Comissioned by Rutgers


Lina Agnesia is a young researcher who joins in Explore. A program under Rutgers International that includes young researchers in sexual and reproductive health and rights. Lina was initially reluctant to deal with issues of gender and sexuality even though she did raise the themes of transgender and religiosity for her undergraduate thesis. As gender and sexuality issues are considered a taboo topic so it won't be discussed in families, friendship relationships, or even schools. Moreover, she comes from a religious family.


During one and a half years, Lina does the research related to young people in Semarang, a city located on Java that is considered to represent the diversity and pluralism society in Indonesia. Through her subjects who are teenagers aged 12-14 years, Lina learned to understand that the generation of teenagers turned out to have problems that were as complex as adults. She also paid attention to the mental health of adolescents. How they find it challenging to manage their emotions, understand changes in their bodies, their feelings with their parents, peer pressure and bullying, the emergence of their sexual attraction due to hormonal influences, to the risks of sexual intercourse. She remembers that she experienced the same conditions while she was a teenager, but she was not exposed to sexual and reproductive health back at that time.

While the voice of young people usually considered not important and not be heard, as a young researcher, Lina considers it's important to involve the young generation in advocacy and policymaking. The perspective of young people is usually innovative and creative and they are able to keep up with the changing times. The youth perspective is also important if a program targets young people.
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