Indonesian court blames Facebook for increase in teenage pregnancies

A religious court official in Indonesia has blamed social networking site Facebook for a rise in teenage pregnancies and under-age marriages, a report said.

Siti Haryanti, a secretary at the religious court in Mount Kidul, a town in Central Java, said young couples were having sex after meeting online and she had seen the number of under-age marriages increase in the past year.

“During trials, we’ve repeatedly asked under-age couples whether they got acquainted via Facebook. And they admit [they did] and continued their relationships until [the girls] got pregnant”, Haryanti was quoted as saying by local newspaper, the Jakarta Post.

“The site is easy to access even to the remote villages so intensive relationships caused many teenagers to get pregnant outside marriage”, she said.

Haryanti said that this year alone, 130 underage couples had submitted marriage proposals to the religious court which she said was a 100 percent increase from last year.

The legal age for marriage in Indonesia is 16 years for women and 19 years for men.

A study by Yahoo! found that Indonesia is the largest and fastest growing online market in Southeast Asia, with online usage growth of 48 percent in 2010, compared to 22 percent in 2009.

Indonesia has more than 22-million Facebook users. — AFP with additional reporting by Staff Reporter

Image: MTV



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