JAKARTA - 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 Thursday.
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.
“Many couples admitted they got to know each other through the site and continued their relationship until they got pregnant outside wedlock,” Haryanti was quoted as saying by Antara state news agency.
“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 130 under-age couples have sought marriage licences at the religious court this year compared to 120 couples in 2010.
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.