10
   

Would US teens want a lower age of consent?

 
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 08:34 am
Adults talk a lot about lowering the age of sexual consent so we're not criminalizing something most of us enjoyed 'back in the day.' But in these discussions no one ever asks those it'd effect the most if they'd actually want such laws relaxed. So I'm asking.

Would US teens want the age of consent lowered? Ranges from 16 to 18 now (depending on state,) with some allowing a close-in-age exemption. Would you want a lower than 16-18, or broader close-in-age exemption?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 10 • Views: 4,688 • Replies: 113

 
jespah
 
  6  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 09:37 am
@HesDeltanCaptain,
Adults talk 'a lot' about this?

Not the adults I know.

Where is this information coming from? Please don't say it's anecdotal. Are you seeing a trend wherever you live? Is someone introducing a bill into your legislature, or campaigning on this as a platform plank, or just taking out full-page ads in the paper?

Because I seriously doubt, with HIV, herpes, Papilloma virus, and teenaged pregnancy, and all of the costs that go with such things, that any responsible, intelligent adult is advocating for such a measure.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 12:16 pm
@HesDeltanCaptain,
People want all sorts of things (not sure I agree with your basic ''adults talk a lot" premise in any case) they don't get/can't have.

I want an unending source of free salt and pepper calamari.

Now what?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 12:25 pm
@HesDeltanCaptain,
I have been talking about this for years, but i dont get much interest in talking about it from others. Most adults dont see a problem with the current AOC.

Are there any surveys on what youth think? If so I have not seen them. I do take note however of news accounts that have youth being less sexual than other generations. I also see little blowback from youth on drinking ages, and they do drink as much or more than my generation. I have three kids age 21-26, what I get told is that youth dont complain about the drinking age laws because they are irrelevant, they are simply ignored. I kinda think though that youth accept that the rules are the rules put in place by adults, they dont expect adults to be realistic or fair, and they dont think that they have any power to change the rules so they simply go about their lives, often going around the rules. I think that youth look at these laws that have taken away their right to do things that their parents and grandparents often enjoyed a lot like a lot of societies look at corruption....ya it would go away in a ideal world but they dont have the power to change it and they have better things to do then to try to change it.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 12:26 pm
@jespah,
Quote:
Because I seriously doubt, with HIV, herpes, Papilloma virus, and teenaged pregnancy, and all of the costs that go with such things, that any responsible, intelligent adult is advocating for such a measure.

I am one.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 12:32 pm
@hawkeye10,
Written by an adult, age 42.

Quote:
Teenagers are smart. They understand that sex can be pleasurable and that it can enhance the intimacy of their relationships. Telling them otherwise -- by insisting, for example, that "sex is for adults only" -- defies their lived reality. We should instead be emphasizing safe sex practices, open communication, and gender equality. We should not tolerate, for example, any double standard that winks at teenage boys for having multiple partners but disparages girls who do so. We should take a warning from the old joke: What do you call teenagers who receive abstinence-only sex education? Anwers: Mothers and fathers. I look forward to the day when those adults who preach an anti-sex philosophy to teenagers become as unpopular as the teens who embrace it.

That is not to say that some teenagers won't choose to remain celibate. I cannot imagine why they would, by I respect their right to do so. However, those 16- and 17-year-olds who want to indulge in one of life's great pleasures should not have to worry about the long arm of the law coming after them or their partners. Even more important, our society needs an open debate on this question. For far too long, those progressive voices who would bring common sense to the issues of teenage sexuality have been afraid to speak out for fear of being branded sympathetic to pedophiles and sex predators. The reality is that a reasonably lower age of consent, and a frank national discussion of adolescent sexuality, would serve the interests of the very minors that current laws are supposedly trying to protect. Pro-sex is Pro-safety. Conservative parents are certainly entitled to encourage their teenage daughters to keep their legs crossed, much as they may tell their sons that masturbation causes blindness. What they do not have have a right to do is to lock the rest of our society in a chastity belt by fighting a war on sexuality under the specious guise of protecting teens from themselves.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacob-m-appel/embracing-teenage-sexuali_b_409136.html
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 01:31 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

I want an unending source of free salt and pepper calamari.

Now what?

Now I'm craving calamari with a huge side of marinara sauce. Thanks ehBeth! Mad #harrumph!
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 01:42 pm
@tsarstepan,
Anything for a diversion from the topic that is not to be talked about.....
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 02:03 pm
@hawkeye10,
I think the first question to answer is what is the purpose of the age of consent? It certainly isn't to stop teens from having sex with teens. Most age of consent laws have escape clauses for teens the same age or approximately the same age and which fourteen year old would you prosecute anyway? Additionally, I think Hawk is right that most teens completely ignore these laws. So what's the purpose? My take is that the purpose of these laws are to prevent adults from pursuing children or at least to have some legal recourse if they do. If that is the case, I doubt we are going to see any reduction in the age of consent below 16 where it is in most places.
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 02:09 pm
@engineer,
Lets look at what it was like beforehand. From Wiki

Quote:
William Thomas Stead (5 July 1849 – 15 April 1912) was an English newspaper editor who, as a pioneer of investigative journalism, became a controversial figure of the Victorian era. Stead published a series of hugely influential campaigns whilst editor of The Pall Mall Gazette, and he is best known for his 1885 series of articles, The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon, written in support of a bill to raise the age of consent from 13 to 16, dubbed the "Stead Act."

In 1885, Stead entered upon a crusade against child prostitution by publishing a series of four articles entitled The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon. In order to demonstrate the truth of his revelations, he arranged the "purchase" of Eliza Armstrong, the 13-year-old daughter of a chimney sweep. His first instalment was trailed with a warning guaranteed to make the Pall Mall Gazette sell out. Copies changed hands for 20 times their original value and the office was besieged by 10,000 members of the public. The popularity of the articles was so great the Gazette's supply of paper ran out and had to be replenished with supplies from the rival Globe.

Though his action is thought to have furthered the passing of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, his successful demonstration of the trade's existence led to his conviction for abduction and a three-month term of imprisonment at Coldbath Fields and Holloway prisons. He was convicted on technical grounds that he had failed to first secure permission for the "purchase" from the girl's father.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Thomas_Stead
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 02:11 pm
@engineer,
Quote:
. If that is the case, I doubt we are going to see any reduction in the age of consent below 16 where it is in most places.

At least till we decide that we dont want to give the government the power to pick and choose the people it wants to get. We have vastly criminalized everyday life, and saying that this is no problem because the government will only go get the bad guys is now pretty much trashed....trashed by the record of incompetence and lies from the government.

Also, it is a bad idea to teach youth that laws are not to be taken literally,nor to teach that person choice should be unnecessarily trumped by government choice, nor that they are not trusted by the government, nor that sex is something to be avoided.
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 02:17 pm
@hawkeye10,
Following up on Izzy's post though, between the ages of 13 and 16, you have a group of people who are ripe for exploitation and manipulation. By all means teach safe sex and responsible sex to teens, but I think allowing adults to seek out 13 to 15 year olds where the power dynamic is completely out of whack is a bad thing. Lots of opportunities for abuse, not a lot of benefit for the freedom loving youngster.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 02:22 pm
@engineer,
Quote:
Following up on Izzy's post though, between the ages of 13 and 16, you have a group of people who are ripe for exploitation and manipulation.


And yet when we look at politics and economics what we see are the masses being exploited and manipulated. Using that as an excuse to deprive people of freedom can clearly only be an excuse . We need to teach skills to avoid being a victim, protecting people unreasonably makes that harder. I say give teens sexual freedom, and then fix the education system so that we can teach them to use that freedom wisely. After they learn that skill, and the rest of us do too, we will be a much better nation.
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 02:28 pm
@hawkeye10,
I would say that as people mature, we expand their freedoms and responsibilities while at the same time maintaining some level of protection from the evils of the world. Saying that 13-15 year olds can have sex with people their own age but shielding them from adults fits in with this pattern. We don't bestow adult rights and responsibilities on teens that age in any other aspect. This doesn't seem any different.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 02:32 pm
@engineer,
Who is talking about an AOC of 13? The lowest I hear argued is 14, which is what I advocate.

Quote:
Saying that 13-15 year olds can have sex with people their own age but shielding them from adults fits in with this pattern.

You might go read the laws. Any act under the AOC is not lawful, because these people are not able to consent. If you want the laws to be about young not having sex with older then write laws that say that. Laws that make all youth sex technically illegal are not that. Saying that the government will not prosecute these criminals is not a fix.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 02:39 pm
The laws so not, of course, make all sex under the age of consent universally and monolithically illegal. Specific distinctions are made when the partners are within a few years of one another's ages, so that a woman of 18 having sex with a boy of 16 does not suffer the same penalties if the difference in ages were different.

We live in a society in which even minimal education takes years and years, because our society is complex and difficult to deal with. That's why people under the age of 18 cannot legally sign contracts. Why should sex be any different? Because horny older people want to "nail" younger people? I strong suspect that's the motive, and i'm convinced that opponents of age of consent laws are just consulting their lust and nothing else. We would despise a man who ditches his wife to chase after another woman whom he does not actually intend to marry. How much worse if he's chasing a child? People like Whackeye are fundamentally dishonest in this discussion, and have zero respect for his expressed opinions.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  5  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 02:41 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
Quote:
Because I seriously doubt, with HIV, herpes, Papilloma virus, and teenaged pregnancy, and all of the costs that go with such things, that any responsible, intelligent adult is advocating for such a measure.

I am one.


She said responsible, intelligent adults--she wasn't talking about you.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 02:45 pm
Quote:
Sexual intercourse (see Definitions) with someone 16 or 17 years old is a Class A
misdemeanor, and carries the same penalty classification as fourth degree sexual
assault, Wis. Stats. sec. 940.225(3m) and 948.09. However, this behavior does not fall
under the mandated reporting requirement in Wis. Stat. sec. 48.981 if the school
professional feels, in his/her professional opinion, the sexual intercourse is voluntary. A
1983 Wisconsin Attorney General opinion states, “Sexual contact or intercourse with a
sixteen- or seventeen-year-old is not sexual assault unless it is nonconsensual.
Therefore, it should be reported as abuse only if there is reasonable cause to suspect
that the sixteen- or seventeen-year-old did not consent.” (Ref. 72 Atty. Gen. 93). This
legal interpretation was reestablished in a Department of Justice (DOJ) memorandum
dated 4/14/05.


Under the heading "the law is not to be taken seriously"

Quote:
Sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16 years is a
felony, Wis. Stat. sec. 948.02(1) and (2). School professionals who have reasonable
cause to believe a student under the age of 16 years has had sexual contact or
intercourse with another person, where the student claims the sexual contact or
intercourse is consensual, must still report this behavior to the county CPS or local law
enforcement agency.
The only possible exception to this requirement is when the student is receiving or has
received health care services from a health care provider (see Definitions). The stated
purpose of this exception in state statute “is to allow children to obtain confidential
health care services,” Wis. Stat. sec. 48.981(2m)(a). Some health care services (as
defined in statute to include family planning services) may be within the scope of a
school nurse’s responsibilities (i.e., counseling, distribution of information, and referral).

http://sspw.dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/sspw/pdf/rrfsaa.pdf

Sounds pretty clear to me.The blowhard Set is once again wrong.
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  7  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 02:49 pm
Adults are supposed to responsible for raising their children and keep them safe. If you poll 13 year olds to see what their preferences are, I'd bet many would think they didn't need school, should be able to drive cars, wouldn't need a curfew and be able to behave as if they were adults in many other situations. The same 13 year olds do not work and are unable to support themselves, so if they make poor choices someone else has to absorb the cost, usually that turns out to be the parents. My oldest child decided he needed to drive when he was 15 but realized if he asked I would say no, so he drove the car while I was at work. This worked dandy until he ran into the back of a car driven by his other underage friend who also lacked a drivers license.

Neither one of the 15 year olds were able to dip into huge savings accounts to pay for the damages, because neither one had jobs or savings. We wound up paying for our car repairs as well the other parents car repairs. I was very, very, very irritated and explained to the 15 year old that this poor choice was the last poor choice I was going to pay for. Also, there was a steep curtailment in what was available re entertainment for this particular 15 year old child for a duration of time I would consider.

I know adults paying child support for grandchildren because their underage sons can't or won't support the children they have created. My position is, I raised my children. My children create children, they have just signed on for the job of parent.

There are very solid reasons why society establishes "age of consent" laws. In addition to protecting 12 year old girls from predators, these laws help parents raise their children to be responsible adults, not sponges.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2015 02:52 pm
@glitterbag,
You argument fails because the law is not going to keep people from having sex, especially not young people. The law that you claim uses depriving kids of sex as a stick to beat them into being better adults does in fact become a stick to retaliate against kids who have sex. At the very least it becomes a law that allows the government to blackmail youth...as in"you did illegal sex, do as we tell you are else we will prosecute it". The government should not have this kind of power, and it should not be allowed to get this power by abuse of the legal system.

Our current sex laws suck. They should be fixed.
 

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