Easy English News
From headlines in many Thai newspapers around Valentine's Day, you might think that all Thai teenagers are sexual active. That's not fair and not true, say the experts.
Students display their affections after school in a park in Siam Square. PATIPAT JANTHONG
Today is Valentine’s Day and, if this year is anything like past years, you will likely see many headlines in the Thai-language media reporting on the sexual behaviour of very young people.
‘Teenagers in a rush to lose their virginity.’’ ‘‘Police crack down on love hotels.’’ ‘‘Youths engage in unsafe sex.’’ Such headlines are a feature of Valentine’s Day news reports.
To Wallop Tungkananurak, secretary-general of the Creation Foundation for Children, such reporting is both unfair and inaccurate.
‘‘It’s basically bad-mouthing the kids by projecting the sexual behaviour of a small number of youngsters and blaming the whole generation [for these practices],’’ Mr Wallop said.
The latest example of media hysteria over young people’s sex lives was a report that teenagers in the Northeast are using plastic bags as prophylactics.
The rumour was treated as fact and thus reinforced prejudices against Northeasterners, and the region’s young people in particular, said Mr Wallop.
One teacher in the region rejected the report. ‘‘I’ve been a teacher in the Northeast for 20 years, and I’ve never heard of such a thing,’’ said Siriphon Man-ngan, a teacher at Ban Wang Ai Kong School in Chaiyaphum’s Thep Sathit district.
‘‘The media should think twice before broadcasting false information, as this could encourage copycat behaviour.’’
Sompong Jitrpradup, a lecturer at Chulalongkorn University’s education faculty, said the plastic bag/condom report arose from two examples of anecdotes given at a teachers’ workshop on teenage sexual behaviour.
‘‘It so happened that the teachers who shared the stories with us were from the Northeast,’’ he said.
The media then played it up as a practice that was widespread in the region.
Such sensationalism of teen sexuality is nothing new, said Mr Wallop.
One survey found that the average age of Thais having their first sexual experience was just eight years old.
This was a huge story in the media, but Mr Wallop strongly questioned the finding. ‘‘It’s impossible,’’ he said.
‘‘The average age of first sexual experience may be coming down, but it cannot be as low as eight years old.”
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post by Lamphai Intathep. You can read the original and much longer story here: http://bit.ly/f9ypF8
display – to show signs of something, especially a quality or feeling แสดง
affection – a feeling of liking and caring about someone or something ความรักและห่วงใย
stereotype – to cause or support a fixed, unchanging idea or image that many people have of a particular type of person or thing, but which is often not true in reality
headline – the title of a newspaper story that is printed in large letters ข่าวพาดหัว
media – newspapers, television, radio, etc. สื่อ
virginity – the state of never having had sex ความไม่เคยร่วมเพศมาก่อน
crack down on – to start dealing with someone or something much more strictly จัดการ, ลงมือปราบปราม
engage in – to take part in a particular activity มีส่วนร่วมใน
featured – an important part of something บทบาทสำคัญใน
foundation – an organisation that provides money for things such as medical research or for a charity มูลนิธิ
inaccurate – not completely correct or exact ซึ่งคลาดเคลื่อน,ซึ่งไม่ถูกต้อง
bad-mouth – to say bad things about someone or something พูดให้ร้ายคนอื่น, วิพากษ์วิจารณ์
project – to imagine that other people have the same feelings, problems, etc. as you, especially when this is not true
generation – a group of people in society who are born and live around the same time รุ่น (คนรุ่นต่างๆ)
practice – a way of doing something การปฏิบัติ
hysteria – an extremely excited and exaggerated way of behaving or reacting to an event การปลุกปั่น,ความตื่นเต้น
prophylactic – something intended to prevent disease or infection, in this case a sexual disease, a condom ที่ป้องกันโรค ถุงยางอนามัย
rumour – a piece of information, or a story, that people talk about, but that may not be true ข่าวลือ
reinforce – to make stronger เสริมให้แข็งแรงขึ้น
prejudice – an unreasonable opinion or feeling ความมีอคติ, ความลำเอียง
in particular – especially or particularly โดยเฉพาะ, โดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่ง
reject – to not agree with ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ
broadcast – to send out a programme on television or radio กระจายเสียง,กระจายข่าว
encourage – to cause someone to want to do something กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน
copycat – similar to something else and considered to be a copy of it เลียนแบบ
anecdote – a story that you tell people about something interesting or funny that has happened to you เรื่องราว
widespread – happening or existing in many places, or affecting many people อย่างแพร่หลาย
sensationalism – a way or writing or talking about events that makes them seem as exciting or shocking as possible ภาษาที่ทำให้ตื่นเต้น,
sexuality – the feelings and activities connected with a person's sexual desires เรื่องทางเพศ, ลักษณะทางเพศ
huge – very large ใหญ่โต
average – the amount, level, standard etc that is typical of a group of people or things ค่าเฉลี่ย, ส่วนเฉลี่ย