10
   

Would US teens want a lower age of consent?

 
 
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2015 10:26 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
What an age of consent of 16 in the criminal law does is to make every person who has sex under the age of 16 a criminal. The Second National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles conducted in 2000 found that over one in four men and over one in five women had had sex under the age of 16 and surveys since then have given ever higher figures. That means millions of people have committed criminal offences, and yet how many of us would want to see them punished for it?

Criminal offences which are not respected, obeyed or prosecuted should no longer be criminal offences. It can lead to young people feeling fearful of accessing sexual health services if they know that what they have done (or want to do) is a crime. It is not the purpose of the criminal law to send a message of what society thinks people “should” do, or what is best for them, but only to punish people when their actions harm – or risk harm – to others. As per J.S. Mill’s well-known harm principle, “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others”. Unless harm is caused by persons under the age of 16 having sex, their actions should not be criminalised, and the overwhelming majority of cases, no harm is ever caused.

As a liberal, I believe that sexual intercourse should not be a criminal offence unless there is manipulation, pressure or coercion (i.e. harm) involved. The age of the parties is not the sole determining factor in establishing whether this is the case. I believe that we can both protect children and respect their sexual autonomy by reforming our age of consent laws to make them more nuanced, reducing the age of consent to somewhere between 12 or 14, but introducing a “close in age” exception such that, until both parties are 16 or older, it will remain an offence if there is an age difference of more than three years. This allows for children to explore their sexuality with others of a similar age, but protecting them from the kind of pressure or coercion that can occur when one of the parties is much older. Close in age exceptions exist in number of other European countries, such as Austria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.

We should better equip our education system, healthcare services, and support to parents in teaching children about sex, their right to wait until they are ready, and empower them to make the right choices. But the threat of criminalisation is entirely inappropriate and should cease.

http://www.libdemvoice.org/opinion-why-liberal-democrats-should-support-lowering-the-age-of-consent-37293.html

Yep, and here in America we sometimes take this ridiculousness all the way up to the age of 18.
roger
 
  3  
Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2015 11:43 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

I have no idea if Americans feel the same way.


Sounds like you haven't been following the thread.
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2015 11:53 pm
@roger,
You think a couple of people on A2K informs me on American opinion? I googled the question but have not come up with anything. They are talking about AOC across the pond but I dont see where we are. The last time this came up was about 5 years ago when everyone was busy canceling consent between students and teachers.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 Aug, 2015 12:15 am
@hawkeye10,
Sure. A biased cross section.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 Aug, 2015 12:50 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
They are talking about AOC across the pond
In which countries?
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 7 Aug, 2015 01:28 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

hawkeye10 wrote:
They are talking about AOC across the pond
In which countries?


you should know better that me...Spain just raised it and this has been talked about in the UK for about the last 5 years. Dont know about if there is anyone else to add to the list.
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Fri 7 Aug, 2015 01:45 am
@hawkeye10,
Indeed Spain raised it - from 12 in 1995, to 13 in 1999, and now to 16.

I must have misunderstood you - didn't get that you wanted to raise it.
0 Replies
 
HesDeltanCaptain
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Aug, 2015 07:34 am
@hawkeye10,
Would support 13 for the US national AoC. With the proviso it be for those with 2 years of each other. Know there's 3 to 5 years close in age examples but usually teen peer groups are going to be only a year or two apart as with people in the same grade so think that's more than sufficient.

A counter proposal is patterning our system after Japan's where there's a AoC for sex with anyone, then a lower one for with parental-consent. We already have this in the US but with the stipulation you must get married. Here, if you marry you're then exempt from the. As here in Missouri the regular AoC is 17, but can marry at 15 with parental consent, and once you do the AoC is retroactive to the age of marriage so 15. And there's provision for approving even younger marriages with judicial consent as in Massachusetts where 12yo can marry with a judge and parents' permission. Dunno how, when, or why that ever comes up but it's there.

Keeping our AoC in the 16-18 range just makes the sex illegal and thus covert. Doesn't prevent or discourage it though and so costs the state and people involved money. If you lock up an adult male who gets a minor woman pregnant, he obviously casn't provide for his family paying child support. Decriminalize the ages involved and he can. Since a major component of the AoC laws are costs to the state when young women get pregnant, drop out of school, go on welfare, etc. the solution's obvious - quit locking up the fathers.

hawkeye10
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 7 Aug, 2015 12:20 pm
@HesDeltanCaptain,
Quote:
Keeping our AoC in the 16-18 range just makes the sex illegal and thus covert.

A big part of why I want a lower and uniform AOC is that one of my my concerns is lowering the rates of sexual abuse in this country. When we start young people on the road to intimacy as we do, and criminalizing sexual intimacy for about 5 years after the hormones start racing is a part of the problem, the negative effects carry on for years after and maybe for life. Not a lot of research has been done but it is very clear to me that todays youth are very messed up on the subject. All one needs to do is go look at how European teens deal with sex, how they are supported by their elders as they explore sex, to see how damaging our current attitudes towards teen sex are. And I think as the elders we have a responsibility to not make things harder for youth than they have to be. But really, my main goal is that we work to do away with the sexual disputes that happen way way too often in this nation. A sensible introduction to sex and intimacy as children grow into adults would go a long ways towards this better life, of this I am sure.

At the end of the day I reject the argument of the feminists that the way to end sexual assault is to use the law beat on men more. The way towards ending it is to have a healthier attitude towards both sex and relationships, which in America would mean that the adults must achieve this healthier attitude and then we must set out to teach our youth. We are blowing it. Reforming the AOC laws, basically tearing them up and starting over, would be a start.

hawkeye10
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 7 Aug, 2015 12:37 pm
@hawkeye10,
-1 vote for this post illustrates what is wrong with the voting system, and what is wrong with the people at A2K. THere is no justification for it
0 Replies
 
HesDeltanCaptain
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2015 07:12 am
@hawkeye10,
A cynical man might think the reason it's being kept as-is is precisely to cause it to become a problem. Crime benefits numerous business sectors like the prison industry, lawyers, courts, law enforcement, etc. To say nothin gof politicians using it as a campsigning tool, "I solemnly pledge to do what I can to protect our children!" and getting more votes. Of course if what thye then do isn't protecting children so much as aritficially creating more crime and criminals oh well.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2015 11:00 am
@HesDeltanCaptain,
I don't think that is it. More like the state is always pushing to accumulate power and it is loath to ever return power to the people.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  3  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2015 08:40 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
I am pretty sure that if you were to ask Europeans what they would think of their government outlawing sex up to age 18 that they would say that it is a cruel abuse of the citizens at the hands of government.


Care to add a flake or two of fact or stats to back up another one of your "in my opinions"? Your holding of an opinion doesn't make it fact.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2015 10:10 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
bobsal u1553115 wrote:

Quote:
I am pretty sure that if you were to ask Europeans what they would think of their government outlawing sex up to age 18 that they would say that it is a cruel abuse of the citizens at the hands of government.


Care to add a flake or two of fact or stats to back up another one of your "in my opinions"? Your holding of an opinion doesn't make it fact.


It was a hedged opinion. Let this be your lesson for the day.

I am so proud of you for knowing the difference between fact and opinion though, Keep it up the learning and you might get invited to the adults table one day.
0 Replies
 
 

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