Age of Consent in US

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby ekzrated » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:32 pm UTC

Ati wrote:I'll field this one. Children, for better or for worse, are patterned to obey adults. This leads to unfair distribution of power, meaning that the adult can, by virtue of their assumed authority, coerce the younger participant. No such authority exists in relationships between relative peers.
I don't know about you, but I haven't been able to keep those damn kids off my lawn. But seriously, that's what I mean by punishing the guilty. It might be my opinion, but kids tend to be victimized not only by one person or group. And the idea that teens don't know better when someone older tells them "touch my flagpole, and I'll give you candy!" is not to be trusted is stupid. Kids tend to look out for eachother.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Kachi » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:34 pm UTC

Children, for better or for worse, are patterned to obey adults. This leads to unfair distribution of power, meaning that the adult can, by virtue of their assumed authority, coerce the younger participant. No such authority exists in relationships between relative peers.


Seriously? We attempt to pattern them that way, but I work with this age group. They're more prone to peer-pressure than adult-coersion by far.

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Kaiyas » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:43 pm UTC

TheStranger wrote:
Ati wrote:At any rate, the point is this: if you want to put an arbitrary cutoff on sex, don't do it in age, because there will be far too many mature people under whatever age you pick, and far too many vapid morons over it. If you want to set a cutoff, set it in knowledge, not age.


How do you determine that knowledge? And how do recognize those who do have the knowledge (something like a sex permit)?

Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but when did maturity have anything to do with intelligence? Personally, I know far too many brilliant minds that have no maturity whatsoever (if anyone's ever been to John Hopkin's CTY program, you know what I mean), and more than a few not-so-intelligent people handles themselves far better, so knowledge is even less applicable to maturity than age is.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Ati » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:03 pm UTC

Kaiyas wrote:Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but when did maturity have anything to do with intelligence? Personally, I know far too many brilliant minds that have no maturity whatsoever (if anyone's ever been to John Hopkin's CTY program, you know what I mean), and more than a few not-so-intelligent people handles themselves far better, so knowledge is even less applicable to maturity than age is.


Wait, are you talking about intelligence, or knowledge? The two have little to do with one another, and so I'll wait to respond until you clarify
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby 22/7 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:13 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:22/7, I would like to see some sort of response from you to my point that, regardless of whether or not teens SHOULD be having sex, PUNISHING them for having sex is moronic because it will only lead to unsafe sex- they'll still do it. You can't just ignore the consequences of that arbitrary line that you're favouring.

I never said that punishing anyone was a good idea, nor did I say that they shouldn't be having sex. I don't know if you've noticed this, but you have been arguing a lot of points that I haven't been making, which I'd normally have dealt with right up front but I've not been at a computer all that much recently.
Ati wrote:Plenty of college students have healthy relationships, and they have far less free time to devote to it than high-schoolers.
No, they don't, at least not by and large. It's the other way around for a good deal of college students. I find it a bit humorous that I have to explain that to you, but it's certainly understandable, as you haven't been there yet.

Edit: There's been way too much going on here. I apparently need to be spending less time doing real things and more time keeping up with this thread.

Ati, the idea of a test is absurd. Let me explain something to you about our educational system and tests in general. Passing a test (or getting a degree) have very, very little to do with knowledge or intelligence. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that knowledge and intelligence are extremely low on the list of important aspects when determining whether someone will/has pass/ed a test (or whether they will get or have gotten a degree). It's all about jumping through the hoops. A test for whether or not someone is allowed to have sex is no different.

Oh, and many if not all driving exams take place on real streets.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby ekzrated » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:21 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:No, they don't, at least not by and large. It's the other way around for a good deal of college students. I find it a bit humorous that I have to explain that to you, but it's certainly understandable, as you haven't been there yet.

So, are we blaming sex for people's emotional problems next? Aren't there enough reasons in the world why people are generally unhappy with their life?

It seems to me that people aren't willing to be thought of as creepy for thinking that at 15, a person is attractive, even if they do think so.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Kaiyas » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:25 pm UTC

Ati wrote:
Kaiyas wrote:Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but when did maturity have anything to do with intelligence? Personally, I know far too many brilliant minds that have no maturity whatsoever (if anyone's ever been to John Hopkin's CTY program, you know what I mean), and more than a few not-so-intelligent people handles themselves far better, so knowledge is even less applicable to maturity than age is.


Wait, are you talking about intelligence, or knowledge? The two have little to do with one another, and so I'll wait to respond until you clarify

Actually, I'm assuming knowledge is "what one knows", but I'm pretty sure either will do. If you want to go into intelligence, gimme a definition first. :D
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby 22/7 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:52 pm UTC

ekzrated wrote:
22/7 wrote:No, they don't, at least not by and large. It's the other way around for a good deal of college students. I find it a bit humorous that I have to explain that to you, but it's certainly understandable, as you haven't been there yet.

So, are we blaming sex for people's emotional problems next? Aren't there enough reasons in the world why people are generally unhappy with their life?

It seems to me that people aren't willing to be thought of as creepy for thinking that at 15, a person is attractive, even if they do think so.

What? No. I was saying that college students tend to have more free time than high school students.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby ekzrated » Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:55 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:What? No. I was saying that college students tend to have more free time than high school students.


Oh. Um... Sorry. I just realized I missread all of that.

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby TheStranger » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:16 pm UTC

Ati wrote:Better equipped than _any_ high school student? Or better equipped than the stereotype of a high school student that you have in your head.


Well we are working from an average case, not a best case. I've also seen high school 'from the other side' and the stereotype is rather (though not completely) accurate.

Of course there are. Good and bad. Same goes for a non-physical relationship. Anyway, who said anything about jumping? Did I mention jumping? I think you brought up jumping. Sliding or walking is perfectly acceptable to me.


Again, the long term consequences of a sexual relationship can be far more detrimental.

Well, I don't think you've answered that satisfactorily, since it's clear that age doesn't really impact the time you can devote to a relationship. As far as being ready for the consequences, see my comment above.


I'll clarify...

Sexual intimacy should be the sole domain of a long term monogamous relationship between two individuals who are committed to each other and are able to support themselves as well as any potential children. In our society an adolescent able to meet that criteria would be very rare.

If it's a viable test, I see no reason not to apply it to adults as well. I could name a half dozen people I know who are over twenty and really shouldn't be talking to other people, more than less screwing them. To do otherwise is hypocrisy. Why would we let people copulate who can't pass the test we give our children?


That sounds like eugenics to me...

If they cram for the test, at least they'll learn a few things, like STD's, birth control, etc. Anyway, it's really quite difficult to fake an IQ score (or whatever metric we use to measure critical thinking skills). It's even harder to fake a background check (the guy who graffitied all over people's cars last month clearly isn't mature enough to handle himself).


What of those people whose educational background has not provided them with the skills to pass such a test.

ekzrated wrote:Are people seriously suggesting we license sex? Wow.


Indeed, when i suggested a sex permit it was to indicate how absurd the idea of a test for sexual activity would be.

Also, if a 18 year old girl wants to sleep with me, who's business is it to tell her she's wrong?


assuming you are also over 16 (either within 2 years of 18 or over 18) then there isn't any legal problem. Would you be so inclined if we were talking about a 13&40?
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Ati » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:35 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Ati, the idea of a test is absurd.



Of course it's absurd. Why do you think I've been arguing for it? The idea of requiring a test for sex is absurd, but it would still be more accurate than assuming the honor student is as well equipped to handle himself as the gang banger. Consider it as an exercise in constructive absurdity.


TheStranger wrote:Well we are working from an average case, not a best case. I've also seen high school 'from the other side' and the stereotype is rather (though not completely) accurate.


No, you are working from an average case. I'm saying that there are so many types of people wildly outside of the average that it makes no sense to discriminate based on that when it is possible to construct a more accurate system of discrimination.

TheStranger wrote:Again, the long term consequences of a sexual relationship can be far more detrimental.


Or beneficial. Sex isn't some horrible thing that will ruin your life. It can be a positive bonding experience with someone you love as well. Certainly, it can ruin a relationship, or have detrimental effects. It can also have the opposite effects.

TheStranger wrote:I'll clarify...

Sexual intimacy should be the sole domain of a long term monogamous relationship between two individuals who are committed to each other and are able to support themselves as well as any potential children. In our society an adolescent able to meet that criteria would be very rare.


Okay, that's how you feel. The polygamists, polyamourists, and casual daters disagree with you. Oh, and the teenagers too. I really don't think it's your prerogative to say who should and should not be able to copulate, based on your moral feelings on the subject, so long as all parties are consenting.


TheStranger wrote:That sounds like eugenics to me...


Yes, it is. Eugenics: discrimination based on observable traits. Beats discrimination based on age. At least with eugenics, your (metaphorically) screwing people based on something relatively objective. (Note: I don't believe in eugenics. I've been pushing the sex test idea to show how crazy the arbitrary age limits are).
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby 22/7 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:44 pm UTC

Except that an age limit is not crazy. We're not talking about a small community here, we're talking about hundreds of millions of people. When you're making laws, you make them for everyone. Why is it so absurd that you give an arbitrary number to age of consent? No it's not going to fit perfectly for everyone, but if you don't draw some line in the sand that is equal for everyone, then you've got to decide how you're going to discriminate against people. Is it really a good idea to have people pass a test? If so, what do you put on the test? How do you make sure you're not discriminating against certain people with that test?

I'm not arguing that an arbitrary age is ideal, simply that it's the best realistic solution for a very complex problem.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby ekzrated » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:49 pm UTC

Ati wrote:I'll clarify...

Sexual intimacy should be the sole domain of a long term monogamous relationship between two individuals who are committed to each other and are able to support themselves as well as any potential children. In our society an adolescent able to meet that criteria would be very rare.
I'll one-up you. Sexual intercourse IS the domain of having sex for pleasure, procreation, and (but not limited to) experimentation. In the cases in which abuse is employed to gain sexual favors, be it by one forcing another to perform sexual acts/engages in non-consentual sex with another, there should be punishment by law.

Wether or not people should do it simply because they wish to be monogamous is irrelevant.

TheStranger wrote:assuming you are also over 16 (either within 2 years of 18 or over 18) then there isn't any legal problem. Would you be so inclined if we were talking about a 13&40?
The whole idea that 2 years is what people should limit themselves to seems to stem from the fear or sexual predators. I know many people who have been in healthy relationships with others much older than themselves. You're no more qualified to tell my girlfriend that I'm too old for her, than a priest. She can make that distinction for herself.

Now, if an 18 year old wants to have a one time sexual encounter with me (assuming I'm single and not an asshole), Her age would not be the main reason I'd do it. Call me a creep for this if you want, that's the truth for many people. First and foremost, I'd have to be attracted to her.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Ati » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:06 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Except that an age limit is not crazy. We're not talking about a small community here, we're talking about hundreds of millions of people. When you're making laws, you make them for everyone. Why is it so absurd that you give an arbitrary number to age of consent? No it's not going to fit perfectly for everyone, but if you don't draw some line in the sand that is equal for everyone, then you've got to decide how you're going to discriminate against people. Is it really a good idea to have people pass a test? If so, what do you put on the test? How do you make sure you're not discriminating against certain people with that test?

I'm not arguing that an arbitrary age is ideal, simply that it's the best realistic solution for a very complex problem.


It's not the best solution. It's the easiest solution. It's absurd, because (as I've said more times than I want to think about already) most people do not conform to the average. A test is a bad idea as well, but it's better than assuming all people of the same age are equally well suited to deal with sexual relationships. The correlation between maturity and age is very far from one to one. Anyway, why put the limit at eighteen? Why not put it at twenty-five? Sixty! Surely you'll be better equipped then! Anyway, it's not a matter of deciding how to discriminate against people. You're already doing that. It's a matter of finding a more accurate basis for discrimination, if you're going to discriminate at all.




ekzrated wrote:
Ati wrote:I'll clarify...

Sexual intimacy should be the sole domain of a long term monogamous relationship between two individuals who are committed to each other and are able to support themselves as well as any potential children. In our society an adolescent able to meet that criteria would be very rare.

I'll one-up you. Sexual intercourse IS the domain of having sex for pleasure, procreation, and (but not limited to) experimentation. In the cases in which abuse is employed to gain sexual favors, be it by one forcing another to perform sexual acts/engages in non-consentual sex with another, there should be punishment by law.

Wether or not people should do it simply because they wish to be monogamous is irrelevant.


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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby 22/7 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:17 pm UTC

Ati wrote:
22/7 wrote:Except that an age limit is not crazy. We're not talking about a small community here, we're talking about hundreds of millions of people. When you're making laws, you make them for everyone. Why is it so absurd that you give an arbitrary number to age of consent? No it's not going to fit perfectly for everyone, but if you don't draw some line in the sand that is equal for everyone, then you've got to decide how you're going to discriminate against people. Is it really a good idea to have people pass a test? If so, what do you put on the test? How do you make sure you're not discriminating against certain people with that test?

I'm not arguing that an arbitrary age is ideal, simply that it's the best realistic solution for a very complex problem.


It's not the best solution. It's the easiest solution. It's absurd, because (as I've said more times than I want to think about already) most people do not conform to the average. A test is a bad idea as well, but it's better than assuming all people of the same age are equally well suited to deal with sexual relationships.
If you're going to talk about real situations and realistic solutions, then the test is actually worse than arbitrary age. And yes, age is easy, but it's also best. It's best because you're being completely arbitrary across the line.

Ati wrote:The correlation between maturity and age is very far from one to one. Anyway, why put the limit at eighteen? Why not put it at twenty-five? Sixty! Surely you'll be better equipped then!
Your argument is "if we're going to put the age at the average, why not put it way above the average"? How is that a realistic situation, and how is it applicable?

Ati wrote:Anyway, it's not a matter of deciding how to discriminate against people. You're already doing that. It's a matter of finding a more accurate basis for discrimination, if you're going to discriminate at all.
No. It is a matter of how to discriminate. What we've already decided is whether to discriminate.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Ati » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:44 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:If you're going to talk about real situations and realistic solutions, then the test is actually worse than arbitrary age. And yes, age is easy, but it's also best. It's best because you're being completely arbitrary across the line.


Ooookaaay... So it's good to be arbitrary - just so long as you don't get too complicated in your arbitrary standards?


22/7 wrote:Your argument is "if we're going to put the age at the average, why not put it way above the average"? How is that a realistic situation, and how is it applicable?


I looked at this for about ten minutes, and I can extract no meaning from it. Define 'average'.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby 22/7 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:58 pm UTC

Ati wrote:
22/7 wrote:If you're going to talk about real situations and realistic solutions, then the test is actually worse than arbitrary age. And yes, age is easy, but it's also best. It's best because you're being completely arbitrary across the line.

Ooookaaay... So it's good to be arbitrary - just so long as you don't get too complicated in your arbitrary standards?
It's good to be equal. An arbitrary age limit does that quite nicely. What you're looking for, however, is fair. Fair is pretty much logistically impossible when you're dealing with 2 people, let alone hundreds of millions.

Ati wrote:
22/7 wrote:Your argument is "if we're going to put the age at the average, why not put it way above the average"? How is that a realistic situation, and how is it applicable?
I looked at this for about ten minutes, and I can extract no meaning from it. Define 'average'.
Let me try again.
Your argument is that, "if we're going to put the age of consent at the 'average' age where people are able to consent, why not put it at some age way beyond that age (like 60) such that everybody will be able to consent", which is, of course, contradictory to your argument that age has nothing to do with maturity. However, I don't see how that's actually an issue, since I don't actually know of anyone wanting to do that.

Again, though, are we actually talking about realistic solutions or just the "ideal" solutions, regardless of whether or not those ideal solutions are realistically implementable?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby ascendingPig » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:43 am UTC

What's the point of instituting an age of consent law if none of the kids pay attention to it?
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby 22/7 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:54 am UTC

Really?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby TheStranger » Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:42 am UTC

Ati wrote:Of course it's absurd. Why do you think I've been arguing for it? The idea of requiring a test for sex is absurd, but it would still be more accurate than assuming the honor student is as well equipped to handle himself as the gang banger. Consider it as an exercise in constructive absurdity.


However the age limit represents the least absurd solution. It's also the fairest... disregarding race, sex, social status, education, wealth.


No, you are working from an average case. I'm saying that there are so many types of people wildly outside of the average that it makes no sense to discriminate based on that when it is possible to construct a more accurate system of discrimination.


We have a more then a few million people in this country... any rule that would be applied across the board needs would have to deal with the averages, there are two many special cases otherwise.


Okay, that's how you feel. The polygamists, polyamourists, and casual daters disagree with you. Oh, and the teenagers too. I really don't think it's your prerogative to say who should and should not be able to copulate, based on your moral feelings on the subject, so long as all parties are consenting.


Sure I know that my opinion runs counter to popular culture (it's hard to avoid that when I watch TV on a semi-regular basis). You asked 'why wait' and I was providing MY reasons for not rushing into a intimate relationship. The current Age of Consent laws do not support that morality, but I do not expect it to (there is no actual way to implement my beliefs regarding sex that does not violate my beliefs regarding personal freedom).

ekzrated wrote:I'll one-up you. Sexual intercourse IS the domain of having sex for pleasure, procreation, and (but not limited to) experimentation. In the cases in which abuse is employed to gain sexual favors, be it by one forcing another to perform sexual acts/engages in non-consentual sex with another, there should be punishment by law.


Well what point does it become non-consensual? Can you reasonably argue that a seven year old can consent to sex?

Wether or not people should do it simply because they wish to be monogamous is irrelevant.


It's not irrelevant IF you do want to be monogamous.


The whole idea that 2 years is what people should limit themselves to seems to stem from the fear or sexual predators. I know many people who have been in healthy relationships with others much older than themselves. You're no more qualified to tell my girlfriend that I'm too old for her, than a priest. She can make that distinction for herself.


The idea behind the 2 year period is to allow teens to experiment without having one randomly arrested for rape.

And if your 'girlfriend' is eight then yes... I will say that you are to old for her.


Ati wrote:The correlation between maturity and age is very far from one to one. Anyway, why put the limit at eighteen?


Why 18? It's the 'Age of Majority' where one is able to be tried as an adult, enter into a legally binding contract, join a branch of the military, vote in an election.

Why not put it at twenty-five? Sixty! Surely you'll be better equipped then! Anyway, it's not a matter of deciding how to discriminate against people. You're already doing that. It's a matter of finding a more accurate basis for discrimination, if you're going to discriminate at all.


the same could be said for any age limit (drinking, smoking, contracts, military, voting, etc.)
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby psyck0 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:04 am UTC

So, 22/7, as far as I can tell, you are in favour of an arbitrary age of consent law, below which teens are not 'allowed' to have sex, because you believe that before that age, the majority of teens are not mature enough to really handle the consequences.

We'll leave aside the fact that for millenia, humans have been having sex as teens and we've survived just fine, and there are CURRENT DOCUMENTED TRIBES OF PEOPLE who openly ENCOURAGE sexual experimentation among young teens (as low as 12 or 13) with one another, who also survive just fine and grow up to be healthy, (culturally) normal people. See the Mangaia and the Sambia.

Ignoring those facts (that there do not really seem to BE consequences other than pregnancy and STIs for the vast majority of people who have sex, both of which we can almost entirely prevent), you support that arbitrary age of consent. However, you deny wanting to punish them for violating that age of consent (because that would be really, really dumb). What, then, is the purpose?

Or am I misunderstanding you, and you're arguing about the age of consent to have sex with ADULTS with no age restrictions? It really sounds to me like you're against teen sex, though.

Please, just clarify what you want.

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby 22/7 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:30 am UTC

psyck0 wrote:So, 22/7, as far as I can tell, you are in favour of an arbitrary age of consent law, below which teens are not 'allowed' to have sex, because you believe that before that age, the majority of teens are not mature enough to really handle the consequences.

We'll leave aside the fact that for millenia, humans have been having sex as teens and we've survived just fine, and there are CURRENT DOCUMENTED TRIBES OF PEOPLE who openly ENCOURAGE sexual experimentation among young teens (as low as 12 or 13) with one another, who also survive just fine and grow up to be healthy, (culturally) normal people. See the Mangaia and the Sambia.

Ignoring those facts (that there do not really seem to BE consequences other than pregnancy and STIs for the vast majority of people who have sex, both of which we can almost entirely prevent), you support that arbitrary age of consent. However, you deny wanting to punish them for violating that age of consent (because that would be really, really dumb). What, then, is the purpose?
And for millenia men have been raping women and we've turned out just fine. And for millenia, if I was bigger than you and you didn't want to get your face kicked in you gave me what I wanted and they did just fine. Hell, for millenia, we've been sacrificing virgins and committing genocide on the scale of thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions, and, well, we're still here. It must be ok.

psyck0 wrote:Or am I misunderstanding you, and you're arguing about the age of consent to have sex with ADULTS with no age restrictions? It really sounds to me like you're against teen sex, though.

Please, just clarify what you want.
Yeah, you could say you're misunderstanding me. That'd be an accurate statement. First of all, you've put the word allowed in apostrophes or 'half-quotes', if you will, which I'm not really a fan of. This is really more of a 'law' thing rather than an 'allowed' thing. And I have an issue with a 12 year old being able to consent to sex with a 50 year old, yes. And yes, I do believe that the majority of, say, 12 year olds don't think about the long term consequences of their actions (think, "how will this affect me when I'm 25? 35?") and because of this (and because I don't want 50 year old pedophiles to be able to hide behind "she wanted me to molest him/her") I believe that an age of consent is in order. And no, I'm not a big fan of punishing children for having sex. Do we do that right now? Isn't the whole point of age of consent to protect the children? Don't we usually prosecute the 50 year old who's having sex with the 12 year old, not the other way around?

Edit: unnecessary preposition.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Spill Wooner » Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:41 am UTC

psyck0 wrote:We'll leave aside the fact that for millenia, humans have been having sex as teens and we've survived just fine, and there are CURRENT DOCUMENTED TRIBES OF PEOPLE who openly ENCOURAGE sexual experimentation among young teens (as low as 12 or 13) with one another, who also survive just fine and grow up to be healthy, (culturally) normal people. See the Mangaia and the Sambia.


So? There are also organizations here that claim to encourage sexual experimentation and openness among young teens. Your point?

Also, you can't say "humans have been doing this for millenia, it's hardwired" and "it should be natural when hormones kick the sex drive into high gear" and then ignore inconvenient facts like the bonding chemicals that flood your system when sex happens, the way that the young teenaged brain still has a good deal of maturation to do, and the total cultural dissimilarities between preindustrial cultures and our own. Childhood and adolescence have been greatly increased in the western world, so comparing a fifteen year old there to a fifteen year old here is missing several important elements. But let's ignore this, as I think my next point better covers what I'd like to see happen.

psyck0 wrote:Or am I misunderstanding you, and you're arguing about the age of consent to have sex with ADULTS with no age restrictions? It really sounds to me like you're against teen sex, though.

Please, just clarify what you want.


I said before that criminalizing noncoercive sex is counterproductive. At the same time, there's too much of a lassaize-faire, "do what feels good now" undertone to culture, and I've seen it bite several people in the ass when they found out that the consequences were a lot harder than initially advertised. Even if those consequences were as simple as feeling incredibly shitty. (It doesn't help that we're inundated by schizophrenic mixed messages about sex either, but I'm hard pressed to think of mainstream sources that realistically play up the downsides.)

So yes I want honest discussions about the health risks and how to minimize them. I also think we need more honest cultural debate about the emotional/social downsides in addition. Ideally, to the point where people put a lot of time and thought into both their position and their partners. And here you run into one of the big problems with early teenage sexuality. Adolescence and a real interest to get involved with the opposite sex come in the early teen years. Add some time for basic sampling of the dating and romantic games under simpler, lower pressure circumstances. Add more time on top of that for honest introspection and communication to determine what you and those around you want, and even more on top of that to get to know your prospective partner(s) well enough in a romantic setting. (FYI: Romance changes the situation even in the best of settings.) I have no doubt that a mature fifteen year old could do all the required sampling, planning, and soul searching ... if they were fifteen years old for more than twelve months. As is, (start time + time needed for a good sample set + time needed to reasonably process the data) doesn't bode well for early teen sexuality, which tends to be mirrored by most of my observations on the subject.

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Kachi » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:00 pm UTC

What of those people whose educational background has not provided them with the skills to pass such a test.


They'd just have to wait til the default age.

I also have issue with support of 18 as the default age... you can't drink at 18. If we're going to impose an age, it should probably be higher. And if there were going to be some kind of test, it would still need to have a minimum age. There should be no consent for prepubescent sex, period.

Let me make my position a little more transparent. I do not condone teen sex. I don't think it's wise, whether it's a 13 year old with a 50 year old or a 19 year old with a 19 year old. Yes, I said 19.

However, I also understand that that's not realistic. Unfortunately, children reach sexual maturity far earlier than mental and emotional maturity. That's just the reality. We're not discussing at what point teens should start having sex. We're discussing at what point they are able to CONSENT to it. That is, if they decide they want to have sex with someone, at what age is that person not legally liable? An arbitrary 18 might sound fine without consideration to this context, but we're talking about criminalization here. Lives are destroyed based on these laws. People go to jail and come back branded for life.

The question is not, should a 14 year old have sex with someone, whether they be 14 or 40. The question is, are they so undoubtedly incapable of giving valid consent that someone should go to jail for a very long time, be registered as a sex offender, and endure all the other implications of the criminilization associated with statutory rape? What about 15... 16... 17? Are these consequences, if any at all, appropriate and desirable, and how can they be made fairer?

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Kaiyas » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:26 pm UTC

Kachi wrote:I also have issue with support of 18 as the default age... you can't drink at 18. If we're going to impose an age, it should probably be higher. And if there were going to be some kind of test, it would still need to have a minimum age. There should be no consent for prepubescent sex, period.


Note: Although you can't drink, you can vote, smoke, be drafted, and more relevantly, be tried as an adult, and watch porn. In this case, alcohol seems to be the odd one out.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Kachi » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:37 pm UTC

My point was that 18 was not accepted universally as being prepared for all that adulthood encompasses. 21 is deemed appropriate for alcohol because of the personal and social consequences involved. I would say that sex at that age has similarly serious consequences when pregnancy and STI's are taken into consideration.

Maybe not quite as serious as alcohol at that age-- tough call by my account, but vastly more serious than any of the other things that you listed.

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:30 pm UTC

Kachi wrote:I would say that sex at that age has similarly serious consequences when pregnancy and STI's are taken into consideration.
Somehow, I find it hard to believe that one is able to consent to join the military before one can consent to have sex.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Kaiyas » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:02 pm UTC

Kachi wrote:My point was that 18 was not accepted universally as being prepared for all that adulthood encompasses. 21 is deemed appropriate for alcohol because of the personal and social consequences involved. I would say that sex at that age has similarly serious consequences when pregnancy and STI's are taken into consideration.

Maybe not quite as serious as alcohol at that age-- tough call by my account, but vastly more serious than any of the other things that you listed.

Yeah, I knew what the point was, just pointing out something that seemed to be over looked :wink:. However, I must protest that last point of yours. Being tried as an adult and voting are both arguably more important than sex, along with the draft, which Vaniver mentioned.

Whatever limit we're trying to find, you did bring up a good point with prepubescent sex. Somehow, I think there should be at least an bare minimum to our age limit where sex is prohibited, linked somehow to sexual maturity. (i.e. if you're 9 you can't have sex.)

Bit of an addendum: This says nothing about masturbation. :twisted:
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Ati » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:16 pm UTC

Kaiyas wrote:
Kachi wrote:My point was that 18 was not accepted universally as being prepared for all that adulthood encompasses. 21 is deemed appropriate for alcohol because of the personal and social consequences involved. I would say that sex at that age has similarly serious consequences when pregnancy and STI's are taken into consideration.

Maybe not quite as serious as alcohol at that age-- tough call by my account, but vastly more serious than any of the other things that you listed.

Yeah, I knew what the point was, just pointing out something that seemed to be over looked :wink:. However, I must protest that last point of yours. Being tried as an adult and voting are both arguably more important than sex, along with the draft, which Vaniver mentioned.

Whatever limit we're trying to find, you did bring up a good point with prepubescent sex. Somehow, I think there should be at least an bare minimum to our age limit where sex is prohibited, linked somehow to sexual maturity. (i.e. if you're 9 you can't have sex.)



To some degree that's self regulating. To a nine year old with no libido, sex is icky in the extreme.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby ekzrated » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:50 pm UTC

Ati wrote:To some degree that's self regulating. To a nine year old with no libido, sex is icky in the extreme.


I'm going to suggest something slightly uncomfortable to everyone here. It is entirely possible for 9 year olds to go through puberty.. I was curious about girls as far as I can remember. I don't know, but making the laws all-encompassing, and not allowing for individual instances to be investigated is problematic. I'm not saying 9 year olds should be having sex, mind you.
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15yo Takes Nude Photos of Herself; Faces Felony Charges

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:46 pm UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:We sort of took a left turn somewhere, I feel. I really don't think we need to be playing this "why do/don't you think this age pairing is wrong" game.


It all just goes to illustrate that you CANNOT state that a sexual relationship is flat out morally wrong, because between the right people, it isn't. And it's terrible to make people into criminals (and not just criminals - society's absolutely worst criminals; if you are a sex offender, everyone hates you and assumes you will rape children, even if you're on the list for public urination) for things that they do not with malicious intent.

EsotericWombat wrote:That's right, folks. A kid is getting charged with looking at naked pictures of someone two years older than him. It's a brave new world


Yeah, this even better illustrates how absolutely fubar this whole situation is.
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Re: 15yo Takes Nude Photos of Herself; Faces Felony Charges

Postby Belial » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:05 pm UTC

Nougatrocity wrote:It all just goes to illustrate that you CANNOT state that a sexual relationship is flat out morally wrong, because between the right people, it isn't. And it's terrible to make people into criminals (and not just criminals - society's absolutely worst criminals; if you are a sex offender, everyone hates you and assumes you will rape children, even if you're on the list for public urination) for things that they do not with malicious intent


And the alternative would be to...what? Not protect children from exploitation at all? Or subjectively judge every relationship to see if it's okay?

Or we could draw the line, say "here is the line, fuckers. This is where the line is. Do you see this line? It is a line. Do not cross this line. Even if you think it's okay for some reason or another. It isn't. And if you cross this line, we will punish you regardless. Wait a couple years or find a different fuckbuddy. Seriously."

And then anyone who gets prosecuted for it knew what they were getting into.
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Re: 15yo Takes Nude Photos of Herself; Faces Felony Charges

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:28 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Nougat is talking about 20 year olds fucking 15 year olds.

Since that's 100% legal in Canada, I'm surprised you Yanks aren't demonizing us on television. "Canadians FUCK BABIES!!!!!"

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Re: 15yo Takes Nude Photos of Herself; Faces Felony Charges

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:43 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Belial wrote:Nougat is talking about 20 year olds fucking 15 year olds.

Since that's 100% legal in Canada, I'm surprised you Yanks aren't demonizing us on television. "Canadians FUCK BABIES!!!!!"


And phrasing it that way, Belial, though factually correct, serves to further demonize the position that it is not an absolute evil.

Yes, I say, YES, judge these situations based on themselves. Instead of having prosecutors get a first look at the details, give that first look to an independent panel to determine whether anything was actually harmful. Include input from all sides, including the minor and the minor's parents.

Such an idea needs more fleshing out, obviously. But I am NOT talking about twenty year olds FUCKING fifteen year olds. I am talking about the fact that often such people enter into emotional relationships; sometimes those have physical aspects. If a twenty year old is going around hunting for booty at the local high school, yeah, there's a problem. But that's so very rarely how those situations happen. It is applying the worst case to all cases, with disastrous consequences for all.

Re: this specific case, I'm spoilering a letter below that I've actually passed around to friends. Feel free to reword it if you want, because it's been suggested that I use too many big words.

Spoiler:
An Open Letter to whoever in Ohio


I am appalled at recent events that have occurred in the state of Ohio. A young girl, 15 years of age, created illicit material in the form of photographs of herself in the nude. She then distributed these pictures via cell phone picture message to several of her friends and acquaintances.

I should mention that that does not, in fact, appall me. I am appalled at the legal ramifications of this girl's actions, and the blind zealous fervor with which penalties are being levied against her.

Child pornography is illegal in Ohio, and throughout most if not all of the rest of the nation. The reason that this is (and that I agree it should be) is for the protection of the children involved. It is illegal because we do not want sexual predators taking advantage of our sons and daughters, and creating this material against their will, or convincing them that they want to. Those who create and peddle child pornography should be summarily punished by the law.

It is clear to me that a girl taking nude photos of herself does not constitute pornography in the sense of material that is produced at the expense of a child's innocence. The behavior she engaged in would not be a problem if she were three years older. Obviously all child pornography would be a different case if the children were a number of years older, but in this case the perpetrator herself is the only victim. There could have no been coercion, no force, no use of tricks of the mind to steal her innocence - are we truly claiming that has victimized herself and must be punished for it?

What happened here involves no one other than this girl, the recipients of her photos, and the parents of all involved. If anyone should bring a sexual harrassment case against the girl, there are indeed grounds for that. But please, think about the results of prosecuting this case to its fullest. A group of children will have their lives scarred forever by this experience, and they will be grouped with society's most violent and dangerous criminals by being forced to register as sex offenders. Lives will be ruined, their freedom lost before they truly had it.

The only crime here is seeking to make this girl and her friends into pariahs. "What they've done is terrible," some say. "What they did cannot be forgiven," some say. "What they have done must be PUNISHED," some cry.

And so laws set in place to keep our nation's children safe end up doing far damage to them than they would have faced without that protection.

I cry out on behalf of these children - please, someone, protect them.
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Re: 15yo Takes Nude Photos of Herself; Faces Felony Charges

Postby Belial » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:56 pm UTC

Yes, I say, YES, judge these situations based on themselves. Instead of having prosecutors get a first look at the details, give that first look to an independent panel to determine whether anything was actually harmful. Include input from all sides, including the minor and the minor's parents.


I can predict the results of any such panel:

Any young male paired with an older female was "lucky" and "scored".

Any young male paired with an older male was molested by a horrendous deviant and we should hang said deviant after the trial.

Any young female paired with an older male was either exploited or was "asking for it" depending on how likeable (and white) the man in question was and how unlikeable (i.e. slutty) the girl was.

Any young female paired with an older female is kindof a head scratcher.

Put simply, I don't trust an independent panel to judge fairly. Much easier to have a gender-, race-, and sexuality-neutral line and to enforce it rigidly and predictably. That way no one is surprised when their "totally acceptable" relationship is prosecuted, or shafted when their exploitative and manipulative relationship is dismissed.
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Re: 15yo Takes Nude Photos of Herself; Faces Felony Charges

Postby Rysto » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:59 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Belial wrote:Nougat is talking about 20 year olds fucking 15 year olds.

Since that's 100% legal in Canada, I'm surprised you Yanks aren't demonizing us on television. "Canadians FUCK BABIES!!!!!"

Not anymore, it isn't. Harper raised the age of consent to 16.

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Re: 15yo Takes Nude Photos of Herself; Faces Felony Charges

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:02 pm UTC

Oh, dinger, that's right... The Tackling Violent Crime Act. HOWEVER... There exist two close in age exemptions, depending on the age of the younger partner. A youth of twelve or thirteen can consent to sexual activity with an individual no more than two years older than them. A fourteen- or fifteen-year-old can consent to sexual activity with a partner who is no more than five years older than them.

So the 15-20 pairing is still kosher. Resume demonizing.

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Re: 15yo Takes Nude Photos of Herself; Faces Felony Charges

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:05 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Oh, dinger, that's right... The Tackling Violent Crime Act. HOWEVER... There exist two close in age exemptions, depending on the age of the younger partner. A youth of twelve or thirteen can consent to sexual activity with an individual no more than two years older than them. A fourteen- or fifteen-year-old can consent to sexual activity with a partner who is no more than five years older than them.

So the 15-20 pairing is still kosher. Resume demonizing.


Those actually seem like good places to draw the line, if one's aim is to err on the side of freedom.
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Re: 15yo Takes Nude Photos of Herself; Faces Felony Charges

Postby Belial » Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:09 pm UTC

Most states in america err on the side of a two-to-three year grace area with regards to the age of consent.
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Re: 15yo Takes Nude Photos of Herself; Faces Felony Charges

Postby Quixotess » Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:10 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Put simply, I don't trust an independent panel to judge fairly. Much easier to have a gender-, race-, and sexuality-neutral line and to enforce it rigidly and predictably. That way no one is surprised when their "totally acceptable" relationship is prosecuted, or shafted when their exploitative and manipulative relationship is dismissed.

Plus, you know, if there is exploitation involved, this process is just going to be more humiliating and degrading for the exploited minor.
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