Britain’s Leading Gay Activist Calls for Lowering of Age of Consent to 14
By Hilary White
LONDON, September 1, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – One of Britain’s leading homosexualist activists has called again for the lowering of the age of sexual consent from 16 to 14, saying that this will reduce incidents of sexual abuse of young people. Peter Tatchell, founder of the group OutRage!, wrote on the website Big Think, “Whether we like it or not, many teenagers have their first sexual experience around the ages of 14 or 15.”
“If we want to protect young people, and I do, the best way to do this is not by threatening them with arrest, but by giving them frank, high quality sex and relationship education from an early age.
“This includes empowering them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to say no to unwanted sexual advances and to report sex abusers. Compared to the blanket criminalization of sexually-active under-age youth, this empowerment strategy is a more effective way to protect young people from peer pressure and pedophiles.”
A higher age of consent actually puts young teens at greater risk of abuse by “reinforcing the idea that young people under 16 have no sexual rights,” Tatchell said. “They signal that a young person is not capable of making a rational, moral choice about when to have sex.”
“Guilt and shame about sex also increase the likelihood of molestation by encouraging the furtiveness and secrecy on which abuse thrives,” he added.
“Despite what the puritans and sex-haters say, underage sex is mostly consenting, safe, and fun,” Tatchell said. “If there is harm caused, it is usually not as a result of sex, per se, but because of emotional abuse within relationships and because of unsafe sex, which can pass on infections and make young girls pregnant when they are not ready for motherhood.”
OutRage! has long lobbied for the lowering of the age of consent in Britain, which was already lowered for homosexual acts from age 21 in 1994 and again in 2000 to 16, after heavy lobbying by homosexualist activists.
Carolyn Moynihan, an Auckland journalist with a special interest in family issues, responded at Mercatornet, saying it is “a little bit surprising” that Tatchell has made the suggestion at the time when he is part of a protest against Pope Benedict, whom he accuses of failing to protect young people from sexual predators.
Moynihan said, “Of course there will always be underage people who have sex, but that doesn’t mean the law should condone it. Sex is a very complicated part of human behavior that is too nuanced for young people to understand.”
She cited studies that have shown that young people, especially girls, who have sex at early ages often regret it. She quotes Daily Telegraph columnist David Lindsay saying, “Sex is for people who can cope with the consequences, physical and otherwise. In a word, adults.”