After all, we think a 14 year old should be in control of her body enough to decide on her own to have an abortion, so why isn't she old enough to consent to sex?
I'm thinking about this because of a case that's in the news today:
Kaitlyn Hunt, or “Kate,” has just refused a plea deal in a case that has focused the nation on discriminatory prosecutions and ways in which LGBT people are treated differently by some prosecutors. Kate Hunt, a high school senior who began a consensual relationship with a classmate three years her junior, when she was 17, was arrested when she turned 18 after her girlfriend’s parents demanded her arrest and expulsion from school.
The Florida prosecutor, Brian Workman, offered her a deal vastly different from those generally offered to teens in her situation engaged in opposite-sex consensual relationships. Instead of offering her a misdemeanor charge Hunt is being charged with two felonies. Her plea deal would include her being forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life, no possibility of her case being overturned or records sealed, and forced to serve two years’ house arrest.
“Hunt will appear in court June 20, and could face 15 years in prison if convicted... (source)
I'm curious what your thoughts are on the question in the subject line as well as on this case.
Short answer: because our system is messed up and the sexually repressed do everything they can to block good sex education and intelligent legal reform (of laws regarding sex).
"A 14 or even 13-year-old can not consent to sex but will be tried as an adult for a felony.
No one gives the teen a psychological exam to verify that they were capable of making adult decisions as of the time of the crime."
Crime doesnt require adult decision making because children at the age of 14 or 13 know the difference between right and wrong. Even a 10 year old knows that its wrong to steal or assault someone. They should be tried as an adult but I think the penalties would be less severe.
RE: "No one gives the teen a psychological exam to verify that they were capable of making adult decisions as of the time of the crime." - also, when it comes right down to it, a lot of those well above that age would also not likely pass such an exam.
A 6-year-old usually knows that it is wrong to steal or hurt someone. Are you suggesting that no matter how young someone is, if they understand right from wrong they should be tried as an adult - just a sliding scale of penalties?
@Ward - yes in a way but I think that age 10 is the cut off at the moment. Children younger than that would fall into a different catagory. Its not a bad idea though to scare the bejeezuz out of some kids by a man wielding a big stick. A sliding scale of penalties is a good way to put it.
@ Angela Evangelia;
" Its not a bad idea though to scare the bejeezuz out of some kids by a man wielding a big stick."
Makes as much sense as:
Its not a bad idea though to scare the bejeezuz out of some bitch by a man wielding a big dick.
The strong beating the weak to impose their will has NEVER been a good idea. Threatening to strike a child with a stick is Assault in all 50 States, striking the child adds Battery to the charge.
"...I think that age 10 is the cut off at the moment."
Categorizing by chronological age isn't a very good measure of cognitive ability.
My own daughter when tested at age 7 was found to process thought at the same level as the average senior in high school.
"A sliding scale of penalties is a good way to put it."
I agree, we as a society would do a better job protecting our children from sexual predators by using a graduated system of punishment based on the difference in age then a line in the sand chronological age basis.
Education would also go a long way in the proper direction, but alas our school system is downright POOR at education.
Gregg, general statements are generally ill-informed, as is your alas our school system is downright POOR at education.
Twenty years ago I was tutoring algebra to high school kids who were not keeping up with their peers. These kids were doing math (set theory) I didn't see until I was in college earning a BA in math. They were also doing about half of their problems in metric units, which again I didn't see until I was in college.
And today? Today it's a big problem, especially for public universities, to teach incoming freshmen math and language skills they should have learned in high school. They need to be brought up to speed before they can even take freshman courses.
Gregg, RE: "Threatening to strike a child with a stick is Assault in all 50 States, striking the child adds Battery to the charge." - I wish that were true, my Neanderthal son-in-law has been beating my grandson with a 1-inch thick, 2 1/2-ft. long paddle, in which he has carved a convenient handle, for several years - I've stolen two of these, he keeps making more.
In a sense, that's the bad thing about State's Rights, it results in a hodgepodge of differing laws. Kansas City, for example, has a state line running right through it, and what is legal on one side of the street, may be illegal on the other.
Wow Ward, that's a very interesting concept and I appreciate your sharing it. All sorts of loopholes spring to mind, of course. If such a system were to be feasible, I have no idea what safeguards would be needed. How would you manage the 25 year old who doesn't quite squeeze up to the mark? How about the 33 year old?
Would you be technically denying adults (18 years is imagined internationally as the adult marker) rights they ought to have? Maybe it should just apply to under 25's, and at 25 you automatically get adulthood.
That's so "out there", it's fascinating.