Author Topic: Age of consent laws.  (Read 5297 times)

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Offline Telesphorus

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Age of consent laws.
« on: November 14, 2011, 03:31:41 PM »
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  • Fornication is a sin, and a grave one, and the seduction of a young woman is a great evil.

    Nevertheless, it is a fact that girls are fully capable of knowing what they are doing before they are 18, and that a majority lose their virginity before 18 (in this country).  If the sin to be punished is fornication, it is not just to punish men and not punish the girls also.  And it would not be practical to punish a crime that the majority of the population commits.

    It is also unjust to to claim that it should not be criminal for a young man close in age to seduce a young woman, while claiming it is criminal for a man just a few years older to do so.  

    Our ancestors restrained the law from interfering at a much younger age, because they understood human nature and the folly of trying to control such things with threats from the police.  Of course they also had recourse to vigilantism.

    For the latter reason it seems fair that the age is higher than it was in common law.

    However, surely 18 is too old, because to punish it that age is to make criminals of the majority of the population.  (if the law were applied equally to young men and women) A law (with severe penalties) that is generally broken and selectively enforced is a pretext for abuse, not a legitimate protection.

    It is the responsibility of parents to guard their children, not the police.  It is absurd for parents to send their children into situations where fornication is likely to happen  for the majority of underage girls, but to call the police to punish the offender when the worst happens.  They and their daughters are also to blame for what happens.

    The solution to this problem is not the demonization and severe penalization of older men who fornicate with younger women, when the girls are responsible for their actions.  They know what they're doing.  It is kidding oneself to pretend otherwise.  And it is also absurd to pretend it is "just kids being kids" (as sex education and condom distribution in high schools show) when the fornicators are close in age, but otherwise it is a form of "statutory rape"

    Laws should not be grossly unfair.  

    By all means, the necessary steps should be taken to protect young women.

    If I were a father I would surely seek legal recourse for a daughter younger than 15.  But after a certain age one must assign responsibility where it is due.  And most young women engage in fornication (or something worse) before the age of  18, and they know exactly what they are doing.  They are responsible for their actions, as much as the man.

    Offline Telesphorus

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 03:45:34 PM »
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  • It is surely a sign of a profoundly confused society if high school jocks and other popular young men in the schools are able to engage in the most wicked behavior with impunity, (and are encouraged to do so by the organization and teaching in the schools) but if a man in his 20s is seduced by a 17 year old woman, he can be called a rapist and imprisoned.


    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 03:47:42 PM »
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  • Tele, I'm not certain if you brought this up for the sake of your experience with that 18 year-old, but if so I'm actually glad you did because I've been wanting to say that I've been thinking about that and something just recently hit me like a ton of bricks, something I should have realized from the start.

    As you said, seduction is a sin. And it occured to me that the 18 year-old at your chapel was acting in a very seductive manner towards you. If I remember the story correctly, she even wanted to speak to you during Communion. As if it's not sinful enough for a woman to act seductive period, doing so during Mass is even worse. I was telling you that your mind should have been on God during Mass, yet somehow I didn't understand that it was her mind that obviously wasn't on God. A shame that she got away with it.

    Not that I have a TLM to attend, but if I were to attend one and have a young girl acting flirtatious towards me, I would have tried to ignore her the best I could. And should she have persisted to the point where I could no longer ignore here, I would tell her after Mass in a kind way "During Mass, your mind is supposed to be on God. So I would appreciate it if you kept your mind on God rather than me, it's a distraction". If that didn't work, I would have reported it to the parish priest. Perhaps had you done this you wouldn't have been kicked out of your chapel, but what's done is done. Regardless, she is the one who is primarily to blame for acting flirtatious rather than having respect for God, and she obviously is not a good Catholic. Her parents must not have taught her how to act at Mass.

    So, I sincerely apologize to you, Tele, for failing to grasp that on the now-closed "America and Courting 18 year old Virgins" thread. I obviously was having a problem properly comprehending the situation and am sorry for the trouble I caused on that thread.

    God Bless.

    Offline Telesphorus

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #3 on: November 14, 2011, 03:57:07 PM »
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  • Quote from: SpiritusSanctus
    If I remember the story correctly, she even wanted to speak to you during Communion.


    No, that didn't happen.  It was before mass, before her confession.

    Quote
    So, I sincerely apologize to you, Tele, for failing to grasp that on the now-closed "America and Courting 18 year old Virgins" thread. I obviously was having a problem properly comprehending the situation and am sorry for the trouble I caused on that thread.

    God Bless.


    I appreciate your apology SS.  

    By the way in Ohio the age of consent is 16, which I think is reasonable, not that I was ever going to do something like that.  But those who presumed that I would had no justification for pretending it was a matter for the police over innocent messages, there's no law against liking a girl under the age of 18.

    I believe the solution to the problem of fornication is the protection of young people from bad influences, from movies, tv, bad associates, and coeducation, and the watchfulness and vigilance of parents who teach right and wrong.

    Not lashing out through law enforcement.





    Offline Telesphorus

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #4 on: November 14, 2011, 04:13:44 PM »
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  • I would set the cut-off at 15 because at that age pregnancy is no longer more dangerous to health than it is at later ages, but I can see why some would prefer 16.  Eighteen is too high, seventeen is far more reasonable, but if the age is set at 17 then the man should be able to use ignorance of the girl's age as a defense if she is really 16.


    Offline Telesphorus

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #5 on: November 14, 2011, 04:17:22 PM »
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  • And the age should be higher (at least 18, maybe 21) for teachers or tutors who are in a position of responsibility over their students.  Because of their position they are responsible, at the same time it should be understood that they are often subject to attempts at seduction by young women and therefore unless they actually commit the act or make a proven attempt to seduce a young woman their word should be believed.

    Offline TKGS

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011, 10:31:24 AM »
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  • Age of consent laws were not originally established in order say when it was acceptable for people to engage in fornication.  In fact, these laws were on the books even after fornication was specifically made a crime in many jurisdictions.  The purpose of the age of consent laws was to differentiate crimes of different severity.  If the parties had reached the age of consent, then they could be prosecuted for a lesser crime of fornication.  If one of the parties had not reached the age of consent, then the other party would be prosecuted for a greater crime of statutory rape.  

    In a truly Catholic country, fornication would be illegal and the age of consent law would identify the age in which a man and woman could marry,  which is 16 for a man and 14 for a woman though even the Church would discourage youthful marriages at these minimums (Canon 1067), and age of consent laws could actually be higher as long as there were provisions for exceptions down to these ages.

    Offline Telesphorus

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011, 10:52:57 AM »
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  • Quote from: TKGS
    Age of consent laws were not originally established in order say when it was acceptable for people to engage in fornication.


    Of course not.  They were established in the common law at the common ages of puberty, and in fact, because puberty was often delayed in the past, it was well below the ages today.  The common law is very ancient.  To talk about "when the law was established" is to dodge the point that it is traditional and was the law of a Catholic society at one time.

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     In fact, these laws were on the books even after fornication was specifically made a crime in many jurisdictions.


    I'm not arguing fornication shouldn't be a crime.  But if it is a crime, it must apply to both parties.

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     The purpose of the age of consent laws was to differentiate crimes of different severity.  If the parties had reached the age of consent, then they could be prosecuted for a lesser crime of fornication.  


    Can you give me examples of prosecution for fornication in Catholic countries?

    I'm not saying it's not a crime or shouldn't be made a crime, but since St. Thomas Aquinas, citing St. Augustine, stated that the state could even tolerate prostitution, I am curious as to the history of prosecution of fornication.

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    If one of the parties had not reached the age of consent, then the other party would be prosecuted for a greater crime of statutory rape.  


    And statutory rape should refer to something that is the abuse of a young child by a pervert, not fornication between two sexually mature people.

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    In a truly Catholic country, fornication would be illegal and the age of consent law would identify the age in which a man and woman could marry,  


    Do you have examples of what the laws were in truly Catholic countries?  

    What do you think the law was in Franco's Spain?  Right now the age of consent in Spain is 13 years of age.  In France the age is 15.  I wonder if anyone can tell me what it was under Franco?

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    which is 16 for a man and 14 for a woman though even the Church would discourage youthful marriages at these minimums (Canon 1067)


    The age of consent for marriage is not the same as the age of consent for immunity from prosecution for rape of a minor.  The Canon Law set in 1917 has to do with making an impediment to marriage below those ages (the impediment can be dispensed, it's not set in stone).  

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    and age of consent laws could actually be higher as long as there were provisions for exceptions down to these ages.


    Sure, you could make them as high as you want conceivably.  I'm talking what's rational and in accord with history.  Not with what modern Trads "feel" is right.



    Offline longtimetrad

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #8 on: November 15, 2011, 11:00:22 AM »
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  • Why am I not surprised Tele wants to lower the legal age of consent?

    It wouldn't help you get a teenage bride, Tele. The girls' fathers will still hate you and protect their daughters.

    Offline Telesphorus

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #9 on: November 15, 2011, 11:16:14 AM »
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  • Quote from: longtimetrad
    Why am I not surprised Tele wants to lower the legal age of consent?


    You shouldn't be surprised that I'm not going to let pharisees make me afraid to defend what is just.

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    It wouldn't help you get a teenage bride, Tele.


    It has nothing to do with me, because I would not commit that crime in any event.  It has to do with the fact that it's not just to have laws that harshly punish a man who is seduced by a girl under 18 (for example, a 17 year old girl) while the state encourages the high schools to be dens of iniquity.

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    The girls' fathers will still hate you and protect their daughters.


    People who hate a man for liking a teenage girl are people with a twisted moral sense.

    Offline Telesphorus

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #10 on: November 15, 2011, 11:29:19 AM »
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  • I brought up this subject because Mrs Z was worried about her son having a 17 year old girlfriend.

    Parents of young men shouldn't have to worry about their sons being locked up if their girlfriends are 17.  I don't think any sane person could disagree with that.


    Offline sedetrad

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #11 on: November 15, 2011, 12:07:13 PM »
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  • In Nc, the son could be locked up if he is over 3-4 years her senior and she is 17. Some states have even stiffer laws. Is he likely to be locked up if he is 18 and she is 17 in NC, prob not.

    Offline sedetrad

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #12 on: November 15, 2011, 12:08:04 PM »
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  • I am not sure where Mrs/ Z lives or what her states law are .

    Offline Telesphorus

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #13 on: November 15, 2011, 12:19:18 PM »
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  • Quote from: sedetrad
    In Nc, the son could be locked up if he is over 3-4 years her senior and she is 17. Some states have even stiffer laws. Is he likely to be locked up if he is 18 and she is 17 in NC, prob not.


    From a Catholic perspective, that's not a justly equitable application of the law.  Malta has the age of consent at 18, but no age difference exemption.

    Fornication is just as wrong if two people are close in age as it is if they differ by more than a couple years.  Why should someone 3 years older be off the hook but someone five years older be imprisoned as a criminal?  

    Most of these laws are of recent vintage.  They aren't traditional, but foolish conservatives support them out of a reaction while failing to do what is really necessary to preserve the morality of young people.

    I think the feminists, if they could, would imprison any man 10 years older than a woman who goes with a woman under 25.

    If the law is about preventing fornication, it can be good.  But if a law is about punishing men specifically because they are men and going with a younger woman, that is an abuse.


    Offline sedetrad

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    Age of consent laws.
    « Reply #14 on: November 15, 2011, 12:27:09 PM »
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  • I don't disagree with what you have written in the above. The laws in this area are often too harsh(romeo and juliet) or too lenient(rape, molestation, sex abuse).

     

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