Friday, Jul 3, 2020
HomeOpinionLettersThe age of consent for sexual intercourse should be increased to 21

The age of consent for sexual intercourse should be increased to 21

Dear Editor,
If there’s one law in The Bahamas in dire need of a complete overhaul, it is the law regarding the age of consent for sexual intercourse. Under the Bahamian jurisdiction, adolescents age 16 are legally able to consent to participation in sexual activity, even without gaining permission from their guardians. Conversely, the legal age for drinking alcohol and voting is 18. The age of consent law undermines the fiduciary guardianship of Bahamian parents.

Bahamian parents are legally toothless in the event their 16-year-old daughters become intimately involved with men twice their age. What legal recourse is there for a Bahamian parent if his or her 16-year-old son confesses that he is sexually involved with his 64-year-old female math teacher? What can a couple do if their 16-year-old daughter tells them that she’s pregnant for her married 55-year-old boyfriend? According to Bahamian law, there’s no legal recourse under such scenarios because the adult intimate partners of the teens have broken no law. The said adults are perfectly within the parameters of the law, hence the proliferation of sugar daddies in The Bahamas. The Bahamian government is therefore stating that an adolescent who knows absolutely nothing about paying a mortgage; utility, medical, auto, insurance, school or grocery bill; or holding down a job, can have sex. How many 16-year-olds do we have living on their own in The Bahamas? The answer is undoubtedly few.

As a parent, this law deeply offends me. If there’s ever a silly law on the books that urgently needs overhauling, it is the law of the age of consent for sexual activity. The government should increase the age to 21 instead. Sixteen is way too low.

— Kevin Evans

FOLLOW US ON:
Decision on new mari
Aren’t we broke?