The Student Room Group

Societal norms around the age of consent.

For the best part of a year now I’ve had several arguments with peers regarding relationships. I’ve always believed and had instilled from me from school that the age of consent to be 16,

However, as a 19, soon to be 20, I seem to be getting a lot of anger from people when I say I wouldn’t mind dating someone in college. The law says 16 so it should mean that society’s opinions should not matter right?

I hate that in the 21st century you are socially bullied into living a life you don’t want to live. At the end of the day, if I as a 19 year old want or be with a 17 year old then sod all to anyones opinions.

People say that you have to date people who are minimum of 18 but that’s factually wrong. They say that if I was to date a 17 year old that would make me a paediphile. But anyone with this mentality needs fo wake up and learn the meaning of the word paedophile- someone who is attracted to PREBUBESCENT children. And 17 year olds are not prevubescsnt.

Upon hearing those who say that the age of consent should be 18, to that I say fine. But that means that under 18s should not be allowed to have sex at all, even if they are both of the same age, or face prison if they do. Also, teen pregnancy should be a punishable offence by brisin, since it’s invoking under 18s, also, under 18s should not be allowed to work or drive. It’s only fair. If you want the age of consent to be raised, this agreement is fairer for all.

But what’s everyone’s opinions on this controversial debate?

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Original post by Anonymous #1
For the best part of a year now I’ve had several arguments with peers regarding relationships. I’ve always believed and had instilled from me from school that the age of consent to be 16,

However, as a 19, soon to be 20, I seem to be getting a lot of anger from people when I say I wouldn’t mind dating someone in college. The law says 16 so it should mean that society’s opinions should not matter right?

I hate that in the 21st century you are socially bullied into living a life you don’t want to live. At the end of the day, if I as a 19 year old want or be with a 17 year old then sod all to anyones opinions.

People say that you have to date people who are minimum of 18 but that’s factually wrong. They say that if I was to date a 17 year old that would make me a paediphile. But anyone with this mentality needs fo wake up and learn the meaning of the word paedophile- someone who is attracted to PREBUBESCENT children. And 17 year olds are not prevubescsnt.

Upon hearing those who say that the age of consent should be 18, to that I say fine. But that means that under 18s should not be allowed to have sex at all, even if they are both of the same age, or face prison if they do. Also, teen pregnancy should be a punishable offence by brisin, since it’s invoking under 18s, also, under 18s should not be allowed to work or drive. It’s only fair. If you want the age of consent to be raised, this agreement is fairer for all.

But what’s everyone’s opinions on this controversial debate?

To me, 16 is a reasonable consent age. If you wanted it lowered, I wouldn't immediately oppose it although I'd question you.

If you, almost 20, want to date 16-17 year olds, I'm fine with it. You do you. Many would hate you but as long as you don't go under 16, I'll be fine with you.
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous #1
For the best part of a year now I’ve had several arguments with peers regarding relationships. I’ve always believed and had instilled from me from school that the age of consent to be 16,

However, as a 19, soon to be 20, I seem to be getting a lot of anger from people when I say I wouldn’t mind dating someone in college. The law says 16 so it should mean that society’s opinions should not matter right?

I hate that in the 21st century you are socially bullied into living a life you don’t want to live. At the end of the day, if I as a 19 year old want or be with a 17 year old then sod all to anyones opinions.

People say that you have to date people who are minimum of 18 but that’s factually wrong. They say that if I was to date a 17 year old that would make me a paediphile. But anyone with this mentality needs fo wake up and learn the meaning of the word paedophile- someone who is attracted to PREBUBESCENT children. And 17 year olds are not prevubescsnt.

Upon hearing those who say that the age of consent should be 18, to that I say fine. But that means that under 18s should not be allowed to have sex at all, even if they are both of the same age, or face prison if they do. Also, teen pregnancy should be a punishable offence by brisin, since it’s invoking under 18s, also, under 18s should not be allowed to work or drive. It’s only fair. If you want the age of consent to be raised, this agreement is fairer for all.

But what’s everyone’s opinions on this controversial debate?

I’d just noticed some errors in the below paragraph. This should read as :

Upon hearing those who say that the age of consent should be 18, to that I say fine. But that means that under 18s should not be allowed to have sex at all,even if they are both of the same age, or face prison if they do. Also, teen pregnancy should be a punishable offence by prison, wether intended or not, since it’s involving under18s, also, under 18s should not be allowed to work at all, or drive. It’s only fair. If you want the age of consent to be raised, this agreement is fairer for all.
Original post by Anonymous #1
I’d just noticed some errors in the below paragraph. This should read as :

Upon hearing those who say that the age of consent should be 18, to that I say fine. But that means that under 18s should not be allowed to have sex at all,even if they are both of the same age, or face prison if they do. Also, teen pregnancy should be a punishable offence by prison, wether intended or not, since it’s involving under18s, also, under 18s should not be allowed to work at all, or drive. It’s only fair. If you want the age of consent to be raised, this agreement is fairer for all.

To me, I disagree with raising the age of consent to 18 and would definitely oppose it.

16 is reasonable.

If you wanna go lower I won't dismiss you right off the bat but I'll question it. Under 18s should be allowed to work and drive. We need to stop babying kids.
To me, at 16 you are mature enough to decide for yourself who to have sex. That's why there shouldn't be an upper age limit for that. Besides, keeping the status quo helps prevent further babying of the youth.
Reply 5
I can see a good argument for a maximum age gap rule alongside 16 age of consent
Reply 6
fun fact: the age of consent for men to have sex with each other wasn't the age of 16 untill 2001. i am not a gay man but just saying law should be taken with a grain of salt here and surely should not in itself be the yardstock for ethical behaviour. type more if new TSR wasn't so crappy
So what? Many people have made regrettable decisions. 20 year olds, 30 year olds etc.

16 and 17 are not sufficiently different in this, so they can consent to sex with any age at or above 16. That's how it is and it's reasonable.

Arguably so many adults are not grown ups, but 16-17 year olds are still grown up enough to consent to sex to 16+. There doesn't need to be a maximum age.
(edited 3 months ago)
I agree with the minimum age of consent being 16 for everyone.
With all teachers, doctors, social workers, step-parents, youth centre volunteer, sports coaches, police offices and faith leaders legally prohibited from dating anyone that they are paid to support or their employer/voluntary group is directly involved with.
16-17 yo are the grey area, not children. The age of consent should be 16. If someone wants it to be lower I wouldn't oppose it right off the bat.
No it is a grey area. Age of consent of 16 is ok, no need to make it higher. If someone wants to make it lower, I won't oppose it right off the bat.

Whom I will oppose is you for your babying. 16-17yo shouldn't be fully kids.
Reply 11
Original post by Anonymous #1
For the best part of a year now I’ve had several arguments with peers regarding relationships. I’ve always believed and had instilled from me from school that the age of consent to be 16,

However, as a 19, soon to be 20, I seem to be getting a lot of anger from people when I say I wouldn’t mind dating someone in college. The law says 16 so it should mean that society’s opinions should not matter right?

I hate that in the 21st century you are socially bullied into living a life you don’t want to live. At the end of the day, if I as a 19 year old want or be with a 17 year old then sod all to anyones opinions.

People say that you have to date people who are minimum of 18 but that’s factually wrong. They say that if I was to date a 17 year old that would make me a paediphile. But anyone with this mentality needs fo wake up and learn the meaning of the word paedophile- someone who is attracted to PREBUBESCENT children. And 17 year olds are not prevubescsnt.

Upon hearing those who say that the age of consent should be 18, to that I say fine. But that means that under 18s should not be allowed to have sex at all, even if they are both of the same age, or face prison if they do. Also, teen pregnancy should be a punishable offence by brisin, since it’s invoking under 18s, also, under 18s should not be allowed to work or drive. It’s only fair. If you want the age of consent to be raised, this agreement is fairer for all.

But what’s everyone’s opinions on this controversial debate?

Maybe you need to stop having debates about it and just get on with it. That said, it is a bit creepy. My wife and I were discussing when we were in 6th form and knew girls who were dating 30 year-olds. Back in the 90s no one thought twice about it but now, post Jimmy Saville you have to question the motives of someone who is targeting 16/17 year-olds for a relationship of any sort. Sure, legally they are in scope, but - nah. Ewwww!
16-17yo are in the grey area, not really children. Consenting to pornography (having yourself recorded) imo needs a higher standard of maturity and development than consenting to sex. I believe that's why the ages are different.

But to me if the 16yo girl dates 30yo guy I wouldn't bat an eye. Up to them for age gap, just don't go below 16 and you're good, to me.

Unfortunately many people are stricter and they want to baby kids and create a nanny state. It may be their agenda after all - which I should oppose.
Unfortunately too many people who wish to baby youth, derail things.

OP, if you wish to date 16 year olds at 20 year old, that's your business. I am fine with it as long as you don't go below 16.

If you really want to go below 16, what I suggest is get out of the country, get citizenship from some other country, revoke your British citizenship or whatever citizenship, then follow those age of consent laws. Do not do that before revoking home citizenship, because otherwise you'd still need to follow the previous country's laws. But I do not recommend this. Just don't go below 16.
(edited 2 months ago)
The NSPCC provide some good information regarding this topic, it is important to remember that anyone under the age of 18 is considered a child in the eyes of the law in the UK. The link explains-
The law gives extra protection to all under-18-year-olds, regardless of whether or not they are over the age of consent.
It is illegal:
- to take, show or distribute indecent photographs of a child under the age of 18 (this includes images shared through sexting or sharing nudes)
- to sexually exploit a child under the age of 18


You can read more here: https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/child-protection-system/children-the-law
:smile:
Having the age of consent at 16 is there because 16/17 year olds are going to have to sex with each other and there is no point criminalising them. It is not set at 16 so that older people, typically men, can indulge in their creepy fantasies of sleeping with teenagers.
I don't think it's creepy for an older person to sleep with a 16yo. 16yo is mature enough to decide who to and who not to have sex with, for those 16+.

If the 16yo wishes to have sex with 40 year olds then so be it.

To me, the age of consent is 16 because 16 year olds are mature enough to decide whether or not to sleep with older people, older adults as well.

If someone wants to make that lower... it'll be icky to me, but I'll hear their point of view. Doesn't mean I'll agree.
(edited 2 months ago)
There would of course be maturity and power imbalances in relationships. You can't expect to make illegal relationships with significant power and maturity imbalances.

It is OK for a 40 year old man and a 16 year old to have intercourse. Just don't go below 16.

For me I wouldn't **** or date someone below 16. I am flexible but below 16 is a hard no.
(edited 2 months ago)
Paedophilia is much more than just dating a 16yo as a 40yo. There is a DSM-5 criteria for this, and it's much more strict than merely that. You are the one diluting the term.

Much like how people dilute autism as "the 'tism" for one or two traits, when really it's much more extensive than that.

I disagree with child and adult relationships to be illegal, even if ages are not close, even if ages are not in proximity.

For me: keep it as it is.
Original post by ActiveEccentric
To me, 16 is a reasonable consent age. If you wanted it lowered, I wouldn't immediately oppose it although I'd question you.

If you, almost 20, want to date 16-17 year olds, I'm fine with it. You do you. Many would hate you but as long as you don't go under 16, I'll be fine with you.

I feel like 16 probably seems like a reasonable consent age to us mainly because that's what those of us who have grown up in the UK are used to. It's very culturally relative. In Nigeria it's 11, and people from there might think ours is too high. In Bahrain it's 21, and they might think ours is too low. Even in Britain, it was originally set at 12 and was only raised to 16 in the last 150 years or so, mostly as a way of curbing sex trafficking and prostitution.

I think 16 makes sense in the UK, because it coincides with things like the age at which you're allowed to leave school or the age at which you're allowed to have a full time job (so you can deal with consequences like pregnancy), and people are also likely to have been taught sex education in school by then. But these sorts of things can also vary a lot depending on the society you live in. In some cultures people are considered to be adults, expected no longer to rely on their parents (or perhaps even support their parents), and trained to take on adult responsibilities much earlier in life. It's more in the economically developed world where people have long life expectancies that they can afford to stay as children for longer.

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