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What is the correct age for sexual and marital consent for a girl?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Vendetta, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Twig pentagram

    Twig pentagram High Priest

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    I think it all depends on the girls level of maturity.
     
  2. beenie

    beenie Veteran Member
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    Very nicely put, Alex. :)
    I agree, especially that there is no arbitrary age for consent. As a mom of many girls, I can tell you that each one has her own maturity level (although they are all quite young, I can seen trends in behavior and maturity). I would prefer they complete their college education and get some "life" experience before they decide to marry, but that's my personal preference, not one that we can legislate.

    The onset of menses is certainly not an age I'd come close to accepting. If I consented to marry the person I liked at 13, well...let's just say it's a darn good thing that didn't happen. ;)
     
  3. TheKnight

    TheKnight Guardian of Life

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    When I said "our" I meant Western culture, not Jewish culture. It really isn't religio-specific. I think it just has a lot to do with our cultural values.
     
  4. ninerbuff

    ninerbuff godless wonder

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    For my daughter............once she graduates from college and can hold her own!!!!!
     
  5. Vendetta

    Vendetta "Oscar the grouch"

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    I see....I thought the opposite. Perhaps within my own family. However you are on to something. But my apologies
     
  6. Vendetta

    Vendetta "Oscar the grouch"

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    My boy Niner :bow:
     
  7. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess
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    I think it depends largely on the culture a girl exists in.
    For instance, in my culture, if a girl gets pregnant before the age of 20 most people will think this is too young and she is throwing her life away. In fact, it seems that most women set their standards on choosing to have children after the age of 25.

    But this has nothing to do with being biologically ready. I think that a 15 year old girl is perfectly capable of bearing a healthy baby and bringing it up well with the help of her family and community. So having children young is more appropriate in a collectivist society.

    The psychological preparedness of starting a family is also influenced by cultural norms. If you are brought up as a women, expecting to start a family at a young age, then you are less likely to feel out of your depth and panicked by the idea when the time comes. As a male, you would feel a responsibility and honour in looking after you family and protecting them. Boys and girls probably matured a lot faster than we do today due to the way life was in history and the way it is currently in some cultures.
     
  8. beenie

    beenie Veteran Member
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    very very true. :) my cousins from Pakistan were far more mature and ready to have families earlier than i was, that's for sure. they were raised with chores and were taught from very young how to manage a family...it's their cultural norm (perhaps even a regional one within Pakistan) and it worked for them.
     
  9. Sahar

    Sahar Well-Known Member

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    Well puberty says the female is biologically ready for mating. The minimal age of marriage depends totally on the time and place. In the past, a 16 year old male could be an army leader, a great scholar or a genius politician. Now, they are considered teenagers with disturbed mood and behavior!! The brain develops according to the experiences. When the 10 and 13 year old boy or girl are treated with respect and appreciation, raised to bear some responsibility and have independence and their opinions to be regarded, are going to be totally different from those who are treated as moody teenagers!! It depends on the upbringing since childhood, the surrounding culture, environment and customs. Generally, people in the past used to marry early because they started to face life and have responsibility early and thus maturate early.
    Now, the conditions are different, there are schools with its different stages and universities and then starting a career and be responsible and independent.
    Morally speaking, I think the minimal age starts from puberty, legally speaking the age can be set higher according to the best interest of that particular society.
     
  10. jarofthoughts

    jarofthoughts Empirical Curmudgeon

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    As mentioned earlier in this tread, the matter of consent should ideally be an individual thing as people mature, physically and psychologically, at different rates. I have met people in their twenties whom I wouldn't consider 'ready' to have children and I have met 14 year old's who could probably have pulled it off without a problem (perhaps economically, but that is a different matter).

    However, for a society and for legal purposes we need to have a set standard that applies to everyone in that society. In Norway the legal age for consent is 16 for sexual intercourse and 18 for marriage. It is of course debatable whether those are the correct numbers, but to avoid exploitation and abuse it is necessary to at least have some sort of standard. Not that a standard in and of itself prevents those things, but it will set a boundary for how young a person can be to be considered mature enough to take on these responsibilities.

    As such I don't really have a problem with the Norwegian standards without claiming them to be the only ones worthy of consideration.

    As for the age-difference question, I don't really see the problem as long as both parties are considered consenting adults. I dated a woman in her thirties when I was eighteen myself and when I was twenty-one I had a fling with a woman who was in her forties. I found both experiences to be very rewarding, but this is of course anecdotal and it may of course differ from person to person.
     
  11. Songbird

    Songbird She rules her life like a bird in flight

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    Although culture and experiences truly affect one's responsibility, they can't force the development of the brain's frontal lobe, which is the part of the brain most responsible for complex reasoning and decision-making. Science recently discovered the frontal lobe doesn't finish developing until our mid-twenties. I think that should influence the minimum marriage age a bit.
     
  12. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    It make little difference what the law says.
    Young people have sex with each other.
    Any young person living away from home for what ever purpose, is more likely to be sexually active, no matter how well they have been brought up.
    I see no reason to have a distinction between men or women.
     
  13. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess
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    I think there are many factors that could influence more strongly than the development of our frontal lobe. I mean, should people under the age of 25 be given little to no responsibility?

    Many young couples are and have been capable to maintaining a life long relationship and many older couples have been terrible at maintaining relationships long term. It's difficult to pick any single criteria.
     
  14. Vendetta

    Vendetta "Oscar the grouch"

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    Well, there are cultures that furnish the idea of young motherhood. However I living in the states disagree that young girls ought to be trained in motherhood. I believe young girls should have their adolescent life.
     
  15. Sahar

    Sahar Well-Known Member

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    Good point, Madhuri. Does the decision of involving in a long term marital relationship need the age set for complete maturation of the pre-forntal cortex? Actually, the external experiences do change the structure and function of the brain, thus affecting its development and maturation. Neuroscientists would assert, “We are what we experience.” So, again upbringing, environment and culture do play a great role.
     
  16. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    About half the population of the world is going to screw up their first marriage, no matter who arranges that marriage. The only question is how well will those couples -- or their governments -- hide the fact that half of the first marriages in any given country at any given time are crappy relationships. But, in general, the older people are when they get married (up to about age 35), the happier their marriages.
     
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  17. Levite

    Levite Higher and Higher

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    In the best of all possible worlds, I wouldn't define a single age of consent for people, since everyone matures at different rates. Ages of consent are usually not purely moral, but are legal devices, to try and protect the greatest number of people. Thus we might say, for example, that it is a virtual certainty that kids under the age of twelve or thirteen are unlikely to be prepared for the emotional, psychological, and spiritual intimacy of sexual relations. Yet it is by no means as clear what proportion of young people are able and ready to consent at fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen. The age of eighteen is pretty much an arbitray line drawn in the United States, just as sixteen is drawn in most European countries, and other ages are drawn elsewhere.

    But I suppose, given that we need a legal age, in a legal system, I'd probably go with sixteen.
     
  18. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    What is the correct age for sexual and marital consent for a girl?

    Depends how hot she is.
     
  19. Vendetta

    Vendetta "Oscar the grouch"

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    :D

    Hahahha for some men that may be true
     
  20. Vendetta

    Vendetta "Oscar the grouch"

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    Interesting.....however would 16 be a standard of biological/psychological maturity?
     
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