Sexual and Reproductive Health in Indonesia
Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is still taboo to talk about in Indonesia. This leaves many young adults in Indonesia not receiving proper SRH education. The belief is if we do not talk about it, nobody is doing it but unfortunately that is not the reality of it.
- A study in Indonesia showed that 5% of students (12-19 years old) have had sexual intercourse (WHO, 2015). Of those, 83% had sexual intercourse prior to the age of 14.
- Only 34% reported using a condom during their last sexual intercourse, which is considered risky sexual behavior.
- Indonesia also has one of the highest rates of unwanted pregnancies in Southeast Asia (WHO, 2017).
The lack of access to education is leaving many Indonesians struggling having to navigate their own sexual and reproductive health. When many Indonesians do not receive proper SRH education, they would resort to untrusted sources. This is a huge issue in Indonesia as it leads to many misconceptions and risky sexual behaviors. Sexual and reproductive health education programs help to encourage people to protect themselves and their partner, preventing unwanted pregnancies and consent.
To read some myths surrounding SRH that we have debunk, click here.
To read more about abuse, click here.
Misinformation, Taboos and Stigma
Talking about SRH is still very taboo in Indonesia, even if in an educational context. Sexual and reproductive health in general can be a sensitive topic. It is very personal and can sometimes be uncomfortable to talk about. On top of that, there is still a stigma surrounding SRH education which makes it hard to discuss openly and honestly.
This may lead to many social consequences which include shame, social marginalisation, violence and it also negatively impacts mental health. Stigma and its consequences is often a barrier that prevents many to seek help as well as ask questions.
Breaking down the stigma is vital to normalise conversations surrounding SRH and to create a supportive environment.
So where do you start?
It is important to start by educating yourself and actively ask questions regarding SRH and the related topics. You can start by browsing through our learn page or other online resources available; or you can visit a medical professional to talk about any SRH concerns or questions you may have.