The Debate Concerning The Age Of Sexual Consent Essay
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This essay will illustrate the current laws regarding the age of sexual consent and will highlight the future plans, which the government are hoping to enforce and argument for and against these suggested laws. The current laws, which are enforced regarding the age of consent, are that boys have no age of consent and can therefore have sex at any age when they feel ready. But only if the girl is over 16 or else they will be breaking the law as girls and gay couples cannot have sex until they are 16 years old.
Although many people feel that these laws are fine as they are and there is no need for change, the government believe that there are far to many people breaking these laws and that there is to many men/boys having sex with under 16 girls. The hopes to change this by tightening the current laws and introducing a male sexual age of consent of 16 and to include an extension of the laws to include more sex acts in public which is most likely to include including kissing.
If these laws were to be broken the government are planning to put the offender on to the sex offenders list, which include rapists and pedos.
The offender could also face which I think is a very harsh five-year prison sentence and all for what could have been an innocent kiss with your partner. A recent national survey Shows the while the current laws aren’t perfect they aren’t doing a bad job as it showed us that 33% of boys have had sex under the age of 16 and that only 25% of girl have, and this shows that the current laws are keeping at least two-thirds of boys from having illegal sex and three-quarters of girls and means that a larger percentage of teenagers are obeying the current laws and waiting until they have sex.
Another survey was carried out by Bliss Magazine on its readers and showed that 32% of 12 to 17 year olds have had sex and that 83% of those reader were under 16 years old when they had sex, and that a what I though was an astonishing 12% of those readers were under 12 years old when the had sex. This survey completed by Bliss Magazine also tell us that 50% of it readers think that the current sexual consent laws are correct, but this is most properly sex mad teenagers who want the consent aged to be lowered not for the laws to be tightened.
Although these figures do shows a slightly worrying percentage of under 16’s having sex, and of course we would all like this figure to be lower; this amount of under 16’s having sex isn’t wholly due to kids and their choice to have sex as it is also undoubtedly fuelled by television and magazines. It has become more and more obvious that teenagers and now even younger kids are becoming sexualised and introduced to sexual idea a lot younger these days.
This is best shown when we look in magazines, watch television and new fashions and we see idols such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera half naked or often dressed in way which gives their teenage fans the wrong impression of dress and act. A current argument which is a main point of the government’s reasons for wanting to tighten the sexual consent laws is that they believe children need more protect than they are presently getting.
This sudden desire to increase the protection of children is partly due to the increasing amount of pedos and rapist around but I think mainly because of the increase in popularity of the Internet and especially due to the increase in the amount of people using chat rooms. These concerns about using chat rooms is because of what some people call grooming often pedos pretend they are kids and gain trust of children and often arrange to meet up with them. Another argument is the amount of people who are having sex before they are 16, and also because a survey reveal that over 50% of girl regret having sex before they were legally allowed.
The UK’s current laws sit some roughly in the middle compared to other places, such as places like LA where the consent age is higher and places like Spain where the age is lower. At the moment LA’s sexual consent age is 18 but people are still having sex a 17, and in Mali the sexual consent age is 16 and as in LA people are having sex when they are 17, Spain’s laws states that you have to be 13 to have sex and the average age for a person in Spain to have sex is strangely 19 years old for girls and 18 for boys. And finally in Chile the sexual consent age is 12 and the average person is having sex at around 14 or 15years old.
The figures show that countries with a lower sexual consent age actually have a higher difference in the age you can have sex legally and the age people actually do. Arguments against the tightening of the sexual consent laws include the argument that the current laws doesn’t stop people from having sex under the age of 16 so tightening the laws will most likely force little or no change and people will still break the law. As well as this point there is an argument that the current laws are thought to be fine as they stand, and that current laws offer a suffiencent amount of protection to children.
Even now family planning centres, sex education teacher (school nurses) and any other authorities to do with sexual aspects in life tell us that alt of kids already find it hard to speak to parents or anyone about sex, and we are constantly hearing about pregnant teenagers leaving it to late before they told someone and ending up with no choice but to have a baby. This point, which is already at a bad enough state, is thought to become worse if the suggested laws pass and many fear that kids will become more detached and feel even less able to seek help of advise.
This final point against the change is that the suggested laws are a muddle and all the law will do is criminalize younger people for doing something as unsubstantial as kissing. My view on this argument is that although teenagers I thin do need more protection from people like rapists and pedos the suggested rules are not the answer and are just punishing kids for what adults do. I believe the current laws provide a good template of which to follow by and the sexual consent age of 16 is accurate, as at this age the decision to have sex or not is up to you and you have reached an age and maturity where you can make the choice.
I think that the suggested laws obviously have higher risks is broken and may have a little impact but there will still be teenagers who want to have sex and kiss etc and will, and all introducing these laws will do is criminalize young peoples for something a sinister as kissing. Away in which I think the current situation could be improved with out changing the laws is to improve sex education; by educating children at an earlier age, and making sex education lessons more frequent and more relevant to the students.