Author Topic: Age of Consent topic  (Read 3452 times)

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Offline Timtheskeptic

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2012, 09:50:32 AM »
well said Traveler, i agree. Also, i wonder considering the idea of age of consent, some folks would say age is just numbers. I think age isn't just numbers, otherwise, no one would have a problem with giving minors alcohol, cigarettes, allow them to drive at age 12 or even have sex with them at very young age. It's really complicated and i agree with the poster who said some children at very young age can be mature and some as old ad 50 can be very immature. I see maturity and immaturity in all various of people of all ages. I remember a former co-worker who is very old who is very immature than i was and i was in my early twenties. I even felt tat i was way more mature than most students in my high school. The "Age is just numbers" is more complicated than that i think. While there is no reason to object people who are adults dating someone that are 10 years or more apart from each other, it is a problem if you took advantage of a child.
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2012, 09:53:07 AM »
While there is no reason to object people who are adults dating someone that are 10 years or more apart from each other, it is a problem if you took advantage of a child.

And how would you define "taking advantage of a child"?
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2012, 10:22:57 AM »
And how would you define "taking advantage of a child"?

I'm not the target of your question, but I'd answer "Anything that causes them harm."
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2012, 10:27:46 AM »
I'm not the target of your question, but I'd answer "Anything that causes them harm."

That's still too vague. Some would consider dating a child causes them harm, even if there's no sex involved and the relationship is just like any other. Others would consider single parents cause harm to the child(ren). While the latter is irrelevant, the former is not.
In short, your answer warrants further explanation.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2012, 10:36:18 AM »
I understand that it needs fleshing out. But its not something I've put a ton of time into defining, as I don't have children. So, I hope others will take that as a starting point for further discussion. What I do know is that forcing children, or intimidating children, or pressuring in any way, to have sex is harmful to the child. It can be harmful to adults too, but as adults, its our jobs to protect children until they're old enough to either protect themselves, or know how to ask for help.

In a country that was originally colonized by Puritans, this is a very, very difficult thing to achieve. Lack of knowledge, and in fact, deliberate withholding of knowledge about sex, is a sure way to make certain that children get hurt.
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2012, 10:40:04 AM »
I understand that it needs fleshing out. But its not something I've put a ton of time into defining, as I don't have children.

Non sequitur. I don't have children either, but I've defined "harm". ;)[1]

So, I hope others will take that as a starting point for further discussion.

I'm sure they will.

What I do know is that forcing children, or intimidating children, or pressuring in any way, to have sex is harmful to the child. It can be harmful to adults too, but as adults, its our jobs to protect children until they're old enough to either protect themselves, or know how to ask for help.

Aside from the age thing[2], I agree with the rest.

EDIT: Read my signature (the second paragraph) for a short version of my thoughts on this matter.
 1. The smiley face is there to indicate that this part is in jest.
 2. And on an unrelated note, what is it with adults and age? Age doesn't mean dick!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 10:46:59 AM by One Above All »
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2012, 02:46:31 PM »

I believe it would be possible to teach our children well enough that we might not need so many legal controls on what they can do sexually. I believe we are nowhere near that level of maturity as a species.

Absolutely.  Part of the point that I wanted to make with my post about young girls in Guatemala and Afghanistan is that the laws don't matter.

I want my daughter to grow up to be a happy, healthy woman who embraces her own sexuality.  At 5 1/2, she is 3 years removed from potty training, and perhaps as little as 3 years removed from puberty.   When I hear people say that once she hits puberty she is fair game to be put on film for men to jerk off to, I feel like I want to hide her away from the world, rather than encourage her to be a strong, secure person who asks questions and makes her own, informed decisions.  But I won't. 

I’ve always tried to be really open and honest with her about all aspects of sexuality, in an age appropriate way.  Kids are curious.  They want to know stuff.   I remember once having a conversation with her when she was about 3, and we were talking about the fact that all girls have vaginas and all boys have penises.  She was really quite surprised.  She said “ALL BOYS have penises?”  And I said yes.  She then announced “Oh.  Ok.  I’ll ask J to show me his penis tomorrow” (in preschool.)  I explained that we don’t show people our genitalia in public, and immediately got on the phone with a mom of a 3 year old friend of hers, to say that I wanted my daughter to be around for diaper changes on the friend’s 1 year old brother.  My daughter clearly wanted to see a penis, so I made sure she got to see one.  Little did I know that 4-6 year old boys enjoy showing them off, and that in the next two years, she would have another few opportunities to see male genitalia.  A 4 year old friend pulled down his pants on a busy urban street, and held his penis up for my daughter and all passerby’s to see.  Much to the dismay of his father, who rushed to remedy the situation.  And twice in kindergarten, once in the classroom, and once at recess, she has reported to me that different boys have exposed themselves. 

I love that she talks to me.  Even when she is not telling me stuff I want to hear. 

She has also told me that she “lip kissed” a boy in Spanish class, and that she “touched tongues” with a girl on the school bus.  She sees no relationship between kissing and tongue touching.  The tongue touching seems to have been the girls’ response to boys that were spitting on the bus.  I suggested that all contact with saliva, especially during cold and flu season, is not a really good idea.  I’ll need to recant on that one later.  But it was the best I could come up with at the moment.   In terms of the kissing, she presented the story with more of a “yuck” attitude than the tongue touching.  She always goes “yuck” when the prince and the princess kiss.  After clarifying that in spite of the “yuck” she was not forced into the kiss, I pointed out that some day there will probably be a special someone who she will want to kiss a lot.  To which she responded “yuck.’   

At 5 ½, of course she is curious.  But she is far, far away from coming into her own sexuality.  We had a talk the other night, in which she seemed to have the misconception that pregnant women can’t urinate or defecate, or the baby will fall out of their vaginas and into the toilet.  I ran to get a children’s book on the human body that we had looked at many times before, and tried to explain the relationships between the various orifices and internal parts like the bladder, colon and uterus, but in all honesty, she had gotten herself so silly about the baby falling in the TOILET that she really didn’t focus.  It seems that in spite of all of my conscious efforts, she is not really clear on how many orifices she has, let alone where they lead to and what they do. 

But three years removed from potty training, potty jokes trump all.  She is many many many years away from coming into her own sexuality. 

I hate having the talks about “no one can every touch your body in a way you don’t like. Except sometimes the doctor, but only when mommy is there.”  And then having her scream that J touched her body in a way she didn’t like while his mom and I were watching them play tag and he crashed into her too hard.  But J’s mom smiled and nodded and understood. 

I hate having the talks about never following a man who says he has candy or kittens and never getting close to the car door of a man you don’t know, and how she needs to scream if someone tries to take her out of the park or somewhere she doesn't want to go.     

But I am so grateful that she comes home and talks about penises on the playground and lip kisses in Spanish class and tongue touching on the bus, because I want her to always be able to talk to me.

She will carry condoms long before either of us is emotionally ready for her to use them.  And I hope that she continues to takes hundreds of little baby steps (on her own terms) in a long, slow journey to becoming the strong, confidant, joyful sexual woman that she is meant to be. 

Offline rickymooston

Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2012, 07:23:27 AM »
We're not just talking about responsibility here. We're talking about young people getting hurt.

You seem to be misunderstanding my point, there is a point in every one's life where they make decisions for themselves as to what is hurt and what is not hurt. Prior to that point, society protects them from being hurt by stupid choices and punishes people who are adults supplying them with said stupid choices

An 18 year old, may get hurt in a consentual relationship with a 60 year old. Thing is, that 18 year old, is an adult and for whatever reasons, chose the relationship in question.  A 30 year old may also be hurt in a mutual relationship with a 30 year old.

If consent is not involved, we are talking about rape.

If an 11 year old is sleeping with a 20 year old; we can reasonably hold the 20 year old responsible for taking advantage of the 11 year old. (Now we get dicey, what age difference will we accept ...?)

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People talk about sex education as if its all about contraception and what parts go where. It should also be about knowing yourself well enough to know what you want. It should be about how to say "no" to someone who's pressuring you into more than you want to give.


Abstinence only education might teach one to say "no" to somebody pressuring you. The thing is, abstinence only education does not teach you how to use a condom. If doesn't evaluate the differences between different types of birth control

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It should be about caring and sharing and boundaries. But its not. And I know a lot of women who were pressured into things they were not ready for. These pressures are often very subtle, but to an insecure young woman they are very powerful.

Again, abstitenence only education would likely cover this. The difference between the two philosophies centers around birth control and premarital sex.


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I understand that the age is arbitrary. But the human brain simply doesn't mature very fast. I tried to find the info but I haven't found it yet. I seem to recall that one of the important parts of the brain re: decision making isn't mature yet, even in the late teens.

The age is arbitrary but at a certain point, you are responsible for living in the bed you make. If society tells you, that they can send you off to die, I think that is an indication that they believe you are an adult.

Some people may be immature all their lives. That is not society's concern. Society can't live your life for you.

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I believe it would be possible to teach our children well enough that we might not need so many legal controls on what they can do sexually.

Good parenting makes a difference, I totally agree. I also believe in interactive education programs that teach people to think for themseves about issues like sex and drugs. Our sex education program was called "health studies". It was similar to what you seem to be asking for.

Drugs were covered as well. The course, being a liberal one, was not judgmental. It offered kids a chance to discuss the facts and presented them. Whatever you do has consequences.

Again, I've knew somebody who says she had sex at 11 and she is not ashamed of it. She is 40 now. And another who slept with a 30 year old man at 14. We are facing the reality that some young people want to have sex and balancing it with our feeling that those people are too young to know what is in their best interest. In addition, going back to the getting hurt thing, many people do apparently manipulate children.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 07:25:26 AM by rickymooston »
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Traveler

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2012, 07:39:48 AM »
...Abstinence only education might teach one to say "no" to somebody pressuring you. The thing is, abstinence only education does not teach you how to use a condom. If doesn't evaluate the differences between different types of birth control...Again, abstitenence only education would likely cover this. The difference between the two philosophies centers around birth control and premarital sex...

And yet the evidence suggests otherwise. Abstinence-only education, at least as practiced here in the states, merely leads to ignorance and bad decisions. They are NOT teaching about love and sex and feelings. They just say stop it, without giving them the ammo they need to be able to stop. People need facts. What keeps an educated person from too-early sex is information. No one in their right mind, if they're intelligent and want to finish their education, runs out and gets pregnant. And that often means saying no to sex, since birth control isn't fool proof. Statistics, I believe (but am still half asleep so will look it up later) show that the higher the education about sex, the later they have sex. Abstinence-only education is one of the biggest lies and biggest failures of religious ideas. Ignorance hurts.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2012, 08:01:01 AM »
I understand that it needs fleshing out. But its not something I've put a ton of time into defining, as I don't have children. So, I hope others will take that as a starting point for further discussion. What I do know is that forcing children, or intimidating children, or pressuring in any way, to have sex is harmful to the child. It can be harmful to adults too, but as adults, its our jobs to protect children until they're old enough to either protect themselves, or know how to ask for help.

In a country that was originally colonized by Puritans, this is a very, very difficult thing to achieve. Lack of knowledge, and in fact, deliberate withholding of knowledge about sex, is a sure way to make certain that children get hurt.

The Spanish were colonizing the U.S. way before the Puritans came along, and you make it sound as if the Puritans just stood by while England and Spain massacred millions of natives over a 400+ year period. As if they were "pure" of it all.

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2012, 08:17:33 AM »
...The Spanish were colonizing the U.S. way before the Puritans came along, and you make it sound as if the Puritans just stood by while England and Spain massacred millions of natives over a 400+ year period. As if they were "pure" of it all.

-Nam

I don't understand your point. Puritans did bad things. Conquistadors did bad things. All those war-mongering, murderous lechers who "colonized" the states were bad. Just ask the natives. Just ask any of us who inherited their religious nonsense.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2012, 08:22:42 AM »
...The Spanish were colonizing the U.S. way before the Puritans came along, and you make it sound as if the Puritans just stood by while England and Spain massacred millions of natives over a 400+ year period. As if they were "pure" of it all.

-Nam

I don't understand your point. Puritans did bad things. Conquistadors did bad things. All those war-mongering, murderous lechers who "colonized" the states were bad. Just ask the natives. Just ask any of us who inherited their religious nonsense.

Perhaps I misread your comment, it seemed to me, to imply that the U.S. was founded by Puritans, which isn't true, and that they were more of a good stock, than those of today (relating to the topic) which also would not bew true.

-Nam

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2012, 08:25:19 AM »
...Perhaps I misread your comment, it seemed to me, to imply that the U.S. was founded by Puritans, which isn't true, and that they were more of a good stock, than those of today (relating to the topic) which also would not bew true.

-Nam

I DESPISE the puritans. They did more long term harm to women than I can bear to think about. Their ideas about women and sex have been so damaging to women and society that we're still feeling the effects now, and might never outgrow it.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2012, 08:48:01 AM »
I have just been listening to a Radio Program "Woman's Hour" Radio 4 BBC, in which the topic was the decreasing age of female physical maturity. The research shows that 50 years ago the average age in UK for periods and pubic hair to appear was 15, today it is 12. One woman gave a story of how her daughter, aged  7, (Yes, seven) developed breasts, pubic hair and started periods.

We must never ever forget that we are animals. We can give ourselves trappings of distinction and pretend we are not but nature steadfastly ignores this and continues on her way. It really does not matter to nature if you are mentally mature when you are physically mature. Consent is an irrelevance to nature.

The question thus arises "What does a society, which is known to ignore evidence that it does not like, say is an acceptable age for marriage?" ("Marriage" being a euphemism for "sexual relationships.")

The answer, as with many things, is to have a "one-size-fits-all" policy, when clearly one size does not fit all, but it is easier than judging each case on its merits.

I dare say that you, like I, can think of people who would have been happy to have been married at 15 and others who, although they are 30 should not be let near the other sex for fear they might reproduce. (Of course, nature has no such qualms.)



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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2012, 08:48:01 AM »
and might never outgrow it.

I hope this nation does outgrow it.

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2012, 09:03:53 AM »
and might never outgrow it.

I hope this nation does outgrow it.

Me too. The sooner the better.
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Offline oogabooga

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #45 on: June 13, 2012, 09:10:05 AM »
They don't like having their daughters having sex until they're old enough to know what they're doing, know how to protect themselves and, last but not least, know how to say no.

Bold mine.
There's that age thing again. Age does not make one more intelligent or responsible. It's a false assumption based on the tribal belief that elders are given magical powers and/or knowledge from the gods.
How exactly did you come to that conclusion? Is it really so wrong to assume that people can't make informed decisions on certain things when they're not old enough? Can a five year old really decide as well as a twenty year old? We base our decisions on our experience, which we gather directly or indirectly (by experiencing something or by receiving information on it). Which means that age definitely has an impact on our decision making. It has nothing to do with tribal beliefs.

There are certain limitations on what people can understand at a certain age. You'd need a lot more than half an hour to explain sex (and its potential consequences) to a prepubescent child, because they're not physically, emotionally and mentally developed enough to even begin to understand it. Sure, they will  understand where babies come from, but they lack the basic sexual drive to even begin to understand the need for intercourse. Have you ever tried to explain menstruation to a five year old girl? I have. It didn't go all that well. When she was twelve, it took me about thirty seconds.

I don't see the age of consent as the means of control (tribal or otherwise), but as a way of protecting those who can not (yet) make informed decisions on certain matters. The same goes for age limitations on driving, drinking and even voting. As I've already pointed out in my previous post, there are kids who are far more advanced and intelligent some adults and there are adults who are way too infantile for their age, but for the vast majority of people that simply doesn't apply. There is no such thing as 'one size fits all' in anything, including the age of consent. Going with those who fall into the dip in the bell curve is (maybe unfortunately, but that's a potential topic for another debate) the only way to make laws fit the majority.

Anyway, we set age limitations on all sorts of things, for instance teaching. Should we teach kids to read with Shakespeare or Joyce? If age doesn't make you more (and therefore less) intelligent, kids in first grade should be able to understand such literature. Or microbiology, quantum mechanics, particle physics, Kant's ethics etc. But they don't - because they lack previous experience (in this case theoretical knowledge) to understand any of it. Kids aren't stupid, they just lack knowledge, information and experience, and all of that comes with, well, age.
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #46 on: June 13, 2012, 09:27:10 AM »
How exactly did you come to that conclusion?

Have you ever spoken to people on the Internet without knowing their age?

Is it really so wrong to assume that people can't make informed decisions on certain things when they're not old enough?

Unless the parts of their brain responsible for processing that information are underdeveloped, definitely yes.

Can a five year old really decide as well as a twenty year old? We base our decisions on our experience, which we gather directly or indirectly (by experiencing something or by receiving information on it). Which means that age definitely has an impact on our decision making. It has nothing to do with tribal beliefs.

Bold mine.
Read the bold part again and the answer to the underlined question should be obvious.

There are certain limitations on what people can understand at a certain age.

Don't assume kids are retards just because the ones you've spoken to behave as such. Kids behave according to the way parents treat them. My mother and grandmother laughed (supposedly not to make fun of me, but I really don't give a shit now) when I used vocabulary that was "uncommon" for my age. I only started using it ten years after that; maybe more.

I don't see the age of consent as the means of control (tribal or otherwise), but as a way of protecting those who can not (yet) make informed decisions on certain matters.

...And? Your view is irrelevant. Things are what they are, regardless.

Anyway, we set age limitations on all sorts of things, for instance teaching. Should we teach kids to read with Shakespeare or Joyce?

Apples and oranges. They need the basics to be able to understand the rest. Could I teach you particle physics if you knew everything about biology? Obviously not. Could I teach you the basics of physics and work my way up to subatomic particles even if you were ignorant of everything else? Yes.

If age doesn't make you more (and therefore less) intelligent

Non sequitur and strawman; all in one phrase. Nice going.
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Offline Zankuu

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #47 on: June 13, 2012, 09:41:02 AM »
Unless the parts of their brain responsible for processing that information are underdeveloped, definitely yes.

The answer to this is yes since infant, child, and adolescent brains are all still going through stages of development. So age is a factor with regards to behavior, cognition, and more on topic- critial thinking and decision making.
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #48 on: June 13, 2012, 09:45:13 AM »
...Unless the parts of their brain responsible for processing that information are underdeveloped, definitely yes....

The brain doesn't reach maturity until about the age of 25 ...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=141164708

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So the changes that happen between 18 and 25 are a continuation of the process that starts around puberty, and 18 year olds are about halfway through that process. Their prefrontal cortex is not yet fully developed. That's the part of the brain that helps you to inhibit impulses and to plan and organize your behavior to reach a goal.

And the other part of the brain that is different in adolescence is that the brain's reward system becomes highly active right around the time of puberty and then gradually goes back to an adult level, which it reaches around age 25 and that makes adolescents and young adults more interested in entering uncertain situations to seek out and try to find whether there might be a possibility of gaining something from those situations.
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #49 on: June 13, 2012, 09:46:36 AM »
The answer to this is yes since infant, child, and adolescent brains are all still going through stages of development. So age is a factor with regards to behavior, cognition, and more on topic- critial thinking and decision making.

I apologize for my poor phrasing. A fully developed brain is not necessary for critical thinking and decision making. It may be necessary to solve equations without a pen and paper, for example, but it is not necessary to decide when and with whom to have sex.
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Offline Zankuu

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #50 on: June 13, 2012, 02:25:37 PM »
A fully developed brain is not necessary for critical thinking and decision making. It may be necessary to solve equations without a pen and paper, for example, but it is not necessary to decide when and with whom to have sex.

It's true that a developing brain can still think critically, but it won't perform at the same level as if it were fully developed. How far along do you believe a brain needs to be developed in order to make decisions regarding sexual consent? Should the brain be capable of performing hypothetical-deductive reasoning? Only concrete reasoning? Where are you drawing the line in regards to development?

I see that Traveler already drew attention to the prefrontal cortex in her quote from NPR, but it's worth going into a bit more detail. The prefrontal part of the brain is THE driving force in sexual motivation and decision making, and during puberty it is underdeveloped.[1] Look at those keywords again: underdeveloped, sexual, decision making. That's really all that needs to be said. And post-puberty, the prefrontal cortex is still growing- one of the most notable changes is synaptogenesis and it's pruning process: trimming synaptic connections and making the cortex more efficient.

So I would say that a fully developed brain is necessary to make the best decisions concerning sex. With regards to your point about age being irrelevant- it's relevant, primarily because of the developmental reason above.
 1. It's also responsible for many other extremely important tasks such as organizing, cognition/working memory, etc.
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #51 on: June 13, 2012, 02:34:38 PM »
How far along do you believe a brain needs to be developed in order to make decisions regarding sexual consent?

How the hell should I know? I like physics; not biology.

So I would say that a fully developed brain is necessary to make the best decisions concerning sex. With regards to your point about age being irrelevant- it's relevant, primarily because of the developmental reason above.

You know how many times I've had the opportunity to get laid? More than once.[1] You know how many times I've done it? Zero. And that's when I was 16. I had the information, and thus I was able to draw the best conclusion, even without having a fully developed brain. Hell, my brain isn't fully developed now, and I can still kick your (adults') asses in logic.
While I do not disagree with the development issue, I do disagree that it's necessary to make the best decisions in life. You need knowledge and the brainpower to process it; nothing more.
 1. I say "more than once" because I don't know the exact number.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 02:40:24 PM by One Above All »
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #52 on: June 13, 2012, 02:49:05 PM »
It's true that a developing brain can still think critically, but it won't perform at the same level as if it were fully developed. How far along do you believe a brain needs to be developed in order to make decisions regarding sexual consent?
As we all agree that some people are more mature and/or intelligent than others, the stage you imply will be reached by people at differing ages or, in some cases, never.

An age of consent is the stage at which subjective morality (is there any other sort?) of society says, "Well, even if they aren't sufficiently mature/intelligent, I've given up on them, so let them get on with it." with a touch of ""When I was that age, I was OK, so let them get on with it."
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #53 on: June 13, 2012, 02:59:54 PM »
As we all agree that some people are more mature and/or intelligent than others, the stage you imply will be reached by people at differing ages or, in some cases, never.

I remember stumbling on a well done research study where the researchers collectively found that between 20-40% of college freshmen were only concrete operational thinkers. I'll try and find the sources as it's an interesting, albeit sad read.
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #54 on: June 13, 2012, 04:58:18 PM »
The whole thing can be pretty screwy.
Indeed.

In fact, many people make the mistake, when discussing the Age of Consent, of thinking that it applies to sexual intercourse, when it actually applies to any sexual activity - even kissing.

Thus, the law here in Britain says:
Quote
Section 10: Causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

(1) A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if :

(a) he intentionally causes or incites another person (B) to engage in an activity,

(b) the activity is sexual, and

(c) either—
     (i) B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over, or
    (ii) B is under 13.

So technically an 18-year-old man or woman is breaking the law if they kiss a 15-year-old girl (or boy).

Quote
When I was one month past my eighteenth birthday, I had sex with someone nine months younger than I was -- that is, I was 18 years and 1 month old, she was 17 years and 4 months old.  In the state we were living in at the time, that was lawful, but in other states, such as Idaho or California, it wouldn't have been; in fact, in Idaho, it could theoretically have been penalized with life in prison (!)  This in spite of the fact that, if we had done exactly the same thing five weeks earlier, it would have been perfectly legal in either of those jurisdictions.

In Britain, the bolded part isn't true. The Law here (introduced in 2003) criminalizes all sexual activity between the under-aged. Which is insane. The Law says:
Quote
Section 13: Child sex offences committed by children or young persons

(1) A person under 18 commits an offence if he does anything which would be an offence under any of sections 9 to 12 if he were aged 18.

So technically, two 15-year-olds kissing in the back row of the cinema (do kids still do that? I'm showing my age) are committing a criminal offence, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

I say technically, because in practice people aren't bothered about teenagers kissing, and nobody calls the police in those situations.

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #55 on: June 13, 2012, 06:00:46 PM »
Do you know what I don't understand? And please correct me if this is only an urban myth. Its my understanding that religious teens taught abstinence-only, will have oral sex, thinking that its only actual intercourse that's to be abstained from. WTF???
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #56 on: June 13, 2012, 06:02:05 PM »
Sounds like an urban myth to me.
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #57 on: June 13, 2012, 06:05:22 PM »
Ok, I took the few seconds (lazy me!!!) to look it up. From http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/21606.php ...

Quote
Although teenagers who take "virginity pledges" begin engaging in vaginal intercourse later than teens who have not committed to remain abstinent until marriage, they also are more likely to engage in oral or anal sex than nonpledging virgin teens and less likely to use condoms once they become sexually active
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