Age of Consent in US

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Age of Consent in US

Postby ekzrated » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:48 pm UTC

I searched to see if this had been discussed, but couldn't find anything. I decided to start it because of this thread

So, what do you think the age of sexual consent should be? We know that there are individual cases, and to consider all sex with individuals under 18 isn't exactly logical. There are the examples of teenagers being registered as sex offenders for having sex with someone younger than them. For me, however controversial as this may seem, consentual sex is the business of one person. The individual. In cases where there's forced/coerced sex, then yes, prosecute according to the severity of the offense. But for people having sex with a 17 1/2 year old to be called "rapists" is idiotic, in my opinion. On a side note, some females are attractive regardless of their age. I lost my virginity at 13, and have had sex with women who are both older and younger than me throughout my life. When I was 16, I had sex with a 26 year old. The key here was the fact that it was consentual sex. Am I wrong for thinking that the current laws and mentality seems to be that sex is evil and we must protect our precious children from these atrocities?
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:49 pm UTC

The line is drawn not because all cases on one side are clearly wrong and all on the other side are clearly right, but because the line has to be drawn.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby ekzrated » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:54 pm UTC

Belial wrote:The line is drawn not because all cases on one side are clearly wrong and all on the other side are clearly right, but because the line has to be drawn.


So are you saying that the current age of consent laws are ideal? I see there is much room for improvement, especially when it comes to the negative effects it has on people who aren't really guilty of doing anything wrong.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby PictureSarah » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:57 pm UTC

What Belial said. I agree that the line is arbitrary and doesn't make sense in all cases...but we have to put it somewhere, because if you give people an inch, they will take a mile. If sex was legal as long as it was consensual, how long do you think it would be before significantly older people started having sex with pre-teens, even younger children, coercing/bribing/threatening them to consent, and that being ok because "it was consensual." When are you too young to really be able to consent? I don't really have a problem with 18 as the age of consent, and many states have qualifiers for consent laws where it's either legal or the sentence is significantly lessened when the two people having sex are less than 2 years in age difference.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Thunderbird4! » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:02 pm UTC

I wholeheartedly agree with the consensual idea.

The thing is, people aren't always thinking about it enough (pregnant teenagers?) when they have "consensual" sex. I know that when my ex-gf and I had sexual relations (at 15/14) we understood the pregnancy concept, but not how sex would be more than just a physical thing. Now with my current gf (She's 14, I'm 16) I feel like she's just a... kid? and that having sex with her would be terrible. It just seems so wrong to even think of having sex with her even though I've done the same with someone the same age already.

It just seems that there is a certain maturity level that you really need before you start having sex, and that comes at different times for people (eg. I think I reached it somewhere between the previous and current significant others when I realized there was so much more than sex). Like Belial said, the line has to be drawn somewhere and the opinion of society is that in the late teenage years a person reaches that point (which is far too generalized but that's how it has to be).

For reference, the age of consent here (New York State) is 15/17 (ie. at 15 you can consent to sex with someone between 15 and 17, then at 17 you can consent with anyone 17 and older). Which brings me to the question of "Why separate the groups?" The most obvious thing I can think of for that is that in theory (not practice) the older person would understand the way sexual relations will effect them while the younger wouldn't know until it was too late.

(I hope this is actually a coherent post, I was just rattling things off in my mind and trying to get them down.)
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:11 pm UTC

ekzrated wrote:
Belial wrote:The line is drawn not because all cases on one side are clearly wrong and all on the other side are clearly right, but because the line has to be drawn.


So are you saying that the current age of consent laws are ideal? I see there is much room for improvement, especially when it comes to the negative effects it has on people who aren't really guilty of doing anything wrong.


Nothing is ever ideal. Simply the least horrible. As it is, in most places (Specifically the ones that have the 2 or 3 year buffer Sarah referred to), the age of consent laws meet that qualification. They protect who they are meant to protect from those whom they are meant to protect them from.

How's that for some pronouns, fuckers?
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Indon » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:20 pm UTC

I generally like the US' policy on this.

I think it's better to have the policy decided on a lower-than-federal level because our culture varies significantly across the nation - states will do.

I think it's good to have a lower age of consent with parental permission (which many states' marriage laws accomplish) - this gives parents a tool to exercise to increase their kids' freedom (though it can concievably be misused, like most freedoms).

I think it's good to have a 'middle period' for consent - for example in Texas there's a 2-year grace period (so a 17yo can be with a 19yo, for instance). I don't necessarily agree in a specific period of two years (or on the other extreme, 15 or so, which I do believe MD had at one point), but I like the concept, and many states have a similar thing.

And I think 16-18 is just about right for where the age of consent should be, which is what the US' variance is.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby ekzrated » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:29 pm UTC

Belial wrote:They protect who they are meant to protect from those whom they are meant to protect them from.


That was awesome. Wish I could sig this coherently. Thank you. Back on topic. Yes, the laws do protect some people, but at the expense of ruining others.

I'm not saying it should be ok for a 45 year old to have sex with a 15 year old necessarily, but to call the act of a 25 year old having consentual sex with a 16 year old "rape"?
PictureSarah wrote:When are you too young to really be able to consent? I don't really have a problem with 18 as the age of consent, and many states have qualifiers for consent laws where it's either legal or the sentence is significantly lessened when the two people having sex are less than 2 years in age difference.
That's why I started this thread. I've read a few other opinions on this and from what I read, a good portion seems to think that 15 is a good age to start.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Indon » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:34 pm UTC

ekzrated wrote:That's why I started this thread. I've read a few other opinions on this and from what I read, a good portion seems to think that 15 is a good age to start.


Mind that, for practical purposes, the Age of Consent isn't the age where a minor can legally have sex. It's the age where a minor can legally have sex with an adult, because at that time they are considered to be adults.

The system seems to be savvy to the fact that minors are already having sex with their peers - that's what that two-year provision is for, so that when two kids continue their relationship as they become adults, the elder of the two doesn't blatantly violate the law on a technicality (nobody wants to send one of a pair of teenage sweethearts to prison for 200 years on fifty counts of rape, I imagine).
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:42 pm UTC

ekzrated wrote:I'm not saying it should be ok for a 45 year old to have sex with a 15 year old necessarily, but to call the act of a 25 year old having consentual sex with a 16 year old "rape"?


Actually, it's called statutory rape which is generally considered a lesser offense, but still an offense. Also, what are you trying to demonstrate with those two age differences? Are you trying to say that a teenager is mentally competent to consent to sex with an adult at sixteen, but not fifteen? Or that the age of the adult should matter?

Because from the perspective of a child, a 25 year old and a 45 year old are both just adults, more or less. I don't see how they're different.

ekzrated wrote:Yes, the laws do protect some people, but at the expense of ruining others.


Is it more important that you have the right to fuck whoever you want RIGHT NOW, or that minors be protected from sexual predation by those who are, societally, mentally, emotionally, and often physically, stronger than they are?

Because we kindof had to pick one of the two. As a society, we seem to have decided that it was probably less of a hassle for you to find another girlfriend or wait a couple years than it was for some other minor to be sexually exploited.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby knoxsouthy » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:45 pm UTC

I don't think a person should be legally able to engage in intercourse until they can prove they would be able to care for a child. The only safe sex is abstinence. I know you young uns will cry, b*tch, and moan about how unrealistic this is but my question to you is do you think it's just that if you have a child the govn is going to be the one feeding it?

I'm so sick of seeing these young girls at the grocery store with 3 young children on their arm whip out their food stamp card because i'm the one paying for her to be irresponsible and careless.

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:46 pm UTC

I don't think a person should be legally able to engage in intercourse until they can prove they would be able to care for a child.


Or you can point to the local abortion clinics on the map.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby semicolon » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:49 pm UTC

knoxsouthy wrote:The only safe sex is abstinence.

not really. birth control pills are pretty much failproof if you use them correctly. the "99.99%" accounts for human error.

also, age of consent should be 17 or 18, or two or three years apart. so if a 16 year old and an 18 year old go at it, it's legal. because that is ridiculous.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:52 pm UTC

ekzrated wrote:I'm not saying it should be ok for a 45 year old to have sex with a 15 year old necessarily, but to call the act of a 25 year old having consentual sex with a 16 year old "rape"?


Statutory Rape, yes. The difference is someone who is probably out of college having sexual relations with someone still in High School.

There's just too much of a power disparity there. Too great of the chance of coercion or various forms of monogamous prostitution (I have no idea what you'd call someone trading their body for alcohol or tobacco but only for one particular person).. granted, I'm going off my own personal experience here, but at 25 the only thing I wanted from a 16 year old was for them to get the hell out of my way. While I'm sure common ground could have been found, you've got one person dealing with a report due by Friday and another wondering if taking out a 30 year $70,000 loan with 5.5% interest is a good investment given their current salary with expected pay raises and potential salary should they be out of work for a period of time. Regardless of whether or not someone actually goes to college, the College Age (18-25) is a hell of a transitional period where people finally get out from underneath their parents (no matter how unrestricting their parents are) and get to be themselves. Ice cream for dinner, ball pits in the living room! And they're supposed to have a mutual relationship with someone who still has a curfew? One that isn't strictly a physical relationship?

Sure, I'm aware there are plenty of adults who have sexual relationships that are just that.. essentially one person comes over, sex is had, person leaves. And that's fine. But that's not something that an individual still being educated on how to be educated needs.

The easiest solution is to simply wait two years. The arbitrary line gets passed and the individuals involved can have all the sex they want.

Now let's drop it down to 16 for shits and giggles. Why not 15? Why not 14? If a 25 year old and a 16 year old having sex is okay, why not 27 and 13?

There has to be a line somewhere. In the USA, that line is, generally speaking, 18. But it does vary from State to State.. the lowest I've seen reliably (as in, I've read the statute and as near as I can tell it's saying what it appears to say) is 16. So in some states, provided state lines aren't crossed and no other laws are being broken, a 25 year old and a 16 year old is perfectly legal.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Indon » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:59 pm UTC

semicolon wrote:
knoxsouthy wrote:The only safe sex is abstinence.

not really. birth control pills are pretty much failproof if you use them correctly. the "99.99%" accounts for human error.


I'm pretty sure that's not it either. I had the impression there were laws which prevented any contraceptive from being able to claim perfect effectiveness when used correctly (though I couldn't find them running a 2-minute quick search).
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Lycur » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:00 pm UTC

Breaking the law doesn't necessarily mean you'll be prosecuted for breaking the law. In the exceptional case, where your 16 year old and 25 year old are carrying on a valid/meaningful relationship, they really don't have a problem unless somebody makes a big enough stink about it to force the state to do something. As things stand [unsupported opinion] statuary rape laws provide a way to balance the power gap between the age disparate couple [/unsupported opinion].
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Indon » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:03 pm UTC

Lycur wrote:Breaking the law doesn't necessarily mean you'll be prosecuted for breaking the law. In the exceptional case, where your 16 year old and 25 year old are carrying on a valid/meaningful relationship, they really don't have a problem unless somebody makes a big enough stink about it to force the state to do something. As things stand [unsupported opinion] statuary rape laws provide a way to balance the power gap between the age disparate couple [/unsupported opinion].


While there is that issue of enforcability, I don't feel that's a good thing necessarily - blackmail (which is what the threat of prosecution of statutory rape is) is not a moral or ethical way to 'balance a power gap'. It's blackmail, which is illegal for very good reasons.

Edit: And Knoxsouthy, birth control has nothing to do with age of consent. Age of consent laws do not stop minors from having sex with each other, which, unsurprisingly, is where the problem of teenage pregnancy largely stems from.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Jessica » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:20 pm UTC

Really, there have to be laws. The laws can be complicated, but at some point, there is a line you can't cross. If you cross it, you do so at your own risk, as the underaged individual, or their parents can charge you, and then you can get screwed, and not in the fun way.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby ekzrated » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:24 pm UTC

knoxsouthy wrote:I don't think a person should be legally able to engage in intercourse until they can prove they would be able to care for a child. The only safe sex is abstinence. I know you young uns will cry, b*tch, and moan about how unrealistic this is but my question to you is do you think it's just that if you have a child the govn is going to be the one feeding it?
Are you a virgin? Because otherwise, you engage in unsafe sex by your own admission. And by the way, age has little to do with child-rearing capabilites. I don't recall where I saw it, but i recall reading an article stating that unplanned pregnancies tend to rise when sexual education steers away from awareness and safe-sex practices towards abstinence.
I'm so sick of seeing these young girls at the grocery store with 3 young children on their arm whip out their food stamp card because i'm the one paying for her to be irresponsible and careless.

:evil:
Aha! The "I don't want to pay for other's" idea. Sorry to dissapoint you, but pregnant teens aren't the only things "you" pay for. But way to make yourself look like a victim.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby TheStranger » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:49 pm UTC

semicolon wrote:
knoxsouthy wrote:The only safe sex is abstinence.

not really. birth control pills are pretty much failproof if you use them correctly. the "99.99%" accounts for human error.


The only 100% safe form is abstinence....

As to the discussion at hand... I have little problem with the current AoC laws, as has been stated they protect who they should and (should only be an) inconvenience to others. To the 25yo sleeping with the 16yo, why not just 'keep it in your pants' for two years? Is it really so hard to NOT have sex?
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby knoxsouthy » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:53 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
I don't think a person should be legally able to engage in intercourse until they can prove they would be able to care for a child.


Or you can point to the local abortion clinics on the map.


Unless of course you believe life begins at conception. :wink:
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Jessica » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:54 pm UTC

And if you believe that you should probably use either better protection, or not have sex...

Still has nothing to do with Age of Concent.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby ekzrated » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:58 pm UTC

knoxsouthy wrote:
Belial wrote:
I don't think a person should be legally able to engage in intercourse until they can prove they would be able to care for a child.


Or you can point to the local abortion clinics on the map.


Unless of course you believe life begins at conception. :wink:


I happen to believe life begins as sperm/eggs. But that's besides the point. Teaching abstinence-only, and making alternatives difficult to be found are only making it easier for unplanned pregnancies to happen. I don't know if you're aware of this, but you can't stop people from doing what they want to do, right or wrong. Why make it more difficult for a teen who engages in sexual activities to be safer about it? And how does this relate to age of consent?
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby knoxsouthy » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:01 pm UTC

ekzrated wrote:
knoxsouthy wrote:I don't think a person should be legally able to engage in intercourse until they can prove they would be able to care for a child. The only safe sex is abstinence. I know you young uns will cry, b*tch, and moan about how unrealistic this is but my question to you is do you think it's just that if you have a child the govn is going to be the one feeding it?
Are you a virgin? Because otherwise, you engage in unsafe sex by your own admission. And by the way, age has little to do with child-rearing capabilites. I don't recall where I saw it, but i recall reading an article stating that unplanned pregnancies tend to rise when sexual education steers away from awareness and safe-sex practices towards abstinence.
I'm so sick of seeing these young girls at the grocery store with 3 young children on their arm whip out their food stamp card because i'm the one paying for her to be irresponsible and careless.

:evil:
Aha! The "I don't want to pay for other's" idea. Sorry to dissapoint you, but pregnant teens aren't the only things "you" pay for. But way to make yourself look like a victim.


You're forgetting one thing I can actually afford to procreate. Were I to have a child I could afford to feed, shelter, and cloth them. Anyone who's forced at the point of a gun to give their money to someone who's behaved irresponsibly is a victim.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby knoxsouthy » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:02 pm UTC

Gharbad wrote:And if you believe that you should probably use either better protection, or not have sex...

Still has nothing to do with Age of Concent.


Unless you plan on marrying the girl you're sleeping with; I know a strange concept indeed. :roll:
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby PictureSarah » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:04 pm UTC

An equally strange concept: Not all engaged or married couples want children. Ever.

And being able to financially provide for a child does not, by any stretch of the imagination, equate to being able to responsibly raise a child.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby 22/7 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:05 pm UTC

I guess I'm ok with the current AoC laws (or at least my understanding of them). You really have to take everything case by case.
knoxsouthy wrote:You're forgetting one thing I can actually afford to procreate. Were I to have a child I could afford to feed, shelter, and cloth them. Anyone who's forced at the point of a gun to give their money to someone who's behaved irresponsibly is a victim.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that's never happened to you. And you're ignoring what he said. If you're having sex, then you are (by your definition) having unsafe sex. Which is extraordinarily off topic. I don't honestly know what you're talking about with the "I can pay for them" argument. He never said you couldn't.

And dude... with the double posting...
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Jessica » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:07 pm UTC

... You're not steltek, are you?

Again, yes if you want to have kids, you can have kids. If you don't want to have kids, you can have sex with a high chance of not having kids. and by high I mean really high. Yes the only way to assure no-kids is to not has sex. But, saying only that to people doesn't help them, and doesn't make them not have sex.

Again, what does this have to do with age of consent?
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Fantastic Idea » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:10 pm UTC

Stop feeding the troll.

I think the age of consent laws are where they should be in the US. They are usually around 16-18 depending on state, and since these are the ages at which one can legally drive a vehicle and vote, it's prettymuch established that 18 is about the threshold for adulthood. The millions of teenagers in the US obviously aren't all the same, and don't magically become an adult at the age of 18, but as Belial said before, the line must be drawn somewhere. Some people have sex much younger than 18, some people, not till long after that age. But since that's also about when people graduate from public high school, it is a reasonable time to say, "Ok, you're on your own, do what you like and don't fuck it up."
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Jessica » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:13 pm UTC

Sorry.
I like the Canadian laws. they're not too bad.

Now... where was that site which listed all the age of consent laws... *googles*
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Indon » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:20 pm UTC

TheStranger wrote:The only 100% safe form is abstinence....

This is technically untrue (if you're saying that abstinence is a 'form' of sex, anyway). Abstinence is not 'safe sex', because it is literally not sex. While I take no particular umbrage to, say, the assertation that there is no such thing as safe sex (and I'll agree insofar as there's also no such thing as safe driving, or safe showers, or safe strawberry shortcake), abstinence is not a replacement for sex, because it is in fact the act of not replacing sex with anything.

And if the only thing you're worried about is kids, permanent (and generally still reversible) sterility can be quite 'safe' (I cite that rather than the vasectomy due to regenerative issues).

TheStranger wrote:To the 25yo sleeping with the 16yo, why not just 'keep it in your pants' for two years? Is it really so hard to NOT have sex?


Well, if a person does not respect a law they become vastly less likely to follow it. It becomes less a matter of, "The government would like me to not have sex with this person for two years," and "The government wants to dictate to me something it has no right to do," which leads naturally to disregard of such laws.

I don't think I'd want a 9-year grace period for an age of consent law, though. I think 4 years would be best, as the creepiest possible combination that would give would be 14-18. Alternately, a two-tiered setup in which individuals of X age (age of sexual plurality? Heh) can consent to sex with individuals up to Y years higher than them. Plenty of states already do this sort of thing, though.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby AvalonXQ » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:21 pm UTC

ekzrated wrote:
knoxsouthy wrote:I don't think a person should be legally able to engage in intercourse until they can prove they would be able to care for a child. The only safe sex is abstinence. I know you young uns will cry, b*tch, and moan about how unrealistic this is but my question to you is do you think it's just that if you have a child the govn is going to be the one feeding it?
Are you a virgin? Because otherwise, you engage in unsafe sex by your own admission. And by the way, age has little to do with child-rearing capabilites. I don't recall where I saw it, but i recall reading an article stating that unplanned pregnancies tend to rise when sexual education steers away from awareness and safe-sex practices towards abstinence.
I'm so sick of seeing these young girls at the grocery store with 3 young children on their arm whip out their food stamp card because i'm the one paying for her to be irresponsible and careless.

:evil:
Aha! The "I don't want to pay for other's" idea. Sorry to dissapoint you, but pregnant teens aren't the only things "you" pay for. But way to make yourself look like a victim.


Are you honestly making the argument that because the government wastes our money in more than one way, being irate about any specific way our money gets wasted is inappropriate?
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby ekzrated » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:30 pm UTC

AvalonXQ wrote:Are you honestly making the argument that because the government wastes our money in more than one way, being irate about any specific way our money gets wasted is inappropriate?
Not at all. I'm saying that simply saying "I ddon't want to pay for them" does not grant control over others sexual (or other) choices. What does this have to do with age of consent anyway?
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby AvalonXQ » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:41 pm UTC

ekzrated wrote:
AvalonXQ wrote:Are you honestly making the argument that because the government wastes our money in more than one way, being irate about any specific way our money gets wasted is inappropriate?
Not at all. I'm saying that simply saying "I ddon't want to pay for them" does not grant control over others sexual (or other) choices. What does this have to do with age of consent anyway?


Because he's saying that the age of consent should be related to the capability of people to pay for the children they produce. Teen mothers on welfare are effectively engaging in behavior that produces negative externalities while they themselves don't bare the cost -- like companies polluting.
We're talking about whether certain behavior will be prohibited for a certain class of people. I think costs to society are definitely a reasonable consideration in this discussion.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby 22/7 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

Actually he was saying that the age of being allowed to have sex (whatever that is) should be set at "when you can afford to pay for them".
Totally not a hypothetical...

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bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Spill Wooner » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:11 pm UTC

ekzrated wrote:
AvalonXQ wrote:Are you honestly making the argument that because the government wastes our money in more than one way, being irate about any specific way our money gets wasted is inappropriate?
Not at all. I'm saying that simply saying "I ddon't want to pay for them" does not grant control over others sexual (or other) choices. What does this have to do with age of consent anyway?


So would you support cutting welfare programs to underaged mothers? That would allow them their sexual freedom, as well as not rooting around in my pocket. (If we're talking welfare reform in general I strongly agree with encouraging long-term implanted BC, but that's a whole other thread to split off.)

As for the abstinence is 100% effective claims, I wonder about that. As Bel pointed out, pregnancies can be treated with a 100% success rate if caught early enough. That, and failure rates for other forms of BC factor in human error, yet the "I promise not to" method only counts the ideal cases.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby 22/7 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:22 pm UTC

Spill Wooner wrote:As for the abstinence is 100% effective claims, I wonder about that. As Bel pointed out, pregnancies can be treated with a 100% success rate if caught early enough. That, and failure rates for other forms of BC factor in human error, yet the "I promise not to" method only counts the ideal cases.
Just so we're clear, it's pretty hard to catch pregnancy without sexual contact. In fact, I would say that, short of intentional artificial methods, it's 100% effective at stopping the spread of fetus. What (I think) you're arguing is whether it's the only 100% effective approach. And to that, of course, you'd probably have to define what is and what isn't considered an "approach".
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby tantalum » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:27 pm UTC

I would claim that abstinence is not actually a pregnancy-prevention technique. One has to factor in the background "rape rate".

Out of a (~thousand) sexually active woman using the pill properly, only one will get pregnant. Assuming a rough estimate of 100 sexual encounters, that means that the pill fails only once every 100,000 sexual encounters. I'm guessing that the average human goes through 30 years sexually active. That implies 11,000 days of potential sexual activity.

According to my rough calculations, a woman using the pill for the entire time she is sexually active will only get pregnant in her entire life 10% of the time.

Tell me, what % of women are raped at least once in their entire lives? According to http://66.216.123.69/RTC/Facts+and+Quotes/Statistics/
1/6 women have been raped (involuntary oral, anal or vaginal sex). I don't know what percent of these rapes could potentially have ended in pregnancy, but if you keep in mind that abstinent girls are most likely not on the pill, you come to the realization that a sexually active girl on the pill doesn't really have that much of a higher chance of getting pregnant via consensual sex as a non-sexually active girl not on the pill getting pregnant via rape.

My analysis probably has a huge error bar, but I'm just pointing out that "abstinence is the only safe sex" is not quite that accurate, and indeed, can be misleading inaccurate. Imagine that a sexually active girl is raped. Isn't there a higher % chance that she IS on the pill? In a way, being sexually active could potential protect girls from becoming pregnant via rape?
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby 22/7 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:30 pm UTC

Rape isn't sex. Rape is violence. Saying "abstinence isn't the only safe sex because of rape" is like saying that "seatbelts don't save lives because of bicyclists". And this still isn't on-topic.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!
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Re: Age of Consent in US

Postby Spill Wooner » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:43 pm UTC

It's hard to get pregnant without sex, true. Even aside from the "rape factor", failure rates of other forms of BC assume all forms of use, not just ideal use; the guy who doubles up on condoms or the girl who "forgets" to take the pill both count towards the failure rates, even though both obviously undermine the effectiveness. The part that needs to be highlighted is that while the guy who double-bags still counts towards condom failure, the guy who had a "it was romantic, and things just happened" experience doesn't count as an abstinence failure.

tl;dr: There are plenty of good reasons to be pro-abstinence. The pregnancy and disease factors should count the real cases of people who plan to use it, not just the ideal cases.
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