Why isn't a 14 year old girl old enough to consent to sex?

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.

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Laughs yes we do - we want to put our little squiggle of a signature on our surroundings. 

More than neat, Strega; it's a Multiple Cause and Multiple Effect universe. Dammit!

"There are consequences for everything."  You're worth your weight in gold. 

Did the two girls enjoy the time they spent together?

If they say they did then I have difficulty defining either a person or society as being hurt and if no harm is professed by either individual then where is the crime?

The crime was the older girl's having sexual relations with a girl more than three years younger.

Was it a character in a Charles Dickens story who said the law is an ass?

@Tom Sarbeck;

What you're describing is a law not a crime.

When did all you members of TA first have a sexual encounter? 

For a lot of us normal people it was before the legal age of majority (which varies from State to State), should we consider ourselves sexual deviates and voluntarily register as sexual offenders for the rest of our lives?

Teenage sexual activity takes place throughout the world it's a normal part of being human.

Filing felony charges is draconian, a relationship between two high schoolers is not criminal activity.

This is just prosecutorial misconduct, prosecutors have discretionary powers, which should have been exercised in this case.

Threatening a teenager with 15 years in prison for having consensual sex with another teenager just goes to show how fucked up this society truly is.

I agree, an arbitrary law combined with unthinking bureaucratic behavior made the 18-year-old's deed a crime. Her best hope of avoiding draconian punishment is a wise judge or an understanding jury.

I agree with your "Filing felony charges is draconian,...."

Your saying "a relationship between two high schoolers is not criminal activity" states an opinion I share but does not correctly state an arbitrary and capricious law.

Was it a Charles Dickens character who said the law is an ass?

The ass part is that she became a criminal on her 18th birthday.

Wrong, as usual U.

She became a criminal when, after her 18th birthday, she performed what, before that birthday, had been a non-criminal act.

The crime is in the minds of the people responsible for the law.

If the law is an ass, those people are the bigger asses.


Hi Tom

"Isn't projection taking something I dislike in myself and laying it on others?"

I think Its more about what we dont acknowledge or own about ourselves. I still find it tricky and dont completely understand it but they say we all do it and its normal.

Heres an example I saw once:

A Marriage Therapist might say to his female client ...

"I'd like you to tell me how you feel about me right now?"

That question might irritate her (which is what those questions are designed to do) and she might respond with ...

"What - I'm not here to play games you know"

(her response reveals that she plays games)

So - because she plays games - she is projecting her behaviour onto the therapist and then he gets a glimpse into how the she operates.

Thinking about projection too much gives me a headache.

I think you stated it well. I first encountered projection (by others, not by me) when, while precinct-walking in the days before an election, I heard people who'd recently moved into more expensive homes noisily attacking people who were living in the neighborhood they had left.

I saw their attacks as intended to prevent their falling back into the socio-economic class they had so recently departed.

At about the same time, the 1980s, gay men I knew were saying the now-deceased Jerry Falwell was attacking gays because he feared his own gay impulses. That's another instance of the projection I understand.

My parents were intensely pragmatic small business folk and I don't remember their projecting anything onto others.


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