The Centre’s decision to lower the age of consent for sex from 18 to 16 is a bad call. This provision will definitely be misused. Worse, it might even legitimise instances of child sex abuse by unintentionally allowing culprits to take cover under the new law.
However, now that the government has taken this call, we must respond by counselling our teenagers on the importance of safe sex.
Unfortunately, even today, socialising between a boy and a girl is misconstrued as something dirty. To overcome such stereotypes, we should encourage co-education and free mixing of the sexes. We should also try to remove half-baked ideas about sex from the minds of our teenagers.
Also, we must begin to move towards a more liberal attitude to sex education. Most adults still cringe when curious teenagers ask questions related to sex. But running away is not a solution.
In fact, the young must be told how unsafe sex can lead to severe complications, including pregnancy and the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
— S Krishna Kumar
Answer your teens’ queries on sex, don’t run from them
I think it’s a good decision to lower the age of consent for sex to 16. But then 16- and 17-year-olds should also be tried in regular courts of law when they commits heinous crimes such as the recent gang-rape.
Meanwhile, to ensure that this decision by the government does not backfire on our children, the government must introduce a comprehensive sex education programme in schools.
This assumes even greater significance in today’s age, when teenagers have easy access to pornographic content on their computers and mobile phones.
Qualified experts should conduct separate lectures for boys and girls to encourage them to ask questions more openly. Parents and schools should also explain to teenagers that, while attraction to member of the opposite sex is natural, they should first get to know each other and become friends before even thinking of getting involved in a physical relationship.
Overall, teenagers should be encouraged to focus first on their education, on building a career and on becoming financially independent.
— Ketan R Meher
We must teach our children caution, mutual respect
Lowering the age of consent for sex to 16 is a good idea. But a comprehensive sex education programme must complement this decision.
In fact, educating teenagers about the importance of safe sex early on, while they are still in school, would definitely discourage them from getting involved in meaningless flings and random sex.
Once they fully understand the complications that could arise out of unsafe sex, including pregnancy and venereal and sexually transmitted diseases, they will think twice before getting involved in a physical relationship.
Also, most importantly, the government should include a module on developing skills and attitudes based on mutual respect towards the opposite sex. Parents too must encourage this attitude.
— Abhilash J Nair