The trinidad Guardian / Over the weekend several threads, of which I was a part, spoke about teenagers having sex in their parents’ homes.
Some believed that teens were going to have sex whether we approved or not, so the best thing to do is allow them to do it safely.
Some people were very matter of fact and said point blank “not under my roof.”
Both sides seemed to raise fair points, so after giving it much thought, here are my views on it.
Using the “they’re gonna do it anyway” argument: Can we then say, well they’re gonna fight anyway, so let’s give them boxing gloves and help make it safe? Or, they gonna experiment with drugs anyway, so let’s invite the dealer to dinner to avoid them going to unsafe neighbourhoods to buy it? Teens are gonna be teens so let’s just laugh off the rudeness, because the phase will be over soon anyway.
Now let’s take this argument to a more general level and make it a societal viewpoint on handling things.
Government gonna steal from us anyway, so let’s just figure out how to allow them to do so with the least fall out. People gonna shoot anyway, so let’s try to figure out how to help them do it as safely as possible.
See where I am going with this?
The truth is, two 15-year olds should not be having sex, whether it is legal or not and whether or not parents themselves face no effect from the law for allowing it. As a responsible parent, you should not allow it. Just like drugs, rape, murder or any other misbehaviour, these rules must be set from early and constant communication must take place.
Where I think the gap lies, is the uncertainty we seem to face with whether this is unacceptable or not.
Our law raised the marriage age to 18 years old and many people agreed that kids should be kids and allowed to have a childhood. Let’s use that basis to determine if we should be allowing two 15-year-olds to have sex in our homes as a way of controlling it and keeping it safe.
Sex has emotional ramifications. Grown adults struggle with heart break. Do we really think teenagers are ready to handle the effects of making such a connection?
Teenagers should be focused on school, personal development and acquiring skills to help them succeed and become productive citizens. Can we say that having sex at this youthful age will have absolutely no effect on the average child’s ability to focus on such tasks?
Consequences of sex include, for the very least, pregnancy. Do I really need to list the social implications of teen pregnancies? Do I need to quote the exact figure that teen pregnancies cost the state? Are there some amazing success stories of teen moms making it? One hundred per cent yes, but that’s not the truth for the average teen mom.
If we can guide our children away from experimenting with harmful drugs or away from stealing and gangs then it stands to reason we can also guide our children away from sex at a young age. The conviction must first start with us. Understanding that if we are to give our children the best head start in life, then sex in their teen years is not advised.
Maybe we can address it in greater detail on the upcoming television series, as my word limit in this forum, only allows me to invoke thought versus build detailed arguments.
In the meantime I would urge everyone to do the courses and the research to help build that conviction so that we can truly understand the damage premature sex can cause.
Marsha L Riley