Teenage girls have sex. Get over it.


12:00 pm - March 19th 2010

by Paul Sagar    


      Share on Tumblr

We recently reported the hilarious, if disturbing, remarks of Tory MP Tim Loughton:

“We need a message that actually it is not a very good idea to become a single mum at 14. [It is] against the law to get pregnant at 14. How many kids get prosecuted for having underage sex? Virtually none. Where are the consequences of breaking the law and having irresponsible underage sex? There aren’t any.”

So, The Guardian asked, should there be prosecutions?

“We need to be tougher. Without sounding horribly judgmental, it is not a good idea to be a mum at 14. You are too young, throwing away your childhood and prospects of developing a career.”

Without sounding horribly judgmental, anybody who thinks that there are no consequences to getting pregnant, and that a criminal record promotes a happy childhood and helps develop a healthy career, is a Platinum Imbecile.

Platinum Imbecility aside, there’s something to note about the bizarre universe Mr Loughton resides in: girls get pregnant by magic.

In the universe I inhabit, pregnancy outside of IVF clinics requires two people, male and female. Assuming that most teenage girls are having sex with teenage boys, the preoccupation with “teenage mothers” is thus striking. Why don’t we hear more about “teenage fathers”?

Sadly it’s not just idiotic Tories that insist on believing that Britain’s teenage girls are experiencing immaculate conceptions. Idiotic Labour MPs are possessed of this bizarre mysticism too. Check out this obnoxious nonsense from (alleged) Labour MP Tom Harris. Teenage mothers are the problem, he shrieks. But what about the boys who are getting them (if you’ll pardon my French) up the duff? Not a word about them.

Things become especially bizarre when we recall research that teenage motherhood can be an overwhelmingly positive experience. It’s just not the case that teenage motherhood necessarily results in packs of feral youths roaming the streets, gleefully breaking Britain. The problem is not with teenage motherhood, it’s with poor parenting. And that can happen whatever age the parents are. A sensible attitude means developing strategies to aid parents in difficult circumstances, not obsessing about the parents’ ages and stigmatising them accordingly.

But you know what? I have no problem with teenagers having sex – and even getting pregnant – per se. There, I said it. Scandalous. But in my opinion, Teenagers Having Sex is only a problem if, for example, a particular teenager is personally not ready for the “consequences” of sex. Say because they are pressured into it, and find the experience traumatic. Or because they end up with an unwanted pregnancy.

But these qualifications are crucial. Sex is not bad per se, even for teenagers. Sex is bad when it’s attached to undesirable things, whatever they happen to be. Perhaps the risks of “bad things” is higher for teenagers. Maybe. But even then, a sensible approach is to make judgements using evidence, and often on a case-by-case basis. What’s silly is to condemn all teenage sex just because it’s teenage sex. There is no reason teenagers can’t have sex with no negative consequences whatsoever. The sex act itself is not the problem. It’s the baggage which is or isn’t attached that’s important.

Which brings us to an interesting point. Our society exhibits a bizarre hysteria about teenage sex. Most especially, there is an overwhelming hysteria about teenage girls having sex. We live in a world of paradox. Advertising, music videos, film and TV push relentless images of sexual availability in young females. Teenage girls are relentlessly encouraged to look available and attractive. Yet actual sexual activity by teenage females is viciously scorned and stigmatised. Adolescent girls are to look and act as though they are sexually available – but should they ever actually be sexually active and available, they earn the labels of slut and slag. (Boys, of course, are players and studs – a significant attitudinal difference, I would suggest).

It’s the bizarre, confused, quasi-Victorian mania about female sex and sexuality that largely animates Loughton and Harris. The blunt horror of even thinking about teenage girls having sex so overwhelms them that they forget that girls do not have sex alone. Teen mothers are vilified by Harris, while Loughton demands they suffer criminal penalties. The question of whether teenage fathers bear responsibility, or are worthy of our extreme moral disdain, or even our attention, never makes it onto their radars. That their attitudes are the norm tells us something important about our society.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Paul Sagar is a post-graduate student at the University of London and blogs at Bad Conscience.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Conservative Party ,Feminism ,Labour party ,Sex equality

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


1. Flowerpower

I’d prosecute the parents of the girls who get pregnant and the boys who make them so.

Okay, if they could show they’d done their best to bring up their kids properly, no charges would be brought. But if they’d clearly spent years down the boozer or taking drugs instead of devoting time to sensible parenting, then they should be held to account.

Tim Loughton *is* suggesting that adult males having sex with minors should be prosecuted. Why misrepresent this as some sort of mysogynist crusade?

I expect I agree with most of your piece.

But I have two young daughters. In about 10 years’ time I expect to be consumed with much the same bizarre hysteria (whereas for my even younger son, in 15 years’ time I might be urging ‘go on my son’. What a hypocrite.)

I think too young exposure to this can really *** up a person, but I would favour parental management of this, rather than management-by-Conservative-politician outrage, a tried and failed technique.

Excellent article, Paul. I agree wholeheartedly.

Loughton is suggesting that more “kids” who have underage sex should be prosecuted.

Of course, what Loughton is proposing is already the law in several states in the USA. It doesn’t reduce teenage pregnancy, but it does ruin people’s lives. Human Rights Watch has some examples (scroll down to section on “consensual teenage sex” :

http://www.hrw.org/en/node/10685/section/8

Tim Loughton *is* suggesting that adult males having sex with minors should be prosecuted.

Is he? Let’s look at that quote again:

It is] against the law to get pregnant at 14. How many kids get prosecuted for having underage sex?

My emphasis.

Giles,

The point I always make: your perspective as a parent of specific children that you love and care for, the perspective adopted by state legislators should be a different one.

But out of interest: if your 15 year old daughter has sex, is it the sex act itself that bothers you, or the likely bad consequences that may follow for 15 year olds having sex?

I’m sure that many parents would be horrified at even the thought of the sex act itself – and that may be fine. If it’s your kid, the idea of them growing up – and of being intimate with a male whom you may not know and may have no control over, and be automatically suspicious of and perhaps with very good reason – can be kind of upsetting in itself, and given that there are all sorts of dangers, and not to mention social stigmatisations, attached to teenagers having sex, I think I can say that when I am a parent, I will not be happy about my 15 year old having sex.

But partly that’s a product of the very socialisation I’m pointing too – but then again, it’s also a perfectly valid concern for parents to have given all the baggage that can come along with sex.

My point, however, is that letting our collective hysterias – over and above the justified and proportionate emotive reactions of particular parents – dictate our policy thinking is rather unfortunate.

Tim Loughton *is* suggesting that adult males having sex with minors should be prosecuted.

He is implying this, yes.

But he twice refers to teenage mums.

Not teenage dads.

Funny how it’s possible to leave a comment after reading the first 3 paragraphs of an article and assume that you know what the entire argument is.

Sorry just to clarify my point at 7:

On the one hand, when taking an impartial perspective, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with teenagers having sex per se (see OP)

On the other, if it was mydaughter having sex, then I reckon I wouldn’t be quite so high-minded about it. I’m only human after all.

But that just proves that I shouldn’t be put in charge of making policy, based upon my own personal emotive involvements.

Paul; first class article.

My attitudes are massively skewed by not having grown up here; I find the obsession with specific, calendar ages mysterious. It makes, to me, no rational sense whatsoever given that I know girls who’ve been mistaken for 25 at 14 and women of 50 who act like 12-year-olds.

Where (and when!) I did grow up, sexuality among those ‘under age’ was a constant; they had on average three to five years between puberty and the age when they would be expected to be fully contributing adults with a private residence and a first child on the way. That’s a pretty short time-period to do all the living, loving and crying that one has to do to develop adult maturity. So their social system supports an intense period of sanctioned playfulness, with systems for ensuring that early experiences are safe, sane and consensual.

And there is no question that those 14 and 15-yr-olds who were getting married and setting up home together were much more knowledgeable, practical, and healthy about sex, childbirth and child-rearing that most university graduates I know in this country. Social maturity here lags about 10 years behind where I grew up, and that’s been an issue for me ever since I immigrated.

What I would never wish on the British are the reasons why the above culture exists: poverty driving a need to get people into the workforce young, limited life-expectancy and a lack of education. Oh, hey, look, in the areas where teenagers tend to keep their babies, as Unity has recently pointed out, all of these reasons pertain in Britain as well. Go figure.

Contraception was not much of an issue where I grew up, but nor were teenage pregnancies. This is because in a culture which has a tradition of healthy sexual mores, teenagers can do all kinds of fun things which don’t risk pregnancy at all. And they are taught to do precisely that unless they want a baby.

All of this is changing, now. My area has better roads, electric power, and a much larger cash economy. The balance of surviving young adults is no longer tilted 5:1 towards women. With these changes have come monogamy, unwanted children and an marauding Christo/Islamic puritanism about sex before marriage. It’s screwing up the Mamprusi culture pretty steadily. I reckon within 20 years, 15-yr-olds in Mampurugu will be more or less as emotionally stunted and sexually repressed as, say, the teenaged British of the 1970s.

The way all of this interacted with me personally is interesting. The above is what the people I lived among did and thought: my parents raised me as a born-again Christian. I grew up acquiring the Mamprusi attitude to what ‘healthy sex’ looks like by a kind of emotional osmosis. What I actually did, though, was remain sacramentally celibate until I was in my 20s, because I was of a religion which called for that, and I’m still trying to repair the sexuality hang-ups that caused decades later.

Basically, Puritanism is Bad, Mmmmkay?

“It’s the bizarre, confused, quasi-Victorian mania about female sex and sexuality that largely animates Loughton and Harris. The blunt horror of even thinking about teenage girls having sex so overwhelms them that they forget that girls do not have sex alone. Teen mothers are vilified by Harris, while Loughton demands they suffer criminal penalties. The question of whether teenage fathers bear responsibility, or are worthy of our extreme moral disdain, or even our attention, never makes it onto their radars. That their attitudes are the norm tells us something important about our society.”

You could have made that a lot shorter you know.

English men hypocritical and confused about sex. Film at 11.

Tim,

I lack your talent for compression.

13. Shatterface

‘We recently reported the hilarious, if disturbing, remarks of Tory MP Tim Loughton:

‘“We need a message that actually it is not a very good idea to become a single mum at 14. [It is] against the law to get pregnant at 14. How many kids get prosecuted for having underage sex? Virtually none. Where are the consequences of breaking the law and having irresponsible underage sex? There aren’t any.”’

Is it too late to change my vote for scumbag of the week?

14. Shatterface

Is it specifically ‘against the law to get pregnant at 14’?

I thought the law was about having sex with a minor, not ‘getting pregnant’.

Obviously the first is dependent upon the l but getting pregnant isn’t, as far as I know, subject to additional law.

Shatterface: said scumbag appears to be arguing that it should become subject to an additional, women-only, criminal law. Afaict. But he’s not terribly clear, except on the theme that he doesn’t like girls whose sexuality is not under his control.

And, yes, that last constitutes a very slight hyperbole for effect.

@Shatterface It is against the law to have sex under 16, regardless. But the sentencing guidelines allow for some ambiguity around the punishment.

And Paul – fantastic article. But you seem to make the same mistake as all politicians make right here:
A sensible attitude means developing strategies to aid parents in difficult circumstances, not obsessing about the parents’ ages and stigmatising them accordingly.
No a sensible attitude is to leave parents the fuck alone to bring up their kids how they want. If that leads to criminal behaviour then punish that behaviour.
Oh and please don’t take that as me wanting 14 year old girls locked up for having sex, and neither their 15 year old boyfriends. The law there needs changing to allow us to consider individual cases not a blanket (and ineffective) law like we have now.

It is against the law to have sex under 16, regardless.

I thought it was against the law to have sex with someone under 16. You seem to be confusing the roles of “perpetrator” and “victim” here. (Scare quotes because those terms are problematic in this context, but I can’t think of a better way of putting it.)

This is all property law, guys. The reason we have arbitrary lines above and below which people are defined as not legally competent isn’t to do with sex, it’s to do with property. The idea was to ensure that the relevant elders of anyone under (25) owned them. It’s a generational warfare system, designed to prevent younger generations from gaining financial and legal independence for as long as possible.

This is still true today. The idea of one-flat-line ages of consent is to make sure that anyone below that age is owned, legally, financially and sexually, by the relevant person from an earlier generation. Their parent or guardian is the person who exercises that younger person’s ‘self-determination’ for them.

None of it is about sex, except in so far as feminine sexuality is typically seen as the property of older men.

I’m being unclear. I’m here addressing 16 and 17, and explaining why the law looks stupid. It wasn’t designed for controlling the sexual behaviour of young women or men, it was an artefact of property law. It was necessary for the kyriarchy to ensure that women and young men were prevented from gaining access to their own wealth for as long as possible; that’s also why these issues are a pre-occupation of the middle-class and the wealthy. They’re the ones whose vested interest created it.

No argument from me on that score John. I was merely trying to clarify what the current legal situation is, as I understand it. Although I’m perfectly happy to indulge the argument that children (generally) can’t meaningfully consent to sex with adults, because of the power differential…

We’re all using the word ‘children’ very loosely, of course. English doesn’t recognise the (functional) difference between someone who has not reached puberty (child) and someone who has not left it yet (in classical greek, ‘ephebe’ was used for boys) and we desperately need to. The reason this sociological problem exists is that we, society, keep trying to define people as children and then treat them as children, when they simply aren’t.

It’s a problem all over the social map. Teenagers know that there is a substantive difference between themselves, having puberty happen to them, and other kids they knows, who are 7 or 8. Differences in complexity of thought, of experience, different drives, different desires, more independent view, more need for self-determination. They’re just not the same as ‘children’.

We have abandoned empiricism and evidence-based reason in favour of dogmatic, middle-class prudery.

The current legal situation is that ‘unlawful sex’ includes but is not limited to sex with a person who is under 16, regardless of your own age. Unless someone wants to correct my knowledge? I last checked the language five years ago and Labour have been in power since then.

The problem presented to the law is that there is no age at which people become responsible, or even capable of giving informed consent. Some are fully capable of informed consent to sex by the time they are 12 and some, I would argue, never reach the age of consent at all because they never learn what consent actually means. Date-rapists would be a good example of that.

they forget that girls do not have sex alone.

We most certainly do. Ahem.

23. Shatterface

On the other hand, making underaged pregnancy illegal would be a fantastic boost to our flagging backstreet abortion industry.

We have abandoned empiricism and evidence-based reason in favour of dogmatic, middle-class prudery.

You, sir, have hit the nail squarely on the head!

25. Shatterface

I’m not sure how far empiricism and evidence based reason ever penetrated this subject. You’ll certainly get some voices of reason but irrationality seems to be the default position.

(And for sex substitute any number of ‘vices’ popular among the godless and unruly.)

With all the downstream social problems associated with teen pregnancies, surely, the challenging issue is why is the rate of teen pregnancies in Britain so much higher than in other west European countries?

” . . the UK has the highest percentage of teenage pregnancies in Western Europe – and is second only to the United States, according to figures compiled by the World Health Organisation. . .

“The teenage pregnancy rate in Holland is only one-fifth as high as that of the UK – only five births per 1,000 teenagers compared to the UK’s 27. Its abortion rate per teenage head of the population is also one of the lowest in Europe.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/big-question/the-big-question-why-are-teenage-pregnancy-rates-so-high-and-what-can-be-done-about-it-1623828.html

But in right wing land woman should only have sex if they are married, and the woman must not enjoy it. And no contraception should be used and no abortion should be allowed if she gets pregnant.

Sex should only be for creating children and for men’s enjoyment. But on no accounts must the woman take pleasure from sex.

Conservative men are so insecure.

I always assumed the double standard came about because of the (unpleasant but undeniable) fact that most teenage girls are clever, charming and out-of-this-world beautiful by heteronormative standards, while most teenage boys are filthy, rude and unpleasant to be around.

Introduce male privilege and a lack of empathy to this, and it’s the logical result.

“But in right wing land woman should only have sex if they are married, and the woman must not enjoy”

C’mon – that’s demonstrable, historic nonsense. Consider the lively extra-marital affairs of Nelson and the Duke of Wellington or the accusations levelled at Palmerston.

Our social betters felt unconstrained by the impediments of conventional middle class morality. By reports, house parties at the Duke of Rutland’s Belvoir Castle in the early 19th century were often grand romps. Gladstone had his concerns for fallen women and indulged in flagellation. Judging by his string of mistresses before he became king, Edward VII didn’t feel unduly bound by conventional morality either.

As for the Duke of Wellington’s conservative credentials, he was deeply and vociferously opposed to the franchise reform proposals of the Whig’s Reform Act of 1832 but then he also conducted an active and varied extra-marital sex life and didn’t worry much about who knew that either – hence his retort: Published and be damned, when Harriette Wilson requested a sum of money for not mentioning him in her forthcoming memoires – try reading up on her memoires – reportedly still in print:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriette_Wilson

Then try the private life of Baron Boothby:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Boothby,_Baron_Boothby

Btw why is the rate of teen pregnancies so much higher in Britain compared with other west European countries?

No surprise from a pair of walking dicks. We need to press Laughton on his position on masturbation. I know he wears glasses…

David Cameron is a direct descendant of King William IV, who reigned (1830-37) and was Queen Victoria’s immediate predecessor as monarch:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_IV_of_the_United_Kingdom

“At his death William had no surviving legitimate children, though he was survived by eight of the ten illegitimate children he had by the actress Dorothea Jordan, with whom he cohabited for 20 years.”

So, Bob, Cameron is related to a bastard? Is that why the Tories want to bring about the shame of having bastard children? Interesting.

As for the rollicking that the Royals, and indeed, the upper-class got up to, much of the filth who would be the working-class knew about it through rumour and gossip that came from the staff at those houses. A look at the archive of the day is quite revealing. And of course your provided links.

What that does show is that the hypocrisy of all this. The upper-well-to-do can do as they wish, shag anything in sight whether wanted or not, but if a lowly working-class person wants to have a one nighter that is frowned upon because of idiotic middle-class prudery. This does harp back to the Victorian values that Tories and their ilk insist on, never mind the debauchery that went on, so long as the lower-class don’t do it.

But none of that explains why the teen pregnancy rate in Britain is so much higher than in other west European countries.

@33

There have been some very detailed postings on this site covering such claims. Check the archive.

Bob, they shag more without the use of a condom or are not on the pill, I thought that much would have been obvious.

@35: “Bob, they shag more without the use of a condom or are not on the pill, I thought that much would have been obvious.”

But why so much unsafe sex? Besides, the pregnancy rate is not the only social indicator of concern relating to teens in Britain compared with teens in other countries in western Europe:

“Young people (aged 16-24 years old) are the age group most at risk of being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, accounting for 65% of all chlamydia, 50% of genital warts and 50% of gonorrhoea infections diagnosed in genitourinary medicine clinics across the UK in 2007″
http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1216022460726?p=1249920575999

“The survey of 35 countries found the UK had the third-highest number of 15 and 16-year-olds with an alcohol problem.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/5054380/Britains-chronic-teenage-binge-drinking-problem-highlighted-by-European-poll.html

Try also this feature on teens in Britain from Time Magazine two years ago:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1725547,00.html

Some highlights:

– 27% of UK 15 year olds have been drunk 20 or more times compared to 12% in Germany, 6% in Holland and 3% in France
– 44% of UK teenagers are frequently involved in fights compared to 28% in Germany.
– 35% of UK 15 year olds have used Cannabis in the last 12 months, compared to 27% in France, 22% in Holland and 18% in Germany.
– 40% of English fifteen year old girls have had sexual intercourse, compared to 29% in Sweden, 24% in Canada, 20% in Holland, 18% in France and 14% on Spain.
– 15% of English girls fail to use contraception.
– A 2007 UNICEF child welfare study placed Britain bottom of a league table of 21 industrialised countries.
– Between 2003 and 2006 violent crime committed by UK under 18s rose 37%
– Marriage rates in Britain are at a 146 year low.
– Class sizes in Britain are among the highest of 20 Western countries.
– British children start school earlier and take more exams than other European countries.

Bob: 100% of the people who agree with me feel that statistics are full of shit. That said, we have to have a marker of some kind.

“Young people (aged 16-24 years old) are the age group most at risk of being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, accounting for 65% of all chlamydia, 50% of genital warts and 50% of gonorrhoea infections diagnosed in genitourinary medicine clinics across the UK in 2007?

They don’t use johnnies.

27% of UK 15 year olds have been drunk 20 or more times compared to 12% in Germany, 6% in Holland and 3% in France

Now, what is going right in those nations compared to the UK? Hmm, and am I mistaken that booze is cheaper in those nations? I could be wrong, but … may be it is the fact they don’t have such a hung up puritanical ideology when it comes to how adults and young adults see the evil drink?

44% of UK teenagers are frequently involved in fights compared to 28% in Germany

Eh? I think that those are rather one-sided stats. There are more kids that don’t fight than do, the ones who do; do often.

40% of English fifteen year old girls have had sexual intercourse, compared to 29% in Sweden, 24% in Canada, 20% in Holland, 18% in France and 14% on Spain.

15% of English girls fail to use contraception.

English girls shag more than Scot’s, Welsh and Irish? Really? 15% of English girls have proved my point, they don’t use the pill or a johnny. So they are gunna get the clap, may be.

A 2007 UNICEF child welfare study placed Britain bottom of a league table of 21 industrialised countries.

That’s what happens when you follow Tory policy.

Between 2003 and 2006 violent crime committed by UK under 18s rose 37%

Define violent crime. Shouting at a neighbour is a ‘violent’ crime, a kid kicking a ball against a window, same thing. The survey used in the UK is useless.

Marriage rates in Britain are at a 146 year low.

So?

Class sizes in Britain are among the highest of 20 Western countries.

Pay teachers better, get more money into schools to give a thorough education, stop cutting spending in schools – Re: don’t follow Tory policy.

British children start school earlier and take more exams than other European countries.

Teaching kids to take a test is just that, educate kids rather than get them to tick the right box. That early start would then help rather than hinder.

Try the review in The Guardian of the IPPR report: Freedom’s Orphans: Raising Youth in a Changing World (2006):

“When it comes to behaving badly, Britain’s teenagers are the best in Europe, according to a report by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR). . . ”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/nov/02/drugsandalcohol.britishidentityandsociety

IPPR can hardly be dismissed as yet another “right-wing” think-tank which can safely be ignored.

From a news report last month:

“The number of teenage pregnancies in England and Wales has fallen by 4%, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). . . The government had pledged in 1999 to halve teenage pregnancy rates among under-18s in England by this year but is widely expected to miss that target.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8531227.stm

Why did the government in 1999 make a target to halve the teen pregnancy rate by this year if the teen pregnancy rate is a matter of little significance?

39. Shatterface

‘Why did the government in 1999 make a target to halve the teen pregnancy rate by this year if the teen pregnancy rate is a matter of little significance?’

Because a managerial culture like New Labour’s values targets which are measurable over targets which are meaningful?

Bob: they missed the target by a very, very wide margin in getting so many kids out of poverty. Good sex education could bring those figures down, meaningful legislation to rid the UK of poverty would have been great, but pandering to the red-tops was more of a priority.

“Assuming that most teenage girls are having sex with teenage boys,”

Staggeringly naive.

I personally think your reasoning in this piece is irresponsible, the law is the to protect people not to medal in social trends. For a simple annalogy the speed limit in town is 30 because that gives us enough time to react so we don’t run someone over, an ‘undesireable outcome’. Most of us would drive faster that if allowed but we don’t because tha law says not to and there are mechanisms to penalyse those who do. Way should a government not use the laws that are there to protect the young from illmeasured decisions? The more people understand there are consequences the less likely they are to do it.

I am all for liberty but I think you may have just swung my vote the other way. Your irresponsible “freedom to do what ever you like” approach is what has landed Britain in the pile of lawlessness it now resides in, antisocial behaviour on the streets and in the Bank boardrooms.

It really is nonsense to claim that the high teen pregnancy rate in Britain, compared with other west European countries, can all be explained away by poverty in Britain.

Much the same can be said about all the other social indicators of concern in that IPPR report where teens in Britain woefully lagged behind other west European countries. The fact is that up to the financial crisis late in 2007, Britain had among the best rates of per capita GDP in the EU according to Eurostat.

Binge drinking, teens afflicted by alcoholism, violence in football stadiums with high admission charges etc are hardly signs of pervasive deprivation.

“Poor white boys now do worse in primary school tests in England than any other main group, latest figures show.

“Only 48% of white British boys eligible for free school meals achieved the expected level in English and maths.” [19 Nov 09]
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8368240.stm

“Though white children in general do better than most minorities at school, poor ones come bottom of the league (see chart). Even black Caribbean boys, the subject of any number of initiatives, do better at GCSEs”
http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14700670

Re: 42

You’re mad. You want young people to understand the consequences of irresponsible sex, and you think criminal liability is the way to go about it? This kind of hamfisted logic makes me cringe, as does your equally inept Speeding analogy.

“the speed limit in town is 30 because that gives us enough time to react so we don’t run someone over, an ‘undesireable outcome’.”

No, the speed limit is 30 so that the chances of someone surviving an “undesirable outcome” is increased. This is why the 20 speed limits are being proposed for areas where there are likely to be children, because in those areas you have even less warning than in 30mph typical areas to start breaking and thus the 20 limit would further increase survivability.

I like the idea that most would drive faster if they could, I guess that shows a failing in the testing system that should be teaching people how to drive responsibly. This is where I disagree with Gwyn because I think the speeding analogy is perfect.

You, Dad, would rather that the state dictates your limits so you are free to do what you like without thinking, as long as you don’t cross the state’s predefined boundaries. You are, no doubt, the sort of person that would drive at 70mph on the motorway while it was physically possible despite the gale force wind and driving rain, because the state has deemed it “legal”

Good drivers, however, will drive at the speed that is appropriate. Unfortunately there are too many of *you* so while good drivers could drive at 40 in some 30mph zones quite safely, they will be punished because of your absence of ability to think for yourself. These good drivers will also stick to 50mph or lower in bad conditions on the motorway (no doubt you’ll call them dangerous while you speed on by), and they’ll not drive more than 10-20mph past a school at the end of the school day regardless of what the speed limit actually says.

And so we bring this to our legal age of consent. You would probably quite happily take home a 16 year old that seemed eager, because it is legal. The state has deemed that this person is “ready”, whatever the fuck that means. The 16 year old could be a completely emotionally underdeveloped individual, abused at home, or whatever, but you could happily take advantage in an absence of that knowledge because you are covered by the law. And, indeed, because of the law many teenagers see 16 as an age that you should have had sex by.

What, you’ve not had sex yet even though you’re now legal? What’re you waiting for?

But putting that argument to the side…like the good drivers, instructed and taught to look for hazards and to read the conditions to ensure they drive at the right speed, isn’t the right situation to teach our kids from the earliest age that is sensible to understand sex, to understand the opposite sex, and to learn how to make good decisions when it comes to intimate acts? That way if a person is sufficiently developed she or he may think it is ok to get together with someone their own age under the age of 16…and hell they might do it with some kind of sense of protecting themselves from disease and pregnancy.

Others might decide that they’re not ready, with confidence, until they’re 18 or older. And more so they will probably be less likely to fall foul of those like you that think that whatever the law says is ok is fair game, and are much more likely to seriously ruin their life in more ways than just knocking them up.

The legal “age of consent” varies across Europe:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of_consent_in_Europe

But the relevant issue of social concern in Britain is the relatively high rate of teen pregnancies.

Exactly, which is because we rely, as the Tory MP does, on an arbitrary age limit to confer understanding and limits. We don’t invest enough time, from the state or as parents, in to making sure we’re all as informed as possible about the consequences.

Agreed that there are Tory nutters, as in other parties, but all the nudge, nudge hints and claims about a “right-wing” conspiracy against sex for teens or women is a load of the proverbial.

This may come as a terrible jolt but, like logarithms, calculus, steam engines, Maxwell’s electromagnetic wave equations, the electron, TV transmission, the existence of antimatter, splitting the atom, radar, DNA and DNA fingerprints or much else, electrical vibrators for women were yet another celebrated British invention:

“In 1883 a British doctor, Joseph Mortimer Granville, patented the first electromechanical version of the vibrator and although it, too, was sold as a medical device, it wasn’t long before portable versions were being sold as a sort of ‘cure all’ for female health problems.”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/features/article401159.ece

Instead of unsafe sex and getting pregnant, teen girls in Britain could do their patriotic stuff. I suppose the way things are going, vibrators will shortly be avaible on NHS prescriptions in a pilot run to cut teen pregnancy rates in the less affluent regions oop north.

No one has noticed lately that not only was Oswald Mosley, founder of the British Union Fascists in 1932, a rampant and successful womaniser but Hitler attracted a large regular fan mail from women offering their eternal devotion and more.

In 1928, the franchise in Britain was extended to include all women over the age of 21, which left the suffragette movement without a cause. Many took to other political activism as a substitute. Sylvia Pankhurst became a founder of the Communist Party. Others went and joined Mosley’s Fascists instead:

“Julie Gottlieb’s Feminine Fascism would disabuse them. Its brilliant analysis of the place of women in Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists does much to change our preconceptions. Where women played comparatively little part in the fascist movements of other European countries, more than 25 per cent of the BUF members were women, many of whom were prominent in the movement’s activities. All this, despite the macho image, so similar to that of continental fascism, displayed by the leader and by so many of his acolytes.”
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=157840&sectioncode=6

I suppose their excuse was that Mosley had been a cabinet minister in Ramsay Macdonald’s Labour government.

Re: 45

I think the speeding analogy is stupid because everyone who speeds has undergone a comprehensive tutorial and examination in order to demonstrate that they know exactly what they are legally allowed to do with their car. This process, plus ownership of the vehicle itself, costs a significant amount of money.

There is no such process that teaches kids what they can do with their genitals, and no such financial barrier to access. They can just pile on each other and start hammering away. There’s no comparison to be made.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. emilytulett

    RT @libcon: Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/bt36iF

  2. Chris Nicholson

    Tory tit Tim "Nice But Dim" Loughton suggests flinging pregnant teenage girls into courtroom for prosecution. http://tinyurl.com/ylecggr

  3. Ryan Lambie

    RT @LudditeWebDev Tory tit Tim Loughton suggests flinging pregnant teenage girls into court. http://tinyurl.com/ylecggr <– seriously, wtf?

  4. earwicga

    RT @libcon Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/bHjEsb

  5. Tamarisk Kay

    Brilliantly said. RT @libcon: Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/bt36iF

  6. Paul Sagar

    More teen girl sex!!! http://bit.ly/bFv2tG (don't click on the link if you're a perv)

  7. Lee Chalmers

    RT @libcon: Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/bt36iF Why don’t we hear more about “teenage fathers”?

  8. Liberal Conspiracy

    Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/bt36iF

  9. Helen Wayte

    RT @libcon: Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/bt36iF

  10. Claire Butler

    RT @libcon Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/bHjEsb

  11. Michael Record

    RT @libcon: Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/bt36iF

  12. Derek Bryant

    RT @libcon: Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/bt36iF

  13. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by libcon: Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/bt36iF

  14. Steph

    RT @libcon: Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/bpfhiQ

  15. Jeremy Byron

    Liberal Conspiracy » Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/cdIHRE

  16. catalinar

    RT @libcon: Teenage girls have sex. Get over it. http://bit.ly/bpfhiQ

  17. Britblog Roundup #264 « Amused Cynicism

    [...] Sagar points out that teenage girls have sex: The blunt horror of even thinking about teenage girls having sex so overwhelms them that they [...]





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.