Legalising Teenage Sex Will Also See Rise in Sexual Crimes. Shouldn't Juvenile Age Be Reduced Too In That Case? | ED | The Youth Blog Legalising Teenage Sex Will Also See Rise in Sexual Crimes. Shouldn't Juvenile Age Be Reduced Too In That Case?
  • Check out our new reading mode

    Legalising Teenage Sex Will Also See Rise in Sexual Crimes. Shouldn’t Juvenile Age Be Reduced Too In That Case?

    By

    December 18, 2015

    The following article is the 3rd winning entry for IIM Indore’s fest Retorica 2015, written by Arushee Sharma from Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, Dwarka, New Delhi. 

    It is almost natural for my teenage self with raging youth, independence and an almost unconventional status quo to talk about my rights and choices. However, it takes me a while to sit still and ponder over points I might be too naive to grasp in the first go.

    What is consent? A vague ‘yes’ sputtered out in the heat of the moment? The abstract thought of the ‘universal law of consent’ mostly ignores the maturity (or lack thereof) of the individual. The idea of legalizing consensual sex between teenagers is purely idealistic and not realistic. Consent is not just agreement since one might not fully understand what they’re indulging into, rather, its an agreement after thoughtful consideration of the consequences as well. Thus, a minimum age of both biological and mental maturity is necessary.

    Teen couple looking at pregnancy test

    Compliance not be voluntary in many of the cases. Teenagers are called minors for a reason. They have impressionable minds and raging hormones. A consensus made in ignorance is hazardous not only to the person at that point of life, but also for their future. Biological issues that crop out of this are a separate wide topic. This might also result in hyper alertness, sleep disturbance, concentration difficulties and avoidance behavior, all extremely alarming.

    What is imperative to understand is that legalization will make it legal to all sorts of people which can be counterproductive as well.

    An 18 year old can very easily convince a 13 year old to experiment and this would account for ‘consent’. At an age where the child has just entered his/her teens, to indulge in these activities would affect her academics, mental stability, biological growth and her social outlook that will shape his/her life.

    It should fall in the same conceptual category of rape (coerced sex without consent) because minors are deemed incapable of giving informed consent. If this was to be legalized, the age to take up criminal responsibility should also be lowered because, sexual crime rate will also surge up, very evidently.

    CVX

    Already children undergo immense pressure to stay up to date with the latest fads and to maintain a modern lifestyle, legalization would just put pressure on them to be more ‘open’ and ‘try new things’. No one will tell them why there is a certain age for everything and under 18 is definitely not the appropriate age for sexual intercourse. Even if someone does, who will actually pay heed to such advice when it is ‘legal’ so obviously alright and ‘everyone does it these days’.

    Also, will this legalization be followed with the decrease in marriageable age? Suppose the girl who consented to sex gets pregnant and wants to keep the child, will the newborn be out of wedlock? Will her partner provide for her and the baby as a partner should or does he not have any obligations to them? This will, thus, only make a cycle of confusion, responsibility issues and a dis-balance in society as a whole.

    A child’s interest in sexuality is generally balanced by curiosity about other aspects of his/her life too which is normal and exactly how development should take place. They may be curious about how babies are born but at the same time wonder why the sky is blue and not red. This natural curiosity is broad and tends to fluctuate. However, if its legal to have sex at 13 and if your peers are doing it since it’s also legal, wouldn’t your scope of discovery get limited? In all spheres of life; voting, car driving – a certain age is set for reasons known to all of us. Then why not this?

    Parents, teachers and counselors should provide children awareness in this matter and help in the wholesome development of the children so that they are better informed and mature to take reasonable decisions for themselves. 

    Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.

    Liked reading this article? Subscribe to us.