Age of consent for sex and for marriage
pfink at albanylaw.edu
Wed Apr 23 13:36:36 PDT 2008
Some states have a "variable" age of consent with the consent at 16 only
if the partner is less than two years older than the 16 year old. But,
it does not appear that anywhere in the US is it 13 or that anyone can
get married at that age; and we really only have to think about Texas
law for the current case.
I knew someone who said you could teach all of Con Law by using cases
involving Texas, Railroads, and Jehovah's Witnesses. I guess Texas has
offered us a new case!
President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law
and Public Policy
Albany Law School
80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, New York 12208-3494
pfink at albanylaw.edu
>>> "Volokh, Eugene" <VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu> 04/23/08 11:25 AM >>>
Marci asks an important question, but I'm genuinely puzzled about
how to figure out the answer. Until the early 1990s, many states put
the age of consent for sex at 14 (without any limitation on the age of
the partner; when the partner is young, the age of consent is sometimes
that low even today, unless I'm mistaken). Now as I understand it the
majority of states put the age of consent for sex at 16; an important
but small minority puts it at 18; a few, if I'm not mistaken, put it at
17. My sense is that throughout Central and Western Europe, the age of
consent varies from 13 (Spain) to 14 (Germany, Austria, others) to 16.
My sense is also that the majority (perhaps the overwhelming majority?)
of American states allow marriage with parental consent starting at 16.
Who's right? How can we possibly tell?
And, relatedly, should there be a different standard for what
parents are allowed to tolerate (as opposed to affirmatively foster, as
in the FLDS and some other contexts) without its being considered child
abuse, or for that matter what parents are allowed to teach in the
absence of any present or imminent action without the teaching being
considered child abuse?
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of
Hamilton02 at aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 6:59 AM
To: DavidEBernstein at aol.com; rs at robertsheridan.com
Cc: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu; CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Re: Contributing to Delinquency of A Minor
Why would one assume that is appropriate behavior and therefore
needs to be distinguished from the FLDS? I do not mean to sound flip--
it is a sincere question.
In a message dated 4/22/2008 8:31:33 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
Hmmm.... I went to a ("modern") Orthodox Jewish High
School (Yeshiva of Flatbush), and several of my female classmates, of
Syrian Jewish origin (there is a large Syrian Jewish community in
Brooklyn), got married junior or senior year to older men, at least in
their mid-20s, and had babies soon thereafter. Is there a principled
way to distinguish this from the 16 year old pregnant "married" women in
the FLDS, assuming that the latter women indeed wanted to be married to
the men in question?
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