Why can't children consent to having sex?

Tell it to Oingo Boingo

“Uh oh take a second take
Uh oh it’s a mistake
Uh oh I’m in trouble
Uh oh the little girl was just to little
Too little, too little, too little
Isn’t this what life’s all about
Isn’t this a dream come true
Isn’t this a nightmare too…”

Children can consent to having sex, under certain circumstances. If both parties are underage, then in most jurisdictions statutory sex offenses no longer apply and consent becomes an issue again. They just can’t consent to having sex with you.

Most? I thought that “Romeo and Juliet” exemption was still the exception?

Depends on the state, but typically underage kids don’t get charged with sex crimes unless their partners are way underage (like <12).

ETA: I see what you’re saying now, and yes. The point is that consent becomes an issue again; it won’t be a statutory offense.

Thanks for the varied responses, everyone.

You just haven’t found the right radio stations yet. :wink:

*What I’ve got you’ve got to get it put it in you
What I’ve got you’ve got to get it put it in you
What I’ve got you’ve got to get it put it in you
Reeling with the feeling don’t stop continue

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers

You’ve been coolin’, baby, I’ve been droolin’,
All the good times I’ve been misusin’,
Way, way down inside, I’m gonna give you my love,
I’m gonna give you every inch of my love,
Gonna give you my love.


*Squeeze me baby, till the juice runs down my leg.
The way you squeeze my lemon, I’m gonna fall right out of bed.

  • Led Zeppelin

*Love in an elevator
Lovin’ it up when I’m goin’ down
Love in an elevator
Livin’ it up ‘til I hit the ground
She was a fast machine
She kept her motor clean
She was the best damn woman I had ever seen
She had the sightless eyes
Telling me no lies
Knockin’ me out with those American thighs
Taking more than her share
Had me fighting for air
She told me to come but I was already there

'Cause the walls start shaking
The earth was quaking
My mind was aching
And we were making it and you -

Shook me all night long

Or the best one yet:

You let me violate you, you let me desecrate you
You let me penetrate you, you let me complicate you
Help me I broke apart my insides, help me I’ve got no soul to sell
Help me the only thing that works for me, help me get away from myself
I want to fuck you like an animal
I want to feel you from the inside
I want to fuck you like an animal
My whole existence is flawed
You get me closer to god
-Nine Inch Nails
(They edit the f-bombs on the radio, but it was a BIG hit when I was in high school)

Preventing children from consenting to sex would prevent the likes of me** as my Grandmother was 14 years old when she gave birth to my father.

** My late mother in law would have preferred that I were never born.

The Roman Catholic priestly pedophile scandal has demonstrated that a minor can suffer long term emotional damage from a sexual relationship with an adult. Many of these events lasted for months, perhaps over a year. The pedophile probably thought that it was consensual, that the minor enjoyed it, and so on.

Few men like to think of themselves as sexual abusers. The preferred self image is that one is a desirable seducer who spends his time giving pleasure and happiness. The reality is often very different.

The Roman Catholic priestly pedophile scandal demonstrates that minors do need to be protected from adult predators. I am not only talking about children, but teenagers as well. These should receive some protection from each other also. It should always be easy to say, “No,” to sex.

I do not want to seem to be picking on the Roman Catholic Church. Most men who are guilty of this kind of behavior are not Roman Catholic priests. Nevertheless, the priestly pedophile scandal has brought this problem to public attention.

Why do you ask?

In regards to the sentence I bolded: What protections do you envision teenagers needing from one another? That is, do you think it should be illegal – and said illegality enforced by prosecution – for two 16-year-olds to have sex if both consent? If so, which party will you prosecute? What if it’s a gay or lesbian couple?

Assuming you think consensual relations between teens should be prosecuted: when I was in 7th grade or so, I had sex with a girl, “Amanda,” who was in 9th. Should she have been prosecuted if our parents had discovered it?

As an actual adolescent, I believe this law is misguided and outdated. Children may be “foolish, credulous, and weak” (and I’ve only ever met credulous ones) but adolescents are quite intelligent. Adolescents can make their own choices, and should. Besides, the one way to get a under-16 to do something every single time is to tell them not to, so when you tell children not to have sex, they will. When you tell them to use protection, they won’t.

If adolescents can’t understand that they shouldn’t bump old threads for no significant reason, it’s pretty clear that they can’t understand the implications of having sex. :slight_smile:

May I ask how old you are?

Children cannot enter into contracts or consent to surgery without the permission of their parents. The law makes the decision that they do not understand or have the responsibility for the consequences.

Yeah, because those three statements fit together properly.

Welcome to the Dope, fellow teenager! We’re pretty rare around here. Although I agree most adults underestimate teenagers’ capabilities greatly, when you say “adolescents are quite intelligent,” I have to ask . . . have you ever actually been to high school? Seriously, it’s not a bastion of well-informed decision making. Still, “foolish, credulous, and weak” is a tad harsh.

Romeo and Juliet laws and the like are on the right track - as long as both participants are of similar ages, I don’t see the issue beyond a prudish society who wants to keep children “pure”. But once you get into adults and children, it gets messier. The problem with these cases is that it’s hard to make laws that are always fair. If you say that any adult having sex with any child is a crime, then what about the 17 and 18 year old who were born 5 months apart? It needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis rather than having arbitrary ages of consent stuck into laws.

It may be true that adolescents will childishly do the opposite of what you tell them to do - but that doesn’t support your assertion that adolescents are intelligent and should make their own choices.

Who says that children can’t consent to sex? Laws regarding sex and age vary from place to place. Here in NJ:

It’s just a Wikipedia cite, but I recall that being accurate. I don’t think there are any laws that say, for instance, that two ten year olds can’t have sex, in essence meaning that they can consent within an age range.

I commented in this years ago, but have a new take to add to it.

A parent or other guardian is responsible for making or approving decisions for that child. However when it comes to sex only the person him/herself can consent and that decision can not be made by another person for them.

So for a child to consent to sex they would have to do that on their own, but that can not happen as their decisions are made by another person.

Best answer in the thread - you can’t trust them to make even remotely sensible decisions.