Last week, we asked Sawfnews.com readers whether Selena Gomez, 18, is entitled to a steamy public romance with 17-year old Justin Bieber. A majority of 52.4% of you said 'no', whilst 47.6 said 'yes'. The fact that the result was so close indicates that the jury is out, and that deciding on what's right or wrong is sometimes not quite as simple as it sounds.
Gomez and Bieber, whilst celebrities, are still human. They have feelings and emotions like the rest of us. They will fall in love, and likely fall out of it, too. Unlike the rest of us, however, they have become public property, and that must come with a sense of responsibility, especially given that these youngsters have rapidly become role models to young people across the globe.
Is this public romance inappropriate?
When a highly attractive and deeply influential young couple vow to remain sexually abstinent until marriage, other young people are watching, listening, and learning. When a celebrity like Gomez takes off her long-adorned celibacy ring, young people are watching, listening, and just maybe, scoffing at another well intentioned vow which has – like all those before them – been transformed in the minds of their followers into an 'unrealistic' broken pledge.
But can we expect those so young to understand or indeed comprehend the implications of their actions? When we buy into an industry that cherishes youth and high ideals so much that it revels when such people fail and fall, are we not buying into values that are inherently much more harmful than a kiss on a Hawaiian beach?
Making a mountain out of a molehill?
Vivienne Pattison from the UK pressure group, 'Mediawatch-UK' suggests that by focusing on trivial issues such as what amounts to little more than a teenage kiss, we are being distracted from the bigger issues.
"If we're getting upset about this, why aren't we upset about inappropriate material being broadcast into people's homes before the watershed? What of the fact that children, younger than this couple, can log onto the internet and download pornography in seconds?"
Elliot Kay, co-author of 'It's Your Right to be Wrong in Relationships' agrees that it need not be a big issue:
"Their actions are being magnified because of who they are, but as long as they lead by example, not advocating unsafe sex, and as long as she doesn't end up pregnant, then they can take the lead in showing a positive, honest way to have a relationship."
Will it last?
Kay warns that the relationship will flounder if it's a PR stunt.
"If they are doing this for publicity or to gain recognition, then it won't last, because then, it's all about pleasing other people and doesn't have a strong foundation. If not for publicity, then I don't see any harm in what they are doing. Vows may have been made but beliefs can change when presented with a new situation."
Helen Adams, a freelance writer specializing in celebrity and relationship articles with an astrological twist, says.
"The main issue affecting Justin's relationship with Selena is not one of right or wrong, but that of power. Becoming a worldwide phenomenon at such a young age means that it is hard for him to relate on a one to one basis. Getting a handle on this may take time, especially as he is already prone to the usual teenage bouts of immaturity. He may look sweet, but at times he has an attitude problem which could be a real turn off. For him this relationship may be a wonderful learning experience – but it looks like it is going to be one of many.
"Aspects in their charts reveal they seem to be obsessed with each other and their relationship is reminiscent of the Twilight sagas, as it is about exploring taboos and taking their love for each other to the limit. They may both get jealous, particularly Selena – if Justin seems to get too friendly with other women. They do have a lot of fun together too and generally enjoy each other's company.
"Right now they are both good for each other and the relationship seems mutually beneficial, especially in terms of publicity. So conducting their love affair with each other in the public eye is something they are not adverse to. They are aware of the benefits on both sides."
However, she warns:
"Over the next couple of years Justin will have moved on and may need a fresh start in a new relationship. There are areas where the relationship is also a little edgy and unless they can work through this, it may be enough to cause them to split. Selena may also want her space and a chance to get in touch with other aspects of her creativity."
Is it right or wrong? Will it last? Does it matter in the wider scheme of life? Post your thoughts as comments and let us know how you feel about the currently most talked about youngsters on the planet.