The recent news coverage about the case of a 23 year old female teacher having sex with a 14 year old boy made me think about the problems you face as when being a 14 year old boy.
Honestly I think if you do a poll among 14 year old boys if they would be willing to trade in their acne, bracers, school bullies and exam problems with having sex with a 23 year old good looking blond woman, I think the poll would come out fairly unanimous. Could of course be that I am misremembering my priorities when I was 14, but I don’t really think so.
Dom Lachowicz points out how the reaction would have been hysterical had the genders been reversed
There are other variations on this scenario with complicated outcomes. Age of consent varies from country to country (most being 16 or 18) but in many countries teenagers under the age of conset having sex with each other is criminalised. If this case had been about a 14 year old boy and 15 year old girl chances are the boy in a whole lot trouble for statutory rape.
Considering that one one occasion the defendant appears to have been being driven around by said boy’s 15-year-old friend, I assume said teenagers were mature enough to get themselves into trouble.
But yeah, the photo made me a bit wistful.
Here in Ontario there’s an age difference law, so that a 14 year old boy can have sex with a fifteen year old boy or girl, but not with a nineteen year-old. If any of the group is under 18, at most a 2-year (I think) maximum difference is allowed between the youngest in the group (yes, group) and the oldest. This prevents the stupid situation in which two thirteen-year-olds a couple of months apart in age have to stop having sex when the elder gets to 14 and can’t legally start again until the yonger is 18.
There’s not really any universal answer though. Some people aren’t ready for sex when they are 18, or 20 or even 30. Some seem to be ready for it at birth :-)
The limit for the yuongest boy/girl relationship can sensibly be made higher than for same-sex relationships because the extra possible outcome of a child needs a lot more responsibility to handle. (more heterosexual people have AIDS than gay people, before anyone starts on that) Many people feel it’s discrimnatory to have different rules for boy/girl than for same-sex couples (or groups), and in general I agree, but one also has to account for biology.
In the case of a student/teacher relationship though, even though I might think today that as a 14-year-old boy I might have liked it if some of my male teachers had sex with me, very few people actually do like it if sex is forced upon them without consent. It might sound as if the boy enjoyed it, but one really can’t tell from the CNN article. The authority of a teacher is so great on a pupil that you really can’t say it was entirely voluntary, and of course it’s impossible to make laws saying “it’s OK if he likes it but not otherwise”.
But I don’t think one should dismiss the case quite so glibly, and nor should one forget that the teacher is closer in age to the boy’s mother than to the boy. She may seem young to your or I, but to a 14-year-old she’s pretty old.
Ankh: The laws in Ontario are actually that over 14 everything is OK. A 14 year old can have sex with a 30 year old gender irrespective (in all respects) without violating any laws (but there may be interesting social effects for both of them). I do not agree with your argument that it’s sensible to make downward adjustments to this limit for same-sex relationships. Fair is fair. If one is going to be pragmatic and account for biology then one should also account for the social factors involved for young people who have sex with other people of the same gender. It’s (still) a tough world out there, unfortunately.
A reasonable (and very sane adjustment) to this law, however, is that if the older person is in a position of control over the younger (a teacher, for example) then the age is raised to 18. This is also the case in Ontario.
You were right about the two-years difference. If you’re under 14 then you can have sex with someone over 14 if the age difference is less than 2 years.
In summary: In Ontario, a 23 year old woman who has sex with a 14 year old boy is not a criminal unless she is (for example) his teacher.
“Delinquent Teen Prohibited From Seeing 37-year-old Wife”