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ErniePringle
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30 Dec 2010, 8:03 am

Why are there laws against paedophilia? The fact that the age of consent differs from country to country, and even from state to state, plainly demonstrates that youth and maturity are mere social constructs used to maintain the status quo.

A person of 15 might in fact be more mature than another person of 17. Say then that these two people were both in relationships with 19 year olds, and say that the age of consent was 16. Then the law might unfairly damage the relationship of the 15 year old while doing nothing to prevent the 17 year old from being exploited.

And then there is the culturally supremacist aspect. The age of consent in America and in other western countries is typically 16 or 17. But in China and Sierra Leone for example it is 14. This is simply sending out a thinly-disguised message that certain practices and by extension certain people (eg, people with too much melanin in their skin or with funny-shaped eyes) are not welcome here.

I am not saying that I have sexual relations with young teens myself, but I think you can see my point.



MasterJedi
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30 Dec 2010, 8:11 am

ErniePringle wrote:
but I think you can see my point.


No, I don't think I do.

I'm not a mod but I think it's best you go to another board.


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alicedress
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30 Dec 2010, 8:29 am

I think you're getting ephebophilia mixed up with pedophilia.



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30 Dec 2010, 8:51 am

Actually, I am not sure that the relativity of laws necessarily shows that the law is a fake thing. Rather, the differences in the age of consent really show the different ages different societies show for adulthood. Is adulthood an entirely false construct? No, because we know that newborns are not capable of taking responsibility or consenting, but we know that at some point this happens. Now, these lines are somewhat arbitrary, but not entirely so given that the structure of many of these societies is such that adulthood does not effectually begin in practice until a certain age(due to y'know, high school in the US). Even further, an arbitrary line is not a non-existent or meaningless line. Just because it is imperfect does not mean the regulation is meaningless. (After all if 15 year olds are MORE LIKELY to be exploited than 17 year olds, then the law still has value, and you rejected a one-to-one correspondence between age and maturity, not a correlation, while all that is needed for efficacy is correlation, as one-to-one relations are rare)

As well, I don't think nations usually consider other nations *that much* when deciding the age of consent. Especially not nations they don't have major cultural/economic ties with. I don't think the idea is actually a "subtle message" at all. I don't even think we consider these people when setting the age of consent.



zer0netgain
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30 Dec 2010, 8:52 am

There is a difference between pedophilia and statutory rape.

The first involves sex with a child...often without consent.

The later involves sex with a minor, often with consent.

Cultural differences aside, the issue is that someone under the age of majority (typically 18 ) lacks the "maturity" to understand what they are being asked to consent to (with all the potential consequences that might emerge). So, a line is drawn that says, "If you're over 18, sex with someone under 18 is off-limits." Heck, even at 18, a lot of people are still impressionable enough to be emotionally coerced into consenting to something they really don't want.

Frankly, to not be able to wait until someone reaches 18 indicates to me something isn't right. So I find the rule to make some sort of sense.

Arguably a child as young as 12 can consent to sex and know what they are getting into, but society says that most youth of that age do not have the maturity to know what they are getting into and must be protected against ADULTS (it's legal for underage kids to have consensual relations with each other) who take interest in people that young.



Last edited by zer0netgain on 30 Dec 2010, 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

pandabear
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30 Dec 2010, 9:00 am

Pedophilia does not necessarily mean sex with a child--only having an interest in sex with children, or being turned on sexually by ideas involving children. Hence, having images of nude children is illegal.



aspi-rant
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30 Dec 2010, 9:05 am

alicedress wrote:
I think you're getting ephebophilia mixed up with pedophilia.


QFT



aspi-rant
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30 Dec 2010, 9:07 am

pandabear wrote:
Pedophilia does not necessarily mean sex with a child--only having an interest in sex with children, or being turned on sexually by ideas involving children. Hence, having images of nude children is illegal.


in denmark that is absolutely not illegal.

child pornography is illegal.

nudity is not pornography... that is obviously only so in the USA which has a million or so double standards of morale.



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30 Dec 2010, 10:13 am

It is noteworthy that there are certain behaviors - among them theft, murder, rape - which are close enough to universally [I always doubt sweeping universals] condemned in human societies.

The range of behaviors so condemned varies, as do the precise definitions. In a given society, it might not count as murder if you kill a child molester. When institutionalized laws come in, you will normally expect significant variation, so that in the US legal definitions and sanctions vary from state to state.

The fact that different jurisdictions define murder or hate speech or paedophilia differently does not provide evidence for subjective morality.



MasterJedi
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30 Dec 2010, 10:19 am

aspi-rant wrote:
pandabear wrote:
Pedophilia does not necessarily mean sex with a child--only having an interest in sex with children, or being turned on sexually by ideas involving children. Hence, having images of nude children is illegal.


in denmark that is absolutely not illegal.

child pornography is illegal.

nudity is not pornography... that is obviously only so in the USA which has a million or so double standards of morale.


you know, in America, we can just walk up to someone and shoot them in the head without getting into any kind of trouble. The person's family wouldn't mind either because as everyone know, Americans are just airless, knuckle-dragging apes.


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ErniePringle
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30 Dec 2010, 10:21 am

MasterJedi wrote:
ErniePringle wrote:
but I think you can see my point.


No, I don't think I do.

I'm not a mod but I think it's best you go to another board.


You just cannot counter the logic of my argument!



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30 Dec 2010, 10:33 am

^^^^

AG has already done that.


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skafather84
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30 Dec 2010, 10:33 am

Such laws are important but I have to wonder if the way ours is set up is better or if the general consensus from Europe is better. Europe is more around 15/16 whereas much of the US is 17/18. But Europe also seems to have less hangups about sex and the US is much more uptight about sexuality in general.


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30 Dec 2010, 1:29 pm

Let's start from first principles:

Battery--an unwanted touching--is malum in se. I do not know of a legal system in which an unwanted touching is not proscribed through public law.

Many legal systems elevate particular types of battery to a higher degree--such as those which cause significant or lasting harm, or those which are motivated by a sexual purpose on the part of the person committing the battery.

Generally speaking, consent is a perfect (i.e. complete) defence to an accusation of battery. However, when is a person capable of forming an intention to consent, and communicating that consent? Can a consent, once given, be withdrawn? These are issues that are resolved in different ways by different societies. There is no single answer to these questions, even within a single jurisdiction.

But the law must be seen to be universal, objective and transparent. So while one person of age fourteen might be perfectly understanding of the act that he wants to engage in with another person, another peron of nineteen might be unclear about the consequences of his decision. The law cannot be vague about these things, so a line is drawn. Such lines are, perforce, arbitrary, and there will always be children younger than the age of consent who are capable of forming a meaningful consent, and people older than the age of consent who continue to lack that capacity.

But the basic principle that the coercive force of the state can legitimately be brought to bear upon people for the purpose of protecting children and young people is, to my mine, a sound one. The fact that we have a different age of consent in this country (16 generally, and 14 if the age difference between the two people is less than 3 years) than is other countries does not diminish the proper interest of the state in legislating in this area.


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30 Dec 2010, 3:36 pm

MasterJefi:

"you know, in America, we can just walk up to someone and shoot them in the head without getting into any kind of trouble. The person's family wouldn't mind either because as everyone know, Americans are just airless, knuckle-dragging apes."

Sarcasm? If not, tell me where you live so I can stay away.



MasterJedi
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30 Dec 2010, 3:38 pm

I know we have aspergers but damn.

Please tell me you didn't just spend an hour looking up "murder legality+US" on Google.


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Last edited by MasterJedi on 30 Dec 2010, 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.