A Message for Teens

Image of Health Educator in the Ministry of Health Mervyn Charles
Image of Health Educator in the Ministry of Health Mervyn Charles
Health Educator in the Ministry of Health Mervyn Charles

TEENAGERS are being asked to be on their guard regarding the sexual behaviour of men and women shown in the media as these images can be misleading.

Health Educator in the Ministry of Health Mervyn Charles says he is concerned about the sexual images some teenagers of today display in public and is calling on them to be on their guard, as those media images of the men and women and how they behave when it comes to sex are distorted and can mislead them.

Speaking ahead of Independence Day celebrations, Charles said that these distorted media images can influence young people into engaging in sexual acts the consequences of which they are not prepared for.

Aside from calling on them to try not to place themselves anything that could lead them into unwanted situations and reminding them of the right they have to say no to sex, Charles urges teenagers to think of what could go wrong, after engaging in a sexual act such as unwanted pregnancy, sexual transmitted diseases, loss of educational opportunities and a host of other things.

“You have the right to say no, but don’t get tricked into giving excuses or reasons. This gives the other person an opportunity to talk you out of your decision,” Charles said.

“It’s never too late to stop and say no, even if you have gone pretty far, even if you feel you have led the other person on, even if you feel those urges to go further,” Charles advised.

Boys, Charles said, are pressured more about sex than girls, therefore they do not have to confuse having sex with being a man.

“State your reasons for waiting. Remind others that decisions about sex are personal. Hang out with teens who respect your decision,” Charles cautioned teenage boys.

He warned both sexes of how easily a single parent can be overwhelmed by the responsibilities of raising a child by themselves, how raising a child alone can limit their ability to achieve personal goals.

“If having sex is what’s needed to hold a relationship together, then it’s probably not a very good one and will break up later anyway,” Charles said.

He tried to assure them by stating that the majority of high school students are not having sex.

“So, if you are not having sex, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. You’re just doing what most other teens are doing,” he said.

According to Charles an overwhelming number of teens who become pregnant reported having used drugs or alcohol when it happened.

“Alcohol or other drugs limit ability to think and make good decisions about having sex or protecting yourself from unwanted consequences,” he said, adding that teens may confuse desires for touch and affection and feeling cared about with ‘love’.

He said that when teens feel they are in love, sex may seem more acceptable but sex and love are not the same thing at all. Charles further warned teens to guard against being misled about what true love is and to avoid becoming a victim of date rape, advising them to go out with someone they trust.

“Avoid going places where assault could occur. If you feel threatened get out of the situation. Go where there are other people. Say no, yell for help,” Charles said.

Micah George is an established name in the journalism landscape in St. Lucia. He started his journalism tutelage under the critical eye of the Star Newspaper Publisher and well known journalist, Rick Wayne, as a freelancer. A few months later he moved to the Voice Newspaper under the guidance of the paper’s recognized editor, Guy Ellis in 1988.

Since then he has remained with the Voice Newspaper, progressing from a cub reporter covering court cases and the police to a senior journalist with a focus on parliamentary issues, government and politics. Read full bio...

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