Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

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Red Hal
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Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Red Hal » Thu May 09, 2013 1:07 pm UTC

A News article on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22459815, concerns a barrister in the U.K. - Barbara Hewson - who has suggested that the age of consent should be lowered to 13. She also calls for an end to anonymity for complainants, and rails against the current climate. As the father of two girls, one of whom is about to turn 12, my initial reaction was one of anger toward this notion but once the red mist subsided it got me to thinking. Is there any merit in lowering the age of consent? Not necessarily to 13, but to maybe 14 or 15.

My own feeling is that in certain limited cases 15 would be acceptable, and 14 maybe at a push under special circumstances. My reasoning is as follows: Many people of 14 - 15 experiment with sex. This can be mutual and consensual but, since they are under the age of consent, technically all parties have committed statutory rape. Lowering the age would decriminialise consensual experimentation that goes on anyway.


Ground rules:
I am specifically excluding - and will not debate - an end to anonymity for complainants, since I believe that to be vitally important. I have my own feelings about this but this thread is not about that.

I am also excluding - if you wouldn't mind - the underlying motives behind Hewson's proposal; I'd like to discuss the idea on its own merits.


Does anyone else have insight into or thoughts on this topic?

Edit: I am aware there is a more general thread on youth rights so, mods, don't hesitate if you think I'm duplicating other discussions.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Роберт » Thu May 09, 2013 2:02 pm UTC

How about the half plus seven rule until adulthood?

Seriously, though, any earlier then puberty is messed up. 14 would be the earliest allowed, but you wouldn't be allowing a 17 year old to take advantage of a 14 year old (huge difference in ages there), and you wouldn't have a weird gap where both were minors so it was okay and then suddenly it wasn't okay. An 18 year old could be with a 16 year old without it being statutory rape.

It might be the best legal solution.

As for letting old men have sex with 13 year olds, I feel REALLY uncomfortable with that idea. I don't see it as being a good solution at all.
Last edited by Роберт on Thu May 09, 2013 2:06 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Thu May 09, 2013 2:05 pm UTC

The current laws are adequate, at least when they have the 'Romeo and Juliet' clauses that won't prosecute for a couple less than a few years apart.

A 30 year old having sex with a 14 year old is NOT acceptable IMO. I don't care what things were like in ancient times, back then they did lots if things we'd find horrible.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Red Hal » Thu May 09, 2013 2:32 pm UTC

Роберт, Half plus seven is actually a good guideline. I agree that pre-puberty is not something I would advocate for, since my support for any lowering of the age of consent would be specifically to decriminalise activity which already takes place between young teenagers who have already reached puberty. From a personal perspective, if one of my daughters, at the age of 15, decides to experiment with her then partner, I would feel very uncomfortable with her being criminalised because of it.

While age is a protected characteristic in the U.K., meaning it is illegal to use it as a discriminating factor, I agree that where there is a wide disparity in age, the likelihood of there being an imbalance in power in a relationship is higher, and would also feel uncomfortable in that situation, and that is one of the factors against a lowering of the age of consent.

CorruptUser, U.K. law does not have Romeo and Juliet clauses, but there is some guidance. As the law currently stands, two individuals of age 15 years and eleven months who engage in oral sex can be tried in a criminal court. A recognised defence is if the age disparity is less than two years, but that does not decriminalise the act, merely offer a defence.

Edited to add: The more I think about it, the more I think that 7+(age/2) until the age of 18, with a minimum of 14 is quite a sensible approach.
Last edited by Red Hal on Thu May 09, 2013 2:37 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Patrik3 » Thu May 09, 2013 2:34 pm UTC

(Disclaimer: I know this is in 'serious business' so apologies if my reply isn't to the standard of the board. This topic just happened to catch my eye as I was looking for something else...)

My reasoning is as follows: Many people of 14 - 15 experiment with sex. This can be mutual and consensual but, since they are under the age of consent, technically all parties have committed statutory rape. Lowering the age would decriminialise consensual experimentation that goes on anyway.


I agree that 'consensual' sex between minors should not be considered as rape, but I don't think lowering the age of consent would be the best solution. If the age of consent was lowered, it would mean that younger, more naive children would be considered legal - so it's not implausible that older people could more easily take advantage of this naivety to commit what would essentially be consensual 'rape'. For most people, at 16, the worst of puberty/adolescence has passed, but at 14, I can remember that I was still highly impressionable - prone to mood swings and feeling like I'd fallen in love with every girl that did so much as give me eye contact.

Instead, how about just changing the name of the 'crime' of underage sex to something less severe, and educating - rather than punishing - the minors involved? I have an analogy of a similar situation - suicide: In the past, if a person tried to commit suicide, they could be imprisoned, but today the laws have changed, and the person receives care/treatment rather than punishment. However, suicide is still a crime - one reason being that if suicide were legal, then there could be cases where the suicidal person is put under pressure by others - e.g. a family wanting to collect on an older relative's inheritance. So I think it should be the same with underage sex - the minors should be given appropriate treatment, but it should still be kept formally as a crime to discourage older 'predators'.

Also, it's possible that lowering the age of consent would just lower the age at which young people develop sexually. And, I know this is possibly a 'slippery slope' argument but it seems likely to me that a lower age of consent would have knock-on effects such as: more sexualization in children's' dolls/toys; more teenage pregnancies; etc.

I am specifically excluding - and will not debate - an end to anonymity for complainants, since I believe that to be vitally important. I have my own feelings about this but this thread is not about that.

I am also excluding - if you wouldn't mind - the underlying motives behind Hewson's proposal; I'd like to discuss the idea on its own merits.


Sorry to break both of those rules at once, here, but -
Spoiler:
I don't know anything about the barrister other than what I gathered from the article, but possibly what she was getting at with the 'end to anonymity for complainants' was that, in the wake of the Jimmy Saville 'scandal', there have been thousands of allegations made about many celebrities, and whilst neither I, nor anyone else could or should dismiss any of them without investigation, I've no doubt that at least a handful of the allegations were fictitious. There are a lot of incentives for making an allegation - whether you're truthful or not: attention - particularly from commercial media, defamation of your celebrity of choice, a chance of compensation, etc. and absolutely no penalty for fabricating an allegation.

I'm by no means saying that we should impose penalties - victims of any offense should not be discouraged from coming forward in any way - but on the other hand, false claims could cause massive inconvenience, defamation and humiliation to the accused party. So if this was where the barrister was coming from with the remark about 'ending anonymity' then I can somewhat empathize with that.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Red Hal » Thu May 09, 2013 2:47 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Since it isn't about motives, I'll reply, but only once! :p I believe that all parties should be given anonymity until the case is decided, and if the accused is found not guilty then that anonymity should remain in force. If the accused is found guilty, then that fact should become a matter of public record. The accuser should always have anonymity unless they choose to waive it. Breaking of the cover of anonymity by anyone else should be a criminal act. However, not only is this a highly emotive topic in its own regard, it also applies to those over the age of consent, which is why I excluded it from this discussion. Still, now you know my position.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby sigsfried » Thu May 09, 2013 4:46 pm UTC

Spoiler:
By always gets anonymity for the accuser, even if it is proved to be fraudulent?
As for anonymity for the accused, that makes it almost impossible for the police to get any other victims to come forward.


Lowering the age of consent is tricky but I do think the current situation where overnight a sex between a couple can become illegal is dubious at best. I would like to see a slight change in the law so that statutory rape is equal. As it stands in the UK if an 11 year old boy has sex with a 12 year old girl, the boy alone is guilty of statutory rape. In the US at least one case found that a boy suffering statutory rape can be held responsible for child care though how exceptional the case was is difficult to measure.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Frimble » Thu May 09, 2013 4:47 pm UTC

Trouble is that even a 13 year old girl can physically become pregnant even though it is very bad for the health of someone so young. I imagine that sort of thing would happen more if the age of consent was lowered.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Red Hal » Thu May 09, 2013 5:47 pm UTC

@frimble, possibly, but in this country sex education begins at 9 which by unhappy coincidence is the same age as the youngest recorded mother in the U.K.

@sigsfried, if both parties are below the age of consent but did what they did consensually then I believe statutory rape is the wrong name for it!
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Thu May 09, 2013 6:08 pm UTC

It does get worse; in some states a male rape victim of any age can be held liable for child support. Whether it's because many believe female on make rape to be near impossible or because they are afraid every deadbeat dad will claim rape is your interpretation.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby nitePhyyre » Thu May 09, 2013 6:13 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:As the father of two girls, one of whom is about to turn 12, my initial reaction was one of anger toward this notion but once the red mist subsided it got me to thinking. Is there any merit in lowering the age of consent?
The question that should be asked is: Is there any merit to Age of Consent(AoC) laws?

Age of Consent(AoC) laws exist because people below the cutoff aren't capable of making considered choices*.

Do you believe that? Do you believe that anyone over the age of *-teen is fundamentally incapable of weighing pros and cons? Do you believe that the mechanisms of pregnancy and disease transmission are so complex that they are incomprehensible? More importantly, do you believe that adults are in anyway better at making decisions in the same domain? Do you believe that 4 years of maturity will change it from complex and incomprehensible to trivial?
Spoiler:
The four years between 4 and 8? Sure. But we are talking about 14 to 18

I mean we allow children, and some parents force their children, to play contact sports that can cause serious injury, lifelong brain damage, and even death. A 14 year old can drive a scooter, several hundred pounds of 100km/h deathtrap with no seatbelts, airbags, or structure to protect them. But sex is too dangerous?
Please.

Роберт wrote:As for letting old men have sex with 13 year olds, I feel REALLY uncomfortable with that idea. I don't see it as being a good solution at all.
CorruptUser wrote:A 30 year old having sex with a 14 year old is NOT acceptable IMO. I don't care what things were like in ancient times, back then they did lots if things we'd find horrible.
If a vagina is going to be penetrated by a penis, who cares how many times said penis has circled the sun?

Роберт wrote:Seriously, though, any earlier then puberty is messed up.
2 little bits of knowledge people may not know.
1- You can orgasm at almost any age.
2 - Orgasm feel great. In french a euphemism for orgasm is 'La petit mort' or ' the little death'. Because it makes you feel like you died and went to heaven.

I know that this will put me far on the fringe, but I feel the way we make children wait to experience sexuality, the way we describe sexual activities as dirty, wrong, something to be put off, the way we criminalize pleasure, is horribly cruel. IMO, the birds and the bees talk should be about how awesome sex is, how to make sure you get off when having sex how to get yourself off, etc. "No, rub here, like this." Rather than teaching that sex is evil, that it is something to be avoided, we should be teaching people to go out and have as much sex as they can.

On a slight tangent: Imagine, if you will, a scenario where an adult has an affair with a teen. The teen gets jealous and decides to kill the spouse so that they can have their lover all to themselves. Now we are in a scenario where
A) the adulterer goes to jail because they had sex with a teen, and teens aren't capable of weighing right and wrong
- and at the same time -
B) the teen can go to jail as an adult because by that age you should be capable of weighing right and wrong

I am uncomfortable with the arbitrariness of AoC laws. Either they are capable of making decisions, or they aren't. I simply don't see sex as something much more difficult to understand. According to wikipedia AoC laws "should not be confused with the age of majority, age of criminal responsibility, the marriageable age, the voting age, the drinking age, driving age, or other purposes." Do we really need all this age related discrimination?

Frimble wrote:Trouble is that even a 13 year old girl can physically become pregnant even though it is very bad for the health of someone so young. I imagine that sort of thing would happen more if the age of consent was lowered.
The world's youngest mother was 5 years, 7 months old at the time she gave birth. :shock:

*according to the people who believe we need AoC laws
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Thu May 09, 2013 6:26 pm UTC

Because that vagina is attached to a person that is probably not mentally or emotionally developed enough to know when she is being taken advantage of, while the penis is attached to a person who is specifically targeting someone who is not as developed as he is.

Don't try to give me the case of an experienced 13 yr old Lolita* and a 40 yr old virgin. It's so rare as to be less of an issue than the case of the 40 yr old creep abusing the 13 yr old girl.


*Is that a non-derogatory word for girl that sleeps around?

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Роберт » Thu May 09, 2013 6:51 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:1- You can orgasm at almost any age.
2 - Orgasm feel great. In french a euphemism for orgasm is 'La petit mort' or ' the little death'.

...
IMO, the birds and the bees talk should be about how awesome sex is, how to make sure you get off when having sex how to get yourself off, etc. "No, rub here, like this."
...
The world's youngest mother was 5 years, 7 months old at the time she gave birth.


What.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Thu May 09, 2013 6:53 pm UTC

She had a pituatory problem which caused her to go through puberty at age 3, and was more or less raped by her father.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Роберт » Thu May 09, 2013 7:06 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:She had a pituatory problem which caused her to go through puberty at age 3, and was more or less raped by her father.

...no, I knew about her already. I'm confused about someone advocating that that shouldn't be considered "rape".
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Thu May 09, 2013 7:16 pm UTC

Yeah, I'm a bit suspicious of anyone trying to lower the AoC to anything before most people hit puberty.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby juststrange » Thu May 09, 2013 7:21 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:2 - Orgasm feel great. In french a euphemism for orgasm is 'La petit mort' or ' the little death'. Because it makes you feel like you died and went to heaven.


And here I always used that turn of phase to refer to the crazy, deep, soul churning depression and anxiety that often follows an orgasm. Different stroke right?

I hate to say this, but I'm with Frimble. Young teens are (generalizing) not emotionally or financially equipt to handle a child of thier own. On top of that, I know adults who can't seem to make solid informed birth control decisions. There are responsible teens just as much as there are irresponsible adults, but we can hold adults legally liable. Teens with kids are a burden on the state. Will making teen sex illegal end teen pregnancy? Not by a long shot.

Breakdown from my state if I am reading correct is: AoC is 16. Additionally, 15 year olds are permitted to have relations with 19 year olds, and 14 year olds with 18 year olds. This is how a coworker of mine ended up in lockup - he turned 19 before she turned 15. The same girl was also involved with a 32 year old. The 19 year old is on probation with a suspended sentence, the 32 year old got 10 years+ in jail and has to register when he gets out.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Nem » Thu May 09, 2013 7:29 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:If a vagina is going to be penetrated by a penis, who cares how many times said penis has circled the sun?


Strictly speaking we don't - but the power dynamic that tends to exist between a kid and an adult is such that it's a good heuristic for those who believe that there should be some protection for the less developed intelligences from the more developed ones. They haven't had jobs yet, they haven't fallen in and then broken off love, they probably haven't really negotiated between people with any significantly conflicting interests, they haven't even driven a car. However smart they may be, they don't live in the same world as adults and they're about to take a course of action that will potentially have effects in that other world that they don't know much of anything about.

Not every kid lives the same life, granted. And I'm not a big fan of keeping kids ignorant in the way we do at the moment. But introducing elements of extreme risk into an otherwise mostly benign environment where people haven't grown up to deal with that degree of risk is questionable to anyone who doesn't view it as desirable to go around taking advantage of people or letting them be taken advantage of.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri May 10, 2013 12:57 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Because that vagina is attached to a person that is probably not mentally or emotionally developed enough to know when she is being taken advantage of, while the penis is attached to a person who is specifically targeting someone who is not as developed as he is.

Don't try to give me the case of an experienced 13 yr old Lolita* and a 40 yr old virgin. It's so rare as to be less of an issue than the case of the 40 yr old creep abusing the 13 yr old girl.
I once saw a anti-marijuana ad that said that pot is illegal because it is bad for you. Why is it bad for you? Because if you get caught with weed you can go to jail.

Dizzy yet?

Let's look at your response again without all the rhetoric:
Because that vagina is attached to a person, while the penis is attached to a person.
If you want to use loaded language like 'creeps' 'targeting' the 'emotionally undeveloped' for 'abuse' go ahead. But justify yourself. Explain why whenever two pairs of genitals get smooshed together one set is being targeted for abuse.

CorruptUser wrote:*Is that a non-derogatory word for girl that sleeps around?
No I believe it is a term for girls under the AoC who are attracted to males over the AoC. Though I've never read the book.

Nem wrote:Strictly speaking we don't - but the power dynamic that tends to exist between a kid and an adult is such that it's a good heuristic for those who believe that there should be some protection for the less developed intelligences from the more developed ones. They haven't had jobs yet, they haven't fallen in and then broken off love, they probably haven't really negotiated between people with any significantly conflicting interests, they haven't even driven a car. However smart they may be, they don't live in the same world as adults and they're about to take a course of action that will potentially have effects in that other world that they don't know much of anything about.
Do you think criminalizing tendencies is a good idea? Murder tends to be committed by black males. Should we criminalize being black? Murders that don't happen by black males tend to be domestic. Should we ban relationships? Most recent terror attacks are committed by religious fanatics. Time for a new holy war?

Clearly not. So the question is: What makes this tendency different? What is it about sex that makes this generalization not only acceptable, but proper? What exactly is this "power dynamic" that changes everything about this particular tendency?

I'm a big fan of criminalizing criminal behaviour. If you have a problem with people using some form of a 'power dynamic' to get laid, then criminalize it! Don't criminalize based on heuristics. Criminalize criminal behaviour, not statistical indicators.

Even if using heuristics to criminalize behaviour made sense, why would you resort to it in this type of case? An adult sleeps with a non-adult. Shouldn't at one point we ask the non-adult how they felt/feels about it? Is "Do you feel you were abused or taken advantage of?" that abhorrent?

Nem wrote:Not every kid lives the same life, granted. And I'm not a big fan of keeping kids ignorant in the way we do at the moment. But introducing elements of extreme risk into an otherwise mostly benign environment where people haven't grown up to deal with that degree of risk is questionable to anyone who doesn't view it as desirable to go around taking advantage of people or letting them be taken advantage of.
You lost me there. What extreme risk?
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Fri May 10, 2013 1:24 am UTC

Because in the overwhelming majority of cases in which one partner is significantly younger, the younger partner is being abused. The child is almost certainly unable to give informed consent. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule, but they are rare enough and abusers common enough that society has said that it is better to have AoC laws than to not have them.

We say the AoC is 17 (or whatever in whichever state) because we say that 17 yr old is competent enough to give informed consent, even if it is with some guy old enough to be her grandfather. We have Romeo and Juliet laws because the law is there to prevent old people from abusing young people, not to prevent young people doing it.

If you have a problem with this, I can only assume you are dating someone legally too young and you are seeking 'approval' here.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri May 10, 2013 1:34 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:I know that this will put me far on the fringe, but I feel the way we make children wait to experience sexuality, the way we describe sexual activities as dirty, wrong, something to be put off, the way we criminalize pleasure, is horribly cruel.
Funny that no one is asking children to delay experiencing sexuality, and AoC laws actually have nothing to do with delaying sexuality... Last I checked, sex does not require someone over the AoC.

Honestly, all of your positions and slippery slope arguments so far smack of... Well, this;
CorruptUser wrote:If you have a problem with this, I can only assume you are dating someone legally too young and you are seeking 'approval' here.
You haven't levied a single cohesive argument for lowering the AoC beyond 'well I think adults should be able to bone children'.

Also, you're both right about the definition of la petite morte;
Wikipedia wrote:More widely, it can refer to the spiritual release that comes with orgasm or to a short period of melancholy or transcendence as a result of the expenditure of the "life force", the feeling which is caused by the release of oxytocin in the brain after the occurrence of orgasm...
I only include this because I found nitePhyyre wiggling of the definition to fit their argument somewhat annoying.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri May 10, 2013 5:59 am UTC

So in response to 'justify why you say that an age gap is idicative of abuse' and 'what makes sex so difficult to consent to?' you are going with
CorruptUser wrote:Because in the overwhelming majority of cases in which one partner is significantly younger, the younger partner is being abused. The child is almost certainly unable to give informed consent.
I can see we are getting nowhere, fast.

CorruptUser wrote:Because in the overwhelming majority of cases in which one partner is significantly younger, the younger partner is being abused. The child is almost certainly unable to give informed consent. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule, but they are rare enough and abusers common enough that society has said that it is better to have AoC laws than to not have them.

We say the AoC is 17 (or whatever in whichever state) because we say that 17 yr old is competent enough to give informed consent, even if it is with some guy old enough to be her grandfather. We have Romeo and Juliet laws because the law is there to prevent old people from abusing young people, not to prevent young people doing it.

If you have a problem with this, I can only assume you are dating someone legally too young and you are seeking 'approval' here.
I actually have quite a few problems.
Why is it that a child can not give informed consent if there is a large age gap? The act is the same. The consequences are the same. The risks are the same. Where is the difference? A 15 year old can give informed consent to an 18 year old, but if that 18 year old has a birthday, the 15 year old suddenly gets stupid and confused? What if you are an extremely naive 22 year-old? People get to abuse you all they want?

If there are exceptions shouldn't we do what we can to not jail people who haven't abused anybody? 10 guilty should go free before 1 innocent goes to jail, and all that jazz? I actually have a large problem with criminalizing generalized rules of thumb. You don't? Perhaps I'm far on the fringe about this as well. Hell, I'm against drunk driving laws. If you are driving dangerously, you should be arrested. If you are driving fine, you shouldn't be.

Sure society has said that it is better to have AoC laws than to not have them. But the entire point of this thread is that some are questioning whether or not we made the right call.

Romeo and Juliet laws aren't a given as you seem to think. Many places don't have them. Also they tend to have a floor.
wiki wrote:for instance in Canada the age of consent is 16, but there are two close-in-age exemptions: minors 14–15 may have sex with a partner who is less than five years older, and minors aged 12–13 may have sex with a partner who is less than two years older.
So if the pair is 12&11? I'm sure we've all heard the story where 2 kids were arrested for raping each other cause they were both under age.

Izawwlgood wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:I know that this will put me far on the fringe, but I feel the way we make children wait to experience sexuality, the way we describe sexual activities as dirty, wrong, something to be put off, the way we criminalize pleasure, is horribly cruel.
Funny that no one is asking children to delay experiencing sexuality, and AoC laws actually have nothing to do with delaying sexuality... Last I checked, sex does not require someone over the AoC.
I think you typed that wrong? Last I checked sex does require someone over the AoC. Two someones, in fact.

Izawwlgood wrote:Honestly, all of your positions and slippery slope arguments so far smack of... Well, this;
CorruptUser wrote:If you have a problem with this, I can only assume you are dating someone legally too young and you are seeking 'approval' here.
You haven't levied a single cohesive argument for lowering the AoC beyond 'well I think adults should be able to bone children'.
Correct. That's exactly what I'm saying.

I think adults should be able to bone children. I think children should be able to bone adults. Vice-Versa in any combination. I think you should be able to bone a sheep. I think you should be able to bone an animatronic sexbot. I think you should be able to be wrapped in latex and whipped while you are hanging upside down on a crucifix.

Whatever floats your boat.

But that isn't my argument. My argument is that the rationale behind AoC laws don't hold up to scrutiny, they serve a detrimental purpose, or they are just another set of 'protect the children' laws.

Statutory rape - Wikipedia wrote:Statutory rape laws are based on the premise that until a person reaches a certain age, that individual is legally incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse. Thus, the law assumes, even if he or she willingly engages in sexual intercourse, the sex is not consensual. Critics argue that an age limit cannot be used to determine the ability to consent to sex, since a young teenager might possess enough social sense to make informed and mature decisions about sex, while some adults might never develop the ability to make mature choices about sex, as even many mentally healthy individuals remain naive and easily manipulated throughout their lives.

Another rationale comes from the fact that minors are generally economically, socially, and legally unequal to adults. By making it illegal for an adult to have sex with a minor, statutory rape laws aim to give the minor some protection against adults in a position of power over the youth.[2]

Another argument presented in defense of statutory rape laws relates to the difficulty in prosecuting forced rape (against a victim of any age) in the courtroom. Because forced sexual intercourse with a minor is considered to be a particularly heinous form of rape, these laws relieve the prosecution of the burden to prove lack of consent. This makes conviction more frequent in cases involving minors.[10]

The original purpose of statutory rape laws was to protect young, unwed females from males who might impregnate them and not take responsibility by providing support for the child.[10] In the past, the solution to such problems was often a "shotgun wedding", a forced marriage called for by the parents of the girl in question. This rationale aims to preserve the marriageability of the girl and to prevent unwanted teenage pregnancy.[9]

Historically a man could (and in a some jurisdictions still can) defend himself against statutory rape charges by proving that his victim was already sexually experienced prior to their encounter (and thus not subject to being corrupted by the defendant).[10]
So the reasons to have AoC laws are:
1 - Mental capacity.
2 - Power differentials.
3 - Proving that a sex act was abusive is difficult, therefore simply criminalize sex, problem solved.
4 - Delaying sex.
5 - Puritans.

1)
The R&J exemptions blow this out of the water. The law says that people under age X are mentally incapable of forming the will to consent. Except for how when most all the time they are capable.

There is also what the critics say in the quoted section, using age is extremely arbitrary. Whatever magical factors that make 'round peg goes into round hole' extremely difficult and confusing when the pegs and holes are genitals don't simply vanish at a particular age. Yet there is nothing to ensure that an adult can make mature choices about sex.

At least if AoC laws were pegged to, let's say, puberty rather than solar revolutions they wouldn't be completely arbitrary.
2)
It isn't really protecting people from the threat of sex with power differentials because these protections expire when you turn 18. Or, in other jurisdictions, the power differentials are criminalized directly so AoC laws are superfluous.

3)
Do I really need to get into why this is terrible reasoning? I will if you want, but for starters, this is the rationale behind the drug war and japanese internment.

4&5)
Yeah...

Izawwlgood wrote:Also, you're both right about the definition of la petite morte;
Wikipedia wrote:More widely, it can refer to the spiritual release that comes with orgasm or to a short period of melancholy or transcendence as a result of the expenditure of the "life force", the feeling which is caused by the release of oxytocin in the brain after the occurrence of orgasm...
I only include this because I found nitePhyyre wiggling of the definition to fit their argument somewhat annoying.
While 'died and went to heaven' is a helluva lot closer to 'transcendence' than 'crazy, deep, soul churning depression and anxiety' is to 'melancholy', I'd argue we both got it wrong.

Although it isn't like that turn of phrase helps or hinders my argument that orgasms feel good.

And because Iz and CU apparently believe anyone who doesn't agree with their interpretation of western puritanism must be some sort of fugitive child rapist, I'll leave this here and say that the Marquesas got it a lot closer to right than we have it.
Child sexuality - Wikipedia wrote:At seven or eight years of age, children of the Trobriand Islands begin to play erotic games with each other and imitate adult seductive attitudes. About four or five years later, they begin to pursue sexual partners in earnest. They change partners often. Girls are just as assertive and dominant as boys in pursuing or refusing a lover. This is not only allowed but encouraged.[46]

A much earlier study (1915–1920) of Trobriand children reports that these children attempted to imitate adult sexual intercourse by the time they were 10 years old.[47] Similar behavior at the same or earlier age was observed among the children in traditional Eskimo families[48] and the children of the Bushmen.[49]

Observations of early Tahitian society indicate childhood sexual activity was more openly encouraged than normally found in other societies.[50]

Explorers and researchers such as Etienne Marchand, Adam Johann von Krusenstern, R.C. Suggs (1961), Fredrick O'Brien (1919), and others discovered the Marquesas had unique sexual customs considered deviant to Westerners. Children were permitted and sometimes encouraged to engage in sexual play with other children, encouraged to learn from adults by observation, and experiment with adults but with care taken to prevent activities that would cause pregnancy unless socially beneficial to the family. Western society has changed many of these customs so research into their pre-Western social history has to be done by reading antique writings.



OooOoOo that was long.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby mousewiz » Fri May 10, 2013 7:18 am UTC

While I can't say I agree with all of what nitePhyyre is saying, I can say it would be nice to live in a world where adults can bone children and have it be accepted. I don't think allowing adults to bone children in the short term is the way to get there. I think adults need to be more adult about boning each other before they even think about trying to teach children anything about sex. If we can't even get it right, what would make us think we can teach other people to get it right?

And no, I don't want to bone children. Teenage drama and awkward sex are not appealing; I lived through highschool once, I have no desire to do so again.

nitePhyyre wrote:2)
It isn't really protecting people from the threat of sex with power differentials because these protections expire when you turn 18. Or, in other jurisdictions, the power differentials are criminalized directly so AoC laws are superfluous.

Since you mentioned Canada, although 16 is the age of consent, there's another clause which says someone in a 'position of trust or authority' can't have sex with anyone under 18. IANAL, but I think the implication is that the coach of a highschool sports team, for example, is allowed* to have sex with the athletes born in January, but not the ones born in August. So yeah, power differential is something that can be criminalized. Weird that we tie age to it like that. I wonder if it's less that we think the 18 year old can decide for themself and more that the 18 year old can tell us to get fucked when we tell them they can't.

* In terms of statutory rape. Presumably there's policy against it, and there are probably other laws (eg sexual harrassment) that could become involved.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Trasvi » Fri May 10, 2013 7:58 am UTC

@ nitePhyyre
It seems you are willfully misinterpreting the rationale behind these laws.

We don't let minors do a whole heap of stuff based on their age. They can't get married, can't drink or drive, can't get a job, can't join the army, can't have sex, can't vote, can't sign contracts.
Is 'age' the best determinator? Maybe not... but the alternative is forcing everyone to take a 'mental maturity' test before they do any of the above activities. Age is probably the best heuristic we could get.


People of a young age are very impressionable in a number of ways. They don't have many life experiences that you acquire as you spend more time on the Earth; chemically their brains are not only more impressionable, but around the age of puberty are also subject to moon swings; physically they are likely to be smaller than adults; culturally they are under the direction of adults for most of their activities (parents, teachers, coaches); and socially they are dependent upon adults for many things like transport, money and shelter. All this culminates in children making stupid decisions, and adults having an inordinate amount of influence on their lives.
The worry is (and the evidence in many cases) that it can develop to a kind of Stockholm syndrome: the child develops over-attachment to their abuser, and doesn't even realise how badly they are being abused and taken advantage of.

The reasons you listed:
1) R+J clauses. They don't say that people under X age are necessarily incapable of consenting; just that in the context of a large age gap, people under X age are highly unlikely to truly be making an informed consent. It sucks around the age barriers (17.9999 vs 18.0000) but only as much as when your friends all turn 18 and can go to bars without you.
You are right that there is nothing to ensure that adults make mature choices, and we have legions of evidence that they do not. We want to protect people's freedom, and this often (unfortunately) means the freedom to make bad choices. The argument (and the evidence) is that people under a certain age rarely have any real freedom in these matters.

2) Power differentials are extreme when you are under 18. Your parents and teachers literally have control over your life, barring some fairly drastic measures like emancipation. Other power differential laws (employer-employee) tend to be as much about reducing favouritism in the workplace as they are about protecting the participants; and the protection revolves around protecting against some form of repercussions which equate to entrapment or 'slavery' (ie, "if you stop sleeping with me I'll fire you and won't write you letters of recommendation").

3, 4, 5) I agree, these are pretty poor justifications; but then again, I haven't heard any politician or lawmaker cite these reasons ever.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby morriswalters » Fri May 10, 2013 10:45 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:I actually have quite a few problems.
Why is it that a child can not give informed consent if there is a large age gap? The act is the same. The consequences are the same. The risks are the same. Where is the difference? A 15 year old can give informed consent to an 18 year old, but if that 18 year old has a birthday, the 15 year old suddenly gets stupid and confused? What if you are an extremely naive 22 year-old? People get to abuse you all they want?

If there are exceptions shouldn't we do what we can to not jail people who haven't abused anybody? 10 guilty should go free before 1 innocent goes to jail, and all that jazz? I actually have a large problem with criminalizing generalized rules of thumb. You don't? Perhaps I'm far on the fringe about this as well. Hell, I'm against drunk driving laws. If you are driving dangerously, you should be arrested. If you are driving fine, you shouldn't be.

Sure society has said that it is better to have AoC laws than to not have them. But the entire point of this thread is that some are questioning whether or not we made the right call.

Romeo and Juliet laws aren't a given as you seem to think. Many places don't have them. Also they tend to have a floor.


The lines we draw on this are arbitrary. They are a place we as a culture have decided we can place a line and live with it. They don't need to be perfect and they don't need to supported by any other thing then the feelings of the culture about persons under the age of 18. We always pick these lines. And they are always arbitrary. They change over time, depending on the current mindset which supports them. And we do it for any number of things. If we can't pick the point, if there is no bright shiny line than it must be arbitrary.

The bolded line is the silliest things I have seem written here for a while. It comes down to, if you kill or maim someone you should be arrested, and if not you should be left alone. Of course perhaps you have a secret metric which can separate good driving and impaired driving on the fly in real time. I have known some persons under the age of consent who who appeared to be capable of making decisions and some who don't. I say appeared, because you never know before the fact if the decision is a good one. Making something criminal is the cultures way of saying that something is not acceptable. The punishment is simply a way of saying that you are serious about the matter. This is why the laws are inconsistently enforced. Nobody is really comfortable with them.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri May 10, 2013 12:15 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:Why is it that a child can not give informed consent if there is a large age gap? The act is the same. The consequences are the same. The risks are the same. Where is the difference? A 15 year old can give informed consent to an 18 year old, but if that 18 year old has a birthday, the 15 year old suddenly gets stupid and confused?
Yes, you can argue that the boundary itself is silly, or arbitary, because no one honestly thinks that at the age of 20 you cannot be a responsible drinker, but at 21 you suddenly can. The point isn't that these boundaries are concrete demarcations that once passed turn you magically into a responsible adult, the point is that in order to enforce the fact that children cannot be responsible, we have to define what we consider a child. That means some extremely responsible younger people have to wait until the clock strikes midnight, and that means some extremely irresponsible people end up being handed the the keys to their substance abusing downfall.

But that's not what you're saying, you're saying that A ) any attempt to separate children from adults is stupid, B ) that AoC prevents children from experiencing sexuality. You've also, weirdly, ignored or misinterpreted every single point about how it's quite easy and understandable that an older individual can emotionally manipulate a younger individual for sexual gain, which is, frankly, to me, a huge reason AoC laws exist. Playing the 'Nuh uh, YOU just have Puritanical values' blame game isn't helping the discussion anymore than me saying 'Nuh uh, YOU'RE just a pedophile' would be. Since I imagine your Puritan pot shots are in response to CU and myself agreeing that you are trying to defend dating a minor, I'll apologize for that accusation.

nitePhyyre wrote:So if the pair is 12&11? I'm sure we've all heard the story where 2 kids were arrested for raping each other cause they were both under age.
I have not! I lost my virginity at the age of 15 to my girlfriend who was also 15. The AoC in Illinois was 17 (I believer there are Romeo and Juliet laws), and we were dating when I turned 17. I'm not suggesting that being charged for turning 18 and continuing to date your 15 year old girlfriend is acceptable, but those are flaws in the execution of the law, not the spirit of the law.

nitePhyyre wrote:I think you typed that wrong? Last I checked sex does require someone over the AoC. Two someones, in fact.
No? Not even a little? I certainly had sex before I was over the AoC, with someone who wasn't over the AoC either, and I don't believe that was illegal. Are you certain you understand what the AoC laws are? My impression is they're not aimed at preventing children from having sex, they're aimed at preventing adults from having sex with children. You've also oft cited Romeo and Juliet laws in a manner that suggests you aren't certain what they're about. For example, check out Texas' surprisingly reasonable Romeo and Juliet law (down a bit on the link)
nitePhyyre wrote:I think adults should be able to bone children. I think children should be able to bone adults. Vice-Versa in any combination. I think you should be able to bone a sheep. I think you should be able to bone an animatronic sexbot. I think you should be able to be wrapped in latex and whipped while you are hanging upside down on a crucifix.
I firmly disagree that children and adults should be engaging in sex, because I feel more often than not, a power gap exists and the adult can all to easily exploit the child. Children can discover their own sexuality quite easily without requiring someone twice their age to show them the ropes I know I did. Baring bestiality, your other two examples are only between consenting individuals. That's the point; consent matters.

The obvious gray area here, that I'm admitting, is that children cannot consent to sex with an adult, but they can consent to sex with other children. This is morality; it is sometimes fuzzy.

nitePhyyre wrote:I'll leave this here and say that the Marquesas got it a lot closer to right than we have it.
Yes, some societies have practiced and encouraged sex with children! That is not something anyone is denying, and that link doesn't actually support your point in the slightest. Early America used very young children as low wage workers! The Romans had slaves! My what wise and brilliant societies!

What is being debated is whether or not that is healthy in OUR society. You seem to be arguing that because some people get incorrectly caught in these laws, that we should abandon them entirely, because, you know, adults would NEVER sexually exploit a child and anyone who thinks otherwise is clearly Puritanical, and HOW will children have sex if they can't have sex with adults?!

If you want to take the stance that preventing sexual abuse of children isn't something that requires defining CHILDREN, then by all means, lets discuss that position. You seem to only be arguing that children are fully fledged beings and that sex is under no circumstances a bad thing, two positions I feel are quite untenable.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby curtis95112 » Fri May 10, 2013 12:32 pm UTC

Trasvi wrote:We don't let minors do a whole heap of stuff based on their age. They can't get married, can't drink or drive, can't get a job, can't join the army, can't have sex, can't vote, can't sign contracts.


On the other hand, they absolutely can be tried and punished as an adult. Something tells me that these laws were written by non-minor politicians with something other than the best interest of minors at heart. After all, when's the last time minors voted for you?

While I wouldn't go as far as nitePhyyre is going, he does have a point. Age absolutely is a less-than-perfect heuristic for measuring whatever it is we're trying to measure, and sex is being unfairly singled out of all the other hazardous activites a minor could engage in. So yeah, minors are having their rights unjustly curtailed for somewhat irrational reasons.

But how do we give those rights back without raising a shitstorm of consequences? The system is a shoddy machine full of makeshift fixes, and we really should try to improve, but it creaks on without catastrophe. We should definitely make the system more consistent, and replace regulations with education wherever possible, but I don't think changing the AoC is particularly wise at this point.

As a side note.
CorruptUser wrote:If you have a problem with this, I can only assume you are dating someone legally too young and you are seeking 'approval' here.

Can we all refrain from this kind of thing? I don't think this helps at all unless we're actively trying to avoid a discussion here.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Ormurinn » Fri May 10, 2013 1:04 pm UTC

The age of consent should be the same age at which you're considered mentally competent to sign a legally binding contract.

nitephyrre, do you think pre-pubescent children should be allowed to make binding declarations?
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Red Hal » Fri May 10, 2013 1:26 pm UTC

I'd like to echo curtis95112's last paragraph. CorruptUser, nitePhyyre is putting forward some radical proposals, some of which I disagree with quite strongly, but in my opinion your comment was not adding to the discussion. Thank you for acknowledging this in your previous (excellent) post.

nitePhyyre, the reason for having drink-driving laws is based on sound evidence. Alcohol impairs judgement and reaction times. It stands to reason, therefore, that the higher your blood alcohol content (BAC) the less effective you are as a driver. Consequently, the risk of an accident involving the driver or other road users increases with BAC. From there it is only a small leap to the assertion that laws designed to keep BAC below a certain level are also designed to ensure that drivers are minimally impaired by alcohol. Note that the same applies to certain drugs. Your desire for freedom of action is laudable, but I make the case that where such action carries risk to other people then there need to be clear guidelines on what level of risk is acceptable, and consequences for those who choose to ignore the guidelines.

As to the abolishing of the age of consent, I must disagree with you. To illustrate the point, instead of working down, let's work up. If there were no age of consent, then there must be some other way of determining whether or not an individual is capable of giving consent. In the case of a newborn infant, I feel certain you would agree that the infant would be unable to give consent. In the case of a pre-shooler (under five years of age) I also feel certain you would agree that although that child is able to give consent in certain situations ("Would you like a cookie?" "yes", being one such example) they would not be able to give informed consent to sexual acts.

If you disagree with those two statements, then I fear our respective positions may be too wide a gap to bridge, and we will have to just accept that further discussion would be unproductive. To that end I'm going to assume in the rest of my post that you accept the validity of my previous paragraph.

Having excluded those under five, we now just have ten years to talk about. Whereabouts would you draw an - as morriswalters so eloquently described it - arbitrary line?

Post preview addition: Ormurinn, that's intriguing. At what age are you allowed to sign a contract in your country?
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Zamfir » Fri May 10, 2013 1:57 pm UTC

If there were no age of consent, then there must be some other way of determining whether or not an individual is capable of giving consent.

Sure, but you could take capability of consent itself as the basic principle of the law. Age could then still be one of the factors to determine whether someone is capable, but it would not be an overriding factor compared to other factors.

Just as an example how this might work in practice: instead of an age of consent, you define something like an "assumed age of consent". Above that age the default assumption is that the person is capable of consent, unless special circumstances apply. Below the cutoff, the opposite is the default, but it´ s still possible to be deemed capable. You can show evidence of maturity, and a judge or doctor or psychologist or so can decide that you are capable and gives you a paper that makes it official.

Or perhaps a three-tiered process: below age x you always need the formal permit, above age y itś assumed OK, and in between you don't need the permit if you meet some established standards. Parental approval, or a small age difference, or having your own household, or whatever else.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri May 10, 2013 2:02 pm UTC

The problem with proposing something be handled on a case by case basis is that we certainly don't have unlimited resources to be assigning a psychologist to every teen to decide if they are mature enough to handle sex with adults, sex with other teens, voting, driving, drinking, etc. Again, no one is suggesting that catch all benchmarks for determining AoC are perfect or infallible, but that's what Romeo and Juliet laws help ameliorate, and it's certainly better than nothing.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby curtis95112 » Fri May 10, 2013 2:08 pm UTC

Practically speaking, we would have a process similar to the one for emancipation. Minus the often implied "fuck you" to the parents of course. Having such a process doesn't sound too unreasonable.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby juststrange » Fri May 10, 2013 2:37 pm UTC

nitephyyre, just to get a better feeling of where you are coming from, and where the disconnect is in this conversation:

Based on your statement about drunk driving, you seem to be keen on punishing consequences more than actions or decisions. By my perception, correct me if I'm wrong, things like reckless endangerment wouldn't be a crime in your world. Drive drunk but make it home without hitting anything? You're good then. Fire a gun aimlessly (in the air) and not hit anyone? No crime there. In general I think people prefer laws that discourage action that can cause devestating consequences, regardless of if they do. Its a price you pay to weed out the stupid and inconsiderate.

Adults boning children can have devestating effects. You can't give someone thier childhood back. 10-13 year olds are still kids, I personally feel the inserting something that can be emotionally traumatizing/stunting like sex can have poor outcomes. I'd hope that doesn't make me puritanical, but if you aren't considered old enough to be responsible enough to be, say, an emancipated minor, you probably aren't old enough to be doing things that result in pregnancy. Birth control is great and all, but pumping it into someone who is likely still going through natural hormonal shifts and changes sounds iffy.

My only 3 requirements for sex is that it be safe, sane, and consensual. That last one is the crux. IANAL, but IIRC AoC is the age at which '18 year olds can sleep with people this age or older', people below the AoC boning others below the AoC is covered elsewhere. And let me tell you, if parents catch two 14 year olds getting it on, especially if they aren't using proper protection etc, they tend to step in, not the law. You just no longer leave them unsupervised, or if you are ok with it you give them jimmy-caps. Thats called good parenting, the same way you don't leave a young teen unsupervised with a gun, or an M-80 firecracker, etc.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Роберт » Fri May 10, 2013 2:46 pm UTC

Why should adults be able to have sex with children? Who is missing out on something important?

We all agree that AoC laws that are such that a couple can move from legally having sex to not (eg a bad boundary at age 18) are bad.

However, the idea is that to a 15 year old, another 15 year old is likely to be less powerful, manipulative, controlling, intimidating, and trusted - in other words, less successful and making what is actually rape be not described as rape - than an adult is, when the other person. So we think there are enough non-rape sexual interactions between 15 year olds that a statutory rape law on that relationship would be bad. We think it would be bad for it to be completely illegal for 15 year olds to have sex no matter what, because kids can and do get interested in sex and try it. The key is to prevent the very real problem of abusive adults raping children. Often this happens in such an influential way, due to the power differential, that the kids don't even realize it's rape until it's too late.

Is the tradeoff worth it? What are the issues with it being legal?
Sexual predators can and will rape people and get away with it much more easily.
What are the issues with it being illegal?
Some people will have to find different partners to bone than they would have otherwise, or wait a few years before they start boning.

Seriously. It's too high a cost. Having age of consent laws is the best solution. How should they be twerked? I think half plus seven is a good rule and wouldn't mind if the legal age of consent laws revolved around that, even applying to 20 year olds. It's smooth, slowly opening up to allowing bigger age gaps, until the youngest partner is 21, which is definitely old enough to understand issues of rape, power imbalance, etc. If a 21 year old wants a sexual relationship with a 55 year old, I think that should be fine, legally. I'm less inclined to think it's fine for a 55 year old to go with an 18 year old - they don't have any experience as an adult yet. If two 14 year olds want to celebrate their shared birthday by having sex together, I'm okay with that being legal. But people raping others by using a power differential and the target's inexperience and naivety happens enough that age of consent laws are able to help prevent (and prosecute) that in many cases, without taking away significant rights, that it's totally worth it.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Zamfir » Fri May 10, 2013 2:47 pm UTC

The problem with proposing something be handled on a case by case basis is that we certainly don't have unlimited resources to be assigning a psychologist to every teen to decide if they are mature enough to handle sex with adults, sex with other teens, voting, driving, drinking, etc. Again, no one is suggesting that catch all benchmarks for determining AoC are perfect or infallible, but that's what Romeo and Juliet laws help ameliorate, and it's certainly better than nothing.

If lack of resources is the barrier, then it would be strange to tackle that with a prohibition. Instead of simply having people pay for the incurred costs, like they already do for a driver's license.

You can always add age as a sufficient benchmark. So that if you're old enough, you don't have to do anything to show that you are capable of consent. That saves resources. But that's different from using age as a necessary benchmark.

The question is, do you want to rule out at the level of the law itself that no other benchmark will suffice to prove that a young person is capable of full consent to sex. Don't get me wrong, I think that it makes perfect sense to do so, for certain age limits. I just don't think that resources are a good enough reason to do so.

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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri May 10, 2013 2:57 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:If lack of resources is the barrier, then it would be strange to tackle that with a prohibition. Instead of simply having people pay for the incurred costs, like they already do for a driver's license.

You can always add age as a sufficient benchmark. So that if you're old enough, you don't have to do anything to show that you are capable of consent. That saves resources. But that's different from using age as a necessary benchmark.
I don't see how; instead of handling each individuals maturity on a case by case basis, we set somewhat arbitrary ages after which we claim they are mature enough. Clearly, processing the paperwork for a driver license is a mite easier than having a psychological evaluation of maturity, and after a certain age, people are no longer required to take drivers ed.

Step back a moment; how do you ascertain if someone is mature enough to consent to sex with an adult? Is there a scantron that can adequately measure that?

Zamfir wrote:I just don't think that resources are a good enough reason to do so.
I wasn't suggesting that the reason for setting AoC by age was to save resources, just that processing every child individually to gauge maturity was a resource intensive suggestion that was possibly/probably impractical.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Red Hal » Fri May 10, 2013 3:04 pm UTC

Zamfir, I see where you're coming from with this, but I'm not sure the car-driving example is a good one to use, because in order to drive you have to meet both criteria; age and possession of a licence (proof you have passed your test). What you are proposing is an or not an and. If I read you correctly, you are proposing that a possible mechanism for determining whether someone is able to give consent is a) to be of a certain age or, b) if under that age to have had their ability to give informed consent verified in some manner.

That has wider applications. To line it up with what others have posted, we could standardise at - let's say - 17, but require a test to be passed if under that age, this to apply to gun ownership, driving, consumption of alcohol, consumption of drugs, voting, membership of the armed forces; indeed anything which currently has age-restrictions.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Роберт » Fri May 10, 2013 3:33 pm UTC

Awesome. So in addition to ID, you'd have various certificates? Or would that be added to your ID?

So there's a hottie who's 14 and up for sexitimes, you check that his/her license has a "class x" rating before proceding? Etc.?

Actually I'm not sure this is a helpful solution.
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Red Hal » Fri May 10, 2013 3:56 pm UTC

Well, it would solve one problem, it would prove beyond doubt to any potential partner that the individual *is* deemed capable of giving informed consent, thus eliminating the defence of "but they *told* me they were over 16".
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Re: Lowering The Age of Consent: Discussion

Postby Роберт » Fri May 10, 2013 4:05 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:Well, it would solve one problem, it would prove beyond doubt to any potential partner that the individual *is* deemed capable of giving informed consent, thus eliminating the defence of "but they *told* me they were over 16".

And changing it to "but they showed me their sexual consent readiness certificate".
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