Should the Age of Consent Be Lowered?
In my state, the age of consent (when one can legaly consent to having sex withsomeone who does not hold power over them [teachers, prison wardens, etc.]) is sixteen; in other states it is seventeen or eighteen. In my state having sex with one under sixteen that one is no more than four years older than is only a misdemenor, rather than a felony. Is this a good system? Should there be a national system?
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Personally, I don't really see the need in there being a consent law. Well maybe to keep the chimos at bay, but like if you're ready to have sex. Shit, just do it. Just make sure you are ready and make sure it's with the right person. Unfortunately I made that mistake the hard way...
Consent is really important.
And how do you determine readiness, besides by age? Because I can guarantee you that there is no eight-year-old ready to have sex, and the law should protect them. An eight-year-old can SAY yes, but they can't mean it. That's extreme, yeah. However, it's easy to pressure a young teen into having sex if you're older- they don't necessarily have the personal strength or resources to make the right decisions or to protect themselves. Many states will protect couples that are within a certain age range of each other, and pedophilia isn't usually the problem- it's abuse of power, both official and otherwise. The purpose of consent laws is to prevent minors from being taken advantage of before they can determine their own readiness. I understand where you're coming from, but I don't agree with the way you're arguing it.
As you say, there's a certain age, or developmental phase, when people start being sexual.
Basically, after puberty.
Age of consent ought to be somewhere near the puberty age. Or perhaps not a specific age, but rather literally after puberty.
But perhaps there should be some restrictions, depending on the age gap between partners. For example, against sex between a minor after puberty, and someone else more than 6 years older. Or pick a number.
Adding ages of consent for teens is murky at best when it is natural that from about 13 onwards both sexes are interested and physically ready for sex with peers, below 13 and the children wouldn't be ready, full stop. Note the peers qualification, so a difference of 6-8 years maximum would be permissible.
Education is the only thing that may change the true sexual maturity of those taking part. This is not helped by the general immaturity of the Western world in regards to sex as a natural action, it is either hidden and demonized or distorted to a huge degree, like with the hardcore porn avaliable on the internet. In some places the age of majority it under 10, in some US states you can be charged as an adult for some crimes when you are below 12, yet you can't have sex until 18. How does that work?
In tribal areas of Africa or elsewhere the average 14 or 15 year old is far more knowledgeable about life and sexuality, particularly if they grew up in a tight village community and saw their older siblings marry, make love or speak about that to them. That community meant that young people would be able to know, grow and have sexual experiences with their peers at all stages of life. If it were traditional then child nudity and nudity in general would just be the norm and not a hidden, possible object of desire.
In times past, children on the whole were more mentally mature at an earlier age so they would start having sex when it became possible for their bodies to do so. The recent development of parents who seek to control almost every aspect of their child's life will ultimately limit their decision making ability when posed with sexual situations and create lower self worth that may be prayed upon.
Much of the current age of consent law strikes me as being geared more towards scoring easy points for the law and order section of governments by bringing in a few people they can label as pedophiles (even though if the person is above puberty they technically aren't paedophiles). It's the kind of bureaucracy they love.
This seems to be a recent trend and the out and out demonizing of "pedophiles" will lead to some degree of victim blame, once you create such a societal hate of something the victim will feel guilt for letting the wrong happen - I'm not talking non-consensual rape here, but that where there has been "consent", even if the law doesn't recognise it - even if they were knowledgeable about what the sexual act involved and above puberty.
That said, any relationship can be exploitative no matter what age the participants are and, like all relationships, deciding blame, guilt or exploitation is very subjective - if you've ever seen a family court case - and I am not sure whether the state should be involved once the people are both in or past puberty. Having the age at up to 21 (in Madagascar) just creates a group of sexually active persons with whom all sex is technically illegal and may be prosecuted at the whim of the prosecutor.
That said I feel no more ready for sex now at age 18 than at age 13, the only experience that changed my knowledge was actually having sex once or twice; you could do that at any age above puberty and learn exactly the same amount about what you did or didn't enjoy doing it.
Yes, the age of consent should be lowered to puberty. Most teens have sex before 18, laws criminalizing sex are stupid and harmful. The legal age varies from state to state and from country to country. This doesn't make any sense, it only goes to show how arbitrary and irrational society can be. I know some will, say a close in age requirement should exist. I honestly don't think that is necessary because most all teens are attracted to someone close in age. They only need to know sex is ALWAYS their choose to make.
Why 18, why 16, how are these ages chosen? Well, far too often it's under pressure by religious groups that have been pushing up the age for decades. That is unless you get married, than they are okay with sex. Well, where does it stop, they are pushing for 18 to be the age now everywhere, what's next? 20, then 22, then only sex with marriage? Think about it, don't just dismiss what I said. After all, they have been pushing up the age gradually for decades.
Sexuality is innate, naturall and completely normal. Yes, teen sexuality is normal too, despite how some adults may feel. Stop criminalizing something that everyone wants and has a biological need for. I know disease and pregnancy are important concerns. So free access to healthcare professionals and condoms are a must... But, leave "your" moral judgments and bias out of this. Just as you and I had a right to choose for yourselves, so do teens.
It is pointless to have a law limiting a certain age group seeing as they are so willing to break that law.
I like the idea of having it be at 16, but only letting those 16 year olds have sex with someone within the range of two years older. Anything higher and the older person is most likely taking advantage of someone who does not know any better.
Er, I'm against old guys like me hooking up with teens. Being an old guy myself, I know these guys are up to no good.
But my concern is the situation brought up on the otherside about a 16 year old having sex with a 15 year old, then having to live their entire life with the "sex offender" stigma, every job interview, every neighborhood they move into, they often have to tell people they're a "sex offender."
That's just dumb.
I think that under 18, there should be about a 3 or 4 year window instead of a solid cut-off of 16. I think that makes more sense.
I'm a little confused, because I thought the age of consent was 18, not 16.
But if it's 16, I actually think that's too young. I think there should be some kind of rule, like if you're old enough to buy alcohol, you can't have sex with anyone under 18.
You may run into a problem here, if say a senior in high school starts dating a freshman, and they stay together, one may still be 17 when the other turns 21. It may not be fair to make them break up, or to call one a pedophile or whatever, so more thought would have to go into it.
So that idea isn't perfect either. Something like it though would make more sense I think.
Why? A limit on age difference is only effective when you're under 18. So what is the point? The only thing these laws do is make men who want to take advantage of teens work harder for it. When you're with a person in a secure relationship, you're going to want to bring him home;but because of these laws, you can't bring a guy home and he has an excuse. Also, has anyone noticed this only applies to females? If a male has sex with an older girl, it's absolutely fine; if anything a boy is more likely to be taken advantage of, especially an older guy. A younger female that makes and builds even a short relationship with an older guy, can threaten and control him. If I (a 16 year old female) date a guy over 4 years older then me, I can seriously mess his life up and his future. He'll have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. If I did it out of anger, that's me abusing the laws in my favor. Honestly, it should go back to courting; the man should come to the parents prove his worth and ask to date the daughter. IF we did that, then not a single girl could get taken advantage just because of her age. Plus how does making sex illegal prevent sex? I live in a county that was rank 1(now rank 3) in the state for teen pregnancy, so obviously it's not working. I think I should be able to date and sleep with whoever I want. It's my body; the government shouldn't be allowed to make that decision for me.
There are many other things that come with the age of consent than sex, I believe. I certainly would not be a fan of lowering that age because of the same old logic that tells me a younger person does not have the complete wherewithal to make tough decisions for themselves. I think a national age of consent is in order unless 16 is good enough in some states rather than others which is a ridiculous notion. I say 18, at the very least.
That's ridiculous. I think parents should have a say. If parents were more involved, it would be a better world. I'm dual enrolled in college and high school. I'm more mature then over half the girls I know and I've been sexually active a little over a year. I was 14 when I lost my virginity, barely. My birthday was about a week later and I turned 15. But we're gonna have sex, it's fun. Teenagers drink, have sex, go to school, and text. That's pretty much it. So why does it matter?
The legal age of consent laws are to keep adults from takeing advantage of minors. i think that if you are not old enough to drink alcohol you cant have sex with an adult. if you are old enough to buy alcohol you shouldn't be alowed to have sex with minors. People who look for sex from 14 15 16 17 and 18 year olds are mentaly uncapable to form a relationship with some one there own age becaus they cant have complete control over them. So they look for someone young they can manupulate. That smells of a pedophile to me.
What if you're a very mature teenager? Or a particularly immature adult? I'm seventeen, and I take college classes. There are many people that I find attractive that are over twenty-one; while I don't want to have sex with them, I do enjoy that (in my state) I could if i wanted to. While I agree with you in that someone twice the age of a teen is likely to take advantage of them, these aren't the only cases in which minors will be having sex with non-minors. People who are legal adults are often taken advantage of as well; should we outlaw sex between consenting adults, only because someone might be taken advantage of? Of course not.
Well, I am not sure if it is a matter of control or attraction. I think some are just (only) physically attracted to teenagers and don't really think about control. That said a 21 year old could have a fine relationship with a 17 year old, while two 22 year olds may have an abusive controlling relationship. Arbitrary cutoff points mean shit all when comparing relationships.
That is probably the most ignorant thing I've seen today. No two individuals are exactly alike. We each have a personality and a mind that for most function the way they are supposed to. I can be manipulated; I know that about myself. So if I sense a relationship getting controlling, I jump ship. If I find a guy who respects me and treats me well, I should be subjected to a LAW that tells me I can't be with him because of a number?
Plus, please note that 18 is a legal adult. They can date, marry, or sleep with a person of any age. (In the US, at least) I'm 16; I can drive, and I can work. So why can't I date who I want. Why can't I bring home a guy I want to be with because of his age?
the age of consent (when one can legaly consent to having sex withsomeone who does not hold power over them [teachers, prison wardens, etc.]) is sixteen
So, kids can consent to have sex with those that do hold power over them at lower ages? I'm confused by this.
I've always thought you should wait to have sex until you're ready to deal with the possible ramifications, such as STD's or a baby. If you're not ready to deal with that, you ought not have sex. At any rate, 16 is probably the youngest age of consent I think we should have.
One is never legally allowed to have sex with one that they have power over; sixteen year olds can have sex with anyone they like who does not hold power over them, if the age of consent is sixteen.
And while I agree with you that people younger than sixteen might not consider the ramifications of sex, do you think a law will stop them? Until very recently in my state, a sixteen year old receiving oral sex form a fifteen year old would be convicted of aggravated child molestation and sodomy, which is very unfair. A younger age of consent would, perhaps, save couples form unfair laws like this? I'm unfamiliar with other states rules.
But, like age requirements upon drinking and smoking, a legal age of consent on sex doesn't ACTUALLY stop anyone from doing it.
Just clarifying my description =)
The age of consent should be increased. People should think twice before having sex and then...., think again.
Contraceptives are NOT 100% effective. What if we get pregnant? Do we want to spend the rest of our life with each other? Will he/she resent me in the future? What will our choice do to our relationship? Will we get an abortion or put the kid up for adoption? How will that make us feel? Will we keep the kid? How hard will that make our life?
Do you think changing the law would mean fewer teens were having sex? As a teenager, I think it's safe to say that making something wrong is often more than enough incentive to do it- especially if it's pleasurable. These are questions that should be asked, and that has more to do with sex ed policy- as well as the availability of birth control and protection.
Now, what I think would be the most effective way to reduce underage sex would be to change advertising- just like you can't market cigarettes to kids, and you can't swear on the radio before kids go to bed, you shouldn't be able to sell children's products with sex. Dolls should stop looking like baby prostitutes, and children's clothes should be more childlike. If the amount of sex in advertising is decreased, then sex might not be so appealing. Yes, that's an infringement on the freedom of speech, before anyone asks. =)
No, changing the law wont mean fewer teens having sex. Teens are one of the horniest animals on the planet ;)
But people should always be questioning them. What are you going to do if..... and force teenagers to think. One of the biggest problems is teenagers not thinking. We teach them math, etc. but not how to think.