Protect our children

Editorial

There has been a heated debate on the age of consent being proposed to 16 years from 18 years in the parliament.

Did we actually hear that? Are we being futuristic or are we regressing?

So many questions can be asked about the rationale behind the proposal: does it mean that we can rob our children of their childhood before they are mature enough to understand what sex and “relationships” entail?

Agreed, there are the raging hormones and romanticized versions of love and sex depicted almost nauseatingly sweetly in potboiler books and movies but what happens when vision is skewed?

Adults are supposed to show the way-hold the youth accountable for their decisions and actions. What message are we sending out when we reduce the age of consent to 16? Come on, they are just kids. They cannot handle the intricacies of a sexual relationship and the emotional, social and physical costs that come with it. Leave children, even adults have a hard time dealing with these issues. If they are serious and responsible. God save those who are frivolous and flippant in these matters.

Sex is not something that gets over as soon as the partners involved jump off bed (like they jumped in). As somebody rightly put it, there is nothing casual about a hook up. Apart from hazards to the uninitiated like STIs, unwanted pregnancies, abortions and emotional baggage, sex is something that goes far beyond human or animal copulation. It is supposed to be a beautiful experience meant to create bonding and be pleasurable and relaxing. It is also meant for procreation and to show love between partners. No wonder, most societies accept sex only within marriage.

At 16, children wouldn’t be ready for a steady relationship, let alone marriage. We cannot possibly risk setting our children free in the wilderness of sexual encounters at this age.  Moreover, we also know that predators exist. We don’t want to let our children be vulnerable to people who are on the look-out for easy and gullible prey.

We need to have safeguards. There are already too many crimes including sexual abuse of children in our midst. We need to be concerned and not let dangerous men and women set traps for our innocent, young kids. And yes, at this age, they are just kids.

Let us not arouse our children’s emotions and passions at an age when they are meant to be learning, loving and living. Exploring the world and its ways including sex will come naturally at an age when they are ready physically, mentally and emotionally. when I am mature.

For now, let us protect our children. Laws are important for this. We hope that the parliamentarians will judge and act wisely.

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