A reader writes:
I disagree with the proposition put forth by your readers that statutory rape amounts to consensual relations, at least as consent is understood under the law. Statutory rape laws remove consent. The rationale, whether true in practice or not, is that the nature of a relationship between an adult and a minor of a determined age is such that the minor is so easily coerced or susceptible to pressure from the adult that he or she can not truly consent. And if that is the case, then a resultant pregnancy can be as unwanted and psychologically damaging to the mother as a "legitimate rape".
Perhaps Akin and his fellow travelers should be fighting the minimum age of statutory rape laws, but then they’d be in agreement with godless European socialists.
An 18 year old going to jail for 10 years because he slept with his 15 year old girlfriend does seem absurd. But few would argue that a 40 year old doesn't deserve punishment for sleeping with a 12 year old girl, even if she gives her "consent."
The idea is that a 12 year old girl can never be truly giving her "consent" to such an act. Statutory rape laws are meant to formalize the idea that a child's capacity for rendering "consent" in sexual encounters is sufficiently susceptible to manipulation that we simply declare that there cannot be any such thing as "consent" when one party to a sexual encounter is a child. To the extent that the specifics of our legislation lead to circumstances we find objectionable, it simply means that we haven't drawn the lines properly.
I worked in the juvenile prosecution division of a County Attorney's office for a while, and it was a tough decision for prosecutors to decide whether to prosecute cases where either both partners were underage, or one was slightly over age and the other was slightly underage. Unless there was an extremely irate parent involved, the prosecutors would often decline these cases, not least because the defendant, if found guilty, would land on the registry of sex offenders, possible for the rest of their lives, a punishment that simply does not fit the crime since there was no evidence that these defendants were predators. It is an ironic, unintended consequence of the sex offender registry law that it causes some sexual offenses not to be prosecuted.
Another sends the above image:
I stayed up too late last night creating this addition to the "Hey Girl" meme. I thought you might enjoy it. (FYI, the quote is from Ryan Gosling's letter to the MPAA about their NC-17 rating of his film Blue Valentine.)