Sunday, November 19, 2006

Spot the Slime-Ball

I'll give you a clue: HERE. Now what he superficially seems to be saying sounds emminently reasonable. That there is a difference between someone aged 17 having consensual sex with someone aged 15 and a half and someone aged 45 having sex with a 6 year old. I agree with that, of course there is. Three things though:

1) The law already recognises the difference between thse crimes. Both remain crimes but the latter incurs much more serious penalties under UK law.

2) He's suggesting the law should be changed for GIRLS from 13 up. Surely if a girl is capable of binding consent at age 13, so is a boy of the same age. There are countries in the world where the age of consent is different for boys and girls. I think that's a bad idea. I think that's sending out a message that the sexes should have different concepts of sex. And that's unhelpful.

3) He's talking about relaxing the law for men who have sex with girls from 13 up. If he means to relax the law for men and women who have sex with girls and boys from 13 up then I'm prepared to talk. However if he's relaxing the law the I think there a good case for allowing it to be applied up to a higher age limit. Say 15 to 18 year olds can have sex with someone up to five years older than them, no more. Personally I think the law is better as it is but there may be a case to be made there.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Iceman said...

"There are countries in the world where the age of consent is different for boys and girls. I think that's a bad idea. I think that's sending out a message that the sexes should have different concepts of sex. And that's unhelpful."

Usually it's boys that have a lower age of consent. The implication is that a teenage boy who has sex with an older woman is really cool, while a teenage girl who chooses to have sex with an older man is being taken advantage of and isn't capable of freely consenting.

"Say 15 to 18 year olds can have sex with someone up to five years older than them, no more."

The law in New York State is 18-year olds or over can't have sex with anyone under 14, 21-year olds or over can't have sex with anyone under 17, and then the penalties increase the younger the underage partner is. There's no difference in the law based on which gender is underage or if the sex is heterosexual or homosexual. I think the New York law is fair - I can't see what legitimate relationships are being barred by it.

"Personally I think the law is better as it is"

I think that it's ridiculous that a 16 or 17-year old could go to jail for having consensual sex with a 15-year old, and that definitely needs to be fixed (google "Marcus Dixon").

However, I agree with you that any change should be the same for both genders, and I definitely don't think it's okay, as he suggests, for people in their late 20's to pursue 13 and 14-year olds.

4:33 am  
Blogger Cruella said...

When I lived in France (not sure if this is still true) the age of consent was 15 for girls and 18 for boys. I was in that age range myself at the time and it really seemed to me that French girls thought it was normal to hang out with older guys - not that we didn't do the same in England, but it wasn't quite so normalised. Wherever you set the law someone will be a couple of days the wrong side of it. The New York policy sounds kinda reasonable in some ways. But then there are people who have very genuine loving relationships with big age gaps (actually Mr Cru is ten years older than me... sssh) and it strikes me as strange to be saying "what's the age difference?" and then deciding what's ok and what's not on that basis. I am more comfortable with there being an age below which you're just too young but I would be happy to have (as we already do) lesser punishments for younger offenders.

11:33 am  
Blogger Robert Jackman said...

Well what he was actually saying was that such men shouldn't be dubbed paeodophiles, and maybe they shouldn't - your 'slimeball' label seems to fit better.
But I totally agree with the point on how the discussion is only about men who have sex with girls. It seems the law may end up following the mysogynist 'it's the girls who ask for it by dressing like that route'...

Just uploaded the lads' mag comment by the way - it got quite a few comments in the uni newspaper.

Let me know what you think.

Oh, and I loved the ladsmag.blogspot.com - fantastic stuff

9:16 pm  

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