Re: What would your reaction be?Jul 25th, 2007
Some of my thoughts on a complicated issue:
I think pedophile is an unnecessary and loaded word. Abductor and rapist capture the action much more vividly. To me a person does not magically gain the ability to consent after making an exact integer number of trips around the sun. In the modern legal system it can be rape simply because the person was too intoxicated to consent even though they said yes (external - login to view). We have much more sophisticated ways of evaluating consent than some integer number of trips around the sun.
Last year, they were law abiding citizens, this year they are pedophiles because we changed the law. Yesterday they would have been pedophiles, today is the child's birthday so it is okay. Two adults are the same age and they both have sex with the same person, one is a pedophile because they are a teacher, the other isn't a pedophile because they are a stranger.
In the case of ``young'' children I don't mind people who want to generally say that a ``young'' child cannot give consent. I don't think prepubescent is a good definition of ``young'' though; I have known girls who did not get their periods until 16-18 trips 'round that stellar orb of ours. I have known people who could not remember a time in their life when they did not masturbate or were not interested in sex. Also, I don't think puberty necessarily corresponds well with the intellectual capacity for consent; one may come before the other.
I think our laws deny people under the age of 19 to the right of self determination and identity; and so I wonder about consent. I think any abduction and rape damages a person's identity, I wonder how much more so this will effect younger individuals?