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Civil disobedience and the age of consent (Read 11248 times)
Mister Funny Sack

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Civil disobedience and the age of consent
Nov 11th, 2011 at 5:51pm
Throughout history there have been unjust laws, such as persecution on the grounds of skin color, sexuality or religion. These laws were unjust because there was no justification for their existence, other than blind hatred and ignorance. When people disobey these unjust laws it is called civil disobedience.

Age of consent laws vary across the world, from 18 in the USA to 14 in Italy. Clearly there is no consensus in regard to what age one becomes capable of consenting to sex, or at what age sex ceases to be a harmful activity. There is no universal age of consent, yet the law imposes absolutist age based restrictions on sexual activity. Actions must be proven to be harmful in some way in order for them to be illegal, yet there is no evidence suggesting sex with persons under the age of consent is harmful. For example much of the research only looks at individuals admitted to psychiatric hospitals, disregarding the potentially higher number of unharmed individuals who experienced under age sex.

Adding to the complexity of the issue is the role of adults in the lives of persons under the age of consent. For example there is no law preventing parents feeding their children junk food resulting in obesity. Another issue is that of criminal responsibility, it's not uncommon for persons under the age of consent to be tried as an adult - this implies persons under the age of consent can understand the implications of their actions. Finally there are different ages at which one can drive, serve in the army and drink alcohol - all adding to the inconsistency of age based laws. Martin Luther King said "one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws".

My question is this:

Is it civil disobedience when an adult has sex with a person under the age of consent providing there is no evidence of harm?
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