Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 2 months ago

Why is having consensual sex with a minor illegal and considered statutory rape in the States?

I reckon its probably because the child is not mature enough to take his/her decisions as to sex and can end up making a self destructive decision, which could potentially ruin their life or end up putting themselves in danger at the hands of the adult. But then shoudnt minors having sex with other minors be illegalized? Why does the adult go to jail in cases where they have done no harm to minor?

15 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    The legislators came up with an age at which they find that a child cannot legally be deemed mentally capable of granting consent for sex.  Therefore, the statutes criminalize sex with such a child REGARDLESS of whether there was evidence of consent.  However, were the sex with a minor non-consensual it would ALSO be an aggravated rape felony in most states, on top of statutory rape. 

    It has NOTHING to do with "contracts", which children legally enter all day every day. 

    So, it's not about "consent"  but rather the local state legislators' determination of the age at which a child has the necessary judgement to overcome the presumption that they don't know what they're doing when it comes to having sex.

    In some states two 12-year-olds can legally have sex together and in others it would be a crime for both of them.

  • 2 months ago

    You reckon correctly.  Children are ruled as not capable of making those decisions on their own, including decisions that might ruin their life.  That's why they're also not allowed to vote or drive motorized vehicles, in fact.

    When minors have sex with other minors, that's a different story.  Remember that thing you said about children not being mature enough to make those decisions?  Exactly.  Adults are held to a different standard under the law than children are.  Childlike thinking isn't just tolerated from children, it's actually expected.

    The adult goes to jail because they obviously knew what they did was illegal, and just plain wrong, and they did it anyway.  It's way too easy for an adult to manipulate the mind of a child.

  • 2 months ago

    Many states have "Romeo and Juliet" laws saying it's not statutory rape if the two people are about the same age.

    As for an adult having sex with a child, if the adult is found guilty, it's because a child doesn't have the experience, judgement, and possibly not even the strength to resist.  It's on the adult to know better.  Note also that there is an Age of Consent, which may be lower than the Age of Majority.  That is, while someone 17 years old may be a minor, depending on the state, an adult having sex with them would not be considered statutory rape.  It could still be rape, of course, depending on the circumstances.

  • 2 months ago

    As an adult, we have legal responsibilities to do no harm to others. And that is why minors are protected by statutory rape laws.

    Minors are minors, so they know no better and are not treated like criminals when they have sex with one another...age requirements do apply. Example: a minor who is 17 cannot have sex with, say, a 10 year old because a 10 year old is not mature enough to give sexual consent.

    I am shocked you cannot figure this out for yourself. Perhaps you are a minor and need some growing up of your own.

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  • 2 months ago

    This is not an entirely true statement, since having sex with someone under 21 is not illegal in every state provided they are 16-18. "Minors cannot consent" would only be a true statement if the age was 21 nation wide with no exceptions. But that is far from the case. 

  • 2 months ago

    It is not legal because permission, spoken, written, or otherwise conveyed is required in the context of a binding contract. A minor cannot legally agree to a binding contact.

  • 2 months ago

    Because an adult could easily groom a child into having sex with them and take advantage of the child.

    When dealing with peers of similar age, there is less pressure/authority at play to sway the childs decision

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    In very few states is sex with a minor illegal, however having sex with someone below the age of consent may very well be a crime,  A person is considered a minor until they reach the age of majority which in the US is 18 in all states except Alabama and Nebraska where it is 19 and Mississippi where the age is 21. The age of consent ( the age at which a person can legally engage in sex) is 16 in 31 states and is 17 in 6 other states. In the other 13 the age of consent is 18. But in most states these ages are not hard and fast. The majority of states have near age exceptions (Romeo and Juliet laws) that allow sex with persons under the age of consent if the two parties are within a given age of each other.  Take Ohio for example. In Ohio the age of consent is 16specified by Section 2907.04 of the Ohio Revised Code. However, there exists a close-in-age exception where a minor 13 or older can consent to sex as long as their partner is less than 18 years old.

        2907.04 Unlawful sexual conduct with minor.

            (A) No person who is eighteen years of age or older shall engage in sexual conduct with another, who is not the spouse of the offender, when the offender knows the other person is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, or the offender is reckless in that regard. {§ 2907.04}.

    Non-penetrative sexual contact is permitted between 13- to 15-year-olds and anyone less than 4 years older, even if the older person is 18+.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    There has to be some age below which minors aren't considered competent to consent to sex but that age is set unusually high in most US states and the penalties for breaching that age are unusually severe compared to most countries. I suspect the influence of conservative religious fundamentalists. In other Western countries the age of consent is as low as 14, but only if the other participant no more than a young adult in some countries to avoid an older adult taking advantage of the immaturity of a minor.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Each state in the USA has its own laws and minors having sex is illegal with certain exceptions.

    Minors cannot give consent. Period.

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