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tridimity
Post  Post subject: Age of consent  |  Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:36 pm

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Recently in the UK a teacher, Jeremy Forrest, has been charged with child abduction and has been made to sign the sex offenders register as a result of sexual relations he had with a 15 year old pupil of his - and for travelling with her to France when it seemed likely that their secret relations were to be secret no longer:

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23004956

The evidence presented by the girl would seem to suggest that she did not wish to terminate the relationship either. Such an action though, is of course illegal in the UK, since the arbitrary cut-off age at which a person is deemed to be capable of giving informed consent is 16 years. There is also the obvious moral problem in that Mr. Forrest abused his position of trust as the girl's teacher. It strikes me though that the age of consent is entirely arbitrary. Individuals progress and develop physically, emotionally and intellectually at different rates. One 16 year old may be mature for their age and more than capable of making critical decisions that serve their own long term wellbeing. Others may develop more slowly and so can be described as having reached this state only by the age of 18 or 21 or whatever age it happens to be for them as a unique individual. Whilst I appreciate the pragmatism required in order to be able to efficiently enforce laws, it does seem that there is a window of opportunity there for acts which are not necessarily morally reprehensible,

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Last edited by tridimity on Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: Age of consent  |  Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:48 pm

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but which nevertheless are considered illegal. Mr. Forrest was unhappy in his marriage, the girl enjoyed the comfort provided by Mr. Forrest (emotional comfort which perhaps even her familial caregivers were neglecting to provide), and apparently each found value in their relationship - maybe even happiness. So why is their relationship considered so wrong? After all, the difference between a person on their last day of being 15 is no different to one who has turned 16 on that day - we do not overnight spontaneously develop the ability to make wise decisions. Another interesting fact: the press has repeatedly referred to their relations as 'sex sessions'. Is this arrogance not rather insulting? Were the media agencies there in the room? Do they know first-hand what each was experiencing? Are they categorically sure that it wasn't love? Just because a relationship does not last a lifetime does not mean that it was not based on love or that it was worthless. Reminds me of the way in which people at both extremes of age are treated as if they don't know what they are thinking or feeling or what is in their best interests. So patronising. The more white, middle class, middle aged and male you are - so it seems in this society - the more your opinions are worth something and the more your feelings are real. Kids fall in love too. Forrest and his pupil should have waited until she had reached the age of consent, and until he was no longer her teacher, and he should have divorced his wife and then they could find that blissful communion denied them by a judgmental society.

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seagypsy
Post  Post subject: Re: Age of consent  |  Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:21 am
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tridimity wrote:
Recently in the UK a teacher, Jeremy Forrest, has been charged with child abduction and has been made to sign the sex offenders register as a result of sexual relations he had with a 15 year old pupil of his - and for travelling with her to France when it seemed likely that their secret relations were to be secret no longer:

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23004956

The evidence presented by the girl would seem to suggest that she did not wish to terminate the relationship either. Such an action though, is of course illegal in the UK, since the arbitrary cut-off age at which a person is deemed to be capable of giving informed consent is 16 years. There is also the obvious moral problem in that Mr. Forrest abused his position of trust as the girl's teacher. It strikes me though that the age of consent is entirely arbitrary. Individuals progress and develop physically, emotionally and intellectually at different rates. One 16 year old may be mature for their age and more than capable of making critical decisions that serve their own long term wellbeing. Others may develop more slowly and so can be described as having reached this state only by the age of 18 or 21 or whatever age it happens to be for them as a unique individual. Whilst I appreciate the pragmatism required in order to be able to efficiently enforce laws, it does seem that there is a window of opportunity there for acts which are not necessarily morally reprehensible,


Im 37 and I'm still not sure I am capable of making a good informed decision for myself regarding who to be in a relationship with. I have high hopes that I haven't screwed up with Neverfly, but i obviously did with my first 2 husbands. And I was a legal adult when I met them. I agree, age is arbitrary. We should have to pass a psychological examination before getting into relationships and have our prospective mates screened through thorough background checks, criminal record checks, personal references, work history and medical exams. Oh and credit checks too.

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tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: Age of consent  |  Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:21 pm

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Quote:
seagypsy wrote:
I agree, age is arbitrary.


Exactly - in any relationship there is uncertainty. Each person in the relationship may or may not live up to the other person's expectations (and their own stated promises). There are all kinds of circumstances, for which we cannot completely prepare or wield personal control, and which may result in psychological or emotional discomfort. As such, each prospective partner should enter the relationship with a conscious awareness of said uncertainties and should be prepared to deal with whatever consequences may arise. Being able to do so requires a certain level of intellectual and emotional maturity - the crux of the debate is the age at which a person can be considered to have reached this stage - and how it can be demonstrated that a person has reached this stage. Having an arbitrary cut-off age is useful in order to be able to efficiently enforce laws - but it neglects the needs of those who mature earlier or later than the expected age.

Quote:
seagypsy wrote:
We should have to pass a psychological examination before getting into relationships and have our prospective mates screened through thorough background checks, criminal record checks, personal references, work history and medical exams. Oh and credit checks too.


Agreed - I have known one person who married young to a man who exploited her financially, took out credit jointly (but without her consent) and then left the country without warning, leaving her to pay off a substantial amount of debt.

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Ascended
Post  Post subject: Re: Age of consent  |  Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:40 pm
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This guy was unfortunately quite foolish, but I must admit when I think I saw he'd recieved a 5 and half year prison sentence I did think that extremely harsh. Many paedophiles & rapists don't even get that kind sentence. The proplem is many guys can take well into their 30's to mature, that's why throughout hishory tradionally men and have married younger women. Possibly why he got such a sentence was more about the breach of trust and the distrss caused to girls family.

They did also change law sometime ago meaning that although the consent law is still 16 in the UK those in positions of trust such as teachers or sports coachs ect..., could not enter into sexual relationships with people in their care under the age of 18. The government brought this law in to stop people in positions of power over young people from exploiting their postion for sexual gain.

There are also though many situations where younger girls are in sexual relationships with older guys that don't attract any police attention for the simple fact that the parents accept the relationship and don't complain, for example it's not uncommon to find 20 year old guys and 13 year old girls together and the parents accepting it.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Age of consent  |  Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:41 pm
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besides, nothing strokes a man's ego more than when a younger woman appears to find him attractive
it wouldn't be the first time (and it won't be the last) that men lose their heads under those circumstances

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