I Really Want to Know…


This is going to be a simple post. I want to know why minors, say 14 of age, can’t consent to sex with adults, but they can be charged as “adults” for crimes. It seems that we all know, when thinking about our past, that our decisions regarding sex were immature as younger teenagers. Most of us would claim that a 4o something having sex with a 14 year old is molestation, but yet, we can AND do charge 14 year olds as adults.

Yes, we want justice for things like murder and burglary. I’m not saying teenagers shouldn’t be punished for crimes, but they are NOT adults. We will prosecute adults for having sex with someone under, usually, around 16, even if  the child says “yes.” Why? Because, they are not adults. They do not have adult brains, and they are not finished maturing and developing. Thus, they cannot give consent to an ADULT sexual experience. I agree with this sentiment whole heartedly.  What sense does it, then, make to treat them as adults in ANY other circumstances?

The media certainly doesn’t help in certain criminal cases involving minors. They like to show the shocking cases of particularly brutal murders by young teenagers, and we are tempted to call them monsters. There is an immediate gut reaction to want to punish as much as possible. There is a reaction in us that wants to make an exception to the idea of the immaturity and underdevelopment of minors in these cases.

This is my questions to my readers: if we can’t trust young teenagers with such a simple thing as deciding on adult sexual encounters, how then, can we trust their decision making process, in the realm of ADULT crime?

 

Please, I want to know your thinking. Please feel free to comment.

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The Internet Age: A Whole New Type of Parenting


The internet has changed the world as much if not more so than the invention of the printing press. Information both reputable and non-reputable is no more than a click a way. Additionally, the internet has changed the social sphere as well. One can now easily keep in touch with both old friends and new friends. Pictures and status updates let anyone know what their friends are up to in real time. Many other spheres of society have also changed. Unfortunately, the children of the internet age are being raised by those who were not from the internet age, and we now have children and teenagers using the internet irresponsibly.

Teenagers and children are not known for their reasoning skills and with good reason. They CAN’T reason like adults. The frontal lobe, which is responsible for higher reasoning, is one of the last parts of the brain to develop fully, and brain development is not usually complete until around ages 21-25. It is bad parenting to expect teenagers to behave as if they have the reasoning skills of adults.

And yet, people are interacting with the internet at younger and younger ages. Many don’t monitor their wards’ internet access, or they operate in a trust centered approach. Teenagers are also known to be rebellious, and it is easy to be rebellious when you can do things in secret.like having two Facebook profiles or snap chatting nude photos. Remember, teenagers can’t and won’t reason like adults. This kind of behavior really should be looked for.

It gets worse, many of online bad behaviors are being criminalized. Teenagers sending naked pictures of themselves, can be considered distribution of child pornography. Posting mean things to each others profiles can, in some instances, be seen as cyber bullying, and anti-bullying laws are getting more widespread and stricter. Nothing a teenager posts will every really go away. In an age when employers use google, what a teenager posts could haunt them for years if not for lifer.

Parents consider this blog post a warning. It is important for you to understand how the internet works. It is important for you to keep up with the latest apps and technology. I know you all want to protect your children. Keeping up with the internet age will help you do this. Monitor, search, and keep informed.

Rape and Consent 3: Teenagers have Sex too


I’m very concerned about rape laws and teenage sexuality. Teenagers often do have sex, whether we like it or not, and often, teenagers have sex with people who are legally adults. In these types of cases, the parents of the teenagers in question have the legal recourse of having the adult arrested on some type of sexual assault charge, and the adult will be a registered sex offender for life. While I definitely think a 50 year old should not have sexual relations with any minor, I’m very concerned about the law interfering with two young people having consensual sex.

A typical argument for prosecuting a young adult for a sex act with a minor is to say that teenage minors are not old enough to consent. However, this country seems to have no problem trying and sentencing teenage criminals as adults, and this country has no problem with 17 year olds joining the military. No, they don’t vote. They can’t drink, and they can’t smoke. Still, it seems we are picking and choosing which adult acts we allow teenagers to consent to. Even if we want to prevent teenage sex, how is prosecuting and ruining someone’s life, who is barely an adult, the right thing to do?

To be honest, I think what we should be concerned with is whether or not the teenage minor has been taken advantage of. Is there some indication that the teenager’s consent was diminished? A relationship between a 20 year old and a 17 year old is hardly an in balance of power, at first glance. We might want to be concerned with a high schooler dating a 21 and up person, but this would mainly be a concern, if the 21 year old was supplying the high schooler with alcohol. Nevertheless with the 20 year old and 17 year old, they may have shared some of the same time in high school together. Why would we ever want to ruin someone’s life over having consensual sex with someone they went to high school with? (I’m really asking. I don’t know.)

We all know teenagers can be immature and irresponsible, but they are soon going to be adults. They make choices we don’t like. Legally, when it comes to prosecutions over serious things like rape, we need to be damn sure there really is reason to convict someone, and what should we concerned about the most? Rape. Rape always implies that there either was no consent given or that the victim had a diminished capacity and COULDN’T consent. We may not or should not give teenagers adult status with regards to consent, but 18,19, 20 year old are also barely adults. It’s not like when someone turns 18 someone waves a magic wand in the air and all of a sudden they become a fully formed adult. That’s just not how development works.