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Valentine’s Day ‘not for sex’, schools reminded

Youths buy roses from a flower vender in Phnom Penh in February 2012.
Youths buy roses from a flower vender in Phnom Penh in February 2012. Pha Lina

Valentine’s Day ‘not for sex’, schools reminded

Academic institutions have been once again instructed to remind their pupils not to mistake Valentine’s Day for “a day for lovers” and that they risk losing “the reputation and dignity of themselves and their families”, according to an Education Ministry announcement issued on Tuesday.

The euphemism-laden memo is part of the government’s annual attempt to stop young people from having sex on February 14, which, it reads, “is not in the cultural tradition of the Cambodian people”.

A 2014 survey in Phnom Penh of 15- to 24-year-olds in couples found 15.8 per cent were planning to have sex that Valentine’s Day.

A troubling 4.8 per cent of young men in couples said they would force their girlfriend to have sex if she did not want to on Valentine’s Day, with 40.4 per cent saying they would attempt to somehow coerce their partner.

In previous years, the government has banned minors from checking into guesthouses without parental consent on February 14.


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