Another Example of Our Screwed-Up Laws

  • #51
Dembadon
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All right, let's eliminate the law against "statutory rape", then. After all, it "seems fair to me". We don't need to worry about adults having sex with children, because they're capable of understanding that stuff. Right?
I thought we were talking about a fifteen year old. You're beginning to erect a straw man.
 
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  • #52
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All right, let's eliminate the law against "statutory rape", then. After all, it "seems fair to me". We don't need to worry about adults having sex with children, because they're capable of understanding that stuff. Right?
Equalizing the age of consent with age of responsibility does not mean that you eliminate certain laws, in this case the statutory rape.

If you hold a man of a certain age responsible for his crimes and you present him before a court of law as an adult, you acknowledge that the person is well capable of taking decisions and assume responsibility. It's hypocritical to pretend you can try a man as an adult, but at the same time refuse him the right to have consensual sex, buy drinks in a bar and so on.


The trick, and a considerable burden on the lawmakers, is to find the right age.
 
  • #53
Char. Limit
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My god, none of you understand heavy sarcasm, huh?

A 15yo is a child. Thus, this is an example of an adult having sex with a child. Now, we are claiming that he is a minor on the sex, but an adult on the child. That. Makes. No. Sense.

Why should the age of consent be lowered? Do you REALLY trust the average 15yo to make a responsible decision? I don't see why the age of responsibility should be raised instead, thus resolving all problems.

And for the record, I'm 17, and I don't trust the average 15yo to make a decision like this. You suggest lowering the age of consent. Since a minor, a child, is by definition under 18, this would allow adults to legally have sex with children. Where is the strawman there? Or is that your go-to word?

Neo Devin, so you believe that a fifteen year old should be entrusted with such a major thing? Someone who just got a huge boost of hormones and likely can't think straight?
 
  • #54
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A 15yo is a child. Thus, this is an example of an adult having sex with a child. Now, we are claiming that he is a minor on the sex, but an adult on the child. That. Makes. No. Sense.

Why should the age of consent be lowered? Do you REALLY trust the average 15yo to make a responsible decision? I don't see why the age of responsibility should be raised instead, thus resolving all problems.
The issue is not whatever the age of consent is lowered or not. It is quite irrelevant to the issue discussed , which is equalizing the age of consent with age of responsibility.

If you deem somebody apt to be punished as an adult, you must recognize his rights to drink and have sex with whoever he desires.

Don't extrapolate to "children".

And for the record, I'm 17, and I don't trust the average 15yo to make a decision like this.
It is not for you to trust, approve or disapprove somebody's decision when to begin sex life. It is a personal decision. It is not yours, mine, the society in general, it's not even the decision of the parents of the individual in question. It's his/her *ALONE*
 
  • #55
Dembadon
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A 15yo is a child. Thus, this is an example of an adult having sex with a child. Now, we are claiming that he is a minor on the sex, but an adult on the child. That. Makes. No. Sense.
I'm glad you see the hypocrisy to which DanP was referring. :wink:

Why should the age of consent be lowered? Do you REALLY trust the average 15yo to make a responsible decision? I don't see why the age of responsibility should be raised instead, thus resolving all problems.
This would not resolve the issue. Enabling them to make irresponsible decisions without logical consequences would be detrimental to their development. You are ignoring the fact that a fifteen year old is fully capable of realizing the repercussions of having sex with someone. You keep implying that any age prior to eighteen is too young to know whether or not sex is a good idea. I simply don't buy it: sorry.

And for the record, I'm 17, and I don't trust the average 15yo to make a decision like this. You suggest lowering the age of consent. Since a minor, a child, is by definition under 18, this would allow adults to legally have sex with children. Where is the strawman there? Or is that your go-to word?
You are playing games with words now. You are choosing to use the word "child" too aid in making this sound worse than it is. It is perfectly reasonable to expect a fifteen year old to make a responsible decision regarding a topic such as sex.

Your statements are becoming to general in nature, and I have remained specific with regards to the age of the person being discussed. A child would also apply to a five year old, and I have not said anything about allowing "adults" to have sex five year olds; you've cleverly inserted that yourself. That is a straw man.

Neo Devin, so you believe that a fifteen year old should be entrusted with such a major thing? Someone who just got a huge boost of hormones and likely can't think straight?
Are you also against giving them permits to drive cars then? Such a privilege potentially puts the lives of many people in danger should they, at any point while driving, become overwhelmed with their recent "huge boost of hormones."
 
  • #56
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Neo Devin, so you believe that a fifteen year old should be entrusted with such a major thing? Someone who just got a huge boost of hormones and likely can't think straight?
And btw, what major thing are you talking about ? Getting laid is not a major thing by any stretch of imagination. It's just natural:devil:
 
  • #57
Char. Limit
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EDIT: Dan, the major thing is having children...

Actually, yes. I believe that the driving age should be raised to 18.

I may have played with words a bit, but nowhere did I imply, or intend to imply, that you thought having sex with a five-year-old is correct. My intention was to show that having sex with a 15yo, especially when you both know it's illegal, is also wrong. I used heavy sarcasm, which, predictably, backfired.

And yes, I believe that minors shouldn't be having sex. I know there's no way to stop them, but that doesn't stop me from believing that they shouldn't do it. They are not mentally or emotionally ready for the burden of a child. If they do have sex, they should use birth control.

And yes, I do see the hypocrisy. However, I think DanP is taking a wrong direction here, as it seems to me that he is advocating lowering the age of consent to where the age of responsibility is, and it seems to me that that point is too young. It seems to me that the age of responsibility should be raised to the point of the age of consent.

As with most arguments between people, this makes perfect sense to me. I have no Idea why you don't see it.
 
  • #58
106
1
And yes, I do see the hypocrisy. However, I think DanP is taking a wrong direction here, as it seems to me that he is advocating lowering the age of consent to where the age of responsibility is, and it seems to me that that point is too young.
You cant infer this, so you shouldn't try to read minds over internet. I'm advocating equalizing the two. An actual age will be the burden of the lawmaker.

He who can be tried as an adult should be able to make decisions as an adult. Else, use juvenile courts.

and it seems to me that that point is too young
Who is too young ? I didn't specified any numbers.

I have no Idea why you don't see it.
You see what you want to see.
 
  • #59
Char. Limit
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I don't think there are juvenile family law courts...
 
  • #60
106
1
I don't think there are juvenile family law courts...
But there are criminal ones. The issue is general in nature. Age of responsibility doesn't refer only to the age of a man who has to pay child support. In fact, the most dramatic consequences are linked to criminal laws.
 
  • #61
Char. Limit
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Didn't someone just yell at me for being too general? I'm just saying...
 
  • #62
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Neo Devin, so you believe that a fifteen year old should be entrusted with such a major thing?
Yes.
 
  • #63
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Age of consent is already pretty low in many places in the world, including a large number of states in US (where it varies between 16 and 18).

Im my country it's 15 years. Same in Denmark, France, Monaco , Slovakia , Iceland, Greece, Czech, Sweden.
Germany, Hungary 14 years.

Other states varies, I think Netherlands has 16, Norway 16. Spain is very low, 13 I think.

So yeah most of the world recognizes the right of young adults to have sex with whoever they choose.
Thanks god for small favors.
 
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  • #64
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His immaturity doesn't blind him from the fact that having sexual intercourse with a female has the possibility of creating a child. I don't know a single 15 year old, and don't think I've ever met one, who does not know this. Sex education is often taught in middle school, and even if one hasn't taken a sex ed. course by the time they're 15 years old, you'd have a hard time convincing me that one doesn't know the consequences/possible results of copulation.

At 15, he is old enough to have a job. Asking for child support is not unreasonable.
The issue is not whether or not he knows sex can lead to pregnancy but whether he is emotionally and intellectually mature enough to turn down an opportunity to have sex with a 19 year old (or, at least, to insist on birth control). We can find 10 year olds who know how babies are made, but it suddenly becomes less possible, because of their age, to ascribe responsibility to them if they are talked into sex by someone over 18. By your logic any sexual predator could avoid prosecution by explaining exactly how babies are made to their victim no matter what their age.

In the case of this 19 year old girl, if she can get child support from a 15 year old she can also get it from a 10 or 11 year old (as long as he's past puberty), provided she can prove he understood sexual reproduction. (I used to mow lawns, rake leaves, and shovel snow after school and on weekends when I was 10. Any 10 year old could be required to do that to come up with $50.00 a month child support.)

To deter people from taking sexual advantage of children the law has set an age of legal consent. People simply don't mature emotionally and intellectually at the same rate so this ends up being somewhat arbitrary, but as we consider younger and younger children it's clear there does have to be a law. Once that age is set it has to be stuck to. Making an exception for a 15 year old is as good as making an exception for a 10 year old, and you pretty much end up with no law.

The alternative to the arbitrary (but more or less reasonable) cut off age we now have would be some sort of state run sexual maturity test or screening procedure. Imagine the legal power struggle between liberals and conservatives, the religious and non-religious, over what criteria the test should include. Imagine the outrage of 30, 40, and 50 year olds who are screened and deemed too sexually reckless to legally have sex. Imagine 20 year old married couples who tied the knot mostly because the guy knocked the girl up who get barred from legally having sex with each other because of a history of irresponsible sexual behavior. It's a proposal worthy of Michael Critchton novel: rife with both obvious and also unexpected twists and turns. A can of worms.

Some people seem to be willing to bend the law when the issue of taxpayers footing the bill for raising the baby comes to mind.

If we imagine a different scenario where the 19 year old seducer had been a homosexual male who caught herpes from the 15 year old male and was suing the 15 year old for medical expenses, how would it change people reaction?

Then lets change it to a 19 year old male who caught herpes from a 15 year old girl and was suing her for medical expenses. What then?

Then lets consider a mugger who cuts his victim with a knife in the course of the robbery and then sues him when he finds out he's contracted aids from the blood?

It seems to me any damages or problems you create for yourself in the course of committing a felony are your problem and not the victims.
 
  • #65
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Im my country it's 15 years.
Actually, I'm curious: what is your country, and what's your Native Language? I've never been able to figure it out from your use of English.
 
  • #66
My understanding of the US law is that if one person is under-age it is not necessary to prove they were unwilling. The assumption is that they were not able to give consent - hence statutory rape, you only have to prove the act took place to get a conviction.
Informed Consent. As I have already noted many young people are held legally responsible for their actions when they are underage. The law acknowledges that a minor can do a thing of their own freewill even as it says that they are too young to make responsible decisions on their own. In the case of sex with an adult if they are unwilling, not just unable to render informed consent, then it is rape. If they willingly have sex with the adult then it is statutory rape because although they have rendered consent they are legally considered unable to render informed consent. And if the law did not differentiate between the two there would be something horribly wrong with the system. As much as I do not think that a 20 year old ought date a 15 year old I would not want to see the hapless person treated the same as someone who bashes a minor over the head and does as they will with their unconscious body.
A 15yo is a child. Thus, this is an example of an adult having sex with a child. Now, we are claiming that he is a minor on the sex, but an adult on the child. That. Makes. No. Sense.
Its also not what is going on. It does not matter if you are a minor or an adult, if you have a child you are responsible for it. If the girl he'd had sex with was not over eighteen he would have still been responsible for child support. As BobG pointed out he has a legal responsibility to his child not to his victimizer. You say that he is too young and should not be expected to understand the consequences of his actions yet you seem to think that the example we should set for him is that he can have a kid and be allowed to abandon it on a technicality.
 
  • #67
Averagesupernova
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You say that he is too young and should not be expected to understand the consequences of his actions yet you seem to think that the example we should set for him is that he can have a kid and be allowed to abandon it on a technicality.
Considering that the law states the 'kid' doesn't have a choice about having sex in the first place, then yeah, I'd say that's about right. So what? EVERY 15 year old boy wants to get in someones pants. What adult is this not news to? It is also EVERY adults responsibility to refrain from having sex with minors. Normally when a crime is comitted the victim is in some way compensated by the offender. So why not in this case? As far as I'm concerned any female that is impregnated by a minor should be required to give the child up for adoption if they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt able to raise the money on their own. Significant prison time should be a good deterent. Second offense? Use your imagination.
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StatutoryApe, I would say more of a deterrent needs to be placed on the adult in these cases. You seem to have it backwards in my view.
 
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  • #68
Considering that the law states the 'kid' doesn't have a choice about having sex in the first place, then yeah, I'd say that's about right. So what? EVERY 15 year old boy wants to get in someones pants. What adult is this not news to? It is also EVERY adults responsibility to refrain from having sex with minors. Normally when a crime is comitted the victim is in some way compensated by the offender. So why not in this case? As far as I'm concerned any female that is impregnated by a minor should be required to give the child up for adoption if they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt able to raise the money on their own. Significant prison time should be a good deterent. Second offense? Use your imagination.
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StatutoryApe, I would say more of a deterrent needs to be placed on the adult in these cases. You seem to have it backwards in my view.
No, the law does not say that the kid has no choice regarding sex. The law says that the kid is unable to make informed choices about sex. As I have pointed out over and over again minors are held legally responsible for their decisions despite the law saying that they are incapable of informed decision.
The issue here is that there is a third person involved, the child. The child has rights and each parent has rights and responsibilities to the child. I am not talking about a deterrent for the minor, I am talking about the minor learning that there are consequences for their actions and not learning that because of circumstance they are allowed to ditch their responsibilities. No young person is led to believe that because they are a minor they hold no responsibility for damage that they inflicted upon property if they are vandals. If that minor is in the presence of an adult the adult will be held responsible for contributing the delinquency of the minor (victimizing the minor) but the minor will still be held responsible for the damage they caused. Why? Because they need to learn responsibility, not how to avoid responsibility.
So in this case we are talking about a young man who has parented a child. He is supposed to have legal rights and responsibilities to that child. The legality here is separate from the issue of his relationship with the mother. The child has not victimized him and so his responsibility there can not be removed. You might even say that the child is the victim of the stupid immaturity of its mother and father. And especially if he wishes to claim rights to the child (as he and his family are requesting custody) then he can not deny responsibility.
 
  • #69
Averagesupernova
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No one here has said that the minor should be able to skirt all responsibilities. The way I see it is that EVERY 15 year old is unable to make that informed decision and it is the adults sole responsibility to keep it from happening since just about EVERY 15 year old out there would take the oppurtunity without knowing better. There are plenty of ways teenagers can learn responsibility without being stuck for 18 years of child support through a parent that comitted statutory rape. Naturally if he wants anything at all to do with this child then yeah, child support is appropriate.
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I'm not going to argue with you over what the law states. That doesn't mean I have to agree with it.
 
  • #70
Char. Limit
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Why don't we just give custody to the father, as the mother, by committing a felony, showed she's not responsible enough to raise a child alone?
 
  • #71
Averagesupernova
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Why don't we just give custody to the father, as the mother, by committing a felony, showed she's not responsible enough to raise a child alone?
I would agree with that 100%. He and his family have shown interest.
 
  • #72
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No, the law does not say that the kid has no choice regarding sex. The law says that the kid is unable to make informed choices about sex. As I have pointed out over and over again minors are held legally responsible for their decisions despite the law saying that they are incapable of informed decision.
The issue here is that there is a third person involved, the child. The child has rights and each parent has rights and responsibilities to the child. I am not talking about a deterrent for the minor, I am talking about the minor learning that there are consequences for their actions and not learning that because of circumstance they are allowed to ditch their responsibilities. No young person is led to believe that because they are a minor they hold no responsibility for damage that they inflicted upon property if they are vandals. If that minor is in the presence of an adult the adult will be held responsible for contributing the delinquency of the minor (victimizing the minor) but the minor will still be held responsible for the damage they caused. Why? Because they need to learn responsibility, not how to avoid responsibility.
So in this case we are talking about a young man who has parented a child. He is supposed to have legal rights and responsibilities to that child. The legality here is separate from the issue of his relationship with the mother. The child has not victimized him and so his responsibility there can not be removed. You might even say that the child is the victim of the stupid immaturity of its mother and father. And especially if he wishes to claim rights to the child (as he and his family are requesting custody) then he can not deny responsibility.
This logic would be fine if there were also not a law against people over a certain age having sex with people under that age. It's an extremely important law. Without it pedophiles would descend on children in droves and with impunity as soon as they could get to them. Within a generation the population would be swollen with emotionally screwed up people who alternate between promiscuity, drugs, drinking and child seduction in turn. There'd be no end of unwanted pregnancies and a huge increase in gangs of feral kids trying to fend for themselves. It would become like the worst parts of the worst third world cities.

Averagesupernova is right: adults, legal adults, have to refrain from having sex with minors. Minors aren't emotionally equipped to handle sex and all it's consequences.

You may feel the age of legal consent ought to be pushed back to 15 since a 15 year old can understand sexual reproduction, but I personally knew where babies came from at age 8, and I reached puberty at 11.

I don't understand why you're focusing on this 15 year old guy when the 19 year old girl is really the one who needs a lesson on responsibility and consequences here. Is she still going to be going after 15 year olds when she's 35 and trying to squeeze child support out of them?
 
  • #73
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Why don't we just give custody to the father, as the mother, by committing a felony, showed she's not responsible enough to raise a child alone?
I believe his parents could take custody till he reaches 18, yes.
 
  • #74
There are plenty of ways teenagers can learn responsibility without being stuck for 18 years of child support through a parent that comitted statutory rape.
In what manner would you suggest teaching young males about taking responsibility for getting someone pregnant and having a child? Keeping in mind that he does in fact have a child out there and that not being made to have any responsibility for it runs counter to the notion of responsibility which you are attempting to instill in him.
 
  • #75
Char. Limit
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Statutory, there is a better way...

give him custody of the child! Maybe that way he'll learn real responsibility instead of being a human wallet, only supporting his child financially.
 

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