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Should the Age Of Consent Be Lowered?

Age of consent sex Different States Law

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#81 sierraleone

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 04:07 PM

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maryavatar

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sierraleone
A 14 yr old maybe be capable on knowing their mind, and may want to have sex. But are they ready for all the ramifications of having sex? (STDs, possible pregnancy). Even if they are smart enough to use condoms/BC I feel, because no method is 100 % foolproof, if they aren't ready for a child we should have an age, however arbitrary, of consent.

But having a legal age of consent isn't going to change how smart they're going to be about sex, or stop them having it.  All it does is make it possible to prosecte the person they've had sex with after the event.  If a teenager is determined to have sex, whether they're ready or not, they will find a way.  We need education not legislation.

Oh, I agree w/ education totally, 100 %.
I agree, we should be teaching them about sex, STD/Pregnancy prevention, pregnancy and reproductive health in general, alternatives to sex (one doesn't have to go *all* the way to have a good time), and they shouldn't have sex until they feel they are ready to deal w/ all the issues/responsibilities/repurcussions that come w/ sex, but if they are going to anyways, hand out the condoms :p

But that doesn't mean some much older person can't take advantage of their naviety/inexperience (which is part of the reason why we need education so badly, but even education can't give them real experience) and the uncertainly/influential mind some of them have. There has to be a minimum age, unless one thinks that an adult should be able to have sex w/ children of any age, not just teenagers.

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sierraleone
Just curious, where would you draw the line for the purposes of law? 18? 16? 14? 13? 12? Or would you get rid of the age of consent completely and write other laws? (Its only a crime if they are under 18 and a parent wants to prosecute, and/or under 13 period?
plus it still be child porn if any person involved was under 18?)

I'm definitely in the 'other laws' category, however, I will admit that it's unlikely that any law will really be effective.  When you attempt to regulate sexual behaviour, you have to take into consideration that no two people are alike.  We can all agree that someone who commits rape or murder is either a criminal or insane, but how can you say when a person is ready for a sexual relationship?  Should it be legal to have sex with a precocious 14 year old?  Should it be illegal to have sex with a slow-maturing 19 year old?  What about the mentally handicapped?  If someone has the body of a 25 year old and the cognitive abilities of a 12 year old, should sex legal or not?  

There is no one answer to these questions.  There is no right answer.  Even judged on a case-by-case basis, people will always disagree on what should be done.

I don't think law is neccessarily effective, but I think theres got to be an age, we can tell adults, you might be able to deal w/ the responsibilty/repurcussions of sex but the person you are having sex w/ is not old enough to deal w/. Especially when you consider parents are legally responsible for their children. Of course no two people are alike. Some people should never be allowed behind the wheel of a vehicle, drink (violent drunks for example). That doesn't mean we don't have a law saying which age they are able to do those things, doens't mean the laws are effective either  :D

Of course there are cases that are exceptional. Does that mean we shouldn't have no law on it at all?
We have laws on murder for a reason, and we have exceptions to it (self defense/defense of others, insanity/temporary insanity) and degrees; murder 1,2; manslaughter, etc
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#82 sierraleone

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 04:15 PM

Chaddee - That is how thorough I'd like N. America sex education to be  :thumbs-up:
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#83 WildChildCait

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 04:36 PM

LOL, it gets you into interesting situations when you turn up at a family planning clinic because of disagreements with the boyfriend on exactly when fertile periods etc are, and they have to check themselvs in the book due to some of the circumstances - and it turns out you're right!
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#84 darthsikle

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 05:06 PM

DWF, on Nov 10 2004, 08:25 PM, said:

darthsikle, on Nov 10 2004, 02:42 PM, said:

Who hurled a child abuse allegation??   not me, however, allowing a 14 year old to fornicate with a 35 year old IS child abuse in my book.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That's about how old my grandmother and grandfather wre when they got married and it was an arranged marriage at that.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


So statutory rape is OK by you??
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#85 QueenTiye

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 05:07 PM

Steven_Q, on Nov 10 2004, 03:08 PM, said:

As to this, don't be ridiculous, there are far too many inane laws on far too many countries books to claim they should all be upheld.

go here http://www.dumblaws.com/, for a list of laws which should never be upheld, regarless of your beliefs, ethics or morals.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


OK... that calls for a spin-off thread...

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#86 DWF

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 05:09 PM

darthsikle, on Nov 10 2004, 05:06 PM, said:

DWF, on Nov 10 2004, 08:25 PM, said:

darthsikle, on Nov 10 2004, 02:42 PM, said:

Who hurled a child abuse allegation??  not me, however, allowing a 14 year old to fornicate with a 35 year old IS child abuse in my book.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That's about how old my grandmother and grandfather wre when they got married and it was an arranged marriage at that.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


So statutory rape is OK by you??

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It wasn't rape at all, being Catholics they didn't have sax until after the wedding and this kind of arranged marriages were common in Europe.
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#87 Brynhilde

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 05:13 PM

I would just like to say that once someone reaches puberty it does not mean that they will automatically thing "wow, lets have sex with the first person I see". Okay, there are some stupid and irresponsible teenagers out there, but there are a lot of irresponisble adults as well. Many teenagers deserve a lot more credit for practising either abstinence or safe sex.

And I'd also like to say I knew a girl whose mother didn't trust her boyfriend and so made her go on the pill. I knew the girl very well, she wouldn't have been irresponsible, and in fact got quite ill from the pills. There are other methods of BC and one which with prolonged use can effect your fertility is not a good idea if you want girls as young as 8 or 9 on it (I couldn't even swallow pills at aged 9!).


I can get pretty protective about issues like this, so I'm going to back away and cool my jets for a while. I think Maryavatar summed the issue  up best:

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I see the legal age of consent as largely irrelevant. If people want to have sex, they will, no matter if the type of sex they want is legal or not.

:thumbs-up:

Edited by Brynhilde, 10 November 2004 - 05:15 PM.

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#88 Godeskian

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 05:16 PM

darthsikle, on Nov 10 2004, 11:06 PM, said:

So statutory rape is OK by you??

But what defines Statutory rape.

The original States listing at the beginning of this lists a number of different ages. Other nations have other ideas on what is moral, and on what a goverment should legislate.

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#89 Bad Wolf

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 06:35 PM

^  I was wondering when someone would get around to that.;)  I think that statutory rape should not be called that because it implies rape, which is a crime of violence.  Statutory rape usually involves an older individual having consensual sex with a much younger individual.  I'm not talking about pedophilia.  There are laws that deal with pedopohilia.  I'm talking about the twenty year old who gets involved with a sixteen year old in a state where one is guilty of statutory rape if the age of consent is older than sixteen.  My main problem with statutory rape laws is that they are a result of some men getting together and deciding that they know best when a woman is old enough to have the "capacity" to consent to sex.  I'm not a big fan of these statutes.

And this is for darthsickle:  no I'm not either a child molestor or an advocate of pedophilia.  There are laws that cover those things that have nothing to do with statutory rape laws.  The latter are imo yet another function of a patriarchal society trying to decide what is right for women.  

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#90 Vapor Trails

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 08:28 PM

Una Salus Lillius, on Nov 10 2004, 06:35 PM, said:

My main problem with statutory rape laws is that they are a result of some men getting together and deciding that they know best when a woman is old enough to have the "capacity" to consent to sex.  I'm not a big fan of these statutes.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I have a question-is this true in EVERY case, or are you making a generalization? I'm not saying I don't agree with the idea behind what you say (I agree-women should play a part in making these laws), but I have a problem with generalizations. :)

Just trying to set the record straight, counselor. ;)

:cool:

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#91 Rockhound

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 09:31 PM

Una Salus Lillius, on Nov 10 2004, 05:35 PM, said:

^  I was wondering when someone would get around to that.;)  I think that statutory rape should not be called that because it implies rape, which is a crime of violence.  Statutory rape usually involves an older individual having consensual sex with a much younger individual.  I'm not talking about pedophilia.  There are laws that deal with pedopohilia.  I'm talking about the twenty year old who gets involved with a sixteen year old in a state where one is guilty of statutory rape if the age of consent is older than sixteen.  My main problem with statutory rape laws is that they are a result of some men getting together and deciding that they know best when a woman is old enough to have the "capacity" to consent to sex.  I'm not a big fan of these statutes.

And this is for darthsickle:  no I'm not either a child molestor or an advocate of pedophilia.  There are laws that cover those things that have nothing to do with statutory rape laws.  The latter are imo yet another function of a patriarchal society trying to decide what is right for women. 

Lil

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You know what, Lil, thank you.  You hit the nail right on the head and articulated it better than I did.

I'm going to try and answer some of the questions posted to me here since I've been away.

eryn said:

You realize that some girls reach puberty at the age of 8 now right? Do you really propose to put them on birth control until the "right" age? Besides isn't that just a tad illegal?

That was my point: perhaps it should be legal and given out just like vaccinations.

Lil said:

In answer to the original question: are you talking about lowering the age of consent for purposes of things like statutory rape laws?

Basically yes.  I'm advocating that AoC laws should be lowered so that a person is sexually autonomous based upon their physical capacity (ie: has entered puberty).

Chaddee said:

Way to go..
and by saying that women are mere recepticals, you are treating us like cattle or a possession.

Hey, why not take all infant males and while you are busy circumcising, just do a quick snip anyway? hey presto, no need for birth control. If all men where snipped, women could not get pregnant, and neither gender would have to incessantly pollute their bodies with all sorts of toxic crap.

Now, before i get really t'd off, i'm leaving this thread.

Well, that's quite a reaction.  My statement, which was probably hard to understand when you're seeing red, basically stated that since it's the woman that carries the baby then she should be the one who takes the birth control.  Back to the vaccination idea.  

Handmaiden said:

When you ask "what psychological impact" - I ask rhetorically - what psychological impact does a sexual relationship have on you?

I generally meant the psychology of sex over all...forming attachments due to sex and all that.  I'm no expert, but you get what I'm saying?

darthsikle said:

I'd just like to add my two cents, anyone who advocated lowering the age of consent below the existing societal accepted age is a pedophile and potential child molester in my book.

Well, thanks for the vote of confidence there, darth! :D

Ya know what, if I want a naked 15 year girl bouncing in my lap, that's between her and I.  One year of age difference isn't going to affect things, be honest.

darth said:

So if a 35 year old man had sex with a 14 year old, nothing would probably happen??

Let me ask a question (several, actually): why does a situation like that always have to be cast in a negative light?  Why has the older partner always got to be "taking advantage" of the younger partner?  Why can't the older partner be teaching the younger one something pleasurable and good...something she can pass on later to others?  Is pleasure such an ugly thing?
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#92 Chipper

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 10:03 PM

Just to say:

I think that when it comes to what CONSENSUAL sex is, that there shouldn't be a specific age limit set.  If the two people in love are at a level where they are responsible enough, educated enough, and MATURE enough to have sex, why not have it? (I'm speaking as a 17 yaer old virgin, BTW)

I do NOT condone statuory rape, but in my mind, RAPE is rape.  If you have a man over 18 and a girl under the age limit in a state, but they have been in a permanent relationship and both agree to sleep together, that is NOT in my mind statuory rape.  If we were talking about a 35 and a 16 year old, that's different, especially if the parents do not know what the relationship is (especially if it is rape).

Lowering the age does not make one a pedophile or a child molester.

Do you want to know what does?

Let me tell you a story that has just blown up around my community.

A person in my grade (12) was accused of hosting CHILD PORNOGRAPHY on his server at home.  TWO YEAR OLD CHILDREN were on it.  He was also in possession of passwords of students and faculty in our school district.  He was taken out of school in September and permanently suspended and banned from all district property (mainly for the latter action, but I'm sure the former was taken into account) and is now facing criminal charges.

No MATTER who you are, when you see a relationship that is obviously wrong (no one should be having sex below 13 years of age in my mind, though I know kids who are guilty of this) -- ie an adult and a child, but w/ a significant age difference and no relationship taht is founded on trust and respect (and approved by the parents), then you have to do something.

Just becuase one person is younger than the other doesn't mean they cannot have sex.  That's my view.  Teach maturity.  Teach abstinence.  But don't punish kids for what they may want to do.  Punish those sex offenders who deserve to be punished, not those who are in love but are separated by law.
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#93 sierraleone

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 10:11 PM

I don't argue its never consensual.

Quote

Rockhound

Quote

eryn
You realize that some girls reach puberty at the age of 8 now right? Do you really propose to put them on birth control until the "right" age? Besides isn't that just a tad illegal?


That was my point: perhaps it should be legal and given out just like vaccinations.

So we should force BC on children and against their parent's objections? And you think this is going to help? The children and the parents would resent it. I know I would have as a teenager, being a responsible one. And how does forcing it on children teach them responsibility?

Quote

Rockhound

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Lil
In answer to the original question: are you talking about lowering the age of consent for purposes of things like statutory rape laws?

Basically yes.  I'm advocating that AoC laws should be lowered so that a person is sexually autonomous based upon their physical capacity (ie: has entered puberty).

You know, for some kids its younger than 8. W/ Precocous (sp?) puberty it has happen as young as 5. A 5 yr old wouldn't be able to carry a child, much less understand what sex is for nor all the implications. Physical capacity as in ovulating, or physical capacity as in their body is physically mature enough to carry a child to term w/ out too much trouble on average?

Quote

Rockhound

Quote

Chaddee
Way to go..
and by saying that women are mere recepticals, you are treating us like cattle or a possession.

Hey, why not take all infant males and while you are busy circumcising, just do a quick snip anyway? hey presto, no need for birth control. If all men where snipped, women could not get pregnant, and neither gender would have to incessantly pollute their bodies with all sorts of toxic crap.

Well, that's quite a reaction.  My statement, which was probably hard to understand when you're seeing red, basically stated that since it's the woman that carries the baby then she should be the one who takes the birth control.  Back to the vaccination idea.

Granted, it one is to go w/ this idea, I do not know of any drugs currently that would stop sperm production in males, so the only one we can enforce for sure, is somekind of BC on the females. Still doesn't make it a good idea. And still doesn't address STDs or actually teaching responsbility to males or females.

Quote

Rockhound

Quote

darthsikle
I'd just like to add my two cents, anyone who advocated lowering the age of consent below the existing societal accepted age is a pedophile and potential child molester in my book.

Well, thanks for the vote of confidence there, darth! :D

Ya know what, if I want a naked 15 year girl bouncing in my lap, that's between her and I.  One year of age difference isn't going to affect things, be honest.

And her parents, who are legally responsible for her? Going to likely be paying her medical bills/etc if it comes to that?

Quote

Rockhound

Quote

darthsikle
So if a 35 year old man had sex with a 14 year old, nothing would probably happen??

Let me ask a question (several, actually): why does a situation like that always have to be cast in a negative light?  Why has the older partner always got to be "taking advantage" of the younger partner?  Why can't the older partner be teaching the younger one something pleasurable and good...something she can pass on later to others?  Is pleasure such an ugly thing?

No, pleasure it not such an ugly thing. But AIDs is. Broken hearts are. Beadbeat parents are. Having to choose between an abortion, or adoption, or keeping a child & changing your plans for the future can be. And when that older person isn't responsble, not caring about this younger person and causes any, one, or all of these this, it is an ugly thing.
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#94 darthsikle

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:05 PM

Rockhound, on Nov 11 2004, 02:31 AM, said:

Ya know what, if I want a naked 15 year girl bouncing in my lap, that's between her and I.  One year of age difference isn't going to affect things, be honest.

darth said:

So if a 35 year old man had sex with a 14 year old, nothing would probably happen??

Let me ask a question (several, actually): why does a situation like that always have to be cast in a negative light?  Why has the older partner always got to be "taking advantage" of the younger partner?  Why can't the older partner be teaching the younger one something pleasurable and good...something she can pass on later to others?  Is pleasure such an ugly thing?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Uggg.....you are really starting to make my skin crawl.  Why not 14???  13???  How about 10???  Where do you draw the damn line.

Brian Tapdancing Boytano...I get banned for using Pork as a verb and we have people here advocating Statutory Rape {Just the fact that this web site does not censor those thoughts is probably in violation of a few laws in the US}

Rockhound, your last statement sounded familiar to me...it's what those NAMBLA people say on Howard Stern all the time.  Disgusting!!
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#95 Rockhound

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:10 PM

Chill, darth.  I'm not openly advocating it...this is just something to think about.
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#96 DWF

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:10 PM

^^^http://www.sexualrecords.com/WSRprev.html

Quote

The youngest mother whose history is authenticated is Lina Medina, who delivered a 6-pound boy by cesarean section in Lima, Peru in 1939, at an age of 5 years and 7 months. The child was raised as her brother and only discovered that Lina was his mother when he was 10. And you thought teenage pregnancies complicate matters.

Girls such as this suffer from a hormonal imbalance, or precocious puberty, which is characterized by premature secondary sex characteristic development. In a small percentage ovarian and uterine development appropriate for fertility also occurs, making pregnancy possible. Lina, for instance, began menstruating at age 3.

The full details of this event was witnessed by Edmundo Escomel and written up in the Dictionary of Medical Science, May 1939. For the original French text click here. For an English translation, click here.

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#97 sierraleone

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:14 PM

^ I started a thread in ETU once about that didn't I? I still  :barf: when I think about that... she was 5, possible 4 (unlikely though, could she have carried to 7 months.... ) when she got pregnant!
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Rule#6: Remember the future.
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#98 DWF

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:18 PM

^^^Yeah it is :barf:.

Edited by DWF, 10 November 2004 - 11:20 PM.

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#99 Rockhound

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:22 PM

sierraleone, on Nov 10 2004, 09:11 PM, said:

So we should force BC on children and against their parent's objections? And you think this is going to help? The children and the parents would resent it. I know I would have as a teenager, being a responsible one. And how does forcing it on children teach them responsibility?

Well, we can stick them for things they'll probably never be exposed to.  We can give them a standardized education that can conflict with the beliefs of their parents.  Why can't we protect them from something that can potentially ruin their life: having a baby before being able to deliver it safely? 'Sides, children get raped by the real perverts, and sometimes get preggers...there you go...a little insurance.

Quote

You know, for some kids its younger than 8. W/ Precocous (sp?) puberty it has happen as young as 5. A 5 yr old wouldn't be able to carry a child, much less understand what sex is for nor all the implications. Physical capacity as in ovulating, or physical capacity as in their body is physically mature enough to carry a child to term w/ out too much trouble on average?

You know, you're never going to come up with a system that covers everyone...you have to come up with a system that protects and yet gives individual liberties all at once.  In the cases you just mentioned, abortion is also an option.

Quote

Granted, it one is to go w/ this idea, I do not know of any drugs currently that would stop sperm production in males, so the only one we can enforce for sure, is somekind of BC on the females. Still doesn't make it a good idea. And still doesn't address STDs or actually teaching responsbility to males or females.

It's a better idea than closing your eyes and hoping for the best.  Besides, just because an 11 year old is on the pill doesn't necessary guarantee she's going to go out and bang away with the next 30 year old guy she meets.

Quote

And her parents, who are legally responsible for her? Going to likely be paying her medical bills/etc if it comes to that?

Yes, they are, after all, responsible for her actions.

Quote

No, pleasure it not such an ugly thing. But AIDs is. Broken hearts are. Beadbeat parents are. Having to choose between an abortion, or adoption, or keeping a child & changing your plans for the future can be. And when that older person isn't responsble, not caring about this younger person and causes any, one, or all of these this, it is an ugly thing.

All things that adults also face.  No reason to deny the pleasures of sex to those who've been deemed too young simply because of outdated mores and fears.
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#100 Rhea

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:48 PM

I don't think the age of consent should be lowered. It's there for a reason - to protect a portion of the population who are absolutely certain that they know everything there is to know about everything while not even in possession of the questions, much less the answers. :p :p :p

I remember *exactly* what it was like to be a teenager - but I think there always ought to be laws in place so that an ADULT will have to think a lot - preferrably more than once or twice - before having sex with a kid.

And BTW, I find the thread title EXTREMELY offensive. The people who suffered the most under the medieval "old enough to bleed" crap were women. Just because a woman is old enough to have menstruate does not mean her body is mature enough to deal with pregnancy.

We might as well just go back to the days when 12-year-old girls were bartered off to old men as their brides for economic advantage. :barf:

Edited by Rhea, 10 November 2004 - 11:57 PM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Age of consent, sex, Different States, Law

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