Wednesday, February 08, 2006

On the age of Consent

So the Tories want to raise the age of consent from 14 to 16:
A key Conservative priority is to raise the age of protection from 14 to 16, with a "close in age" exemption, said Toews, adding: "We don't want to criminalize conduct between youths."

The change would mean criminal charges for adults who have sex with girls or boys aged 14 or 15. At the moment, having sex with a 14-year-old is legal in Canada, in contrast with jurisdictions such as Texas, where the age of consent is 17.
Okay: Any day where Canada is becoming more like Texas is a bad one. Ew.

Secondly: I wish I'd had another person to consent to sex with when I was 14. How are all these kids finding sexual partners this early in life? And more importantly, have young women started finding nerds sexy yet? I need hope for the next generation of bookish nerdy guys, after all.

(This is, of course, assuming that there actually is a lot of sex happening among young teens, and not just an example of media hysteria.)

But here's a serious question: If a 14 year old can consent to sex with a 15 year old - as they would be able to, with the "close in age" exception - what's the argument for raising the age of consent anyway? I mean, if I were 14 and could consent to sex with a 15 year old, wouldn't I be just as mentally competent to consent to sex with a 20-year old?

If we're saying that a 14 year old is competent to consent to sex at all, what's the argument on restricting what form that consent takes?

Looks to me like the Conservatives don't actually think this is about protecting 14 year olds. This is just one of many examples we'll see of the Conservatives using the law as a form of moral scolding.

Welcome to the Conservative government, Canada - anything you want to do, the government wants to know about it, and tell you why it's wrong.

(Bring on the trolls to tell me why I'm a pedophile.)

4 comments:

Mike said...

Of course, that same 14-year-old who is not mature enough to decide if having sex is right or wrong, is perfectly capable of being treated like an adult if the commit a crime. I believe is was our new justice minister that once considered that age should be 10.

These guys are complete hypocrites.

Jon Dursi said...

In fairness, the 20-something is in a much better position to manipulate the 14-yr-old into consenting to an act than a 15-yr-old is, in general.

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this; it's not like I'm going to go to the mat to fight for the right of 20 year olds to boink 14 year olds, but I'm deeply skeptical of a goverment whose highest priorities include criminalizing consentual sexual behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd like to see a MAX age limit on the male side if the gurl is 14. There's just something not right about a 45 year-old walkin down the street and he stops to kiss what looks like his daughter.

Westacular said...

In fairness, the 20-something is in a much better position to manipulate the 14-yr-old into consenting to an act than a 15-yr-old is, in general.

Which is why the age of consent is 18 for relationships where one party is in a position of trust/authority.