The Instigator
luvx
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
LtCmdrData
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

Statutory rape laws need to be changed

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
luvx
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/22/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,825 times Debate No: 39334
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

luvx

Pro


Statutory rape laws need to be changed. Statutory rape laws really have more to do with society's view on sex than the implications for the "victim". They should be enforced on a case-by-case basis (i.e. the "offender's" relationship to the "victim" If the "victim" truly does not feel victimized, the "offender" should NOT be charged.


LtCmdrData

Con

Yo! I totally accept! I'll present my arguments next round! Lookin' forward to it!
Debate Round No. 1
luvx

Pro

Statutory rape laws really have more to do with society's view on sex than the implications for the "victim". They should be enforced on a case-by-case basis (i.e. the "offender's" relationship to the "victim" If the "victim" truly does not feel victimized, and was not taken advantage of/manipulated. the "offender" should NOT be charged.
LtCmdrData

Con

Hola. So, I'll construct my points in rebuttal to Pro's assertions.

Pro makes the argument that statutory rape (SR) has far more to do with societal moral norms than it does with establishing real victimhood. This basic premise is wrong for two reasons:

1. A lack of adequate consent

A young person is not fully able to give consent to sexual intercourse. Regardless of whether or not they feel victimized, they have to be able to give sufficient consent for the act to be considered legitimate. To do otherwise would be to allow others to take advantage of young people. The reasons we have laws protecting young people against sex is to ensure that they are make decisions in their best interests, but they can't. You wouldn't let a 13 year old sign documents to buy a house because they aren't responsible enough. The same goes for not letting the 13 year old have sex.

2. SR law is needed to prevent incest and sexual predation

This sort of speaks for itself. Oftentimes victims of such acts feel as if they are pleasing the one raping them or they erect psychological walls preventing them from admitting to feeling victimized, and therefore don't self-identify as victims. But, just because one says one isn't a victim, doesn't make it true. They are being used, and that's wrong. SR laws may also serve as a deterrent against predators.

I look forward to Pro's responses.
Debate Round No. 2
luvx

Pro

You bring up good points. I would like to bring up differences on the age of consent in each state. Once someone reaches the age of consent they can have sex with anyone older then them. The age of consent varies from age 16-18 depending on the state. In one state the age of consent is 18 so a 50 year old man having sex with a 16 year old, the 16 year old is "sexually exploited." Cross state lines where the age of consent is 16, the 16 year old is no longer sexually exploited. That just doesn't make sense.

Now I will refute your arguments.

1. A lack of adequate consent

Depending on the youth, some can sufficiently give consent. A teenager might possess enough social sense to make informed and mature decisions about sex, while some adults might never develop the ability to make mature choices about sex, as even many mentally healthy individuals remain naive and easily manipulated throughout their lives.

2. SR law is needed to prevent incest and sexual predation

I didn't say we should abolish SR laws. I said we need to change SR laws. SR laws can be enforced based on the circumstances of the situation and not uniformly. It is true that sometimes they don't admit to feeling victimized, but that's not always the case.

Also, many SR laws criminalize sexual activity between teens of the same age. In California, it is illegal for anyone to have sex with anyone under the age of 18. In other words, two 14 year olds can go to jail for having sex.

Also, some teens look much older then they are and can easily lie about their age. Not all states have exceptions where the offender truly believed the victim was older. Watch this video.

This 14 year old looks like she's 20. If she said she was 20 you would believe it. There are some underage people who can by cigarettes and many stores won't ask for their ID because they look older. It's not fair for someone to be punished when the truly believed the victim was of age.

(See my other debates on adolescence).

LtCmdrData

Con

Thanks for a great discussion!

1. Consent

I agree that some youth are more mature than others. Yet, does this warrant a change in the SR laws? No, it does not. To establish the ability to grant consent on a case-by-case basis would consume juries' time and is incredibly subjective. That is why society has established set ages at which one can reasonably expect adequate consent to be possible. Of course, there are exceptions in the cases of the mentally ill, or when the victim is impaired by drugs or some other factor, but in general, societies within the U.S. have agreed on ages at which consent can reasonably be forthcoming. These laws may annoy those few teens that are capable of granting consent, but they protect far more teens who only think they're ready for sex. Therefore, SR laws should not be changes because they form a rule of utility that prevents many unready individuals from being victimized, despite a few exceptions.

2. Sexual Predation

To base SR laws on situational factors is to make them incredibly vague. Laws cannot be changed on a case-by-case basis; they are only fair when applied equally for everyone. Moreover, Pro never directly addresses the problems with victims not identifying themselves as victims. If they won't self-identify as such, then, under Pro's proposal, the state could not take action to prevent them. So yes, they would be victims of cruel predation.

Also, we're not talking about specific states--obviously California's law is ridiculous, but that does not mean that in most states, or that in the aggregate, SR laws need to be changed. One state is insufficient to affirm, because this topic is not specific to California.

If the victim lies about their age AND the offender has no reasonable cause to believe that they are lying about their age, then the offender should not be prosecuted. Most states do have exceptions for this, so, in the aggregate, SR laws need not be changed.

I thank you for a great discourse. Please vote Con!
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ErinMagner 3 years ago
ErinMagner
I feel an important argument that was missed, for the Con side, is that because the age of consent and the age allowing/prohibiting other "adult" activities by law, namely cigarettes, buying pornographic material, or even lottery tickets, it prevents young children from trading these things for sex, in a form of implicit prostitution. The youths can't get what they want from their guardians who are watching out for their well-being, so they go to someone who is attracted to them to get what they want. This might seem like it would be consenting on the youth's part, but is someone who is driven to prostitution to support themselves really making a consenting decision? In the same way, because youths are denied certain activities that are deemed to be adult decision making, leaving them open for sex with adults takes them out of the safety of their guardians and puts them in contact with adults who might not have their best interests at heart, only interested in their bodies. Please don't try to tell me a 51 year old is interested in a 14 year old's mind!
Posted by luvx 3 years ago
luvx
Sorry. Here is the video.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by TeaPartyAtheist 3 years ago
TeaPartyAtheist
luvxLtCmdrDataTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Everything was pretty even, but pro used better spelling and grammar.
Vote Placed by themohawkninja 3 years ago
themohawkninja
luvxLtCmdrDataTied
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Reasons for voting decision: While neither side presented any sources (aside from pro pointing out experience in the subject), by the end of the debate con appeared to have strawmanned the argument (possibly asserting that SR laws must not be abolished, while the debate was about change), and con agreed with some of pros points. Con also stated that California law shouldn't be cited due to the law(s) being "ridiculous" without asserting why the law(s) is/are ridiculous.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
luvxLtCmdrDataTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con drops Pro's argument re: 16 yr. olds consenting to 50 yr. olds. Moreover, Con makes myriad assertions in his final speech that are crying out for sources to validate them, but no sources are provided. Pro does give me a source, though I would have liked more from both debaters. Args and sources to Pro. I think that this debate would have benefited form more in-depth cases on both sides, as well as a few more rounds to has out the issues. Thus, I go Pro.