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
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.
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
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