Essay:A Critical Look At the Age of Consent Laws
Since the days of the Roman Empire, there has been one question asked by every detective, reporter, or investigator: "Qui bono?" English translation: "Who benefits?"
So, who benefits from age of consent laws?
To answer that, we need to take a look at their history.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the situation was described by Judith Walkowitz in The City of Dreadful Delight, her examination of the Victorian era, and specifically its cultural mores. In those days, the sex act was considered a wifely "duty," necessary to the continuation of the human species. Wives were urged to begin "weaning" their husbands away from sex once the family had all of the children it desired. The husband's sex drive needed to be considered, so the natural course of action was for him to seek gratification from prostitutes.
According to Walkowitz, it was these prostitutes, whispering in the customer's ears, who instigated reform of age of consent laws for monetary reasons: they were finding it difficult to compete against the younger girls on the street, whose youth and freshness attracted a steady clientele. The rationale employed was "protection" of the young girls, for who could not acquiesce to such a high-sounding motive? The truth was otherwise.
Historically, wives and children were considered the property of the father. A man who "deflowered" a girl was actually violating the property rights of the father, since the father owned her, and she was now "damaged" merchandise (the rationale behind this was straightforward enough; if a girl was a virgin then she would not be pregnant with someone else's child).
In order to protect these paternal rights, age of consent laws were instituted, making it a punishable offense to enjoy sexual relations with a girl under the set age.
The promulgation of such laws were aimed at protecting the property rights of those fathers, who could not expect as large a dowry for "used" goods as he could get for untouched "merchandise." Marriage was, all too frequently, a strictly economic transaction, and taking a girl's virginity was an economic affront to the father. Strangely enough, once a girl's virginity was gone, and the economic rationale no longer applied, the girl was still subject to age of consent laws.
An age of consent statute first appeared under secular law in England circa 1275 as part of the rape law. The statute, Westminster 1, made it a misdemeanor to "ravish" a "maiden within age," whether with or without her consent. The phrase "within age" was interpreted by jurist Sir Edward Coke as meaning the age of marriage, which at the time was 12 years of age.
A 1576 law making it a felony to "unlawfully and carnally know and abuse any woman child under the age of 10 years" was generally interpreted as creating more severe punishments when girls were under 10 years old, while retaining the lesser punishment for acts with 10- and 11-year-old girls. Jurist Sir Matthew Hale argued that the age of consent applied to 10- and 11-year-old girls, but most of England's North American colonies adopted the younger age.
By 1880, the age of consent in Delaware was seven, and it was ten in 37 of the other 47 American states(Source).
These age of consent laws were not "Malum in se" (actions that were wrong in and of themselves, such as murder) but "Malum Prohibitum" (actions that were unlawful simply because the legislature chose to make them so, such as drinking a beer if you are under 21 in America; the latter is something that is a crime nowhere else, btw).
Now this brings up the question: Who is being protected now that dowry's are no longer the norm?
For starters, whatever happened to the separation of church and state, since all laws pertaining to regulate consensual sexual activity have a religious basis?
In the 19th century, when England's age of consent was a de facto ten years of age, the average age of menarche, or onset of menses, was 15.4. Yet, by the mid-20th century, as the average age of menarche is under 12 and rapidly approaching a single-digit figure, the age of consent averages 16. As the age at which girls mature physically goes down, the age of consent goes up, when logically it should be the other way around. The argument that physically immature girls are being protected holds no water.
So, if it is not about protection, what is the real reason? Could it be (dare I say it?) about control?
Something must be interjected here which is not really a digression, but preparatory:
The most basic instinct is survival. Once immediate physical survival is ensured, the next step is future survival, which goes beyond laying in a supply of firewood or foodstuffs, into the realm of progeny: ensuring that your genes are passed on to a new generation, thereby guaranteeing survival of whatever it is that makes you "you," even when you have passed beyond the confines of the physical body that you currently inhabit.
Now, it is counter-productive for a ruling class to mitigate against corporeal preservation; who would they rule (and who would do the labor) if the lower classes were all dead? Not so with reproduction: allow the slaves to reproduce only under conditions set by the rulers and you have effectively insulated yourself against revolution; by controlling the people at this most basic level, you control them at the molecular level, below the level of conscious thought. They will not revolt, and they don't even know why! The people reflexively feel that they need permission from some authority figure, or approval from society in general, for even the most fundamental aspects of their existence. This reflex has been conditioned into them from childhood by the indoctrination centers known as public schools [with a lot of help from the mass media--D].
It is not about protecting children; it is about conditioning them to grow into docile, obedient, flag-waving, mindless adults whose intransigence is limited to the occasional grumble over a beer with some friends. Brainwash them into becoming avid consumers and there will always be enough toys on the market to distract them.
Parents' fears of strangers are encouraged by the media, the victim industry, the educational system, the corporate state, and anyone else who has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Age segregation may be the single best way to keep people docile, obedient, and dependent upon a select few for developing their worldview.
The laws are not protecting the girls, nor were they ever intended to. They were designed for control, and continue for that reason.
The generations must be kept apart, and it is not only the age of consent [AoC] laws that do this. For instance, all of the kids are segregated by age in the school system. The children have no contact with anyone except other kids their age, and the indoctrinators (i.e., parents, teachers, and preachers). The children therefore have no other worldview except their age peers, whose carefully controlled life experiences tend to mirror their own, and the controllers who indoctrinate them into maintaining the status quo.
Remember, one of the prime unstated functions of the school system is to prevent another revolution. By keeping the young people incarcerated in schools and the old people incarcerated in nursing homes, the work force is also kept separated from them, and the continuity of the generations is lost. One of the chief differences between us and the other animals is that we can pass on our culture from generation to generation, unlike the cats and dogs who basically start over again each time. However, this generation separation is causing us to revert to the animal level culturally speaking: intergenerational feedback is being stifled.
It is not only MAAs [Minor Attracted Adults] who are hurt by this artificial age segregation, as all of our society is paying the price.
Before anyone argues that the states are therefore empowered to restrict your sex life and your choice of intoxicants, I refer you to that portion of the Bill of Rights which says the same thing (that is, anything not specifically restricted is allowed), and that portion of the Declaration of Independence which delineates the reason for the establishment of the united States of America (original spelling): "Among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." As for sex, the Constitution specifically forbids the Congress and the several states from establishing a religion, or requiring the American citizens to adhere to the tenets of any religion. AoC laws are nothing but religious morality enshrined in statute.
The Playboy Forum posted part of a conversation with one of the world's leading privacy consultants, Andre Bacard, who told them in reply to the question, "How would you turn America into a surveillance society?"
"It would not be difficult. Begin compiling dossiers on children as soon as they entered school, so that no generation from now on will remember what it is like not to be watched. Then have the media spread stories of child molesting, to convince people that repressive new laws must be passed to protect the family. Finally, convince the adults that they themselves are being threatened by terrorists,, drug dealers, and pedophiles, thereby laying the groundwork for more repression. In fact, it has already begun."
"You've had sexual feelings since you were a child, but your society did not condone them. Now, as an adult, you naturally seek to project these prohibitions onto the next generation, so that the life-denying cycle will perpetuate itself."
It is the so-called "child advocates" are actually the ones harming children the most, in the long run.
Ignorance is neither a defense against evil, nor protection against the world.
The majority of these reports have since been "discredited" for a number of reasons, but chief among them is the fact that so many of these "researchers" set out to justify an existing opinion, not to form an opinion or reach an unbiased conclusion. Objective, they are not. Nor should we overlook the fact that in cases of consensual sexual activity, it is not the sex that causes the trauma, but society's reaction to it that freaks the kids out.
It needs to be remembered that researchers are frequently professional students who act as "hired guns" for certain organizations, doing the group's research for a grant, or sometimes a set fee. Did you ever wonder how USA Today, as one example, always manages to come up with an "opinion poll" to buttress whatever axe the paper is grinding that day? They pre-screen the respondents. Give me enough money to loll around a college campus for a year, and I would be pleased to do some quickie research for you, also. What point would you like me to prove for you?
Even if you could overlook all of the above, how do you account for the fact that in cultures where children are taught a positive view of sex, and child sexual activity is the accepted norm, there is no trauma?
Don't blame sex; blame the Abrahamic morality that uses sexual repression as a means of control. All of the religions descended from Abraham, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, have a life-denying view of sex. The ancient Pagan practice of communing directly with the Divine through intercourse is a direct threat to any religion which claims to be the only path to God.
Blame the religions and the life-denying, corporate-state-enhancing message that they force-feed the populace; it is bullshit, plain and simple. Then blame the politicians who whore for votes by pandering to the prejudice-of-the-month. Blame the educational system for conditioning people to accept the blather.
Just don't blame sex.