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  1. #1
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    Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    I'd like to start a thread on this. It seems to me that many people today confuse pedophilia with having sex with a legal minor. They call the latter pedophilia.

    Properly speaking, pedophilia is sexual attraction to children. By "children" I mean human beings who are not sexually mature. Most human beings become sexually mature by 13 years of age. However, the lowest age of consent in the United States is 16.

    My question to you fellow ODNers is this: Do you consider sexual activity with a sexually-mature legal minor to nevertheless be pedophilia? If so, how do you justify putting that kind of act in the same category as sexual activity with sexually-immature people (i.e. children)?

    On another note, do you think the age of consent should be lower? Should there even be an age at which legal consent is (somehow) established?

  2. #2
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by Autolykos View Post
    I'd like to start a thread on this. It seems to me that many people today confuse pedophilia with having sex with a legal minor. They call the latter pedophilia.

    Properly speaking, pedophilia is sexual attraction to children. By "children" I mean human beings who are not sexually mature. Most human beings become sexually mature by 13 years of age. However, the lowest age of consent in the United States is 16.

    My question to you fellow ODNers is this: Do you consider sexual activity with a sexually-mature legal minor to nevertheless be pedophilia? If so, how do you justify putting that kind of act in the same category as sexual activity with sexually-immature people (i.e. children)?

    On another note, do you think the age of consent should be lower? Should there even be an age at which legal consent is (somehow) established?

    Autolykos, i don't consider having consensual sex with a sexually-mature legal minor as paedophillia. I must however admit that I will find it quite disturbing to see a 50 year old having sex with a 16 year old.

    I don't think the age must be lowered. During the teenage stage there comes a time where they are confused about their sexual development and might not be able to make an informed decision on whether they want to have sex or not. It is common for teenagers to experiment and I think 16 is most likely the age where most teenagers already know what sex implies and feel that they might be ready to actually act on their feelings.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    In my humble opinion, based on what limited experience I have.

    Where does law start and end ? what is a just law and what is simply knee-jerk response to fashionable thinking, maybe law should reflect current public opinion, as it seems to, particularly “Common Law” as opposed to “Civil Code”
    My opinion is that it should not.
    That we are on a dangerous path of de-masculation certainly of the English speaking western “civilisation”


    How does this relate to the age of consent ?

    In the 11th century a “fille d'honneur” was 12 to 13 years old.

    Our society seems to, increasingly, be drawing lines that are impossible and giving biased power to vocal minorities, through propaganda - thank you Gobbles.

    It now seems to be acceptable for a man to insert his penis into another man or boy and seems to care less by the day as to the age of either simply that they “come-out” seems to be sufficient.

    Let’s face it, it’s mainly men we are talking about here.

    I could go on for hours, but I gotta work

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  4. #4
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Well let's see..A girl can get pregnant at 12 or 13, and yes she is fertile. More often than not, she is not developed to carry or deliver children. So the 12 year old gets pregnant and the baby kills the mother or damages her in some horrific manner, or leaves her infertile an incapable of having children at a time in her life when she desires to have one, and is capable of caring for one.
    I think consent should be when a person is old enough to get a job and support the little mini humans they make.
    And yes, an adult having sex with a 12 year old is pedophilia. 17 is about the lowest I would be willing to go.

  5. #5
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    I'm confused... The very definition of the term pedophilia in the DSM-IV states:

    The paraphilic focus of Pedophilia involves sexual activity with a prepubescent child
    Let's find out what "prepubescent" means, shall we?

    of or pertaining to the years immediately preceding puberty, prepubertal.
    So yeah, I'd have to say that it would be fairly safe to assume that if a person were pubescent, that person isn't simultaneously prepubescent. Therefore if the 12 year old was fertile, that is to say, had a menstrual cycle, then a sexual preoccupation with that 12 year old wouldn't be pedophilia by the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition" no matter what the legal world may think.

    Just a thought.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by Autolykos View Post
    My question to you fellow ODNers is this: Do you consider sexual activity with a sexually-mature legal minor to nevertheless be pedophilia?
    By definition, no, but in practice, maybe. What it definitely is, legally, is statutory rape.

    I think it may be pedophilia in practice based on the individual who is attracted to the 'sexually-mature legal minor'. I'd say it's quite possible that someone who is, in fact, a pedophile (attracted to non-sexually mature children), to act out his or her sexual impulses through sexual activity with a sexually-mature individual who is, nevertheless, younger than the age of consent. It may just be one way of acting out these impulses. In other words, I'd ascribe pedophilia more to the individual perpetuating such behavior than to any individual actions of said person (a person is a pedophile based on definition but individual acts may not by definition fit the term).

    On another note, do you think the age of consent should be lower? Should there even be an age at which legal consent is (somehow) established?
    The age of consent should not be lowered, in my opinion, and yes, I do think in this particular instance it makes sense for their to be some sort of legal precedent for an age at which society feels people are old enough to make intelligent decisions about their sexual activity with someone much older than them.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Our society seems to, increasingly, be drawing lines that are impossible and giving biased power to vocal minorities, through propaganda - thank you Gobbles.
    How is this relevant?

    It now seems to be acceptable for a man to insert his penis into another man or boy and seems to care less by the day as to the age of either simply that they “come-out” seems to be sufficient.
    How does this have anything to do with homosexuality?
    Last edited by phrique; April 24th, 2008 at 06:18 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  7. #7
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by Aspoestertjie View Post
    Autolykos, i don't consider having consensual sex with a sexually-mature legal minor as paedophillia. I must however admit that I will find it quite disturbing to see a 50 year old having sex with a 16 year old.
    Okay. Do you think it should be illegal for a 50-year-old to do that?

    I don't think the age must be lowered. During the teenage stage there comes a time where they are confused about their sexual development and might not be able to make an informed decision on whether they want to have sex or not. It is common for teenagers to experiment and I think 16 is most likely the age where most teenagers already know what sex implies and feel that they might be ready to actually act on their feelings.
    How many people do you think don't know about sex by the time they're 16?

    Do you think modern-day "confusion about sexual development" stems from society?

  8. #8
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    By definition, no, but in practice, maybe. What it definitely is, legally, is statutory rape.

    I think it may be pedophilia in practice based on the individual who is attracted to the 'sexually-mature legal minor'.
    Have you been to a high school recently? If you can walk through any suburban school and not find at least one girl that you would Scooby Dupe, you're either A. gay, or B. Dead.

    No. There is no middle ground, and age of consent be damned.

    Some of those girls are just hot.

    Yes, it's shallow, but it's at least honest.

    I'd say it's quite possible that someone who is, in fact, a pedophile (attracted to non-sexually mature children), to act out his or her sexual impulses through sexual activity with a sexually-mature individual who is, nevertheless, younger than the age of consent.
    Uhm.... I'm not so sure. Paraphilias tend to be VERY specific. What you say might prove true if the partner in question were petite, shaved, and put her hair up in pigtails.

    It's sort of like the guy who likes car tailpipes (and yes he's out there) being expected to cuddle up to a nice 10 speed. It's weird, but not the same.

    It may just be one way of acting out these impulses. In other words, I'd ascribe pedophilia more to the individual perpetuating such behavior than to any individual actions of said person (a person is a pedophile based on definition but individual acts may not by definition fit the term).
    Well, technically you shouldn't. The DSM is specific for a reason. And paraphilia indulgers (sue me. its all I could think of to call them) tend to be as obsessive about their activities as some serial killers.

    Think about it like this...

    If you have a "thing" for oranges, apples won't do. No matter how many apples you...erm..."core"...heh...core...anyway, no matter how many you core, it still isn't the same as the glowing, sticky, orange, naveled beauty that you have known and grown to love. (I need a ciggy now... whew!)

    Most of us tend to have that "thing" that really moves us sexually. It may be more than one thing, but most of us have at least one. Most people with fetishes find that one thing (or that dozen things) to be VERY...saucy. (Sorry the whole fruit thing has me by the stem and won't let go. My father was very fond of puns, and you all know the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.)

    GAH!

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    The age of consent should not be lowered, in my opinion, and yes, I do think in this particular instance it makes sense for their to be some sort of legal precedent for an age at which society feels people are old enough to make intelligent decisions about their sexual activity with someone much older than them.
    I think thought should be given to age groups. There is no reason for an 18 yr old boy/girl going to jail for having sex with their 15/16 yr old boy/girl-friend.

    I don't know where the cutoff should be...

    Why is it okay for an 18 yr old to sleep with a 16 yr old, but not a 20 yr old?

    In Texas the law used to be no more than 4 yrs age difference. (Which I think makes some sense when dealing with a population that is always going to be over/under the age of consent in some fashion....)

    As for the overall age...meh. 16-17 is fine. Though I don't think I'd lose much sleep if they lowered it.
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

  9. #9
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    Well let's see..A girl can get pregnant at 12 or 13, and yes she is fertile. More often than not, she is not developed to carry or deliver children. So the 12 year old gets pregnant and the baby kills the mother or damages her in some horrific manner, or leaves her infertile an incapable of having children at a time in her life when she desires to have one, and is capable of caring for one.
    I hope you are not implying that I'm advocating 12/13-year-olds getting pregnant. If so, you are committing the false-dilemma fallacy.

    Also, if a girl finds herself pregnant at such a young age (regardless of the legal environment), an abortion could be performed if it was determined that her life was threatened by the pregnancy.

    I think consent should be when a person is old enough to get a job and support the little mini humans they make.
    Old enough to get a job legally (typically 16), or what?

    [qute]And yes, an adult having sex with a 12 year old is pedophilia. 17 is about the lowest I would be willing to go.[/QUOTE]

    Is there any rhyme or reason to this? Any justification, aside from "This is the way I feel"?

  10. #10
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    I think thought should be given to age groups. There is no reason for an 18 yr old boy/girl going to jail for having sex with their 15/16 yr old boy/girl-friend.
    I agree with this in a way, but the problem is it's far easier to just have a solid cut off instead of trying to make exceptions. If you make an exception for 18 year olds, why not 19 year olds? If 19 year olds are ok, why not 20 year olds? In a way, it's lazy legislation but I can understand why. Still, I'd support a law that stated statutory provisions wouldn't apply if individuals were within, like, 3 years of age or something.

    Have you been to a high school recently? If you can walk through any suburban school and not find at least one girl that you would Scooby Dupe, you're either A. gay, or B. Dead.
    Or C. The father of a daughter. Sorry dude, I know there are some good looking young girls out there, but the thought of having any sort of relations with someone younger than 22 annoys the piss out of me for a multitude of reasons--primarily because there's such a huge difference in maturity between high school/college/working people it's unbelievable, and I've never been a one night stand type of guy.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    I agree with this in a way, but the problem is it's far easier to just have a solid cut off instead of trying to make exceptions. If you make an exception for 18 year olds, why not 19 year olds? If 19 year olds are ok, why not 20 year olds? In a way, it's lazy legislation but I can understand why. Still, I'd support a law that stated statutory provisions wouldn't apply if individuals were within, like, 3 years of age or something.
    Why not just let the parents of the people involved decide? And if at some point there's abuse, address it then... instead of making arbitrary lines...? Just a thought.

    Or C. The father of a daughter. Sorry dude, I know there are some good looking young girls out there, but the thought of having any sort of relations with someone younger than 22 annoys the piss out of me for a multitude of reasons--primarily because there's such a huge difference in maturity between high school/college/working people it's unbelievable, and I've never been a one night stand type of guy.
    Annoys the piss out of you, sure. I can totally dig that, seriously. Trust me. I am, however, the single parent of a daughter who is, amazingly, older than your daughter, and is actually asking me questions about boys and girls... It's really, difficult...

    But I think that Slip's point is more to whether or not it should be considered mental illness to find high school aged girls physically appealing... High school age is around 14+. I know an 11 year old with boobs that are bigger than most of the adult women in my own family. That's a subconscious symbol of fertility there... does that make every guy who looks at her (not knowing her age) and thinks, "WOW!" a pedophile?
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  12. #12
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    By definition, no, but in practice, maybe. What it definitely is, legally, is statutory rape.
    I understand that, and it is entirely irrelevant to the topic of this thread.

    I think it may be pedophilia in practice based on the individual who is attracted to the 'sexually-mature legal minor'. I'd say it's quite possible that someone who is, in fact, a pedophile (attracted to non-sexually mature children), to act out his or her sexual impulses through sexual activity with a sexually-mature individual who is, nevertheless, younger than the age of consent. It may just be one way of acting out these impulses. In other words, I'd ascribe pedophilia more to the individual perpetuating such behavior than to any individual actions of said person (a person is a pedophile based on definition but individual acts may not by definition fit the term).
    Let's say that an adult man has sex with a sexually mature, but legally minor, woman. The question becomes whether or not that man is a pedophile. Despite the fact that the burden of proof may still (for the time being) fall on the prosecution, the mere suspicion that he is will likely destroy his relationships and his career, if not his entire life.

    In essence, you're advocating the criminalization of pedophilia -- a form of thoughtcrime.

    The age of consent should not be lowered, in my opinion, and yes, I do think in this particular instance it makes sense for their [sic] to be some sort of legal precedent for an age at which society feels people are old enough to make intelligent decisions about their sexual activity with someone much older than them.
    How can such a legal precedent be established? How do you deal with the fact that different people mature at different rates? How do you deal with the fact that "maturity" is an arbitrary term?

    As I asked Tinkerbell before, do you have any non-emotional justification for your opinion that the age of consent should not be lowered? (By the way, age of consent is handled by state laws, not federal laws.)

  13. #13
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    Or C. The father of a daughter. Sorry dude, I know there are some good looking young girls out there, but the thought of having any sort of relations with someone younger than 22 annoys the piss out of me for a multitude of reasons--primarily because there's such a huge difference in maturity between high school/college/working people it's unbelievable, and I've never been a one night stand type of guy.
    LOL. I am the father of a daughter as well. Believe me, that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the odd tight tushy, or really stacked cheerleader.

    I can fantasize all I like as I walk down the hall and they don't speak. All it takes is one, "Oh...my...God...did you see Usher in that last video?" and I'm pretty much over the whole thing.

    I sympathize with your plight, but I don't get that uptight about it. My daughter is 16 and beautiful. And that's not just a father's BS about his kid. I have walked through the store behind her and watched guys check her out. Doesn't make me angry, but I get paternalistic and protective as hell.

    I don't begrudge a man his fantasies. Look all you want.

    Touching is something else....
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

  14. #14
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    "Sex? That's what high school was for!"
    I forget what movie that's from... But hey, I find it hard to believe that ther aren't any teenagers (those who can get a girl/boyfriend) who aren't "experimenting" or just plain having sex. High school is a dramatized reality show (whch ones arent?) that actually happens. Give or take a few actors who overract like they're in an elementary school play.
    We were laughing at the stars while our feet clung tight to the ground.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by Autolykos View Post
    I hope you are not implying that I'm advocating 12/13-year-olds getting pregnant. If so, you are committing the false-dilemma fallacy.

    Also, if a girl finds herself pregnant at such a young age (regardless of the legal environment), an abortion could be performed if it was determined that her life was threatened by the pregnancy.




    I never claimed you were implying. I was giving my reason why 12 and 13 year olds should not be sexually active, regardless if they had reached puberty.
    A 12 year old can not consent to an abortion. And an abortion carries many health risks including infertility. I had a girlfriend that was raped at 12. Her parents would not consent to an abortion, her uterus ruptured, and she now can never have children.

    Is there any rhyme or reason to this? Any justification, aside from "This is the way I feel"?
    Yes..I have had 2 very high risk pregnancies. I spent 3 days a week, through my entire pregnancies seeing a Perinatologist (High Risk OB) There were many of these young girls that had to see him. He told me how many he had seen die and the horrible effects it left on their young bodies. He explained that until about the age of 17-19 a woman's body, organs and bone structure was just not mature enough to carry babies..Women do not physically sexually mature until around this age. A 17 year old female usually is developed enough to not experience too many physical complications, she is also very close to 18, a legal adult.

  16. #16
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    I never claimed you were implying. I was giving my reason why 12 and 13 year olds should not be sexually active, regardless if they had reached puberty.
    A 12 year old can not consent to an abortion. And an abortion carries many health risks including infertility. [Snipped irrelevant anecdote.]
    Okay, so what's your point here? I was also not implying that anyone should or should not be sexually active, let alone people at a specific age.

    It seems you're trying to read ulterior motives into my OP. If that is true, I ask you to please stop.

    Yes..I have had 2 very high risk pregnancies. I spent 3 days a week, through my entire pregnancies seeing a Perinatologist (High Risk OB) There were many of these young girls that had to see him. He told me how many he had seen die and the horrible effects it left on their young bodies. He explained that until about the age of 17-19 a woman's body, organs and bone structure was just not mature enough to carry babies..And 17 year old female usually is developed enough, she is also very close to 18, a legal adult.
    First off, this is an anecdote. Hence, your entire justification for this is based on the sole testimony of a perinatologist, which resonated with you emotionally. So your entire justification is merely emotional.

    Second, history proves this perinatologist wrong.

  17. #17
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by Autolykos View Post
    Okay, so what's your point here? I was also not implying that anyone should or should not be sexually active, let alone people at a specific age.

    It seems you're trying to read ulterior motives into my OP. If that is true, I ask you to please stop.
    PARANOID MUCH? What would these motives you assume I think be?
    My point is a grown adult having sex with a sexually immature child, is putting their life in jeopardy. It should be considered Pedophilia.A child can not make a legal choice. The can not be held responsible for their actions and the wellbeing of the child is in the hands of their guardian. You asked my opinion and then why I felt the way I did and I gave you my reason.
    I started my period at 10, I was Pubescent but no where near sexually mature.




    First off, this is an anecdote. Hence, your entire justification for this is based on the sole testimony of a perinatologist, which resonated with you emotionally. So your entire justification is merely emotional.

    Second, history proves this perinatologist wrong.
    Unless you are an MD with the extra couple of years he had to attend to become a specialist..I think I will value his experience over your opinion.

  18. #18
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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    My point is a grown adult having sex with a sexually immature child, is putting their life in jeopardy.
    Sexually immature... or emotionally immature? I'm pretty sure that sexual immaturity was defined as a child who was not able to bear or otherwise have a hand in bring around pregnancy...

    It should be considered Pedophilia.
    If the child is not physically mature to the point of puberty than it IS pedophilia. Anything beyond that point MAY BE wreckless endangerment, but is simply not pedophilia.

    A child can not make a legal choice.
    Yes, a child can make a legal choice. But then, perhaps we need to define "child" before we can continue this convo.

    The can not be held responsible for their actions and the wellbeing of the child is in the hands of their guardian.
    At what point is the parent no longer responsible for that child's behavior? If a 13 year old cuts school and goes out drinking with some buddies, should mom be hauled off to court or be forced to pay fines on the child's behalf? We hold "children" responsible for their actions, legally, every day. Kids that break curfew, possess or consume alcohol, possess drugs or weapons, steal or deface property. They are held personally responsible for those actions as early as 13. Not only that, but most states allow for children the age of 13 (and in some cases younger) to be prosecuted as adults for murder and other heinus crimes.

    How is it possible that these children are responsible for their own actions enough to be punished by the state when they break the state's law, but suddenly aren't responsible enough to make a legal decision regarding their own sexual activity?
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Sexually immature... or emotionally immature? I'm pretty sure that sexual immaturity was defined as a child who was not able to bear or otherwise have a hand in bring around pregnancy...
    Just because they are producing fertile eggs, does not make them sexually mature. Their pelvis is not yet wide enough to pass a child. The organs are not mature enough to often provide for both the mother and child. The body still has more to do to ready itself for 9 months and childbirth.

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    Re: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

    Ok, Tink, so we've established here that you and I are operating on very minute disparities of definition of the term "sexually mature." That's fine. Even changing the meaning of the term the way I used it doesn't change my argument much, if at all.

    Would you care to address any of my other points?
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


 

 
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