Is sex before marriage no longer taboo? In 2012, Candy surveyed about 400 girls aged 13 to 21 to explore their views on young love, intimacy, and all things in between.
The First Move
THE SCORE: Of all our respondents, 61% said the situation determines whether the guy or the girl makes the first move.
On the other hand, 29% thumbed down the idea of girls making the first move. The other 10% said it's totally fine for girls to be the first to approach the guys they like. Mariz, 19, does not want to make the first move out of fear of being turned down. "I am usually shy around the guy I like and I also fear I would be rejected if I confess my feelings. Thus, I just keep things to myself."
A word of advice from Obet Cabrillas, a relationship counselor and a leader in one of the biggest Catholic communities in the Philippines: "Young men are overly presumptuous. Guys may assume that girls are attracted to them through unintended minute gestures, all the more if the gesture or 'move' is intended."
The Seal of Approval
THE SCORE: A resounding 95% of all respondents said it is important for parents to meet and approve of their boyfriend.
Angeline, 16, said having the blessing of her parents made her relationship with her guy stronger. Marga, 19, said it will be hard for her to maintain a relationship that is "not legal."
Of all our respondents, 82% said having their friends' approval of their guys is important, too. For Victoria, 19, her friends' opinions compensate for her blind spots. "My friends know me well enough and I tend to get too involved in something that I fail to see the big picture," she said. Carrie, 19, also relies on her friends to help her make the right decisions on the guys she is involved with. "There may be red flags I didn’t see because I was so in love, and therefore, my friends' approval matters."
Cabrillas emphasized that the youth should not discount their parents' guidance when it comes to relationships. "Parental discernment and foresight must always be respected.?Parental approval and intellectual, level-headed discussion about being in a relationship must be an ongoing process," said Cabrillas.?Citing studies abroad, Cabrillas said that successful people are those whose parental influence and counsel are readily available. As for considering friends' approval of their boyfriends, Cabrillas made the following suggestion: "If the pressure brings out the best in you, then make it your inspiration.?Yet if peer approval and pressure are forcing you to compromise your values, then by all means, assert!"
Love and Intimacy
THE SCORE: 78% said sex should be reserved for married couples.
Majority of the girls who said no to premarital sex cited their Catholic beliefs and upbringing as the reasons behind their stance. "Purity is the best gift you can give your future husband," said Lauren, 15.
For Liz, 16, "Premarital sex is a sin and will just create a myriad of problems in the future." Erica, 15, also added, "Sex is something built for marriage. I only want to do it with the one person I love, without any guilt and regret."
On the other hand, 16% said having sex is fine as long as both parties are ready to be intimate. Of all our respondents, 93% said they have not had sex yet because they are not yet prepared and because they are waiting until they get married.
Addressing teens who get carried away by their emotions and agree to have sex with their boyfriends, Cabrillas said that his counseling experience taught him that the female youth are romantically-inclined while the male youth are more sexually-inclined.?"The girls have romantic daydreams, whereas the boys fantasize about sexual experiences.?Therefore, a dilemma happens when the sexually-inclined boy pounces on the romantically-inclined girl." Thus, it's important for couples to have good communication in order to have a healthy, loving relationship.
Do you think the case is still the same now? Let's talk in the comments or via Twitter @candymagdotcom. We always love hearing from you. :)
*Real names of respondents were withheld.
**This article was originally published in Candy's January-February 2012 issue.