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3 Bumps

Are adolescents capable of giving knowledgeable consent?

Most of us have heard of the rape case involving a young girl (14 at the time of the sexual assault and who has since commited suicide) and the teacher who was given 30 days in jail+time served.  Outrage was sparked because the judge intimated that since this wasn't "attack rape" and since the girl was "older than her chronological age" the sentence was justified.

**Edited to add that the teacher was 49 years old at the time.

Full article here

There was an interesting blog written by a woman who also "consented" to many sexual encounters during her teenage years, almost exclusively with much older men.  Her argument is that teens, regardless of promiscuity, regardless of the appearance of consent are incapable of actually consenting because they are not equipped emotionally to do so.

What do you think?

Answer Question

Asked by Mrs_Prissy at 11:43 AM on Aug. 29, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (65,487 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • i think the adult should exercise their better judgment regardless. maybe some 14 year olds believe they're ready for sex but that doesn't mean that a mature adult that knows better should have sex with them.

    Answer by tnm786 at 11:47 AM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • Rape is rape... regardless of age....

    I do think you can consent as a teen... even if you think back and say damn I shouldn't have done that, consenting is still consenting. I did lots of things as an older teen/early 20's that I would never think of now, but at the time, I thought I was doing what was best. Our brains fully develop and our ideas change you know.

    Answer by amazinggrace83 at 11:48 AM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • I'd say looking back to myself at 14,I had no clue whatsoever what I was doing when it came to sexual feelings,crushes,and boys. To say that a child of that age knew what she was doing when she had sex with an adult,and a teacher no less,is ridiculous

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 11:48 AM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • "I do think you can consent as a teen... even if you think back and say damn I shouldn't have done that"

    Sure, we all do that.

    So then the question broadens. If consent is acceptable between two teenagers (say 14 and 16) is the outrage at the judge's statement unjustified simply because the ages were 14 and 49?

    Comment by Mrs_Prissy (original poster) at 11:53 AM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • I think there's a difference between consenting and knowing what you're consenting to. I think teens can consent, sure, but I don't think that they fully realize what it is that they're consenting to. They don't completely understand the long term consequences/effects of sex (or drugs, or many of the other things they consent to), and are consenting to the moment - consenting to what happens in that, oh let's be generous, 5-15 minutes, but not to the potential diseases, pregnancy, regret down the road, being teased because their partner tells everyone they had sex with that person, etc.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 11:54 AM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • None of us have a clue when we are 14....but we THINK we know everything and rule the world at that time...

    The 49 year old knew better... he should have gone to prison... But that doesn't change my opinion that consent is consent. 14 years old is a manipulative age.

    My little sister used to do the most horrendous deceitful things from 12 years old and "consent" is one of them. She used sex as a weapon against my parents (she has a personality disorder too), but I know for a fact she consented and thought it was fun to do things to show everyone how grown up she was. Regardless of anyone elses feelings. She tried to openly date a 24 year old man at 13!! He thought she was much older and she ALLOWED him to believe it.

    Answer by amazinggrace83 at 11:56 AM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • Have you seen that movie "Crush"?

    Answer by amazinggrace83 at 11:58 AM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • Two teenagers deciding to have sex is one thing--they both might be fairly ignorant of the ramefications. They're living in the moment. But a middle-aged teacher who has sex with a young girl is doing a whole lot more than exercising amazingly poor judgment; he's abusing a position of trust. He has all of the emotional power in the situation to seduce consent, so to speak.

    Answer by Ballad at 12:05 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • I don't think 14 year olds are capable of make sound sexual choices.
    Here is what I think anytime a person is in a postion of authority and has sex with a minor consensual or not, they should be in big trouble. I think the teacher was treated too lightly, and would feel the same if this was a woman teacher and a male student.
    I do find it disturbing when 2 teens who are dating or in a relationship have consensual sex, and then say the 16 year old is charged with rape very wrong.
    There was a recent case about 2 high school girls who were in a lesbian relationship, the parents of the 14 year old pressed charges against the 17 year old and I think she ended up with a sexual predator record, not right IMO.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 12:30 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • I think 14 yo's are capable of a lot of things, good and bad.
    I do believe that there is a big difference between consenting to sex with a peer in her age bracket and consenting to sex with a 49 yo in a position of power above her. The older person in the equation bears a responsibility to say no to even an agressive teen because the teen cannot properly comprehend the ramifications of their actions.
    There is no excuse for the judge's leniency or his statement regarding the teen's behavior vs. chronological age. Clearly he should be removed from the bench and the case retried.

    Answer by tessiedawg at 12:53 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

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