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Teens & Sex

Kareem LaTouche, Youthlink Coordinator

Dear Counsellor:
I am a 15-year-old female and my 16th birthday is in two weeks. My boyfriend is 19 years old. I notice [as of late] that he is very nice to me. I get more hugs, chocolate and flowers, and he has said many times that he cannot wait for my 16th birthday for us to start having intercourse.

I am not sure if he really loves me or it’s just the idea of sex with me. We have been together for just about a year. I really like him and would not want to lose him. Please help.

Dear D.A.:
Just to remind you, 16 is the legal age of sexual consent in Jamaica, and your boyfriend is very aware of this. However, the decision to engage in sexual activity at 16 or older is dependent on the individual. The decision to engage in sexual intercourse comes with responsibilities. I see where your boyfriend’s being nice to you is causing you some concern. I cannot speak for your boyfriend, nor can I tell if he is being genuine.

However, I suggest that you ought to be clear in your mind about making this choice. This is a very important milestone in a young lady’s life. Consider all the possible scenarios before you act; bearing in mind your reputation as a sexual being, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted/unplanned pregnancy, and your responsibility to improving/maintaining academic performances.

If you are unsure of his intentions, have an open and honest discussion with him before deciding. Talk about your fears/concerns. You should not feel pressured into making this decision. Love is patient, love is kind, and love is showing understanding. Relationships are more than sexual intercourse.

I hope that you will continue to pursue your academic goals in order that your career goal/dreams can be achieved. Every decision comes with consequences; good decisions bring good consequences and, likewise, bad decisions bring bad consequences. Whatever you decide, be an active advocate for safe-sex practices.

Dr Karelle Hylton, PhD, counselling psychologist.

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