'Safe' the word in sex debate
Learning to be responsible in an intimate relationship, and being able to say 'no' when your better judgment says 'don't' are of prime importance to young people, a behaviour expert says.
Clinical psychologist Eugenie Leung put forward her views at a forum for youth titled 'Your Beloved, My Beloved', which was organised by the youth centre Warehouse. She stressed the need for responsible actions, especially if a relationship involved sex.
'You must know what you are doing, and make sure you won't have regrets later,' Ms Leung advised. 'If in doubt, just don't do it.' Pointing out that the safest sex was not having sex at all, Ms Leung nevertheless said that youths must think about 'safer sex' and always use protective measures.
She also emphasised that both partners in a relationship should be in agreement about anything they did together.
Ms Leung explained: 'Boys have this idea that when a girl says 'no' she means the opposite. Girls should take responsibility for themselves and their bodies, and should be true to their emotions. If you have any doubts, just tell your partner the truth.' Youths not emotionally attached to someone could still prepare themselves psychologically, Ms Leung suggested.
'Ask yourself how you'll act in such a situation,' she said. 'Know your own standards and know what you can and cannot accept.' Ms Leung agreed that the principles and morals of young people today came under great pressure from peers. 'Your friends may laugh at you when they know you're still a virgin,' she said. 'But that is nothing to be ashamed of. You are responsible for yourself.' One Form Four student in the audience said youths must be aware that they were answerable for their deeds. 'If we aren't careful, and don't use protective measures, it's we who will suffer in the end,' she said.
Other speakers at the forum included image director Perry Yu Sin-man, film director Michael Hui Koon-man and former broadcaster Wong Hei.