Wed | Feb 1, 2023

Letter of the Day | Illogic of having age of consent at 16

Published:Saturday | December 10, 2022 | 12:13 AM


In The Gleaner of December 6, the question was asked of five Jamaicans whether the age of consent for sexual intercourse should be increased from 16 to 18, in response to Senator Damion Crawford’s suggestion. Devon Fisher argued that government policy was for children to attend school to sixth form (age of 18), therefore the age of consent could be increased to 18. It would be illogical to have a government education policy being contrary to the age of consent.

Having the age for consensual sex at 16 while the age to vote is 18, and one has to be 17 before one can get a driver’s licence, one cannot get married without parental consent before the age of 18, one cannot purchase and drink alcohol from the rum bar or gamble at the casino or racetrack at age 16, seems illogical.

Voting for a political party, or gambling etc, is not a life-and-death issue, while sex could involve bringing a life with serious life implications. So how come it is harder to vote than to value life? Life is being cheapened.

It is illogical that, at 16, one could engage in coitus that could lead to childbearing, but be unable to be gainfully employed. At 16, one could not get married without parental consent but could be living in a house with a grown man and engaging in sex, without parental approval.

The change in the age of consent from 16 to 18 should be aimed at paedophiles, grown men and not two 16-year-olds having consensual sexual intercourse.

Perhaps the logic in having the age of consent at 16 is to allow grown men with too much money and no morals to target young, impressionable, poor, undereducated and vulnerable 16-year-old girls as sexual prey.