Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Using Statutory Rape Laws To Excuse Rape By 14 Year Old Boys

As a follow up to yesterday's post on the harassement of teen rape victims, one comment to the article I quoted caught my attention. It was written by a man who is a father of boys.

We're forgetting that both these children are 14 years old. We have laws against adults having sex with minors because it has been established that minors do not have the mental faculty to truly understand the meaning of consent. If the boy had been involved with a 24 yr. old woman, he would be called the 'victim' in this case. If we have established that minors don't have the same mental acuity as an adult in order to understand consent, why do we expect them to understand it in minor to minor sexual relations?

What happened to your daughter is unfortunate, but until this boy has had his day in court he should not be labeled or treated as a rapist. Again, If I had a daughter, I would chaulk it up to experience and would take the proper precautions that such an encounter would never take place again. Had this been a 24 year old man with my 14 year old daughter, all bets would be off.

I can't imagine the warped thinking in this man's mind that he could possibly dismiss the rape of his daughter -- if he had one -- as "experience" to teach her to never be alone with a boy. Even though I didn't disclose my rape to my father I know he would never be so callous.

Men like this have a much more negative view of boys and men than I do. Boys are not inherently likely to rape at every opportunity until their brain develops fully.

Only boys with dangerous learned attitudes are a danger to all girls who are alone with them. For starters when a boy rapes a girl it is not an "encounter." Labeling sexual violence in this way is a much bigger contributor to rape than any biological development issues.

This idea that 14 year old boys cannot learn that they should never force or coerce someone else to have sex is nonsense. This idea gives boys a free pass to rape and to develop a pattern of behavior which will be hard for them to unlearn once they are adults.

This man is misusing statutory rape laws and the reasons behind them to excuse rape. One of the key issues which makes statutory rape laws a necessity is that many rapists who prey on children use manipulation so that lack of genuine consent cannot be proven. We teach our children to be respectful of those who are older than them. Statutory rapists abuse this respect.

Minors below a certain age need to be completely off limits to adults. This protection shouldn't rob those same minors of their legal protection from underage rapists.

Not surprisingly, this man doesn't talk about the boy who raped this girl needing to chaulk up the fallout of being reported as a rapist as "experience." The girl needed to learn from this rape, but the boy did not.

In a later comment this man said that if a 14-year-old boy can be convicted of rape then adults should be able to have sex with 14-year olds.

Update: I forgot to comment on the fact that this man apparently believes that when a 14 year old rapes an adult that adult is guilty of statutory rape.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:45 AM   1 comments links to this post


At January 14, 2009 8:21 PM, Blogger sophie said...

The biggest thing about his attitude that quote reveals: he's talking as one man to another, regarding a 'daughter'. A possession. When he uses the word 'unfortunate', he's sympathising with the other father, not the girl.

Usually I think the exception to the statutory rape laws is quite reasonable (that is, youths within about two years of each other) but this, and other discussions about the prevalence of sexual harassment in schools suggests it may be more of a dangerous loophole in attitude where people presume if its a couple of teenagers it's consensual.
If a 14 year old isn't considered capable of making a reasoned decision to have sex with an adult, why should it be taken that everything is above board if it happens to be someone their own age doing the manipulating?

I'm finding it so hard to follow the logic of the last paragraph (if the boy is legally responsible for rape, presumably 14 year olds as a whole can be held to be responsible for any action done to them) that it makes me suspicious that he's conflating sex and rape for his own advantage (ie: this is the way the world should be and if I say it often enough it'll come true).


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