Teens having sex
Is the law correct in the way it handles cases of underage teen sex?
After venting my disgust at the parent’s responsibilities of the boys involved in this distasteful event in my previous column, I feel it necessary to comment on the recent developments in the case.
According to media reports, the two younger participants have now been charged with ‘consensual sexual penetration with a child’ in accordance with the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act while the other was charged with statutory rape. Which implies that the sex was consensual, but because it involved under aged persons it is considered illegal in the eyes of the law?
The thing that bothers me about this development is that the law is probably an ass in this situation. There are millions of teenagers under the age of 16 engaging in sex right now as we speak.
Having just finished reading fellow columnist Tracy Engelbrecht's The Girl Who Couldn’t Say No, about her experience as a teenage mom, I can’t help but wonder if the police will be swinging by her office soon to arrest her for having sex at the age of 14 all those many years ago. Crazy!
I welcome the fact that they’re all getting the same treatment in the eyes of the law though. Far too many times boys have suffered irreversible destruction to their reputations after falsely being accused of rape. So well done to the girl for coming clean on that score.
So what about this consensual sex law!? I mean how many teenage mothers do we churn out in a year? Probably thousands if you ask me, and surely given this precedent, they should all be arrested, or charged with something.
Informed opinion suggests that there won’t be a trial because the three have been sent on a diversion programme, which aims to re-educate kids in this situation so there doesn’t need to be a criminal trial. This is good news for them I suppose.
But what is the message being sent to young kids and their parents? Invest in chastity belts now, because even if your young girls and boys get bust in the process of having a consensual shag, the law will really only nod and wink with a knowing smile and send them on their way to a glorified sex education course?
Should we review the age of consent?
Or should we as parents ‘get with the programme’ and become more relaxed about the whole issue of sex under 16 years old? A few hundred years ago it was quite common for 12 and 13 years olds to be married and have babies. Physically our bodies would seem to be able to manage it at this age.
Personally I think that the way this incident went down, what with the audience and cellphone recording; the three teens in this case are nowhere near being able to grasp the consequences of their actions.
Should the authorities be thinking about relaxing the laws in terms of the age of consensual sex? I’m not aware of anyone guilty of consensual underage sex actually getting locked up or having the book thrown at them unless there is other motives at play by third parties.
Is the purpose of the law to act merely as a deterrent, only to be used to threaten in the case of events such as this one?
Read more by Marlon Abrahams
What do you think of the law as it applies to the age of consensual sex?
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