Summation on underage sex

What we call love is fundamental to human existence. Love is, almost by definition, non-rational - and so when anyone claims to be in love, they likely are. As well, given that the psychological of women is to align their reported mental states with their current desires, one can assume that any women that once claims she is in love, then later denies it, is lying and really was. This is relevant because, for us, love and sex are inter-twined in a way not fully comprehensible; that's just how it is. I want everyone to keep all this in mind. The subject is sexual relations between an adult and a minor, and the relevance of the previous paragraph should be clear. When judging the morality of any such case, it is of course not correct to refer to the law for guidance, and so we may see that there will be cases occasioning different degrees of concern, from clearly wrong to clearly not wrong.

I think the attitude, that condemns unthinkingly all underage sex, is inhuman and most likely hypocritical. In normal criminal cases, what's right and wrong is pretty clear cut. But in the case of these laws, everyone honest has to admit to the arbitrariness of designating any age, and given the centrality of love and sex in the pantheon of human experience, failing to judge individual cases here, thereby condemning all, seems necessarily wrong. The hypocrisy I refer to consists in refusing to recognise that the participants in such a sexual relationship feel the same sort of emotions felt by oneself and people one knows intimately. For the desire for love and sex is very deeply embedded in the psyches of most people, and the age of one's partner affects these desires little, and an arbitrary age threshold not at all. Who am I to say what a man or woman might be feeling that is in love with an underage partner of the opposite sex? And who am I to insist that said partner does not truly reciprocate?

Now I do not believe that paedophilia is OK or that underage sex should never be punished at all, but remembering that we should always presume innocence, the burden of proof must be on the side that claims the adult's behavior is unacceptable and ought to be criminal. Nature has set the age of physical maturity, or puberty, as the age below which children should have no adult interest in sex. While puberty is not an infinitely sharp age limit, when the underage partner is clearly below puberty, we then can assume that he or she did not reciprocate the sexual feelings, and that therefore the adult partner lacks excuse; indeed, this is called paedophilia. When the younger partner is at or past puberty, there are other criteria we can use, such as how much coercion (I define that word in the broadest possible sense) was apparently used, and whether the adult has a pattern of predatory behavior. But when the younger partner has advanced enough years, he or she should be expected to judge for himself, and the relationship should be judged only on the same grounds as one between undisputed adults. This is the age of consent, or (I would rather call it) the upper age of consent; it is evident that this should not be higher than the age of majority. In my essay ( ), I said that it should not be higher than 15, and that is still the age I would defend.

Finally, as I am speaking as a defender of men, I must point out that these laws historically have been, and still are, anti-male more than anything else. They are based on the thought of evil men bent only on using girls for sex corrupting our innocent daughters that would never think of sex on their own. This picture is severely inaccurate - to use the kindest possible words! Men have often claimed that because of the gender disparity we need to punish female offenders as severely as male ones, and I say that is ass-backwards. We need to realise that most of the offenders under such laws should not be punished at all, whether male or female. One must never forget, in this or any other context, that criminally convicting someone is a violation of liberty in itself, and should therefore require a fairly high standard to justify.

This is an essay created by Andrew Usher. Please do not edit it; but only comment in discussion.

This is based on an article posted to Usenet here:!topic/

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