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Why not lower age of consent to 14?

(107 Posts)
CustardSliceAndAMugOfCoffee Fri 11-Jan-13 12:20:56

Becoming sexually active - why not lower the age of consent to 14?
This was one of the topics for discussion on The Wright Stuff on channel 5 this morning. What are your opinions? I personally think the age of consent should remain 16 years of age.

ProzacHelps Fri 11-Jan-13 18:21:07

The age of consent should not be lowered. 16 is too young in my opinion. Young people this age need to be focusing on their education. Lowering the age of consent to 14 will cause peer pressure. Let kids be kids, I don't agree with encouraging them to grow up too fast. Paedophiles would take advantage. It is a terrible idea.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 11-Jan-13 18:32:54

I think if anything it should be raised.

16 made sense when you could leave school at 16, but now that is changing. It used to be theoretically possible to leave school at 16, have a baby, work a job (or have a same-age partner working a job). Now it would be harder and all your peers would still be at school. I don't feel right about children who're still in compulsory education having babies.

I know some teenagers are amazing mothers but it seems there's such a huge, huge gap between the average 14 year old and the average 16 year old anyway.

Surely the law isn't there for the few who might be mature enough - it's there to protect the majority who won't be?

I mean, what possible harm does it do someone who is 14 and mature to wait? If they're really mature, they will wait. IMO.

AbigailAdams Fri 11-Jan-13 19:41:00

The law is there for the reason Fastidia stated, to protect young girls from predatory older men.

MadameCastafiore Fri 11-Jan-13 19:53:04

Blimey I would say because a 14 year old would still need to go to school to even think about being capable of earning enough money to raise a child when she was 20 let alone 14 and how many 14 year olds do you know who you would leave in charge of a 7 year old and be on the ball enough to not forget about the 7 year old whilst they were painting their nails or on the phone to a friend let alone a new born.

And surely the fact that at 14 kids do not have a clue about the wicked ways of the opposite sex and would lead to lots of horrid encounters between predatory men and young girls.

ProzacHelps Fri 11-Jan-13 20:07:38

*Why Not Lower Age Of Consent To 14?
First up were the condems right to dismiss civil servants requests to lower the age of consent to 14? With 40 per cent of girls doing it before they’re 15 we’re currently criminalising hundreds of thousands of youngsters and maybe making their first sexual experience even more daunting - but then if we lowered it to 14 from 16 as it is as present, would even younger teens start getting jiggy with it?*

Here is clicky link if you would like to watch discussion...

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 11-Jan-13 20:24:31

AA - not denying that.

I just think that commenting that girls - and boys, because I would think boys could be just as traumatized by inappropriate sexual contact - of the same ages are at different levels of maturity, isn't relevant.

Sure, they are, but that's no reason why people who are extra mature should be used as a reason to change the law.

It is like when people trot out the old 'oh, but some girls love an older boyfriend, I had one and it never did me any harm'. So what? So that means someone else in what the law judges to be the same situation should be put in harm's way? I don't agree.

I think possibly if you could have a law that 14 - 17 year olds say could legally have sex with each other that might not be a bad thing - so as some have described a Romeo and Juliet style law. It's a shame to make early sexual relationships illegal, possibly adding to the stress in relationships and teenage lives. But it may be the lesser of two evils (the post 16 law) if it maintains some protection for young girls in particular.

AbigailAdams Fri 11-Jan-13 22:27:05

Yes I agree LRD. I just thought that the thread was generally forgetting why the law was in place. Because men thought it was OK to have sex and marry young girls. And talk of maturity in girls (only it seems) really smacks of the excuses that these men used to make (and the excuses that child rapists still do make).

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 11-Jan-13 22:32:59

Oh, sorry! I agree with you too, then.

AbigailAdams Fri 11-Jan-13 22:35:56

I'm on my phone, with a dodgy touch pad. I'm keeping it brief grin

AbigailAdams Fri 11-Jan-13 22:39:21

(Hence why I didn't expand in my first post, I mean)

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 11-Jan-13 22:44:33

Fair enough! smile

Trills Fri 11-Jan-13 22:50:30

Having sex is not just about making babies

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 11-Jan-13 22:51:28

No, but babies are a consequence of sex that needs to be taken into account.

Pushthebutton Sat 12-Jan-13 01:03:55

And Sexually Transmitted Diseases!

ZooAnimals Sat 12-Jan-13 01:22:34

'it doesn't really matter if your 14,16 or 37 when it comes to parenting'

It kind of does beacause at 16 and 37 you can leave home/live independently, leave school and get a job. You can't at 14 and somewhere to live and money to live on are kind of essential to being a parent imo.

Startail Sat 12-Jan-13 01:25:24

Because no 14 or even 18 year old can afford to support a baby.

Because no 14 yo should have to choose whether to have an abortion

Because my DD is 14. however grown up and sensible she is, she's a lot more important things to worry about than boys.

No I'm not in favour of prosecuting two consenting 15 yo.

But what is close in age?

At 20, DHs 3.5 years older didn't matter we were both students.

When I was 16, I was still in my school uniform.

He'd spent a year away from home at uni and slept with his first girl friend.

piprabbit Sat 12-Jan-13 01:35:55

In the recent Bradford abuse cases, at least one 15yo girl's parents were told that she had made the lifestyle choice to be a prostitute by social workers. She was below the age of consent, but almost 16 so they shrugged and let her get on with being passed from man to man and raped repeatedly.

I think that lowering the age of consent would just make the most vulnerable children even harder to protect.

TeiTetua Sat 12-Jan-13 01:58:43

I'm not sure if the original proposal was intended to come with the restriction that under age 16, the kids would have to be close in age to be legal.

As things are now, a large number of teenagers are breaking the law. Should it be enforced against them? Or changed? I realize that it's an awkward thing that we don't want to think about, but we also have to ask what good the law is if it's broken with impunity so often.

sashh Sat 12-Jan-13 03:35:56

Would you lower the age for marriage too?

It is possible to have a religeous marriage ceremony without the legal bit.

It used to be really common when you could only have a legal marriage in a register office or a C of E church (unless you made complicated arangements with a registrar, but I digress).

How would you feel about a 14 year old being married? Or a 14 year old being taken to another country where child marriage is legal, to get married, and then coming back to the UK to live with husband / wife and have children?

It used to be 13 until Victorian times, it was raised because of child prostitution.

mysterymeg Sat 12-Jan-13 10:03:59

I know someone who had a child at 14. Her mum had to be downs guardian for her and her little girl. Apparently if you have a child before 16 you legally have to have an adult's support. E.g if you are chucked out by your parents you are fostered together with your child. My friend couldn't move out to live with her boyfriend. She was a good mum by the way just not legally considered capable. Thus I think the legal position is that you're not allowed to be the sole carer of a baby under 16 (but not sure of the precise terms etc.).

mysterymeg Sat 12-Jan-13 10:04:32

*down as

DSM Sat 12-Jan-13 10:14:27

mysterymeg maybe it's different in England, or maybe things have changed but the girl I know who had a baby at 14 was the sole carer and parent for her DD. She didn't have any parents to take responsibility anyway, and wasn't in foster care. I

I honestly think its a wasted argument as it can be argued that 14 year olds can bring up children with success. My acquaintance won't be the only one!

There are much more pressing reasons - 14 year olds as legal prostitutes? 14 year olds sleeping with 50 year olds?

Raise it to 18. And raise the drinking age to 21 too.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 12-Jan-13 10:19:32

'It's not humour, I think it would be great if we had a chemical vasectomisation program for young men. Reversible when they are ready to become parents. Maybe it would lead to a surge of disease though if they went condomless as a result.'

shock And chastity belts for the girls? Or just sew them shut?

That's a bit of a shocking think to say Nebulous in view of what does happen to girls around the world ie FGM

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