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Statutory 'rape' LAWS - Stupid or needed?

Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
edited December 2006 in Debate and/or Discourse
I've always felt that the whole idea behind statutory 'rape' was a bunch of BS. Obviously there is a big difference between it and actual rape as well as a difference between an 18 and 17 year old and a 22 and 13 year old having sex.

The point of this discussion (which was partially brought on by the McCain thread) is should we think about changing (or flat out removing) statutory rape in most cases?

Though I've not personally been in this situation, I've had friends go to jail and be labeled sex offenders for having sex with their (VERY) willing GFs who were (at most) 2 years younger.

Is this just another case of moral (and/or religious) ideals standing in the way of logical judgement?

Magus` on
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Posts

  • KusuguttaiKusuguttai __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2006
    I think past a certain age, when both parties have given consent, it's a ridiculous charge. Consensual sex shouldn't be illegal.

    Kusuguttai on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    A lot of states have statutory rape laws which take into account the relative ages of the offender and victim.

    A 25-year-old should probably spend some time in jail for fucking a 16-year-old. A 17-year-old should not.

    Thanatos on
  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    A lot of states have statutory rape laws which take into account the relative ages of the offender and victim.

    A 25-year-old should probably spend some time in jail for fucking a 16-year-old. A 17-year-old should not.

    I suppose, though even then I'm not terribly sure.

    A 17 year old is capable of quite a bit. Though I think 17 would basically be the cut off point.

    I also recently read a story of a 13 and 12 year old having sex. While I think this shouldn't happen and they should have some form of counseling, I was dismayed to find out that both of them were 'having the book thrown at them'. This isn't something you PUNISH, this is something you dissuade and explain through talking and teaching.

    Magus` on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    A lot of states have statutory rape laws which take into account the relative ages of the offender and victim.

    A 25-year-old should probably spend some time in jail for fucking a 16-year-old. A 17-year-old should not.

    Yeah, I always thought that it was tailored so 18 year olds hooking up with 17 year old was fine.

    On a lighter note - lets let everyone vote no matter how old they are. :P

    Shinto on
  • mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    Needed. If the statutory rape qualifications are illogical or too restrictive, the problem is that the qualifications are too restrictive, not that there's a statutory rape law.

    mcc on
  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    mcc wrote:
    Needed. If the statutory rape qualifications are illogical or too restrictive, the problem is that the qualifications are too restrictive, not that there's a statutory rape law.

    Could we at least rename it? Something like "Idecent activity as related to age" or something more techinical?

    Rape is a MUCH different (and actually terrible) beast than this.

    Also, in the case of the 17/18 year old (or whatever the consent law is) I don't think it should be a punishable offense.

    Magus` on
  • DarkWarriorDarkWarrior __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2006
    Its there to protect people. I know 17 and 15 might not be a huge age gap but it CAN be the difference between watching and playing Pokemon and driving a car around to look at hot girls in short skirts.

    Then again, in the UK you can be married at 16 and have sex. You can make a porn tape. You can have kids and have a family. But you cannot look at or buy porn...Nor drink nor drive.

    Why are you responsible enough to look after another human being and not drink yet smoke?

    DarkWarrior on
    ...it's in the shape of a giant c**k.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    mcc wrote:
    Needed. If the statutory rape qualifications are illogical or too restrictive, the problem is that the qualifications are too restrictive, not that there's a statutory rape law.

    Half your age, plus 7 (8?) years or AOC. Whichever comes first. Done and done.

    moniker on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    The states should adopt the half your age plus seven rule.

    Edit: beat'd

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Magus` wrote:
    mcc wrote:
    Needed. If the statutory rape qualifications are illogical or too restrictive, the problem is that the qualifications are too restrictive, not that there's a statutory rape law.
    Could we at least rename it? Something like "Idecent activity as related to age" or something more techinical?

    Rape is a MUCH different (and actually terrible) beast than this.
    Legally, rape is non-consensual sex. Someone under the age of consent is, by statute, incapable of consenting to sex. Therefore, "statutory rape." The name is actually very accurate.
    Also, in the case of the 17/18 year old (or whatever the consent law is) I don't think it should be a punishable offense.
    Yeah, this depends totally on what state you're in. Technically, it's punishable in California, but only with a fine; I'm not even sure whether it's a misdemeanor or a violation.

    Thanatos on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2006
    Magus` wrote:
    mcc wrote:
    Needed. If the statutory rape qualifications are illogical or too restrictive, the problem is that the qualifications are too restrictive, not that there's a statutory rape law.

    Could we at least rename it? Something like "Idecent activity as related to age" or something more techinical?

    Rape is a MUCH different (and actually terrible) beast than this.

    Also, in the case of the 17/18 year old (or whatever the consent law is) I don't think it should be a punishable offense.

    I don't think it is most places.

    These are laws that very by state right?

    Shinto on
  • mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    Magus` wrote:
    mcc wrote:
    Needed. If the statutory rape qualifications are illogical or too restrictive, the problem is that the qualifications are too restrictive, not that there's a statutory rape law.
    Could we at least rename it? Something like "Idecent activity as related to age" or something more techinical?

    Rape is a MUCH different (and actually terrible) beast than this.
    Legally, rape is non-consensual sex. Someone under the age of consent is, by statute, incapable of consenting to sex. Therefore, "statutory rape." The name is actually very accurate.

    mcc on
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Doesn't our current system allow for this already? I, being 24, can't screw a 17 year old, but an 18 year old guy can because they're both within 1 year (2?) of the age of consent, right?

    Do I just royally misunderstand the statutory rape law or are we discussing whether I, a 24 year old, should be allowed to have sex with the 17 year old girl?

    jclast on
    steam_sig.png
  • mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    Shinto wrote:
    Magus` wrote:
    mcc wrote:
    Needed. If the statutory rape qualifications are illogical or too restrictive, the problem is that the qualifications are too restrictive, not that there's a statutory rape law.

    Could we at least rename it? Something like "Idecent activity as related to age" or something more techinical?

    Rape is a MUCH different (and actually terrible) beast than this.

    Also, in the case of the 17/18 year old (or whatever the consent law is) I don't think it should be a punishable offense.

    I don't think it is most places.

    These are laws that very by state right?
    http://ageofconsent.com/

    mcc on
  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    Magus` wrote:
    mcc wrote:
    Needed. If the statutory rape qualifications are illogical or too restrictive, the problem is that the qualifications are too restrictive, not that there's a statutory rape law.
    Could we at least rename it? Something like "Idecent activity as related to age" or something more techinical?

    Rape is a MUCH different (and actually terrible) beast than this.
    Legally, rape is non-consensual sex. Someone under the age of consent is, by statute, incapable of consenting to sex. Therefore, "statutory rape." The name is actually very accurate.
    Also, in the case of the 17/18 year old (or whatever the consent law is) I don't think it should be a punishable offense.
    Yeah, this depends totally on what state you're in. Technically, it's punishable in California, but only with a fine; I'm not even sure whether it's a misdemeanor or a violation.

    I call bullshit on the 'can't consent' thing. They might not understand the complexities of the situation but that's more something that their parents, teachers, or whatnot should explain to them, not the government.

    Like, if someone got hit with this and it just a small fine and no jail time, I wouldn't mind. But people go to jail for YEARS with this and are labeled sex offenders. Though it's not always the case, the first thing you think when you hear 'sex offender' is child molestor most of the time and this is just NOT the case 4 out of 5 times with all the statutory rape cases I've seen.

    Edit - When I'm talking about the consent part, I mean 16-17 year olds, not 15 and under.

    Magus` on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Magus` wrote:
    I call bullshit on the 'can't consent' thing. They might not understand the complexities of the situation but that's more something that their parents, teachers, or whatnot should explain to them, not the government.

    What part of legally incapable of granting consent don't you understand? They cannot grant consent regardless of how much they may want to. They legally can't, unless they're above the AOC. At which point statutory rape becomes a moot point because it'd either be just sex or actual rape.

    moniker on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2006
    moniker wrote:
    mcc wrote:
    Needed. If the statutory rape qualifications are illogical or too restrictive, the problem is that the qualifications are too restrictive, not that there's a statutory rape law.

    Half your age, plus 7 (8?) years or AOC. Whichever comes first. Done and done.

    I like its elegance, but wonder whether depending on the math skills of the American public is wise.

    Shinto on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Magus` wrote:
    Thanatos wrote:
    Magus` wrote:
    mcc wrote:
    Needed. If the statutory rape qualifications are illogical or too restrictive, the problem is that the qualifications are too restrictive, not that there's a statutory rape law.
    Could we at least rename it? Something like "Idecent activity as related to age" or something more techinical?

    Rape is a MUCH different (and actually terrible) beast than this.
    Legally, rape is non-consensual sex. Someone under the age of consent is, by statute, incapable of consenting to sex. Therefore, "statutory rape." The name is actually very accurate.
    I call bullshit on the 'can't consent' thing. They might not understand the complexities of the situation but that's more something that their parents, teachers, or whatnot should explain to them, not the government.
    I said legally can't consent. And really, I think protecting teenagers from predators is enough of a compelling government interest to maintain reasonable statutory rape laws. Like I said, a 25-year-old shouldn't be having sex with 16-year-olds.
    Like, if someone got hit with this and it just a small fine and no jail time, I wouldn't mind. But people go to jail for YEARS with this and are labeled sex offenders. Though it's not always the case, the first thing you think when you hear 'sex offender' is child molestor most of the time and this is just NOT the case 4 out of 5 times with all the statutory rape cases I've seen.

    Edit - When I'm talking about the consent part, I mean 16-17 year olds, not 15 and under.
    Understood, but we can always set the age of consent at an age under 18. Personally, I don't favor this. I think 18 is a good age, because it represents adulthood, and setting it there prevents older college frat boys from trolling high school dances, offering chicks alcohol in order to get a little "consent" off of them.

    Obviously, there needs to be a relative age of consent, though, for people under 18.

    Thanatos on
  • ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Shinto wrote:
    moniker wrote:
    mcc wrote:
    Needed. If the statutory rape qualifications are illogical or too restrictive, the problem is that the qualifications are too restrictive, not that there's a statutory rape law.

    Half your age, plus 7 (8?) years or AOC. Whichever comes first. Done and done.

    I like its elegance, but wonder whether depending on the math skills of the American public is wise.
    Also: do you round up?

    Elendil on
  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Maybe I'll just basically say the main problem I have with the law is the punishment and how it follows you for your life.

    At the very least I'd like to see less prison sentences and more restraining orders (a necessary evil, if you will).

    Keep in mind that I understand these laws do help with keeping predators away, but I think it blankets too many things.

    I was lucky enough that my GF was recently turned 18 before we did stuff, but looking back I can't fathom being branded for life for a little consensual fun in the sack.

    Magus` on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Elendil wrote:
    Shinto wrote:
    moniker wrote:
    mcc wrote:
    Needed. If the statutory rape qualifications are illogical or too restrictive, the problem is that the qualifications are too restrictive, not that there's a statutory rape law.

    Half your age, plus 7 (8?) years or AOC. Whichever comes first. Done and done.

    I like its elegance, but wonder whether depending on the math skills of the American public is wise.
    Also: do you round up?

    To the nearest sensible fraction (ie _/12th). That sort of thing can be clarified with relative ease all the while ensuring that it doesn't have the horrible penalties doled out due to a wholly arbitrary difference.

    moniker on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Needed.

    Now, this isn't to say that in some areas they don't need a little fine-tuning...the standards can vary wildly from state to state. No, I don't necessarily think an 18-year-old should get busted for sleeping with somebody within a year or two of his own age.

    But anybody who thinks that, say, a 13-year-old girl is really meaningfully consenting with a 35-year-old man is, IMO, dead wrong. This is the situation statutory rape laws are meant to prevent...the details on the low end of the spectrum can always be adjusted.

    As for those more "borderline cases", say a 25-year-old guy who's truly madly and deeply in love with a 16-year-old girl...you can wait two years. The law doesn't say you can't date (though her parents may well decide to), it just says you can't fuck. And if the relationship can't last the two years until she hits 18 (or gets from 14 to 16, should that be the law where you live), then oh fucking well. Obviously it wasn't true love, so go find somebody your own age to score with.

    mcdermott on
  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited December 2006
    Magus` wrote:
    Edit - When I'm talking about the consent part, I mean 16-17 year olds, not 15 and under.

    Therein lies the (aha) rub. What is the point where people magically transition to being able to intelligently make their own decisions? For a large portion of the population, that doesn't happen until the early 20s at least. 18 is a magical number and probably no more right or wrong than a year or two younger. What it does though, is draws a line in the sand and says "We can't really fully quantify this, but here's the mark where you're bound to get shit thrown at you."

    Aroduc on
  • BigJoeMBigJoeM Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    In many states if you are within 2 years or so of an underage partner you can use that as an affirmative defense if the parents press charges.

    That site is out of date it doesn't take the Lawrence v. Texas decision into account.

    BigJoeM on
  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2006
    Well, bless my stars, the law was repealed in Delaware.

    Looking out the window, it dosen't seem like we've fallen into a state of complete and total anarchy.

    siliconenhanced on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Aroduc wrote:
    Magus` wrote:
    Edit - When I'm talking about the consent part, I mean 16-17 year olds, not 15 and under.

    Therein lies the (aha) rub. What is the point where people magically transition to being able to intelligently make their own decisions? For a large portion of the population, that doesn't happen until the early 20s at least. 18 is a magical number and probably no more right or wrong than a year or two younger. What it does though, is draws a line in the sand and says "We can't really fully quantify this, but here's the mark where you're bound to get shit thrown at you."

    I think 16 is a pretty good cutoff point. By that time, like it or not, most people have a strongly developed sense of self and a personal moral code. Coddling kids past that ages is pretty pointless. they can still use parental guidance at that age but I don't think it's fair to consdier them "kids" anymore If they want to do something they'll probably do it anyway.

    nexuscrawler on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Aroduc wrote:
    Magus` wrote:
    Edit - When I'm talking about the consent part, I mean 16-17 year olds, not 15 and under.

    Therein lies the (aha) rub. What is the point where people magically transition to being able to intelligently make their own decisions? For a large portion of the population, that doesn't happen until the early 20s at least. 18 is a magical number and probably no more right or wrong than a year or two younger. What it does though, is draws a line in the sand and says "We can't really fully quantify this, but here's the mark where you're bound to get shit thrown at you."

    I think 16 is a pretty good cutoff point. By that time, like it or not, most people have a strongly developed sense of self and a personal moral code. Coddling kids past that ages is pretty pointless. they can still use parental guidance at that age but I don't think it's fair to consdier them "kids" anymore If they want to do something they'll probably do it anyway.

    The specific ages, I think, are less important than the order they come in.

    In particular, I think the drinking age should be moved lower. Much, much lower. Basically, if we move the drinking age to 13 or 14 there will be less of an impetus for 16-17 year olds to get in contact with twentysomethings just for the sake of getting alcohol. The promise of a college party where they're going to have a keg (omg) is going to be less appealing to teenagers because the novelty of alcohol will have already worn off.

    Edit: I have other reasons for believing this as well but they're not relevant to the thread.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I'd rather that the drinking age was 16 and you got your driver's license at 21 than the inverse. You need to learn how to hold your liquor before you get behind the wheel of a 2 ton speeding chunk of metallic death.

    moniker on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    moniker wrote:
    I'd rather that the drinking age was 16 and you got your driver's license at 21 than the inverse. You need to learn how to hold your liquor before you get behind the wheel of a 2 ton speeding chunk of metallic death.

    That's my other reason.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • MutePrezMutePrez Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Feral wrote:
    moniker wrote:
    I'd rather that the drinking age was 16 and you got your driver's license at 21 than the inverse. You need to learn how to hold your liquor before you get behind the wheel of a 2 ton speeding chunk of metallic death.

    That's my other reason.

    Hi2u europe! Except (in France at least) the driving age is 18, not 21.

    MutePrez on
  • geckahngeckahn Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    here in NY state the age of consent is 17 years old OR within 3 years of each other . . . which basically solves all problems associated with stat rape

    geckahn on
  • bone daddybone daddy Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    I'd like to get the state out of the habit of automatically prosecuting these cases in states where the law is kind of batshit . If the parents or the minor want to press charges, they can knock themselves out. If the parents do not want to press charges because it interferes with their alone time with Jim Beam, you can do the Parental Neglect Beedance and file charges on behalf of the minor until they get their act together. If the parents do not want to press charges because their kid's partner is loving, respectful, responsible, etc., maybe you should step off. You don't need to be prosecuting a pair of minors within a year of one another simply for having sex with each other to the fullest extent of the law, you fruit loops.

    bone daddy on
    Rogue helicopter?
    Ecoterrorism is actually the single largest terrorist threat at the moment. They don't usually kill people, but they blow up or set on fire very expensive things.
  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited December 2006
    BigJoeM wrote:
    That site is out of date it doesn't take the Lawrence v. Texas decision into account.
    I'm sorry, but what does Lawrence v. Texas, a constitutional case on whether or not sodomy laws for consenting adults violate due process, have to do with this discussion?

    And also, I believe that in every jurisdiction, there is a one year limit on jail time for statutory rape cases, since they are strict liability.

    Raggaholic on
    Feral wrote:
    Hell just froze over, because I just agreed with everything Raggaholic said in post about sex.
  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Magus` wrote:
    I also recently read a story of a 13 and 12 year old having sex. While I think this shouldn't happen and they should have some form of counseling, I was dismayed to find out that both of them were 'having the book thrown at them'. This isn't something you PUNISH, this is something you dissuade and explain through talking and teaching.

    The best part of that story is that, due to the wacky laws in that state, both of them were charged with sexual assault, so they were both the perpetrator and the victim.

    MuddBudd on
    steam_sig.png
  • bone daddybone daddy Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    Raggaholic wrote:
    BigJoeM wrote:
    That site is out of date it doesn't take the Lawrence v. Texas decision into account.
    I'm sorry, but what does Lawrence v. Texas, a constitutional case on whether or not sodomy laws for consenting adults violate due process, have to do with this discussion?
    Last time I checked, ageofconsent.com listed ages for homosexual intercourse as well as heterosexual intercourse and noted states/countries where it was completely banned. That's probably what he was referring to.

    bone daddy on
    Rogue helicopter?
    Ecoterrorism is actually the single largest terrorist threat at the moment. They don't usually kill people, but they blow up or set on fire very expensive things.
  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited December 2006
    bone daddy wrote:
    Last time I checked, ageofconsent.com listed ages for homosexual intercourse as well as heterosexual intercourse and noted states/countries where it was completely banned. That's probably what he was referring to.
    That would make sense, but not as it applies to statutory rape. Lawrence v Texas specifically deals with adults.

    Either way, I think the laws are a necessary evil. A girl I dated for a long time (and will probably end up marrying) has worked in mental health since she's gotten out of college, primarily dealing with troubled youth. You wouldn't believe how many teenage girls "date" guys in their 30s. The law just needs more fine tuning.

    Raggaholic on
    Feral wrote:
    Hell just froze over, because I just agreed with everything Raggaholic said in post about sex.
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Raggaholic wrote:
    bone daddy wrote:
    Last time I checked, ageofconsent.com listed ages for homosexual intercourse as well as heterosexual intercourse and noted states/countries where it was completely banned. That's probably what he was referring to.
    That would make sense, but not as it applies to statutory rape. Lawrence v Texas specifically deals with adults.

    Either way, I think the laws are a necessary evil. A girl I dated for a long time (and will probably end up marrying) has worked in mental health since she's gotten out of college, primarily dealing with troubled youth. You wouldn't believe how many teenage girls "date" guys in their 30s. The law just needs more fine tuning.

    Heh, yeah, a girl I was screwing for a short bit before we settled on just being friends had previously dated a dude who was like, 30, while she was 17. That kind of shit weirds me out.

    That said, I think there's obvious fine-tuning needed on these laws, and I think it's pretty clear that labeling a guy who slept with his slightly underage girlfriend with the same generic "sex offender" label (which may as well read "inhuman monster" for all the stigma it gets) that rapists and child pornographers get.

    Vincent Grayson on
  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited December 2006
    Heh, yeah, a girl I was screwing for a short bit before we settled on just being friends had previously dated a dude who was like, 30, while she was 17. That kind of shit weirds me out.
    I can think of three girls off the top of my head who lost their virginity at 13-14 to guys in their 20s. As I said, necessary evil.

    Of course, these laws never catch those guys. It's always the guy who just turned 18 yesterday and had birthday sex with his 16 year old girlfriend who he's been with for three years.

    Raggaholic on
    Feral wrote:
    Hell just froze over, because I just agreed with everything Raggaholic said in post about sex.
  • IShallRiseAgainIShallRiseAgain Registered User
    edited December 2006
    its completly legal to have sex when you are 16 years old in michigan, so there is no need for change in my state. anything else is just too young.

    IShallRiseAgain on
    Alador239.png
  • CaswynbenCaswynben Registered User
    edited December 2006
    There's a really good south park episode about this.

    ...Nice...

    Caswynben on
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