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[P]
Mother Prosecuted for Teaching Kid Safe Sex

By Eloquence in Culture
Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 07:02:12 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

As logged by Plastic, a Milwaukee women is being prosecuted for giving her 13-year-old son condoms and tolerating his sexual activity (not preventing the ongoing "sexual abuse" by his 15-year-old girlfriend). This is just one of many cases of sexual repression in the USA, but it is a particularly extreme one. Please see the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story for more info and read on to find out what we can do.


Thanks to the web, it's easy enough to actually find this particular District Attorney's office e-mail address. It is, as you can verify on their webpage, steinhorst.ruth@mail.da.state.wi.us.

If you agree that teaching kids sexual abstinence and prosecuting a mother for telling them about safe sex is a bad thing, I believe it would be a good idea to drop them an e-mail and let them know about your feelings. E-mails from international readers may be particularly helpful so that they realize this incident is being closely watched internationally. Perhaps someone can also localize the mother and find out if she needs financial support to push this through.

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Poll
What will you do?
o Nothing, kids at that age shouldn't have sex and the mother is guilty 18%
o Nothing, sending e-mails like that is dumb and I don't have time for more 41%
o I will send the DA's office an e-mail 11%
o I will try to localize the mother, perhaps for creating a Paypal account to help 1%
o Something else; call Inoshiro 27%

Votes: 137
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Plastic
o Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story
o webpage
o steinhorst .ruth@mail.da.state.wi.us
o Also by Eloquence


Display: Sort:
Mother Prosecuted for Teaching Kid Safe Sex | 82 comments (64 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
Sample e-mails (4.00 / 13) (#3)
by Eloquence on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 06:29:56 PM EST

Of course it's better if you write your own, but if you don't want to do that, here's one for US & one for international visitors (fix any speeling and grammar errors):

Dear Sirs,

the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has published a story titled "DA prosecutes mom who gave son condoms" on January 15. In it, Sharif Durhams reports that a mother from Baraboo is being prosecuted because "she did not stop her 13-year-old son from having oral sex and sexual intercourse with his 15-year-old girlfriend".

In the United States, sexual abstinence is taught in public schools instead of contraception. Although I disagree with this, I respect it. However, in this particular case, a mother is being prosecuted for teaching her kid safe & sensible sex, and the government has absolutely NO right to intervene with this private and personal decision. I believe it is your duty to at least review your decision to prosecute this case, as the law in question can certainly be interpreted not to apply in this case.

I am trusting that you will make the right decision.

Sincerely,
XXX

And for international readers (change if it doesn't apply):

Hello,

from an Internet news site, I learned about the case of a mother who is being prosecuted for not preventing her 13-year-old son from being "sexually abused" (by his girlfriend?!) and teaching him about safe sex. I am appalled. Where I live, such a case would not be possible. The United States are presenting themselves to the outside world as a country of freedom in all aspects of life. Is this view totally wrong? I am certain the media here will watch this case carefully, now that it has been widely publicized.

Deeply concerned,
XXX
(YYY)

Where YYY is the country. I know that many of you don't care about incidents like this one, but I do. History has shown that sexual hysteria like this can culiminate in terrible witchhunts, which would ultimately destabilize the country. Imagine Lewinsky times 10. Both the people in the US and those elsewhere, IMHO, have a responsibility to do what they can to prevent this from happening. I know it's always easier to justify passivity ("They will not react", "There are too few/too many e-mails", "I don't care, have no time", "It doesn't concern me" etc., you know the killer phrases). But is it also right?
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!

*Bzzzt* (2.55 / 9) (#7)
by Robert Uhl on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 07:29:36 PM EST

The state couldn't give a d*mn what the mother is teaching her child. It is that she is allowing him to be a victim of statutory rape that it is concerned. Now, I don't know how many of us can state with a straight face that a willing guy is the victim of rape, but that is legally what he is.

Quite honestly, I don't know what my opinion is. On the one hand I'm very strongly libertarian, and for the freedom of parents to raise their children as they see fit. OTOH I would not want `as they see fit' to include having sex with the child themselves. Do I support their aiding and abetting the child's sexual activities? I really don't know.

Note that this is a question of legal support. Morally, it's easy: I can quite easily condemn her for helping her 13 year old son have sex. But the legal question is the only that really matters; moral issues are not to be decided in a public forum, but only between a man and God.

[ Parent ]

It's not necessarily illegal (4.33 / 6) (#10)
by Eloquence on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 07:39:34 PM EST

The state couldn't give a d*mn what the mother is teaching her child. It is that she is allowing him to be a victim of statutory rape that it is concerned.

I know, but it's not really much different semantically. You can hardly expect the mother to teach him about safe sex and then say "OK, condoms are great, and sex is, too, but you must not have it" and then, if he does have sex, punish him.

Now, I don't know how many of us can state with a straight face that a willing guy is the victim of rape, but that is legally what he is.

Not necessarily. The article points out that the law in question may very well be (and is usually) interpreted not to apply in such cases. It was an individual decision by the DA to prosecute, probably because, as someone on Plastic pointed out:

Wisconsin is a pretty conservative place. Except for large pockets of liberals in Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay (which decided the electoral votes in the election), all the outlying rural areas (Baraboo being one of them) are rather strict about cases like these. Most newspapers' opinion columns here are praising the DA's actions as an attack against sexual promiscuity and hoping it will motivate other parents to keep better watch over their childrens' (likely imagined) sexual activities.

As for the rest of your comment, I won't reply, because I don't want to turn this into another flamewar.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Willingness has nothing to do with it. (4.12 / 8) (#19)
by FlightTest on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 11:33:17 PM EST

Now, I don't know how many of us can state with a straight face that a willing guy is the victim of rape, but that is legally what he is.

In the case of statuatory rape, willingness has *NOTHING* to do with it. The theory being an older person can convince a child that they "want" to have sex. I doubt to this day you could get that young boy who fathered 2 children by the 30-something year old teacher to say it was anything but willing. Yet she still served prison time for statuatory rape. IMHO, in that case, it was justified.

This case seems bizzare however. As far as I can tell, they are *NOT* charging the 15 year old girl with statuatory rape. So, how do you charge mom essentially with aiding sexual assault (statuatory rape) when you haven't charged anyone with the sexual assault?

WTF, over.

And how come I never knew any 15 year old girls like that when _I_ was 13?


Why did I flip? I got tired of coming up with last minute desparate solutions to impossible problems created by other fucking people.
[ Parent ]
Tyranny of age (4.66 / 3) (#49)
by Robert Hutchinson on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 03:53:49 PM EST

Quite honestly, I don't know what my opinion is. On the one hand I'm very strongly libertarian, and for the freedom of parents to raise their children as they see fit. OTOH I would not want `as they see fit' to include having sex with the child themselves. Do I support their aiding and abetting the child's sexual activities? I really don't know.

The problem here is that age limits are almost always incredibly stupid. They punish the non-ignorants for the ignorants' actions. Any child who drives well should be given a license, any child who wants a part-time job should be allowed to have that job, and any child who has an understanding of the risks and responsibilities involved in having sex should be allowed to reach home plate.

(The only exception should be when the parents have an objection. This was clearly not the case here.)

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

This is insane... (3.46 / 15) (#4)
by CyberQuog on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 06:40:13 PM EST

I'm 16 and my mother has offered to buy me condoms. She figures that if she can't stop me from having sex (shes right, she cant) she might as well make sure it's safe. Does this make her a bad mother? Another thing, since when is "oral sex and sexual intercourse with his 15-year-old girlfriend" sexual abuse? Can anyone quote a law or case-law that supports this because this whole story sounds a little fishy to me. Either in the actual charges or maybe the reporting.


-...-
Statutory Rape... (3.83 / 6) (#8)
by pqbon on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 07:30:15 PM EST

Unfortunately (at least in Calf), any person who is under 18 cann't legally have sex. The oldest person involved in the act is criminally liable. If the age difference is greater then ?3 years? (it might be 2) the crime is no longer a misdemeanor but a felony...

"...That probably would have sounded more commanding if I wasn't wearing my yummy sushi pajamas..."

-Buffy Summers
[ Parent ]

California isn't the bastion of legislative sense. (3.77 / 9) (#12)
by Seumas on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 07:45:05 PM EST

I'm not sure if what you suggest is true (nor that it isn't, of course), but California also considers sex with someone under the influence as rape, even if they consent. Of course, as far as I understand, most sex occurs while under the influence, so this might be a shot on the side of population control *grin*.

It's too bad someone at the age of fifteen will possibly have a criminal record for experimenting with someone very close to their own age, while there are child molestors out there 'dating' twelve year old children and since the parent's often do not prosecute (for god knows why), it continues and the law doesn't seem to step in there.

The lack of consistancy is astonishing, isn't it?
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Let me make it very clear... (3.14 / 7) (#14)
by pqbon on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 07:49:52 PM EST

I whole heartedly disagree with the law. However, I like it better then when it applied only to women (it only changed to be protective of all young people in the mid 90's). I believe that teenagers should have the right to choose who/when they have sex. I want all governments/governers/da s/president appoints/senators/etc. out of my/everyones bedrooms.

"...That probably would have sounded more commanding if I wasn't wearing my yummy sushi pajamas..."

-Buffy Summers
[ Parent ]

Why should only girls be protected? (somewhat OT) (4.25 / 4) (#45)
by Karmakaze on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 02:43:31 PM EST

However, I like it better then when it applied only to women (it only changed to be protective of all young people in the mid 90's).

Why?

Why is it always assumed that females are victims of sex? It's the old double standard again. Why do we still cling to the puritanical view that sex is in and of itself harmful and specifically harmful to women?

Why should a consenting (insofar as consent is possible) 13 year old girl be automatically more harmed than a 13 year old boy? (No, I do not think that 13 year olds of either gender should be sexually active.)

Why is it when two people get drunk and have sex, the man is guilty because "being drunk is no excuse" and the woman is a victim because "she was too drunk to refuse"?

As much as I disapprove of casual sex, and of underage casual sex, I think our culture goes way overboard assuming that sex=harm and that somehow females (of any age) are disproportionally harmed.

One of the few areas where I diverge from mainstream feminism is the condemnation of pornography as a women's issue. You can argue that the types of images in mainstream prornography out there is harmful, but its mere existence?

If you're going to protect children, protect children, not girls.


--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]
any line you draw is arbitrary (none / 0) (#66)
by G Neric on Thu Jan 18, 2001 at 05:52:55 PM EST

I'm not saying you don't have a point. I do understand it. But, you draw your own arbitrary line by disapproving of casual sex and of underage casual sex. Therefore, other arbitrary lines should not disturb you on principle.

I suspect that people who distinguish between the sexes on this topic do so because they think the reality is that (1) girls bear a significantly greater burden of the negative outcomes of sex than boys do and (2) on top of that, a culture where older man/younger woman is prevalent leads to a significant and real difference in persuadability. As a man, if you get the opportunity, getting a teenage girl drunk and then drilling her is easy. You may think this is OK (it does increase the chance of your and her genes being passed on) but I think it's OK that some people don't so. Personally, I don't care.

[ Parent ]

Missed my point... (none / 0) (#82)
by pqbon on Sat Jan 27, 2001 at 01:05:45 AM EST

I like it better then when it was women only... not when it was women only!

"...That probably would have sounded more commanding if I wasn't wearing my yummy sushi pajamas..."

-Buffy Summers
[ Parent ]

Too Bad His Girlfriend Wasn't A Teacher (2.92 / 14) (#6)
by Seumas on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 07:28:04 PM EST

It's too bad the kid's girlfriend wasn't a thirty-something year old public school teacher instead of a fifteen year old student. At least then they'd have a lot of community support behind her ala Mary Kay Latourno. Besides, I hate to break it to whoever is prosecuting this case, but in most places in the country, a two year difference is illegal. I think that even three years is tolerated (I can't recall exactly where I saw this, but it was awhile ago by a couple lawyerly types on television and on a law journal online). For example, an eighteen year old can often have a boyfriend or girlfriend who is fifteen or a nineteen year old could have a seventeen year old significant other -- or even a sixteen year old could date a thirteen or fourteen year old (although that seems a little suspect to me, because there is typically a greater difference between the capability of a thirteen yer old mind and a sixteen year old one than there is between a fifteen and eighteen year old one).
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
Reading the law (3.50 / 4) (#21)
by Miniluv on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 12:14:08 AM EST

Would you please not comment on generalities when talking about a specific incidence of prosecution? There are a good number of websites available with specific details about the law in any given jurisdiction. That two year law usually refers to ages above 15, not as low as 13.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]
I have to admit (3.21 / 14) (#16)
by MTDilbert on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 09:35:00 PM EST

I'm of two minds on this.

On the one hand, my parental side tells me that kids having sex is almost always a Bad Thing (TM). Most (not all) teenagers are simply unequipped emotionally to comprehend the whole gestalt of sex in a relationship. I know I was (and arguably, still am now).

However, when it comes my turn, my strategy is to teach abstinence, armed with the knowledge of the possible consequences. Our society is sexualizing our children younger and younger every year. I think that sex education should be abstinence-based, contraception should be approached, but abstinence should be the focus. The rights and wrongs and moral judgments must come from home, and not fobbed off on the schools.

My realistic side says that what will happen, will happen, and there ain't a damn thing I can do about it. But, I'm damned if I want the government, in any way, shape or form, mandating to me what I should be teaching my child, with respect to morality. It is ridiculous that the parent is being charged for buying condoms, but, she also has to share in the responsibility that he can't keep his willie in his pants.

The gripping hand, I think, is that sexuality is shrouded in mystery -- the "forbidden fruit factor" makes it that much more desirable for teenagers (and some adults) to partake in it.

Maybe I'm just getting to be an old fart...:)

Don't mod me down because you disagree. Show me the error of my ways.

Appropriate Expression (OT) (2.40 / 5) (#22)
by Maclir on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 12:33:44 AM EST

The gripping hand, I think, is that sexuality is shrouded in mystey
I know I shouldn't make such trite comments - but did you really mean to say "the gripping hand" when talking about young people and sex?

Sorry, the devil made me do it.

[ Parent ]

sexualization of children (4.20 / 5) (#23)
by boxed on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 02:58:08 AM EST

Our society is sexualizing our children younger and younger every year.
That's a doubtful statement at best. Remember that physically humans are designed to have children in their early teens. This was also largely the case before industrialization and/or agriculture. Also remember that Freud claimed children to have sexual desires straight out of the womb, a theory at times held to be true. I personally think we may be approaching a more logical position to sexuality based on our actual genetic makeup. (Although 13 seems just a bit too young to me personally since guys mature, physically, later than girls.)

[ Parent ]
teen pregnancy (2.75 / 4) (#28)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:10:32 AM EST

physically humans are designed to have children in their early teens
I disagree. Can you cite reference?

There is much to suggest that this is not the case. First point is that most girls who conceive during their early teens will miscarry[1]. Second point is that boys in their early teens become unattractive, indicating that they are not physically ready to mate. (This second point is of course a subjective argument, and open to interpritation, and as such hard to back up with hard facts.)

[1] In the 15-17 age group 14% miscarry, and 34% abort. It is impossable to tell how many of the group that abort could have carried full term, giving a possable 48% potential failure rate. In addition, I'm talking about under 16s, but can't find online stats for this demographic.

Further linkage:
Teen pregnancy statistics
Teen Pregnancy Focus on New Mexico

---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Honestly.. (3.25 / 4) (#29)
by angelo on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:16:06 AM EST

When people reach sexual maturity they are capable of having children. A 13 year old male can impregnate a 20 year old female, as well as a 20 year old male can impregnate a 13 year old female. It has nothing to do with miscarriage. Miscarriage is caused by any number of factors including environment. Biology also plays a part, but miscarriages are not an indication of sexual maturity, but rather impregnation is.
lowmagnet.org
[ Parent ]
semantics (2.00 / 2) (#32)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:26:09 AM EST

Really, we are on the edge or arguing semantics now, so I'll keep it brief.

The comment to which I was replying stated: "physically humans are designed to have children in their early teens"

I disagreed with that point, which is orthoganol to sexual maturity, arguing that conception is not "having children", but rather "having children" is conception, plus carrying to full term (and bearing live young). Something which most young teens are unable to do.

If we are to discuss sexual maturity we need to define it. You seem to define it as able to inpregnate, I would define it as able to deal with sexual situations. But thats a whole other discussion.


---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

I disagree. (4.33 / 3) (#36)
by slick willie on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 12:53:12 PM EST

Have you taken a look at the outside world?

I have to wonder. I see girls barely old enough to understand what their menstruation cycle means dressed like strippers. Why do they dress like this, if not to be "sexy" and make themselves desirable to the opposite sex?

I think quoting Freud is a poor refuge, especially when you consider his attitude toward women. A theory at times held to be true -- the same could be said for flat earth.

As for the design of humans, what was true in our pre-industrial, agrarian society is not necessarily true today. So what if kids were having kids at 14 and 15, 200 years ago. I would contend that they were better prepared to accept the responsibility and consequences than a 14 year old today.

"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

[ Parent ]

Exactly. (4.00 / 1) (#38)
by Quark on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 01:06:56 PM EST

So what if kids were having kids at 14 and 15, 200 years ago. I would contend that they were better prepared to accept the responsibility and consequences than a 14 year old today.

The biggest difference between now and then is that kids have the possibility of having sex and exploring the possibilities of it, without causing pregnancies. What the accused mother is offering her son in this case, is that choice exactly. Well, one statement that should help in court would go something like: "Well, your Honor, there's absolutely no way of stopping the kid, so can I be blamed from preventing myself becoming a grandmother at (whatever age she may have)?"

So much bandwidth, so little time...
[ Parent ]
Clarification (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by slick willie on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 05:10:11 PM EST

The biggest difference between now and then is that kids have the possibility of having sex and exploring the possibilities of it, without causing pregnancies.

If you amend this to say "with reduced odds of causing pregnancy," I would agree.

There's only one 100% foolproof way to not cause pregnancy -- not counting sterilization.C

"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

[ Parent ]

reply (3.00 / 1) (#44)
by boxed on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 02:38:54 PM EST

I think quoting Freud is a poor refuge, especially when you consider his attitude toward women. A theory at times held to be true -- the same could be said for flat earth.
I quoted Freud for exactly that reason. It is pretty obvious that Freud was wrong in this case (as usual) but the point I was making was that he sexualized children far more than we do today, this is a fact that contradicts the comment by the original author of the article.
As for the design of humans, what was true in our pre-industrial, agrarian society is not necessarily true today. So what if kids were having kids at 14 and 15, 200 years ago. I would contend that they were better prepared to accept the responsibility and consequences than a 14 year old today.
Biologically practically nothing has changed since pre-agrarian times, so I'd say that the first sentance there is false. As to teens being less prepared for responsebilities and consequences today, well, I can't really see why. Enlighten me.

[ Parent ]
Let me ask you this, then. (3.50 / 2) (#47)
by slick willie on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 03:45:03 PM EST

Do you have a child or children?

I'm not talking biology here. Biologically, sure, a female can start pumping out babies at around the age of 9, or whenever she starts her menstrual cycles. But, parenting a child goes far beyond the act of making one.

Is a 13 year old kid prepared to go out and work and get a job to provide for the needs of that baby? I doubt it. It is hard to put across to someone the sheer immensity of what goes into raising a child. How many 13 year old kids do you know who are willing to stay up all night with a child who isn't feeling well, or trade shifts with helping to feed, while at the same time holding down a job (or two) to keep that baby in diapers, formula, baby food, medicine and so forth, and teach the child as it grows how to be a good human being? Not me when I was 13, I'll tell you that.

As to Freud, he may have projected sexual feelings on to children, but he did not display them as sexual objects, which is what Madison Avenue is doing with alarming frequency.

I will grant you that there are some teens who are probably prepared to accept that responsibility, but by and large from what I've seen -- emphatically no.

"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

[ Parent ]

you're confusing culture with biology (4.50 / 2) (#48)
by boxed on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 03:53:21 PM EST

I totally agree with you when you say that in our society today teens with children is total madness. This is, however, not what I was talking about. Biologically we humans are constructed to be able to have children at an early age. This makes a lot of sense in the original hunter/gatherer lifestyle. The current social situation in industrialized (and to some extent agricultural) cultures is one where the age for getting children does not correspond very well with our biology. This is bad for us as a species I believe but I don't see any way to change it. I can only see one solution to this problem and that's evolution although that will take quite some time.

[ Parent ]
We cannot think for anyone else (4.50 / 2) (#35)
by botono9 on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 10:57:10 AM EST

Most (not all) teenagers are simply unequipped emotionally to comprehend the whole gestalt of sex in a relationship. I know I was (and arguably, still am now).
Maybe you shouldn't be allowed to have sex either then, since you are not emotionally equipped to handle sex. But you're over 18 right? That means you've had all of your rights magically implanted by the State and are free to go about your business. We cannot assume to know what this person is or is not ready for. If they are not ready for sex, then they will face some consequences and hopefully learn some lessons.

I think the really important part of this story is that the boy went to a cop when he thought he might have an STD. He was not comfortable enough to tell his mother, or the school nurse. His mother may have bought him condoms, but she didn't prepare him for any worst case scenarios.

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

That's the ticket (3.50 / 2) (#37)
by slick willie on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 12:59:28 PM EST

Maybe he will father a child. That is the ultimate consequence of his actions.

Now, is it fair for him (or anyone else) to learn his lesson at the expense of a child? I doubt it. All that does is add another mouth to the welfare rolls, since now, the mother will not likely finish school, and will be unable to find a decent job.

In the meantime, who knows what this young, new father is doing. More like than not, he's out doing what he's always done - and not going out and getting a job to support that child and help bring it up to be a productive member of society.

But, at least he learned a lesson, right?

"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

[ Parent ]

Lessons are not always pretty (1.00 / 1) (#64)
by botono9 on Thu Jan 18, 2001 at 04:27:50 PM EST

How then do you propose this kid learn his lessons? All I was saying is that in order to learn to navigate the emotional landscape of a sexual relationship you need to be in sexual relationships. The possibility of pregnancy is a big part of that landscape, and children should be taught about it. They call these kinds of things life lessons for a reason: the outcomes will change your life.

I think kids these days are frivilous with sex because they are not taught its power. Parents and teachers are uneasy talking about it, but MTV has no qualms at all about shouting from the mountain tops "SEX IS FUN!". If that is the extent of a person's sex education, they are going to have to learn their lessons the hard way.

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

(none / 0) (#80)
by slick willie on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 11:45:30 PM EST

If that is the extent of a person's sex education, they are going to have to learn their lessons the hard way.

We are agreed in principle, but I find it staggering that you believe bringing a child into the world falls into the "lessons are sometimes ugly" category. Are you a parent?

Lessons may sometimes be ugly, but, not at the expense of someone who didn't have a choice..

Let's use a similar analogy (to me): I drink a case of beer, get in my car, and crash headlong into you. You die, and I am paralyzed from the neck down. I learned my lesson -- I'm never drinking and driving again. But, I learned that lesson at your expense.

That may be a little heavy-handed, but the logic you used is there, and that is: It's OK to foul up someone else's life, as long as they learn a lesson...

"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

[ Parent ]

D'oh --> try a subject line... (none / 0) (#81)
by slick willie on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 12:52:02 AM EST

If that is the extent of a person's sex education, they are going to have to learn their lessons the hard way.

We are agreed in principle, but I find it staggering that you believe bringing a child into the world falls into the "lessons are sometimes ugly" category. Are you a parent?

Lessons may sometimes be ugly, but, not at the expense of someone who didn't have a choice..

Let's use a similar analogy (to me): I drink a case of beer, get in my car, and crash headlong into you. You die, and I am paralyzed from the neck down. I learned my lesson -- I'm never drinking and driving again. But, I learned that lesson at your expense.

That may be a little heavy-handed, but the logic you used is there, and that is: It's OK to foul up someone else's life, as long as they learn a lesson...

"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

[ Parent ]

but... (none / 0) (#71)
by kaitos on Fri Jan 19, 2001 at 11:00:24 PM EST

say you teach kids abstinence, that would also basically require saying that masturbation is "ok". because, face it, could you have lived without it during those years. but when you do teach it, you get arrested, hey, its happened.

[ Parent ]
Wait a minute. (4.50 / 18) (#20)
by FlightTest on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 11:44:14 PM EST

My wife just pointed something out. At least out here on the left coast, 13 year olds can go to the school counselor or nurse and get condoms. Are the schools now going to be charged with aiding sexual assault?


Why did I flip? I got tired of coming up with last minute desparate solutions to impossible problems created by other fucking people.
damn good point (4.50 / 2) (#39)
by yebb on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 01:07:57 PM EST

Perhaps the west coast where you live, is a wee bit more open minded about the reality of sexual behaviour than other parts of the country. I suppose it all depends what state you're in, and how many bible thumpers there are around to stir-up anti-sexual sentiment.

[ Parent ]
the problem is, he is only 13 (3.00 / 11) (#26)
by gullevek on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 03:49:57 AM EST

Well, although I think it's absolutly stupid (and somehow I have to say typical American), that they want to put this mother into Jail, for 15 years, I also have to admit that I think 13 years might be to young to have sex.

Here in Austria, you have to be 14, to have sex official. But I think no one would give anything if a 15 year old girl has sex with a 13 year old boy. This law is more or less a protection for young girls, so no one can abuse them.

Perhaps, if you write an email, you should ask the attourny what will happen to the boy if his mother goes to jail ...

or perhaps they just have another story for another crapy US TV movie ...

gul, puzzled by US laws ...
--
"Die Arbeit, die tüchtige, intensive Arbeit, die einen ganz in Anspruch nimmt mit Hirn und Nerven, ist doch der größte Genuß im Leben."
  - Rosa Luxemburg, 1871 - 1919
Being 13 is different for every person (4.72 / 11) (#34)
by botono9 on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 10:48:02 AM EST

We cannot assume that this boy is not able to make his own decisions about sex. In this country (America), many people seem to assume that children need to learn the consequences of sex (like all outcomes of having sex are bad) without actually having sex! This is ludicrous! It's like expecting a programmer to learn the ins and outs of Java without actually ever coding it. You have to participate in something to really learn about it. Otherwise you are just filling your mind with other people's impressions, and that is dangerous.

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

On "protecting" children.... (4.00 / 2) (#60)
by romanpoet on Thu Jan 18, 2001 at 09:49:07 AM EST

Granted, you have a valid point about children cannot be expected to fully understand things they do not understand. But, there is this whole "Learn from earlier generations mistakes" type mentality here.


Say if you personally know for a fact, by experiences of your youth that Activity X is harmful -- it could be physically, psychologically, emottionally, whatever. Then, your kids want to engage in Activity X, of course you will care of your children's wellbeing and desire to keep them from engaging in Activity X because you have already discovered that is harmful.

(Or that is the rationality for the parents here.)

Now, as for whether early sexual experiences actually harm the child is debatable. I can say from my own personal experience that I had sex to early in life, and I am certain that I am not alone in that belief. Personally, I'd say the majority of teens these days who decide to engage in intercourse are not ready for it either -- emotionally or the psychological implications.

Granted, I'm certain there are some people who can handle it, and are ready..... but then you get into that whole moral argument whether premarital sex is morally wrong thing, and that is an unending debate. Personally, I will say that although I cannot state that pre-marital sex is morally wrong, I will say the majority of teens are not ready for it, and thus they should be "protected" from it if it is at all possible.

However of course, this does put teens at a horrendous situation of having to be sorrounded with sex on all sides and then have people tell them not to engage in it.... quite an unforunate situation.
-Romanpoet Romanpoet.org
[ Parent ]
How crazy can you get ?!? (4.05 / 17) (#27)
by ejf on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 07:18:49 AM EST

Hmm.

A mother does not stop her son from having sex. He´s 13, his girlfriend 15. Let´s rephrase that. Say, I´m his father. What do I do ?

Alienate myself from my son by telling him "you are not to see that wicked person, ever again." and shortly after watch him climb out of the window ? Go to the police and say "uhm. My son has sex. He´s 13. Can you do something about it" ? Or maybe just act as a reasonable person, talk to my son about it, promote safe sex (he´s going to have it anyway, no matter what I say. 13 is puberty for many teenagers) and eventually get him condoms since his pocket money is not enough ?

Yes, he´s young. The girl´s young. I was once young. You were. Everybody was. At some point, young people explore their sexuality. Some earlier, some later. True, sex is not an easy thing to comprehend or mentally absorb -- but it is something to be done, nonetheless. I don´t see the police jailing parents that let their children make mistakes and figure it out on their own in other areas, so why here ? Maybe it´s an American thing that children have to be protected from their oh-so-unreasonable family by the oh-so-righteous legal system. Kids get taught what a condom is and what it is for in 6th grade in here. Better safe than sorry.

I understand there are some religious implications as well. "No Sex before Marriage" comes to mind. Frankly, it doesn´t work for everybody. People cannot force their beliefs upon other people. Some people just can´t seem to get over that.

The law in this case was probably never even meant for a case like this -- It cannot be in the intent of the law to jail a mother for 15 years because she tries to protect her kid. The law is meant to prevent actual sexual abuse -- and this son, exploring his sexuality on his own with a girlfriend in his agegroup (2 years don´t make that big a difference most of the time) is definitely not abuse in my book. Well. Guess "Americans" are that way. No sex on TV, no sex before marriage, and let´s not talk about sex, ever. I know I´m generalizing a lot here, but that´s the perception I get from here (Europe) ... It´s also a perception I got when living in Southern Texas for a year. Sex is taboo. Don´t mention it. Weather is more important. And, at all costs, prevent the case where you actually have to explain to your children why Clinton was to be impeached ...

I better stop now or I´ll rant on forever ;-)


--- men are reasoning, not reasonable animals.
We're all thinking it... (3.40 / 15) (#30)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:16:18 AM EST

He´s 13, his girlfriend 15 ... Say, I´m his father. What do I do ?
High five him?
Buy him a beer?
Lend him the car?

:)

(Second two options mutually exclusive!)
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

It's too late for them but... (3.28 / 7) (#41)
by slakhead on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 01:22:18 PM EST

Just because kids reach puberty does not mean that they should start having sex. I hear the same argument "What are parents going to do to stop them?" They can do something. Good parents should be able to instill in their children a sense of morality that gives them the ability to make responsible decisions regarding their sexuality and behavior in general. It is true that everyone develops at a different rate and it is also possible that some of these adolescents understand what they are doing when they are having premarital sex.

On the otherhand, it is possible to teach your kids about safe sex, STDs, etc without them going out and doing it. In fact, if you thoroughly educate them on what happens with unwanted pregnancies, what the effects of STDs are (if you included pictures you might scar them for life though), and how to use contraceptives they should also be wise enough to know what it all means. There is more to safe sex than "Wear a condom, you'll be fine."

I would much rather have teenagers be educated on safe sex and having sex than just having sex without any protection or ideas of what to do when it all goes wrong but teenage pregnancies are extremely common and if you think that adolescent females are prepared for the horror of having to give away their own child or be responsible for killing it, you might have over stepped your bounds.

The second largest number of abortions are done on girls 19 and younger. As of 1995 that was about 152,233 abortions. Are they ready for that? I am not pro or anti-abortion by anymeans. I haven't really made up my mind on the issue but I do think that it is far too much for teenagers to go through just because they didn't know any better and their parents said it was ok. I know that educating teenagers on safe sex improves things drastically but ANY accidents at that age are far too detrimental to chance it.

[ Parent ]

What did you do to get that statistic?? (4.75 / 4) (#46)
by Trencher on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 02:52:46 PM EST

The second largest number of abortions are done on girls 19 and younger. As of 1995 that was about 152,233 abortions

It looks as though you've added the numbers for <15 and 15-19. And still, it's the 3rd largest number of the 6 age groups, not the second.

But watch, I can manipulate the statistics to prove the opposing view.

Abortions for age group younger than 15: 5949
Abortions for age group 15-19: 146,284
Abortions for age group 20-24: 245, 653
Abortions for age group 25 and older: 187,265

Now the groups of people 19 and under have the smalles number of abortions, and the number of abortions for girls under 15 is almost insignificant compared to any of the other groups. Not nearly so bad, is it?
My point is that statistics can be quoted to prove anything, but if they're presented in a fashion other than that in which they were gathered, they become less credible. Quoting "doctored" statistics make you look significantly less credible.

Sorry for the off-topic rant, but you can't use manipulated statistics to prove anything accurately. Present the info as you have it; if it doesn't prove the point, go find something that does.


"Arguing online is like the Special Olympics. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you're still a retard." RWR
[ Parent ]
Sorry (3.00 / 1) (#52)
by slakhead on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 06:34:20 PM EST

You are completely right. That was a little overboard but still that is a lot of abortions and the age group we were discussing did not have it's own data group so I had to add them. I probably should not have said the "second largest group." Anyway, I still stand by my point.

[ Parent ]
A response (from a 19-year-old) (4.00 / 2) (#62)
by ejf on Thu Jan 18, 2001 at 11:58:08 AM EST

And as I get a reply I duely respond :-)

Just because kids reach puberty does not mean that they should start having sex. I hear the same argument "What are parents going to do to stop them?" They can do something. Good parents should be able to instill in their children a sense of morality that gives them the ability to make responsible decisions regarding their sexuality and behavior in general. It is true that everyone develops at a different rate and it is also possible that some of these adolescents understand what they are doing when they are having premarital sex. On the otherhand, it is possible to teach your kids about safe sex, STDs, etc without them going out and doing it. In fact, if you thoroughly educate them on what happens with unwanted pregnancies, what the effects of STDs are (if you included pictures you might scar them for life though), and how to use contraceptives they should also be wise enough to know what it all means. There is more to safe sex than "Wear a condom, you'll be fine."

Take into consideration the situation above ... We do not know whether this mother instilled her wisdom into her son, but for the sake of the argument, let´s assume so (whether premarital sex is a morally wrong thing and therefore to be prevented by moral values is on another paper -- I do not see anything morally wrong with it. But that´s just MHO). Now we all know that teenagers in puberty just don´t always listen, often have times of rebellion, and do things they know to be wrong. I know I did things that were bad for me while knowing exactly that they would be.
Assuming I tried your approach and it didn´t work (there´s always a chance of that, no matter how "good" a parent you are) ... I know my son is having sex and I can probably not do much about it (I could try the hammer-method, forbit it, and take steps to insure he follows that order, still leaving the chance he´ll escape). Do I look away ? Do I tell the police ? Or do I acknowledge what he´s doing and give him the means to practice safe sex ?

Teenage pregnancies are a problem, true. But most of them (and I cannot back that up with numbers, just with common sense) I would presume to have resulted out of "unsafe" sex (i.e. without a condom). The number of teen pregnancies resulting when a condom was used but failed to do its job should be _very_ small. I would go on a limb here and also presume it would not have mattered much if the parents had said "no". Sex happens, sooner or later. Parents cannot prevent it wholly, lest they control the life of their children, which is usually bound to yield rebellion in puberty. I would rather have my son have sex because he chooses so than wanting to rebel against his parents.

There is always a chance of unwanted pregnancy, even when practicing safe sex. It may be small, but it is there. Abortions happen. This will not change the fact that parents cannot control their children´s life completely, and neither can schools. Even without approval and against better knowledge, teenagers will continue to explore their sexuality. I´d rather have them be able to talk to me about it than have them have a bad conscience because I´m not supposed to know and likely to sanction their actions.

On a somewhat different note : Not all parents are up to their tasks. In a perfect world they would be, but this is not a perfect world. If nothing else, this mother cared enough to talk about sex with her son -- something many other parents never do. I am nineteen now, and all I know about sex came from a) school b) friends c) books d) the internet and e) common sense. Not from my parents. I don´t blame them for it. They are good parents. But even good parents seem to have a problem with this topic. I know I can go to them and talk about it if I feel the need. And that is a good thing to know.

Of course this is only the opinion of a 19-year-old, yet I don´t think I will just magically change my opinion about this any time soon ...


--- men are reasoning, not reasonable animals.
[ Parent ]
OMG.. (2.30 / 13) (#31)
by angelo on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:22:16 AM EST

I wonder what the real issue is here. Was it that the mother didn't teach the child about abstinence as well, or that she gave him the condoms? Neither. It was the fact that she didn't give a rats ass about what her kid did, and simply applied a patch in the form of condoms to make herself feel better. I don't know about y'all, but I think having a kid and raising him would be somewhat important to him, and she should have paid more attention instead of tossing a box-o-condoms and giving up.

I think this story, like many others, is a matter of two divergent philosophies in the public clashing yet again, and playing it out in the courts.


lowmagnet.org
fact? (4.50 / 8) (#33)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 10:24:32 AM EST

It was the fact that she didn't give a rats ass about what her kid did
It's a fact is it? I'd like to see some proof.

The fact is that you don't know anything about these people, and your using your own moral assumtions to project motives onto someone you've never met, and know nothing about.

Perhaps this is a carring parent, who had an "adult" discussion with her son, and realised that no amount of talking would stop him doing what he wanted, and that taking action againt the girl would be counter productive, so made sure her son was able to take precautions against preganacy and infection.

But thats just speculation.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Absurd (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by DontTreadOnMe on Mon Jan 22, 2001 at 11:05:54 AM EST

It was the fact that she didn't give a rats ass about what her kid did, and simply applied a patch in the form of condoms to make herself feel better.

OK, I'll feed the troll.

Your comment is patently absurd. The mother obviously "gave a rat's ass" as she took the time to go out, purchase a box of condoms, and give them to her son. She obviously cared that her son (1) not get his girlfriend pregnant, (2) not catch a venerial disease, and (3) practice safe and responsible sex.

The mother should be applauded: if every parent were so respectful of their children's sexuality when entering adolescence and adulthood the number of unwanted pregnancies would be diminished dramatically, to say nothing of the many other forms of suffering an uninformed and unsupported adolescence brings with it.

I think this story, like many others, is a matter of two divergent philosophies in the public clashing yet again, and playing it out in the courts.

The local DA is engaged in an abuse of power that amounts to little more than a public lynching, and is legal thuggary at best. The only rape occuring is that of the family, by the District Attourney and the government, paid for by Wisconsin tax dollars.


--
http://openflick.org - Fighting Copyright with Free Media
[ Parent ]
Small Correction (4.00 / 7) (#40)
by toolj23 on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 01:11:08 PM EST

Just a correction. This woman was from Baraboo, WI... not Milwaukee. Baraboo is a small town... about 10,000 people.

This is exactly what the government needs to keep out of. This is so typical of the government. They need to respect the rights of their citizens to raise their children how they see fit. Just because you are 13 or 15 doesn't mean that you can't have as much of an understanding about things as say an 18 or 20 year old would have.

The government has been playing daddy and mommy to it's people too much. It needs to protect people from violent people and protect peoples' property. Period.

Conversly... (3.66 / 3) (#50)
by marlowe on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 03:56:28 PM EST

Just because you're 18 or 20 doesn't mean you can't be as stupid and irresponsible as a 13 or 15-year old.

The government probably shouldn't be playing daddy and mommy. But dammit, somebody has to.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
She was parenting (4.25 / 4) (#54)
by toolj23 on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:32:56 PM EST

Yea, and that's exactly what the parent was doing. Parenting her child. Just because a certain group of people think this is bad parenting doesn't make this bad parenting. She probably knew he was going to have sex with or without her permission. So she decided to atleast give him the opportunity to be open and frank about it and have safe sex. Why do adults think that keeping things from kids are going to make the problems go away? Or just yelling at them to not do something is going to stop them from doing it? It's not. If that kid wants to have sex he's going to. She realized this and made sure he was having safe sex.

[ Parent ]
Any line you draw is arbitrary. (none / 0) (#65)
by G Neric on Thu Jan 18, 2001 at 05:31:21 PM EST

Just because a certain group of people think this is bad parenting doesn't make this bad parenting.

Then, where do you get your definition of bad parenting? God? Groups of people agreeing on right and wrong are where we get our definitions of good and bad. If everyone or every minority opinion gets to declare itself good then we'll be stuck living amongst child molesters and no recourse.

Wanna big shiny lollipop, little boy?

[ Parent ]

It's not all that arbitrary (none / 0) (#73)
by marimba on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 11:22:39 AM EST

You can reasonably discern when someone's actions are harming others. A child molester engages in sex that is either forced or coerced. It's my understanding that neither of these conditions attained here. No harm, no foul.

[ Parent ]
arbitrary does not mean irrational (none / 0) (#77)
by G Neric on Tue Jan 23, 2001 at 05:59:48 PM EST

I was replying to the point that "because a certain group of people think this is bad parenting doesn't make this bad parenting". Yes it does. You can argue for a different standard (that's what you are doing) but it needs to be on some ground. You can't simply dismiss other people's opinions.

You are trying to make "bad" and "harm" be synonyms, which they are not: bad could be defined by a group of people as "threat or probability of harm", for example. Even harm itself is open to debate. The psychiatrists' version of the AMA (forgive me, I can't remember the name of it) has come out and said that sex in "loving" relationship between adults and children seems to cause no long-term psychological harm. Most people would not accept that.

There are also problems with you "no harm, no foul" standard. It would say that it would be OK to conspire to abduct children up to the point of an actual abduction. So, a guy in a trench coat with a history of child rape convictions would need to be allowed to hang around a playground with his car engine idling: no harm, no foul... that doesn't seem reasonable. I have no problem with a probability/risk/benefit standard.

Also, I don't see a problem with the state adopting a uniform standard rather than evaluating each case individually. Given the possibility of pregnancy and disease, and the open question in many people's minds of how emotionally ready a 12 y.o. might be, and how many parents might not be as caring as you think this one is, I just don't see what's wrong with a democratic society voting to set a uniform age limit.

You may have the urge to argue a number of these points. I would only mention that my initial point does not hinge on them.

[ Parent ]

Typical (4.00 / 4) (#56)
by slick willie on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 09:54:56 PM EST

This is a typical attitude from the left. "We're from the government and we're here to help." What we need to do is figure out why these kids are sexualizing so early, instead of trying to institute programs and sensitivity training and all of that garbage. It's a band-aid approach that treats the symptom and not the disease. And band-aids cost money.

Here's an idea: Let's lower taxes, and provide less of these "we're here to fix everything" programs so that working folks can get by on one income. That way, someone is at home with these kids, teaching them what the right thing is to do, instead of forcing them to fill that void with sex.

You're right, someone has to do it, and under no circumstances should it be the government.

"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

[ Parent ]

Hey! (none / 0) (#72)
by marimba on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 11:19:57 AM EST

You're off base here. I'm from the left, and I find the whole idea of prosecuting this woman offensive. Ideas about policing sex would more likely come from from right wing fundamentalist christians. I work with about a dozen of these guys, and I know how they think. They bitch about 'big government' but when it comes to imposing their morality on others they want the government to be as big as it can get. Do you really think that that anybody on the left would be prosecuting this woman?

[ Parent ]
Maturation (none / 0) (#76)
by Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated on Mon Jan 22, 2001 at 01:30:59 PM EST

I was under the impression that human maturation rates (e.g. menarche) have remained somewhat constant. I was also under the impression that for the most part, it is historically the case that individuals in their teens were considered grown-ups, married, worked, had kids, etc., and that the modern trend of having children later in life is a relatively new development.

I'm no biologist, so I am probably wrong. Is there a doctor in the house?



--
Rev. Dr. Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated, KSC, mhm21x16, and the Patron Saint of All Things Plastic fnord
I'm proud of my Northern Tibetian heritage!
[ Parent ]
What ever happened to...masturbation? (4.00 / 12) (#42)
by cr0sh on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 01:42:37 PM EST

Oh my gawd! The "M" word...

Lest ye go blind and grow hair on thy palm, do not read the following...

Really - I want to know what has happened to masturbation. Has it gone out of style? Does it carry some kind of stigma still?

Perhaps if this mom had told her son to choke the chicken, rather than giving him a box of condoms, some of this could have been prevented. Of course, by the time condoms were needed, he had already "tasted" the "forbidden fruit", and there is no turning back from that.

I got my start with person-to-person sex relatively late in life (heh, I got a life relatively late in life). The one thing I remember (and maybe it is only peculiar to me) is that there was a "before" and an "after" - that is, before I had actual intercourse, I was emotionally one person, and after, I was emotionally another. I can't quantify it more precisely, I can only state that I noticed a change.

Perhaps it was because I love my GF, and I loved her at the time of first intercourse. You can't ever have another "first" time. I didn't abstain out of choice - I am just a classical geek, I guess. I am glad my first time occurred later in life, so that I could notice the change - I don't think I would have noticed such a thing had I been much younger. I tend to wonder if kids see this when they have sex with another individual, or if it passes them by, never to be experienced again (of course, only a psychologist can pose those questions to kids in today's litigious society - if just anyone went around asking children those types of questions, they would most likely be thrown in jail). Somehow I think of that outcome as a tragedy.

As far as what is happening in the story (the above is merely my phlisophical/moral thoughts on the case), I think the law being pursued is being overly extended to include this case. Did statutory rape occur? Perhaps - but why is the law being selectively enforced in this case - and why isn't the 15 year old female being prosecuted as well? I believe this law was aimed at preventing the abuse of children by individuals much older than them (and this is where the law could be really twisted - what if there was a 15 yo girl having sex with a 16 yo boy, and when the boy turned 18, she cried statutory rape - just to get out of the relationship. Say no abuse really took place, that it was just an minor age difference thing. By law, that could happen. Do you really think if it was reversed, the same would occur - ie, a 15 yo boy and a 16 yo girl?). Actually, statutory rape is a wierd thing. Notice that when it is an individual in their teens, below age of consent, with an individual above age of consent, it is statutory rape. But if the low age of the one individual is below the teens, it is generally child molestation only - it is like statutory rape was created as a morality enforcement ("and if we really don't like 'em, we'll charge 'em with child molestation as well!").

We tell children not to have sex, but we display it all over town. We have Hollywood and record companies showing sexy imagery, but we allow our children to see it all. The images are everywhere. In commercials, on the radio, on billboards on the side of the road. Then we either tell them to abstain, give them condoms, or tell them something about sinning. Rarely, if ever, do we tell them about autoeroticism (and we hold back the porn from them - maybe holding back the porn from the children will create more teens having sex?). I tend to wonder if an adult did say something about such a thing, if they could be prosecuted under some "insightful and enlightening" law? The funny thing is that America, to the outside world, seems so sexually repressed - but the reality is far from it, but publically we continue to not discuss such matters. It is like a mass schitzophrenia or something...

Ah, hell - what can I say - America's ideas and mores on sex are messed up...

BTW - Where were these girls when I was 13?

All i can say is... (1.20 / 5) (#43)
by slakhead on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 02:31:12 PM EST

Amen!

[ Parent ]
statutory rape (4.50 / 2) (#63)
by h2odragon on Thu Jan 18, 2001 at 04:26:56 PM EST

IANAL; the "statute" says that persons below a certain age are not capable of giving consent, so any activity is necessarily non-consensual, ie "rape".

When I researched the question some years ago I was told that if two persons both under the age of consent, had sex then both were guilty of "statuatory rape". I was also told that the only way an underage female could be charged in such a situation would be if the male was the DA's child.

[ Parent ]

Not quite. (3.50 / 4) (#55)
by Ixokai on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:48:36 PM EST

In California there is a three-year grace-period, basically. A 19year old -- an 'adult' -- can have sex with a minor as long as they are not greater then three years younger then them.

For more information, see http://ageofconsent.com/california.htm

Question WRT Poll (3.00 / 2) (#61)
by Eloquence on Thu Jan 18, 2001 at 11:51:58 AM EST

Two people have selected the I will try to localize the mother, perhaps for creating a Paypal account to help poll option. Unless this was unintentional or a joke, perhaps these people could keep me or K5 updated on what's happening. Mail me, perhaps I can help.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
Poll Missing an Option (1.00 / 1) (#70)
by end0parasite on Fri Jan 19, 2001 at 07:39:29 PM EST

I don't think kids that age should be having sex, but I also don't think the mother is guilty.

end0parasite, age 16.

Are they prosecuting the girl? (5.00 / 2) (#74)
by marimba on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 11:32:33 AM EST

It seems to me that to make the case against the mother, i.e., failure to prevent sexual abuse, they have to prosecute the girl for sexually abusing her boyfriend. If there was no sexual abuse in that relationship, then the case against the mother does not exist.

Anybody have any further info?



Resolution (5.00 / 1) (#78)
by zaphod on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 11:19:12 AM EST

I just got a letter from the district attorney's office in response to my email. I will post both the letter and the response below.

The letter
To whom it may concern,

I recently discovered a news article which greatly disturbed me online, regarding a pending case in your district. It was reported that a 33 year old mother is being prosecuted for buying condoms for her 13 year old son, who was engaging in sexual activity with his 15 year old girlfriend. Apparently, the DA's office intends to use a law intended to aid children of abusive parents or live-in lovers to prosecute a mother whose only crime is teaching her son to engage in safe sex.

We do much in this country to protect children from themselves, but little to protect their rights. In this case, two people, both underage, engaged in consensual sex. Is this a crime? No. It is their right to do so, and the boy's mother was more than justified in what she did. In an era where pregnant teens don't know where to turn because their parents won't listen, and misunderstood and maligned youths take out their misdirected frustration on fellow students and teachers with assault rifles, here we see the case of a mother who tries to take an active part in her son's development, but instead becomes a victim of perverted justice.

I urge you to reconsider your case against this mother, and focus instead on setting an example for the youths you seek to protect. Convict criminals of crimes, but don't shatter families over your underdeveloped sense of right and wrong.

Sincerely,
Scott M. Miller
parte@Rem0ve.this.alum.mit.edu

The reply:
Sauk County District Attorney's Office
January 24, 2001

For those who have shown an interest in the State v. WF case, I have provided the following summary of the public facts, as well as some of the reasons I filed these charges. Not all of the information known by law enforcement or myself at the time I chose to charge Ms. F are public and must continue to be confidential, as governed by state statutes.

The charge against Ms. F was based, in part, upon Ms. F's admission that her 12-year old son told her he had been sexually active for about a year, in other words, since he was 11 years old. Anyone who has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who is 12 years old or younger can be charged in adult or juvenile court with First-Degreee Sexual Assault, punishable by up to 60 years imprisonment. A 12-year-old or younger person cannot legally give consent to sexual intercourse or contact.

Six days after her son's 13th birthday, the boy advised Detective Edwards of the Baraboo Police Department that he wished to be checked for a sexually transmitted disease (STD). As part of Detective Edwards' investigation, Ms. F admitted that her 12 year old son had told her he was sexually active for about a year and that she believed her 12 year old son was too young. Ms. F also admitted that she did not contact law enforcement, human services or anyone else. This despite the fact that her son was a victim of a very serious crime and there was the possibility that he had contracted a STD. Based on the totality of the information determined during his investigation, Detective Edwards referred Ms. F for charging.

The State did not charge Ms. F because she discussed birth control with her son or how to use condoms. The State charged Ms. F for her lack of action, which exposed her 12-year-old son to an unreasonable risk of being a victim of First-Degree Sexual Assault in the future. The State was concerned about the protection and needs of the son. The State moved to dismiss this case on January 19th, as the State's concerns have now been addressed. Until the case bwas dismissed, I ethically did not feel I should discuss this pending matter to correct the misstatements about the basis of the charge.

P.A. Barett
Sauk County District Attorney
"I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." --Voltaire

First Reply (none / 0) (#79)
by zaphod on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 11:28:24 AM EST

Now that I posted the relevant info, I want to say my piece. I was never under the impression that the mother was being prosecuted solely for buying condoms, but rather for the insidious crime of not stopping her son from having sex "too young". First of all, the state is not a parent, and not responsible for deciding when a child may decide to engage in sexual relations. Clearly, this case is quite different than that of an abusive husband or lover - the girl would have been 13 when she "sexually assaulted" the boy by sleeping with him. Technically, he could be charged with statuatory rape because she was below the age of consent as well! The inflexibilty of the legal system in such cases in absolutely inexcusable, and reveals the underlying failure in placing arbitrary age limits on anything.

Furthermore, I find it somewhat telling that after justifying the charges for three paragraphs, the DA chose to dismiss the charges. If the "unreasonable risk" of becoming a future victim of sexual assault (how does that happen?) was really so great, shouldn't the charges have been pursued further? It sounds like back-peddaling to me, but then the DA is an elected official, and legally required to lie at least fifty times a day.

I would like to know if the mother really spoke to no one about the STD, or whether she contacted a health professional, but no gov't. official. It's not the responsibility of gov't. to be involved, but as a responsible parent, she really should have contacted a doctor.

I guess all's well that ends well.
"I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." --Voltaire
[ Parent ]

Mother Prosecuted for Teaching Kid Safe Sex | 82 comments (64 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
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