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Poll finds many local teens to be ignorant on sex laws

Poll finds many local teens to be ignorant on sex laws

Taipei, June 28 (CNA) About 22 percent of Taiwanese teenagers mistakenly believed having sex with their peers does not violate the law as long as the other party is willing, according to the results of a survey released Thursday. The results seemed to contradict the fact that 93 percent of the teens polled said they knew boyfriends and girlfriends should not have inappropriate physical contact with each other, said the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, which conducted the survey between March 30 and April 30. Intercourse with children under 14 is a crime that can be punished by a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, and copulation between teens aged 16 to 18 is also a crime if a complaint is made, the organization pointed out. Therefore, minors could violate the law for having sex even if it is consensual, said Betty Ho, deputy director of the welfare group. The survey's results were published against a backdrop of recent suicides by young couples faced with pregnancies or relationship problems, as well as an increasing number of sexual abuse cases involving children and teenagers, Ho noted. Pollees also were shown not to discuss relationship or sexual issues with family members. A total of 64 percent of respondents turned to their peers for opinions, not their families, Ho said, adding such a situation is alarming. Moreover, 7 percent of the respondents admitted being sexually harassed by family members and 38 percent by peers, while 6 percent said their parents watched porn videos in front of them. In addition, the number of underage victims of sexual assault more than doubled from 1,065 in 2009 to 2,247 in 2011, Ho said, citing government tallies. The welfare association proposed a "three noes and four needs" campaign reminding youths not to have sex, not to visit porn websites and not to touch a person's body against his or her will. The "four needs" include providing more thorough information on relationships for youngsters, promoting gender education, teaching respect toward members of the opposite sex and urging young people to seek help from parents and teachers on relationship problems. The poll collected 1,272 valid samples from high school students aged 12 to 18 around Taiwan. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.02 percentage points. (By Hsu Chih-wei and Kendra Lin)


Updated : 2021-07-31 07:24 GMT+08:00