[Cool Teen Sites]
Comments on the Values of Age of Consent:
This email may be lengthy but I hope to make a few valid but opinionated points.
For that aformentioned reason, forcible rape statutes should be enforced as a deterrant to abuse. Sexual assault/battery statutes should also be enforced for any adult in a position of authority who has sexual activity with any minor under the age of eighteen; position of authority meaning (a teacher, school employee, coach, scoutmaster, or any other captive authority figure who could use "implied coercion" to take advantage of a minor even if that minor consents to sexual conduct). With that said, I agree with the feminist Camille Paglia, who has long advocated a nationwide age of consent to fourteen (meaning any adult 18 or over could in theory at that point engage in sexual conduct with a person 14 or older), provided the adult partner of the teen is not in a position of authority. Paglia also stated and I agree with her, even though I am politically conservative/theologically moderate to liberal, is that those at least 14 but under 18 (she spoke of females exclusively, but this can apply to all that age), should be granted greater freedoms sexually but willing to give up the victim status that is placed on them by society.
Prepubescent children should be protected from sexual predators, rapists, and molesters and all women and men, young and old alike, should be protected from forcible rape and sexual assault/battery; however for government to legalize revenge by a parent who shares sexually restrictive values against a young woman's boyfriend or a young man's girlfriend for having a loving relationship or having the government sanction lying by a minor against an adult on a serious criminal matter without the benefit of circumstancial or hard evidence or other witnesses, is unconscionable.
The age of consent laws (statutory rape laws) were put into place to prevent serious crimes like child prostitution or abuse by a parent or authority figure, not to enforce some Fundamentalist's definition of sex outside of marriage. In the New Testament the Apostle Paul condemned Christians who had sex with prostitutes (1 Corinthians 6:12-20), Jesus did not rebuke a woman for living with a man not her husband (John 4:1-9), and the Mosaic Holiness Codes never stated that noncommecial consensual sex between unmarried males and unmarried females is forbidden by God. Current age of consent laws are still based on the values of a vocal theologically conservative Christian sect and not on the overall moral values of most Jews, Christians, and other religious faiths. The age of consent laws do not need to be scrapped, rather revised to reflect current sexual mores (fourteen sounds like a good age, it works in Hawaii and Canada) and parents and church leaders need to do a better job teaching teenagers emotional intimacy skills so that they can decide before hand if a potential partner will give them the respect they deserve before engaging in sex, and if not, then encourage abstinence in the relationship. In addition, students should have information on birth control and safe sex information (with parental notification/consent since taxpayer dollars are involved).
Trespassing, kidnapping, and curfew laws need to be enforced to aid parents and protect the safety of the teenager, along with enforcing forcible rape statutes (for sex brought on by force or coercion), but for lawmakers and a faction of strict so-called "concerned families" to assume that young men and women cannot make responsible sexual decisions after puberty when a lot of them work and pay taxes themselves, volunteer in charitable or educational activities, and are learning to be responsible citizens is a folly based on superstition and fear. I am hoping that your organization can inform lawmakers to rethink their traditions and apply something called reality (meaning finding out what moral codes like the Bible say on sexual issues and accepting the fact that abstinence and/or sexual activity are both choices, not mandates). It grieves my heart to see a sixteen year old male be thrown in jail for statutory rape (this is happening in Florida, my old home state) because he got a fifteen year old female, his girlfriend and eventual fiancee pregnant, despite the fact that he wanted to help take care of the baby and marry the woman.
More and more studies regarding sexual dating relationships between teens and adults
(not in positions of authority) are showing that those teens involved have better, not
worse self-esteem and have better school performance, because they have emotional
closeness in their lives, and do not regard themselves as victims. These sexual
relationships are seen as a mature alternative to the hurt and distrust caused by
promiscuity from the dating patterns of their high-school
CORRECTION FROM AUTHOR: One of the Bible verses I used is actually John 41-18, not John 41-9 as in my original correspondence.
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