Age of Consent?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Age of Consent?
48
Mon, 03-24-2008 - 5:15pm
I noticed that the issue of parental notification/consent and opinions on statutory rape has come up a few times. I thought it might be interesting to get people's opinions on the concept of a legal age of consent. Do you think it's a good thing, or should the gov't not be legislating in this matter? Thoughts?




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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Mon, 03-24-2008 - 5:20pm

My opinion is that I support age of consent laws. I also believe in the so-called "Romeo and Juliet" exceptions to this rule that many states have, which allow consensual sexual relations between teens close in age, although one is above the age of consent and the other is not.

Otherwise, I think these laws exist for a reason. I had a couple of friends in high school who were in way over their heads. One of them was 15 and sleeping with a 25-year-old. Creepy.

I remember in late 1999 when the state of Utah (my home state at the time) changed the age of consent from 14 to 16. One of the people supporting the bill, a judge, said that she was tired of performing marriages between 14-year-old girls and 60-year-old men. FTR, these were not polygamous marriages, which are already illegal and not performed under law.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2008
Mon, 03-24-2008 - 11:08pm

I think that at times these laws are unreasonable.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-07-2007
Tue, 03-25-2008 - 8:25am

Children *always* have the right to say no to sexual activity, even if they are considered too young to say yes.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2008
Tue, 03-25-2008 - 10:41am

Of course children have the right to say NO - lol, did you think I was saying otherwise???


I don't believe children - depending on age - should have the right to SAY yes!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-07-2007
Tue, 03-25-2008 - 11:57am

You read *into* the post

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Tue, 03-25-2008 - 12:26pm

"You claim no contradiction - and since you believe that a 12 year old should be able to abort without consent or parental involvement - you must have no problem with this same child sleeping with whom she pleases."

Not at all. Allowing a 12-year-old to obtain an abortion is treatment of an existing condition. Preventing said child from having sex is an entirely different matter. Your argument is kind of like saying that because I would take a child to the hospital after being hit by a car for playing in the street, that I would have had no trouble with the child playing in the street. Kids make stupid mistakes sometimes (I made enough of them myself), but that does not mean that they do not deserve help when bad things happen.

I don't believe in parental consent for abortion for much the same reasons that you do not believe in absolute parental consent for certain sexual activities. From your previous post: "For the record - I don't believe that parents should be able to press stat. rape charges on a boy that their daughter has been dating with permission simply because the parents 'change their mind'." Humans are fickle, and I know that this sort of thing happens sometimes (it happened to a friend of mine in high school).




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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2008
Tue, 03-25-2008 - 12:59pm

I do 'kind of' understand your point.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2006
Tue, 03-25-2008 - 1:34pm

"The thing is - I would make many concessions on my PL views if PC would do the same and meet in the middle of some issues in order to curb abortion, protect children and parents of those children and their rights to parent, and educated women on the whole of not only their choices but of the humanity of those in which they plan/consider terminating."


Like what?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2008
Tue, 03-25-2008 - 1:47pm

Naw, no thread jacking;


In regards to consent for teen abortion.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Tue, 03-25-2008 - 1:53pm

"However, again, if a 12 year old is mature enough to make choices for her body - like terminating a human life and then dealing with it on her own afterward without her parents there for her, then shouldn't she be deemed mature enough to have sex with the same body that is hers to make life/death decisions for?"

No. One is a treatment for an existing condition, and one is a decision that has yet to be made. Although I think (and I imagine that you agree with me, based on the stories you've shared) that most parents cannot really "stop" their child from having sex if they are that determined to do it, they should certainly be in the know about it.

"The thing is - I would make many concessions on my PL views if PC would do the same and meet in the middle of some issues in order to curb abortion, protect children and parents of those children and their rights to parent, and educated women on the whole of not only their choices but of the humanity of those in which they plan/consider terminating."

I have. I support parental notification under the age of consent, and I heartily encourage the involvement of proper authorities at that point as well. This is because I believe that there is something terribly wrong with a pregnant 12-year-old, even if it's by her 14-year-old boyfriend. I do not support requiring parental consent, however, because I think that parents can be fickle (you have said the same), and I think that any girl or woman has the right to seek treatment for any existing physical condition.

I don't support parental consent on abortion for the same reason that you don't support absolute parental consent for certain sexual activities, as you said earlier. You claim to support the rights of parents to parent, yet you would deny them access to the criminal court system for "changing their minds." That is intervening in their right to parent the way they choose, the same way the government would be intervening by not allowing a parent to force a girl to continue a pregnancy or have an abortion just because they feel like it at the moment. It's arbitrary, as I said.




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