Friday, February 16, 2007

Revisiting Gin Lane

Following on from the senior policeman who thought underage sex was a "grey area", we now have an academic suggesting that the age of consent be reduced to 14.

Why? Because they are having sex before 16 anyway.

Mr Waites, whose book, The Age of Consent: Young People, Sexuality and Citizenship, is based on a global survey of age of consent laws, said sexual activity under 16 was increasing, so current law clearly did not work

"The law stigmatises much of what many teenagers regard as normal behaviour and fosters a climate of denial among parents and some professionals which prevents some teenagers from seeking information and assistance," he said.

This strikes me as an odd, but not untypical, progressive liberal approach to law. The law does not "stigmatise" anyone. Societal disapproval causes stigma and it is clear that there is no stigma attached to under age sex - if there was then teenagers would not consider it as normal behaviour.

Mr Waites needs to think a a little more clearly about this. If an illegal activity is increasing then you need to ask why is it increasing and, if you have any sense, figure out ways to reduce it again - either through law or through other methods. What is not acceptable - at least in my view - is to make the mistake of thinking that because it's happening anyway we might as well legalise it.

Burglary is increasing - should we legalise it? What about rape? Murder? Of course not, but that is effectively what Mr Waites is suggesting. It was a similar argument that led to the downgrading of cannabis - not wanting to criminalise a generation.

As a more comparable example, it could be argued that the fox-hunting ban should be lifted because they are hunting foxes anyway. Would Mr Waites endorse this view? I think not. I'm personally ambivalent about fox-hunting, but my belief is that if you are going to change a law you should do it because the force of argument has convinced you to do so.

Not because "they're doing it anyway"!

As a conservative, I'm often accused of wanting to turn back Britain to a bygone age. It was only a couple of days ago that I posted about W.T. Stead - the campaigning journalist who forced the Liberal government of the time to raise the age of consent from 12 to 16.

It seems to me that liberals are determined to take us back to an even earlier age where crime was rife, morality was low and the over-riding principle was "if it feels good, do it". I believe the phrase is Hogarthian.


Sir Henry Morgan said...

I knew this would happen when they succeeded in reducing the homosexual age of consent to sixteen. I knew for an absolute certainty that once they got that equalised with the heterosexual age of consent that they would start agitating for further reduction in age of consent.

If they get it down to fourteen, they'll start agitating for twelve. You'll see.

They want access to our kids so they can shag them, boys and girls. That's what it's really about.

I think it's about time we started lamp-posting them.

Stan said...

It is, as you suggest, the thin end of the wedge and reeks of hypocrisy. For instance, they know kids under 16 are smoking cigarettes - so did they argue to bring down the legal age of smoking? No, they argued to raise it. They should do the same with the age of consent.

Progressive liberalism, democratic socialism, leftism - call it what you like - is the most two-faced, hypocritical and dangerous political ideology in the west today.

Dark_Heretic said...

Another example of near sighted moonbat thinking that'll bring about the collapse of civilisation.

What worries me is the lot in power at the moment will probably listen and act on it.

Is it me or can I hear the hordes of Visigoths approaching?

Stan said...

"Is it me or can I hear the hordes of Visigoths approaching?"

They're already in Slough, mate!

Even got their own shops ;-)

xoggoth said...

It probably makes much more sense to keep a law and use some discretion as to whether to prosecute than to remove the law. Not sure it always serves any purpose to prosecute two "love-sick" 14 year olds but on the other hand the possibility may deter the casually promiscuous and more importantly, the older men who will take advantage.

xoggoth said...

That's not the Visogoths, it's the xoggoths. Much worse. Lock up your hamsters.

Stan said...

I agree that showing discretion rather than just following the law to the leter is important, but in reality it is hard to get a conviction on consensual underage sex anyway as I believe it requires the "victim" to press charges - and they rarely do even if the perp. is much older.

Far better to discourage them from indulging in it in the first place - and one way you could do that is by raising the age of consent AND changing the statutory rape law so that anyone OVER the age of consent who has sex with anyone UNDER the age of consent is considered to have committed statutory rape (I believe the current arrangement is that statutory rape applies to anyone having sex with a girl under the age of 12).

Stan said...

xoggoth said...
That's not the Visogoths, it's the xoggoths. Much worse. Lock up your hamsters.

Damn - I wish I'd included you on my tag list for 6 weird things about yourself, xoggoth.