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Age of consent

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The Age of Consent is the age at which a person may consent to sexual activities with another human. The law assumes that any person below this age of consent, when participating in sexual activities, is a victim. In the context of politics, most proposals to change the law on this matter target reduction and or elimination of the of the cutoff age or criminal penalties for violating the law.

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ArgumentsEdit

In favor of changeEdit

According to advocates, age of consent laws are in place to discourage the manipulation of a child into consent by an adult. Opponents, however, argue that age of consent laws unnecessarily punish legitimate, non-manipulative sexual activity between minors and adults.

Perspectives Edit

  • The age of consent is effective in preventing child sexual abuse, and most sexual activity between adults and children is abusive.
  • Age of consent laws are not needed, because laws not based on age already punish abuse; there is extensive evidence intergenerational sex can be positive, so assuming harm is fallacious. (see, e.g., Rind et al.; Bernard, 1982; Bunge, 1993; Celano, 1992; Coulborn-Faller, 1991; Daugherty, 1986; Kilpatrick, 1992; Li, West, & Woodhouse, 1993; Metcalfe, Oppenheimer, Dignon, & Palmer, 1990; Nelson, 1982; Okami, 1989, 1990; Powell, & Chalkley, 1981; Rush, 1980; Sandfort, 1982, 1987, 1993; Tsai, Feldman-Summers, & Edgar, 1979; Vander Mey, 1988, etc.)
  • Age of consent laws should be lowered: teens can consent.
  • Age of consent laws should be raised to protect older adolescents.

In defense of the status quoEdit

The existence of Age of Consent laws means that (speaking of legitimacy in the legal sense) by definition there is no such thing as legitimate sexual activity between children and adults regardless of sexual orientation. The assumption, as stated above, that any person participating in sexual activity is a victim follows from the fact that children are certain to be harmed by it and are judged to be not competent to make a decision in this area. Age of consent laws are one of the few examples of explicit Children's rights.

PerspectivesEdit

  • This feels to me like one of those places where NPOV and fairness get tested. I'm comitted to such things in theory... but I feel as though pedophilia is a place where "objective neutrality" involves a dangerous lack of emotional depth. (Bringing emotions to this medium is one of the good things about "Perspectives" sections.) I have friends and loved ones who were "involved in sex as minors" and they universally feel that they were sexually abused and horribly traumatized by the experience. To find people attempting to rationalize sexual relationships that inevitably involve power differentials and early sexualization frightens me. The moment people with a "sexual orientation" towards children make any arguments at all that the kind of "relationships" they desire might be consensual I see them as starting down a slippery slope into deluding themselves that a child might actually "consent" to sex with them. To take the most basic example: the delusion involves a comprehensive blindness to the ability of children to understand the life long consequences of unprotected sex, deal with the emotional interactions involved in insisting that protection be used, and seeking and paying for medical treatment if they are injured or infected. In my "opinion", children *cannot* consent, ever. I think I speak for the vast majority of people in saying that I'd hunt down and torture to death anyone who had what they believed to be "consensual sex" with a child of mine. - JenniferForUnity 11:54, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
    I think I speak for the vast majority of people in saying that I'd hunt down and torture to death anyone who had what they believed to be "consensual sex" with a child of mine. Clearly you're on the moral highground, then :p --V

External LinksEdit

FOR age of consent reformEdit

AGAINST age of consent reformEdit

Some persons want to protect children by encouraging the enforcement of the Age of Consent and the prosecution of older persons sexually involved with children.

Unsorted External LinksEdit

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