Rethinking the age of consent

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William Saleton, over at Slate, proposes changing sex consent laws.

First comes the age at which your brain wants sex and your body signals to others that you’re ready for it. Then comes the age of cognitive competence. Then comes the age of emotional competence. Each of these thresholds should affect our expectations, and the expectations should apply to the older party in a relationship as well as to the younger one. The older you get, the higher the standard to which you should be held responsible.

Can sex laws ever follow a formula that sticks to these milestones? Isn’t just easier to call the age of consent 14, and leave it at that?

2 thoughts on “Rethinking the age of consent

  1. Here in Alaska the age of consent is 16 no matter how much older the other party is. 16 is a good number for some. My son is 16 but I don’t think he has the responsibility angle down.

    Most kids these days don’t have the responsibility that we older people did when we were kids.

    When we try to over legalize things get complicated with many levels, intricacies and bureaucracy. My vote is to keep it 16 and call it good.

  2. There is a certain degree of flexibility in the fact that some jurisdictions will impose less punishment, or no punishment, in cases of sex with an underage person, where the offender is close in age to the victim.

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