Does Hallmark make virginity valentines?

Thai teens seem intent on losing their virginity on the 14th.

Published February 13, 2007 6:58PM (EST)

They might want to think about it, if this lead from Reuters is correct: "A third of Thai teenage girls think Valentine's Day is an excellent time to lose their virginity, and police in Bangkok, Thailand, are out to stop them."

I love the image that this sentence conjures up: It's as if "Virginity" is some annoying younger-sister character whom Thai teens keep trying to ditch, their efforts thwarted by baton-wielding policemen. ("But I don't want to take Virginity to the party! When she's around I never get to talk to boys!")

The real story -- if this can be called a "real story" -- is that a poll published last week of 1,578 teenagers found that a third of the teenage girls were "willing to have sex on Valentine's Day if their boyfriends asked." (It's unclear from this article whether they would also be willing to have sex on, say, Tuesday, if their boyfriends requested it.)

More important -- at least if you're a law enforcement official trying to regulate the public's sex lives -- another survey of 1,222 teens found that "11 percent planned to lose their virginity on Wednesday night." Fifty-one percent said they wouldn't have sex -- perhaps deciding to stay home and experiment with illegal drugs instead.

So what's the strategy? Bangkok police will take a break from regulating the city's "massage parlors" and enforce a 10 p.m. curfew for teenagers. What's more, police will "be on the look out for public displays of affection by under-18 youths hanging out in shopping malls, cinemas and other entertainment venues."

This strikes me as absurd on three levels:

1) Why would a day that inspires people to buy stuffed dogs that say "I Ruff You" be a good occasion to have sex for the first time?
2) Why would you try to prevent sex by sending lusty teens home, out of public view?
3) Since when is it a good idea to take teenagers at their word about things they "plan" to do?

By Catherine Price

Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. Her written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, Popular Science, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, PARADE, Health Magazine, and Outside. Price lives in Philadelphia.

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Broadsheet Love And Sex Thailand Valentines Day