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QotD: Age of Consent

Question: Should there be a legal "age of consent?" If so, what should it be? If not, why not?

My Answer: Without some age of consent, it would not be illegal for a 30 year-old to screw a ten year-old. That's wrong. This question comes on the heels of my question of the day about trying children as adults: when does a "child" become "an adult"? Clearly a person won't be submitted for psychological review before we decide if she's allowed to have sex with her 25 year-old boyfriend at the age of 16. Or 17. At 18, I suppose she's allowed to do as she pleases.

Aside from states with fairly creepy laws (24 year-olds in some states, IIRC, can have sex with 16 year-olds, etc.), I'm fairly "ok" with a basic law: over the age of 18 or both partners within 4 years of each other. That's about as much thought as I've given it.

A friend of mine is 30 and dating someone who is 18, but she's capable of making decisions and, for that matter, so is he. I have no problem with them screwing (it helps that he looks like he's still 18, I suppose), but I certainly question the emotional compatibility between 30 and 18. Best of luck to him, though. She may be the rare overly-mature 18 year-old (or maybe he's more immature than we previously thought? :-D).

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

15 Responses to "QotD: Age of Consent"

  1. Your "basic law" is actually fairly conservative. Most states, and also many foreign countries, list 16 years as the age of consent. There are also laws for "contributing to the delinquency of a minor" which can apply even if the age of consent has been reached and therefore statutory rape isn't applicable in some states.

  2. Erik's plan sounds acceptable to me. While we're on sexual consent, let's repeal all of those archaic laws that prohibit homosexual sex. I mean come on, America. What's the deal with that?

  3. I began a relationship with a 32 year old female when I was 16. And four years later, we're happily living together. In this case I would have to say that I am very overly mature and she is normal, so it balances out.

  4. I'd be ok with an age of 16 or 18, but the problem I have with either is that it can cause problems in some situations. Say the age is 18. And you've got a 17 year old and an 18 year old going out. Now.. whats the problem? They're peers, they're probably both mature. But legally speaking, it would be a problem. So what to do? I say make an age limit, but also an age range. Like, the age limit is 18, but the range is 3 years, so if either person is plus/minus 3 years difference from the other, and one is under 18, its still ok. I dunno. Its a sticky situation, I think.

  5. The thing that usually isn't talked about enough (to my mind) is the distinction between 'permissable' and 'punishable'. I think a 30 year old having sex with a 15 year old should be punishable, but that a 15 year old and a 13 year old simply shouldn't be 'permissable', but not punishable with statutory rape legislation.

    The problem is that while legally we should protect people taking advantage of significantly younger (and presumably immature) people, the question of 'how old does someone need to be before having consentual sex' is completely different, and is more cultural, having to do with what sex means to them and the society in which they live, than a simple criminal designation.

    So no, I don't have an answer, but it's too bad that very mature 17 year olds are forbidden from having sex, while completely irresponsible and immature 28 year olds can have all the children their gonads will bear.

  6. Amen to that Kevin!

  7. Sometimes its better not to be alone and enjoy someone elses company. They may not be the one you are going to be with the rest of life, but thats no reason why you cant appreciate each other and enjoy the time you have together.

  8. Yea, im 18 and i have a boyfriend that is that wrong?

  9. My best friend is 17 years old and her boyfriend is 30. I mean, of course, her family is totally against it. She wants to move in with him but i don't know what to tell her. I mean she's definitely mature enough but i don't wanna tell her to do it then he ends up going to jail. I mean do you think they could move in together and be happy without him goin to jail?

  10. I have boyfriend was 30 years old. I'm 18 years old. I meet my boyfriend when I was 17 years old, we have romance love and sexual. It s not againit law to rape.

    1. you are a dumbass. it IS against the law too rape!! your 30 year old boyfriend could get charged for it also!!! but im not you and i have no right to tell you what too do, but just be careful girl if u really love this guy yall should keep things on the downlow.


  11. Alright, with the emergence of the computer, some who knows how many years ago, more and more people living far apart are getting together.

    Now my question, which despite checking multiple sources, I cannot seem to find a definate answer, and I think the only way to is to ask a live audience. My next try will likely be in a forum. More people.

    But I am a 17 year old young man, living in NY (Aoc = 17) I met and will soon visit (And likely have sexual relations with) a 21 year old woman I care for very much. She lives in South Carolina(AoC = 16). Now Im almost positive I'm above both numbers, Myself, and her family, as well as my own, are unsure on whether or not this is perfectly legal. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

    Real quick the info is:
    Male (Age 17: Citizen of NY)
    Female (Age 21: Citizen of SC)

  12. I began a relationship with a 32 year old when I was 16. I was overly mature for my age and had lived a very mature life. After happily living together, we are getting married. In my state, our relationship was perfectly legal as well as in 34 other states at least (over half). Not to mention many, many countries in this world.

    I can say I would not recommend this kind of relationship to many people, but for us IT WORKED. It has been from the get go a very healthy relationship mentally, sexually, and emotionally. We complement each other and we are there for each other in better and for worse. No emotional damage has been done to me at any point in our relationship and I can promise you that this relationship is by far HEALTHIER than any relationship I had ever had with any person my own age. We are in a monogamous, committed relationship to each other. It truly depends on the individuals.

    I don't think that the government has a right to tell me that this wonderful, life-changing commitment is wrong. If my family believes it is healthy and I am happy and healthy and he is as well, they should leave it alone. I am glad to see that over half of the US agrees with me and I hope that more states will in the future.

  13. yeah im dateing 20 year old, and im only 16. i know that i am aloud to date him and have sex with him. but the thing is, my parents will not let us sleep together, even though we live together. They are affraid that we are going to get my 16 month old brother taken away because im underage and sleeping with a 20 year old. is that possible? And should we be aloud to sleep together?

  14. well my man is 21 soon too be 22 and im only 16. my mom keeps saying he is too old for me, and that i would get him into alot of trouble if i got pregant, i dont want him too be in trouble because of me! i love him with my life, and im going to be with him reguardless of what anyone says about it. i think that if you truly love and care about someone it shouldnt matter how old they are. but in my case im going to have too be careful, because he isnt going to prison over me. he dosent diserve that, he is way too good of a person to be charged with some dumb "statitory rape" charge. why cant they just let people be with who they want too be with no matter the age differnce.? 😡