Have you ever spoken to people on the Internet without knowing their age?
I'd really appreciate it if you actually read what I write. So far I have pointed out twice that age itself doesn't make you more or less intelligent or responsible, but it does grant you time to gather certain life experiences in order to at least be capable (if not willing) to make informed decisions.
Unless the parts of their brain responsible for processing that information are underdeveloped, definitely yes.
But parts of the brain responsible for processing certain information are not yet fully developed (for lack of a better term) until you've reached a certain stage of development. And development takes time. So that would actually be a no.
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.
Read the bold part again and the answer to the underlined question should be obvious.
What should be so obvious?
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.
Please, do read what other people write - more specifically the very last sentence in the post you're replying to. If you have no reference frame for something (in this case sex), you simply don't have the mental capabilities to fully understand a certain subject. People aren't born with such reference frames, we get them through time. In the case of sex the reference frame is also biological - a child without an actual sex drive will simply not understand what you're trying to explain, even it he or she is capable of using appropriate terminology.
...And? Your view is irrelevant. Things are what they are, regardless.
Things are what? If that's so, your views are just as irrelevant as mine. And that hasn't stopped you from expressing them. In a debate. On a debate forum. Wow.
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.
Could you teach a child everything about sex if he or she isn't sufficiently developed to even understand what a sex drive is? How is that apples and oranges? And what would be the basic prerequisite for you to work your way up from the basics of physics to subatomic particles? Would that by any chance be time?
Anyway, while you could teach a child basic and particle physics, you'd soon discover that the kid knows the terminology and can parrot it back to you, but can't really use any of that knowledge in practice, even given an opportunity.
If age doesn't make you more (and therefore less) intelligent
Non sequitur and strawman; all in one phrase. Nice going.
How is that a straw man? You claim that age doesn't make you more intelligent, don't you? Therefore it's safe to conclude it doesn't make you less intelligent either. I pointed out that we set age limitations on a lot of things, not just sex, and education is one of them. But the reason for such limitations is exactly the same - people in general aren't capable of understanding certain things without prior knowledge and/or before they're physically and mentally developed enough. All of that takes time and time does have something to do with age. I presume we wouldn't measure age in time units if it didn't. Illustrating a point of view with a similar subject is not a straw man the last time I checked.
The reason I used education is the fact that it changed over time. We've managed to figure out that words are extremely easy to learn, recall and repeat. Substance, however, is a completely different matter. That's why we discarded quite a few methods of teaching and replaced them with ones that actually convey information in such a way that it becomes useful. There are also very specific reasons why pedagogy and andragogy aren't identical. Methods of teaching adults and kids are quite different, and there are quite a few reasons of it, even if the subject matter is the same (presuming both don't know anything about a specific subject to begin with).
Anyway, I maintain that a person's physical, biological and mental stage are an important factor in what said person can understand and do (and decide, for that matter). And the mere existence of a small(er) percentage of people who are more or less developed than their peers doesn't mean you can apply the same criteria on all. Some people are really smart, regardless of their age, and some are incredibly dim compared to most. 'Most' being the key word here - most people are on roughly the same developmental stage at a certain age. Precocious or delayed puberty and other disorders don't mean that we should just consider letting kids decide on sexual (and quite a few more) matters before they're mentally and physically capable of it.
As we age we don't just change physically, but also mentally. Our brains change through time which makes us capable of learning and understanding things in certain way which would be impossible before we hit a certain developmental stage - at a certain age. We are simply incapable
of understanding certain things before (and sometimes even after) that and would therefore act inappropriately when faced with certain decisions. I'm fairly sure developmental psychologists would agree with me on this.
Anyway, why do physical, psychological and/or sexual abuse have a completely different impact on children (and teens) than adults? Why do they perceive it and act on it differently than adults if they're fully capable of understanding just about everything, as you claim? Getting rid of age of consent would also get rid of the very concept of child/minor sexual abuse.