3/4 polled okays actions of Tammy
Quote of the day:
Just so that when we're older, we can realise how fit we used to be.
Alvin Fan, 20-year-old student
SOME of you may have frowned on Tammy, the Nanyang Poly student whose intimate video got passed around in cyberspace last week.
Adjectives such as stupid, immature, irresponsible were used to describe what happened.
For the more conservative, she may even be labelled as loose for being so casual with sex.
But here's the surprise:
Many young people in her age group - junior college, polytechnic and university students between the ages of 17 and 25 - don't think she did anything wrong.
In a poll by The New Paper on Sunday, almost three quarters of 107 people polled held this view.
Indeed, close to 1 in 6 claimed they would consider filming themselves in the act. But none of them admitted to have done it.
SHOULDN'T BE CARELESS
What's clear is this: The student shouldn't have been so careless by leaving the clip in her handphone, which subsequently got stolen.
Miss Audrey Li, 19, who echoed the majority opinion, said what Tammy did in her personal life is her own business so long as it's not meant for public viewing.
'She was just unlucky (that it was exposed). There was apparently no intention to distribute the video.
'So, whatever floats her boat!' Miss Li said.
Miss Faith Perh, also 19, agreed.
She said: 'What she did fell strictly within the private domain. It's her own personal life. If she went around showing it to other people, that's another matter.'
Others, like Mr Damien Poon, 19, felt that while what she did was acceptable, her careless attitude wasn't.
'The fact that such material was on her phone shows that she wasn't serious or careful enough about such a delicate matter.
'It is this flippant attitude towards something so private that I have an issue with,' he added.
Indeed, handphone thefts are on the rise.
According to the police, more than 1,800 people reported their handphones snatched, stolen or taken away by force between January and May last year.
More than half the owners were teenagers.
This is a 45 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2004.
WRONG IN PRINCIPLE
Carelessness aside, some think Tammy's actions were wrong in principle.
They may be in the minority, but they have strong comments about it.
Miss Sarah Lim, 20, said: 'It's wrong because she's hurting her own dignity by doing something like that.'
As for Tammy's partner, a 21-year-old who has just finished his NS, 1 in 4 think he's done something wrong.
Miss Lim, who also thought Tammy's actions were wrong, said: 'It was exploitative. He might have been exploiting her ignorance.'
Mr Mohammad Rais, on the other hand, has a much firmer opinion on the matter.
'He's wrong, because youngsters should not have premarital sex no matter what,' said the 18-year-old.
The rest, around 72 per cent of the respondents, thought what he did was okay.
Miss Teo Tsu Lyn, 18, said: 'He was not at fault, he was an innocent party. He didn't count on the girl losing her handphone.
'The fault lies solely with the person who not only did not return the handphone, but uploaded the contents onto the internet.'
None of those polled admitted to having indulged in similar activities.
Those who might make their own sex video in the future said they would only do so if they can be sure the clip remains private.
For 20-year-old student, Mr Alvin Fan: 'Just so that when we're older, we can realise how fit we used to be.'
- Additional reporting by Christine Tee, Cherie Wong, Ong Rui Lin, Samantha Fong, Shermaine Koh, Ben Kyaw, Nicole Na Yun, Hadi An & Esther Huang
TOUGH but pain will HEAL
IT sounds scandalous. And wrong.
But the desire to photograph or film yourself in sexual positions is acknowledged by counsellors The New Paper on Sunday spoke to said.
Dr Alex Ung, a consultant psychiatrist with Adam Road Hospital, said a voyeuristic streak is not out of the ordinary.
'That's why the porn industry is so big.'
But privacy is of utmost importance. And others should not be offended, hurt or influenced as a result, noted counsellers.
Dr Ung cautions those who indulge in these activities to destroy any evidence or to keep them in a secure place.
How should someone like Tammy be counselled?
Victims, they said, will feel very vulnerable and traumatised if their photos or videos leak out into public domain.
'This is an acute stress situation. Something very private is being exposed. It's like her (Tammy's) inner sanctuary has been invaded,' said Dr Ung, who has 20 years' experience in counselling adolescents.
A Nanyang Poly spokesman has confirmed that a counsellor has spoken to Tammy.
'Currently, we are working with the student's parents to help her through this difficult period.
'We are also re-arranging her study schedule to provide her time to recover from the distress brought on by the incident,' the spokesman said.
Mr David Kan, the co-founder of the Family Life Centre, agreed with the steps taken.
He suggested: 'Now, what the girl should also do is to surround herself with people she trusts and confides in.
'But of course, having the professionals like her counsellor around is important too.'
In severe cases, Dr Ung recommends a short period of anti-anxiety medication.
'This is just until the whole episode blows over, which it will,' he said.
Dr Pauline Sim, on the other hand, offers more preventive advice.
The psychiatrist at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre said: 'Sure, there's always personal freedom within legal confines. But we have to always think of the consequences.
'We don't live in isolation.'