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Dak Man
9th May 2013, 11:17
BBC News - Age of consent should be 13, says barrister (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22459815)
A prominent barrister specialising in reproductive rights has called for the age of consent to be lowered to 13.

Barbara Hewson told online magazine Spiked that the move was necessary in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal to end the "persecution of old men".

Msunduzi
9th May 2013, 11:29
Wouldn't it be more practical just to dispose of all the old men?

Less pensions costs, less bus passes, less medical costs, winter fuel allowance etc, and no wasted legal costs.

Dak Man
9th May 2013, 11:32
Getting rid of Barristers might be a good start.

603DX
9th May 2013, 11:33
The Hardwicke chambers, where Ms Hewson works in London, said it dissociated itself from her comments.
In a statement, Hardwicke said: "We are shocked by the views expressed in Barbara Hewson's article in Spiked.
"We did not see or approve the article pre-publication and we completely dissociate ourselves from its content and any related views she may have expressed via social media or any other media outlets."


Says it all, really. How much further out on a limb can a person go, than having their own chambers disown their bizarre views?

vulcanised
9th May 2013, 11:33
Already posted that in JS thread.

Mike X
9th May 2013, 11:34
Interesting that it is a woman barrister...

Dak Man
9th May 2013, 11:35
Probably ugly and never had a sasauge in her purse, but I digress.

toffeez
9th May 2013, 11:36
The age of consent is 13 in some countries. It's worthy of debate, nothing to render you speechless.

She also said some things which are refreshingly non-PC:

Ms Hewson described Hall's crimes as "low-level misdemeanours" which "ordinarily... would not be prosecuted".

"What we have here is the manipulation of the British criminal justice system to produce scapegoats on demand."

"It is a grotesque spectacle," she said. "It's time to end this prurient charade, which has nothing to do with justice or the public interest."

Fox3WheresMyBanana
9th May 2013, 11:40
Canada has the age of consent at 16, but has close in age exemptions that mean a young couple who have consensual sex aged, say 13 and 14, do not commit an offence. Seems sensible to me. Stuart Hall would still get locked up

VP959
9th May 2013, 11:47
This woman seems to have completely missed the point.

The issue with these offenders (and alleged offenders) isn't the age of consent at the time of the offences (and alleged offences) at all, it's the apparent fact that they committed these acts without the consent of their victims.

It doesn't matter what age they were, if they didn't consent then it's assault or rape.

Airborne Aircrew
9th May 2013, 11:55
Probably ugly and never had a sasauge in her purse, but I digress.

She's a boy!!!!!

http://www.legalweek.com/IMG/558/20558/a9b58ac3-6810-4838-abf0-ad15451db92c.jpg

603DX
9th May 2013, 11:56
She also said some things which are refreshingly non-PC:

Ms Hewson described Hall's crimes as "low-level misdemeanours" which "ordinarily... would not be prosecuted".

"What we have here is the manipulation of the British criminal justice system to produce scapegoats on demand."

"It is a grotesque spectacle," she said. "It's time to end this prurient charade, which has nothing to do with justice or the public interest."

I suspect that your opinion on these quotes would not be regarded as "refreshingly non-PC" by the majority of posters on JB, especially parents, more likely "sickening". :yuk:

Lon More
9th May 2013, 12:00
You hear in so many places that children grow up so much quicker now so maybe she has point. The Canadian viewpoint seems pretty humane.

I'm not defending non-consensual sex. For that, sex or age of the person raped is irrelevant, it should remain a crime, the penalties being made even harsher.

It's not the first time that she's been involved in controversial issues.

cattletruck
9th May 2013, 12:25
She's just another media slut looking for attention and fame before she is completely forgotten about.

Maybe she'll finally get a root out of it.

Octopussy2
9th May 2013, 12:33
Yeah, because that's what all women really need, eh, cattletruck?

You seem to have missed the irony that it's attitudes like yours which lead to assault :ugh:

cattletruck
9th May 2013, 12:41
I'm sure it's all about her and her only, but she is too precious for me to even give a fig anyway, and with that kind of Midas touch it looks like everyone is getting as far away as possible. Assault is just the wrong word here.

lomapaseo
9th May 2013, 13:27
good of her

she has set a stake in the ground far apart from the other side

Now at least in JB we can reason where the goal line can be practically achieved.

Meanwhile justice would demand that unless all old men have the same equal opportunity, that leveling the playing field by making examples of some ought to continue.

DX Wombat
9th May 2013, 13:36
Words fail me. Sometimes intelligent people have no common sense and this is one of those occasions. I wonder if she will be sacked for bringing her firm into disrepute?

Cacophonix
9th May 2013, 13:45
It is a difficult and contentious area. We all physically mature (or matured) at different ages and clearly the law has to strike a fine balance although I would argue that anybody who is 13 (no matter what the state of their physical maturity) is still a child and should be protected by the law.

Nonetheless I see no reason for her to be sacked for opening up a difficult debate at a time of national hysteria.

As for the comments about this young lady's appearance what the hell as that got to do with the validity or otherwise of her points of view?

Caco

Dak Man
9th May 2013, 13:56
Nothing at all Caco, which is why I said I was digressing.....

Cacophonix
9th May 2013, 14:00
Nothing at all Caco, which is why I said I was digressing.....

Fair play. Switching my po-face mode off! :ok:

Caco

crippen
9th May 2013, 14:03
'It doesn't matter what age they were, if they didn't consent then it's assault or rape.'
Wiki
Statuary rape -
The offense is often based on a presumption that people under a certain age do not have the capacity to give informed consent. The age at which individuals are considered competent to give consent, called the age of consent, varies in different countries and regions; in the US, the age ranges from 16 to 18. Sexual activity that violates age-of-consent law, but is neither violent nor physically coerced, is sometimes described as "statutory rape,"

Airborne Aircrew
9th May 2013, 14:06
I have to admit that I have always had a problem with one particular area of this issue. That being the 16 year old male having consensual sex with his 15 year old girlfriend, (sometimes a "long term" girlfriend), being labeled a Registered Sex Offender for the rest of his life when the parents find out/object. I believe that the sex offender tag sticks around for a long time if the boy is 15 and the girl is 15 too.

I'll also freely admit I'm utterly unsure of how to draw the line... Should a 20 year old male who's girlfriend is 15 be prosecuted while the 19 year old "gets away with it"... Or is that too old too?

I do think there needs to be a way of punishing the predatory while leaving the non-predatory un-labeled for life.

MagnusP
9th May 2013, 14:19
For the sake of argument, would this dozy barrister take her nearly-13-y-o daughter along to the GP and have her put on oral contraception, then say "go for it, sweetie"?

teeteringhead
9th May 2013, 14:19
Where I hail from (Sarf Landan) we used to have an informal "she's too young" rule of thumb, which was half your own age plus 7. Younger than that was a bit dodgy ......

So on that principle, AA's 20 year old shouldn't go younger than 17, whilst AA himself should go for 34 and a half as a minimum (he wishes!!). "Reverse engineering" it - as it were, means that 15 year olds should be off limits if you are more than 16. (Fortunately at 16 I was going out with an 18 year old....)

And today's trivia is that the youngest age of consent in Europe is 12!! In the Vatican City no less. Apparently that was the Italian age of consent in 1925 (?) when Vatican became a separate state, and its Constitution prevents any change to the Italian laws it took on board at that time. But I guess there aren't many young girls in the Vatican......

[Edited to respond to MagnusP] ... but if the daughter were 14, she could get contraceptives from the GP without her parents being informed - which is a little inconsistent....

VP959
9th May 2013, 14:20
Wiki
Statuary rape -
The offense is often based on a presumption that people under a certain age do not have the capacity to give informed consent. The age at which individuals are considered competent to give consent, called the age of consent, varies in different countries and regions; in the US, the age ranges from 16 to 18. Sexual activity that violates age-of-consent law, but is neither violent nor physically coerced, is sometimes described as "statutory rape,"

Not here. This is an English barrister, suggesting a change to English and Welsh law. At the moment, a girl (or boy) that's over the age of 13 can be deemed to give informed consent, so the US interpretation of this charge doesn't apply unless the age is under 13.

I have to admit that I have always had a problem with one particular area of this issue. That being the 16 year old male having consensual sex with his 15 year old girlfriend, (sometimes a "long term" girlfriend), being labeled a Registered Sex Offender for the rest of his life when the parents find out/object. I believe that the sex offender tag sticks around for a long time if the boy is 15 and the girl is 15 too.

I'll also freely admit I'm utterly unsure of how to draw the line... Should a 20 year old male who's girlfriend is 15 be prosecuted while the 19 year old "gets away with it"... Or is that too old too?

I do think there needs to be a way of punishing the predatory while leaving the non-predatory un-labeled for life.

AA, I wholeheartedly share your view, and equally have no idea where we should draw the line. All we can do is leave it to the prosecutors and courts in the hope that they will apply common sense in the particular circumstances that apply in each case. For that reason I think we should remove the automatic sex offender tag and allow the courts freedom to apply a sensible judgement.

For the sake of argument, would this dozy barrister take her nearly-13-y-o daughter along to the GP and have her put on oral contraception, then say "go for it, sweetie"?

MagnusP, I know a mother who did just that when her 14 year old daughter went off to pony club camp for the first time. That was in a "respectable" family back in the late sixties and the mother was just acknowledging what her daughter was going to do anyway.

MagnusP
9th May 2013, 14:26
Not quite the case in Scotland, VP959. While over 13 doesn't count as statutory rape, anyone who has reached 16 and has penetrates a child who has reached 13 but not 16 commits an offence of having intercourse with and older child. Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009.

VP959
9th May 2013, 14:30
That's why I was specific and said "England and Wales". TBH I wasn't at all sure how Scots law dealt with this, but I automatically assumed it would be different .

MagnusP
9th May 2013, 14:32
Oh; I understood, ta. I was just pointing out the differences in different jurisdictions. :ok:

VP959
9th May 2013, 14:37
There's an interesting article on this subject here: BBC News | E-CYCLOPEDIA | Underage sex: The letter of the law (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1999/02/99/e-cyclopedia/437789.stm)

I was surprised to learn that girls could marry at 12 right up until 1927. This does bring into focus once more how our moral compass has swung around in less than a century. We accepted, by implication, that having sex with a 12 year old girl was both legal and socially acceptable as late as 1927, something that could now result in life imprisonment.

rgbrock1
9th May 2013, 14:40
Lost For Words? Division Bell by Pink Floyd.

I was spending my time in the doldrums
I was caught in a cauldron of hate
I felt persecuted and paralysed
I thought that everything else would just wait

While you are wasting your time on your enemies
Engulfed in a fever of spite
Beyond your tunnel vision reality fades
Like shadows into the night

To martyr yourself to caution
Is not going to help at all
'Cause there'll be no safety in numbers
When the right one walks out of the door

Can you see your days blighted by darkness?
Is it true you beat your fists on the floor?
Stuck in a world of isolation
While the ivy grows over the door

So I open my door to my enemies
And I ask could we wipe the slate clean
But they tell me to please go **** myself
You know you just can't win.

Lonewolf_50
9th May 2013, 14:56
A few of the states here in the US have so called "Romeo and Juliett" laws that mitigate for age differences of 3 years of less.

What this means is, if you are a boy o 17 and your GF is 14, the statutory rape isn't an automatic issue.
There may still be problems of assault or non consensual sex, however ...

Airborne Aircrew
9th May 2013, 15:54
VP959:

All we can do is leave it to the prosecutors and courts in the hope that they will apply common sense in the particular circumstances that apply in each caseAhh... I shouldn't be holding my breath then... ;)

I was surprised to learn that girls could marry at 12 right up until 1927. This does bring into focus once more how our moral compass has swung around in less than a century. We accepted, by implication, that having sex with a 12 year old girl was both legal and socially acceptable as late as 1927, something that could now result in life imprisonment. That's rather interesting. I've done some fairly extensive genealogical research into my family all the way back to 1712 and only came across one instance of premarital "bliss" and I did not come across any examples of anyone marrying less than the age of 18 since the clear marital records became available in 1847.

So, it seems that, despite being the direct descendant of a gentleman who was "addicted to intemperance", my family was really rather moral... :}

rgbrock1
9th May 2013, 15:59
Airborne wrote:

That's rather interesting. I've done some fairly extensive genealogical research into my family all the way back to 1712 and only came across one instance of premarital "bliss" and I did not come across any examples of anyone marrying less than the age of 18 since the clear marital records became available in 1847.

Yes, but are not your ancestral roots in the UK? I'm sure that would make quite a difference.

I know, for example, that my ancestral grandmother wed at age 16. (No, she didn't have a shotgun wedding.)

Airborne Aircrew
9th May 2013, 16:09
RGB:

Since VP959's given location is "UK" I'm assuming he was talking about UK law...

Check your PM's

rgbrock1
9th May 2013, 16:12
Alles klar, airborne.

Mike X
9th May 2013, 17:51
Hell, I was 14 when I lost it to a 16 year old.

"Bonked" a 13 year old when I was 17.

That's life, growing up and figuring it out.

Enjoyed many 4 year long relationships, but it's all the same.

I'm 43 now, single and happy.

Been there, done that.

Caboclo
9th May 2013, 20:32
Why stop at 13?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Man/Boy_Love_Association :yuk:

Re various comments about "our moral compass swinging" and kids maturing quicker these days. Back in the day kids were given much more responsibility and duties than today; kids today may mature physically earlier than they used to, but a 12 year old from 100 years ago was most likely more mentally mature than an 18 year old today.

vulcanised
9th May 2013, 21:31
I would have thought a sensible bar might be the typical age at which a female becomes self-lubricating?

No, I don't know when that occurs http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/evil.gif

Noah Zark.
9th May 2013, 22:11
It is to be hoped that the barrister in question never becomes a judge.

lomapaseo
9th May 2013, 23:38
Been there, done that.

and still doing it ?

toffeez
10th May 2013, 06:29
"Kids maturing quicker"

They may mature physically earlier and dress like hookers, but today's kids can't beat the sexual enthusiasm of the 60s and 70s girls.

What would be called "assault" today was regular weekend fun for a whole generation. And it wasn't just the lads who were the instigators.

VP959
10th May 2013, 06:55
And it wasn't just the lads who were the instigators.

Not by a long chalk. My experience was that there were a LOT of pretty precocious girls around then.

I think there was a sudden change in attitudes that came along with what the press called the sexual revolution. Look back at the sort of hysteria shown by young girls at the pop and rock concerts in the early sixties (Beatlemania, for example) and it's clear that it suddenly became OK for young girls to appear to chase after young men quite openly, rather than wait to be courted.

The advent of the pill, and the relaxing of sexual morality that happened more generally in the sixties added impetus to this change, as did fashion (miniskirts, hot pants etc) and the way popular music became overtly sexual (Je Taime, and the lyrics from many other pop songs of the time, for example).

This all added up to a heady atmosphere where sex was out in the open and the difference in moral outlook between the younger generation and their parents was much greater than it had ever been in the past.

I think it's hard now for anyone not part of that change to imagine what it was like, or how it acted to provide an atmosphere where predators like Savile and Hall could flourish without seeming to be out of the ordinary.

PukinDog
10th May 2013, 09:17
Aside from discussions of what the age of consent should be and reminicing about what some seem to think were to good old days when middle-aged men with a penchant for exploiting young girls could do so with impunity if everyone was high, drunk, or star-struck enough, the most troubling thing in what this moronic woman said was this..

Ms Hewson described Hall's crimes as "low-level misdemeanours and nothing like serious crime" and " ordinarily would not be prosecuted".

She's referring to Hall which includes sexually assaulting pre-teen girls, the youngest 9 years old and according to other reports a 10 and 11 year old as well. To her a man middle-aged man (then) sexually assaulting pre-teen girls represents a "low-level misdemeanour" and maintains it wouldn't ordinarily be prosecuted? None of the girls Hall assaulted consented to it, even the ones that were the age of consent at the time.

Can you imagine placing a young girl in this woman's care? Knowing her attitude about what she considers serious, would you trust her to babysit your daughter in your absence while she allowed some of her old men friends she feels are being unfairly "persecuted Soviet Union-style" to come around for drinks?

Then this red herring...

She said that "touching a 17-year-old's breast, kissing a 13-year-old, or putting one's hand up a 16-year-old's skirt" are not crimes comparable to gang rapes and murders and "anyone suggesting otherwise has lost touch with reality".

What world does this woman live in, where she thinks anyone compared the examples she gives to gang rapes and murder, and why would one do that? Why is she comparing them except as an attempt to downplay the seriousness of Hall's crimes of sexual assault, which were crimes when he committed them and has admitted to?

She goes on..

''It's time to end this prurient charade, which has nothing to do with justice or the public interest.''

The barrister added: ''Instead, we should focus on arming today's youngsters with the savoir-faire and social skills to avoid drifting into compromising situations, and prosecute modern crime.

Is she off her rocker? "Instead, arm youngsters with the savoir-faire and social skills to avoid...."? Someone inform this idiotic woman that any society that would rely on the "savoir-faire and social skills of youngsters" to defend themselves against abuse and exploitation from adult predators in positions of trust or power is a sick one. She's expects 13-year olds to do this? Does she imagine 12 year-olds attending a year of Savoir-faire 101 classes to prepare themselves for the lechings of manipulative, perverted old men and turn a legal blind eye to what happens when they hit 13?

Along with the removing anonimity and creating a statute of limitations, her "answer" is basically a formula that clears the way for the type of dirty old men she sides herself with to reach for younger and rewards them by placing the sexual responsibility on KIDS, not the adult, and after a certain period of time goes by they've gotten away with it.

Makes you wonder what kind of kinks she harbours herself. I'm thinking along the same lines as her old men friends she thinks haven't done much wrong.

MagnusP
10th May 2013, 09:22
placing the sexual responsibility on KIDS,

Indeed, PukinDog, and presumably the fcekwit also believes that rape is the woman's responsibility.

VP959
10th May 2013, 09:33
She's expects 13-year olds to do this? Does she imagine 12 year-olds attending a year of Savoir-faire 101 classes to prepare themselves for the lechings of manipulative, perverted old men and turn a legal blind eye to what happens when they hit 13?

Not defending her in any way, shape or form, but all she's really doing here is reciting the law as it currently applies to the age of informed consent.

The law in England and Wales allows that a 13 year old girl can give informed consent to sex, even though the act itself is unlawful at that age, a 12 year old cannot, hence the 12/13 divide this odious woman refers to.

The equivalent here of what would be statutory rape in the US is only a valid charge if the girl is under 13. If a girl of 13 or over gives consent to sex, then it is extremely improbable that a charge would be brought against someone close to her in age. If it were an adult (say someone over 18 to 20 or so) accused then things would be treated differently, but even then if a 13 year old girl gives consent to sex then that would be taken into account here.

The above assumes consent, not assault or rape, which is always a serious offence.

Cacophonix
10th May 2013, 09:54
this moronic woman said was this...

The woman is clearly not a moron. Just because you don't agree with her doesn't it make it so.

Caco

PukinDog
10th May 2013, 11:05
VP959

Not defending her in any way, shape or form, but all she's really doing here is reciting the law as it currently applies to the age of informed consent.

The law in England and Wales allows that a 13 year old girl can give informed consent to sex, even though the act itself is unlawful at that age, a 12 year old cannot, hence the 12/13 divide this odious woman refers to.

The equivalent here of what would be statutory rape in the US is only a valid charge if the girl is under 13. If a girl of 13 or over gives consent to sex, then it is extremely improbable that a charge would be brought against someone close to her in age. If it were an adult (say someone over 18 to 20 or so) accused then things would be treated differently, but even then if a 13 year old girl gives consent to sex then that would be taken into account here.

The above assumes consent, not assault or rape, which is always a serious offence.Why am I not suprised your response is an attempt to mitigate what she said by using your version of "understanding"?

Shes talking about lowering the age of consent from 16 to 13, and she's not talking about lowering it with a "Romeo and Juliet" constraint as you're trying to imply. The entire context of her statements are with regards to her old men friends under fire now, and how she thinks they shouldn't be for what they did. Her suggestion to lower the age to 13 is because she believes that grown men of any age should be be allowed to try and manipulate (by any means short of force) their way into the knickers of girls that young without fear.

You're trying to lay down yet another smokescreen, much like when you "remind" people about the late 60s where you pretend your social circle of young musicians and younger groupies represented the "norm" or what was criminal even as defined back then.

PukinDog
10th May 2013, 11:09
Caco
The woman is clearly not a moron. Just because you don't agree with her doesn't it make it so.

Oh, she clearly is. Just because you agree with her doesn't make her not.

WAC
10th May 2013, 11:12
Hmmm, well that half plus 7 thing stuffs me up... At 42 with my partner just on 20 years younger it doesn't quite work out :uhoh:

....but hell, I'm not gunna complain ;)

Msunduzi
10th May 2013, 11:23
.................Hmmm, well that half plus 7 thing stuffs me up... At 42 with my partner just on 20 years younger it doesn't quite work out

....but hell, I'm not gunna complain .......................


Don't worry, in 20 years time it will work out with some to spare.

WAC
10th May 2013, 11:42
Yep... For now we'll just have to deal with it! :O
...if it doesn't kill me sooner...

VP959
10th May 2013, 11:57
PukinDog wrote:
Why am I not suprised your response is an attempt to mitigate what she said by using your version of "understanding"?

Shes talking about lowering the age of consent from 16 to 13, and she's not talking about lowering it with a "Romeo and Juliet" constraint as you're trying to imply. The entire context of her statements are with regards to her old men friends under fire now, and how she thinks they shouldn't be for what they did. Her suggestion to lower the age to 13 is because she believes that grown men of any age should be be allowed to try and manipulate (by any means short of force) their way into the knickers of girls that young without fear.

You're trying to lay down yet another smokescreen, much like when you "remind" people about the late 60s where you pretend your social circle of young musicians and younger groupies represented the "norm" or what was criminal even as defined back then.

Ye Gods you have a very weird way of interpreting and twisting things around just to be provocative, don't you?

All I did was point out the law, our law, as it applies in our country where this odious woman happens to practice law. I was not discussing your law, in your country, neither is that the subject of this thread.

The law here regarding this is fairly clear. Whether you, as a foreigner, disagree with it is neither here nor there, we are the ones subject to it. We don't have what you quaint colonials refer to as "Romeo and Juliet" laws, nor do we have a law that makes sex with someone under the age of consent automatically statutory rape. You may not like that, but that's tough, it's what we have here in England and Wales.

I don't agree that the age of consent should be reduced to 13, and I don't agree with any of the points this woman has made, but there is a strong argument that the legal situation we have here at the moment is a bit bizarre, and perhaps needs to be addressed by some change in the law.

We have an age of consent of 16, yet also have a law that means that someone 13 or over but under 16 can consent to sex, even though it's illegal. The law works because the police and CPS here rarely prosecute anyone for having sex with someone between the age of 13 and 16 if consent has been freely given.

My view is that the law should fall more into line with what is being practised by the police and CPS. What's the point of having a law that makes something illegal if another law effectively means that the first law can be almost ignored? What's the point of the law that says a 13 year old can consent to sex when at that age it's illegal?

radeng
10th May 2013, 12:30
It's hard to know where to draw the line because cases vary. I know of a case where a 15 year old took a shine to 37 year old man. They've now been together for 12 years, married for 8 years and after she got her PhD (in Mechanical Engineering, so not a 'tear off' one), they had their first baby who is now 2-1/2. Happily married couple......

Mrs radeng was 16 when we met: I was 29. 30th wedding anniversary in September...

Cases vary. Even back in the early sixties, it was 'usual' for the local High School for Girls to see about 3 pregnancies a year for girls between 14 and 18 - out of about 550 pupils.

Ancient Observer
10th May 2013, 12:44
I do not know what this woman's motives were, but, for a barrister, she "framed" her opinion wrongly.

The UK does need to debate the issues that she has raised, but she has raised them so badly I can't see there being any debate at all.

I have 2 daughters. I am not a paedo. How can the issues she has raised be discussed?

toffeez
10th May 2013, 12:59
In the 60s and 70s one might feel a right tit if one fondled the breast of the barmaid in the local pub. But nothing to be locked up for.

One might get a clip round the ear, or one might get lucky, but the police were never involved and lawyers didn't get rich as a result.

What is sickening is that these now 50+ ladies are desperately looking for ways to augment their pension. And the lawyers do get rich.
.

VP959
10th May 2013, 12:59
It's a UK thing....
I do not know what this woman's motives were, but, for a barrister, she "framed" her opinion wrongly.

The UK does need to debate the issues that she has raised, but she has raised them so badly I can't see there being any debate at all.

I have 2 daughters. I am not a paedo. How can the issues she has raised be discussed?

I wholeheartedly agree.

If she was trying to kick-start a debate, then she may well have just alienated the very people that should be discussing it - in all probability she'll now just be seen as a fruit cake.

The issues seem to be that we have an odd anomaly in the law (as mentioned above) that allows a 13 year old to consent to sex, but a law that makes sex under 16 unlawful.

We also have to acknowledge that under-16's have been having consensual sex for a very long time, and have been ignoring the law for so long that now the police and CPS do the same.

The challenge seems to be to frame a law that protects young people from predatory sex offenders, yet doesn't criminalise consensual sex between those old enough to be able to make an informed decision.

This latter age is a tricky one. We have (in England and Wales) an age of criminal responsibility of 10, that's the age at which we deem children to understand right from wrong in a criminal sense. If a child of 9 murders someone they will be deemed to have not understood the seriousness of the crime, if a child of 11 murders someone they will and will receive a lengthy period of incarceration.

We've set the age for informed consent to sex at 13 for some reason. I can't quite understand why this age was chosen. If we have an age of consent of 16, why should the age of informed consent to an unlawful act be set at 13?

Personally I'd like to see a way to prevent those of similar ages who indulge in consensual sex from being criminalised and put on the sex offenders register, as that seems a ludicrous way to treat something like this. At the same time we need robust law that can ensure that those who assault and rape children get the penalty they deserve.

Airborne Aircrew
10th May 2013, 13:57
We also have to acknowledge that under-16's have been having consensual sex for a very long time, and have been ignoring the law for so long that now the police and CPS do the same

I have always thought it a little preposterous that we try to legislate hormones... ;)

toffeez
10th May 2013, 14:19
When I was 17 a classmate of mine had a superb 14 year-old girlfriend. That was 50 years ago and I still remember the sexual athletics they got up to.

They never worried about a visit from Mr Plod. And me? I was just jealous.

PukinDog
10th May 2013, 14:54
VP959
The issues seem to be that we have an odd anomaly in the law (as mentioned above) that allows a 13 year old to consent to sex, but a law that makes sex under 16 unlawful.

We've set the age for informed consent to sex at 13 for some reason. I can't quite understand why this age was chosen. If we have an age of consent of 16, why should the age of informed consent to an unlawful act be set at 13?

I'm not sure why it seems odd to you. Everything I've read about your informed consent applies to things other than sex where it's a child consent vs. required parental/guardian consent for issues such as with medical procedures etc.

For sex, however, in the eyes of your law a child under 16 can't give informed consent. This is why the age of consent exists, and this "gray area" from the ages 13 to 15 you seem concerned would seem only seem to be a concern for those in that peer group who want to have sex with each other.

For a grown man, however, I don't see where any conundrum exists unless you can't keep your hands off girls under 16 years of age or are disappointed you can't legally score a 13 year old girfriend with gifts of Iphones or a trip to Disney World.

VP959
10th May 2013, 15:16
I'm not sure why it seems odd to you. Everything I've read about your informed consent applies to things other than sex where it's a child consent vs. required parental/guardian consent for issues such as with medical procedures etc.

For sex, however, in the eyes of your law a child under 16 can't give informed consent. This is why the age of consent exists, and this "gray area" from the ages 13 to 15 you seem concerned would seem only seem to be a concern for those in that peer group who want to have sex with each other.

As you seem to have misunderstood the law as it applies here (in England and Wales, Scotland is different), I'll try and clarify it.

Sex under 16 is unlawful, but a child of 13 or over can consent to sex, and their consent is deemed to be informed. This means that if someone has consensual sex with a 13 year old then it isn't rape or assault. It's still unlawful, but it isn't at all probable that such a case would get to court, the police and the CPS don't generally bother to prosecute in such cases.

This policy of "turning a blind eye" has been extant for decades, and doesn't just apply to kids of around the same age. It depends very much on the circumstances, but in general it would be pretty unusual for a prosecution, brought solely on the basis of unlawful consensual sex to get off the ground here.


For a grown man, however, I don't see where any conundrum exists unless you can't keep your hands off girls under 16 years of age or are disappointed you can't legally score a 13 year old girfriend with gifts of Iphones or a trip to Disney World.

There is no conundrum, the law is clear, if a little unusual in the way it's applied.

In any case of non-consensual sex with one party being under 16 then it's assault or rape, no question.

However, there are cases where people of unequal ages, with one being under the age of consent, but over the age of being able to give informed consent, (i.e between 13 and 16) have relationships and do have consensual sex. At the moment they are both breaking the law by doing this, and the older partner faces being put on the Sex Offenders Register if prosecuted, just the same as someone who's committed rape or sexual assault.

Mac the Knife
10th May 2013, 16:51
Some degree of rationality has to be injected into the current hoopla. Hewson argues sensibly and it is a pity that people choose (for their own reasons) to concentrate on the last seven words of her article in Spiked - Yewtree is destroying the rule of law | Barbara Hewson | spiked (http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13604/) (which I suspect few people has read in it's entirety).

I too find the highly public pursuit of old men for squeezing some teen's arse 40 years ago a prurient charade.

And the conflation of a grope of an adolescent's breast, with the full forcible rape of small children does no one any good.

Mac

:bored:

603DX
10th May 2013, 17:55
I too find the highly public pursuit of old men for squeezing some teen's arse 40 years ago a prurient charade.

And the conflation of a grope of an adolescent's breast, with the full forcible rape of small children does no one any good.



I guess that you have no daughters, Mac. If any male, of any age, had squeezed my girls' personal parts as you describe without their consent, then I would have been all in favour of castration using a blunt kitchen knife ...

Attitudes to this sort of thing vary enormously, depending on one's personal family experience.

Dak Man
10th May 2013, 18:17
For me, 3 daughters hence zero tolerance.

No means no, otherwise Messrs Holland & Holland make a timely appearance.

I suspect that going after the celebs from yesteryear is merely diversionary while the real nasty pieces of work continue in full view.

toffeez
10th May 2013, 19:06
I presume you're not a judge, 603DX, as you appear to lack judgement.

I'm not in a position to squeeze your daughter's buttocks, so I don't risk very much from your cutlery.

In my part of euroland I witness groping "atrocities" daily. Apparently no-one cares, and to my knowledge no privates have been amputated.
.

radeng
10th May 2013, 20:35
So at what age would you accept your daughter have consensual sex?

problem for all parents...

I know a lady (she's 60 now) who from the age of 19 would bring regular boy friends home for the night - as would her (now unfortunately dead sister). Mother would take up a tray of tea in the morning - two cups, with biscuits, to each sister's room.

Pragmatic approach?

VP959
10th May 2013, 21:10
For me, 3 daughters hence zero tolerance.

No means no, otherwise Messrs Holland & Holland make a timely appearance.

I suspect that going after the celebs from yesteryear is merely diversionary while the real nasty pieces of work continue in full view.

But, what if the young girl says yes, or even instigates sex when underage?

I think the key point that this woman was trying to make (very badly, and without an ounce of common sense) is that young people will have sex before they reach the age of consent, and have been doing so for decades.

Most parents don't like this, but ultimately have no choice but to accept it and guide their kids (especially girls) as best they can.

The key question is, should consensual sex between under age kids be a criminal act, one that carries the lifetime stigma of being put on the Sex Offenders Register?

Clearly the police and CPS tend to think it shouldn't be criminalised, as we know that around a 1/4 of kids under 16 are sexually active, yet it is pretty rare for anyone to be prosecuted.

This woman seems to have been trying to argue (very badly) that the issue is with the age of consent. I don't agree with her, the issue is with the blunt instrument of the law that makes a 16 year old having consensual sex with a 15 year old a sex criminal that will never be able to hold down a job or live anywhere for the rest of his life because it will be public knowledge that he's a registered sex offender.

probes
14th May 2013, 05:33
Burning Question: Will the redesign of Disney's Merida negatively affect my daughter's development? Will the sudden appearance of a thinner, sexier version of a cartoon hurt a girl's self-esteem? -- Clara K.

Short answer: Yep.
In case you've been living at the bottom of a loch, the heroine of the animated film "Brave" got a wee bit of a makeover recently. The feisty Scottish archer lass, who debuted at a healthy fighting weight last year, now, inexplicably, has a a sultrier pout, a skinnier waist and a more revealing décolleté. (Stay classy, imagineers.)
The change was unveiled this month, to coordinate with Merida's official crowning as Disney's 11th-ever princess. Or something.

Whatever. Child development experts are not amused, and neither am I.
"This one character may not do any damage to a girl's psychological development, per se," child development expert Dr. Robyn Silverman tells me. "But Merida joins a barrage of thin, sultry characters for girls, making her yet another facet of our sexed-up, thinned down messaging."
Movie Pictures | Movie Posters - Yahoo! Movies (http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/merida-disney-princess-controversial-makeover-brave-heroine-really-224924634.html)

maybe that's the real source of worry, whatever the law. How come people stop being parents when it comes to making money, whatever the price?