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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.

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  • 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/

    • Paul

      How long before a woman falsely accuses a man of rape so that she can deny him his parental rights. “Clear and convincing” to whom?

  • 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.

    • cvxxx

      Simple contact Debbie Wasserman Schultz to add male rape victims to the list.

  • 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

    • Larkhall

      Your son is 17. The girl is 19. In nearly every country in the world 17 is over the age of consent, and in a lot of US states too. 17 isn’t a baby. If she’s a woman at 19, he’s a man at 17. At 18 he could join the army. Two years age difference doesn’t scream predator to me.

      I’m posting from the UK, where the age of consent is 16. I’ve little sympathy for your son. He got her pregnant: they share the responsibility. One of them has got to care for an infant. The other needs to provide financial support. That’s fair. Blaming her is unjust.

      If you don’t want to father a child you need to take responsibility for birth control and show a little judgement in who you have sex with.

      • cvxxx

        There is no such birth control on the US market. 2nd He is trapped into a situation he did not want. I have sympathy an he should forget this woman and go to the best school he can. If she gave birth out side the US the legalities are long he could be out of school before that happens.

    • white_day_black_river

      Personally I don’t think the age difference is too problematic *but* as has been observed here statutory rape *is* absolutely rape and your son at 17 was a child and legally unable to consent to sex (since you are posting from California which has an age of consent of 18) or pornographic images of an adult. So, if you choose to pursue a legal case, you’re totally within your legal rights to do so.

      • ManYunSoo

        Does California not have Romeo&Juliet laws?

        • white_day_black_river

          Nope! Sentencing will vary of course but it’s one of the states that doesn’t have R&J laws.

          Personally, I think this stuff needs to be standardized. I’m absolutely in favour of statutory rape laws, but I don’t think it makes sense for something to be seen as perfectly healthy, normal behaviour in one state, and an incarnation of Absolute Evil in another. That’s odd and it isn’t true of any other crime I can think of.

  • 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.

    • cvxxx

      You are over projecting. There is not difference in the act. What the fear is that you are ranting about makes no sense. A 14 year of female with false ID can get into a bar enjoy sex and the angry parents want their “honor” restored by destroying the life of some man. A 15 year old female has the maturity level of a 20 year old male. Depending on birthdays a 19 year old senior in high school is no unusual.
      We need to go to the wiser of a set age say 14 as the age of consent. That might spur adoption to effective sex ed like that in Denmark. The afe of 1st intercourse rose after the implementation. One further item failure to enroll one’s kid in sex ed the parents then become responsible for any pregnancies.

      • driversuz

        You have been banned because of a serious and direct violation of Comment Policy. [Ref: 1723]

        Additional remarks:

        age-of-consent bullshit.

  • 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

    • librtee_dot_com

      Don’t worry, nobody is saying you’re ‘snater’ than anyone, George.

    • Uno Hu

      WHITE KNIGHT ALERT!

  • 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.

    • Larkhall

      The age of consent is not “an arbitrary age invented by feminist campaigners.” The original age of consent laws go back a long time, in some cases centuries. These laws were enacted before women even got the vote. They were entirely man made.

      In the UK the laws were changed in the time of Queen Victoria after a campaigning journalist bought a 13 year old girl, had her drugged and delivered to a brothel. He then wrote a series of articles exposing a big underground trade in young virgins. Men believed that sex with a prepubescent virgin would cure them of syphilis. Girls were being kidnapped and trafficked for this purpose.

      A version of this belief, that sex with a virgin cures HIV/AIDs, is popular in Africa. The level of sexual violence in the South African slums is horrific, with babies and toddlers frequently among the victims as a result of this belief. Surgery may be required to repair the damage done by men to very young girls.

      See: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/444213 – it’s not pleasant reading.

  • 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.

      • Peadair

        Ian you have defined rape as “forced sex”, is an unconscious woman unable to be raped? No force is required!

        Rape is sex without consent. Forced or unconscious, anyone can be raped.
        Statutory rape is sex with some who society believes cannot legally consent. They can “want” it, they can be coerced into it, but society has said that they cannot legally consent.

        Why has society decided that teens and the mentally retarded cannot legally consent? For their protection from unscrupulous adults. Why is the age of consent different in different places? fuck knows.

        • Ian B

          Who is this “society” of which you speak? You mean a handful of legislators dominated by a handful of pressure groups? That’s “society” is it?

          Do you realise how absurd it is to say that somebody who actively wants something is not consenting? Do you realise how utterly that destroys the very concept of consent?

          • Peadair

            Ian, societies exists. You know they do. I get the feeling that you are ok with sex between Adults and Children. I do not think it is moral for an adult and a child to have sex. You are not going to change my mind.

            “Do you realise how absurd it is to say that somebody who actively wants
            something is not consenting?”

            Actively wanting something does not matter if the person who wants it is not mentally cable of understanding the outcomes. So you are ok with sex with someone who is three? The can talk and give consent! Three year olds also want pet tigers, society and parents try to protect children from choices they are not ready to make. Ian, you are arguing around a subject that has been argued around for thousands of years, even the Ancient Greeks argued about this. Where is the line drawn between Child and Adult? The line is drawn where the society decides it is drawn. Difference societies have drawn different lines.

            “Do you realise how utterly that destroys
            the very concept of consent?” No, Ian it doesn’t. You have accepted my assertion that an unconscious or mentally retarded person cannot give consent. Society has decided that children also cannot give consent. That does not destroy the concept, it merely says that only fully functioning adults can consent.

            This discussion is pointless. I will not be continuing my end.

          • white_day_black_river

            You are correct… although, at the same time, I do think it’s absurd that an 18-year-old who has willing “sex” with a 17-year-old in California is absolutely a child rapist and thus Evil Incarnate, while the same 18-year-old in Oklahoma would be just a healthy young person with an age appropriate partner. Obviously it makes sense that this differs between countries due to significant cultural differences, but it seems off that while what constitutes murder and other heinous crimes in America can be generalized across the nation, the same is not true whatsoever for child rape, probably the mot heinous of crimes.

            Like, I understand your position… the hypothetical 18-year-old Californian (male or female) is just as much a rapist as any other (legally this just can’t be denied) and so will presumably be just as likely to be infinitely tortured in Hell (if it exists) as any other rapist and treated with scorn and derision by society (including yourself?)

            But this also makes me wonder what percentage of Californian males (and it probably will be mostly males as there is a tendency for young men to date partners a year or two younger than themselves) are child rapists… is it, therefore, a state of singular and unique evil? Worthy, even, of being bombed or obliterated due to its statistical freakiness indicative, presumably, of a specific cultural sickness indigenous to the area.

          • Peadair

            In my country the age of consent is 16, but there is a qualification on that, “it is an offence for a person to have a sexual connection with a person under the age of 18 if the defendant is in a guardianship role (parent, stepparent, foster parent, guardian, uncle, aunt or other members of extended family, whanau or other power or authority or responsibility for care or upbringing)”. So teachers having sex with their students is right out. Also the likelihood of being prosecuted as a minor (someone under 18) for having sex with someone below the age of consent varies based on the age of the victim. It is unlikely for a 16 year old who has sex with a 15 year old to be charged, they are most likely to be “discharged without conviction” if it makes it to court.

            Sex between age-peers should not be punished in the same way as sex between adults and children. However, if you knowingly break the law, you are a criminal. The Law itself is not a bad law, it is there to protect those who we deem to be unable to really think for themselves. If an 18 year old boy or girl cannot wait the months required to have sex with their 17 year old girl/boyfriend, maybe they shouldn’t be in the relationship.

            “But this also makes me wonder what percentage of Californian males (and it probably will be mostly males as there is a tendency for young men to date partners a year or two younger than themselves) are child rapists.” First off, that tendency you describe is a two-way street, most girls and women tend to “go for” older boys and men. Legally those boys you describe as child rapists, are. That does not mean I believe that should be on any kind of sex offenders registry, as the punishment should fit the crime or do any time, and a sex offenders registry listing for having sex with your girlfriend, does not fit the crime. Maybe having to attend a set of “planned parenthood” lectures and watching some STD prevention films (in full gory detail, ah blue waffles), as well as some community service.

            As for bombing California, I don’t believe in collective punishment. That seems to be a US thing.

          • white_day_black_river

            Personally, I think 16 is about right… or 18 with a close-in-age exemption for those within a few years. But then again, I’m biased. I also come from a place where the age of consent is 16… however my partner didn’t. It’s clearly true that close-in-age cases don’t often get prosecuted … but, at the same time, lack of prosecution does not equal lack of guilt. In truth, having to self-label as a child rapist for behaviour that would have been perfectly morally and socially acceptable in 90% of the states is pretty galling, but it also is what it is. It is weird when the victim does not consider themselves to have been a victim (and wouldn’t have been if they had lived almost anywhere else on the globe) … I don’t know, I think it’s easy enough to live with regret and see one’s actions are wrong – you are right in saying that the law should be respected and if 16 / 17-year-olds cannot legally consent, then they cannot consent. At the same time, it is horrifying and also quite kind of weird to think that your actions, which wouldn’t seem horrendous on film (if the viewer didn’t know exactly in which state they were occurring) make you morally equivalent to some middle-aged bloke molesting a tiny child and that, if Hell exists, you’re going to be right in the same circle suffering alongside them forever. Obviously the law has different degrees (and different lengths of sentence) and ‘statutory rape’ is often listed as ‘inappropriate relations with a child’ or ‘sexual assault’ or several other things designed seemingly to soften the word ‘rape’… however I know that legally and objectively, what I did is just as bad as any other form of non-consensual sex, even though the victim does not identify herself as such and has never had even the slightest intention of bringing charges.

            I guess I think it would be preferable if scientists and academics who specialise in developmental and child psychology could come together to decide whether 16 and 17-year-olds are capable of consenting – at least, with peers who are not in a position of authority over them. I also think that the sex offenders register should probably not be a life-long registration for such cases… though, in fairness, that is the case in many states.

            I just think there’s a weird cognitive dissonance. Obviously, no-one would seriously advocate bombing California… but it would be interesting to know the percentage of child rapists who live there since it is going to be much higher than the number in most states, due to the age of consent being set at 18, with no close in age exemption. It seems odd that an 18-year-old who has “sex” with their willing 17-year-old partner in California (in inverted commas because legally this can only be rape) is automatically far, far more evil than the 50-year-old man who has sex with a 13-year-old in Spain. It is as though the actions themselves (and the harm they cause) do not matter, but simply the officially sanctioned language that defines them.

            Obviously, it is far, far, far worse (for the suffering of the individual) to be a victim of child rape than a child rapist, but it is a strange situation when there are scores of 16 and 17-year-olds who do not consider themselves to be rape victims, being informed by people online that they absolutely are victims in spite of their feelings, despite the fact that these people online may live in state in which 16 and 17-year-olds who underwent the same experience are absolutely not victims, nor their partners rapists.

            As said, it is what it is. You can’t argue against the Law… I mean, you can dislike it or think that it is unjust or simply that it should be standardized (which is really what I think) but it doesn’t change based on your feelings. As you say yourself, if an older boyfriend cannot wait to have sex with their 16 or 17-year-old girlfriend or advice them that it is best to wait, that is their own fault. It is mine. I made the choice to live each subsequent day as a child rapist for having committed statutory rape. But it is hard not to feel jealous of all the young men and women who had precisely the same relationship in so many, many other states, yet were able to do so perfectly legally because their state has a 5 year close-in-age exemption or sets the age of consent at 16 or whatever. I mean, it’s not like it’s just the difference between being a good, upstanding citizen and a slightly bad one… it’s the difference between being a good, upstanding citizen and an incarnation of absolute evil – obviously, even more so than murder, arson or terrorism, it’s the act that if you pass, there is no coming back from. You have crossed the moral event horizon – even if your victim doesn’t not perceive themselves as such, or forgives you personally.

            It’s just such a unique thing. If you plunge a knife into the chest of a person… it doesn’t matter whether you are in Oklahoma or Florida or North Carolina… it’s murder either way you cut it. The sentencing might differ, but it’s still going to be a morally heinous act whatever. Same with if you cut someone’s hand off, or chain them up in a basement, or set fire to their house, or try to blow up a governmental building, or commit genocide. However, if you touch the vagina of a willing 17-year-old a few years younger than yourself… in some states, you are just a regular young man; in other states, you are the worst kind of monster.

  • 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.

    • jhgl hgyi

      Yeah the laws, but also a huge part of society, is sort of stuck in the past. They always think of the women as the helpless victims who never mean to do anything wrong, and the men as the dominant predators who are responsible for anything that happens. What’s even worse is that the law can’t apply common sense. Even if it’s not stated in writing that “a rape victim can’t be ordered to pay child support for any children that result”, it should be obvious that they should never be obligated to. It’s especially bad with that statutory rape example. “Oh he’s too young to give consent, but he did so willingly so it still counts” WTF!? They always say that this law is meant to PROTECT minors, it has to be all or nothing here. Either you can legally give consent and accept the risks, or you can’t and therefore can’t be obligated to pay child support.

      Of course many men would try to argue that they were raped to get out of paying child support even if that wasn’t the case. But you’re right that child support is stupid and should be abolished outside of marriage. If a women gets pregnant, she can decide to either get an abortion, put the child through adoption, or be a mother. So just because she decides to be a mother she has the right to force a man to pay child support? Heresy! Whatever choice she makes should not put the father under any legal obligation. Your body, your choice? Correct, it’s your choice, and therefore YOUR responsibility! Want to be a mother? Well you have to take responsibility and do it yourself if the father doesn’t want to help! No one said being a mother was easy! Screw the kid, the father’s rights to his own money and protection against rape come first.

    • Pixie5

      While I concede that you may have some legitimate points, this one is outright wrong:

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

      I am poor (disabled). I know others that are poor. The “working poor” is a very real problem. I can only assume that you have never experienced poverty.

      I live a pretty bare-bones existence. No luxuries and no cable or satellite TV, No car. Almost half of my meager disability check goes towards rent. I have a computer courtesy of my father and internet service and am hoping to make a little money online.

      I am not complaining as I am certainly better off than many, but I am definitely not living the “high life.”

      We now have a surge of homelessness due to unemployment insurance being cut off. In some cities it is actually a crime to be homeless and sleep in your car. You can go to jail for up to 6 months.

      No one gets rich from welfare, food stamps or disability payments. That is a complete myth. It is also a myth that everyone who needs help can get it.

      That of course is separate issue from the main point of this article. It has given me some food for thought as there does seem to be gross injustices in the system.

  • 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.

  • librtee_dot_com

    This article needs a few more footnotes, particularly describing the details of the cases in Alabama and Louisiana. I couldn’t find anything about them on Google.

  • FireBits

    “I wanna get pregnant! How to do that? Well under age boys are easy and lets me control the birth control, so I should seduce one”

  • guber

    Shame, shame.

  • Emilio Lizardo

    Applying statutory rape to young adults in the prime of their sexuality is inane and unethical. Particularly when prosecutors are free to determine the very same people as adults if they perform a reprehensible enough act.

    How is it that someone actively seeking sex be considered to be coerced or abused?

  • http://www.radiantinteractive.com/ Isaac Shapira

    One problem with this post, is that the photo of the invasive female medical person is actually kind of hot.

  • cvxxx

    The problem is men who are victims of rape but forced to pay child support never really fight. They fail to sue to woman directly.
    Yes there is discrimination. But when a woman is impregnated willingly or not there is a great deal of support. Many men do not understand that. Since misery loves company shared suffering is a male realm. But action is not. My guess is it is still part of machismo. Thsat is why is is not pursued with the vigor that women use. Men need to get the courage to speak up and fight this discrimination.

    Young men who are introduced to sex by a older more experienced woman are not victims. Neither are females, but the lack of a male contraceptive is the real problem. It has been less than a century since female birth control pills were introduced.