Everything approximately the recent arrests of 11 young guys on charges of 2nd-degree rape and one on 2nd-degree sodomy in Jacksonville is lousy. The stench is unavoidable. It is a grimy, trashy pit of accusations and alleged crimes, and questionable behaviors. I’m uncertain about the way it ends.
It is ready teenagers and intercourse and consent — or, in a felony feel, about grownup guys and underage girls and university tradition and the court the fact that consensual sex with everyone beneath 16 in Alabama isn’t legally viable. It is ready parental oversight and guilt and blame and Facebook sleuths who’ve grown to become this case into their private episode of “forty-eight Hours.” It is about lives damaged and, perhaps, lives destroyed.
And — here’s the filthy part — it’s far about alleged deception and alleged lies and dorm sex inside the coronary heart of the Bible Belt South, in which young people are so often taught to keep themselves for their partner and take into account virginity a virtue to protect. It is ready to sin about premarital intercourse. Even if untrue or decorated, the sleaze is brilliant. And it’s captivated a number of us, many of us — an information story of titillation that ought to make us flinch, now not gawk.
I’m unsure of the way it ends. Bible Belt values aren’t absolute; they could fail. All teenagers are imperfect and not proof against the human desires of intercourse and the pressures to drink and dabble in capsules. Peer pressure and dependancy and hormones and tension are real. Younger men with macho minds and young women are subjected to the present-day global’s unrealistic messaging approximately their bodies and appearance.
That’s some other of this example’s gawk elements, this parental perception that “my youngsters” could never do this, that they wouldn’t have intercourse, that they wouldn’t lie, that they wouldn’t engage in illegal or immoral or unbecoming conduct. Parenting is the remaining look at — now not of persistence but of teaching younger human beings which path to take, all of the while knowing immaturity and impulsiveness perch like dual devils on their shoulders. If a younger man or woman’s misdeeds are ironclad referendums at the worthiness of mother and father, mine had been screw-ups. I made it so.
I’m not sure how much of that Alan Dershowitz, the famend Harvard Law School emeritus professor and Fox News regular, considered. At the same time, he famously theorized that the age of consent for statutory rape prices has to be lowered. In 1997, Dershowitz wrote an op-ed for The Los Angeles Times (“Statutory Rape is an Outdated Concept”) in which he claimed the age for consent has to be decreased to 15, no matter the age of the sexual accomplice. I understand how that sounds, given that Dershowitz served on O.J. Simpson’s protection team, and this year, he has been connected to financier Jeffrey Epstein, who devoted suicide in jail after being arrested on federal expenses of sex-trafficking underage girls. But bear with me.
Forgive me, however here’s a part of what he wrote:
“Any cutoff age of the route might be fairly arbitrary. And yet, a line ought to be drawn. Nor would it not be sensible to have a cutoff primarily based on individual adulthood rather than age, considering that adulthood is so subjective a criterion. Moreover, puberty is outwardly arriving earlier, especially amongst a few ethnic corporations.”
“It is dubious whether such sanctions must follow to teens above the age of puberty because voluntary sex is so common of their age group.” Except, it’s no longer. Not anymore, at a minimum. The National Center for Health Statistics suggested months in the past that the U.S. Teenage beginning rate is at a file low (18 births per 1,000 ladies aged 15 to 19), and the Pew Research Center has attributed that decline to “much less intercourse, use of greater effective birth control and extra statistics about pregnancy prevention.”
Dershowitz isn’t backing down together with his slime. This summer, The Boston Globe noticed that the Harvard professor turned into protecting his 1997 op-ed on Twitter via writing that his argument changed into “constitutional (not ethical)” — a harkening to “Romeo and Juliet” legal guidelines — and that “the difficulty affords a constitutional conundrum worthy of discussion.”
Don’t be surprised with the aid of Dershowitz’s declare. His state-of-the-art e-book, out the subsequent month, “Guilt through Association: The Challenge of Proving Innocence inside the Age of #MeToo,” sounds as revolting as his thoughts on statutory rape and the age of consent. The tie-in with the Jacksonville case is the repulsiveness of these related conversations — that someone with Dershowitz’s countrywide platform advocates for consent to be connected to puberty, and that the lurid info of a teenage girl allegedly having a couple of sexual partners and duping them into believing she changed into of age is now the front-web page news.