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Old 2008-02-11, 15:00   Link #81
kitto-chan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MihawkXGP View Post
If its consensual, then i really couldn't give a dam, what the age difference is. The only thing that matters is those 2, and not the view of everyone else.

If you're in love, you really couldn't care less what anyone else thought of your relationship. Then again, in this case, it is causing alotta trouble for a whole lot of people so....i dunno...

Mihawk, this case is not about consensual or not. It about being mentally prepared for the consequences. She if she was 17 and he was 50 I could care less. But the fact that she is 13 and not mature enough to know what real love is.
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Old 2008-02-11, 15:23   Link #82
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But the fact that she is 13 and not mature enough to know what real love is.
...which is what YOU presuppose. Maturity is not a matter of age for the most part. If you think otherwise, as I said before, please point me towards a good unbiased study that states that genes matters more than experience in these kinds of things.
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Old 2008-02-11, 16:03   Link #83
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
That's really only true up to a certain point. Age doesn't equal how mature a person acts, but it certain does affect the level of rational comprehension which, in turn, has it's own effect on maturity.
This argument that the law says they are not fit to make this decision is based on physiology, not just arbitrary decision.
It'd be nice if the law were actually based on "science" but it isn't. Its based on the social fads of the century. The law around the world is ALL OVER the place in regards to when "adult" is, ranging from post-pubescent to over 21. Even then, whether you're regarded as "adult" depends on your behavior as assessed by the community.
Quote:
no 13 year old possesses a fully developed brain. Within the brain, the last portions to fully develop are those that deal with cognition and abstract reasoning principles. One cannot logically argue that a child of 13 could engage in consenting adult behavior, simply because a child of that age does not possess the ability to see through that action to all of the possible ramifications of engaging in it. It's not just because some guy said so, it's because their brain is still developing.
Brains evolve throughout life, constantly rewiring themselves for the needs of the present. If you're discussing "pre-operational" vs "operational" that happens much earlier than 13. I'll assume you're reaching for Piaget's *model* of mind development, which is pretty good but has aspects not validated for all cases.

Quote:
Lastly, I don't think this is disgusting but, like many people said, I think it is irresponsible. Any 30 year old should be able to recognize that a 13 year old cannot make coherent rational decisions based on complex emotions. What happens if this "love" doesn't last? The guy runs off, free of any guilt or feeling of wrongdoing, and the child is left to wallow in her own misery, because she's still "in love".
That happens to people of *any* age. And I see a large percentage of the "adult" population unable to make coherent rational decisions O.o

Just general talking to the air:
The thing interesting to me about this discussion/debate is watching for assertions and axiomatic beliefs and forcing people to examine those. The situation is context-dependent for me. I'd have to know the personalities of the two, their overlapping interests, etc. before I could judge whether it was "okay" in my eyes or not. The judge basically ruled the two looked to be truly in a mutually agreeable relationship (she's only a few months from the age of consent in Italy) ... and used the existing legal framework to minimize a ruling he had to make.

This is not too far removed from the sort of idiotic cases we see in America like the one where TWO under-18 people made nude pictures of themselves to text to each other. They were charged and convicted as sex offenders and are now on the Sexual Offender list, perhaps for the rest of their lives. The arguments by the prosecution were just flat insane and absurd in the justification for the result and clearly highlighted the conservative religious "burn 'em" thread of the case.

The irrational basis for most definitions of the age-of-consent.... its funny to me how often people invoke morals and such -- when their own religious tenets don't support their views. I'll repeat myself
Quote:
The age of consent is certainly not set by rational analysis (i.e. neuroscience or psychological assessment) -- its set by what irrationally horrifies someone who has influence to set the law.
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Old 2008-02-11, 16:48   Link #84
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I think you just contradicted yourself. How is it that a child who commits murder, ie intentional killing, has an understanding of the consequences, while a child who engages in sexual acts does not? What makes the decision to have sex different any other decision, premeditated or otherwise?
Not necessarily. Murder is supposed to be unconditionally bad. While there are circumstances, such as self-defense, where killing is "good", those are pretty rare and extreme.

Sex, OTOH, is supposed to be good. As long as there is consent. Just watch TV series. There is nothing more important than knowing that two characters "did it". It's apparently the epitome of happiness, for the characters and the viewers. And "Getting laid" is some kind of cure-all. It at least cures general uncool-ness.

So, yeah, there is a bit of difference between distinguishing when killing is bad, and when having sex is bad.



About why the age is a good indicator of maturity: it's not. I admit that. Basing things on age is a compromise between what we want to do (give people rights and responsibilities commensurate with their maturity) and what we can actually do. I mean, how else are you going to determine someone's maturity? Give tests? Even if you could spare the expense... How are you going to design such tests? It's relatively easy to test a kid for basic understanding of algebra, but how are you going to test for adulthood? How are you going to get the population to agree with you on what the test should be?

So, yeah, each country strikes a compromise somewhere. Maybe you'd like it a bit lower, I'd personally like it a bit higher when it comes to such age differences. That compromise is based mostly on tradition and the mood of the lawmakers at the time the law was made.

But I do think it's important to draw a line somewhere. Because I don't want middle schoolers to have to deal with adults waiting for them at the schoolgates, trolling for bedmates. I don't want parents legally turning their 8 years old kids into prostitutes. I don't want teen pregnancy to turn into an even bigger problem than it is now.
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Old 2008-02-11, 17:19   Link #85
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Note: no one (here at least) is advocating pre-pubescent sex or even arguing that there's some conditional context for it. Just making that clear ... so mentioning it is a derail.
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Old 2008-02-11, 17:24   Link #86
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Really? Why not go prepubescent if all that counts is "consent" and maturity as a criteria is thrown out of the window, since it can't be measured?
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Old 2008-02-11, 17:26   Link #87
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Ofcourse we don't know with each case how mature each individual is. Like a 18 y/o could of a mind of a five year old, but instead of guessing. It's easier to keep to age limits where most people fall under.

People who say I don't give a fuck. Come back when your 13 year old daugther/sister is the one getting fucked. It's all nice and pretty if it doesn't involve you. >_>

Then again people are saying she could be mature enough, but just ignore the fact that chances are way the fuck higher that she isn't mature enough. People who are in there thirties who have been trough divorce and everything don't even know wtf love is. And you are telling me a 13 year old had true love sex with a 30 year old. While it might be an exception, but I say it's bullshit.

People who are trowing in the homosexuality thing... That's apples and oranges. If you haven't noticed the age limit is going up over the years...

I just think it's a fucked up world we live in. Where someone who probably can't even take care of herself is capable of having baby. While in this case they probably used contraception.
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Old 2008-02-11, 17:47   Link #88
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Though I think it's wrong, it still happens, but not to the age difference of such extremes. When I was in middle school (age range 12-14) there were people who already had sex, not approving it or anything but it's an age of curiosity and it tends to happen. BUT A 20++++++++ YEAR OLD TRYING TO HAVE SEX WITH SOMEONE OF SUCH A YOUNG AGE IS WRONG! I find it wrong and don't approve, but that's me...
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Old 2008-02-11, 18:32   Link #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh
I do think it's important to draw a line somewhere. Because I don't want middle schoolers to have to deal with adults waiting for them at the schoolgates, trolling for bedmates. I don't want parents legally turning their 8 years old kids into prostitutes. I don't want teen pregnancy to turn into an even bigger problem than it is now.
I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh
So, yeah, each country strikes a compromise somewhere. Maybe you'd like it a bit lower, I'd personally like it a bit higher when it comes to such age differences. That compromise is based mostly on tradition and the mood of the lawmakers at the time the law was made.
As long as we are fully aware that whatever age limit we set is ultimately arbitrary, I don't have problems with setting a minimum age of consent. I broadly agree, we do have to draw the line somewhere. The question is where.

Most of us are physically mature by the time we're 12-years-old and above. Teenage girls are biologically capable of having children once they hit puberty, and historically, many societies used to consider teenage girls fit for marriage. Quite a few still do.

Mentally, most of us achieve great maturity of intelligence by the time we're teenagers (anywhere from 12 to 21). We're capable of amazing levels of mathematical and creative ability by this age. Some children achieve this level of mental maturity well before that age, eg, child prodigies such as Mozart.

But apparently, most of us don't achieve "cognitive maturity" —the ability to make judgement calls based on abstract thinking— until we've reached our mid-twenties and above.

So, if maturity were to be a factor in determining legal age of consent, neuroscience seems to suggest that the "right" age should be around 25. However, as you've observed:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh
Sex, OTOH, is supposed to be good. As long as there is consent. Just watch TV series. There is nothing more important than knowing that two characters "did it". It's apparently the epitome of happiness, for the characters and the viewers. And "Getting laid" is some kind of cure-all. It at least cures general uncool-ness.
So it would appear, at least in societies where entertainment media suggests that sex is "cool", we've already assumed that once you've become aware of your sexual urges, you might as well engage in sexual intercourse. In fact, you'd think we're encouraged to do "it", because it's "uncool" to still be a virgin at 25, the age at which we're supposed to be fully capable of thinking about the consequences of sex.

Modern contraception contributed to this historical trend. If nothing else, contraception guards against unwanted pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases, the two leading reasons against irresponsible sexual intercourse. If we can engage in sex without such causing obvious physical harm, and in fact enjoy the experience, what makes it "immoral", especially when the sex is consensual?

In conclusion, regardless whether we make the legal age of consent 12 or 25, whatever age limit we set, we're bound to encounter exceptions. Before we scream, "pedophilia!", it's important to examine the context. Apparently, this particular Italian case is not a clear-cut case of an adult man preying on someone below the age of majority, hence the reduced sentence.

From that angle, I don't see how a "bad" precedent is set. We still acknowledge that the act was illegal, while accepting at the same time that this is possibly an exceptional case.

Regardless of the outcome, I think the man should have exercised restraint. The girl might not have been mature enough to think about the consequences, but he should be. If he truly loved her, why can't he wait another few more months? By then, she would have turned 14, and no Italian court would have had a case against him. More importantly, she would then presumably be ready to give consent by the standards of Italian sexual morality.
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Old 2008-02-11, 18:41   Link #90
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There are plenty of 12 to 14 year olds are having sex with each other so some of them know what sex is and if to say one of them had sex with with some 30 year old man. It really wouldn't be any different than having sex with another person around their own age. I mean its still the same act just with a different person.

Although its not something I like at all I don't really care if it happens with consention.
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Old 2008-02-11, 18:58   Link #91
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I wonder how their relationship started off...
Must've been a bit.......different. Did he hit on her or something?
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Old 2008-02-11, 19:06   Link #92
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Originally Posted by BritishBearBoy View Post
I wonder how their relationship started off...
Must've been a bit.......different. Did he hit on her or something?
Quote:
His lawyers argued, however, that there was a “deep tenderness” between him and the girl and that he had “fallen head over heels in love” after a sexual encounter in his car. They said the girl had consented to every action.
Quote:
after a sexual encounter in his car.
How the hell did this guy get away with it? It's mind bottling.
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Old 2008-02-11, 19:12   Link #93
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It is pretty worrying and disturbing..
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Old 2008-02-11, 19:21   Link #94
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I feel you're quoting out of context. From the very same article you've originally cited:

Quote:
Antonio de Pascale, a butcher from Vicenza, admitted that he had a four-month long relationship with the girl, who sent him a stream of torrid text messages on his mobile phone.
It seems to me that the girl initiated the relationship. They met in Antonio's car, and he claims to have fallen "head over heels in love" after their first sexual encounter.

Meaning to say, the man apparently did not solicit sex from the girl, which would have made him look more like a sexual predator, ie a pedophile.
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Old 2008-02-11, 19:25   Link #95
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Doesn't seem that this is big business in Italy... the big newspapers as the "corriere della sera", "la repubblica" or "il messagero" only offer a bunch of small articles, containing not more information than the report by the daily telegraph.
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Old 2008-02-11, 19:26   Link #96
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Hmmmmm, yes I agree. It does sound like she brought all of this on herself, and this guy couldn't resist the temptation. I don't know who to feel sorry for; the guy, the teen or the teens parents.
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Old 2008-02-11, 19:38   Link #97
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Really? Why not go prepubescent if all that counts is "consent" and maturity as a criteria is thrown out of the window, since it can't be measured?
Because of *physical* medical reasons (hard to restrain a "duh" here ). Pre-pubescent is pre-sexually operative. The chances of damage go up considerably.

And no one threw maturity out the window --- they only recognized its subjective and difficult to measure. Simple physical age is a duct tape solution.

Please stop pegging the meter on what is a subject that obviously communities and science across the world can't really agree on and doesn't have a binary answer.

@Isegrim: the Telegraph is known for fairly sensationalistic tabloid headlines. It flies in Britain because their age-of-consent is much higher, but hardly wiggles the needle in places where 14 is the age-of-consent.
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Old 2008-02-11, 20:06   Link #98
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Because of *physical* medical reasons (hard to restrain a "duh" here ). Pre-pubescent is pre-sexually operative. The chances of damage go up considerably.
12 is past/during puberty.
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Old 2008-02-11, 20:11   Link #99
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Originally Posted by Tripfag View Post
12 is past/during puberty.
I believe Vexx was referring to this statement:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh
But I do think it's important to draw a line somewhere. Because I don't want middle schoolers to have to deal with adults waiting for them at the schoolgates, trolling for bedmates. I don't want parents legally turning their 8 years old kids into prostitutes. I don't want teen pregnancy to turn into an even bigger problem than it is now.
8 was the age in question, not 12.
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Old 2008-02-11, 20:46   Link #100
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And the exact age of puberty doesn't make a huge difference. According to health reports, children are hitting puberty at earlier ages than previously. It was suspected to be linked to hormones given to livestock used as food, but I never heard the follow-up to that. Today the age may be 12, in the future it may be seven.

A lot of us here are probably American, and as such our views toward sex are a bit disoriented compared with the rest of the world (for the worse, in my opinion). In my opinion this isn't a big deal in terms of the sex itself, but because there's a young girl (stereotypically, young children are innocent and not yet fully capable of making good life decisions) and an older man (who, stereotypically, is more experienced in life and thus better at getting what he wants). Children aren't given the same rights and all as adults for many reasons - not all of them are good ones, but I think there are quite a few that are valid.

Even if the young girl solicited the older man for sex, in my opinion there's something wrong with him. I think that if most of us (maybe all, but who knows - this is the internet) who are 18+ were approached by a 13-year-old member of the opposite sex who wanted to perform sexual acts, we would reject it immediately. That the older guy fell in love after the act of sex also makes me pretty skeptical. Sex alters your brain chemistry somewhat so that you become "addicted" to your partner. Theories in evolution suspect that this short-term addiction would increase the chances of sex between the pair, resulting in a higher chance of a successful pregnancy. If this fellow were a virgin, he may be even less experienced with the hormonal changes occurring in his body as a result of the encounter.

The real question is, should a child be denied the right to pursue happiness in love? I wonder if a child can even comprehend that properly, myself.
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