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Demographics and a Historical Perspective
1. Basic Sexological Premises
2. Religious and Ethnic Factors Affecting Sexuality
3. Sexual Knowledge and Education
4. Autoerotic Behaviors and Patterns
5. Interpersonal Heterosexual Behaviors
6. Homoerotic, Homosexual, and Ambisexual Behaviors
7. Gender Conflicted Persons
8. Significant Unconventional Sexual Behaviors
9. Contraception, Abortion, and Population Planning
10. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
12. Sexual Dysfunctions, Counseling, and Therapies
13. Research and Advanced Education

(Republik Indonesia)

Wimpie Pangkahila, M.D., and J. Alex Pangkahila, M.D.

Demographics and a Historical Perspective

A. Demographics

Located in the archipelago southeast of Asia along the equator, Indonesia comprises some 13,700 islands, including Java, one of the most densely populated areas of the world, with 2,108 persons per square mile. Besides Java, Indonesia includes four other major islands: Sumatra, Kalimantan (most of Borneo), Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), and Irian Jaya (the western half of New Guinea). Bali, known as the “paradise island,” is also part of Indonesia. The mountains and plateaus on the major islands have a cooler climate than the tropical lowlands.

In 1997, Indonesia had over 200 million people with more than 300 ethnic groups. The age distribution of the population was: under age 15, 39.2 percent, 15 to 59,56.5 percent, and 5.3 percent over age 60, and a population density of 262 per square mile. Life expectancy at birth in 1995 was 59 for males and 63 for females. The 1995 birthrate was twenty-four per 1,000 and the death rate eight per 1,000, for a natural annual increase of 1.6 percent. The infant mortality was sixty-five per 1,000 live births. Indonesia has one hospital bed per 1,643 persons, and one physician per 6,861 persons. The literacy rate is 78 percent, and 97 percent attend primary school.

Indonesia is a developing country with major problems in the social and economic areas. Most people still have a low subsistence standard of living. However, the small middle- and upper-class populations have a very good standard of life. It is estimated that the country will join the developed countries in the near future. The 1995 per capita gross domestic product was $2,900.

B. A Brief Historical Perspective

It is generally believed that the earliest inhabitants of the Indonesian archipelago came from India or Burma (Myanmar). Later immigrants, known as Malays, came from southern China and Indochina. This later group is believed to have populated the archipelago gradually over several thousand years. Hindu and Buddhist civilizations reached Indonesia about 2,000 years ago, taking root mainly on the island of Java. In the fifteenth century, Islam spread along the maritime trade routes and became dominant in the sixteenth century. In the seventeenth century, the Dutch replaced the Portuguese as the dominant European power in the area. The Dutch gained control over Java by the mid-1700s, but the outer islands were not subdued until the early 1900s, when most of the current territory of Indonesia came under Dutch rule.

After the Japanese occupation of 1942-1945, nationalists fought four years until the Dutch granted Indonesia its independence. Indonesia declared itself a republic in 1950. In 1957, Indonesia invaded Dutch controlled West Irian (the western half of New Guinea); in 1969, tribal leaders voted to become part of Indonesia, a move sanctioned by the United Nations. East Timor became the twenty-seventh province of Indonesia after tribal and political leaders declared integration in 1975. Since 1965, after the fall of the Communist Party and the late President Sukarno, the government has been led by President Suharto.

1. Basic Sexological Premises

A. Character of Gender Roles

In the traditional Indonesian society, women clearly occupy a lower social status than men. This is still the dominant value in Indonesian culture. The idea that the female’s place is in the kitchen is still easy to find, especially in the villages. The husband-wife relationship is a chief-assistant relationship rather than a partnership.

Nevertheless, the role of women is improving in modern Indonesian society. Many women work outside the home, particularly in restaurants, garment, and cigarette factories, even though their wages are lower than those of males. Many female physicians, notaries, and lawyers are found in modern Indonesia. A few women have achieved high political positions as cabinet and parliament members.

B. Sociolegal Status of Males and Females

From the standpoint of national law, males and females enjoy the same rights in schooling and careers. However, in some areas, traditional laws discriminate against females. Only males, for instance, have a right to receive a legacy from their parents. This contributes to a higher status for males. Another consequence of traditional values is that parents insist on having a son, even though the government has proclaimed a limit of only two children per family, regardless of sex. Many pregnant women come to clinics seeking male-sex preselection, even though there is no method that can give a 100-percent guarantee of having a male child.

C. General Concepts of Sexuality and Love

Traditionally, Indonesian women connected sexuality with love, and engaged in sexual activities only with the male they loved, i.e., their husband. Women, it was believed, were not able to have sex with a male unless she loved him. In contrast, the traditional view fully accepted males as having sex with any female they liked. In essence, females were only sexual objects, designed for male pleasure.

This traditional view is changing in modern Indonesia. For many, sex and love are easy to separate and are frequently viewed as two different things. Many females, especially among the young, want to engage in sexual intercourse with anybody they like without the necessity of loving that person. This concept, of course, is not well received by the older generation.

2. Religious and Ethnic Factors Affecting Sexuality

A. Source and Character of Religious Values

During the first few centuries of the Christian era, most of the islands came under the influence of Hindu priests and traders, who spread their religion and culture. Moslem invasions began in the thirteenth century and most of the area was Moslem by the fifteenth. Today, 88 percent of Indonesians are Moslem, with Hindu, Buddhist, and both Protestant and Catholic Christian minorities. There is a commendable degree of religious tolerance among the people.

Christian Portuguese traders arrived early in the sixteenth century, but were ousted by the Dutch around 1595. After Napoleon conquered the Netherlands homeland in 1811, the British seized the islands but returned them to the Dutch in 1816. After the Japanese occupation during World War II ended, nationalists declared Indonesian independence from the Dutch. After a year’s fighting, a treaty was signed, political stability returned, and economic development began.

In the past, conservative religious and cultural values had a strong influence on sexual attitudes and behaviors. For instance, it was taboo for male and female adolescents to walk together in public. A daughter who became pregnant before marriage posed a disaster for her whole family.

However, the influence of religious and traditional cultural values has decreased in recent decades, most noticeably since 1980. This is evident in the fantastic changes in the sexual attitudes and behaviors of the people, especially among the young.

B. Source and Character of Ethnic Values

Each ethnic group has its own culture and sexual values. The Javanese and Balinese, for instance, are more modern than the Dyaks and other tribal cultures of Borneo. In general, however, sex is considered something private and even secret. Sex is appropriate only between husband and wife. Women are like maids, there for their husband’s benefit. Wives are subservient to their husbands in everything including sexual contact. Some men who engage regularly in homosexual behavior do so because they believe that they have supernatural powers that will disappear if they have sexual contact with women.

In today’s globalization trends, sexual attitudes and behaviors are changing rapidly in all the cultures of Indonesia. Premarital sex, for example, is now common among adolescents. Even premarital pregnancy is easy to find and, for many parents, it is no longer the disaster it was only a generation or two ago.

3. Sexual Knowledge and Education

A. Government Policies and Programs

Sex education is not a priority in the government’s program. School curricula do not offer students any education on sexual topics or issues. However, the Department of Education and Culture has recommended a book, About the Sexual Problem in the Family, by Wimpie Pangkahila, as a source of sexual information for high school students. This 1988 book discusses many sexual problems that occur in Indonesian families as a result of misinformation, misunderstanding, and myths, such as the belief in the harmful consequences of self-pleasuring or the impossibility of pregnancy if sexual intercourse occurs only once a month. This 152-page book is available in many bookstores and some libraries.

The Indonesian Health Department and the National Coordinating Board of Family Planning have a program for Reproductive Health Education. This program, designed for young people, provides seminars on topics of reproductive and sexual health.

In recent years, some secondary high schools have introduced a small segment of sex education as part of their extracurricular offerings. Outside experts are invited to talk about sexuality in these seminars.

B. Informal Sources of Sexual Knowledge

Despite the public reticence about sexuality, the Indonesian people are eager for and need more information about the subject. Hence the popularity of public and semiprivate seminars on sexual topics. Many social organizations for young people, and women’s organizations, sponsor seminars for their members with outside experts invited to speak about sexuality.

Some magazines, newspapers, and radio broadcasts also have columns or programs in which sexuality and sexual problems are discussed. Readers and listeners write or call in asking about some sexual issue or problem they are facing. Many people, however, still express a negative reaction to these forms of informal sexual education.

4. Autoerotic Behaviors and Patterns

A. Children and Adolescents

Autoeroticism is common among children in the phallic stage of their psychosexual development. Although some parents report that they watch their children pleasuring themselves to orgasm, many parents are afraid when they discover their children self-pleasuring because they believe this to be an abnormal act.

Autoeroticism is also common among adolescents as a way of tension release. One study by Wimpie Pangkahila found that 81 percent of male adolescents and 18 percent of female adolescents aged 15 to 20 years old engaged in self-pleasuring. Most reported using their fingers, sometimes lubricated with a liquid. Some rubbed against a pillow or mattress. Only a few females reported using a vibrator.

B. Adults

Autoeroticism is very common among adults, especially single adults. The pattern is the same as among adolescents. However, many people still believe that autoeroticism is morally wrong and will result in harmful physical and mental consequences, such as sterility, impotence, and a decrease in memory ability.

5. Interpersonal Heterosexual Behaviors

A. Children

Sexual exploration and sex rehearsal play are common among children as a natural part of their psychosexual development. However, many parents are afraid of such behavior, believing that it results in sexual abnormalities.

B. Adolescents

Puberty Rituals

Some ethnic groups, especially in the remote areas and among tribal people, have ritual ceremonies for adolescents, especially for the female on the occasion other first menstruation. These ceremonies differ greatly from one ethnic culture to another.

Premarital Sexual Activities and Relationships

Premarital sexual activities are considered taboo. In general, older persons and parents oppose all sexual activities engaged in before marriage. However, during the past decade, there has been a change in sexual attitudes and behaviors among adolescents. Some studies in a few Indonesian cities reveal a growing trend among adolescents to engage in premarital sexual activities such as necking, petting, and even intercourse.

Knowing that parents and the older generation oppose premarital sexual activities, young people hide their activities from them. On the other hand, parents frequently give their children more opportunities to be alone with their boy- or girlfriends. And many adolescents take advantage of these opportunities for sexual activities.

C. Adults

Premarital Courtship, Dating, and Relationships

Dating and premarital sexual relations among adults are very common in modern Indonesian society. The culture requires a particular kind of courtship when a couple wants to marry. In this courtship, the parents and family of the male approach the parents of the female to make the arrangements. In some ethnic groups, a courtship document is signed when presents, such as cows, buffalos, gold, and jewelry, are given. For many people in these groups, this custom is very expensive, because they have to collect enough money to buy the presents for courtship.

Sexual Behavior and Relationships of Single Adults

Self-pleasuring is a common sexual behavior among single adults, even though it is not allowed by religious and moral values. Sexual relationships among male and female single adults are also taboo. However, some data show that many couples engage in sexual relations before they marry. A study by Wimpie Pangkahila suggested a rate of 53 percent for urban couples. Another study of rural, pregnant women found a premarital intercourse incidence of 27 percent.

Many single adult males have sexual contact with prostitutes. Prostitution exists in many places in Indonesia, whether it is legal or illegal. The range of services comes in various classes from low-cheap to high-expensive.

Marriage and the Family

Indonesia has had a marital code to regulate marriages since 1974. The law requires that a marriage be performed in a religious ceremony and then be registered in the civil act office for Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus. The marriages of Moslems are registered in the Moslem Religion Affairs Office.

Extramarital intercourse is common, especially among males. Many married men seek prostitutes or have sexual relations with single or married women. Extramarital intercourse is also found among married women, but in a lower incidence than among husbands. Although married women do have sexual relations with single and married men, most people consider this very bad and unacceptable behavior. In a typical, double moral standard, extramarital sex by males is considered something usual, even though it is forbidden by religion, morality, and law.

Sexuality and the Physically Disabled and Aged

Most Indonesians believe that sex is only for the physically normal and young people. Most feel uncomfortable when a disabled or aged person still thinks about or expresses an interest in sexual activities. However, marriages do occur between disabled persons, or between a disabled and an able-bodied person. Some disabled and many aged people do come to sexual clinics with their sexual problems for counseling and treatment.

Incidence of Oral and Anal Sex

Generally Indonesians do not accept fellatio, cunnilingus, and anal sex as foreplay or sexual outlets. Most people consider these behaviors as abnormal or sinful. On the other hand, many people do engage in fellatio and cunnilingus.

Many men seek out prostitutes only for fellatio, because they enjoy that outlet, but their wives refuse to engage in it. Some women do like to have cunnilingus, but refuse to perform fellatio for their husbands. Still, many couples enjoy both fellatio and cunnilingus as a part of their sexual activities.

Fellatio and cunnilingus are becoming popular among young people as a sexual alternative to vaginal intercourse. Cunnilingus is preferred especially by and for females, because it does not tear the hymen, which many still believe is a mark of virginity. Very few couples engage in anal sex.

6. Homoerotic, Homosexual, and Ambisexual Behaviors

A. Children and Adolescents

Homoerotic or homosexual activities are not common among Indonesian children, although some sexual exploration involving exhibiting the genitals is known to occur.

Some adolescents engage in homosexual activities as a sexual outlet, while others engage in this activity for material gain as homosexual male prostitutes. In one Java society of traditional artists, known as Reog Ponorogo, some adolescents engage in homosexual activities to serve adult males who are believed to have supernatural powers (See Section 1B above).

B. Adults

In general, Indonesians consider homosexuality and bisexuality as abnormal acts forbidden by morality and religions. Despite this taboo, thousands of adults engage in homosexual and bisexual relationships. A Functional Group for Gays and Lesbians exists with branches in some large cities. Most gays and lesbians, however, hide their orientation and activities because they know that most people oppose homosexual behavior.

Since homosexual marriage is illegal, homosexual persons are limited to living-together arrangements and cohabitation. Sexual outlets among homosexual, lesbian, and bisexual-oriented adults include oral sex, anal sex, and mutual self-pleasuring. Some lesbians use vibrators.

7. Gender Conflicted Persons

There are no precise statistics on the incidence of gender conflicted persons. It is estimated that there are thousands of male transsexuals. Waria, an abbreviation of Wanita (female), and Pria (male), are popular terms for gender conflicted persons in Indonesia. In Surabaya, capital city of East Java, Perkumpulan Waria Kotamadya Surabaya or the Association of Waria in Surabaya provides members with support, education, and career training as beauticians, artists, or dancers. These skills hopefully allow Waria to support themselves and avoid a life of prostitution. Support groups also provide information about AIDS prevention. Many transsexuals work as prostitutes.

Only a few male transsexuals, usually well-known artists, can afford to have surgery to change their sexual anatomy. The average cost for such surgery is the equivalent of 330 to 400 percent of a middle-class worker’s monthly income, about $1,500 to $2,000 in American money.

8. Significant Unconventional Sexual Behaviors

A. Coercive Sex

Sexual Abuse, Incest, and Pedophilia

There is no research on child sexual abuse, incest, or pedophilia. What is known about these issues comes from reports in the newspapers detailing some incidents of coercive sex involving children. Legal penalties exist for persons convicted of child sexual abuse, incest, and pedophilia. The social response to these acts is very negative, and the perpetrators are viewed as criminals.

Sexual Harassment

Even though there is no significant data about sexual harassment, it is believed that it happens very often. Many women who work in factories or offices, or walk along the street suffer from a variety of sexual harassments, although few women realize they are victims of sexual harassment that is contrary to the law. The penalty for sexual harassment may range from three to six months in prison.

Fortunately, in recent years, some women leaders have been trying to educate women that sexual harassment is illegal, and that women have the right to prosecute those who engage in it.


As with other forms of sexual coercion, there is no significant data on the incidence of rape in Indonesia. Rape incidents perpetrated by an acquaintance, boyfriend, or stranger, and rapes that end in murder are reported in the newspapers. Marital rape is not reported in the news media, although some wives in counseling or therapy do report being raped by their husbands when they refuse to have sexual intercourse.

B. Prostitution

Prostitution is widespread and occurs in many locations from small to large cities. In some jurisdictions and cities, where prostitution is illegal, the law may prosecute either the prostitutes or those who manage the business of prostitution. Childhood prostitution is supported by wealthy sex tourists from the Middle East, Europe, Japan, and other countries, but it is not the extensive problem it is in neighboring nations, like Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam (Kristof 1996).

C. Pornography and Erotica

In keeping with conservative tradition, pornography is illegal throughout Indonesia. However, it is not difficult to find blue or hard-core video material. Some people sell pornographic books, magazines, and pictures, despite their being illegal.

9. Contraception, Abortion, and Population Planning

A. Contraception

Indonesia has a national program promoting contraception to help married couples plan their families. This program addresses only married people, and not adolescents or unmarried adults. Information on contraception is provided through women’s social organizations, newspapers, radio, and television broadcasts.

In the early 1980s, the government provided free contraceptives at public health centers. In 1988, with an improving economic situation and people recognizing the need for family planning, the government gradually began reducing its support, encouraging people who could afford them to obtain contraceptives from physicians in private practice or midwives with reasonable fees. The poor can still obtain free contraceptive services at public health centers where the only charge is for an inexpensive admission ticket.

The most popular contraceptive is the oral hormonal pill. Women have to be examined by a physician before they can obtain a prescription for it, but renewal of such prescriptions is not limited. Intrauterine contraceptive devices are also popular, followed by hormonal implants.

Despite this limitation of contraceptive information to married women, some adolescents and unmarried adults also use contraceptives. They are available in pharmacies (apothacaries or chemists), and include the condom and vaginal film (tissue). Often the hormonal pill can be obtained without a physician’s prescription.

In general, the people do not agree that unmarried people should have access to and use contraceptives. Thus, there is no formal education in the schools about contraceptives for adolescents. Sexually active adolescents and single adults have only informal sources of information about contraceptives: newspapers, television, radio programs, and seminars sponsored by interested social groups.

B. Teenage Unmarried Pregnancies

Unmarried pregnancies are not uncommon, but data is nonexistent. What little information is available simply documents the number of unmarried pregnancies in different years. One urban clinic, for instance, reported 473 unmarried pregnant women seeking aid in 1985-86, a second clinic served 418 pregnant unmarried women in 1983-86, and a third clinic reported 693 unmarried pregnancies in 1984-90. These reports provide only raw data with no perspective, and the frequency and incidence of unmarried pregnancies are much higher than the few studies indicate. Likewise, there are no data that would allow one to compare the incidence of unmarried pregnancies in the cities and rural areas. However, the incidence of abortions performed by traditional healers suggests that unmarried pregnancies are not uncommon in the rural areas.

C. Abortion

Abortion is illegal throughout Indonesia, except for some medical cases to save a mother’s life. However, some abortions are performed in clinics in certain cities. It is impossible to obtain any realistic number of abortions performed in Indonesia, simply because it is illegal. In Jakarta, with a population in 1988 of an estimated 8.8 million, one clinic reported 500 abortions per month, while a Bali clinic reported 7 to 10 abortions per day. Abortions are also performed by native healers who use traditional, often unsafe methods that sometimes result in complications.

D. Population Control Efforts

The success of Indonesia’s national program of family planning was recognized in 1989 when the United Nations Organization gave its Population Award to the President of Indonesia. Efforts are being made to achieve zero population growth in the near future. These efforts are particularly important considering that the island of Java is one of the most densely populated areas of the world with 2,100 persons per square mile, over 100 million people on an island of 51,023 square miles. By comparison, the states of New York, North Carolina, and Mississippi are each roughly the same size as Java, but have only 18, 6.6, and 2.5 million people respectively.

10. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted disease are often found among adolescents and young adults, indicating that the taboos against premarital sex are not observed. The incidence is highest in ages 20 to 24, lower in ages 25 to 29, and in 15- to 19-year-olds. As would be expected given the social customs, the incidence among males is higher than it is among females. The most commonly reported STDs are nonspecific urethritis and gonorrhea. Syphilis is no longer common, although it appears to be increasing in recent years.

Treatment for STDs is available at all health clinics throughout the country. Some years ago, the government sponsored a program to prevent the spread of STDs by providing prostitutes with penicillin injections. Other prevention efforts focus on providing information in group-sponsored seminars and the mass media, newspapers, radio, and television.


At the end of January 1997, Indonesia reported 509 cases of HIV infection, and AIDS cases have been reported. Most of the cases were heterosexual persons ranging from adolescence to old age. The real number of HIV-positive and AIDS cases is believed to be much higher than this report.

Prevention efforts have focused on high-risk groups, particularly prostitutes, both female and male, and people who work in the tourism industry. Most of the HIV and AIDS cases in Indonesia have resulted from sexual contact. Prostitutes are one source of infection, but it is estimated that many HIV-positive tourists have come to popular tourist centers like Bali, and some have introduced the virus through sexual contact with local people. Prevention efforts involve providing information on how to reduce the spread of AIDS and blood tests for HIV infection. Campaigns to popularize the use of condoms are conducted in some areas where prostitution is common. Unfortunately, these education efforts do not deter people from unprotected sexual contact with prostitutes. Consequently, cases of HIV and AIDS will likely explode in Indonesia in the near future.

12. Sexual Dysfunctions, Counseling, and Therapies

The diagnostic paradigm used by Indonesian sexologists is basically that of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, with presenting cases of inhibited male arousal (impotence), early (premature) ejaculation, inhibited (retarded) ejaculation, male and female dyspareunia, inhibited female orgasm, and vaginal spasms. A common psychological sequela for males with a sexual dysfunction is a feeling of inferiority with regard to the partner. This feeling is often what brings the male into seek treatment. Many women, on the other hand, tend to hide their sexual problems and feel shy about seeking treatment. Many married women never have orgasm and never tell their husbands. At the same time, many husbands are unaware or do not even suspect that their wives never have orgasm.

Diagnosis and treatment for sexual dysfunctions are available in only a few clinics.

13. Research and Advanced Education

The Andrology Program at Airlannga University has a postgraduate program (segment) in sexology. The Andrology postgraduate program requires a two-and-a-half-year study in spermatology, experimental reproductive biology, reproductive endocrinology, infertility management, and sexology. Instruction in the sexology specialization includes sexual dysfunction, sexual deviation, and premarital and marital counseling. Some Indonesian sexologists have finished their education and training in the United States, Belgium, and other countries. A few studies of sexuality are currently in process, including management of impotence using intracavernosal injection, and a comparison of sexual perception and behavior in young and old subjects.

At Udayana University Medical School there are two organizations studying sexology as a part of their programs. The mailing addresses for these organizations are:

The Study Group on Human Reproduction. Udayana University Medical School. Attention: Wimpie Pangkahila, M.D., Jl. Panglima Sudirman, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

The Indonesian Society of Andrology, c/o Laboratory of Pathology, Udayana University Medical School, Jl. Panglima Sudirman, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Sexual Abuse, Sexual Exploitation, and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Indonesia

This is an extract of a report prepared for Indonesia, which commissioned a study on the situation of the children in especially difficult circumstances covering the issue of child labour, street children and sexually exploited children. The Indonesian version of this report was published soon. Mohamman farid, the author of this report has given his consent to this extracted version.

Child Prostitution

Child prostitution in Indonesia is increasing and seems to be widespread. In Java, for example, child prostitution is reported to cover the whole of island from east to west, from the metropolitan areas to the peripheral towns. In Greater Jakarta, child prostitution is evident in some public parks, the streets, plazas, cafes, and discotheques, as in certain brothels within the authorised red light district and in some hotels. The involvement of girls of elementary or junior high school age in covert prostitution is also identified

The extent of child prostitution in Indonesia if often underestimated, because of a number of factors. Firstly there is confusion with the definitions of a 'child' and prostitution'. In Indonesia, a married person of whatever age is considered - legally and culturally - to be no longer a child. This has rsulted in much confusion as authorities, parents and society in general do not consider the prostitution of wives or windows aged below 18 in anyway a manifestation of child prostitution.

Aside from the official stance that renders prostitution outside authorised complexes illegal, the prevailing presumption among the general society, which considers prostitution as immoral and thus to be kept out of the public agenda, has pushed the issue further out of sight. Given the social stigma, children are generally anxious about their involvement being discovered, particularly by people close to them. They operate clandestinely in small groups, using secret codes, which are changed immediately when publicly disclosed. As was reported recently, of 100 young females interviewed, aged 12-19 years who were involved in such a covert prostitution, 82 claimed that their parents would not find out. They screen potential clients, prefer to be picked upin cars to avoid being suspected by their families and neighbors. Electronic communication devices such as cellular phones and engage in. Thus, there are reasons to suspect that the actual prevelance of children involved in the underground prostitution may be higher that any observer sensed.

Bearing these factors in mind and having examined every piece of available information, an initial moderate estimate of the prevalence of child prostitution in Indonesia is that around 30 percent of the total sex workers in the country are aged under 18 years. This constitutes around 40,000 to over 150,000 based on different estimates of the number of sex workers.

Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes & Child Pornography.

Reports indicate that the routes for trafficking children, either domestic or international trafficking, appear to be the same as those transporting adult women. The only case where the routes may have been developed exclusively for child sexual trafficking are those from Bali to some unidentified international destination(s) involving an American, an Australian, and a French citizen.

Another form of child sexual trafficking is taking place through matching agents. This seems to be particular to West Kalimantan where Indonesian females including those aged under 18 are offered the opportunity to marry Taiwanese or Hong Kong-Chinese. Around 40 females are sent to Taiwan and Hong Kong monthly. Some of them arrive to a happy family life, but others are reported to have faced forced marriages or were drawn into prostitution.

Child pornography probably occurs on a lesser scale than other forms of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). To date, only one case has been uncovered and reported in the media, involving boys who were sexually molested on Lombok. However, as revealed by local resource persons, at least in Surabaya and Ujung Pandang the use of sex workers including under-aged ones for visual pornography is not unusual. Additionally, a prostituted child during an interview (case study) claimed that besides knowing that some of her friends were used in the production of such pornography, she herself was often urged by some local journalists to be photographed in this way. She also claimed that one customer made a video recording of himself and her engaged in sexual activity. Finally, three local homepages with international web links have been identified as exclusive servers of pornography, in which figures suspected to be teenagers are involved (website surfing).

Whilst the underlying factor is undoubtedly poverty, the direct factors pushing them into prostitution are attributed to early sexual experience including sex abuse, early marriage, being lured by friends or relatives already involved in prostitution, or being enticed by agents. Some others are probably motivated more by a consumerist life style.

Besides their vulnerability to drug abuses, sex workers are at most risk of contracting STDs including HIV/AIDS. It normally takes 6-12 months before they acquire adequate knowledge of such risks and become accustomed to using contraceptive preventive aids. They usually learn about certain medicines to treat VD, initially from their senior counterparts. Only after having contracted infections do they then become more cautious of these diseases. Likewise, the segment to which the sex workers belong determines the probable incidence of STDs. The higher the class, the lower the likelihood of getting infected, as they have more access to medical services.

Gender Dimensions

The victims of child sexual abuse and CSEC are predominantly female. With child sexual abuse, 13 mass media agencies indicated that the number of boy victims increased between 1994 and 1996. However, of the total cases recorded during those years, the proportion of girl victims was as high as 93.5 per cent. In the case of CSEC, there are obviously more girls than boys involved in child prostitution, whilst not a single report on sexual trafficking of boys was found despite a relatively large number of reports concerning the trafficking of girls. Male children however, are reportedly found among the victims of child pornography.

Socio-cultural Factors

Certain cultural beliefs have been identified as causing child sexual abuse. These include the belief that magical power is gained - through either heterosexual or homosexual intercourse with children. Such beliefs have even become institutionalised within certain social settings, and thus child sexual exploitation is socio-culturally legitimised and reinforced. The practice of nggemblak by warok, in the district of Ponorogo in East Java, provides a good example. It is believed that having boy concubines (called gemblak) is necessary to sustain and increase the magical power of warok, and having more gemblak gives a warok higher social status. As it shows that he can afford to take care of the economic necessities of more boys and their families as well. Likewise, the belief that having sexual intercourse with children is rejuvenating obviously gives a pretext to the demand for both non- commercial and CSEC.

Child Labourers and their Risks

Whilst street children are obviously vulnerable to both sexual abuse and CSEC, child labourers are also at high risk of such abuses. In this regard, it is worth remembering the cases of under-ageci migrant workers whose ages are falsified. Femalemigrant workers are highly vulnerable to the risk of becoming victims of sex abuse; the children smuggled as migrant workers must be equally at risk. Similarly, girls whose mothers are away as migrant workers and may thus be neglected may also be at risk of sex abuse.

Lack of Educational, Vocational & Employment Opportunities

An inability to afford schooling pushes children into further risk of sex abuse, since they are more likely to be exposed to harmful envirom- nents. Schools, at least, provide a somewhat safer envirom-nent for children. A lack of education also means less opportunity to gain vocational skills, fewer job opportunities, forcing some children into commercial sex as a means of earning money.

Poverty, Rural-urban Migration and Consumerism

Poverty can result in the sale of children by their own parents for commercial sexual purposes. The saie of children, which is related to rural-urban migration, was found (investigative interview). Children of poor families, by nature of their poverty, are in general less likely to be protected and thus face a higher risk of commercial sexual exploitation. In other words, poverty creates the necessary conditions for pushing children to become victim of C SEC. Aside from poverty, consumerist life style has also been documented as enticing children, particularly those living in metropolitan areas, to become involved in prostitution prematurely.

Sexual Abuse

A WHO study found that 61 per cent of street walkers had been abused sexually during their childhood. Likewise, of the 13 prostituted girls interviewed, seven admitted having been sexually abused at the age of 11 - 1 5 years. Clearly indicating that child sex abuse results in the abused child becoming involved in child prostitution. Moreover, having been involved in prostitution, the girls are put at risk of becoming victims of child sexual trafficking or pornography. Althouch the linear pattern may not always be the case, the indications suggest that generally those sexually abused end up in CSEC.

Premature Sexual Experience, Arranged or Early Marriage

Premature sexual experience is also likely to put girls at risk of CSEC, as all but one of the prostituted girls interviewed in Medan, Semarang, Surabaya and Manado admitted to having had such experience, including sexual abuse, prior to getting lured into prostitution.

The practice of early marriage is certainly another important factor contributing to CSEC. In Java marriages can be arranged when the girls are at a very young age. In the district of Indramayu, there are at least six kinds of cheap and easy wedding ceremonies, which in the local context are equally legitimate. Early marriage generally carries a high risk of separation, and young women separated from their husbands lose the social and economic legitimacy to go back and live under the custody of their parents. Given their minimum education amidst the lack of alternative job opportunities, prostitution may become their only alternative.

Demand from Tourism Industry and Paedophiles

It is predicted that Indonesia will become an alternative target for child sex tourists and international paedophiles rings. There are at least three reasons to support this prediction. First, the widespread prevalence of HIV/AIDS in former child sex destinations such as Thailand and the Philippines has made child sex tourists look for safer destinations. Second, increased awareness among NGOs and other sections of the civil society in those countries have successfully pressured their governments to take a tougher stand against CSEC, particularly against child sex tourists. Third - as promotion of tourism in Indonesia is on going, and is targeted to become a significant foreign exchange earner for Indonesia - the climate is likely to welcome any tourist, including child sex exploiters.

Today's Victim, Future Exploiter

Child victims of sex abuse and victims of CSEC are more likely to become potential exploiters. Children who have been caught up in the web of CSEC as a consequence of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, particularly when they come from substance abusing dysfunctional families are unlikely to have suitable adult models of parenting and caring to draw upon. Under these conditions they will be at great risk of perpetuating the behavioural cycle of physical, emotional or sexual abuse to their offspring. In this way, the pathways into the intergenerational patterns of CSEC and sex abuse are constructed.

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