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.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Perhaps there should be a set point where the law takes an interest, but then it should be reviewed by humans to prevent the sort of travesty where someone turns 18 and felon for something that wasn't a "crime" the day before. Some sort of committee consisting of psychologists, for example, and with better tools than sending someone to prison and making them registered sex offenders for the rest of their lives. For example, a restaining order effective till both parties become legal adults. They should be able to examine evidence of the case. Was the older party engaging in grooming and seduction, for example.
The system as it exists now would be ridiculous if it weren't horrific.
I think we both agree that something should be done to prevent travesties such as this, but at least here in the States, with its patchwork quilt of State's Rights laws, I don't see how it would ever be possible to come up with anything that would be uniformly applied, unless it involved Federal law.
One of those rare cases where we totally agree.
Then clearly, I must be wrong.
We do infantiize our children. We have convinced ourselves that children are very fragile, whereas the evidence one sees by looking elsewhere in the world shows us that children are very resilient and capable of acting like adults given the chance and the social expectations.
Rubbish. Absolute rubbish. Believing that is just what helps you sleep better at night.
Resilient and capable of living as healthy adults are two completely different things.
Every traumatized adult only got to be an adult because they were resilient. Doesn't help the psyche very much later on though. Resilience isnt a cure all. Resilience is over rated, all it means is that the person is able to maintain survival mode. and thats not good.
We set our children up to be traumatized. It's cultural and largely based on sheltering them from some of the realities of life. For example, back in the cave days, do you really think children were traumatized by witnessing a mastodon hunt, followed by the cutting up and cooking? Probably no more than a modern child seeing strawberries being picked and cooked into jam.
There's also the likelihood that their moms had sex on the bearskin rug right next to them, and they would have grown up realizing that sex is normal and natural, and everybody does it, rather than believing that some invisible sky fairy created them with interlocking parts and then forbade them to use them, except under special conditions. Ah, those were the days --
"We set our children up to be traumatized."
I cant think of one animal apart from humans that deliberately traumatizes its own offspring. Would an animal commit abuses like Munchausen by proxy. Or would a lion kidnap it own cub and imprison it to use as its own personal sex slave?
"For example, back in the cave days, do you really think children were traumatized by witnessing a mastodon hunt, followed by the cutting up and cooking?"
Possibly - I'm thinking that the children didnt witness the hunts because they didn't go on them. I haven't thought about this very much but I guess we see tribal life now and those kids see elephant being butchered.
A woman named Chris Sizemore developed severe disorders when, as a girl, she witnessed a sawmill accident and witnessed a man being sawn in half. I think that her dad who was a sadistic Dentist also had something to do with it because he used drills on her in unusual ways.
Clarise Starling from Silence of the Lambs was traumatized when she found out the lambs were being slaughtered.
If a child who witnesses some horrific event is able to process that trauma via a appropriate means - then often, the child wont stay traumatized.. If the child is unable to process the event and numbs it out of his mind - the event never becomes processed and the child stays traumatized. So that might be why a whole lot of kids are able to move on and why others arent.
"RE: "children are very resilient" - I've often heard that from people who have no children, but if children are so resilient, why do we have children killing children?"
Thats right - those are the kids that were traumatized repeately, usually by a person who is also a caregiver. Kids who get fed by the person who is also sadistically abusing them come out the worst. They are the one who often end up killing others.
Hardened prisoners are resilient. Psychotic mental cases are resilient. They are survivors but at what cost? Their lives are ruined by it. if they could somehow market their resilience then they would be rich.
I'm really interested to hear about Ariel Castro's daughter and how she survived.
i feel like I've gone way off topic - my apologies
Here is a link to something on topic - This teacher was sentenced yesterday. When I heard about it it made me think of this post Unseen...
In a victim impact statement previously read to the court, the former student – (who was 14 at the time) now 43 – said the teacher infiltrated her life to take advantage of her.
Teacher dodges jail for 'gift from God' affair with Year 9 student
Analogies from animals are always risky. Birds allow the stronger offspring to harass and even kill the weaker siblings, who frequently are shouldered out of the nest. The mother bird turns a blind eye,
Bottlenose dolphins, mustached tamarins, are known to kill their young. There are other examples in this interesting NY Times article.
All the human examples you gave are from Western culture, which as I have said infantilizes its children, setting them up to be traumatized. Kids in other cultures seem far more capable of dealing with life.
Kids in tribal situations often do participate in hunts, perhaps not for big game but certainly for smaller game until they are in their early teens. Then they grow up to be normal adults. The difference, less protective and paranoid parents who aren't covering their kids' eyes convincing them that something bad or "not for children" is going on.
We want children who need us to protect them so we create children who need us to protect them.
RE: "children are very resilient" - I've often heard that from people who have no children, but if children are so resilient, why do we have children killing children?