Laws on dating a minor in washington state Adult ps3 cam chat
Though they remained largely unchanged for several centuries, the laws began to morph in the late 1800s and early 1900s as other aspects of societies and the role of women changed. In the 1920s and 30s as the modern concept of the teenager began to emerge and movements formed to fight child prostitution and exploitation, the age of consent in most states was raised to 16 or even 18.
Not everyone agreed with these changes, however, some argued that teenage women “were sufficiently developed not to need legal protection,” and, moreover, that “by late adolescence girls possessed sufficient understanding about how to use the law to blackmail unwary men.” Steven Robertson of the University of Australia Sydney points out in an article that the term “jailbait,” gained popularity in the 1930s because people recognized “teenage girls as sexually attractive, even sexually active, but legally unavailable.” Still, even if people acknowledged young women as sexual, the general consensus was that the laws were necessary to protect them from exploitation: “…in making it a crime for girls to decide to have sexual intercourse outside marriage, the law protected them from themselves and from the immature understanding that led them to behaviors reformers considered immoral.” Feminists of the 1970s agreed that it was important to protect young people from exploitation but worked to ensure that these laws did not “unduly restrict the sexual autonomy of young women.” Part of this became efforts to make the laws gender-neutral and ensure an understanding of the rationale behind them: “Aiming to challenge stereotypes of female passivity and growing concern about male victimization, they made it clearer that the laws concerned all youth—male and female—and that the laws protected them from exploitation rather than ensuring their virginity.” During the debates over welfare reform in the mid-nineties—the same debates that brought us the federal government’s increasing investment in abstinence-only-until-marriage programs—a new rationale for these laws was thrown about.
Should we really treat teenagers who have sex with other teenagers as criminals?
California invested millions of dollars into increasing the prosecution of such cases; Delaware passed the “Sexual Predator Act of 1996,” and began “stationing state police in high schools to identify students who have become involved with adult men;” and Florida passed a law that declared “impregnation of a minor younger than age 16 by a male aged 21 or older” to be a reportable form of child abuse.
While some law enforcement officials thought this was the right approach, many advocates for adolescent health were skeptical at best.
The deputy district attorney in California’s Tulare County told the L. Times: “When we prosecute a few of these guys, we think it’ll make a lot of guys think twice.” By contrast, law professor Michelle Oberman felt these laws would never act as a deterrent: “Drawing a connection between enforcing these laws and lowering adolescent pregnancy rates flies in the face of everything we know about why girls get pregnant and why they choose to continue their pregnancies.
Each state has its own law and decides a number of factors for itself, including age of consent, minimum age of “victim,” age differential, and minimum age of “perpetrator” in order to prosecute. Only 12 states have a single age of consent below which an individual cannot consent to sexual intercourse and above which they can.
As I mentioned earlier, Massachusetts is one of those states—the age of consent there is simply 16.
By the time we had sex, we had been together for many months and professed our love for each other, I had nursed him back to puffy-cheeked health after he’d had his wisdom teeth out and he had spent a great deal of time with my family on Cape Cod.