Age of Consent for sexual contact

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Age of Consent for sexual contact

There is a debate about various religious figures of ancient and modern history sexually abusing children and young adults.
Various justifications have been offered and arguments put forward that unless a firm premise regarding age of consent to sexual penetration is put forward and justified then the position of the the historical abuser must be accepted as moral.

In light of the recent Royal commissions into Institutional Abuse in Australia, exposures of several Christian mainstream divisions (notably Catholic) of actual pedophile rings and cover ups, their penchant for abusing pre pubertal small boys , Josiah Smiths recorded liking for multiple encounters with young girls, Mohammed's marital rape of Aisha at 9 years old:

What are the forum members views on an appropriate age for informed sexual consent?

(Edited for punctuation )

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TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
I would say that at an age in

I would say that at an age in which the female can carry the child physically without permanently damaging her body,should she fall pregnant after engaging in the act.

17-18 Would be the sensible age to look at, in which the body has reached a good level, But given the nature of teenagers to explore and experiment, especially sexually, then perhaps 16 is reasonable too.

9 years is disgusting and barbaric, and personally I would say any acts in which someone takes advantage of a minorshould at the very least carry a mandatory life sentence in prison.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
That's a good point. Puberty

That's a good point. Puberty may mean the reproductive system is ready, but doesn't imply the rest of the body is.

arakish's picture
Virtually all persons mature

Virtually all persons mature faster physically than mentally. I have known some persons that should never have children because they just never mature.

My wife and I had our twin daughters when I was 22 and she was 20.

If I were to give an answer, I would have to say 18.


LogicFTW's picture
Age of consent. tricky topic,

Age of consent. tricky topic, we all have our own opinions. We can try and base some of it on scientific and medical fact, like brain and body development milestones. But even those are vague, and to apply generic milestones to people that can vary a lot, inevitably causes a lot of issues.

I know at ages 16-20 I most certainly was not ready for the responsibility of being a father if that were to happen after engaging in "consensual sex,' but I know other people that made great moms and dads at ages as young as 16.

I actually for once think that the US state laws on age of consent is the best compromise in a very subjective field. (Age of consent in the states range mostly from 16-18, with those under 18 having age difference restrictions.)

mykcob4's picture
I think the minimum age for

I think the minimum age for consensual sex should be no younger than 18! I also think that there should be a 10-year window for the participants if the man is 33, the youngest girl he could have a sexual relationship with would be 23. I know that sounds harsh but really does a man or women that is 40 need to be with a 20-year-old? I would bet that there is a serious mental problem there if they do!

CyberLN's picture
Concerning your last two

Concerning your last two sentences, I disagree and think you’re painting with far too broad a brush.

mykcob4's picture

So what does a 40-year-old have in common with a 20-year-old that is actually sexual in nature?
I understand that people with that large of a time span between them can have some things in common even of the same interest, but how is that sexual or should it be. I loved my grandmother but I wouldn't fuck her! Or any of her friends!
There is something seriously wrong if you want to have sex AND ACT ON IT with someone 10 years younger than you or more! Daddy issues, mommy issues, grandpa issues, grandma issues, something is wrong!

LogicFTW's picture
Yes and no. (In my opinion.)

Yes and no. (In my opinion.) Biologically, men tend to be attracted to females that are most likely to bear them healthy offspring, and women biologically tend to get attracted to men that are likely to provide for them. Young women are more likely to bear healthy offspring, and wealthy individuals are more likely to be able to provide for their partner better.

Obviously it is more complex than that, especially as we humans try to rise above our base desires and instincts.

Me for instance, I cannot stand nearly all college age girls (18-22) and would never want to date them, but I would be lying if I did not say I find some of them attractive in a purely physical way. Fortunately for me I can easily overcome my baser instinct, and instead find myself a much more appropriate mate that I can enjoy their company in many ways beyond the purely physical/biological attraction.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
If a 40 year old can get a 20

If a 40 year old can get a 20 year old, I say more power to them.

mykcob4's picture
That's stupid Breezy. I'm 60

That's stupid Breezy. I'm 60 and I can get a 20 year old it isn't that difficult!

Sheldon's picture
Get? What an unfortunate

Get? What an unfortunate choice of phrase. The legal age of consent, like all laws has to be workable, and a balance must be struck between protecting young people from exploitation, and avoiding criminalising people unjustly. I do think that someone in their forties having a relationship with someone in their teens can be exploitative, but I find the idea we'd criminalise personal relationships between adults a step too far. Something can be legal, but still be immoral IMHO. The most important thing is to educate children so they are able to make informed decisions based on the facts, and protect themselves not just from exploitative relationships, but from STD's and unwanted pregnancies. As with most moral dichotomies absolutes are seldom helpful, and the age of consent should be to protect young people from exploitation and abuse, not to criminalise them.

LogicFTW's picture
Or serious cash on the part

Or serious cash on the part of the older one.

While I too agree to some sort of age difference limit on principal, I know that is purely opinion on my part, and would never force my opinion on others.

To the 20 year old that marries an 80 year old billionaire, I almost have a certain amount of respect for it. The person can hold back their gag reflex for a few quick romps in the bed, (maybe!) plus spend a little time around the person in exchange for many millions of dollars when the person likely croaks a few years later or divorce proceedings? Then have the financial freedom to do whatever you want for the rest of your life? Obviously to some that seems like a more than reasonable trade.

Plus it makes me smile a bit on how it shits all over the religious sanctimony of marriage. (Or point out the flaws in it when it is embraced by the church/religion.)

XyberEX's picture
Considering the general

Considering the general consensus of the age of consent is to be sure that the person getting into it has all the facts and is mature enough mentally to handle it, then I stay firm on the age of 18. If you're old enough to vote and die for your country, then you should also be old enough to smoke, gamble and fuck.

Though if we're going to be hard-line on the sake of mental development, then I would argue (and it would be very unpopular) that the age of consent on that basis would need to go up to about 25.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
So no one here is advocating

So no one here is advocating the suitability of a 52 year old man having sex, bathing with and publicly fondling a nine year old child?
I.6 billion people seem to think it is quite acceptable. In fact they legislate for it in some regions. Then some adherents appear on these forums claiming an objective morality.

Personally I think Australian law (in WA) has it about right, sexual exploration between minors is frowned upon but not prosecuted.

Here is our exact legislation

"Consensual sex is when both parties are of legal age, agree to engage in intercourse by choice, and have the freedom and capacity to make that choice. This means agreeing to sexual relations without fear, coercion, force or intimidation. Giving consent is active, not passive. It means freely choosing to say ‘yes’ and also being free to change your mind at any time.

In Western Australia, the legal age for males and females to consent to sexual activity is 16 years of age. If you have sex with someone who is under 16 years of age it is a crime.

It is also a crime to have a sexual relationship with someone under 18 years of age if you have a relationship of authority with them, for example, you are their teacher or employer, pastor or relative.

If someone is not able to give consent to sex, regardless of their age, it is a crime to have a sexual relationship with them."

The workplace legislation is even tougher as the "balance of probability" principle rather than the criminal "beyond reasonable doubt" yardstick is applied.
Effectively in Western Australia don't be putting your hands or any part of your body anywhere it is unwelcome. If you are in a position of authority dont even be talking about it.

I like our laws in this instance.

algebe's picture
Old Man shouts:

Old Man shouts:

The Australian approach seems very reasonable, but I think there also needs to be a proviso about mental age to protect the mentally handicapped from exploitation.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Algebe

@ Algebe
Not specifically but the wording is "capable of informed consent" there's been a few cases involving intellectually and physically challenged, that have firmly established the criteria in WA at least.
In addition there are precedents regarding power imbalance which have established 'reasonable' age differences and other scenarios.

Effectively if it happened now in WA? Mohammed would never see outside a prison.

Sushisnake's picture
There sort of already is. It

There sort of already is, at least in Queensland, Australia and I imagine the other states, too. It's illegal for someone who doesn't have an intellectual disability to have an intimate relationship with someone who does. I'm not sure how old the law is- I've never looked- but perhaps it came in around the time Colleen McCulloch wrote 'Tim' . Maybe she saw a flaw and wrote the book. I used to work with a support worker whose husband had a mild intellectual disability. The fact that her marriage was technically illegal tickled her.

Sky Pilot's picture
The Jewish Babylonian Talmud

The Jewish Babylonian Talmud says that three years and a day is perfect. That's more conservative than the group that says two years and a day should be the standard. In America it was 7 years in 1895. Before that there was no minimum age, especially during slavery. Today it's 12 in some States.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Diotrephes

@ Diotrephes

So are you supporting the 3 years and a day?
The 12 years old for marriage or just bashing saucepan lids?

Sky Pilot's picture
Old man shouts ...

Old man shouts ...

Some people keep yapping about what a desert Arab did in the early 7th Century. I'm just pointing out that some people think that it's perfectly OK to rape babies. They wrote it in their holy book. There's a lot of other links, this is just one.

And, as I've written numerous times the age of consent in America was 7 in 1895.

And today girls can get married in the US at 12 (or even younger).

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Diotrephes

@ Diotrephes

And so what?
Are you in favour of these propositions? Do you have a comment to make against them or for them? That is the purpose of this OP to get opinions.

In Victorian and Edwardian England it was thought fucking a prepubertal girl virgin was a sure cure for syphilis...I think that is morally indefensible. Do you?

Sky Pilot's picture
Old man shouts ...,

Old man shouts ...,

Of course I think such an act would be morally indefensible in 2018 America. But as I have pointed out people in earlier times in other cultures had their own codes of conduct. The Bible has several stories saying that baby raping was Yahweh approved. The Jewish rabbis wrote whole essays telling people how to do it. Just 123 years ago here in America it was perfectly legal to have sex with 7 year olds.

The thing that pisses me off is that people continue to whine about what some 7th Century desert Arab did to a 9 year old girl while ignoring what people did to their own grandparents and great grandparents when they were 7 or younger just 120 years ago.

As the Yeshua character supposedly said, remove the plank from your own eye before worrying about the speck in someone else's eye.

Sushisnake's picture
Got you, and how little

Got you, and how little people know about their own history makes me want to break things, too. But the difference is we're not claiming our grandparents and great grandparents were morally flawless perfect human beings, Dio. Islam makes that claim for its Prophet.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Diotrephes

@ Diotrephes

Thank you for the clarification. However if there is an objective morality then the standard you illustrate should still be observed as its of 'divine' origin.

Therefore any argument of objective divine morality, unchanging and just must fail.

That my great grandad x 12 kidnapped and married a 15 year old doesn't make me peadophile apologist.
My defence of anyone considering that a model for behaviour in 2018 would make me immoral.

Now do you understand? Nobody is 'whining' except those that consider the rape of a three year old or the rape of a nine year old as a decent standard of behaviour and a objectively moral thing to do.

Simples really.

LogicFTW's picture
It is a bit scary to think

It is a bit scary to think that for all of us, going back enough generations, that somewhere in our parent lineage we were all very likely the product, (through parent generations) of what we would consider rape of a minor today.

I do have to applaud the progress we made since the days that many of the text most major religions in the world today were written. Pretty ridiculous however, that so many people still consider those ancient writings has some sort of divine code they should follow and live by.

The above point alone should be more than enough to have everyone abandon their ancient bronze age religions. And it is only one of many MANY compelling points.

Sheldon's picture
You'd think a deity that used

You'd think a deity that used 4 different commandments from ten to insist how it wanted the saccharine worship of it's pets could have used at least one to condemn child abuse, but noooo, eating shellfish is immoral, as is wearing blended fabrics, but not one word about raping children.

To paraphrase Pink Floyd "Oi Preacher, leave them kids alone"

arakish's picture
In my honest opinion, I still

In my honest opinion, I still think it is reprehensible for anyone to have sex with a child regardless of what the codes of conduct were in ANY time period.

Diotrephes: The thing that pisses me off is that people continue to whine about what some 7th Century desert Arab did to a 9 year old girl while ignoring what people did to their own grandparents and great grandparents when they were 7 or younger just 120 years ago.

And I apologize if my "whining" about it pisses you off. I could care less if it does piss you off. I shall always hold my moral concepts above all else. Even if the past allowed such shit to occur. It is still shit. And if I should ever find one lacking, then I shall change it.

Just because Codes of Conduct in the past may have been acceptable then, does not mean I cannot "whine" about it today, and say that those people in the past were of a more reprobate mind than I am today.

So, if it pisses anyone off for me to "whine" about it, resilient feces.


Mithridates's picture
This may be unpopular but I'm

This may be unpopular but I'm a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet laws to be attached with age of consent so that teen's aren't registered as Sex offenders, thus ruining the rest of there lives. Also there needs to be a complete overhaul of technologically based consent laws such as having nude pictures. In a lot of US states this is harsher for minor couples legally than actual physical intercourse.
To be honest I think this is a more prevalent problem here in the US than religious pedophilia, which should be punished harshly.
Cheers from a concerned member of society

LogicFTW's picture
There already are lots of

There already are lots of laws in place that ensures teens are not registered as sex offenders just for having consensual sex as long as if they are having sex with some only slightly under their age. (0-2 years max age difference varying state to state. All though some states have minimum ages where it is always a sex offence by a minor.

You can thank pedopiles, bullying on the net, and the porn industry(capitalism/greed) for always having no nude and is pornographic in nature pictures of minors laws.

In a perfect world, 2 consenting individuals that can understand the implications of nude photographs, should be allowed.

Instead, allowing nude photographs of minors fuels underage exploitation, and allowing teens to have nude photos of under age teens creates a legal loophole that would be exploited greatly undermining the broader under age pornography laws.

Mithridates's picture
I'll be honest here when I

I'll be honest here when I say that I know multiple nice hardworking people who can't live within 2,000 feet of a school through making idiotic mistakes with consenting people just a few years younger than they were. The whole thing is that young people will have intercourse and send these images and such actions can and often do ruin there lives. You can't get a good job as a registered Sex Offender, have restrictions on home ownership and driving privileges in some states, and have a stigma which the rest of society will judge you by for the rest of your life. This in my opinion is far worse than vague possible loopholes to crimes for which you can almost always come up with another, almost equally as damning charge. The picture laws in most states are insanely harsh, in NC you can have a felony child pornography charge leveled against you if you have nude pictures or have received them at any time in the past. Even if the other person is above the age of consent (16), or even more idiotically if it's a picture of yourself. I'm not excusing stupidity, but that is way to unjust to be allowed to continue.


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