Originally Posted by scarphe
so it is against the law to have sex if you are too young in some states? for example idaho if 2 17 year old have sex they are breaking the law?
Interesting dovetail between this thread and the Sotomayor one, where Matt et al. are talking about social norms codified into law, etc. The answer is, it depends. In some states, and presumably in other countries around the world, the age of consent is the Age of Consent. Period. C+1 day bangs C-1 day, that's a crime. Full stop. Others have what are called "Romeo & Juliet" laws, where there isn't an age of consent as much as a sliding scale based on stage of life or whatever else a given legislature decided to base it on. (One can almost hear some committee chairman saying, hmm, my 16 year-old son has a 14 year-old girlfriend, and it would look really bad for me if he went on trial for rape.) The case of Genarlow Wilson is fairly well known as an unintended and horrible consequence of rigid age of consent laws. He was by all press accounts a good kid, an athlete-honor student. He was 17, and his girlfriend was 15. They were caught having oral sex on video during a holiday, and he was charged and convicted for it. Ten years, no parole. As a further tie-in to the Sotomayor thread, even the backwards and largely stupid Georgia General Assembly took offense to the law as they had written it, and as the courts had faithfully interpreted it. So they rewrote Georgia's consent law to make such conduct legal. And now 17 year-old kids can get blown by their 15 year-old girlfriends in Georgia with only the girl's parents to fear. Which, I believe, is as it should be.