Premarital sex

Premarital sex is sexual relationship between persons who are unmarried which is often viewed in a negative light, especially with people who are conservative, and they have good reasons to think so. Premarital sex is not only illegal in Malaysia, but it is also considered as an immoral act by some religion for example by Muslims or Catholics. Even though premarital sex is illegal in Malaysia, it is still being practised by some teenagers and school students. There are also frequent news on newspapers and media of teenagers being caught of premarital sexual activity. As many teenagers nowadays do not think and fully know of the consequences behind their action, they often only think of sex as fun or a source of pleasure. In reality, the act of sex can manifest in many different detrimental forms such as getting Sexually Transmitted Diseases or even result in unwanted pregnancy. According to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam (2015) on The Star newspaper, he said an average of 18,000 teenagers in Malaysia get pregnant each year and seek medical attention at government health clinics. Not only that, about 4,500 cases involved out-of-wedlock-pregnancy and there is an average 1,500 cases of teen girls getting pregnant each month. A survey conducted in 2012 indicates that teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17 has admitted to having sex for the first time before reaching the age of 14.
With the progress of the times and the rapid development of science and technology, the media landscape is also evolving at a startling pace, with a greater diversity of content. According to Rebecca L.Collins (2011), new types of media as well as new platforms for delivering media and messages are also constantly emerging. Therefore, people can get any information or content regarding their search of interest such as music, television programmes, games or films through the internet and this portability is throughout the day. Meanwhile, the youngsters are immersing themselves in these new types of media and they are exposed to numerous prohibited content such as pornography, violent content and bloody films. According to Fakhar (2016), mass media inevitably debase higher forms of culture, bringing about a general decline in civilization. Therefore, with a long period of exposure over time, premarital sex, fighting and other negative activities will slowly but surely become the norm for the youngsters today. The immature mind and the curiosity of the youngsters will inevitably lead them to try these negative activities such as premarital sex. After all, the message we receive from most TV shows and movies these days tells us “everyone is doing it.” Thus, youngsters who are having premarital sex are only following the majority and trends today. According to Salmi (2012), in general terms, the lives of millions of youngsters across the globe have been ruined by early premarital sex which, in most cases, results into unwanted pregnancy, abortion, abuse of fetus, traumatic suffering and merciless desolation of mental and physical nature.

Not only that, some families are practicing folk culture. Folk culture is broadly characterized by strong personal relationships among families, communities, social institutions and somehow one will be loyal to the group and practice what they normally practice within the group. In families, parents will always teach their children to study first and date later because they worry that if their children date early, they may have premarital sex. This in turn can result in underage and unwanted pregnancy, which will cause their family to “lose face” in front of other family members and also their friends. Lose face is actually a word derived from the Chinese culture in which they feel humiliated and shameful. Hence, most Asian parents worry that their children might fall into this group so they will try to protect their children by not letting them date. For those who are committed to certain religious communities such as Catholics, the Bible, which is a holy book to them indicates that sexual love is a symbol of love between a husband and wife as well as love for God. Therefore, premarital sex is strongly not encouraged by religious communities. According to Debra K Fileta (2011), she mentioned that ‘We were never intended to say no to sex, because it is one of God’s most precious and valuable gifts to us as human beings. But without a doubt, the inappropriate use of this gift is leaving millions of young people feeling more broken and alone than they ever thought imaginable.’

In other words, to avoid and reduce the rising number of unwed pregnancy cases, underage pregnancy and baby dumping, we have to create a new media strategy. According to Simon Kemp (2017), social media use has grown up by 21%, with almost half a billion new users signing up over the course of 2016. Thus, according to the Malaysian Digital Association (2016), there are almost 70% of the total population, which is about 21 million citizens who are internet users. Meanwhile, we would like to suggest sending out a message of the negative effects of premarital sex by using social media as a platform. By using white propaganda, we can provide credible and resourceful information on the cause and effects of premarital sex as well as deliver information based on factual elements, diagrams and statistics to convince and educate the youngsters to avoid premarital sex. Hence, the information with research done provided will lead young people to think twice before doing premarital sex. The false connection technique in the form of testimonials will also be used to educate teenagers to avoid premarital sex by inviting a few well-known and credible sources such as doctors or another person with similar and relevant experiences to give a speech in order to gain support for the propagandist’s desire. For example, a person with real-life experiences can share his or her opinion and perception through the media chosen to give advice on the topic mentioned. Apart from well-known sources, we can also use celebrities, artists or actors that able to get immediate attention from the youngsters and give them advice about premarital sex. Then, by using the word-of-mouse and word-of-mouth technique spread out the message that we want all the youngsters to alert.

Furthermore, according to Department of Statistics Malaysia (2015), around 7 million out of 9 million Malaysian households have at least one television. Thus, if every household switches their TV on for a whole day, the reach of the message to the audience is higher. Therefore, TV is also a great and viable platform for us to deliver the message to the youngster. By using false connection technique in the form of transfer, it could deliver the physical effects of premarital sex through a person wearing a scientist’s white coat. This technique could work because the coat itself carries over the authority and prestige of something we respect and admire to something the propagandist would have us accept. Meanwhile, the message that is delivered by the person who is wearing a scientist’s white coat will have a higher percentage to reach our targeted audience as well as have an impact on their minds. This is due to the fact that the audience believes that whoever wears the scientist’s white coat is a certified medical professional such as a doctor. Therefore, this could also create a special appeal which is fear to the audience by playing with the audience’s deep-seated worries. According to a journal article found from the American Psychological Association (2015) by Melanie B., Justin, Rick S., and Lindsey Saul & Samantha Jacobs, it is stated that fear appeals are persuasive messages that attempt to arouse fear by emphasizing the potential danger and harm that will befall individuals if they do not adopt the messages. Meanwhile, it is effective enough to persuade, convince and educate the youngster by using the technique of fear appeal and set the negative effects mindset into them, such as “If you have premarital sex, you will get Sexually Transmitted Diseases easily.” to avoid premarital sex.

Moreover, we can also deliver the message through social media by using the idea of ego under the Freudianism Theory. According to McLeod (2016), the ego considers social realities and norms, etiquettes and rules in deciding how to behave. Ego is frequently practiced by many people when they are making a decision based on reality principle and it uses a realistic strategy to seek for pleasure. The ego also uses secondary process thinking which are rational and realistic to help in problem solving. When people are faced with problems, they will use their ego to interpret and give solutions to the problem. For premarital sex, many people have their own ego as to how they perceive things and they think that there is no major differences between having sex before or after marriage. Their rational mind tells them that having sex is just to seek pleasure during courtship, but they fail to see the whole picture including the effects and consequences of it. If no proper prevention is done, not only will it affect two people, but also affect towards both of their parents and families. Therefore, we suggest to use the concept of ego to change their current mindset to the ego, which is based on the reality principle. After viewing the social media content which uses the concept of egoism in explaining premarital sex, people will have a new perception to change their ego willingly into a different perspective of ego that will make them think twice before having premarital sex.

The other human behavior that was mentioned by Freud is id. Id is the egocentric, pleasure seeking part of the mind which is the unconscious part of our mind that responds directly and immediately to the instincts. According to McLeod (2016), the id operates on the pleasure principle which is the idea that every wishful impulse should be satisfied immediately, regardless of the consequences. People tend to avoid what they do not want to face and seek for pleasure. Therefore, some youngsters use wrong methods to seek for pleasure which is through premarital sex. For young people who date early, they will have more curiosity towards their partner because they are still young and they want to try different things. In addition, people who are older and have more experience with courtship will try and persuade youngsters who are inexperienced to try and experience what is “normal” during courtship which includes kissing, holding hands or even premarital sex. Due to the fact that the youngsters do not want to feel left out or ostracized by their friends, they will tend to be influenced to commit such acts just so they can escape the pressure of doing otherwise. In order to redirect them, we suggest that social media should use the concept of id but portray a different message which encourages youngsters what type of pleasure they should should not seek for as well as the consequences of it.

Besides id, superego can be use to deliver avoid premarital sex message. McLeod (2016) stated that, superego incorporates the values and morals of the society that learned from their parents and others. The function is to control the id’s impulses, especially those which society forbids, such as sex and aggression. Due to people comes from different culture and religion, they have different perception and concept that shapes what they believe in. Although people comes from different background, but what they believe teaches them the same concept which is avoid premarital sex. According to Saunders (2017), from the Catholic view, the physical expression of love in marriage is a sacred sign of a husband and wife’s covenant of love and love that they share in union with God. This marital love signifies the vows freely exchanged between each other and thereby reflects the faithful, permanent, exclusive, and self-giving love they have promised to each other and to God. Sex before marriage is a sin against the body and it means losing respect for your body, as well as the body of the one you are involved with. Therefore, in accord with God’s design, sexual love is reserved to marriage. Walshe (2006), from Buddhism view, also stated that, indulgence in sexual activity for the sake of pleasure is evil, wicked, or, as he tends to say, sinful. Moreover, according to Salmi (2012), from the Islamic view, premarital sex is a violation of human existence and one of the major sins condemned by Allah. In the Qur’an, Allah stated that tell the believing men that they should reduce or lower their gaze and guard their private parts and tell the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts. Unfortunately, some people verbally says they believe in certain religion but do they actually practice what they should practice according to their religion? People even have the concept of casual sex. Actually, if there are no more relationship, we will begin to lose ourselves. If is from partner to partner, we will continue to lose a bit of ourselves and over time we may eventually lose the ability to form a lasting sexual relationship. Therefore, we need to remind them about their religion teaching of avoiding premarital sex in the social media.

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