Saturday, September 30, 2006

Age of Consent

How old is old enough?

The old Code of Canon law allowed a female to marry at 12 and a male at 14. These days (need to check this), it's 14 for females, 16 for males.

Personally, I doubt most people in the modern west are emotionally mature enough for marriage until they are 40. Unfortunately that conflicts with the biological clock for both men and women.

So what do we do? Most jurisdictions choose 16. That seems reasonable to me.

See the website Age of Consent.

1 comment:

Travis said...

This is a touchy subject. Personnally, I am against all marriage. I like the idea of 2 to 5 year contracts instead.

But in regards to the changes from ancient times, when the average age of a female newlywed was 12.5 years old, to now where the age is much greater has to due with the change from a household based society of the past to the more individualistic societies of today. I think that the idea of betrothing your young daughter to marry at a young age in order to gain an "econimic alliance" with another family was acceptable in the past. Today, that does not happen (at least in western cultures). Marriage is more about the two being married and not about the families.

Also, evolutionary psychology also plays a part. If a 16 year old male has sex with an older woman (like his teacher), then he is viewed in a positive manner by society (like he's some kind of stud). If the genders are reversed, then the teenage girl is the victim and the male as the attacker.

It comes down to this, people are categorized as adults and children. Then there is this grey area, the teenage years, which are a combination of both. Most have the physical characteristics of an adult, but mental characteristics of a child. So "they" throw out this age of 18 as being adult, even though a 16-year-old can drive a car and a 17-year-old can join the military with parental consent.