There is this girl I know from church, "Michelle." She is about 15, and she is sorta mentally slow. Michelle comes from a very religous family, where pre-marital sex is forbidden.
Well, I am a cashier, and last night, her boyfriend came through my line and bought condoms (he didn't know I knew her). She was waiting for him in another line, and when she saw me, she totally flipped out and ran off because I had just found out they were having sex.
Now I am in a though situation, should I tell Michelle's mom? I am 19, and should I be mature and tell her mom? I know it is none of my business, but like I previously said, Michelle is not the smartest thing in the world. She is mentally slow. I am afraid she is going to get pregnant and there is no way this girl could handle a baby.
I don't want to get Michelle in any trouble at all. It has nothing to do with that. I am just seriously concerned for her. I know it is none of my business, but then again, I would feel so terrible if Michelle did happen to get pregnant.
It is not my business at all, so should I just keep my mouth shut?
If you want a variety of opinions, this topic would be more appropriate in another forum, as only advocates and sexperts can answer here.
That said, my opinion is that you should talk to Michelle first before telling her parents. The fact that her boyfriend was buying condoms shows that one or both of them is taking some responsibility for birth control and STI prevention. You might even direct them both to Scarleteen for information. Being "slow" doesn't mean that Michelle can't make her own sexual choices, and she has a right to understand her options just like anyone else.
There could be legal considerations as well, if Michelle's boyfriend is 18 or older. You don't say where you live, so check www.ageofconsent.com for the laws in your state.
[This message has been edited by Lady Moonlight (edited 05-24-2002).]
Remember that a person has a right to purchase condoms in privacy. Use of condoms is the responsible thing to do for couples having sex. The only ethical reason for you to become involved is if you have reason to suspect that sexual or physical abuse is occurring. From what you have written, I see no cause for such suspicions.
------------------ We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
You know, if you are truly concerned about Michelle's wellbeing, probably the most positive thing you can do would be to let her know that she can talk freely to you and come to you if she ever needs help or advice without worrying that you'll "tell" on her (and as Lady Moonlight says, you could direct her to Scarleteen).
If she feels that she can't talk to anyone and has to keep her sex life hidden, that makes her *more* vulnerable, not less. It's unlikely that it would stop her from having sex - but it might mean she would be afraid to buy contraception, or unable to tell anyone if she was being manipulated or abused in any way.
And for her and her boyfriend to be buying condoms together actually shows a level of responsibility and care for each other which is way ahead of many teenagers, "slow" or not .
In terms of what you're asking, I'd concur with what both Bobo and Lady Monnlight had to say. Really, it's simply not your place.
But what I also wanted to add was this: people with developmental disabilities are capable of being parents. Usually, they need a bit more support and assistance with their pregnanicies and parenting, but unless they have serious behavioural problems, that has less to do with their disability than it has to do with them simply not being privy to the same information and socialization that those without such disabilities get.
And the same goes for being sexually active: developmentally disabled people are also as capable of having responsible, pleasurable and sound sex lives as those without. Again, it's the little bit of extra suppport and help that makes all the difference (especially given the cultural bias many have in thinking they are incapable of such). And THAT may be exactly what you're in the position to give. So, if you're concerned, rather than making what could be a very positive thing for Michelle into a major drama and a negative thing, just telling her you're there for her if she needs help or has questions is the very best thing you could likely do.
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