Jamaicans Need a Culture Change about Paedophilia
At what age is an individual considered mature enough to make sexual decisions?
In 2015, Trinidad and Tobago raised their age of consent from 16 to 18, and I believe it is time for Jamaica to follow suit.
To consent to sex, is to consent to the responsibilities/consequences of sex. This should be taken into consideration when lawmakers decide that 16 is okay to consent.
This case with the pastor, is a clear indication that we need a culture change in Jamaica to protect the welfare of children.
I’ve come to the realisation that rather than have a society behind her, the 15 year old victim is being partly blamed or made to feel guilty for her encounter with the pastor.
Some are saying she’s the one who caused him to go to jail, and this is coming from members of her community and church.
There should be no controversy and/or debate about the girl’s innocence. According to experts, the brain is not FULLY developed until the age of 25, to be able to make sound decisions.
But when we think about age and sex we often look at it from a physical and legal perspective.
I believe that Jamaica and its child advocates should revisit the age of consent. It should be raised to 18.
Because it is 16, a lot of us believe that 15 and 16 year olds are ripe for relationships and capable of making appropriate sexual decisions.
Puberty ends at the age of consent for some, but the brain and psychology of teenagers continues to develop therefore they need more time to grow.
For a country that has a high poverty rate, increasing the age of consent will perhaps help reduce the rate of teen pregnancies which contributes to poverty. We do not have a welfare system.
Raise the age of consent and send a message.
By Natalee Stack
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