Cambodian fathers build sex huts for their nine to13-year-old daughters
Mail Online Feb 13th2013
Courting rituals between lovestruckyoungsters differ greatly from country to country.
In some places around the world, sexbefore marriage is considered a great taboo and the prospect of a teenage girlspending the night with her boyfriend remains highly unlikely.
But in one village in Cambodia,fathers go out of their way to encourage their daughters to have sex: bybuilding them love huts.
Members of the Kreung tribe in thenortheast of the country believe that women can be empowered through spendingthe night with different members of the other sex.
And when a girl reaches her earlyteenage years, or possibly even before, the love hut becomes the place for herto meet and get to know boys before deciding on her one true love.
The tribe believes the ancientpractice is the best way for girls to find their future husbands.
The Kreung people have, however,moved on from their previous tradition of using a cocktail of alcohol and acentipede as a contraceptive, and now use condoms.
But in a country whereHIV and AIDS remains prevalent, and where concerns are often raised about theexploitation of youngsters in sex trafficking cases, the idea of encouragingyoungsters to have sex so openly remains surprising.
Nang Chan, a 17-year-old girl whonow lives full time in the love hut in the back garden of her parent's house,believes they offer her, and other girls like her, a sense of empowerment,though.
'The huts provide us independenceand are the best way through which we can explore our true lover,' she toldTechpuffs.com.
'If I find some special boyfriendand we both love each other, then I'll get intimate with him and have sex in myhut.
'But if I stop loving him and findanother boy that I see more attractive, then I'll stop having sex with myprevious boyfriend.'
Dr Sudeepta Varma, speaking toNational Geographic said that from a western perspective, love huts might beregarded as taboo as parents are usually looked upon as 'protectors' of awoman's virginity, and not promoters of it.
According to villagers, divorce andsexual violence in the community remains non-existent, and young women onlyengage in relationships with those they feel comfortable with.
Despite the liberal attitudestowards sex between unmarried youngsters, however, couples must save theprivilege of being seen in the day together until they are happily engaged tobe married.