Age of Consent Policies
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With 5 votes and 5 points ahead, the winner is ...
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Round One: Opening Arguments
Round Two: Rebuttals
Round Three: Rejoinders
Round Four: (Double) Rejoinders
Round Five: Closing Arguments
1. Consent: to express approval or agreement in the absence of duress. (Since I'm arguing against the age of consent, the legal definition will not be the standard. My opponent can submit it, but he or she will have to substantiate its integrity.)
2. Age of Consent: the age at which one is legally competent to give consent especially to marriage or to sexual intercourse (Legal Definition.)
3. This debate will not be confined to pedophilia. Nevertheless, pedophilia can be mentioned and explored.
Resolution: Are age of consent policies logically consistent or not? Are they moral or not?
- Age of consent policies are logically inconsistent.
- Age of consent policies are immoral.
- Minors are not mature enough mentally to have sex.
- Minors are not mature enough physically and mentally to have children.
- In cases where two minors have sex, they both aren't punished. In cases where a minor and an adult have sex, only the adult is punished.
- If minors cannot consent, they also cannot dissent. Therefore, an outside party must make those decisions, which is immoral.
- The government should not be able to impose policy that dictates how an individual can and cannot their body.
Before I adress your points, I would like to explain why I support a universal age of consent. There are two reasons:
- Minors are not mature enough mentally to have sex.
- Minors are not mature enough physically and mentally to have children.Why are minors prohibited from smoking, drinking, and gambling? Because they are not mature enough to do those things. An adult understands the consequences and so he can consent. A child, on the other hand, doesn't. Sex is similar to smoking, drinking, and gambling: it is an activity for adults.
Having a child at an early age can be both physically and mentally damaging to a girl. Someone who hasn't grown up herself yet cannot take care of another individual. It's also very damaging for the baby to grow up with an underage mother.
It is true that when two minors have sex, they are seldom punished; while if an adult has sex with a minor he will be convicted of statutory rape. And there's a perfectly logical reason for both these things. Minors aren't prosecuted for breaking the age of consent because they did not give consent to have sex. Minors cannot give consent.
There's a reason it's called statutory rape - sex without consent is rape. If a minor got raped, you wouldn't imprison them for breaking the age of consent laws, would you? But when an adult has sex, they fully understand the consequences of sex and are able to give consent. That's why the adult goes to jail and the kid doesn't.
It is also true that minors cannot dissent. That's why they are required by law to go to school, for example: they are not mature enough to make a decision on that subject. But this does not mean that age of consent laws are illogical.
Consent and lack of dissent aren't the same thing.
According to your logic, I could rape a sleeping woman since she didn't dissent to me having sex with her. But your logic is flawed and that's why I would be going to jail.
It doesn't matter whether the minor receives pleasure from sex or not.
A minor cannot consent.
A minor also receives pleasure from drinking alchohol and smoking, so should we let children drink and smoke?
A minor does not have the rights that an adult has.
In the case of abortion, the parents can decide to abort the child because having a child would only hurt the minor more.
Not having sex doesn't hurt the minor.
Therefore, your three arguments are invalid.
3. The age of consent also contradicts its recognition of bodily autonomy among minors particularly when recognizing, for example, a 14 year-old girl's right to have and "consent" to an abortion, while denying she had the very "capacity to consent" to the activity which made her pregnant to begin with. This inconsistency is demonstrative of government whim, which necessarily consigns minors to be behaved as government property because their capacity to express values and make value judgements as it concerns themselves are diminished and outright dismissed in favor of government priority. And human beings--individuals--no matter how old, are the property of no one else.
4. Age of consent policies when extended to their logical conclusions are absurd and produce slippery-slope arguments. If a minor has no capacity to consent, then operating on that same logic, said minor cannot withhold assent or dissent. It would therefore be impossible for an adult to rape a minor, much less minors raping each other, because the minor would know neither that which is in its best interests, as described in Parens Patriae, nor its worst interests.
Thank you to my opponent, TheAtheist. And thank you to the onlooking readers. Vote well.