As scary as that sounds, most people don’t actually take it seriously anymore. But apparently, one Indonesian government official still does.
In an 8-minute video interview with Tribunnews.com posted on Saturday, February 22, Sitti Hikmawatty, a college professor who is also a commissioner in Indonesia’s Commission for the Protection of Indonesian Children (KPAI) claimed that indestructible sperm could impregnate women in swimming pools.
According to her, there is “an especially strong type of male sperm” that could impregnate women “even without penetration.” She said that “no one knows for sure how men ‘react’ to the sight of women in a swimming pool,” the Jakarta Post reported.
Her bewildering speech did not go unnoticed. Indonesians are now calling for her to be removed from the KPAI. Over the weekend, #PecatSittiHikmawatty (fire Sitti Hikmawatty), was the top trending Twitter topic in Indonesia.
Indonesian netizens jumped at the opportunity to conceive some hilarious memes.
This Jaws-inspired drawing, titled “AWAS” (watch out), satirises the notorious claim.
The KPAI has promptly distanced itself from Sitti. On Saturday, February 22, its chairman issued a statement saying that “KPAI’s understanding and attitude are not reflected in the online news narrative.”
The following day, Sitti released a statement of apology for her legendary claim. “It was a personal statement and not from the KPAI,” she said. She also admitted that it was an “inaccurate statement,” the Jakarta Post reported.
Over the years, several viral news stories have, er, given birth to the urban legend of girls getting pregnant from stray sperm in swimming pools.
In 2009, a Polish woman sued a hotel in Egypt for supposedly getting her 13-year-old daughter pregnant, claiming that a stray sperm from the hotel’s swimming pool impregnated her.
Another more ridiculous story involves one boy whose ejaculation allegedly impregnated 16 girls at a pool party in 2016. This was eventually revealed to be a lie that was picked up by fake news websites.
Let’s clear this up, for girls who want to enjoy a simple swim in the pool without having to worry about horny men and precocious boys occupying the same space. According to the American Pregnancy Association, you can’t get pregnant from ejaculation in a swimming pool, since sperm will be killed by the pool chemicals within seconds. The Indonesian Doctors Association also told CNN that “there is no way sperm cells would survive in swimming pools with all its chlorine and chemicals.”
So, no, scientifically speaking, the swimming pool can’t impregnate you. But apparently, the lack of scientific backing didn’t stop the conception of an outdated myth in one government official’s head.
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