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Passions in Poetry

Age of Consent

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Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334

0 posted 11-16-2004 07:27 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

“Consenting adults” has made me wonder:
who is an adult?  Is adulthood the consequence of
physical maturation over a particular span of time
or something more?  My parents received no more
than a fourth grade formal education which is all
a re-emerged Poland could afford its rural citizens,
(everything else including a number of languages
they picked up along the way after); were they then
adults?  Romeo’s Juliet was thirteen, as was Edgar
Allan Poe’s cousin bride, (Mohamed’s bride was
nine); were they adults, (there was an article a couple
of decades ago where a prospective husband defended
his choice of a thirteen year old fiancé by saying she
was “very mature”)?  If right, wrong, good, bad are
relative and/or subject to personal opinion, and
pleasure can be pain, and pain pleasure, does anything
beyond the mechanics of reading, writing, arithmetic,
etc. need to be taught if the sole end is accomplishing
the student’s adulthood?  Seems important since once
you’re an “adult” all sorts of things are left to you,
including, for example, whether or not you’re a victim.
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas

1 posted 11-16-2004 09:40 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

"Adult" depends on territorial influences, culture and laws.  In the US, in most states, 16 is considered adult for a few things (like quitting school or working outside the home), 18 is considered an adult for some purposes (driver's license, cigarettes, voting), 21 for others (alcohol and everything else), 25 for earned income credit, and 27 for lower auto insurance costs.  One can also be emancipated, and therefor an adult by legal standing.

If the person in question is Hispanic, Catholic, or Jewish (just as examples), adulthood comes at 13, when one can legally marry.  That is an aspect of culture and religion.  A 13 year old can also be tried as an adult for capital crimes.

Citing Juliet would be a cultural definition of adulthood, as it was common during her timeframe.  Mohammed's instance would be one of culture and religion (he was raised in an atmosphere of Christianity, Judaism, and tribal beliefs), which gave not only freedom of age selection, but also quantity of spouses.  Poe's selection of spouse did not go without mention, and it cost him dearly during America's Victorian prudishness in culture and laws, not just for her age but also her relation to him.
Senior Member
since 08-15-99
Posts 1966
Sitting in Michael's Lap

2 posted 11-16-2004 09:46 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

There really isn't a right answer to this.  Individuals mature at different rates both physically and mentally (although I suspect mental maturation would be more important in this case).

The legal system, however, requires numbers.  Therefore we have 18 as the age of majority and 21 as drinking age (which I personally think is ridiculous, but that is another rant).  While I'm sure some cursory sociological research went into determining these numbers, I'd guess they were fairly arbitrary and err on the side of caution.

So you get cases of 18-year-old young men who get caught having sex with their 16- or 17-year-old girlfriends and being labeled "sex offenders" for the remainder of their lives - complete with publicly available lists of their names and addresses even after their time has been served.  They are listed with people who molest infants and young children with no effort made to distinguish one from the other.

So yeah, it's a flawed system, but case-by-case examination would be flawed too as there would be too much room for abuse by "interpretation."

Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US

3 posted 11-16-2004 09:47 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Fifty. At fifty you get to start calling yourself adult.

Of course, that's just an average. Some won't make it until at least ninety.

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334

4 posted 11-17-2004 01:05 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

“We have to allow people the choice of those decisions, and as incredible as it may seem, their choices may have different moral standards than ours.

Consenting adults, John.

Until those consenting adults are harming others, it's none of our business.”

“Consenting adults” at a minimum then being 13 or 9, (depending on
culture and/or religion),  at which point any social decision, situation, relationship
not harming others is to be deemed as one of free choice and not subject
to anyone else’s business, right?
since 11-16-2004
Posts 127

5 posted 11-26-2004 10:34 AM       View Profile for JoshG   Email JoshG   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JoshG

Consenting Adults:

The age of responsibility taken in totality by the individual and proven in a court of law.  Once this is done everything is made available to the individual in regards to rights.  The age you can go to this court would be at the discretion of the individual.  The court (one for each district) would have a panel of 13 Judge's that vote as a jury would.  Each judge is appointed by the community in a yearly vote.
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