Here I’ve put together a list of all the pro age of consent arguments that puritanical feminists bandy around. I’ve also gone through each one and demonstrated why it is false. Over time I’d like to improve the strength of the refutations in this list as well as add any pro age of consent arguments that I’ve missed. So, for now, consider this a first draft – if you have anything to add please do add a comment under the article.
Imbalance Of Power Argument
Claim: It is claimed that an adult is older, stronger, more mature and ‘knows better’ whereas a child is weak, immature, and doesn’t know as much. Thus there is an ‘imbalance of power’ and so any relationship with an imbalance of power must be criminalised and punished severely.
Refutation: There is an imbalance of power in any meaningful relationship. A poor person who marries a rich person is in an ‘unbalanced’ relationship. A person who was educated at Oxbridge and marries someone who never went to university is in an ‘unbalanced’ relationship. A person who is big and marries someone who is small is in an ‘unbalanced’ relationship. The fact is we can go on and on and show that all relationships are infact an imbalance of power and thus ‘abusive’. If there is an ‘imbalance of power’ then that does not mean the ‘power’ is being abused. People should only be jailed for what they have done; not what they might do. It is ridiculous to assume otherwise and completely contrary to the rule of law.
Physical Harm Argument
This argument actually comes in two distinct parts which I’ll address separately:
– Underage intercourse is painful/causes damage argument
Several points we can make here:
1) Feminist age of consent laws cover ANY sexual activity not just intercourse. It is blatantly ridiculous to claim that groping causes physical damage. So at best this argument suggests there should be an age of consent for intercourse, however, it does not suggest there should be an age of consent for all sexual activity.
2) For older ‘children’ (a definition which is starting to creep up towards 21 in some jurisdictions) it seems highly unlikely that intercourse could be any worse than for an adult as they are already more or less their full adult size.
3) For younger ‘children’ it is improbable that they would ‘accidentally’ cause themselves horrific injuries. If they were finding an act to be painful then they would not allow it, in which case a partner continuing would be criminal. Thus, it seems inappropriate to create an age of consent for intercourse when standard laws covering ‘real’ rape, assault and actual/grievious bodily harm are more than sufficient.
– Teenage pregnancies are harmful argument
Claim: Teenage pregnancies have high mortality rates and should never be allowed.
Refutation: This is untrue. Several points to make here:
1) One study has found that mortality rates for teenagers are lower than that of over 30s. Thus this claim is only valid if you are also willing to advocate for an upper bound age of consent of 30 such that having sex with a woman over 30 will result in decades behind bars, sex offender registration and the ever lingering possibility of 21st Century gas chambers being constructed for ‘subhuman’ sex offenders.
2) The reason why female animals (including humans) go through menstruation only once they have reached a certain age would seem to be because that protects them from excessively early pregnancies. Thus, it is rare for an individual to get pregnant ‘too young’ as nature prevents this. This makes perfect sense as animals do not have a concept of an ‘age of consent’ – they just fuck when they like. This principle has also applied to humans in more liberal periods – ever heard the expression ‘old enough to bleed, old enough to breed’?
Psychological Harm Argument
Claim: Any sexual activity with anyone under the arbitrary age of consent (which may vary by jurisdiction) causes intense and pervasive harm that lasts until the end of that person’s life.
Refutation: There are several points to make here:
1) Academic studies done show this assertion to be false. In particular a highly notable meta-study is the Rind Study ‘A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples‘ which found that intense & pervasive harm is rare. It even found in many cases ‘children’ felt positively about their ‘sexual abuse’ experiences (with ‘sexual abuse’ being defined using the dogmatic contempory legal definition where consent is irrelevant).
2) There exists absolutely no scientific research as to what this magical ‘age of consent’ – below which intense and pervasive psychological harm ensues – is or should be. Indeed it seems that a German 14 year old would NOT suffer ‘horrific psychological harm’ as they are over the age of consent in Germany. Yet a 17 year old in many American states WOULD suffer ‘horrific psychological harm’ as they are under the age of consent in America. There is absolutely no scientific reason for there to be a specific cutoff point for sexual activity nor is there any reason why a German should be more resilient to early sexual activity than an American. Thus this dogmatic black and white age-of-consent attitude is unhelpful and wrong. Psychological harm cannot be directly to do with whether age of consent laws are obeyed or not.
Inability to Consent Argument
Claim: Children lack the intelligence, maturity, knowledge and wisdom to consent to sex. Thus, all sex is rape.
Refutation: There are several counter arguments to make here:
1) If children are assumed to lack the ‘knowledge’ to consent to sex then they cannot learn about it in order to acquire that knowledge. What this means is that they will be far more ignorant about sexuality than yesterday’s children who engaged in it at earlier ages. What is the end result of this ideology? Ever rising ages of consent; which is exactly what we see today. We also see children becoming fatter, less confident and more insulated as a consequence of the belief that children are not ‘mature’ enough to engage in an activity. Today this even includes non-sexual things like playing at the park unsupervised which 68% of Americans think should be a crime.
2) The notion that ‘children’ lack intelligence is blatantly false. See for example research on ‘The Myth Of The Teen Brain‘. It suggests that infact intelligence may peak between 13 to 15 and that the modern concept of the ‘troubled teen’ is infact a consequence of puritanical western indoctrination.
3) Feminists will not like to hear this (do they like to hear anything I have to say?), but: Consent is not necessary. As pointed out by other MRAs like Eivind Berge – historically rape laws in some jurisdictions were much narrower and required force or serious threats for an act to constitute rape. Thus failing to obtain consent was not considered rape. Fundamentally the problem with the notion of ‘consent’ is that it is a dubiously vague concept that if applied to everything & everyone then it would have us all in prison. Afterall, does a child ‘consent’ to go to school? If a parent drags a child to school then why are they not committing a horrific crime by dragging their child to school without consent? Indeed, if children are unable to consent to anything then it follows that even a parent taking a child consensually to school is committing a heinous crime as a child cannot consent to anything. Consent-based ideology is a dangerous dogma. There is an argument for people to be able to settle grievances if someone did something to them that they did not consent to. However, it must be acknowledged that this is a grey area, some leeway must be given for the accused and the punishment must fit the magnitude of the crime – no one should go to prison for life for causing 15 seconds of discomfort via a bum-touching offence. Worse still, the way that the ‘justice system’ can class someone as a victim when they don’t even think of themselves as a victim and then jail a man who supposedly offended ‘against’ them is especially Orwellian and shocking. This has happened in many cases such as the Jeremy Forrest case.
Adult is Selfish Argument
Claim: An adult’s sexual interest in a ‘child’ is fundamentally selfish. The adult does not care about the child only their own sexual gratification.
Dissecting the claim:
This argument really has two underlying beliefs behind it. To dispel the argument both must be refuted.
Belief #1 If something is selfish then it is immoral.
Refutation: All human behaviour is fundamentally guided by selfishness. Contrary to the apparent Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ slogan that has Christians up in arms with its lack of an altruistic ‘moral compass’ there is, infact, much to be selfishly gained from altruistic behaviour. Thus, it is entirely possible that something which is selfish can also be altruistic and therefore highly moral and beneficial to others.
Belief #2 Sexual activity is only in the adult’s interest, never in the child’s interest.
Refutation: See the “Young people can never be attracted to old people argument” below. This is essentially exactly the same argument.
Young people can never be attracted to old people argument
Refutation: There is evidence to suggest otherwise. Of course, to refute this, all we need to show is that there are cases of a young person attracted to a much older person. One particularly high profile case would be that of Jeremy Forrest where his ‘victim’ tried to defend him during his trial and still defends him now. Here’s an example of another case very similar to Jeremy Forrest’s. Or indeed a case of an even younger 11 year old girl in love with a 60 year old man. And these are just the ones who got caught!
A more comprehensive examination of young people in love with older people was done in the book “Positive Memories” by T.Rivas – it is available to read online here. It documents (with sources) some 118 cases of adult-child relationships remembered positively by the younger party.
Children Are Innocent Argument
Claim: Children are innocent thus they should not be subjected to sexual activity.
Refutation: There are two underlying problems with this argument:
1) What exactly is ‘innocence’? What does it mean and why should anyone care? This vague and unclear concept called ‘childhood innocence’ seems to have begun emerging around the 18th century. This wikipedia article on the history of childhood gives more insight. Fundamentally though there appears to be nothing particularly scientific about the concept of ‘childhood innocence’ – it is largely based on somewhat arbitrary ideological & philosophical underpinnings which can be changed. Indeed, given that this dogmatic ideology now sees millions of men incarcerated for sexual offences across the world it makes perfect sense to think about throwing it away in favour of something more sensible.
2) The underlying idea of a child being ‘innocent’ sexually seems to be based around a puritan notion that sex is ‘sinful’ and thus as children are innocent they should not engage in it. For any open-minded person this is of course nonsense – if we assume sex is indeed sinful then all adults should be roasted in hell not just the ones convicted of ‘paedophilia’.
‘Paedophilia’ is universally reviled in all cultures and throughout history argument
Refutation: This is false. What is today called ‘paedophilia’ was historically accepted. The age of consent used to be far lower in every country in the world. In Britain the age of consent was 12 until the feminists raised it in 1861. In Spain the age of consent was 12 until as late as 1999. In the USA – now the most paedohysterical country in the world – the American ages of consent were vastly lower with one state, Delaware, having an age of consent of 7 possibly up to as late as the 1960s. Right across Europe child porn was legally sold in porn shops in the 1970s, for example, the Danish company Color Climax made child porn – not just of adolescents but even preteens, see the wikipedia article about them here.
Paedophilia is abnormal so there must be something wrong with it argument
Refutation: This is simply untrue. Studies show that 1 in 5 men are in fact strongly attracted to children 13 and under. That is not to say that the remaining 4 out of 5 men are not attracted to children 13 and under, it’s just that they have a preference for older children or adults. I wouldn’t be surprised though if 50% of men turn out to be preferentially attracted to 16 year olds.