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Old 04-23-2012, 04:22 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
1,084 posts, read 1,338,082 times
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There is something very critical here... the very reason we categorize people based on age. Why do we have different rules for children and adults?

Because the younger you are, the less mental capacity you have to make an informed decision. The more immature you are, the more likely you are to make poor choices. If you are going through puberty, you are almost certainly not thinking straight most of the time.

THAT is why we have rules about people doing things at certain ages. That's why a child can't sign a legal document. And that's why it's thought that statutory rape could be harmful.

It could be that the child doesn't even know that they are being raped.

 
Old 04-23-2012, 05:06 AM
 
Location: California x North Carolina (soon)...
3,320 posts, read 2,241,294 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartalx View Post
There is something very critical here... the very reason we categorize people based on age. Why do we have different rules for children and adults?

Because the younger you are, the less mental capacity you have to make an informed decision. The more immature you are, the more likely you are to make poor choices. If you are going through puberty, you are almost certainly not thinking straight most of the time.

THAT is why we have rules about people doing things at certain ages. That's why a child can't sign a legal document. And that's why it's thought that statutory rape could be harmful.

It could be that the child doesn't even know that they are being raped.
Right, but what isnt directly talked about is what constitutes a "child" and at what age constitutes an "adult"? Obviously, once you become a certain age you are undeniably an adult; I think 22, maybe 21, and even at these ages its proven that you arent fully developed in your mental maturity. But 18, 19, 20? Come on, do we really think of most of our Americans in this age to be adults? Better yet, of our citizens in this age range, how many truly behave as adults?

Some people should never be called sex offenders to begin with, and there should definitely be a clause that allows for this to be expunged from some people's records. The problem is we generalize everything and punish according to that, instead of treating statuatory on a case-by-case basis...
 
Old 04-23-2012, 04:14 PM
 
1,859 posts, read 1,958,482 times
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Apparently, there are states which have age of consent laws at age 16. I think Maine and New York. I can remember hearing years ago the notion that girls mature faster than boys. But, boys are pretty much always ready to have sex before girls. I think the law should be different for a female teacher seducing a male teenage student, than the other way around; it doesn't seem fair, but that's life. If a younge person exhibits no psychological damage then they are OK, and perhaps loved the experience. I think of how many teenage boys envy other boys who have had sex with older gilrs/women.

Also, for those teenagers who discover they are not heterosexual, homophobia causes them psychological damage at least equivalent to an unwanted seduction.
 
Old 04-23-2012, 05:51 PM
 
5,106 posts, read 6,062,113 times
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even willing sex between or with minors causes damage of some sort in the long run.

bad decision making skills + the roads not taken = sad
 
Old 04-23-2012, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
1,105 posts, read 2,736,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldnorthstate View Post
even willing sex between or with minors causes damage of some sort in the long run.

bad decision making skills + the roads not taken = sad
I don't think that's true. It may be for some but in general I really don't believe that's the case. That's my point with this thread, actually. It's not that I don't understand the need for statutory rape laws or that older kids/adults can take advantage of younger kids and that there is a risk of STD's and pregnancy. My question is, is the victim of statutory rape emotionally or mentally damaged by the experience? Do they themselves feel like victims? There seems to be a general belief that they do, as expressed by the above poster, but I question if that is really true. I had a relationship with an older guy as a teenager and I don't feel damaged and I didn't then either. I may be the exception but I don't think so.
I personally believe that the belief that consensual sex among teenagers is damaging has more to do with the way we Americans view sex in general than what we actually know about the experiences of teens. In other countries and cultures a relationship between a 15-year old and an 18-year old is not considered a big deal and even consensual sex among 13-year olds is not seen as a damaging experience for them. Do kids in other countries experience things differently than American kids do? Or do the adults in those societies just fail to recognize the damage they've suffered?
 
Old 04-24-2012, 01:13 PM
 
Location: West Texas
2,441 posts, read 5,245,515 times
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For everyone who thinks that kids are too mentally (maturely?) incompetent to have sex at 15 years old and that it damages them permanently... isn't it amazing that we even are alive today? I say that since it wasn't uncommon during the 1800s (early-mid) to find men (even 30-40 yr olds) who were married to (and had sexual relations with) 15 year old girls (and younger during the renaissance/medieval/dark ages). Yet, I haven't seen difinitive studies to say that women of that demographic were psychologically, physically, or physiologically damaged into their adult years.

Although I agree that times have changed, a women enters puberty at a certain time in their life for specific periods. Not counting religion, but sticking with a purely biological/evolutionary standpoint - when their bodies release the hormones that begin their menstrual cycles, their bodies can take the strain of child bearing - although, it's not recommended for the earliest years for girls.

Whether the psychological aspect can go on, I submit that it's society that determines any extent of psychological damage. If it's socially acceptable for girls to engage at sexual activity around 14 or 15, then the damage is normally non-existant. But in a socially repressive society (such as America's), then she'll need years and years of psychological counseling (whether she truly needs it or not).
 
Old 04-24-2012, 01:52 PM
 
63 posts, read 38,166 times
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Not necessarily, but we have to draw the line somewhere, and we can't allow for nuance in interpretation. It has to be a raw number so that we don't have crazy judges making their own interpretations of morality and civility.

I think a more appropriate age for consent is 16, which is the case in most advanced nations. 18 seems a bit harsh to me. Girls are "women" physically by 16 almost universally.

But who is going to be the first politician to lower the age of consent? LOL. Even if it's totally rational, they would be committing political suicide.
 
Old 04-24-2012, 02:03 PM
 
63 posts, read 38,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
I don't think that's true. It may be for some but in general I really don't believe that's the case. That's my point with this thread, actually. It's not that I don't understand the need for statutory rape laws or that older kids/adults can take advantage of younger kids and that there is a risk of STD's and pregnancy. My question is, is the victim of statutory rape emotionally or mentally damaged by the experience? Do they themselves feel like victims? There seems to be a general belief that they do, as expressed by the above poster, but I question if that is really true. I had a relationship with an older guy as a teenager and I don't feel damaged and I didn't then either. I may be the exception but I don't think so.
I personally believe that the belief that consensual sex among teenagers is damaging has more to do with the way we Americans view sex in general than what we actually know about the experiences of teens. In other countries and cultures a relationship between a 15-year old and an 18-year old is not considered a big deal and even consensual sex among 13-year olds is not seen as a damaging experience for them. Do kids in other countries experience things differently than American kids do? Or do the adults in those societies just fail to recognize the damage they've suffered?
I think it's two things. I know this will sound a bit trite and simplistic but I really think it's true.

1) lots of men secretly want to have sex with children. It's a sad fact, and it's documented in Kinsey's work and the work of many others. Alas, many of those men don't carry on as pedophiles acting on their urges; we know this too from the data! But what they do carry is a HUGE emotional burden. This manifests in an inability to rationally discuss teen sex, sexual norms, etc. IMO these men are the first to scream "pedophile!" when a group of men hover over a swimsuit calendar involving a women who looks younger than their wives.

2) men age well, women do the opposite. Many sexually attractive young women get away with doing very little intellectual/emotional work on themselves as women due to their beauty.When they hit their 30's and it all starts to go downhill, many can't emotionally cope with the fact that they are no longer desired by men. This leads to bitterness towards younger women, and a high propensity to shout "pedophile!" from the hill tops to all men interested in women younger than her.


For example, the older woman who refers to men hitting on 18 year old women as "sexual deviants or even "pedophiles." When the truth is 99/100 guys find the same woman attractive, and have since the beginning of time.

Couple that with a low iq population as compared to Europe at-large and a huge dose of religion, and you get US sexual norms.
 
Old 04-24-2012, 02:05 PM
 
7,497 posts, read 9,274,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
There was a thread here a few days ago where the topic of statutory rape came up. Some posters thought that statutory rape is a serious crime that has far reaching implications for the victim. This seems to be a belief that a lot of people hold - that the young person is damaged for life from their experience. I really wonder if that is generally the case though or if statutory rape laws really have more to do with society's view on sex than the implications for the "victim". Is a 14-15-year old girl really harmed by having a sexual relationship with an 18-19-year old boy or even an older man? Why would it be more damaging for a 15-year old to have sex with a 20-year old than another 15-year old?
Also, if statutory rape is damaging to the younger person is it different for boys and girls? There has been a lot of talk about the female teachers who have had sex with male students and some seem to be of the opinion that the boys are harmed by the experience while others argue that they are just living every teenage boy's dream to have sex with the teacher. You never hear that argument when it comes to girls though. They are always victims and considered to have been taken advantage of. Couldn't some of the girls be living their dream to have sex with an older, sexy guy?

What do you think? Are the teenagers damaged victims or willing participants who are just fine with it?
My take on it is that they may think they are willing participants in illegal intercourse. What they don't realize is that an adult who goes after teenagers almost always did so because that is their preference and there's a tremendous power difference between teenagers and adults. I'm well aware that Vili Fualauu (male student) and Mary Kay Latorneau (former teacher) is an exception and that these two sincerely fell in love, but for the most part that's not the way it happens. Adults who persue teenagers for sex are predators, it doesn't matter the gender or circumstances. The only real difference is the way it's treated in court based on the offender's gender.
 
Old 04-25-2012, 12:09 PM
 
654 posts, read 878,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
There was a thread here a few days ago where the topic of statutory rape came up. Some posters thought that statutory rape is a serious crime that has far reaching implications for the victim. This seems to be a belief that a lot of people hold - that the young person is damaged for life from their experience. I really wonder if that is generally the case though or if statutory rape laws really have more to do with society's view on sex than the implications for the "victim". Is a 14-15-year old girl really harmed by having a sexual relationship with an 18-19-year old boy or even an older man? Why would it be more damaging for a 15-year old to have sex with a 20-year old than another 15-year old?

What do you think? Are the teenagers damaged victims or willing participants who are just fine with it?

I think that a twenty year old is much more sophisticated at persuading a 15 year old to get what he wants. The twenty year old might even appear more sophisticated in the eyes of the 15 year old...more than likely he has a car and can drive.

To me there is a pretty big difference between a 15 year old and a 20 year old. I live in a college town, and I would have to wonder why a 20 year old was pursuing someone 15 rather than his own age.

I have a kid who will be 15 in the not so distant future. Apart from the statuatory rape issue, there is no way I would condone such a relationship.
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