at 26 May 2006: 01:07
Actually, I believe that the philosophy behind the age of consent is that a reasonable portion, if not all, children have reached maturity by said age. There may be some who are mature earlier, but it's *assumed* that most children can handle sex by then.
I have my doubts, and if it *is* ostensibly a factor in the idea behind the law, then it's reality is much different, given how many 'adults' (people well past the age of majority) seem incapable of handling sex - Ergo unwanted pregnancy stats, STDs spreading despite greater education and awareness, etc.
Plus, there's been psychological studies (not that I'm a fan of psych and it's 'science') that suggest many adults aren't much more emotionally mature than the average 12 year old - Essentially, we're a culture of children with adult responsibilities and adult bodies.
Point. Though I do think the cultural meanings and associations of sexual maturity are far oversimplified by both sides.
Agreed. And thanks for the spellcheck link as well.