Muddying the Waters

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/05/sex-with-17-year-old-girl-is-legal-in-texas-nude-pics-of-her-are-kid-porn/
So consent (to engage in sex) is a hot-button issue these days.  Questions of Who can consent? and When can someone consent? and, of course, What circumstances prevent someone from consenting?  

The legal age of consent varies from state to state (in the US).  In Texas, one must be 17 years of age to consent to enter into a sexual relationship.  I’m not going to argue with the state of Texas on that…they made a law, it seems straightforward.  Until you get to the part about how nude pictures of a 17 year old are considered child pornography.  In other words, the same 17 year old who can legally consent to be in a sexual relationship can’t send his/her partner nude photos without said partner getting arrested for possession of child pornography.  

So to recap, in Texas, it’s legal for a 17 year old to have sex (with any partner of their choosing) but it becomes a felony in the state of Texas for the same 17 year old to send a nude selfie.  

I think the state of Texas needs to decide if 17 year olds are children or adults, because they can’t have it both ways.

8 thoughts on “Muddying the Waters

  1. Not only does the legal age of consent vary from state to state, there are other inconsistencies beyond this Texas law on nude pictures of minors (e.g. smoking). I think we muddy the waters when laws are defined too narrowly and with too much specificity. If the system worked properly (and I’m not saying that it could), laws would be constructed with general precepts, judges would be clear on the intent (and perform their duties accordingly), and extenuating circumstances considered when deciding to prosecute individual cases.

    For example, there would be a federal law establishing the legal age of adulthood for all states. All adults would be free to engage in consensual activity, serve in the military, vote, use controlled substances, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s