The government did a good thing today.
It rejected the logic of the libertine.
It remained conservative.
So did the opposition.
It rejected the call to lower the age of consent to 15.
This call was based on the spurious logic that , since in Europe the age of consent is-sometimes – lower, this is the causative factor in the lower rate of live births to teenage girls.
And who was making the call? A middle aged, white, man.
Well. I’d like to take him to task, ask him a few salient questions.
Do Dutch(for instance)children get better sex ed?
Do they have better access to contraception?
Do they have better access to abortion, and less stigma?
Do they live in a more equal society?
Are the boys, taught better?
Because if the answer to any of these questions is either ” that wasn’t in the study” or “yes” , then there’s your answer.
NOT putting little girls in the “sex market” at even younger ages.
In the UK, contrary to popular belief , there’s no such offence as “statutory rape”. There’s only “Unlawful Sex With a Minor” , or Rape.
One would hardly call a seventeen year old boy* sleeping with his fifteen year-and-ten months old girlfriend a rapist, and quite rightly.
And if he’s fifteen, and has coerced his sixteen year old girlfriend, or drugged her, he’s a rapist, just the same as any adult male.
So, given that we hold teenage males to the same account as adult ones, then how about we teach them better?
How about we teach them that women aren’t what porn portrays them as?
How about we teach them that consent HAS to be obvious, and enthusiastic, or they STOP. Just stop?
How about we teach them that sex isn’t an entitlement?
How about we teach them that contraception is also their responsibility and that being a “babydaddy” ain’t a sign of manhood, and ergo, big- or clever?
How about we de-pornify society and make them respect women as their equals?
How about we stop expecting women and girls to be the gatekeepers of male sexuality?
How about we stop the mixed messages that call girls slags and boys studs?
How’s about teaching them all, equally,equality?
How’s about we, as adults, do some gatekeeping, instead of imagining that fifteen**year old girls will be any better at it than sixteen year old ones?
Or, as suggested, it would make them more likely to seek sexual health advice. Palpably ridiculous given that most teenage pregnancy happens to girls over the age of consent. So clearly age is not a factor here.
And when I say adults, I mean men.
Because it seems to me that it is they who benefit from the current status quo, and it is , therefore, they who need to “man up” and teach their sons better.
Not make younger girls”legal”.
*if the sex of the protagonists were reversed! it would equally apply
** sixteen, fifteen, fourteen,. It’s all immaterial where teenage sex is concerned, but how many men use, and get away with, the “she looked old enough, she said she was” excuse?
And how many paedophiles would seek sex with fifteen year olds, who look younger?
NB. I’m not sure about introducing “Statutory Rape”into UK law. For one thing, as we’ve seen in the states , it’s been used to criminalise perfectly consensual relationships between teenagers- for instance-in Florida(please correct) a girl for a lesbian relationship because her partner’s parents were rabid homophobes.
PS Unlike the libertine (rather than the liberal), I reject the assertion of causality when liberalising sex laws re consent, porn and prostitution.
The lower rates of sex crime, rape, and teenage pregnancy in Scandinavia et-al (places vaunted by the libertine as truly “permissive”)probably aren’t due to the liberalising of these factors , but more likely due to the fact that they are more equal, wealthier, societies.
Quite apart from anything, we haven’t seen a rise in rape and teenage pregnancy in Iceland, where they’ve recently tightened up sex laws.
And you don’t rape your equals, do you?