Hey Ali —
Shakti Rambarran

Hi Shakti,

Thank you so much for your comment! I so appreciate it when readers engage. I’m also excited to learn that you’ll be teaching in NYC soon, please DM me so that we can meet up in person.

I really appreciate your feedback especially given your expertise in this field. The redefinition of rape issue is one that I’m hoping to explore in another extra lesson edition; the laws in Jamaica define rape very narrowly (I’m not sure if you’re familiar with them but happy to discuss in greater detail when we chat / meet up outside of the comments section :) ).

I agree that there is an argument to be made against my suggestion of lowering the age of consent to age 15 especially in regards to mental health and maturity levels. My suggestion is contingent on law makers amending the Child Care & Protection Act (along with a number of other bills / laws) to allow young people to access emergency sexual healthcare and family planning services WHEN they are sexually active WITHOUT parental involvement/ consent unless requested by the patient (citizen under the age of 18 and at or over the age of consent). This is for two reasons. 1) The high incidences of Forced Sexual Initiation (FSI) make it relatively unsafe (mentally and physically) for the child to undergo a process through which parents or guardians (who may of committed or are aware of the FSI) are informed or sought out for permission. And, 2) The age at which most Jamaicans report having sex for the first time (15). I know this is a chicken before the egg debate as are much of cyclical issues that require policy amendments can be.

So to answer your question more bluntly, I believe that if young people are in fact having consensual sex at the age of 15, then yes we are protecting them by legalizing that sex SHOULD we choose to make the above proposed amendments.

Back to your last point, BIG UP YOURSELF girl. My heart is in Jamaica :). Thank you.