Special Report: Sex and Family Changes Part 1

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As the world changes, people’s lifestyles also change, including sexual behaviour and family structure. A recent research by the Institute for Population and Social Research of Mahidol University has reported a surprising finding. 

According to Institute for Population and Social Research Deputy Director Assoc Prof Kritaya Archavanitkul, sexual behaviour in Thailand in the past five years developed in four major styles. The first one was a tendency for men to have their first sexual experience with prostitutes or sex workers instead of their spouses after marriage. A number of men had their first time with friends of lovers. Sex before marriage and living together before marriage were becoming more common among people in working age and students. This reflected the changing perception of keeping virginity until marriage among women in the society.

The second development was greater acceptance in gender diversity in the Thai society. Third was the evolved sex related services. Earlier, sexual services were provided only at brothels but recently have been infiltrating in other entertainment places such as bars, karaoke, restaurants, massage parlours, traditional Thai massage houses or even in dormitories and hair salons.

The last development was the sex education. Earlier sex education focused on changes in human body during puberty with teachings to control sexual behaviour; however, at present, sex education has advanced to the stage that students are taught to share experiences, to listen to others, not to judge sexual behaviour of others and not to ostracise people with different sexual preferences. However, sexual violence experienced by women remains the same while women who are not ready for pregnancy still have no access to safe abortion.

Continue to part two of this special report to see what other academics from the institute find in regard to sexual behaviour of Thai people.