Saturday, March 29, 2008

Children do not have consensual sex

Jacob Sullum writes on a libertarian site:
This 20/20 story aired a couple weeks ago, but I missed it: John Stossel tells the tale of a Texas man condemned to a life of stigmatization as a "sex offender," lumped in with child molesters and serial rapists, because he had consensual sex with his not-quite-16-year-old girlfriend when he was a 19-year-old high school senior.
No, a 15-year-old Texas girl did not have "consensual sex". It is impossible for her to do that until she reaches the age of consent.

Some comments suggest that there is some difference between the legal and common definitions of "consent". Even if there is, it is the legal definition that is relevant here. An article would not say that someone was convicted of premeditated murder if he were really convicted of manslaughter. In this case, the man was convicted of nonconsensual statutory rape, and it is wrong to say that he was convicted of consensual sex.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Talk about the putting words in other people's mouths.

Maybe the legal definition for consent hasn't been met - but that is exactly the problem. The legal definition.