Screwed

Legally Obscene: Rape, Statutory Rape, and Child Support

Statutory rape laws have often been controversial and unequally applied to male and female victims and perpetrators. While very few believe that sexual activity with minors who have not yet reached puberty (child molestation) is acceptable, many believe that once a child has reached puberty, the child should be capable of providing consent to sexual activity. Statutory rape laws are based on the premise that persons below a specified age or who suffer from certain mental deficiencies are incapable of providing consent. These laws make it illegal for adults to coerce children into having sex.

Historically, statutory rape laws were designed to protect teenage girls from males who may take their virginity, impregnate them, and refuse to take responsibility and marry them. Thus, they served the purpose of protecting the honor of the girl and of preventing teenage pregnancy. They also helped to ensure the child would have a means of support. It wasn’t until much later that these laws began to be applied to protect boys as well. However, the application remains quite uneven.

In California, an appellate court upheld an order (San Luis Obispo Count y v. Nathan J., 1996) forcing a 15 year old boy to pay child support to his rapist after she became pregnant and gave birth.
According to the DOJ, 95% of statutory rape victims reported to law enforcement are female, yet many studies have determined that boys comprise a much higher percentage of the victims. For instance, Dorais estimates that one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 16.

Social attitudes are primarily responsible for the double standard. According to Miriam Denov, there is a “myth of innocence” surrounding female sexuality that frequently regards sex between a young male and an older female to be a rite of passage and that it is somehow acceptable or less harmful than when the other way around. Further, boys are taught not to view themselves as victims as this is “unmanly.”

Law enforcement may not take such complaints seriously. In a previous post (Living in a Culture of Denial), I discussed the problems with the attitude of law enforcement towards male victims. Officers and other professionals may even redefine the act so as to make it acceptable. Even the male victims may view it as a positive experience and not a crime, leading to gross underreporting. In what may be the most bizarre denial of the existence of male victims, courts have held that male victims of rape can be held responsible for child support.

In California, an appellate court upheld an order (San Luis Obispo Count y v. Nathan J., 1996) forcing a 15 year old boy to pay child support to his rapist after she became pregnant and gave birth.The court ruled that although the boy was considered too young to provide consent to the sex act, he was an admitted willing participant and therefore liable to pay support stating that he was not an “innocent victim” because he had discussed it with his rapist prior to having sex.

That this act was illegal and may have constituted coercion was apparently lost on the court. If the boy is considered legally incapable of providing consent, how can he be considered legally liable for giving that consent? Any consent or cooperation on his part should have been considered coercion and therefore not consent at all.

California is not the only state where this is the case. Kansas, Texas, Ohio, and other states also force rape victims to pay child support to their rapists. 

In Kentucky, a prosecutor stated that he would help a woman collect child support from a man who was 14 at the time she raped him while neglecting to charge the woman with statutory rape. The state of Colorado attempted to recover AFDC payments from a man who was just 12 when he became a father with an older woman. Contrast this with the allowances made for abortion for women who are raped (including statutory rape) even from many who are opposed to abortion in other circumstances.

Mothers are also permitted to give up their children for adoption, no questions asked, should they not want their children. In no case is a woman forced to raise or pay for a child conceived during a rape.

But this is not the case with fathers. Two separate cases indicate that even when sperm is stolen or a man is forcibly raped, the man remains liable for child support. In Louisiana a man was ordered to pay child support to a woman who had him wear a condom during oral sex. She then took the condom extracted the sperm and impregnated herself. In Alabama, a man was actually raped by a woman and was still ordered to pay child support. This man got drunk at a party and passed out. The next morning he awoke in bed, naked from the waist down. He testified that he did not remember having sex. Others testified that the mother had actually bragged about having sex with him when he was “passed out” and “wasn’t even aware of it.” This constitutes rape in most states, yet the man was ordered to pay support to the woman who was apparently not even criminally charged.

The National Legal Research Group refers to this as “a strict liability theory of sperm,” i.e. a man is liable for his sperm no matter what the circumstance. One court has attempted to justify its actions on the basis of biology rather than admit discrimination:

“[w]hile it is true that after conception a woman has more control than a man over the decision whether to bear a child, and may unilaterally refuse to obtain an abortion, those facts were known to the father at the time of conception. The choice available to a woman vests in her by the fact that she, and not the man, must carry the child and must undergo whatever traumas, physical and mental, may be attendant to either childbirth or abortion. Any differing treatment accorded men and women . . . is owed not to the operation of [state law] but to the operation of nature.”

While there may be natural differences between men and women, in this day and age, it is simply wrong to place all the rights in the hands of women and all the responsibility on the shoulders of men. Rights carry responsibilities. If a woman desires the right to choose, then the woman must be required to bear the responsibility for her decision. If, as the above court stated, the “facts were known to the father at the time of conception” then certainly they were also known to the mother. To hold her to a different standard simply because of biology is morally wrong. She should have the right to choose, but her decision should not be forced upon the father. She may have to bear the burden of either childbirth or abortion, but she also has a wide variety of options for birth control that the man simply doesn’t have. Further, in this day and age, she also has career opportunities that will permit her to support a child on her own.

This is especially true in circumstances where the father was a victim of rape or statutory rape. Ordering a victim of rape (even statutory rape) to pay child support to his rapist is tantamount to allowing the rapist to rape him over and over again. Not only is it a constant reminder, it is like he is being punished for being a victim of a crime. It is unthinkable that our court system not only condones, but has legalized this draconian practice. It is not only an injustice, it is an obscenity that is being perpetrated on male victims. It needs to end.

 

[1] Child Abuse Effects, Male victims of child abuse. Retrieved 10/03/2010 from: http://www.child-abuse-effects.com/male-victims-of-sexual-abuse.html

[2]  Divorce Source. Its ten o’clock: Do you know where your sperm are? Retrieved 10/03/2010 from: http://www.divorcesource.com/research/dl/paternity/99jan1.shtml

[3] Dorais, M. (2002). Don’t tell: The sexual abuse of boys. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press.

[4] Troup-Leasure, Karyl and Snyder, Howard N. Statutory rape known to law enforcement. Juvenile Justice Bulletin, August 2005. http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/208803.pdf

[5] Wikipedia. Statutory Rape. Retrieved 10/03/2010 from: http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=child+support+rape+victim&d=4680324777181235&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=cb25fe37,dc60d545

 

About Walter Romans (TDOM)

I'm a chef. I'm a shrink. For better or for worse, I'm married with 4 grandkids (that's the better part). Over the last few years I have come to believe that feminism is a hate movement, not the benevolent force I used to understand it to be.

Main Website
View All Posts
  • Pingback: Female Sexual Predators | The Moderate Voice

  • Pingback: Craigs List sperm doner forced to pay support - Christian Forums

  • bruce_loco

    What about “follow the money”?

    The state has a vested interest in keeping men paying for children no matter what.
    If a men is not held liable, then the state would have to intervene and support the newborn child and attached parasite.
    Because the state as already placed the support laws in place for women and children, it needs to cover it’s ass by forcing men to pay for it somehow, otherwise the taxpayer shares the burden.

    The only way to address this, is in the same what that the NCFM is addressing the draft issue, by suing the government. And this can only be addressed from a constitutional and gender equality perspective, leaving biology and family courts outside of this.
    Women socialize/nationalize their debt and privatize their income, it has always been like this.

  • Fredrik

    I look forward to the decade when a future analogue of Robert St. Estephe will reprint this article for a disbelieving audience. “But that’s barbaric! No society with even a pretense of fairness would do such a thing,” the readers will say. “Exactly,” the gonzo historian will reply, nodding sagely. “And early 21st-century America did not even try to pretend.”

  • Groot

    An interesting note is that Debbie Wasserman Schultz introduced the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act back in July of this year. It is described as:

    Rape Survivor Child Custody Act – Directs the Attorney General to make grants to states that have in place a law that allows the mother of any child that was conceived through rape to seek court-ordered termination of the parental rights of her rapist with regard to that child, which the court shall grant upon clear and convincing evidence of rape.

    31 states currently have no actual laws preventing male rapists from seeking parental rights with regard to children they fathered by rape (though that doesn’t mean that they actually award such parental rights). The fact that there is actually a bill that has been introduced seeking to terminate such rights nationwide while no such effort has been made to keep male rape victims from being financially responsible for the offspring resulting from being raped is quite telling.

    http://beta.congress.gov/113/bills/hr2772/BILLS-113hr2772ih.pdf

    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2772

    And of course Amanda Marcotte chimed in on this:

    http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/07/29/anti-rape-bill-could-create-wedge-between-different-anti-feminist-factions/

  • Groot

    Not sure if my first post went through, but Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz introduced the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act in late July of this year to prevent male rapists from asserting parental rights regarding the children conceived by their crimes.. Where is the bill to prevent male victims of rape from being legally obligated to support the children resulting from their rapes?

  • Groot

    Interestingly enough, this past July, Debbie Wasserman Schultz introduced the “Rape Survivor Child Custody Act” which “Directs the Attorney General to make grants to states that have in place a law that allows the mother of any child that was conceived through rape to seek court-ordered termination of the parental rights of her rapist with regard to that child, which the court shall grant upon clear and convincing evidence of rape.”

    It’s interesting that a bill can be introduced to congress preventing “rapists” from asserting parental rights when pregnancy results from the alleged rape, yet one would never see such a bill introduced to protect male victims from having to pay child support to their rapists.

  • Fighting4myBoys

    I am the mother of a 17 year-old boy who has 4.0 gpa but was lured with half naked pictures of his 19 girlfriend into having sex.
    She was born in another country and her and her family failed to inform my husband and me that she is 18 weeks pregnant. Our son said they didn’t want her to get in trouble since she is an adult. I am greatly concerned for my son’s future. Just a few months ago he had shared his great interest in attending Michigan University but now he feels he has to attend our local university.
    Her parents have told him he doesn’t have to be responsible and have told him he can move in with them. I have done some online research and is very discouraging to learn how the system does nothing for a minor who is the victim of statutory rape. This is a trap. My son was manipulated by a woman who acts to religious to have an abortion but had no problem sinning by having sex with a minor. Please help me help my son. San Bernardino, CA

  • A.Z

    I’m horrified, absolutely horrified reading this. Some of the people commenting on here saying that teenagers just want to have sex. Does that mean we shoud do away with age limits altogether? A female babysitter can rape a 13/14 year old. He may have liked to do it with a gir his age or older but not necessarily the sitter. Imagine 15 year old with 19 year old. You CAN manipulate kids if you’re older and female pedos do exist. We need to protect children from adults but we also need to adjust the law to allow relaxation for teenagers who want to engage together. We really need to recognise when someone was consenting or manipulated.

  • George

    Men have the option to wear condoms and take the condoms with them or be responsible for thier actions. It is a womans choice and responsibilty and right to choose. Men can wear condoms or be real men like they all sy they are and take care of the child and its mother. Men always like to point out how much ‘snater they are then women, they shoukd act like it tyen tp back it up just sayin

  • ianb

    This article seems to have things the wrong way around. It starts off well enough, apparently recognising that the only meaningful distinction between a child and an adult in sexual terms is puberty, and that the age of consent is artificial and arbitrary. But then, bizarrely, it goes on to argue that boys above puberty but below the AoC are abuse victims, rather than the logical conclusion that girls of those ages are not abused. That is, although any sexual act at any age may be abusive in any number of ways, that there is no reason to consider the act itself between biologically mature persons abusive just because it is below an arbitrary age invented by feminist campaigners.

    I cannot see any merit in this approach. All it can do is demonise and denormalise the normal feelings and behaviours of teenagers, and of course throw innocent older people into jail and life ruin when they have consensual sex with somebody in this age band; as for instance with the groteseque injustice of the Megan Stammers/Jeremy Forrest case here in Britain.

    Rape is rape. When you have to bolt a qualifier like “statutory” on the front, it’s not rape any more. It’s just transressing the Feminists’ rules, which is a different thing; it is artificially prohibiting a normal sexual activity and no more “rape” than if a racist movement got sex between different races prohibited and declared to be “statutorily” rape.

    A rethink is needed on this, I think.

  • economicsguy

    From our side, I’m worried a little bit about one specific element of this article.

    Particularly that last line. Dorais’ citation is a book which I do not have immediate access to. Nor can I find any articles by that name published in an academic refereed journal. This concerns me greatly as I liken it mentally to the ’1 in 4′ tag-lines coming from the feminist camps where the source is nebulous, but upon further inspection turns out to be subject to very generous and unverifiable assumptions (or is just made up.) Personally I refrain from using numbers like these, but worry that others may not. 1 in 6 seems pretty high to me, almost like the definitions being used to generate the number is not consistent with what a normal person would consider abuse.

  • inocencia321

    Great article, it is really an eye opener..than you for posting..

  • LF

    It maybe said that a teenage boy will just want to have sex. I know, I was one once. However, the real issue here is whether it is consensual. You cannot expect a teenage boy to be able to make rational decisions regarding child rearing and the financial slavery he is committing. We have to protect these young men from their rapists. Let’s be clear, it isn’t just statutory rape, in these situations, it is financial rape.

    Furthermore, men suffer much stiffer consequences for statutory rape (even if the teenage girl consents). How is it even conceivably fair that women get little to no punishment for their crimes?

    Regarding shouldering all the responsibility, I agree 100%. Why shouldn’t a man be able to say: I am not emotionally or financially ready to have a child, I will give it up for adoption to the mother should she choose to keep it. The saying is, you play, you pay, but that doesn’t hold if the pregnant woman aborts the child and the man wants the child. She played? You could state she has to go through the trauma of child birth so she should have the choice, but, she played…

    Even the welfare system is set against men. The woman should have to pay 50% of that child’s financial requirements. Which, the states happily pay on the behalf of the woman. If the man, whom can be even more poor than the mother, cannot pay, the state doesn’t pay on behalf of the man. They accrue his 50% and put him in jail every opportunity. The woman never has to pay her 50% responsibility back to the state…

    • Ian B

      Neither “statutory” rape nor “financial” rape are actually rape. Rape is forced sex. It is entirely wrong to use the wrong word to describe such situations. If there is a problem with the child support laws- which there is, a huge one- focus on that. Don’t start using words like “rape” for things that are not rape.

      Furthermore, men suffer much stiffer consequences for statutory rape (even if the teenage girl consents). How is it even conceivably fair that women get little to no punishment for their crimes?

      The problem is not that women are not punished. It is that men are. You cannot correct one injustice with another.

      • LF

        That depends on how you look at it Ian. Rape can be defined as: an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside. Which correlates exactly to my use when referring to financial rape.

        Statutory rape is rape by definition. The law makes assumption that the minor cannot consent to sex with an adult prior to majority thereby making the act forced, in a broad sense of course.

  • plasmacutter

    Laying it bare:

    This is not 1950 anymore. Women can not only work, but they’re attaining higher qualifications than men.

    Additionally, science has rendered pregnancy a choice from pre-conception to plump-belly.

    Finally, our poorest now have a higher standard of living than well-off families did in 1950.

    The idea that men should be compelled by the state to pay for a woman’s unilateral choice to let her biological clock ring is ludicrous.

    Imagine if men were entitled to “supercar support orders”. Not only should child support (and alimony) be 100% abolished, we should have justices ruling any program which assists single mothers while excluding other categories of people a violation of the equal protection clause of the constitution.

  • MrSonicAdvance

    Where is the equivalent case where the victim is the woman? Feminists keep banging on about how they want equality and how they haven’t achieved it, so presumably there must be a comparable situation where a woman is held accountable for an illegal act perpetrated upon her.
    So let’s hear it.