The Instigator
Athias
Con (against)
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The Contender
Speedrace
Pro (for)
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Age of Consent Policies

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2019 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,206 times Debate No: 120570
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (89)
Votes (0)

 

Athias

Con

First Round: Acceptance
Second Round: Opening Arguments
Third Round: Rebuttals
Fourth Round: Rejoinders/Closing Arguments

Stipulations:

1. Consent will not be confined to legal parameters. You may submit the legal definition of consent, But the discussion will not be restricted to it.

2. By Age of Consent Laws, I'm referring to any and all age-based statutory divisions or age-related restrictions on sex which result in civil and/or criminal penalty.

If you've understood that which has been laid, Then accept at your discretion.
Speedrace

Pro

I accept. However, I ask that you clearly define your position in your next round. Is it that you believe we should get rid of age of consent laws?
Debate Round No. 1
Athias

Con

My position is one against age of consent policies--particularly those imposed by the government. My arguments which will follow will explain the extent of my contention.

Opening Argument

Age of Consent is an age-based statutory division which determines one's legal capacity to consent to sexual contact. Consent is the establishment of agreement of one's own free will. The government uses Parens Patriae to inform and legitimize its arbitrary divisions. In the United States for example, The age of consent varies among states, Where Pennsylvania has an age of consent at the age of 16, New York has it at the age of 17, And California has it at the age of 18. It's also worth pointing out, Using these three examples, That generally speaking, One can seek employment as young as 14. I point this out because Parens Patriae presumes that those who fall under the arbitrary division "cannot take care of themselves. "

Legal policy usually permits the engagement of sexual contact between minors (some of which are taken to court and found not guilty--e. G. Michigan Court of Appeals: State vs Jennings & Jennings and Girl, 13, Charged as sex offender and Victim) but exercises punitive measures when one is at or above the age of consent, And the other isn't. This makes little sense. If those who are under the arbitrary division are incapable of informing consent, Then how is it that they can inform consent among themselves during sexual activity? Ceretis Parabus the contact, The mechanics, And the resulting sensations are identical. A "predatory" element is presumed to have manifested when one partner is above the age of consent and the other below it. "Power dynamics" are usually used to premise arguments against sexual relationships between adults and minors. Even if we are to accept "power dynamics" as a credible premise, Can it only manifest in age differences? What about ethnic differences? Height differences? Weight differences? Income differences? Differences in social status? Wouldn't there be some conflict when intersectionality is considered? Is there a nefarious nonsexual benefit to adults having sex with minors which uniquely manifests in their relationships? No such gains or benefits have been made explicit in these policies.

Furthermore, A girl as young as 14 can exercise her right to an abortion (even without the parents' consent) with a judicial pass (Planned Parenthood. ) If the State recognizes that it's "her body" when she carries out an abortion, Why is it not her body when she chooses to have sex even with a partner above the statutory age of consent? Deciding the capacity to consent on age alone produces a slippery slope argument. If the minor has no capacity to consent, Then operating on that same logic, Said minor cannot withhold assent, Or dissent because age of consent policies render value judgements by a minor on his her own sexual desire and capacity null. It's one thing to state that a person who was raped DID NOT CONSENT; it's another to state that said person COULD NOT consent. Extending this premise of incapacity to consent to its logical conclusion would make it impossible to rape a minor, Much less minors raping each other because the minor would have the capacity to know that which is neither in its best interests, Nor its worst interests--an undeniably absurd inference. The State, In my estimation, Is currently operating on the illogical platitude, As described by Judith Levine in her book, Crimes of Passion: Harming Minors , "statutory rape is not about sex the victim says she did not want. It is about sex she did want but which adults believe she only thought she wanted because she wasn't old enough to know she didn't want it. "

Your floor, Speedrace.
Speedrace

Pro


Opening Arguments

As my opponent said, The age of consent governs the legal age one must be at in order to legally agree to have sex with another individual.

Consent: give permission for something to happen.

The point of the age of consent is outlined in the following arguments:

The Effects

Obviously, Intercourse goes beyond simple pleasure. It can cause pregnancy, Which has multiple effects itself. For example, Consider this:

"In 2017, A total of 194, 377 babies were born to women aged 15–19 years. . . Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by 22 years of age, Whereas approximately 90% of women who do not give birth during adolescence graduate from high school. "

Another point is that sex spreads STD's:

"1 in 4 teens contract a sexually transmitted disease every year. "


The Impact

The government itself already spends plenty on contraception prevention efforts:

"if we were able to avert all unintended births among teens, It would amount to $1. 9 billion in additional public savings each year in the United States. "

Besides this, The fact that students are dropping out of schools because they are getting pregnant affects more than just them, But their parents as well. Assuming these are rational, Loving parents, They are going to help their child to raise this child, Which puts stress on them to, In some cases, Have to work more in order to pay for such things.

Teenage mothers also have horrific health:

"According to a study published in Maternal Child Health Journal, Teen mothers had the poorest physical health of all categories of women studied, Including women who engaged in unprotected sex. Teenage mothers may neglect their physical health while caring for their babies. They may also not have access to or know about healthy foods and eating. They are also more likely to be obese. "

Their children experience this as well:

"

effects to a child of a teenage mother include:

  • greater risk for lower birth weight and infant mortality
  • less prepared to enter kindergarten
  • rely more heavily on publicly funded health care
  • are more likely to be incarcerated at some time during adolescence
  • are more likely to drop out of high school
  • are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed as a young adult"


Culmination:

If most teenage mothers are dropping out of school, They are not contributing to society as much as they could be had they not gotten pregnant. This is not to say that they have a duty to stay abstinent in order to contribute to society, But it is most definitely a motivator to discourage them from intercourse.

This as all led up to say this: the persistence of the age of consent laws are not about the age of an individual and that effect on their decision-making capacity, But rather the effect of intercourse by teens on not only themselves, But their families, Their children, And society as a whole. It causes the U. S. To pay more money, It causes families more stress, It causes teens to have worse health, And it causes their children to live worse lives.


Sources:

Please check my profile comments for the sources because I was unable to post them here.
Debate Round No. 2
Athias

Con

Rebuttal

"Obviously, Intercourse goes beyond simple pleasure. It can cause pregnancy, Which has multiple effects itself. For example, Consider this:

'In 2017, A total of 194, 377 babies were born to women aged 15"19 years. . . Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by 22 years of age, Whereas approximately 90% of women who do not give birth during adolescence graduate from high school. '"


According to the CDC report you referenced, Age of consent policies have yet to be determined as a factor in preventing or reducing teenage pregnancies:

"Although reasons for the declines are not totally clear, Evidence suggests these declines are due to more teens abstaining from sexual activity, And more teens who are sexually active using birth control than in previous years. " (1)

It's also worth noting the some of the limitations of that report:

"Limitations

Our study had several limitations. When self-reported information is used, One must always consider the potential for over- and under-reporting. Adolescents are generally reliable reporters of information on sexual health. However, Given increasing social pressure to delay sexual initiation and avoid pregnancy, Adolescents may be more likely today than in the past to underreport sexual activity or overreport contraceptive use.

Although the overall NSFG sample size is adequate, Sample sizes become problematically small in analyses of subgroups. This was particularly true for the Black and Hispanic subgroups, In which the numbers of sexually active young women fell below 100. Moreover, Variance around changes in percentages or around attribution was much larger than variance around estimates for a single point in time. As such, Care should be taken in interpreting our estimates for these smaller subgroups.

. . .

We assumed that there were no changes in whether contraceptives were used correctly or in biological fecundity. Correct use of contraception can be assessed via measuring changes in typical-use CFRs. We used the most recent available failure rates (for 1995). Ranjit et al. Found no changes between 1988 and 1995 in typical-use CFRs (note that questions about contraception use at most recent intercourse did assess consistency of use). 18 No data are available to measure changes in biological fecundity among teenagers (or adults). "


In addition, When doing a cross-country analysis, Switzerland had the lowest rates among Western countries in teenage pregnancy, Yet Switzerland's age of consent is at 16. (2) And while the United States has an age of consent as high as 18 years old, Most states have an age of consent at 16. (The U. S. Military code for armed services defines age of consent at 16 as well, But also allows exemptions for those married to 12-15 year old minors. [3])

"1 in 4 teens contract a sexually transmitted disease every year. "

And one in two persons who are sexually active will contract an STI by the time their 25, Years above the age of consent (4) In spite of half of the new emergence of STI's occurring among those who are 15-24 years of age, Age of consent policies are currently imposed. This incidence of STI contraction is concurrent with already existing age of consent policies. "

Do you have any evidence which suggests that teens who have sex with those above the age of consent puts them at more risk of contracting an STI? Or that current age of consent policies prevent or address the prevention of teenage sexual encounters among themselves, Preventing the spread of STI's?

"The Impact

The government itself already spends plenty on contraception prevention efforts:

'if we were able to avert all unintended births among teens, It would amount to $1. 9 billion in additional public savings each year in the United States. '"


What does this have to do with age of consent policies and the effects of their measures?

"Besides this, The fact that students are dropping out of schools because they are getting pregnant affects more than just them, But their parents as well. Assuming these are rational, Loving parents, They are going to help their child to raise this child, Which puts stress on them to, In some cases, Have to work more in order to pay for such things. "

Parens Patriae doesn't simply manifest in age of consent policies, But also Child Labor Policies, Which stifle Youth Employment. Furthermore, Hikes in the minimum wage are associated with declines in teenage employment (5. )

"effects to a child of a teenage mother include:

greater risk for lower birth weight and infant mortality
less prepared to enter kindergarten
rely more heavily on publicly funded health care
are more likely to be incarcerated at some time during adolescence
are more likely to drop out of high school
are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed as a young adult"


And which of these effects are age-based, And not residuals of economic and social policy?

"This as all led up to say this: the persistence of the age of consent laws are not about the age of an individual and that effect on their decision-making capacity. . . "

This is in fact not true:

"Age of consent refers to the legally defined age at which a person is no longer required to obtain parental consent to get married. It also refers to the age at which a person is held to have the capacity to voluntarily agree to sexual intercourse. " (6)

"But rather the effect of intercourse by teens on not only themselves, But their families, Their children, And society as a whole. It causes the U. S. To pay more money, It causes families more stress, It causes teens to have worse health, And it causes their children to live worse lives. "

So how do age of consent policies address any of that which you mentioned? Do age of consent policies address teenage pregnancy? STI contraction? How do the age-based restrictions define the effects to which you speak?

References are in the comments of my profile.
Speedrace

Pro

"According to the CDC report you referenced, Age of consent policies have yet to be determined as a factor in preventing or reducing teenage pregnancies:. . . Evidence suggests these declines are due to more teens abstaining from sexual activity. . . "

It says right there that it is due to more abstinence. However, I will concede that it doesn't cite age of consent laws as the reason for that.

"It's also worth noting the some of the limitations of that report:

"Limitations

Our study had several limitations. When self-reported information is used, One must always consider the potential for over- and under-reporting. Adolescents are generally reliable reporters of information on sexual health. However, Given increasing social pressure to delay sexual initiation and avoid pregnancy, Adolescents may be more likely today than in the past to underreport sexual activity or overreport contraceptive use.

Although the overall NSFG sample size is adequate, Sample sizes become problematically small in analyses of subgroups. This was particularly true for the Black and Hispanic subgroups, In which the numbers of sexually active young women fell below 100. Moreover, Variance around changes in percentages or around attribution was much larger than variance around estimates for a single point in time. As such, Care should be taken in interpreting our estimates for these smaller subgroups.

. . .

We assumed that there were no changes in whether contraceptives were used correctly or in biological fecundity. Correct use of contraception can be assessed via measuring changes in typical-use CFRs. We used the most recent available failure rates (for 1995). Ranjit et al. Found no changes between 1988 and 1995 in typical-use CFRs (note that questions about contraception use at most recent intercourse did assess consistency of use). 18 No data are available to measure changes in biological fecundity among teenagers (or adults). "


None of those limitations pertain, Particularly, To this argument. It states that adolescents are generally reliable reporters of information as well as that the sample size is adequate.

"In addition, When doing a cross-country analysis, Switzerland had the lowest rates among Western countries in teenage pregnancy"

I'm failing to see how this relates to the subject at hand.

"Do you have any evidence which suggests that teens who have sex with those above the age of consent puts them at more risk of contracting an STI? "

That was not the argument.

"Or that current age of consent policies prevent or address the prevention of teenage sexual encounters among themselves, Preventing the spread of STI's? "

"Having a criminal justice system that imposes sanctions no doubt does deter criminal conduct"

Source in my profile comments.

"What does this have to do with age of consent policies and the effects of their measures? "

The point is that age of consent policies are meant to decrease effects such as these.

"Parens Patriae doesn't simply manifest in age of consent policies, But also Child Labor Policies, Which stifle Youth Employment. Furthermore, Hikes in the minimum wage are associated with declines in teenage employment (5. )"

What does this have to do with age of consent?

"And which of these effects are age-based, And not residuals of economic and social policy? "

All of those effects would be raised in the absence of age of consent laws.

"This is in fact not true:

'Age of consent refers to the legally defined age at which a person is no longer required to obtain parental consent to get married. It also refers to the age at which a person is held to have the capacity to voluntarily agree to sexual intercourse. '"

You misunderstood what I said. I was saying that the persistence of these laws and the reasoning behind them are the reasons that I mentioned. This has nothing to do with what age of consent is legally defined as.

"So how do age of consent policies address any of that which you mentioned? Do age of consent policies address teenage pregnancy? STI contraction? How do the age-based restrictions define the effects to which you speak? "

"Having a criminal justice system that imposes sanctions no doubt does deter criminal conduct. "

Sources in my profile comments.

The point of the age of consent laws is to deter the behaviors that I have mentioned above.
Debate Round No. 3
Athias

Con

Rejoinder #1

"It says right there that it is due to more abstinence. However, I will concede that it doesn't cite age of consent laws as the reason for that. "

Then we can render your reference to teenage pregnancy as irrelevant since it does not inform the effect of which you speak.

"None of those limitations pertain, Particularly, To this argument. It states that adolescents are generally reliable reporters of information as well as that the sample size is adequate. "

It pertains to the integrity of your reference, Which was rendered irrelevant. Your reference clearly stated limitations in under reporting sexual activity and over reporting contraception use, As well as the capacity to measure biological fecundity (fertility. ) However, Since you've failed to demonstrate how this informs age of consent policies, It's extraneous information.

"I'm failing to see how this relates to the subject at hand. "

Had you quoted the statement afterwards, You'd see the relation. Let's try this again:

"In addition, When doing a cross-country analysis, Switzerland had the lowest rates among Western countries in teenage pregnancy, Yet Switzerland's age of consent is at 16. (2) And while the United States has an age of consent as high as 18 years old, Most states have an age of consent at 16. "

So if most states in the United States have an age of consent at 16, And Switzerland's age of consent is at 16, then what relation does the age of consent have to teenage pregnancy when the United States has among the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the West, And Switzerland has the lowest?

"That was not the argument. "

I'm relating the proposition to the subject.

"Having a criminal justice system that imposes sanctions no doubt does deter criminal conduct"

We're not discussing the general impact of government sanctions. We are discussing age of consent policies. And due to Romeo and Juliet Laws, Charges against minors are usually not filed if sexual intercourse between is consensual (1. )

"The point is that age of consent policies are meant to decrease effects such as these. "

But you have made no such demonstration. You even conceded that the report you cited doesn't even make reference to age of consent policies as a factor. You have provided no evidence that age of consent policies influence teenage pregnancy rates.

"What does this have to do with age of consent? "

You've proposed effects which are clearly exogenous of adolescence. So when you state that children of teenage mothers "are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed as a young adult" it's more to do with Child Labor and Minimum Wage policies than it does with their being teenagers. (Once again, Look at my reference. )

"All of those effects would be raised in the absence of age of consent laws.

You've provided neither sufficient rationalizations nor proof which informs this effect.

"All of those effects would be raised in the absence of age of consent laws. "

You've made no such demonstration of this effect.

"You misunderstood what I said. I was saying that the persistence of these laws and the reasoning behind them are the reasons that I mentioned. This has nothing to do with what age of consent is legally defined as.

Nothing you've stated thus far informs a de facto application of age of consent policies. You listed a bunch of effects without so much as substantiating their relationship to age of consent policies. You argued no position which contradicts or counterargues the de jure description of age of consent.

"Having a criminal justice system that imposes sanctions no doubt does deter criminal conduct.
. . .
The point of the age of consent laws is to deter the behaviors that I have mentioned above. "


Once again, We are not discussing the general impact of government sanctions. We have discussed and are discussing Age of Consent Policies. And you have not shown how age of consent policies deter any of the effects of which you speak.

Closing Arguments

1. Age of consent policies and their application have been shown to be not only illogical but also counterintuitive. The legal description of age of consent presumes tort or criminal activity with minors whom the government deems incapable of consent. However due to Romeo and Juliet policies, Minors are rarely prosecuted nor are their parents held criminally liable for the sexual activity of their children. It is only when one partner is above the age of consent and the other below it is the "age of consent" applied. In other words, When minors engage in sexual activity with each other, Incapacity to consent is recognized but not applied; when minors engage in sexual activity with adults, Incapacity to consent is recognized and applied.

2. Ceretis Parabus, The contact, The mechanics, And sensations are identical, Whether it be an adolescent or an adult. "Predation" is presumed to manifest in sexual relationships minors have with adults because of an undue position of influence an adult allegedly has. This however neglects that power dynamics can be interesectional--i. E. Differences in personality, Appearance, Ethnicity, Weight, Height, Social status, Income, Etc. Age of consent policies also fail to make explicit the nonsexual benefits adults gain in pursuing sexual relationship with minors.

3. The age of consent also contradicts its recognition of bodily autonomy among minors particularly when recognizing, For example, A 14 year old girls right to have and consent to an abortion, While denying she had the very "capacity to consent" to the activity which made her pregnant to begin with.

4. Age of consent policies when extended to their logical conclusions are absurd and produce slippery slope arguments. If a minor has no capacity to consent, Then operating on that same logic, Said minor cannot withhold assent or dissent. This would make it impossible for an adult to rape a minor, Much minors raping each other because the minor wouldn't know what's in its best interests, As described in Parens Patriae, Or its worst interests.


Finally, The age of consent is arbitrary. Humans aren't machines, Ready to go once every part has been assembled. If anything, Humans have shown the capacity of being evolving encyclopedias, Learning from their experiences and adding to their wealth of knowledge. The state arbitrates a statutory division in which a person can optimally weight cost and benefit, But no such age exists. At any age a person is capable of both good and bad decisions. It's one thing to observes the development of one's life and categorize it into stages (infancy, Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood); it's another to legislate and coerce these divisions.

Thank you to my opponent. And thanks to the onlooking readers. Vote well.
Speedrace

Pro

I don't really have time to elaborate, But the gist of my argument was that it has been proven that criminal law does deter the given criminal behavior, And therefore all the effects of that behavior (which I did provide a source for).



Have a good one!
Debate Round No. 4
89 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Athias 3 years ago
Athias
@Speedrace: the age of consent is a very nuanced subject which solicits various thoughts, And emotions, And the like. It's easier to argue the Con position because age of consent policies are for the most part logically inconsistent. There are certain aspects of it you could've argued, Speedrace, But I wasn't inclined to help my opponent with his argument.
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago
omar2345
"so you can end your participation at any time. "
I will. I can't handle speaking to you any more.
Posted by Speedrace 3 years ago
Speedrace
Thanks.

Also, I'm aware that you totally destroyed me XD
Posted by Athias 3 years ago
Athias
@Speedrace: Don't worry, I will. Believe it or not, I do actually sympathize with your situation and as a courtesy will not continue this discussion that has gone far off course.
Posted by Speedrace 3 years ago
Speedrace
Please end it omar pls I beg you
Posted by Athias 3 years ago
Athias
"That is unfair because it is a double standard. "

No it's not. He's not condemning liberal lunacy and praising conservative lunacy. He's just not reporting on conservative lunacy. And he has no obligation to.

"I am finding you really infuriating. Guess if I don't like your next response I will drop this also because I just can't talk to you. "

I am not responsible for how you feel; you are responsible for how you feel; don't obligate me to submit a response that makes you "feel" less "frustrated. " I can neither compel nor obligate you to continue this discussion, So you can end your participation at any time.
Posted by Speedrace 3 years ago
Speedrace
PLEASE take your arguing elsewhere, You're blowing up my notifications.
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago
omar2345
"And how has he been "unfair"? The only information to this alleged bias is a mention of "liberal lunacy. " Where was he "prejudiced" if he informed his description? "
I have searched the entire site and it does not say anything negative about Trump even though there has been Conservative lunacy. With Trump issuing the government shutdown that put 800, 000 jobs at risk.

"That's not the same as there being no evidence. And since the wall has been put up yet, There's no evidence he can provide it working. In other words, It doesn't work until it works. "
Yes it is because there is no evidence for the wall helping to reduce illegal immigration or stop drugs.

"And where does it state that government actually shutdown? "
"One in January 2018"

"That's not unfair; he has no obligation to present "both sides. " "
You are putting words into my mouth. I stated when his side does the same or worse it goes unreported. That is unfair because it is a double standard.

I am finding you really infuriating. Guess if I don't like your next response I will drop this also because I just can't talk to you.
Posted by Athias 3 years ago
Athias
correction: since the wall has not been put up yet. . .
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago
omar2345
What I consider unfair is not when your side is doing something comparable or worse but you do not speak about it. This is not my general definition just in context with this discussion.
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