Arkansas teen dating laws


By the time we had sex, we had been together for many months and professed our love for each other, I had nursed him back to puffy-cheeked health after he’d had his wisdom teeth out and he had spent a great deal of time with my family on Cape Cod.Though I can’t say it was a perfect relationship or the balance of power was entirely equal (he held some advantage by virtue of being older and more experienced), I can assure you that the sexual aspect of our relationship was consensual, mutually pleasurable, non-exploitative, honest, and protected from pregnancy and STDs.Martha Kempner Age of consent laws are meant to protect young people from exploitation by adults but in too many instances they send 18-year-old boys to jail for having consensual sex with their 15-year-old girlfriends.The boys then end up on sex offender registries for life along side rapists and pedophiles. and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since.Age of consent laws, therefore, made it easier to prosecute a man who sexually assaulted an underage girl.The acknowledged purpose of these laws was to protect the young girl’s “chastity,” possibly so as not to ruin her future chances for marriage. states slowly raised the age to 13 and 14 under scientific arguments that this is when young women begin to menstruate and reach physical maturity.Is there a way to protect teens from exploitation without making them vulnerable to unnecessary prosecution?And what does all of this say about how society handles teen sex?

The laws are certainly more nuanced than I had expected, though above anything else, these laws are complicated.So, though I saw it as a normal and mostly positive sexual experience, had authorities been notified of it for whatever reason, they would have declared it a crime.This realization had my head swimming with questions.But by spring they had broken up and one fateful Wednesday he called.From there we began what would be my first serious and my first sexual relationship.History and Purpose of Statutory Rape Laws Statutory rape laws (which are called by a plethora of other names) refer to those laws that “criminalize voluntary sexual acts involving a minor that would be legal if not for the age of one or more of the participants.” The premise behind these laws is that until a certain age, young people are incapable of giving their consent for sexual behavior but the intent behind the laws has morphed over the 700 years or so since they were first codified.

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