Cambodian dads want their teen daughters to have premarital sex
Generally sex before marriage is considered a great taboo and the prospect of a teenage girl spending the night with her boyfriend remains highly unlikely
But in one village in Cambodia, fathers encourage their daughters to have sex: by building special love huts for them.
Members of the Kreung tribe in the northeast of the country believe that girls can be empowered by spending the night with different members of the opposite sex.
And when a girl reaches her early teenage years, or possibly even before, the love hut becomes the place where she meets and get to know boys before deciding on her one true love.
The tribe believes that the ancient practice is the best way for girls to find their future husbands.
They have, however, moved on from their previous tradition of using a cocktail of alcohol and a centipede as a contraceptive, and now use condoms.
Nang Chan, a 17-year-old girl who now 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.
“The huts provide us independence and are the best way through which we can explore our true lover,” a major newspaper quoted her as telling a website.
“If I find some special boyfriend and we both love each other, then I’ll get intimate with him and have sex in my hut.
“But if I stop loving him and find another boy that I see more attractive, then I’ll stop having sex with my previous boyfriend,” she said.
Dr Sudeepta Varma, speaking to a documentary news channel said that love huts might be regarded as taboo, in the western perspective, as parents are usually looked upon as ‘protectors’ of a woman’s virginity, and not promoters of it.
According to villagers, divorce and sexual violence in the community remains non-existent, and young women only engage in relationships with men they feel comfortable with.
Despite the liberal attitudes towards sex between unmarried youngsters, however, couples can only be seen in the day together after they get engaged to be married.