The Instigator
Keyser_Soze
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Cerebral_Narcissist
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

The Age of Consent in the United States should be lowered to 13 years of age.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Cerebral_Narcissist
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/23/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,665 times Debate No: 10932
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

Keyser_Soze

Pro

Alright, this is the first debate I have started, so forgive me if it's not constructed well.

Inherency : The age of consent in the United States is determined by individual states, and are as follows [1]:

Age of consent 16 years: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia

Age of consent 17 years: Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Texas

Age of consent 18 years: Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

The "age of consent" will be defined as: the minimum age at which a person is considered to be legally competent of consenting to sexual acts [2].

My arguments will be simply this:

1) In humans, mature sexual desire usually begins to appear with the onset of puberty, beginning at between ages 10 and 15 [3].

2) Adolescent children are competent enough to decide on whether or not to agree to consensual sex between an adult.

3) True love can exist between an adult and an adolescent.

4) Those punished for statutory rape had consensual sex with their partner, unknowing of their age.

5) The world is grossly underpopulated, so having more babies is good [4].

6) Underpopulation threatens financial systems, which is bad [5].

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.abortiontv.com...
[5] http://www.freerepublic.com...

Looking forward to the debate. Also, can we not argue the definition please?
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for providing such an interesting debate topic.

Pro's Contention 1:
My opponent states that,
"1) In humans, mature sexual desire usually begins to appear with the onset of puberty, beginning at between ages 10 and 15 [3]."

Objection 1:
Though this may be true, to employ it as a an argument to lower the age of consent is by implication to argue that adult responsibility and identity is solely dependent on puberty and the appearance of ‘mature sexual desire‘. Development into a ‘proper adult' is surely dependent not merely on biology, but mental and psychological development.

Objection 2:
This is highly inconsistent with an already inconsistent legal/moral system in which the beginning of adult responsibility is ill defined, with one age for criminal culpability, another for driving etc.

Pro's Contention 2
"2) Adolescent children are competent enough to decide on whether or not to agree to consensual sex between an adult."

Objection 1
If an adolescent aged 13 can be assumed to be competent in this regard, why not an adolescent aged 12. My opponents argument is without a logical foundation as to why the age of consent should specifically be 13.

Objection 2
It can not be safely assumed that all persons aged 13 and above are competent enough to give consent, nor can it be assumed that even if they are capable of consent that they should.

People of that age are likely to be victims of peer pressure, low self-esteem, identity issues, ignorance with regards the sexual act and/or contraception, even confusion as to what their sexual orientation is. Sexual intercourse, even if the child appears to consent to it, could easily be damaging.

The loss of one's virginity is not always a pleasant episode, the younger and more conflicted one is the more likely an unpleasant early sexual experience will cause trauma and damage future psycho-sexual development.

They as children, do not know themselves, may not fully understand the choices they make, and need to be protected.

Objection 3
Though an adult may court a thirteen year old out of genuine feelings of respect and affection, the adult will have a natural advantage and authority over the child. The two parties in the relationship will not be equals, an unequal relationship greatly increases the chance that the younger, weaker person will be exploited, or abused. A child can not be presumed able to enter into any sort of relationship private or professionally as an equal with an adult. This doubt strongly cautions us against condoning a sexual relationship between adults and children and thus by lowering the age of consent my opponent places children at risk of exploitation.

"3) True love can exist between an adult and an adolescent."

I do not contest this, however my opponents contention is that the age of consent should be lowered, his case is therefore specifically sexual. Adults and adolescents could participate in romantic non-sexual relationships (this might require a change in anti-grooming laws, but that is a side issue).

"4) Those punished for statutory rape had consensual sex with their partner, unknowing of their age."

Which could be used as a defence in the court, but would be rejected and quite rightly so if it could be shown that the defendant omitted due care and attention, or was ‘reckless' with regards ascertaining the persons age. It is not in itself an argument for lowering the age of consent.

"5) The world is grossly underpopulated, so having more babies is good [4]."

My opponent's reference to support this point does not claim that the world is ‘grossly under populated'. It claims without evidence that the European birth rates have dropped below sustainability due to abortion. It ignores the fact that the shortfall is made up by immigration so that the European population is actually increasing. It ignores the fact that global population is increasing. It is also contradictory to my opponents point as it states that people are using abortion as a method or birth control and delaying the date of their first live births until later in life. If lowering the age of consent increased the rate of teenage pregnancies, the abortion rate would also increase (though in net terms the birth rate may rise).

In addition my opponents argument is focused on the USA, not Europe nor the globe.

"6) Underpopulation threatens financial systems, which is bad [5]."

The article that my opponent references simply suggests that the global population may fall, which seems unlikely as it has not for many centuries. It also goes onto to state that,

"The Global financial system is based on the presumption of ever-increasing scarcity. No matter how bad the economy gets, investment of any surplus is sensible, since any loss in the value of the investment is certain to be regained at a later date. With a growing population, even if the economic efficiency declines, demand must increase, making investing safe. Investment, then, creates greater economic efficiency. What would happen if our financial system could not depend on the certainty of increasing scarcity?"

This ignores the possibility of improved quality of life (and hence increased consumption) and the finite nature of certain resources. It is therefore a flawed argument.

Additional Arguments

In addition it should be pointed out that teenage pregnancies are far more likely to result in complications, risking the life of the mother and her potential offspring. This is therefore not a solution to the claimed problems of under population and is clear argument against preventing sexual intercourse with women who are not fully developed.
http://www.marchofdimes.com...

Increased sexual activity amongst teenagers will as my opponent acknowledges lead to an increase in teenage pregnancies. This creates societal problems in that the majority of such mothers will be single parents, so will require support by their families or the state. They will not go to work and they will not continue in full time education. The latter means that many women will not reach their potential, which does not simply harm them, it also takes away from society their future contributions and reverses years of efforts towards gender equality and female empowerment.

It is for these reasons that I negate Pro's resolution.
Debate Round No. 1
Keyser_Soze

Pro

Keyser_Soze forfeited this round.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

Unfortunately my opponent has failed to supply his arguments for round two, so I shall restate my post from round one.
Debate Round No. 2
Keyser_Soze

Pro

Keyser_Soze forfeited this round.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

I restate my post from round 1.
Debate Round No. 3
Keyser_Soze

Pro

Keyser_Soze forfeited this round.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

I believe I have successfully rebutted my opponents resolution, and in light of his forfeiture of three rounds strongly urge a vote for CON.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by jonpistone2 6 years ago
jonpistone2
serve
Posted by jonpistone2 6 years ago
jonpistone2
Keyser_Soze .... ever surve time?!? haha...how many 13 year olds are you hooking up with that you even THOUGHT of this debate.....damn....what a sick-o you are!!!!
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
I thought my round 1 was pretty good... it's a shame he never came back.
Posted by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
brian_eggleston
Nice one C_N!

I can't vote for you, of course, because Debate.org is a racist organisation that discriminates against non-Americans like us!
Posted by Vi_Veri 6 years ago
Vi_Veri
Nice job, Cerebral_Narcissist!
Posted by MeganLoaskia 6 years ago
MeganLoaskia
age of consent 13 ? :L
i wouldnt of personally cared if your debate was bang on,
13 is way to young!
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
Same here.

"The world is grossly underpopulated, so having more babies is good"

What.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Default to Con due to multiple forfeits.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
Keyser_SozeCerebral_NarcissistTied
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Vote Placed by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Keyser_SozeCerebral_NarcissistTied
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Vote Placed by J.Kenyon 7 years ago
J.Kenyon
Keyser_SozeCerebral_NarcissistTied
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Keyser_SozeCerebral_NarcissistTied
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