Wed | Jun 23, 2021

LETTER OF THE DAY - Raise the age of consent to 18

Published:Monday | April 16, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

While listening to 'All Angles' on Wednesday, April 11, the question of whether the current age of consent was too high or too low was asked. Those who responded saw it as being too low and suggested it be moved up to 18, the age at which one becomes an adult. I am in full agreement with this stance.

What the consent age of 16 says is that a girl, at that age, can say yes to sex. The problem for me is that it can be estimated that at least 80 per cent of girls at age 16 in our society are still in high school. It is also the critical point where they, most times, are preparing for final exams (CXC).

If a girl becomes sexually active at this stage, it is almost impossible to expect her to maintain full focus on her studies.

There is also the problem where the male she is involved with expects her to go steady, i.e., treat the relationship as a mature woman would. Oftentimes, this feat of balancing an active relationship and school proves difficult to grown adults, let alone a high-school girl without the mental capacity to do so.

Vulnerable to abuse

Our young girls at this age are vulnerable to abuse from young men who do not care whether they continue in school or not. These girls are also very naive, confusing these men's love for their bodies as love for them.

I, therefore, suggest we look at raising the age of consent to 18. This would give our young girls a grace period between leaving high school and becoming an adult. This would enable them to learn about the world of men, what is involved in having a relationship, the good and bad about sex, and the choices they have in the process so that they can be able to make informed decisions.

PATRICIA CLARKE