ideal age for motherhood was 24.2 and 26.2 for being a father. Average number of children that the youth would like to have was 2.4.
83.9 percent say no to affairs before marriage
A total of 83.9 percent of the respondents didn't approve of pre-marital sexual intercourse for women while the figure decreases to 56.8 percent for men. 43 percent of youth, meanwhile, noted that they had a friend who had an affair before marriage. The figure is 51 percent for men and remains at 35 percent for women.
12 percent of attendees live with their partners after a religious ceremony and three out of four respondents said it was up to them how they will engage in their sexual life. Most of the youth planned to use contraceptives in the future and 90 percent of them agreed that women have the right to ask men to use a condom.
83 percent of young women said they worried about the [physical] changes they underwent during adolescence. Around two-thirds of the respondents said they had a boyfriend or girlfriend. The figure is 60.2 percent for women and 77.6 for men.
9 percent of men said they received information on reproductive and sexual health during military service and 97 percent looked on any informative assistance on reproduction and sexual health in a positive light.
The participants generally thought of themselves as healthy but thought that they didn't care sufficiently enough about their health.
—— İZGİ GÜNGÖR - Turkish Daily News12.03.2008