Some relationships between older people and young people can have trust, love, honesty, equality and open communication. But almost always the older person has more money and power than you. They may even offer you money, buy you gifts or offer to pay for things you need if you sleep with them.
What’s wrong with that?
- An older person’s probably slept with a lot of other people and could have sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV;
- An older person’s probably got other partners at the same time and is more likely to be married;
- It’s hard to control what you will not do sexually with an older man (or woman);
- Older partners often promise to take care of you over a long period of time but rarely do;
- Having sex with an older man or woman may give you few gifts for a while but it won’t take away your family’s poverty;
- Having an older partner may make things worse for you and your family, particularly if you fall pregnant or get HIV.
If that person is older, there may be laws that prohibit them having sex with you. If you are under 16 years old, no one can legally have sex with you. If they are a teacher, you may be able to charge them with sexual harassment. If they are a family member, it may be incest.
Don’t buy HIV from older men in exchange for a cell phone, dress, handbag or some cash. Those items will age but HIV will remain with you for a lifetime. An unplanned pregnancy could also ruin your future education.
If you look around your community, you will find many women who got out of poverty without exchanging their body for gifts. If you work hard, get educated and either work for yourself or an agency, you can buy all the dresses, bags or cell phones you need. Who is more at risk - guys or girls? Find out below.