Raise age of consent
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Age of consent differs across countries. In Jamaica, the age of consent is 16. I believe 18 would be better.
Sex is an activity that carries along with it important responsibilities. There is the possibility of pregnancy and STDs. Not everyone at this young age will use birth control. Should pregnancy occur, an 18-year-old, generally speaking, would be in a much better position to take care of a child than a 16-year-old would be.
There is a lot of information that our guidance counsellors in schools need to be passing on to students every year - not just on sexual matters - so that children will know their rights and responsibilities. They need to know when they are getting themselves and others in trouble and be better able to guide their peers out of trouble also.
As difficult as it may be to gather the evidence, those who engage in 'sexual grooming' of underage persons should be charged. This should include caregivers and parents. Fixing this problem will require discipline and coordinated effort on the part of many groups, but the cause is important and worth the effort.