Lothar (lothar_) wrote in nyra_lj,

Healthy teens have sex, study suggests

NYRA rightfully doesn't take a position on whether or not the behavior that ageist laws target is positive or negative. Our position has long rested on the idea that an unjust law is one that is made for a minority but which is not binding on the majority who makes it, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr. However, a study that asserts that early sexual relations encourage prosocial behavior certainly knocks down the rationale of higher age of consent laws.

This is pertinent as Canada's Conservative government has introduced a bill raising the federal age of consent from 14 to 16. It's now even 12 when the older person is no more than two years older. And concerns about 12-to-15-year-olds being manipulated are adequately addressed in current law, as sexual relations with people who are in positions of trust and authority (think teachers and clergy) are illegal until one's 18th birthday. This bill has everything to do with throwing red meat at Canada's anti-sex evangelicals and nothing with making sound pro-youth social policy.

I fully expect it to pass, but probably by not as wide a margin than it would in most U.S. state legislatures. Unlike the U.S., Canada's judiciary leans to the social left, so there might be a chance that the law will be found unconstitutional. I hope so; the status quo is yet more evidence that Canadian policy is, on average, far more reasonable and compassionate than its U.S. counterpart on matters of sociocultural importance. Criminalizing this most normal behavior of adolescents is an affront to the conscience of every decent human being.
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