Materia Medica Malaysiana

August 26, 2008

Malaysian reaching puberty younger, says Liow

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:07 am

Star: GEORGE TOWN: Malaysian boys and girls are reaching puberty at a much younger age than the generations before them, said Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai.
He said that while girls attained menarche at the age of 12.6 years in 1994, many were now having their first menstruation when they are barely 10 years old.
“Early puberty and delayed marriage increases the opportunity for youths to cohabit outside of marriage,” he said when giving a talk on “Local Challenges of Malaysian Youth” at the National Day celebrations of the Methodist Boys School here yesterday.
He said a 1996 survey found that 1.8% of Malaysian youths admitted having premarital sex.
“In a similar survey conducted 10 years later, the prevalence of premarital sexual behaviour was 8% among boys and 1.9% among girls,” he said.
Replying to a question during a dialogue session with students later, Liow said there were many opportunities for youths to obtain tertiary education now compared to 20 years ago.
“When I was studying in university, there were only five public universities. Now there are 20 public universities, 18 private universities and about 500 colleges,” he said.
He said there was no reason for youths not to pursue tertiary education if their marks were good as they could easily obtain study loans from many institutions.
Former Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who is an old boy of the school, said only 2% of those aged 19 or 20 in the country could obtain places in Universiti Malaya in the 1960s and 1970s.
“Now, it has risen to more than 30% among the age group because of ample opportunities for tertiary education in the country,” he said.

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