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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

When does a person go from kid to adult for doing one adult act but not the other?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26783points) January 8th, 2010

Just when is a kid and adult? Let say for instance there was a girl, we will call “Lana”, and a guy we will call “Jake” who were in love with each other so they believe. Lana was 14 and in the 8th grade when she meets up with Jake the son of her parent’s friend, he was a junior. She was raised as an only child by very intelligent, studious, no messing around parents. Most of her childhood was spent around college educated adults so she was quite mature and versed for her age, he (Jake) was kind of a slacker ne’er do well, more into guitar than books. She liked his semi bad boy style, he her prim “Ms Poindexter” mannerisms. All is fine they date but no sex, somewhere after her 15th birthday sex comes into the picture (He is still under 18). When she is 16 (which make him now 19) there is a pregnancy scare but it is a false positive.

The gig is up, her parents are mad, feels Jake corrupted their little girl, file charges etc. Jake goes to jail, needless to say, the union is a bust. She is moody for weeks then she manages to get her mom’s “for protection only” 9mm and runs off with a girlfriend, they go on a 3 week crime spree (you still have to eat while running away) where they robbed 2 liquor stores, and one quickie mart, in the process one of the clerks is shot loses sight in one eye. Naturally they get caught. Because she is 16 and her partner on the run is just over 17 the DA goes after them as adults.

If she was too stupid to fully understand sex to consent to it with a young man she has had a 2+ year relationship with how do she all of a sudden fully understand the consequences of her action? Do crime makes you more adult even though nothing has changed with the person physically or mentally from before? Is the law being slid on a scale not uniformly but to better benefit the state or the law? I think the spirit of the law should be if you call a kid a kid, then they are a kid until they are 18, no matter what. When you play football a holding call is marked off the required distance whether the player committing it is a popular well known super star or a bench warmer in the game to spell a starter, there is no sliding scale depending on how the ref wants to call it and against who. Wouldn’t people respect the law if the law was totally level?

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16 Answers

jackm's avatar

I don’t really know what to say about your story, but I feel that a strict no room for interpretations legal system would be awful.

Because there is room for human intelligence, we are able to stop very stupid things from happening. Sure, it may be abused, but for the most part it is very beneficial.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

As long as judges, DAs, Sherrifs, and Police chiefs are elected, justice will be corrupted by the need to collect campaign funds and get reelected. Widely different applications of the law will occur when officers of the court play politics with peoples lives.

In Canada, we have a merit based system for filling these positions. It’s not perfect but I think it avoids some sources of corruption.

marinelife's avatar

There are different age rules for different acts all over our society.

The DA tried them as adults because even as juveniles they should have known the consequences of stealing a gun and shooting someone.

daemonelson's avatar

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what you’re trying to ask here. Frankly, I think the cutoff age signifying ‘maturity’ is a whole load of bullshit. I’ve understood, quite well, the law and repercussions for disobeying the law for quite a few years now, and I’m only 17. Still, I do think we should keep the system we have now until an accurate method of scaling levels of general understanding come along if that’s even possible.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Marina The operative word is that she was still a teen. Who is to say just how they think? You say “even as juveniles they should have known the consequences of stealing a gun and shooting someone”. Conventional wisdom should say that, then again many people do things they should have known better about. She should have known of sex and its pitfalls well enough too. Sex is plied daily to teens in supple and not so supple ways through just about every thread of media daily. Is the message suppose to say though teens get fed this “get yours and have fun or you are a dweeb”? Or “you are too stupid to understand or know about sex but just go do it anyhow, we don’t care, just make the mistakes with another ignorant teen only”? It seems we do not want to recognize kids as adults no matter how mature they are unless it involves getting even with something they did to the community or if they can be charged more money to do it. Smells high of a double standard to me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’m so confused.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir The nutshell is that you have a girl as there are many who are in relationships they believe are real. The case fore mentioned 2+ years; she knows the dude, was not like it fell from the sky in a week or 48 hours. They are having sex (an adult act) while both are under 18, adult act no crime, she is de facto recognized as being smart enough to engage in sex because no one or law is preventing her from doing so. He does nothing but grow old in their relationship, nothing else has changed now because she is the “junior” partner and she always was she is not smart enough to consent as she had before. So, the law does not go after HER but him. If they (the girl and the boy) had run away TOGETHER thinking they were going to start a life away from their parents and did some stick up action for cash THEY BOTH would be charges and she charged as an adult (for doing am adult act-robbery). She is a kid in love and the rug gets yanked from her (because of the adult act she did but not credited as being smart enough to make), and now her longer term b/f is gone. Pissed, upset, who knows, she goes “wilding” with a g/f and commit robberies, NOW she is given credit as an adult because if she wouldn’t the same rule that said she was to ignorant to boink the b/f after his 18th birthday would let her seem to get away with too much and not enough punishment.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central well I don’t understand why it’s so complicated – the sex act she can have because it doesn’t cause harm to others (supposedly) not because it’s an adult act – the crimes she commits are adult acts.

marinelife's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Thank you. i couldn’t have said it better myself/

MagsRags's avatar

I’m also guessing that “Jake” was prosecuted because “Lana’s” parents insisted on it. The legal system does not have the time or inclination or tax dollars to pursue all the 18 and 19 year old boys who are sexually active with 16 and 17 year old girls. But if a girl’s parent’s call and swear out a complaint, and there is evidence, they are required to uphold the law.

When it comes to a violent crime, the system is going to be much more proactive, as it should be.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Good point, why I love hearing from you, sex is suppose to be a so-called “victimless crime”, strange they do not think that for prostitutes and call girls, but if I took a trip down south of the border scored me 2 kilos of wickedly good coke and wanted to come back section it up, and past them out as party favors, if exposed I could go to prison for a long while. Why? Getting high don’t hurt anyone, if I wanted to get high as a kite, which I would never do anyhow, why should I be busted for obtaining the means to do it then, no one is being harmed who don’t want to snort a line?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central well prostitution is considered a crime, though I don’t think it is so because people care for the women who are sometimes victims when engaged in sex work. And you’d be busted primarily because you gave it to other people…because cocaine isn’t just weed, it kills way more people…I don’t know…I am anti the war on drugs anyway, it’s hard for be to argue this as it is

Fernspider's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central – what you’re saying is that by law – she is considered not old enough to engage in a sexual act with an adult and that the adult she sleeps with is punished by law for having sex with a person considered not old enough to have sex… too young to decide to have sex. Yet she is considered an adult and old enough to make an adult decision when it comes to robbery or committing a crime which has a victim or victims.

I am inclined to feel that the boy who became an adult during the time he was in a relationship with the girl and was subsequently prosecuted is a victim in a sense under these circumstances. A tag of paedophile in this instance seems harsh. In saying that, the law has to draw a line somewhere and as mentioned in places above, there will always be small injustices in the system but unfortunately when these laws are not in place there are always people who then take advantage.

In New Zealand, 16 is the legal age for sex. Personally, I feel this is more realistic than 18. However, a 50 year old having sex with a 16 year old disturbs me.

Apologies if any of my statements offend anyone.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Rachienz You hit the nail pretty much on the head. She can do an adult act (having sex) and it really don’t matter whi she has sex with, at 16 she would still be a kid in the eyes of the law and to a greater part, society. But if she commits a crime then she somehow forfeits her childhood, or the powers that be sheds her of it because if she was still seen as a child they could not puinish her equal to the hurt she is believed to have caused. Childhood adult line seem nebulous and not set, depending on what agenda or motive they can slide a teen in and out of the adult catagory

And many here would think there is a nation of pervs down there (I don’t, not at all). They seem to have problems with any person under 18 having sex with anyone over 18 even if it is legal like there. And any guy who’d be 20, 21 boinking a 16 year old many here in the US would believe is just wrong; even if she was as developed or near so as an 18yr old. Then again here we just want to use sex to sell everything but have not a clue of what it really, really is.

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