Another Example of Our Screwed-Up Laws

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.
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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.
That seems like quite a slippery slope. I have not said that laws regarding statutory rape ought to be pushed back to an earlier age. I am referring to the law as it stands. As the law stands minors are held legally responsible for their actions, although usually to some lesser degree than adults, and this is probably important as otherwise minors would go about willy nilly reeking havoc on society... sex drugs rock and roll ... increased teen pregnancies ... poor single parent homes... babies dumped in trashcans... ect ect... because there are no consequences. The slope cuts both ways.

Zoob said:
Averagesupernova is right: adults, legal adults, have to refrain from having sex with minors.
Sure.
Zoob said:
Minors aren't emotionally equipped to handle sex and all it's consequences.
Never the less they (or their families) are held responsible for the children they produce. If she were under eighteen he would be held responsible. Why should this change simply because she should have known better? We are not talking about damages sustained as a result of her indiscretion. If she wanted money for an abortion I would not say he owed it. If she wanted money for hospital bills associated with the pregnancy even I would not agree. But we are talking about a living breathing human being that is possessed of rights its own. By asking for child support she is acting as a legal representative of the child to whom the support is owed. Equating the child to the victimizer and relinquishing its rights due to her indiscretions is not fair to the child.

Zoob said:
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?
I am focusing on the point of contention, that being the male and whether or not he should have to support his child. I do not believe I have relieved the mother of her guilt or responsibilities in any way. She is likely to go to prison. I have not said she should stay out of prison and squeeze this kid for all she can.

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Averagesupernova
Gold Member
Char. Limit has a good point. If he and his family want custody I say give it to him. If not, I'm sure there is something that he could do to learn some resposibility. I'm not going to get into specifics like you ask Statutory.

Gold Member
Char. Limit has a good point.
First time that's ever been said of me.

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.
If he and his family are capable of taking care of the child then sure. Though I do not see how this is any less of a burden to place upon a young man, whom we apparently can not expect to take responsibility for these actions, than asking him to pay $50 a month in child support. Averagesupernova Science Advisor Gold Member Anyone who commits statutory rape and gets impregnated should have no right in deciding what happens to the child. The boys parents have a legit complaint. The kid will likely be raised in a totally dysfunctional home unless the 15 year old and his parents get custody. I read the part about her stepdad. So if they don't get custody, 15 year old has to cough up the money every month and it won't stay so low after he is 18, while he watches his son being raised in a completely dysfunctional home. Averagesupernova Science Advisor Gold Member If he and his family are capable of taking care of the child then sure. Though I do not see how this is any less of a burden to place upon a young man, whom we apparently can not expect to take responsibility for these actions, than asking him to pay$50 a month in child support.
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Oh give me a break. His parents are interested in helping him get started raising the child.

Gold Member
If he and his family are capable of taking care of the child then sure. Though I do not see how this is any less of a burden to place upon a young man, whom we apparently can not expect to take responsibility for these actions, than asking him to pay $50 a month in child support. It's not a lesser burden, yes. However, it is a more justifiable and indeed better burden to place upon the new father, whose parents support him; exactly the opposite of the felon mother. I'm not going to get into specifics like you ask Statutory. No problem. It was mostly a rhetorical question anyway. I will not deny that this is a rather muddy situation legally. If it were my decision I would likely withhold any responsibility for child support until he has turned eighteen unless he and his family attempt to take advantage of legal custody rights. Averagesupernova Science Advisor Gold Member No problem. It was mostly a rhetorical question anyway. I will not deny that this is a rather muddy situation legally. If it were my decision I would likely withhold any responsibility for child support until he has turned eighteen unless he and his family attempt to take advantage of legal custody rights. - Now I think that would be a TOTAL slap in the face. Reads to me like this: I screwed you over when you were a kid. I always kinda thought it was your own fault though. I let you slide for a few years, but now that you're 18 and I can get some REAL money out of you I'm going to remind you every month what a perv you were. - Oh give me a break. His parents are interested in helping him get started raising the child. It's not a lesser burden, yes. However, it is a more justifiable and indeed better burden to place upon the new father, whose parents support him; exactly the opposite of the felon mother. My point is that the argument against him being made to take responsibility rather runs counter to the idea that he should be given custody of the child. That if paying$50 dollars a month is so much to ask of a poor immature kid then he should not be given custody. So apparently paying child support is not so bad, it is just not preferable.

Averagesupernova
Gold Member
Of course it's not easy for a 15 year old kid alone. His parents realize that and care enough for him and their grandkid to step in and help. They should be commended. You are right a poor 15 year old immature kid should not be given custody. BUT, he won't be without his parents help. Paying child support to a rapist who will raise your kid in a dysfunctional home is most certainly not preferable.

Wow this woman seems to just be taking advantage of everything...

The fact that the parents weren't home and she was babysitting... the fact that he was 13 and probably horny (is it ok I say this here...?)... and taking advantage of the system to get child support from the now 15 year old father who she had taken advantage of and whose family she had taken advantage of....

I really hope she gets what should be coming her way.

I screwed you over when you were a kid.
I meant if I were the judge. And the child did not screw any one over.

It is a rather unhealthy attitude to take of equating the child to the mother and completely unfair as I have already pointed out. I think that this is a symptom of our modern dysfunctional family portrait.

Think of this. A friend of mine had a kid. His wife cheated on him several times and he stayed with her anyway so he could be there for his son. One day she left him and took their son with her. She obviously got custody. Then one day she decided to inform my friend that she had put in notice with her job, gave one months notice to her landlord, and spent all of her savings on a downpayment for a house in another state to which she would be leaving by the end of the month with their son.

My friend was rather torn. She just screwed him out of being able to see his son except perhaps once or twice a year. He wanted to get back at her and decided to file a complaint with the court since she is not legally able to take their son out of state with out his consent. What it came down to though was that she had so perfectly set up the whole thing that there was no way she could stay without being broke and homeless along with their son. His choice was to try to keep her here because it was his right and allow his son to be homeless and suffer or allow her to leave and keep custody so that his son could have a home and food and such.

He was quite ready to keep her here. He wanted to do it because of how much he despised her for the tricks she had pulled and how she had tried illegally to take away his son. When he thought of his son being homeless he only thought of how that could help him to get custody in court.

Now how disgusting and despicable is that? This is the sort of thing that kids go through in these situations. Parents hate each other so much that any responsibility to their child becomes some evil perpetrated by their ex. This is how these kids get screwed up.

Gold Member
Maybe people should make better choices in marriage... and remember that, in the end, odds are against the marriage contract staying whole.

Maybe people should make better choices in marriage... and remember that, in the end, odds are against the marriage contract staying whole.
Marriage is a form of civil union less and less adapted to the world in which we live in. World changes drastically, while family laws are changing slowly, too slow IMO.

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.
Born and raised in Romania.

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.
The issue is, again, that we legally deem a 15 years old unable of informed consent, while we
keep him totally responsible for other actions, and hence we indirectly recognize the very faculty we deny in statutory rape laws.

15 to 16 years is a reasonable age for informed consent. If you hold a man responsible for his actions, do recognize his right to "informed consent". Else stop pretending he is not able to make a informed decision regarding sex, but he can make informed decisions about anything else and hence he is to be hold responsible.

You cant have both denial of ability to have informed consent and holding him responsible for everything else without a terrible hypocrisy.

BobG
Homework Helper
I meant if I were the judge. And the child did not screw any one over.

It is a rather unhealthy attitude to take of equating the child to the mother and completely unfair as I have already pointed out. I think that this is a symptom of our modern dysfunctional family portrait.

Think of this. A friend of mine had a kid. His wife cheated on him several times and he stayed with her anyway so he could be there for his son. One day she left him and took their son with her. She obviously got custody. Then one day she decided to inform my friend that she had put in notice with her job, gave one months notice to her landlord, and spent all of her savings on a downpayment for a house in another state to which she would be leaving by the end of the month with their son.

My friend was rather torn. She just screwed him out of being able to see his son except perhaps once or twice a year. He wanted to get back at her and decided to file a complaint with the court since she is not legally able to take their son out of state with out his consent. What it came down to though was that she had so perfectly set up the whole thing that there was no way she could stay without being broke and homeless along with their son. His choice was to try to keep her here because it was his right and allow his son to be homeless and suffer or allow her to leave and keep custody so that his son could have a home and food and such.

He was quite ready to keep her here. He wanted to do it because of how much he despised her for the tricks she had pulled and how she had tried illegally to take away his son. When he thought of his son being homeless he only thought of how that could help him to get custody in court.

Now how disgusting and despicable is that? This is the sort of thing that kids go through in these situations. Parents hate each other so much that any responsibility to their child becomes some evil perpetrated by their ex. This is how these kids get screwed up.
Actually, it was a risk, not a choice. The mother can't take the child out of state without the father's consent. The mother's actions made it impossible for her to care for the child in state. Custody would have to go to the father, at least temporarily, until the mother obtained a house and the means to take care of her kid.

The outcome would have been almost certain. The path to get there would have been a lot more uncertain. The hearing to transfer custody from the mother to father would be scheduled a month to six weeks into the future, then the hearing would be delayed, then the mother would deny that she was incapable of caring for the kid so the court would appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to investigate the living conditions and report back in a month to six weeks, etc. The process is so imperfect that even winning a custody case carries serious risks.

Makes it tough to make decisions like that.

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Gold Member
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.
You've articulated your point very well (perhaps better than I've done for mine), Zoob.

I realize changing laws is dangerous. My main concern is people not being held accountable for their actions. I can see a potential exploit; what if this fifteen year old decides to go around having kids under the protection of this law? What is to stop him from impregnating women if there are no consequences for his behavior?

Not every minor who engages in sexual intercourse is innocent and/or being taken advantage of. I believe there needs to be some form of responsibility on his part for the child. It cannot all fall on the mother.

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The issue is, again, that we legally deem a 15 years old unable of informed consent, while we
keep him totally responsible for other actions, and hence we indirectly recognize the very faculty we deny in statutory rape laws.
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You cant have both denial of ability to have informed consent and holding him responsible for everything else without a terrible hypocrisy.
Statutory Rape laws and legal age of consent are a whole other can of worms. I'll jump in if you would like but I'll cut it out for now.

But regarding what I quoted you are making it too black and white. Either he is responsible or he is not by your logic. That is not the way the law works here nor do I think it ought to be.

The law does not deny that a minor can make decisions or that they should be held responsible for the consequences of their actions. The law does not state that a minor can not have sex. The law does not state that a minor (or their family) can not be held responsible for their own children. It merely makes allowances for the level of responsibility that can be reasonably expected of a person of that age, based on a somewhat arbitrary scale of course. The reason for statutory rape laws is that engaging is sexual activity brings with it the possibility of certain life changing repercussions and legal responsibilities that the adult is fully expected to be aware of and the minor is not. By having sex with the minor the adult has exposed the minor to these issues which they are legally considered ill equipped to handle. The law does not consider this to have been against the minor's own will or inclination, those cases are just called rape. Some may think that the law is to protect minors from being persuaded to have sex against their inclination or under false pretenses. In reality this is also legally considered rape, not statutory rape, and any person, regardless of age, can claim that they were raped under these circumstances. The qualifier "statutory" means that it regards issues of legality and not any sort of deception, coercion, or violence. For instance if a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol they are considered incapable of rendering consent. Having sex with this person is called rape, not statutory rape. If a person is suffering from dementia or some mentally debilitating handicap they are considered unable to render consent and having sex with them is considered rape, not statutory rape. So statutory rape is not a matter of actual willful consent but a matter of legal consent in the same sense that a minor can not legally enter into a contract of their own accord. The likely original intent of these laws was to protect the marriageability of young persons whose choice in partners was not in their own hands but that of their parents until the age of majority. Seeing as how the age to legally wed is often lower than the age of consent the law effectively protected the ability of parents to whore their children to whom ever they chose and allowed them legal satisfaction against any one who endangered that "right". And bastard children have long been allowed their rightful due from their biological parents.

Sorry for the length of that rant.

The reason for statutory rape laws is that engaging is sexual activity brings with it the possibility of certain life changing repercussions and legal responsibilities that the adult is fully expected to be aware of and the minor is not. By having sex with the minor the adult has exposed the minor to these issues which they are legally considered ill equipped to handle.
Yes, I understand the law and it's reasons. It's not a problem of how it works or why, it's a problem of numbers.

The issue is that "if you consider a man ill equipped to handle" sex, you should consider him ill equipped for just everything else. This is the hypocrisy. We consider the minor ill equipped to handle sex, but if he happens to commit a felony we can send him to be tried in an adult court of law. So the poor guy is ill equipped to handle sex consequences, but it is very well equipped to be treated as an adult when we want to **** him and try him as a fully responsible adult.

Most of the world fortunately recognizes this hypocrisy and sets very close age differences for age of responsibility and consent.

It is in only in several legislation where conservative (and probably influenced by religious politic forces) this hypocrisy is raised to the rank of law, by making the age of consent disproportionately higher. (I speak mainly of any legislation which uses > 16 as age of consent).

15 would be the ideal age of consent (as it is in many EU states) or maximum 16.

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I can't believe this wasn't posted yet

BobG
Homework Helper
Yes, I understand the law and it's reasons. It's not a problem of how it works or why, it's a problem of numbers.

The issue is that "if you consider a man ill equipped to handle" sex, you should consider him ill equipped for just everything else. This is the hypocrisy. We consider the minor ill equipped to handle sex, but if he happens to commit a felony we can send him to be tried in an adult court of law. So the poor guy is ill equipped to handle sex consequences, but it is very well equipped to be treated as an adult when we want to **** him and try him as a fully responsible adult.

Most of the world fortunately recognizes this hypocrisy and sets very close age differences for age of responsibility and consent.

It is in only in several legislation where conservative (and probably influenced by religious politic forces) this hypocrisy is raised to the rank of law, by making the age of consent disproportionately higher. (I speak mainly of any legislation which uses > 16 as age of consent).

15 would be the ideal age of consent (as it is in many EU states) or maximum 16.
The thread started out with an assortment of news articles that someone dug up with some diligent research. Well, semi-diligent research, since none of the articles ever seemed to provide follow-up on how the case was ultimately resolved ..... and the author was only able to come up with a small handful of cases spread out over an entire decade.

And from this, we've ridden the game out to the point where we say that laws against minors having sex are to protect boys from the consequences of sex?

The intent of laws against minors having sex is to protect females from becoming a teenage mom with no support from the dad. The law is intended more for the consequences of teenage pregnancy on the infant than on the teen.

In any event, deciding on different age limits for different activities is entirely appropriate. The age limit for riding the big roller coaster should be different than the age limit for driving a car, which should be different than the age limit for drinking, etc. I never understood the logic behind "If he's old enough to vote, he ought to be allowed to drink!"