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Thread: Changing Statutory Rape laws?

  1. #1
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    Changing Statutory Rape laws?

    Should a 3 year limit be added to statutory rape laws, in order to prevent the criminalization of an 18 year old having sex with his 17 year old girlfriend? I believe Texas is the only state with this law in place, and it seems like an excellent law.

    This seems very reasonable to me, because making criminals out of two consenting people with a very small age gap goes against the spirit of Statutory rape laws, which are designed to protect older people from taking advantage of younger people. What do you think?
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    I think it's a great law. I have a friend who slept with a fifteen year old girl (he was 18 at the time), then they broke up and her family tried to fine him with statutory rape. He actually had to hide in a friends house for a couple days. I know for a fact he didn't rape her, they remained a couple for a while and they seemed relatively happy.
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    Why not just lower the age of consent to 14

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    Quote Originally Posted by josephdphillips View Post
    Why not just lower the age of consent to 14
    Because if a fourteen year old has consensual sex with an older person, then no harm can come of it, but if a fourteen year old girl is raped, then the attacker can be charged with statutory rape rather than just ordinary rape. In my personal opinion, raping a fourteen year old girl is worse than raping a thirty year old woman.
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    Quote Originally Posted by COBHC View Post
    Because if a fourteen year old has consensual sex with an older person, then no harm can come of it
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by COBHC View Post
    if a fourteen year old girl is raped, then the attacker can be charged with statutory rape rather than just ordinary rape.
    What?

    Rape is rape. It's sex without consent. I don't understand your distinction.

    Quote Originally Posted by COBHC View Post
    In my personal opinion, raping a fourteen year old girl is worse than raping a thirty year old woman.
    Why? Rape is rape. Why reward people who rape 30 year old victims?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by josephdphillips View Post
    What?

    Rape is rape. It's sex without consent. I don't understand your distinction.

    Why? Rape is rape. Why reward people who rape 30 year old victims?
    Theft is theft. Why punish someone who steals $50,000,000 worse than someone who steals a candy bar? Adolescent victims take more psychological damage from a rape than an older victim.
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    Quote Originally Posted by COBHC View Post
    Adolescent victims take more psychological damage from a rape than an older victim.
    We know this how?

    Do you understand what statutory rape is?

    She consented but didn't have the right to consent because of her youth.

    Where's the psychological damage?

    Rape is not rape afterall.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by COBHC View Post
    Adolescent victims take more psychological damage from a rape than an older victim.
    Says who? What exactly is psychological "damage?" Where is it illegal to cause psychological "damage?"

    The analogy isn't apt. Theft of property is quantifiable. Psychological "damage" is not.

    In any case, you're telling an adult that her rape isn't as important in the eyes of the state as the rape of another. That's not the kind of society I want for me and mine.

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    Good point. We don't call it statutory rape in California. It's not even a felony.

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    Old argument for me on this board, really. As in earlier threads, I'm sticking with my position, that:
    A) claiming that rape of a minor is worse than an adult is unfair, as the suffereing and consequences are not so different (it's just our protectiveness towards children that makes us extra sensitive) and that automatically considering adult rape as less traumatic is a serious dissservice to the adult rape victims.
    and
    B) rape should always be considered primarily from the view of consent. If consent is given, the act should not be prosecuted. Which would lead to VERY RARE cases when an actual consensual relationship would be left alone. I'm quite fine with the "reverse burden of proof" being applied to such cases, though.

  11. #11
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    I think statutory rape laws should be changed. Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the US, impregnated a 15 year old girl when he was in his forties. John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, married a 16 year old girl when he was in his thirties. James Madison, 4th President of the US, dated a 15 year old girl when he was in his thirties. I have a hard time believing that girls of that age back then were more ready for sexual relations than they are today. In fact, the opposite is probably true. I notice in discussions with people about the topic that some people make no distinction between statutory rape and forcible rape. To them the distinction doesn't matter and someone who had an intimate relationship with a 16 or 17 year deserves to be just as harshly punished as someone who raped another person at knife point. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
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  12. #12
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    history and age differences

    I think it is already common for there to be laws decriminalizing the act when the parties are nearly the same age.

    We all know that throughout history the factors behind allowing sexual intercourse were fertility, authority and economics.

    Fertile? OK.
    Parents consent? That helps.
    Man can support? Usually a factor.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Ovid View Post
    I think it is already common for there to be laws decriminalizing the act when the parties are nearly the same age.

    We all know that throughout history the factors behind allowing sexual intercourse were fertility, authority and economics.

    Fertile? OK.
    Parents consent? That helps.
    Man can support? Usually a factor.
    Actually, there's not (except in Texas). From the research I've done it's at least a misdemeanor almost everywhere in the US.
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  14. #14
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    Er, just one thing: often acts are not decriminalized because there is no need as the age of the "perpetrator" already protects them from the sanction. IE, if children are not subject to criminal law, there's no need to offer an exception.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iuris View Post
    Er, just one thing: often acts are not decriminalized because there is no need as the age of the "perpetrator" already protects them from the sanction. IE, if children are not subject to criminal law, there's no need to offer an exception.
    Where, exactly, did you get the idea that children are not subject to criminal law?
    "They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it's worked for over 200 years, and [heck], we're not using it anymore."
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