Friday, August 05, 2005

Teach Me: The Age Of Consent

I think that by now, you know that I like to challenge you with things that make your brain hurt. I'm a big education advocate. I do think that we are hearing more and more about possible breaches in teacher/student ethics due to an abundance of media coverage. For every Adrian Kist, Frank Swiderski, Mark Massey, Francisco Aguilar, Derrick Adam Davies, Tomas Agosto and David Heath there is a Dawn Reiser, Lori Lynn Stout, Sandra "Beth" Geisel, Elisa Kawasaki, Margaret De Barricua, Diane West, Debra Lafave, Maria Saco, Rene Biggel and Pamela Turner.

Teacher sexual misconduct with students sees no gender but we do tend to punish male predators more severely than the women. I do think that is because of the dominance, violence and aggression sometimes viewed in the act of penetration. Many men aren't charged just with statutory rape or seduction of a minor but 'penetration.' I'm not defending them... inequities happen. I don't see the female predator as emotionally scarring (and yes, most boys have fantasies like that) but I'm not a therapist. The few former teachers that get married to their 'victims' after standing trial and serving time in prison does really freaks me out, though.

Yet, I didn't post this to focus on equality in punishment or to show you how many current teacher/student sex cases are out there. I wanted to point out something that may shock you more: a list of places and their legal age for consensual sex. Why do I find this interesting? Scroll down towards the bottom of that link... I'll wait for ya. Iowa, Missouri, Nevada and South Carolina have the lowest age of consent in the U.S. set at 14. (Ok, there are stipulations including age difference and homosexual sexual relations on some.) You will also see that Arizona, California, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin are set at 18. Quite odd that there is a 4 year difference between some of those states. You could be safe in Nevada but cross the border to Arizona, Utah or California and you might as well kiss your butt goodbye and learn to play harmonica. I also wonder, do you really think teenagers are waiting until they are 18 in California? I've seen the Springer show! I know better. Worldwide things are more odd... the age of consent for males in the Philippines is 12? (Maybe, those previously mentioned female teachers needed to go on vacation more.) The age for females there is 18. hmmm... Consent is set in Spain, South Korea and Japan (nationally) at 13. There is even an age of consent in Canada for anal sex. I can sure see people watching the calendar for that one.

12 comments:

LoraLoo said...

So Nevada has 14 as the heterosexual age of consent, and 21 as the homosexual age of consent? I'm not sure I can wrap my brain around that. If you're old enough to consent to sex, why would it make a difference which type it was?

And 14???? Did you know we have one of the highest (in fact, we have at one time been THE highest) teen pregnancy rates in the country? Considering the population difference between us and many other states, that's sad.

Sorry, went on a tangent there. The 14 just wigged me.

Miss Hobby said...

I've never understood the different ages of consent in different states. Does the lower age of consent mean that in those states the children mature faster? lol

Here's somethin that gets me. A male teacher is having a relationship with a female student at high school level. Parents find out and file charges. It's a terrible terrible thing where authorities are concerned and they go at him with a gusto.

Upon the interview of the female student they find out that she is clearly a very intelligent lady. Talks about goin to family functions with the teacher, participating in a normal, everyday activities with him (not just sex).

If she has the authorities convinced that she's in control of all of her 'faculties' (lol, sorry), why does it seem so hard to realize she could've convinced the teacher that she was of sound mind when she chose to be with him? Convinced that she was a mature young lady...not a child.

I apply this to female teacher/male student relationships, too. I blame teachers when it comes to very very young children, but by the time you're of high school age, it becomes very blurry concerning who's the aggressor or aggressee.

I saw three teacher/student relationships the four years I was in school. Never once did anyone think the teacher coerced the student in anyway. Of course, I don't think authorities knew..lol. But among the students, we knew.

Miss Hobby said...

Holy cow! that was a long comment...sorry about that :/

Fred said...

Debra Lafave was a teacher in my school district, so you can imagine the amount of coverage it received here. She recently rejected a plea bargain with prision time with her lawyer stating that she would never survive in prison.

I guess she should have thought of that before her little tryst.

LOL on the vacation comment.

RT said...

What the hell, Martin! You trying to get us started again??? :o)

Personally, I don't understand the age of consent laws. Seems to me that they are only put in place to protect the younger innocents from the older predators. Which should be obvious anyway, and dealt with accordingly. I mean, how often do you hear of statutory rape between to kids that are similar ages (barring certain circumstances, mind you)? It's mostly upper teens and older with younger teens and younger where the cases are brought. Isn't it?

As for the female teachers mixing it up with their students, (and I imagine some boys are going to dislike me for this, but...) it pisses me off to no end that these women are not prosecuted to the full extent of the law. To me, there is no excuse for any teacher to be messing with a student. Those kids are there to learn, and (Jenn said it best in one of her comments) I see it as a clear betrayal of trust. Whether the kid realizes it or not.

Lily said...

Those ages seem very antiquated for todays age. I'm really surprised they are not higher.

RT said...

Martin! I'm sorry to interrupt, but I have a question for you seeing how you're probably more familiar with 80's music than I am...

Did Bryan Ferry also sing with Roxy Music, or am I hallucinating? ('cause I'm stone sober, and if I'm starting to hallucinate about Bryan Ferry -ick- I'm really going to freak out...)

An80sNut said...

He started out with the Banshees (no not the one with Siouxsie Sioux) then joined a band named Gas Board and then formed Roxy Music. So, yup... he was with them before going solo. Hallucinating? hahaha

RT said...

Oh thank goodness, and thank you for clearing that up.

Yeah, I thought I was, lol. It seemed that every time I looked at the TV, I saw those huge teeth. It was scary!

I gotta quit watching this stuff...

Teri said...

I am from California and I waited until 18.. So I guess they are :)

An80sNut said...

Or... you were an anomaly with good parents.

heyitsJN said...

ok first off... I believe that Adrian Kist, the first male teacher named in the first article, was proven innocent, with the main defense being that the girl recannted her story, so he shouldnt be there... and second... I too am from California, and i waited until 18 (made a pact with a couple of my friends, who also waited until they were 18!)