Letters to the Editor

Cut out 'sugar daddy' phenomenon!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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Dear Editor,

The 'sugar daddy' phenomenon, now modern-day prostitution, is disguised as a glorious trend trapping young, vulnerable females that are swimming in a financial deficit.

This trend did not magically appear within the Jamaican society. It's pretty obvious that our society has the socio-economic conditions to breed this new germ “sugar daddy, sugar baby lifestyle” leading into the growth and multiplication of this condition.

With increased needs and wants these days the trend has been thriving and is eating away the little dignity that we have left.

This transaction is really interesting, not to mention the intergenerational aspect of it. But, then again, it seems so much easier than sitting in one's destitution.

Our youth are looking for that financial help that is probably missing from the homes; therefore, one shouldn't be too quick to judge. The sad reality is, the real father figures should be present in the Jamaican households are absent.

According to UNICEF's 2000 Situation Assessment and Analysis of Jamaican Children and their Families report, 45 per cent of all Jamaican households are female-headed. Therefore, when the opportunity presents itself for a young girl to get that substitute father that was never present in the home, she may willingly jump to capitalise on that financial relief.

Jamaica's HIV numbers are increasing every year and, with increased intergenerational sex, we are at a greater risk than before. Therefore, as a people, we need to stop glamorising this idea. The truth is that our girls are exchanging their bodies in return for monetary assistance — the same thing that is being done by the women on the side of the road.

I'm calling and pleading to all the groups, the government, the private sector, religious bodies, save us from ourselves! Shed some light on what is beginning to normalise in our society. Help us!

This economy is constantly pushing us to go above and beyond to even put a piece of bread into our mouths. This isn't just a social ill, sooner or later the health of our population will decline at a much faster rate; save our high school students from drowning and help them to swim, or at least keep them afloat.

Jamaica's future should be a priority, and we, the youth, are the future.

Octavia Smith


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