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Tuesday, May 28. 2013
The Romeo and Juliet Problem
I have no answers. It's discussed here: Kaitlyn Hunt and the Romeo and Juliet problem.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in Psychology, and Dr. Bliss at 16:52 | Comments (28) | Trackbacks (0)
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In this instance it's not a case of Romeo and Juliet, or even Romona and Juliet. Hunt has been portrayed as a sexual predator who was grooming her victim, the much younger under-age girl, even after the parents warned her several times to stay away from their child. As for Hunt's defenders, "pedophilia" appears to be the next "gay". The parents' rights to bring up their child the way THEY want apparently count for nothing. What do we want? Free sex! When do we want it? Now!
Um, the younger girl is 14. She doesn't know what she's doing. Sorry. If this were an 18-year-old boy, I'd think the exact same thing.
Have you been around 14-year-old girls? They are worlds apart from an 18-year-old teen of either sex. I am always incredibly suspicious of older boys who are interested in teens who are 8th or 9th graders. These are very immature girls. They are in way over their heads, and the older boys know that very well. Thus, the reason they are targeted.
Same goes for older teen girl.
MissT, have you been around an 18-year-old too? Yes, they are worlds apart from a 14-year-old, but they aren't exactly mature, even if the law says they are adults. I must say, I'm stumped on this one. I don't know exactly what should be done, but I would hate to see any 18-year-old tagged for life as a felon and sexual predator under these circumstances.
Looking back, when I was 17- 19 I was an animal. I desired everything appealing, and went after it regardless of age. Maybe I could have used the hypersexed defense, but fortunately never needed to. Anyway. my hormones made me do it. Good fun was had by all. Brown-eyed girl, and all that.
So you don't think this was a case (as Whoopi Goldberg would say) of "rape-rape"? Maybe a bit of jail time or reform school for Hunt would wipe that ever present SEG off her face. If the stories I've read are true, she shouldn't be allowed around young kids for the next 10 years. This is no play by Bill Shakespeare for the parents. Good on them for calling the cops. It's unfortunate that Trayvon Martin's parents didn't do the same for him when his personality changed and he started to go feral. It might have saved their son's life.
When two people are that close to the same age, it's ridiculous to claim that one is a "predator" and the other a victim.
I would have us adopt the graduated law they have in Germany. It reads something like this:
(1) No one under 11 can be guilty of a sex crime. (Aside: in that country's history there is one known case where a 10-year-old boy participated in a rape. He was convicted of aggravated assault and did 2.5 years plus probation.)
(2) Except where (1) applies, no person in a position of trust may have sex with one of his/her "charges" unless the "charge" is over 21. ("Position of trust" is very broadly defined -- it's anyone with parental authority, even temporary like a babysitter, or any teacher, coach, counselor, religious advisor, club leader, etc.) It does not matter if the "trusted" person is younger or weaker than the "victim" for this rule.
(3) Except where (2) applies, voluntary sex between two people within 4 years of the same age is not a police matter. (This does not imply approval, it just means it is a situation the parents rather than police should be handling.)
(4) Except where (1), (2), or (3) applies, the age of consent is 16.
This makes a lot more sense than any law I've seen in the US, and that especially goes for the attitudes expressed in rules (2) and (3).
Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig commented in "From the Other Side" that you'll never get a sane discussion so long as the "partial archetype" of the innocent child is the narrative, and its reflexive opposite of the purely evil corrupter.
Child sexual abuse is very new (70s), as is child abuse (60s), and got legs I think because it's a soap opera narrative that holds viewers.
The surprising history is found in a 1990s essay by Ian Hacking, um...
rats, it's not online anymore. Well, look up The Making and Molding of Child Sexual Abuse in Critical Inquiry 17 (winter 1991)
It's the reason that some of us never heard of sexual predators and played outside at great distances from home, provided only that we were home for dinner.
IIRC, under English common law, there had to be malice to have a crime.
There is no malice here that I can discern.
Crimes are now whatever our betters determine them to be. Right, wrong, good, bad moral, immoral have nothing to do with it.
“…8th or 9th graders. These are very immature girls”. It should be fairly obvious to anyone who knows the history of the human race and understands sex that both boys and girls were designed (if you are religious) or evolved (if you are not religious) to have sex, attract sexual partners and procreate at/after puberty. It is a modern artifact that we want our children to remain celibate until age 18.
“I would hate to see any 18-year-old tagged for life as a felon and sexual predator under these circumstances.” But that is indeed what happens to a couple hundred thousand 18 year old boys every year in this country and I see no tears shed for them.
“When two people are that close to the same age, it's ridiculous to claim that one is a "predator" and the other a victim.” While I totally agree it also implies that if they aren’t close to the same age then one must be a predator and one must be a victim. If it is reasonable for a person under the age of 18 to have sex (which technically it is against the law for either gender) as long as the partner is under 18 or close to the same age then why does this minor lose this ‘right” if the partner they choose is 19 or 20 or 21 or…?
“There is no malice here that I can discern.” I totally agree. I think the same standard could be applied to the couple hundred thousand young men who are prosecuted every year.
To put forth the notion that the difference between 14 and 18 is trivial is to tell a goggam lie. How about the diff betwixt 8 and 12? 15 and 19? 4 and 8?
The dirty double standard is in the sad, reflexive need on the part of some to see homo-sex as extra-specially wholesome. Practically divine. Sick.
Is 4 years the cutoff? When did that happen? When was the decision made? By whom?
There is no malice here that I can discern.
My, what a retarded standard. Does the drunk driver do so with malice? Does the pederast seek anything but mutual pleasure (on the down low)? These teachers fucking their 14 yr old students didn't commit a crime? Holy frog mess.
There are so many more facts to this case then just their ages. Their first "date" was in a school bathroom stall, and when the 14 year old left home and went to the other's house they played with some vibrators. Where were the 18 year olds parents and where did she get the vibrators? This was not innocent love.
Under what circumstances is, or should underage sex be illegal?
So Roman Polanski was simply involved in "underage sex"? Statutory rape doesn't exist? Can't happen? The age of consent is zero?
Who are you fucking people?
Let's see if I have this straight. According to rule #3 a 12 year old girl can willingly perform oral sex on a 16 y/o boy or can have vaginal sex with him, and it is NOT a crime as long as he is not her baby sitter or her tutor or in some such position of trust? Do you think a 12 y/o is mature enough to give informed consent to sex? And how certain can one be that coercion or peer pressure plays absolutely no role in such a situation, that the sex is completely voluntary? Would you trust the children involved to tell the absolute truth about what they did? Sorry, it doesn't seem right to allow the police to foist this off on parents to settle---especially, as happened in this case, the family of the under-age girl allege they called the authorities after their personal efforts to stop the Hunt girl from molesting their child went unheeded. Personally, I would have tried to get a restraining order in court before going to the cops, but I won't fault the protective parents in this instance for doing what they thought best for their daughter.
I don't think anyone would disagree that the difference between 14 and 18 is not trivial. The question is if the intent is to protect a 14 year old (boy or girl) from sex why would it be acceptable then if the 14 year old had sex with another 14 year old but not acceptable if they had sex with an 18 year old? Or what if the 14 year old is mature and the 18 year old is immature? Why should either of them face jail and a lifetime of being labeled a sexual predator? Why shouldn't both of them face jail and a lifetime of being labeled a sexual predator? Why not give them both an IQ test and tar and feather the smartest one since they were more mature and must be more responsible for the "crime". Why punish either one for doing what nature predisposed them to do? Why set some arbitrary standard for one gender and not the other?
When I was a Junior and Senior in High School things were much simpler. It was the 1980s. A simple time!!
I swear I wonder if kids today are at once more knowledgeable about sexual matters and less capable of navigating sexual matters as it concerns them personally.
Anyway, first rule was you weren't supposed to be having sex anyway. Did people cheat on that rule? Absolutely. But they were actually pretty discrete about it. Because you weren't supposed to be having sex.
Second rule was - well there wasn't a second rule. There didn't have to be one. If you were in High School you were datable by any other HS student, period; an unexpressed rule so taken for granted it would have been peculiar to express it.
I would be surprised if any student or teacher ever gave a second thought to the mere variation of age between two students who happened to be dating - any concern would be more practical. I don't even know what the age of consent actually was. "Jailbait" was something college students and dirty old men had to worry about.
Parents - yes I can think of a few girls who's parents were noticeably more protective of their daughters than others, and maybe with good reason. But that never meant "no 18 year old can date our 14 year old!!" it meant "sure you can date but it will be supervised closely" with the background assumption of "you're not supposed to be having sex."
If some Senior was found to have knocked up a Freshman, well that would have been a big old scandal and tongues would wag. The parents of both would have a very serious discussion about the matter. Even if the variation in age was such that there was a technical crime, everybody - adults, too - would have been freaked out if the Senior got prosecuted for it - without the consent of the parents of the female. The local authorities would not have dropped that hammer unless the girl's parents wanted it to happen.
See. Problem is all the rules have come undone, and we're all told that the rules were bad anyway and do as you like. At the same time, there is a desperate need for clear boundaries everybody recognizes.
As recently as the '80s adults and kids had a clearer notion of where the boundary lines were. By and large they didn't need the freaking authorities to step in and parse it out for them.
Now, because there are no rules, we have to resort to the Courts. It's a Catch-22; we're presumed to be libertines but the law becomes inflexible as a dry deacon.
Maybe I am more sensitive to this topic as I have a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old in the house...and one is almost 20 and has navigated high school with younger people around him.
There is a HUGE difference between the maturity of a 14-year-old and the maturity of an 18-year-old. 14-year-old girls still sleep with stuffed animals. Still draw pictures of horses.
Please don't use the old 'but girls mature earlier than boys' as an excuse. Are you saying the minute a girl gets her period she is ready and mature for sex? Some girls get their periods as early as 10 or 11. If that is the standard for maturity, I am disgusted by what has happend to our society.
And ANY 18-year-old who is interested in dating a 14-year-old needs a serious talking to. Our high school gives out a brochure to every kid who turns 18 highlighting laws and responsibilities that now fall on their shoulders. Doesn't matter if you don't think 18 is the right age to be considered adult, it is the LAW. It has been that way for who knows how many decade and every kid knows that.
Just because an 18-year-old can't rein in his sexual desires, is no excuse for preying on a 14-year-old 8th grade kid. DISGUSTING.
"Maybe I am more sensitive to this topic as I have a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old" Most of us have as well. Should your 17 year old go to jail and be labeled a pedophile for the rest of his/her life because he dated a younger girl? This happens in this country at an incredible rate and we all turn a blind eye to it.
"There is a HUGE difference between the maturity of a 14-year-old and the maturity of an 18-year-old" Absolutely true and yet we accept or at least in general don't criminalize sex between two 14 year old children. Aren't they every bit as immature when they have sex with someone their own age?? Is the intent of the law to make 18 year old boys criminal or protect 14 year old girls. Should the law discriminate between boys and girls? It does?
"Please don't use the old 'but girls mature earlier than boys' as an excuse" Excuse? No, biology. Do you think we evolved to have children/sex at 21 or 18? For better or worse we evolved to have sex at puberty and both boys and girls want to have sex after puberty. Our enlightened society has delt with this problem by deeming all girls under the age of 18 to be incapable of making such a decision AND to prosecute only boys. Does this sound like a good model for our society?
"ANY 18-year-old who is interested in dating a 14-year-old needs a serious talking to" You gotta be kidding. Let me repeat: god or nature (your choice) has given all girls and boys the looks and sexual attractiveness after puberty to attract the opposite sex for the purpose of procreation. I do think it is very 'telling" that you didn't say any 14 year old girl that is interested in dating an 18 year old boy needs a serious talking to.
"Doesn't matter if you don't think 18 is the right age to be considered adult, it is the LAW" You are absolutely correct. In fact it was tested all the way to the Supreme Court by a father of a girl in California. The two children were dating all through High School and the father just didn't like the boy. So when the boy turned 18 (three days before the girl turned 18) the father pressed charges and it worked it's way through the courts and the Supremes agreed that at 18 you are an adult and that is constitutional and we are all onboard. The young man faced three years in jail and a lifetime of being labeled a sexual predator. And we are all OK with this???
"Just because an 18-year-old can't rein in his sexual desires, is no excuse for preying on a 14-year-old 8th grade kid." You are 100% CORRECT. Conversely just because a 14 year old girl can't rein in her sexual desires an 18 year old boy must go to jail and be labeled a sexual predator. So why isn't the 14 year old punished??? Are you assuming only one gender was involved in this decision? Why?
Roman Polanski committed forcible rape and sodomy on a unwilling underage girl. There's apples, and there are oranges and then there's bad eggs.
And can you watch the language?
GWTW: "So why isn't the 14 year old punished??? Are you assuming only one gender was involved in this decision? Why?"
There is a vast difference in the typical maturity levels of a 14 y/o and an 18 y/o. Society recognizes the difference and (rightfully) expects much more adult judgement and behavior from an 18 y/o than from the younger child. To answer your question, that's "why." Society allows the 18 y/o more freedom, for example, permission to drive a car, but with that freedom goes more personal responsibility. When it comes to a relationship between two such people, it doesn't matter who "was involved in the decision." Society says that a 14 y/o CHILD does not have the capacity to consent and the 18 y/o young ADULT does. Period. End of story. That's the legal standard. MissT has it right and is absolutely spot on: "ANY 18-year-old who is interested in dating a 14-year-old needs a serious talking to."
And, yes, I would also talk seriously to a 14-year-old boy OR girl who was wanting to date an 18-year-old.
Already had that conversation when my daughter was a 14-year-old freshman and an 18-year-old creep was showing an interest in her by starting fights over any boy who dare look at her. It was CREEPY, and I let her know in no uncertain terms that I found it strange that an 18-year-old boy couldn't find a girl his own age to date. I told her to watch out for that guy and stay as far away from him as possible.
Look, my point about 'sexuality maturity' at 10 or 11 was the idea that the body may be sexually mature, but the mind is not. I think we can ALL agree on that one. We are not cavemen. We don't live the same life the vikings did or during the Dark Ages. When lifespans were considerably shorter and girls/women could only live under the protection of a man through marriage.
Get a clue. You don't seriously mean that 11-year-olds with periods are ready for dating men and we should have no problem with this?
As for your example of the almost-18-year-old and the 18-year-old, that is pretty crazy. But if everyone knew the law, then this boy should've been warned by parents, school or police that he was risking charges if he continued a sexual relationship with her. You may think that is silly or unfair or what have you, but these are the laws we have. If a kid can't keep it in his pants for a few months before his girlfriend is a legal adult, then he has much bigger problems than statutory rape charges.
Very good! So where does it end? Should a boy who is one day older then the girl go to jail and be given the scarlet letter of a pedophile? If not then should it be a month older, 6 months, a year? Where does it make sense?
If as you say a 14 year old is so irresponsible why are they dating. Why are 16 year olds driving cars. Are you OK with kids under 18 doing drugs and drinking? Why do we only punish the boys and not the girls who commit the same crime? Why punish anyone???? Wouldn't it make more sense to deal with this problem in a way that does not stigmatize normal human behavior and destroy hundreds of thousands of lives every year? It's not as though this war on boys has succeeded.
Most high school girls prefer to date an older boy. I cannot tell you why this is true you would have to ask a high school girl. Should every boy she dates go to jail? Do they all need a serious talking to? If she dates and consequently jails 5 boys or 10 boys is there some point where the law figures out it is the girl with the problem?
I don't mean that a 11 year old boy or girl is ready for dating: God or nature (take your pick) means that. If you have teenagers then you surely have figured this out by now. They begin doing what they want to do and if you try to control them then they do it without your knowledge. I didn't make the rules I'm only suggesting that the way we are dealing with this problem is not only wrong but does not work.
True, we are not cavemen. We have set rules and passed laws. If the laws make no sense and punish the innocent or even punish the guilt excessively then that's life, right? But again what if it is your 17 year old son who goes to jail? What if it is your nieghbor's son or someday your grandson? What about the hundreds of thousands of "kids" we punish because they had consensual sex? Then there is the other side of that coin; what about the hundreds of thousands of girls who break the same laws and nothing at all happens to them? Is that right? Is that what we intended when we moved from cavemen to civilized people? This "war on boys" makes no sense.
"Most high school girls prefer to date an older boy. I cannot tell you why this is true you would have to ask a high school girl."
Perhaps it's because they feel enormously flattered by the illicit attention from the older boy, who has elevated them to the status of the older girls that the younger girls KNOW he should be dating. The forbidden-ness of it all makes it all the more appealing and delicious to them. On the other hand, the hope and even expectation from the boys' point of view is that the younger the girl, the easier it may be to take sexual advantage of her, as previous posters have written.
PS: Just to be clear, I am definitely not among the group who are arguing for a double standard that gets St. Kaitlyn off the hook. If she did the crime, she should receive the same punishment as any male perpetrator. Nor is it an issue about homosexuality. It is about the right of parents to bring up their child as they determine best. When their daughter reaches majority, she can live her life the way she wants.
It may be the forbidden-ness of it all but most women also marry a man who is older then themselves. It is a fact of life and I'm not sure anyone should go to jail for it or be labeled a pedophile for life.
I totally agree with your second paragraph. I do think parents should bring up their child as they determine best. My point in all of this is I do not think sex should be criminalized. I also think that if we were to apply the law to women who commit this crime as zealously as we do to men that the majority of people would quickly see the foolishness of it. There is something in our society perhaps in human nature itself that embraces the belief that all men are bastards and women are sweet creatures who never do anything wrong. In fact I almost agree with this myself as the father of a daughter and the grandfather of 6 granddaughters. But I cannot ignore the fact that we are destroying our younger generation of men by a number of "contrived" anti-male legal ploys. What is the benefit to the parents of a 14 year old whose 18 year old lover goes to jail and forever carries the stigma of being a sexual predator? The parent certainly has the right and responsibility to know and have a say in who their child dates or befriends. They certainly have a right to enforce their rules and confront the offending young man/woman and/or their parents. I just don't think any of this should extend into the criminal courts and it is absolutely ludicrous that it becomes a act of pedophilia. Parenting is hard and all of the outside influences make it even more difficult. I would support anything that made this easier as long as it made sense. In my opinion the charge of statutory rape doesn't make sense. It appears to be a "made up" crime to allow easy prosecution and persecution for the sole purpose of revenge/honor. What next? We legalize honor killing?
Why can’t the law reinforce the victim’s parents’ beliefs about the proper way to raise a child? Why must the village dictate to the parents that molestation and homosexuality are acceptable?
As for citing European Law, I think we have had enough of wise European Laws in the 20th century. Vast numbers of Americans—especially intellectuals praised European legal, moral, and political innovations of the 20th century. For any citing of wise European Law, I believe we should employ the precautionary principle: let the EUSSR be governed by such laws for 75 years (the approximate lifespan of the new Socialist Civilization in Russia) before we even consider adopting similar legislation here.
I know plenty of people who would like to decriminalize sex. A few rapists I have known no doubt among them. (Its a touchy subject between us.) One friend of mine has been arguing since the 1980s that teachers should be allowed to have sex with their students. Decriminalization would be easy: abolish the laws. Free Polanski. Done.
I can imagine myself at 14. I did not think of myself as a child. In fact, for most of history I would not have been thought of as a child. 14 year olds were considered adults, ready to make decisions and to care for themselves, indeed for most of modern history that was just the case. We have decided as a nation and as a culture to rule that anyone under age of 21 (drinking age, remember, tho not so young one can't join the armed forces or enter a legaly binding contract) to be a "child" in the eyes of the law. This is a bastardation of the concept of adulthood. Certainly one would be considered, in most cultures, to be an adult on achieving physical maturity. I really don't have a problem with that. 14 is not too young to decide with whom and when to engage in a sexual relationship. 14 years ld is definately not a child. And most certainly 40 years ago we would not as a nation have even attempted to decide for others when and at what age one could be considered an adult for the purpose of procreation. .