Why We Fight

Readers — This article explains everything I am always trying to say … but  better. It’s by Frank Furedi — have you heard of him? I wrote about his book, “Paranoid Parenting,” in 2001 — seven years before I sent my son on his solo subway ride. Furedi gets how paranoia for our kids directly leads to us giving the authorities more and more sway in our lives, because they are “saving” kids from the ever-present threat of everything, but most of all from predators.

Which brings us to sex offender mania. Last week I was at the national Reform Sex Offender Laws conference in Dallas (where I was the keynote). We are locking up hundreds of thousands of people, many, many of them young men (see this piece) for unconscionably long sentences, often for consensual sex with other teens. Once a person is labeled a sex offender, even a 17 year old who had sex with a 14 year old is treated like a child rapist, and must undergo years of “therapy” including things like keeping a “masturbation journal,” and telling the therapist all of his “deviant” thoughts. I’d say most teen boys have plenty of “deviant” thoughts. But for the sake of the children we are happy to demonize horny teens, as well as lock up parents who send their kids to the park, and — in Scotland — assign a guardian to every family, as if an outside observer must watch mom and dad’s every move.

Convince the public that all children are in danger all the time and it will accept any so-called safety measures, no matter how absurd or draconian.

That is why Free-Range Kids has, as its mission statement, “Fighting the belief that our children are in constant danger.” Fight we must. – L.

Instill this and you can convince people to give up all independence.

Instill this and you can rule!

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130 Responses to Why We Fight

  1. K2 July 23, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Therapy is expensive and when it is forced it often has little or no benefit. I think that kind of therapy is inappropriate and that a single session or two telling the teen the current laws as they relate to his situation and the kinds of situations teens often get themselves into would be better, but then less people would be able to sponge money. Would be dreadfully unpopular with less money and our society thinking that a love-in with a therapist solves every thing.

  2. Silver Fang July 23, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Using fear of danger to children to divide and conquer the citizenry is an age-old tactic of tyrants.

  3. BL July 23, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    “It’s by Frank Furedi — have you heard of him?”

    Oh, yes. He’s got an excellent article on why not to rely on “peer-reviewed science” as holy writ:

    http://www.frankfuredi.com/site/article/378

    “The treatment of peer-reviewed science as an unquestionable form of authority is corrupting the peer-review system and damaging public debate.”

    I’d go farther than that. *Any* authority which claims to be “unquestionable” (or which allows other to make such a claim for it) is already corrupt and not to be believed.

  4. marie July 23, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    @K2: Yes. Often people ask if my husband is in a sex offender treatment program in prison. The facility where he is does not offer the program and if it did, I would discourage him from signing up. Treatment providers who can hold something over your head are not offering good treatment.

  5. A Dad July 23, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    In the words of Franklin Roosevelt

    “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself!”

    From his first Inaugural Address in 1933.

  6. Reziac July 23, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    I’m thinkin’ those “family observers” are probably more of a threat to the children they’re supposedly protecting…

  7. Dirk July 23, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    The article about child independence is right on the mark.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/how-much-independence-should-children-have-9619918.html

    The article linked above about sex offenders might just miss the target.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/26/civil-commitment-sex-offenders

    I would prefer the sex offender be in jail. A 19 year old man shoudln’t be emailing porn to a 14 year old. Reform is one thing but something needs to be done there. Referencing teens who are dating etc is fine, but keep in mind that a 17 year old dating a 14 year old is a high school senior dating an 8th grader. “People” need to be more specific about what needs reforming and how.

  8. Reziac July 23, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    From one of the linked articles, and this says it all:

    After listening to the state’s prosecutor describe what Baughman might do if let out of jail, one perplexed juror was reported to have asked: “But what’s the crime?”

  9. Dirk July 23, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Anyone who can overthrow a current theory held through peer review journals would make themselves an academic king.

  10. Donna July 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    From the article: “That is why the current Government took it upon itself to introduce a rule that will, from next year, ensure that all children who visit an accident-and-emergency unit in a hospital will be logged on a new national database set up to identify potential victims of abuse.”

    WTF? Doesn’t just about every child visit the ER at least once in their childhood?

  11. Dirk July 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    When he was 19 and in college in Indiana, Galen Baughman was enticed by an undercover New York investigator into sending online pornography to a child. The agent, assuming the identity of a 14-year-old friend of Baughman’s in New York, pretended to come out to Baughman, who is gay. He asked Baughman to send him pornography of people who appeared of high school age. When Baughman resisted, the “friend” threatened never to speak to him again.

    Baughman was arrested, his laptop was seized and authorities found messages he had exchanged a year earlier with another 14-year-old friend from Virginia regarding an uncompleted sexual encounter they’d had. Sexual involvement with a minor is a serious matter and Baughman, though a teen himself, was legally an adult. So he entered a plea bargain to “promoting the sexual performance of a child, carnal knowledge of a minor and aggravated sexual battery,” for which he served nine years in prison.

    So people need to talk about the reform. What should have happened?

  12. Donna July 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    “but keep in mind that a 17 year old dating a 14 year old is a high school senior dating an 8th grader.”

    No, I was 14 for more than half of 9th grade. And I turned 17 toward the end of 11th grade. That could very easily be an 11th grader who is dating a 9th grader. The horrors!!

    We are just waaaaay too hung up on age in this country. People are more than a chronological number. I can see situations where I wouldn’t want my 8th grader dating another 8th grader, but would be fine with her dating a senior. The PEOPLE are what matters and not their age.

  13. everydayrose July 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    Dirk..My daughters will be 14 for their entire 9th grade years. And many people are in the 11th grade when they’re 17. 9th to 11th isn’t that much of a gap, and we all know that girls on average mature faster than boys anyway. The fact that one is older doesn’t necessarily mean that the older one is a predator.

  14. Tara July 23, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    I can’t get over how awful this is.

  15. marie July 23, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    I would prefer the sex offender be in jail. A 19 year old man shoudln’t be emailing porn to a 14 year old. Reform is one thing but something needs to be done there.

    Something needs to be done:
    By whom? To whom? And for how long? Must it be done by law enforcement and the courts? Could it be done by the parents?

    Why must something be done?

  16. anonymous mom July 23, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    @Dirk, exactly how long do you think the 19yo or 17yo who makes a mistake involving sex with a willing 14 or 15yo should be punished? Five years in prison? Ten? Life without the possibility of parole?

    The reality is that most cases of young adult men and post-pubescent teen girls who are involved sexually do not involve coercion or force. Research done by the APA found that, of teen “victims” who met adults online for sex, 75% had not only actively sought out the encounters but had done so more than once, with more than one adult partner. Please note what this means: it is NOT saying that the adult “abusers” met up with more than one teen for sex–in fact, most men convicted of sex offenses never reoffend–but that the teen “victims” actively sought out the encounters and did so on more than one occasion with more than one adult in over three-quarters of cases (about one-third of the teens were gay male teens, most of the other two-thirds heterosexual female teens). Is it a good or positive thing for a teen to be seeking out sexual relationships with older guys? No. But, should the men who are being actively sought out by these teens for sex be punished for decades or life because of their mistake, especially when many times these adults are rather young themselves?

    It’s amazing to me that we love to call 18 and 19 year old young men “fully-grown adult” but a 15 or 16 year old is a “little child.” How does that work, exactly? We go from being little children until we turn 18 to being fully-grown adults the minute we have our birthday? That’s not how actual human development works. The fact is that post-pubescent teens and young adults are really not all that different, either situationally or psychologically (especially if we factor in that girls do tend to mature faster than boys; I’ve known a number of 14yo girls more mature than 17yo guys). If we want to discourage young men from having sexual relationships with post-pubescent teens, that’s fine, but to say that a 20 year old having sex with a willing 15 year old partner, or a 17 year old having a sexual relationship with a willing 14 year old girlfriend, or a 19 year old sending porn to a willing 15 year old recipient, is somehow the same and should be treated the same as a person forcibly raping another person, a person in a position of actual authority taking advantage of that to manipulate another person (like a teacher or coach using their position to get sexual access to younger people), or like an adult forcing sex upon a prepubescent child is ridiculous overreach. Charge the older guys with “contributing to the deliquency of a minor” in these cases–which is exactly what they are doing, no more, no less–have them serve their sentence for that, and then let them move on with their lives.

    But a society that sees no difference between the man who serially molests children (somebody who probably should be civilly committed) and the guy who, at 22, made a stupid choice about sex with a willing, eager post-pubescent teen is a society that has lost all sense of perspective. No other country in the world has the kind of extensive public sex offender registry that we have, no other country in the world cracks down on statutory sex crimes the way that we do, and yet many of those countries have lower rates of sexual abuse and higher quality-of-life for children. Our draconian policies are entirely unnecessary, if not outright counterproductive.

  17. John July 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    @Dirk:

    Quote: “A 19 year old man shoudln’t be emailing porn to a 14 year old.”

    Agreed. It would be very inappropriate for a 19-year-old to do that particularly if they’re not related and don’t know each other. BUT at the same time, I believe it is also inappropriate for the 19-year-old to have his (or her) life ruined over it. In any civil society, the punishment for the crime should be in direct proportion to the severity of the crime; however, in ALL cases of sex related issues involving a legal adult and a minor here in the U.S. and even involving an older and younger minor, the punishment is extremely disproportional to the crime.

    Albeit it may be inappropriate for a 19-year-old to be sending pornography to a 14-year-old, the older person in this case should NOT be treated as if he raped the 14-year-old! But that is precisely what we do here in America. “We’ve gotta protect the kids!!!!” is the battle cry and a precursor to more 0 tolerance laws anytime a minor is involved. So with that being the case, even an older brother who let’s his 14-year-old younger brother read his Playboy Magazines, which was a very common occurrence in families when I was growing up in the 1960s, is treated and punished today as if he were a child rapist!

    That is draconian mentality in my opinion.

  18. anonymous mom July 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    @Dirk, just to add, the takeaway really needs to be that most teens involved in sexual relationships (whether exchanging porn or having sex or whatever) with older people are knowingly, willingly, and actively seeking out these relationships. Nobody wants to think that their 14 or 15 year old is going to do so, but the hard reality is that, while the vast majority of teens that age are NOT seeking out sexual contact with older people, some are. These teens are not being manipulated or preyed upon or sought out, but are engaging in risky, adult behaviors. As, of course, teens do. We know that some teens are going to seek out drugs, and we don’t claim that the drug dealers are preying on them. (When I was 16, a friend and I basically manipulated some older guys into selling us a bunch of marijuana for a ridiculously low price. We knew exactly what we were doing, and if there was a manipulated party in the situation, it was the older guys.) We know that some teens are going to seek out alcohol and that they aren’t being manipulated by adults into doing so. And, some teens are going to seek out sex, and they aren’t being manipulated into it.

    These are unhealthy behaviors, in most cases, and certainly the parent should be aware and help the teen to make better choices. But, rather than imagining it’s the fault of the older guy, it might be better to focus on the teen who is seeking out these relationships. What is going on in their life that they want this kind of attention and relationship?

    We simply cannot expect young men, especially, to be so sensitive to the needs of post-pubescent teens that they are going to say no when sex is on offer. Some will, and in an ideal world, maybe all would, but that’s not the world we live in. In the world we live in, if your 14 or 15 or 16 year old post-pubescent daughter or son is hitting up guys who are 18-25 or so for sex, they are going to find a good number of men willing to take them up on the offer. You can lock them all up, or put them all on a list, and they’ll still probably manage to find somebody to get into trouble with. It’s far better, IMO, to figure out why your teen would be seeking out those kinds of relationships in the first place and starting parenting that teen so they will make better choices, because there is no list long enough or prison big enough to protect a 14 or 15yo dead set on meeting up with an older guy for sex.

  19. CrazyCatLady July 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Dirk, my daughter is 14, and is entering 9th grade. She will be 15 in December. As a senior, she will also be 17 and 18. I will assume, that as she is going to a high school that is 9th through 12th grade, that she may actually have a senior or two interested in dating her. I probably won’t be allowing unsupervised dates for a couple of years, but lots of parents do allow them.

  20. anonymous mom July 23, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    It’s amazing how fast we jump from “inapproriate” or even “I don’t like it!” to “Let’s punish it with as much prison time as we can.”

    Is there really anything that bad, objectively, about a high school senior dating an eighth grader? Certainly 17 year olds dating 14 year olds is not some long-standing, cross-cultural taboo; such relationships would have been seen as normal and acceptable for most of human history. Certainly the parents of either person might object, and would be within their rights as parents to do so, but why on earth would we feel the need to get the criminal justice system involved?

    Would I want a 19 year old sending my 14 year old porn? No. I wouldn’t want a 14 year old friend sending them porn, either. For that matter–as has happened to the sons of friends of mine–I wouldn’t want a 12 or 13 year old girl sending suggestive pictures and texts to my 16 or 17 year old son. There’s lots of things I would not want to happen. But, I don’t believe all of them–or even most of them–need to result in somebody going to prison or somebody being legally punished. Contrary to what has become popular American belief, we don’t need to have somebody arrested and sentenced every time we are unhappy with a situation.

  21. Sharon Davids July 23, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    My husband and I went grocery shopping and he saw two elementary school aged kids alone in a car. My husband was freaking out saying where are the parents, he did not think of calling 911 (I would have told him not to do it).

    I reminded him we had just let our daughter go to a neighboring state with good friends for a beach vacation. We were trusting other parents with our daughter so we could let these parents make their own decisions. Our daughter came back in better shape than she left (her bruises from a camp injury were healing nicely) and I assume the kids in the car are fine too.

  22. Tiny Tim July 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    When I was in school the senior guy dating the freshman girl relationship was fairly common. I’m of the view that these relationships are generally not such a good idea, but I’m also of the view that if you put a bunch of love- and sex-interested kids in a “peer” environment – which is what a 9th-12th grade high school is – they’re going to find each other. They’re still kids, in an environment made for kids, even if one happens to have turned 18. It’s one thing to intervene in these relationships, either through parental or even civil authority. It’s quite another to criminalize them to the extent that you’re basically destroying lives over them.

  23. Steve July 23, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    BL posted about Frank Furedi –

    “Oh, yes. He’s got an excellent article on why not to rely on “peer-reviewed science” as holy writ:

    http://www.frankfuredi.com/site/article/378

    —–

    Thanks for his website! It’s a goldmine of great articles on many topics.

  24. Tsu Dho Nimh July 23, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    Dirk said: “a 17 year old dating a 14 year old is a high school senior dating an 8th grader.”

    Or in my case, I was 14 for about half my freshman year because I started 1st grade at 5. it wasn’t that hard to date guys who were 17 and sophomores or juniors. Oh the horrors!

  25. Donna July 23, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    It is amazing to me how invested so many parents are in their daughter’s sexuality and virginity. I really don’t understand it.

    My daughter will have sex at some point in her life. In fact, I hope she does as most find it a rather enjoyable aspect of life. I certainly hope that it is not at 14, 15 or 16, but I can’t control that. The best that I can do is explain why I think she should wait and help her develop self respect, self esteem, the drive to achieve things in her life, the ability to make good choices and the strength to stand by her convictions and up for herself so that she doesn’t want to engage in sex at a young age. I can tell her the consequences of sex, sexting, porn, etc., but I can’t stop her from doing it if she is committed to doing so, no matter how many boys I lock up. Heck, even if I lock her up.

    Nor do I understand why we insist on disempowering girls so much (and then wonder why there is an achievement gap between men and women). We treat them as delicate little flowers who can’t possibly know their own mind and heart and for whom everyone else on the planet has to deny themselves their own desires, despite those desires being freely offered, in order to protect them and the failure to do so means that you should go to prison. It is such a horrible message to send to our girls. It is not the message that I want to send to my daughter. I want her to take responsibility for her choices, not give her a get out of jail free card (figurative, not literal jail) by blaming the male for her choices despite her being the one who made them.

  26. Andy July 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    I find the assumption that dating between teenagers three years away from each other is automatically predatory troubling. If nothing else, girls are attracted to older boys. Boy being older then girl he dates seem to me the most common case of teenagers dating. Or adults for that matter.

    Girls mature faster then boys and same age boy seem like a kid to many teenage girls.

    Plus, we are not living in 1950. Give the girls some agency. The idea that they all are just so easily and so often manipulated by boys that it is reasonable to assume the boy to be predatory each time is downright offensive to girls. Young girls are interested in relationships too and have their own opinions on who they want to be with.

    15 years old being attracted to 17 years old seem to me pretty common thing. Them dating for a while if the interest is mutual does not seem danger or weird at all. 14 years old is just a year younger. Some of them are more mature then most and some of them are just few days away of being 15. So, 14 mature years old and 17 years old dating may not necessary mean huge predatory issue.

  27. Scott Stark July 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    I am APPALLED at the woman arrested for letting her kid play in the park. Makes me glad I didn’t have kids (and that could be saddest of all).

  28. Dirk July 23, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Yeah. In 8th most kids go from 13 to 14 and in 12 grade most kids go from 17 to 18. So yeah it could be an 8th grader and a high school senior or it could be a high school freshman and a junior. I got to be honest when I was a high school junior it would have been somewhere between a double take and a scandal for a junior to date a freshman. And I use the word date there.

    And 8th grade being sexually involved with a high school senior isn’t ok. A high school freshman being sexually involved with a high school junior isn’t much better. Because like you said it is more than just chronological age, those kids are not on the same level intellectually or emotionally. The older kid is a veteran, the younger kid is a rookie.

  29. Dirk July 23, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    To several posters: Of course children going through or having just finished a majority of puberty are going to be interested in sex and possibly with people who are older than they are. That doesn’t make it ok. The idea that underage people where looking or even “asking for it” is the excuse of rapists and yes, sexual predators. The reason the seemingly arbitrary ages of 16, 18, and 21 gave been decided as markers for certain responsibilities is that on average it appears that people of these ages can handle those responsibilities. That may or may not be the case but that is why. It is the case that teenagers are less risk adverse than people in their 20s because their brains have yet to develop to the point where they can see the consequences of their actions. Which is why they can’t give consent for things like sex to people who are much older than them.

    Of course kids fool around. Usually with people who are relatively equal in age, experience, EQ and IQ. It is when those things are unequal that problems arise.

  30. oncefallendotcom July 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    The difficulty in discussing this subject with those who hinge on every word people like Walsh say is they think in simplistic terms. ALL sex offenders are “pedos” or “rapists.”

    Consider this– we use terms like “violent” or “assault” in cases where neither violence nor assault in the actual sense occurred. A case in Florida last year that made headlines involved Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old girl who had sexual relations with a 14-year-old schoolmate. The official charge was “lewd and lascivious battery.” It sounds like she beat up the girl she was having relations with, right? Battery is a “violent” action. Sex crimes are “violent” crimes.

    If you look someone up on the registry, you are not going to be able to determine who is a John Couey and who is a Kaitlyn Hunt. The charges would sound the same.

  31. hineata July 23, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

    Isn’t this a universal problem in the US ‘justice’ system though – incredibly harsh sentences? I just googled it (and I know Google is not the fount of all knowledge but it’s a useful place to start) and there were in 2007 2270 prisoners sentenced to life without parole for crimes committed when they were under 18, (6 of them were 13 years old, and 50 were 14!). And others I believe are sentenced to decades…

    Where’s the good in condemning kids to never having a chance to make good and make something of themselves? It just seems like the sex offender registry is a tack-on of the same old overly harsh system….

  32. hineata July 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    So what I mean is there possibly needs to be an overhaul of the whole justice system….not just the SOR.

  33. K July 23, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

    On the subject of sex offenders and zero tolerance…

    My sister had a friend who was studying law at uni. This friend said that they learned about some case where a drunk guy was caught having sex with his bicycle in a hotel room and ended up being put on the sex offender registry (in Australia I think). No minors involved. Only other person involved was the housekeeping lady who came in when he was doing his thing with the bicycle.

  34. Donna July 23, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    Dirk,

    Age is a meaningless number. It is not universally true that an eighth grader and a high school senior are on drastically different levels intellectually or emotionally. Life experience, interests and maturity plays a much larger role in who is interested in whom than the number on a calendar.

    I dated a 19 year old college student when I was 15. If anything, I was the higher level intellectually and emotionally. I suppose that I should have just spent my teen years single or wasted my time with guys that I found completely immature and insipid just to please society in your opinion. Luckily, my family was more evolved.

    “The reason the seemingly arbitrary ages of 16, 18, and 21 gave been decided as markers for certain responsibilities is that on average it appears that people of these ages can handle those responsibilities.”

    You do realize that those arbitrary ages are a very recent construct and for most of history there was no such ages? And that they change regularly? In fact, when I was a teen, the age of consent in my state was 14 and the drinking age was 19. My child is not more naive or irresponsible than I was and I refuse any implication that she is less than any prior generation.

    You also realize that those arbitrary ages are not remotely universal? Yet, other countries are not going to hell in a hand basket. In fact, if you want to look up the definition of “country on a downward slope,” I think you’ll see a pretty nice picture of the US. We are certainly not some great beacon of all that is right in the world.

  35. Donna July 23, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    hineata –

    The US sentences are a reflection of the population. Americans love revenge and that is what the system is currently based on, not justice. To overhaul the justice system, would require an overhaul of the population and that isn’t happening anytime soon.

    However, some sentencing has gotten better in recent years. I’d love to say that it is because of some great awakening and interest in justice, but it is totally financial. The government simply can’t afford to keep people locked up as long as they’d like.

  36. Edward July 23, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    After reading the original article and comments at the Independent website and the comments here:
    You are never going to agree how to fix some “problem” with kids in today’s society so stop wasting your efforts focusing on that.
    The problem, clearly evident to a non-parent, is that misguided legislators and law enforcement agencies have “invented” laws that punish law abiding adults conducting themselves in legal adult activities. (It will be eye opening to learn the true motives involved with this.)
    When you focus on fixing the “adult” problems; creating monsters to scare parents, you automatically fix the kid problem with no effort at all.

  37. anonymous mom July 23, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    @Dirk: “I got to be honest when I was a high school junior it would have been somewhere between a double take and a scandal for a junior to date a freshman. And I use the word date there.”

    I call b.s. on this. The reality is that we are harsher today on age gaps in dating than we ever have been before. When I was in high school, about 20 years ago, it was not at all uncommon for high school girls to date guys in their 20s, much less for juniors to date freshman. Nobody would have batted an eye at any two high schools students dating each other. And, a generation before that, juniors and seniors dating TEACHERS, while certainly a bit scandalous, was not all tha far outside the norm (I know several couples of my parents’ generation whose relationship began when the wife was a high school student and the husband was a younger teacher at the school). If you look at the couples you know, I’m sure you will find that many if not most involve a woman who is at least 2-3 years younger than the man she is married to. In high school, I don’t think I ever dated a guy who was less than two years older than I was, and I dated guys closer in age to me than many of my friends (several of whom dated guys in their mid twenties when they were in their mid teens, and nobody thought those guys were pedophiles or predators). The idea that it’s somehow scandalous or wrong or predatory for a junior and a freshman to date is our bizarre, inexplicable contemporary puritainism.

    And, sure, “She asked for it” is an excuse made my rapists, unless the woman actually DID ask for it. The reality is, post-pubescent females are not innocent, asexual flowers. Saying a girl “asked for it” because she was wearing a short skirt or invited a guy into her home or let somebody buy her dinner is absolutely an excuse. Saying a girl “asked for it” because she LITERALLY did ask for it–literally did initiate sexual contact with an older guy–is not an excuse. It’s a description of a reality. Truth is, there are some really sexually aggressive girls. I know a few moms who are dealing with this issue with their sons, who have girls several years younger than them sending them sexually explicit texts and pictures. These girls are asking for it, quite literally. The idea that a 14 year old girl could never seek out or initiate sexual activity with an 18 year old, or a 15 year old with a 20 year old, or a 16 year old with a 22 year old, is absurd and simply not how the world works. In fact, many of the girls most likely to be actively, explicitly seeking out sex will seek it out with older guys. Should those guys say yes? In an ideal world, no. But do we really want to treat a guy in his late teens or early 20s like he’s a child rapist because, when a post-pubescent teen girl propositioned him, he didn’t have the maturity or self-control to do what would amount to protecting her from herself? Do we really expect most guys in their teens or early 20s to act that way? If we do, I think we’re a bit off base about the nature of both teen girls and young adult men.

    And if we’re talking about maturity, the truth is that the brain changes you are talking about–the ones that control decision-making–do not really mature until we’re in our mid-to-late 20s. Actually, a 15 and 23 year old have more in common, neurologically, than a 23 and 45 year old, but the latter relationship is seen as totally fine and is perfectly legal.

    We need to be able to see some nuance. There is nothing wrong with a 19 year old who dates a 15 year old. Period. There is nothing at all odd or pathological about that, and for most of human history, such relationships would have been totally acceptable (and still are in most cultures). Now, if at 39 and 59 the guy still wants to date 15 year olds, yes, there is probably something odd going on there (although I still see it as fundamentally different from forcible rape). But, at 19, no, and chances are that the 19 year old guy with a 15 year old girlfriend will, at 39, have no interest in dating 15 year olds. The reality is that many men choose to date women who are younger than them, and as long as the women aren’t like young enough to be their child–if they are in the same generation as the woman–it’s never really been anything we’ve found particularly problematic, until quite recently. The demonization of sexual relationships between post-pubescent teen girls and young adult men is a new phenomenon, and one that is increasingly getting out of control, which your comment about juniors and freshman dating being wrong and predatory just goes to show. That level of hysteria around sex is profoundly disempowering to young women, and shows that our concern is still really about protecting the virginity of daughters rather than respecting the sexual agency of young women.

  38. J.T. Wenting July 24, 2014 at 1:28 am #

    “WTF? Doesn’t just about every child visit the ER at least once in their childhood?”

    yes, so now every child will officially be a victim of abuse and the parents investigated by CPS.
    Either that or parents will stop taking their children to the ER with broken bones and other injuries to prevent themselves from being charged with child abuse. With the double consequences of a lot more improperly healed broken bones and a greatly reduced cost of running hospitals, the latter being more important to the government than the former.

  39. J.T. Wenting July 24, 2014 at 1:32 am #

    ” I know a few moms who are dealing with this issue with their sons, who have girls several years younger than them sending them sexually explicit texts and pictures. These girls are asking for it, quite literally”

    and if outsiders find out that the girl is sending those pictures and messages, even if the boy never replies to them, the boy is liable to be charged with being a pedophile for “soliciting” the girl…
    After all, if he didn’t, the little princess would never have done what she did…….

  40. J.T. Wenting July 24, 2014 at 1:51 am #

    “there were in 2007 2270 prisoners sentenced to life without parole for crimes committed when they were under 18, (6 of them were 13 years old, and 50 were 14!). And others I believe are sentenced to decades…

    Where’s the good in condemning kids to never having a chance to make good and make something of themselves? It just seems like the sex offender registry is a tack-on of the same old overly harsh system….”

    And now find out what those crimes were. The vast majority will be multiple homicides, usually gang related.
    There’s no chance those “children” were ever going to be rehabilitated with 3-4 years in juvenile prison, and putting them back on the street would just have them revert back to their pattern of drugs, murders, and muggings within days or hours. In fact for many of them it’s a badge of honour to get arrested and then “beat the system” by playing the age card and often the race card as well.

    There ARE children who are violent career criminals at age 10, sadly. And for them adult sentencing is the only thing that might help or at the very least protects society from them.

  41. lsl July 24, 2014 at 2:26 am #

    @anonymous mom,
    I also was in high school over 20 years ago, in Las Vegas, NV, Sin City, no less, and we definitely considered it weird, at the least, for a junior to date a freshman, or a senior to date a sophomore.

    Also, the part of the brain that processes cause & effect usually devolops sometime around age 8. Risk analysis is different, and trickier, and even though the odds of a particular outcome may be the same, different people can judge the risk differently for different reasons. I agree that teenagers and 20somethings are less risk adverse than older people, but they are fully capable of understanding the consequences of their choices.

  42. Andy July 24, 2014 at 3:23 am #

    @lsl Senior to date somophore would be weird to you? I know multiple marriages that started pretty much there. I was in relationship with even bigger age difference and nobody seemed to care much (not friends, not family, no one).

    Although people more often dated out of school, the age difference equivalent to HS freshman/junior would be one of the most common differences.

    What you describe as unusual seem ordinary to me.

  43. theora July 24, 2014 at 3:45 am #

    ” I know a few moms who are dealing with this issue with their sons, who have girls several years younger than them sending them sexually explicit texts and pictures. These girls are asking for it, quite literally”

    My 16 year old nephew’s 14 year old girlfriend sent him multiple nude pictures of herself. He kept asking her to stop, she didn’t. A little while after, she dropped him for a 19 year old because my nephew refused to have sex with her but the 19 year old would (I think the pics were a last ditch effort to get him to give in). I live in a small, semi-rural community just outside Sydney, Australia and it is known in the community that the girl seeks out sexual partners among the older boys in the area as most of the kids go to the same high school (and in NSW high school is from years 7 to 12 so usually 12 to 18 years of age.

  44. Jill July 24, 2014 at 7:03 am #

    I have 2 high school friends whose husband would both be on the sex offender registry if that were today. One’s husband is 8 years older than her. This couple started dating when she was 15. He was 23. She was very mature for her age and he was very immature. But guess what, they have 4 children together and are going 26 years of marriage. They have been together almost 30 years. This age gap didn’t use to be such an issue. My grandfather was 24 and grandmother was 16 when they married. They were married 63 years when my grandfather passed away.

    And my husband will also the sex offender registry when he gets out of prison. He was not required to do any therapy while in prison, I feel the same way as the Marie, I would not have recommended it. In fact his case manager at his initial prison, told him that he would not recommend my husband go to therapy in prison. My husband was arrested for possession of child pornography when he mass-downloaded over 1000 files in 10 days off of Limewire and 29 of those turned out to be illegal files.

  45. Cloudbuster July 24, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    “… must undergo years of “therapy” including things like keeping a “masturbation journal,” and telling the therapist all of his “deviant” thoughts.”

    If the kid wasn’t a deviant before, after a few years of being forced to do that, he probably will be.

  46. Donna July 24, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    High school kids of any age dating is weird to some people?

    The school I attended for the bulk of my high school years was 7-12 grades. Outside of competitive teams (sports and academic), the 7th and 8th graders mixed fully with the traditional high school students. I had a number of junior and senior friends when I was in 7th and 8th grade. Yes, there was dating between the 7th and 8th graders and the upper high school students. I didn’t because I wasn’t interested in dating at those ages, but many of my friends had high school boyfriends in 7th and 8th grade, mostly younger high school students, but occasionally older. Nobody thought it weird at all. That was in the 80s.

    Then as the school moved into the 90s, and over-protection started to kick in, despite there being no problems between the younger and older kids, they started separating the 7th and 8th graders from the high schoolers more and more. Eventually, they secured them in one separate wing of the school (with teachers rotating to them) and refused to allow any interaction with the high school students at all. Later, they built a middle school and moved them out of the high school completely.

  47. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    HI Donna, Yes that is why I said they seemed arbitrary because they could just as easily be 13, 16, and 18 etc etc. I know the perceived ages where people can handle certain things has changed over time and is different across regions and cultures.

    But no, age is not meaningless. A persons age is a good general marker, and of course people need to use judgment when judging the actions of others, but a persons age is a indeed a good general marker of what they can do. But also, like I said previously, there is indeed a huge difference between an 8th grader and a hs senior and indeed a freshman and a junior is both experience and brain development. Sorry but there is.

  48. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Hi AM, you can call bullshit all you want but it doesn’t make it less true. It would have indeed been somewhere between double take and scandal for a freshman to date a junior in my school. People would have assumed, maybe incorrectly, that the relationship was not on equal footing between the freshman and junior. To put it nicely.

    I too was in high school 20 years ago when you say talk about high school girls dating guys in their 20s. And you talk about students dating teachers. But you call it scandalous. It sounds like you agree with me but don’t want to admit it. Of course these things happen, I had a couple of dates with a college girl when I was a high school senior, I get it. However, you can make all the plays about how age doesn’t matter you want…it does. Because 12 to 14 year olds are not playing on the same field as 17 to 19 year olds. Hell even the difference between 12 and 14 and 17 and 19 is huge.

    3 or 4 years difference is a big difference during your teens. That’s the reason freshman usually don’t start on sports teams, it is the reason school dances are arranged by class (Freshman Dance, Sophomore Dance, Junior Prom, Senior Prom) and there isn’t just one big formal dance (full disclosure; my school also had an informal dance that was big but mainly only had freshman and sophomores at it). It is the difference between playing video games and sneaking into bars, it is the difference between having your mom drive you places and true liberty (cars), it is the difference between still being in the first 3rd of puberty and finishing up.

    I am sorry but if you think that an 8th grader of high school freshman is an par with a jr or sr you are out of your mind. Talk all you want about outliers.

  49. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Check it out. The difference between FR and SR…

    http://www.gurl.com/2013/04/09/freshman-vs-senior-high-school-gifs/

  50. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    Here is a high schooler’s POV!

    http://archbishopryanreview.com/355/opinion/freshman-year-vs-senior-year/

  51. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Hi AM, yes brain changes continue into the 20s wrapping up for men around 25. Doesn’t negate the work going on during the teens. The pruning goes all the way through and is a work in progress.

  52. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    I would also think that you HS experience would effect your views on this. If you were in American Graffiti or Dazed and Confused maybe you would be ok with it, or more ok with it, than if you were in The Dead Poets Society or Clueless.

  53. Donna July 24, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    Dirk, Yes, if everyone was raised exactly the same all seniors would have more experience and maturity than 8th graders. However, the world does not consist of all like-raised teenagers and many 8th graders have more life experience and maturity than many seniors.

    That is kinda the whole point of free range kids. That we expect that our children who are actually given chances to do things on their own will be more experienced, mature and able to handle the world than their helicoptered peers. I can already see a vast difference between my child’s maturity, abilities and experiences and that of her peers. And my kid is still little so hasn’t had much of an opportunity to do things herself so I imagine that the gulf will widen as she gets older since her friends parents appear to have no plans to let them do things ever.

    “it is the reason school dances are arranged by class (Freshman Dance, Sophomore Dance, Junior Prom, Senior Prom) and there isn’t just one big formal dance”

    Maybe at your school, but every school district that I ever attended (and there were several) had one, and only one, formal dance. There was the Junior/Senior Prom every spring. That was it. Freshmen and Sophomores couldn’t attend on their own, but the many did attend as dates of the juniors and seniors. In fact, it was something you strove for as a Freshman and Sophomore.

    That is also the experience of everyone of my friends who attended school throughout many other states. I don’t know a single person who had separate formal dances for each grade in high school. Some had a winter formal, as well as a prom, but that wasn’t divided by grade either. This is consistent today in my experience. I don’t know of a single high school, public or private, in my area that has separate formal dances for each grade. I don’t doubt that your school did have separate dances, but that doesn’t appear to be the norm.

  54. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    Hi, I think you didn’t read my post about experiences just above yours.

    Ignore the dances then.

    3 or 4 years difference is a big difference during your teens.

    That’s the reason freshman usually don’t start on sports teams.

    It is the difference between playing video games and sneaking into bars.

    It is the difference between having your mom drive you places and true liberty (cars).

    It is the difference between still being a bit of a child and being mostly an adult.

    You say that “many 8th graders have more life experience and maturity than many seniors”? Many? Like a large number of? Like the majority of people? I guess this is why the Army takes so many 8th graders. Or the reason so many 8th graders do internships. Etc. Get real. Many 8th graders are NOT going to be more mature than high school srs. OMG, ROFL.

  55. Donna July 24, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    Yes, Dirk, we are all well aware that you can search the internet. One person’s point of view of high school may not actually be consistent with everyone else’s point of view of high school. Everyone is different and everyone’s experience is different.

    I was probably more mature as a Freshman. For one thing, I had already been in high school for 2 years at that point. High school was not a new experience. Second, I moved right after my junior year. Maybe it was new friends or trying to find my place or maybe a last gasp at being juvenile before I became an official adult, but I had a mid-teen crisis my senior year. I did all kinds of ridiculous stuff that I wouldn’t have done in years prior because I was just too cool then.

    Everyone is different. Age may be a guideline as to a very broad range of what you should expect, but PEOPLE and their individual personalities, maturity and experiences are far more important than a date on a calendar.

  56. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    To get back on point.

    Look Sex Offender laws aren’t perfect. I would prefer harsher penalties for repeat offenders and lesser what have you with younger offenders like the one mentioned in the blog post. As a 17 year old he emailed some porn to a 14 year old boy and solicited an encounter with another 14 year old boy that was not “completed.” Not good stuff…but 9 years worth of jail time didn’t help anybody.

    But don’t just talk about it like it is a bunch of 17 year olds dating 14 year olds and going to jail. That isn’t what happens the actual massive majority of cases.

    The four closest sex offenders on the registry to me right now at my current location in the chair I am sitting in right now are:

    1) A 45 year old male who at the age of 41 was convicted of indecent assault and battery on child under 14 years of age Conviction Date=3/29/2010

    2) A 37 year old male who at the age of 25 was convicted of O/S RAPE OF CHILD WITH FORCE.

    3) A 44 year old male who at that age of 44 was convicted of indecent assault and battery on child under 14 years of age.

    4) A 66 year old male who at the age of 66 was convicted of sexual abuse 1st:sexual contact with individual less than 11 years old.

  57. Andy July 24, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    @Dirk We never had age separated dances in school.

    “That’s the reason freshman usually don’t start on sports teams.”

    We had no school teams, but sport clubs definitely mixed ages. They did not necessary competed against each other, but they often trained together.

    “It is the difference between playing video games and sneaking into bars.”

    The most common consumer of big AAA games is 30 years old male. Game playing does not seem to go down with age, people seem to continue doing it as they age. Gaming goes down when they have a job, family and little free time, regardless of age.

    “It is the difference between having your mom drive you places and true liberty (cars).”

    We used public transport even as employed – since elementary school till we earned enough money to make it worth it. There is no difference between 14 years old and 20 years old on public transport.

    “It is the difference between still being a bit of a child and being mostly an adult.”

    Girls mature faster then boys and 3-4 years of difference can make them into very good match actually.

    “army”

    Army recruitment is basically 30-50 years old trying to convince youngsters going to war is heroic. What does it have to do with 16 and 19 years old dating together?

    I guess that your school culture obsessed way too much about small age differences in dating and you keep thinking it is a norm.

  58. Donna July 24, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    “That’s the reason freshman usually don’t start on sports teams.”

    Freshman usually don’t start of sports teams due to several reasons: They are not needed because there are plenty of more experienced players to field the team. They are generally smaller as the male physical maturity is generally at its height during high school. Plenty of freshmen do start in smaller schools where they are needed. Most highly skilled players will start as freshmen as well.

    “It is the difference between playing video games and sneaking into bars.”

    That is often a difference in personality more than it is age. I know many people who never played video games or snuck into bars. Maybe it was the time (we were still on Atari when I graduated high school), but video games were not a huge thing when I was a teen. Only geeks spent much time playing them. Drinking, however, was quite popular, even as freshmen and sophomores. I was in 7th grade when I had my first drink not given to me by my parents (actually it was the summer before 7th grade).

    “It is the difference between having your mom drive you places and true liberty (cars).”

    I can’t argue with that. However, license age is set by law. It is not based on individual maturity.

    “It is the difference between still being a bit of a child and being mostly an adult.”

    In the eyes of society or in the eyes of the person. I don’t care about the first and the second will vary by person.

  59. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    To several posters. My description of the differences between freshman year of high school and senior year of high school are pretty much on the mark of the spirit of the thing if not attuned to your specific experience of having a car or not having a car. Refuting them with individual experiences rather than universal doesn’t mean they aren’t true. Take a look at these:

    By Dirk Thu Jul 24th 2014 at 9:35 am

    Check it out. The difference between FR and SR…

    http://www.gurl.com/2013/04/09/freshman-vs-senior-high-school-gifs/

    By Dirk Thu Jul 24th 2014 at 9:36 am

    Here is a high schooler’s POV!

    http://archbishopryanreview.com/355/opinion/freshman-year-vs-senior-year/

  60. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    And AGAIN, to get back on point…

    To get back on point.

    Look Sex Offender laws aren’t perfect. I would prefer harsher penalties for repeat offenders and lesser what have you with younger offenders like the one mentioned in the blog post. As a 17 year old he emailed some porn to a 14 year old boy and solicited an encounter with another 14 year old boy that was not “completed.” Not good stuff…but 9 years worth of jail time didn’t help anybody.

    But don’t just talk about it like it is a bunch of 17 year olds dating 14 year olds and going to jail. That isn’t what happens the actual massive majority of cases.

    The four closest sex offenders on the registry to me right now at my current location in the chair I am sitting in right now are:

    1) A 45 year old male who at the age of 41 was convicted of indecent assault and battery on child under 14 years of age.

    2) A 37 year old male who at the age of 25 was convicted of O/S RAPE OF CHILD WITH FORCE.

    3) A 44 year old male who at that age of 44 was convicted of indecent assault and battery on child under 14 years of age.

    4) A 66 year old male who at the age of 66 was convicted of sexual abuse 1st:sexual contact with individual less than 11 years old.

  61. Donna July 24, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Dirk, Taking TWO individual’s experiences and claiming them to be universal for ALL people of the same age is idiotic.

  62. Tiny Tim July 24, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    just to restate: you can throw a bunch of horny teenagers in a building (high school) and expect them not to have relationships. That doesn’t mean that all such relationships are ones we think of as being good ideas, but that we don’t think they’re good ideas is not a reason to throw people in jail and put them on sex offender lists for life.

  63. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    IF you are talking about high schoolers experiences…you need to actually be talking about people who are in high school now. Sorry but the two items linked are closer to the general pop of hs now than what some people here are saying. My description is too. There is a huge difference between a freshman and a senior. There is. I think posters here are saying crazy things like 8th graders are as mature and experienced as high school seniors because they want to make a point about sex offender laws. As if there is some sort of grand deluge of kids getting arrested for heavy petting. There isn’t.

  64. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    Don’t just talk about it like it is a bunch of 17 year olds dating 14 year olds and going to jail. That isn’t what happens the actual vast vast vast massive majority of cases.

    The ten closest sex offenders on the registry to me right now at my current location in the chair I am sitting in right now are:

    1) A 45 year old male who at the age of 41 was convicted of indecent assault and battery on child under 14 years of age.

    2) A 37 year old male who at the age of 25 was convicted of O/S RAPE OF CHILD WITH FORCE.

    3) A 44 year old male who at that age of 44 was convicted of indecent assault and battery on child under 14 years of age.

    4) A 66 year old male who at the age of 66 was convicted of sexual abuse 1st:sexual contact with individual less than 11 years old.

    5) A 75 year old male who has been convicted of ASSAULT WITH INTENT TO COMMIT RAPE, INDECENT ASSAULT AND BATTERY ON CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE, INDECENT ASSAULT AND BATTERY ON CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE (first conviction at the age of 36 last conviction at the age of 62)

    6) A 36 year old male convicted of Dissemination of matter harmful to minors, Posing or exhibiting a child in state of nudity or sexual conduct, Dissemination of child pornography, Indecent assault and battery on child under 14 years of age, Dissemination of matter harmful to minors C, Purchase or possession of child pornography, Indecent assault and battery on child under 14 years of age, Purchase or possession of child pornography (all over an 8 year period).

    7) A 40 year old male convicted at the age of 28 of indecent assault and battery on child under 14 years of age.

    8) A 54 year old male convicted of AGGRAVATED RAPE, and RAPE OF CHILD WITH FORCE (He was 26).

    9) A 40 year old make convicted of AGGRAVATED RAPE, and RAPE OF CHILD WITH FORCE (He was 23).

    10) A 55 year old male convicted of Indecent assault and battery on a person aged 14 or olde, Aggravated rape, Kidnapping of a child under the age of 16, Rape, and Rape (all over a 15 year period).

    These are literally the 10 people geographically closes to my desk right now. In fact I couldn’t find one person who would match the type of consensual sex among teen blither that some people are talking about…

  65. Donna July 24, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    But back on point if you insist, the 4 closest sex offenders to me:

    1) Convicted of stat rape (consensual sex with a minor). Unknown age at time of occurrence (incident date isn’t included on our registry info; just conviction date), however he was 22 when first placed on the registry so it was some age less than that. Age of the victim is not given, but stat rape would be 14 or 15. Anything under 14 is child molestation and anything over 15 is legal.

    2) Stat rape – Age 21 when convicted.

    3) Aggravated assault with intent to rape. No child involved, but clearly not a nice person.

    4) Stat rape – Age 20 when convicted.

    People are somewhat lucky in my state since misdemeanors and juvenile adjudications don’t require registration as they do in many states. However, many felonies involving minors do end up on the registry even if no sex was involved so we have a number of people who robbed drug dealers who just happened to be under 17 and people who beat up the guy who raped their daughter/friend on the registry too (the rapist was never convicted so he is not on the registry, but the people who beat him up are).

  66. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    I don’t believe you.

    Let’s pick 3 random area codes and post the three for each.

  67. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    Birmingham, 35203
    1) JULIOUS R SMITH, Age 52 Sodomy 2nd/Rape 2nd
    2) MICHAEL LAMONT JONES, Age 41, Indecent Liberties with Minor
    3) TOMMIE VIRGIL FOLKER Jr, Age 36, Electronic Solicitation of Child & Traveling to Meet Child For Sex

  68. Donna July 24, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    Dirk, They are still just TWO people’s viewpoints. Whether today or yesterday or 30 years ago. Two people’s version of events that happen to support your hypothesis is no more valid than mine and other people’s version of events that don’t. Your links are simply individual accounts. They have no more validity than my likewise individual account to the contrary. Or anonymous mom. Or the many other people who have posted about high school age gaps and dating.

    And, why exactly are your description of high schoolers valid from 20 years ago, but other people’s are not?

    And why do only current high school experiences matter? Is this generation inherently dumber? Inherently less mature? Inherently less capable? Growing at a different rate between 14 and 17 than previous generations?

  69. hancock July 24, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    It used to be that 14 year old girls were encouraged to go to school, have fun with friends, and be home by 10 pm; 19 year old young men were encouraged to either serve in the military, go to college, or get get a job, marry, and have a family (in that order). Casual unmarried sex was discouraged for all ages. I’m not saying the old days were a statuatory-rape-free utopia, but there was a time when families dealt with teenage sex without having to involve the police and the criminal justice system.

  70. Puzzled July 24, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    Well, I have no idea what the page of dumb gifs is supposed to show. The short article saying “seniors like me know more than freshmen” isn’t very informative. Anyway, yes, freshmen sometimes have trouble finding their locker and classroom. So do adults when they start at a new place of business. If I start at a new workplace, for how long must I not have sex?

    Here’s a good way for a freshman to get over those problems – be friends, or more, with older students.

  71. Donna July 24, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    Well then Dirk, I don’t believe you. I guess we are even.

  72. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Los Angeles, CA 90012

    1) CANALES, YOLANDA IRMA, Age 47, LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS WITH A CHILD 14 OR 15 YEARS OF AGE AND OFFENDER 10 OR MORE YEARS OLDER THAN VICTIM

    2) KAZANJIAN, MILANO, Age 71, CONTACTING MINOR WITH INTENT TO COMMIT A SPECIFIED SEX OFFENSE

    3) MENTZEL, GLEN L, Age 63, ORAL COPULATION WITH A MINOR UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE OR BY FORCE OR FEAR, SODOMY WITH PERSON UNDER 14 YEARS OR WITH FORCE, PRIOR CODE – RAPE BY FORCE, PRIOR CODE – SEXUAL PENETRATION OF VICTIM WITH FOREIGN OBJECT BY FORCE

  73. Puzzled July 24, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    True Hancock. Luckily, the world has progressed and we now think it is valid for people to enjoy themselves instead of devoting themselves to servitude to the state or big business at all times.

  74. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Fargo, ND 58102

    1) Syverson, Jesse James, Age 26, Offender possessed numerous images of child pornography on his computer.

    2) JAMES FRANK ELMORE, Age 70, GROSS SEXUAL IMPOSITION

    3) Trudeau, Rodney Russell, Age 60, Offender has a history of sexual conduct and contact with minor female victims (age 7-10). Conduct included indecent exposure. Contact included fondling and penetration. Offender was known to victims.

  75. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Hi Donna, Confirm it yourself. Three random areas picked and no statutory rapes between teens. I think you made your stats up. Those area codes and dead center on the map. No SRs. Some real bad people. MENTZEL, GLEN and Trudeau, Rodney Russell are some real bad men.

    Birmingham, 35203

    1) JULIOUS R SMITH, Age 52 Sodomy 2nd/Rape 2nd

    2) MICHAEL LAMONT JONES, Age 41, Indecent Liberties with Minor

    3) TOMMIE VIRGIL FOLKER Jr, Age 36, Electronic Solicitation of Child & Traveling to Meet Child For Sex

    Los Angeles, CA 90012

    1) CANALES, YOLANDA IRMA, Age 47, LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS WITH A CHILD 14 OR 15 YEARS OF AGE AND OFFENDER 10 OR MORE YEARS OLDER THAN VICTIM

    2) KAZANJIAN, MILANO, Age 71, CONTACTING MINOR WITH INTENT TO COMMIT A SPECIFIED SEX OFFENSE

    3) MENTZEL, GLEN L, Age 63, ORAL COPULATION WITH A MINOR UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE OR BY FORCE OR FEAR, SODOMY WITH PERSON UNDER 14 YEARS OR WITH FORCE, PRIOR CODE – RAPE BY FORCE, PRIOR CODE – SEXUAL PENETRATION OF VICTIM WITH FOREIGN OBJECT BY FORCE

    Fargo, ND 58102

    1) Syverson, Jesse James, Age 26, Offender possessed numerous images of child pornography on his computer.

    2) JAMES FRANK ELMORE, Age 70, GROSS SEXUAL IMPOSITION

    3) Trudeau, Rodney Russell, Age 60, Offender has a history of sexual conduct and contact with minor female victims (age 7-10). Conduct included indecent exposure. Contact included fondling and penetration. Offender was known to victims.

  76. Donna July 24, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    Puzzled – I have a horrible sense of direction and get lost constantly. I can still manage to get lost in this town I’ve lived in or near since I was 12. It is so bad that one day when I accidentally activated google maps as we were leaving and my 8 year old said totally serious “you can’t even get out of the house without GPS anymore?”

    Am I not allowed to have sex at all? Because I am 44 and I don’t see my sense of direction improving at this point.

  77. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    Hi Donna, I really wish you would stick to the topic at hand. Sex offenders. But to answer your questions about why things are different between generations and why that matters. Go look at the conversation hancock is having with whoever that is. And then know this. Reports of rape are up for high school and college age students. Because people are talking about it more and the culture (that you can actually accuse your rapist of rape these days) is better. It isn’t good though, just look at how colleges are screwing it up. I think under the nostalgic scenario you paint of high school girls dating “older men” you leave out the parts where it didn’t go well.

    But focus on the sex offenders…

  78. Donna July 24, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Believe what you wish. Our website (or my internet) is slow and it is not worth my time to go in and get names. Nor is it worth my time to even read your posts, let alone look them up.

  79. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    I don’t really understand your “puzzled” comment. Are you saying you cant find those area codes? Or are you saying that you might stumble across a sex offender? Why are you asking me if you can have sex? Are you implying that I am harping that the world isn’t safe? Because it is the opposite…crime is down (even if reports of campus rape is up up up). So go outside and have fun. That being said people who commit the crimes indicated in this comment thread should be incarcerated and need to be dealt with. Also, there is no glut of teens being put on sex offender lists or convicted of crimes for consensual sexual encounters.

  80. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    OMG really? That is your response. I do roll on the ground. LOL. Fast enough before but you are too slow now to look stuff up. Yeah right.

  81. Donna July 24, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    Dirk, I was talking to Puzzled, not you. Read Puzzled’s comment and maybe it will make sense.

  82. Donna July 24, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    No, Dirk, I am too uninterested to look things up. I am not going to go tit-for-tat with you. I really don’t care enough about your comments to bother with this any more. Besides, as other people have said in previous posts, you constant need to pull random crap off the internet to, I guess prove that you know how to search the internet, is annoying. I’m not going to encourage continued flooding of the page with it. I shouldn’t have even done it the first time.

  83. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    It is annoying because you don’t like facts. You can look things up you know to actually know things about them and to find evidence to actually support your beliefs. Like did you know that 97% of rapists never spend anytime behind bars?

  84. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    You claimed that the sex offender registry is flooded with teens who had consensual sex and offered up examples with no backing. I called BS and offered up the opposite with actual proof. You got angry and called me annoying. Sorry if you don’t like facts.

  85. Donna July 24, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    No, it is annoying because it fills the webpage with ridiculous random crap that proves nothing and nobody really cares about. I’m not the first one who has said it. In fact, there have been several posts asking you to stop on other threads.

  86. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Three random areas picked and no statutory rapes between teens. I think you made your stats up. Those area codes and dead center on the map.

    Birmingham, 35203

    1) JULIOUS R SMITH, Age 52 Sodomy 2nd/Rape 2nd

    2) MICHAEL LAMONT JONES, Age 41, Indecent Liberties with Minor

    3) TOMMIE VIRGIL FOLKER Jr, Age 36, Electronic Solicitation of Child & Traveling to Meet Child For Sex

    Los Angeles, CA 90012

    1) CANALES, YOLANDA IRMA, Age 47, LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS WITH A CHILD 14 OR 15 YEARS OF AGE AND OFFENDER 10 OR MORE YEARS OLDER THAN VICTIM

    2) KAZANJIAN, MILANO, Age 71, CONTACTING MINOR WITH INTENT TO COMMIT A SPECIFIED SEX OFFENSE

    3) MENTZEL, GLEN L, Age 63, ORAL COPULATION WITH A MINOR UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE OR BY FORCE OR FEAR, SODOMY WITH PERSON UNDER 14 YEARS OR WITH FORCE, PRIOR CODE – RAPE BY FORCE, PRIOR CODE – SEXUAL PENETRATION OF VICTIM WITH FOREIGN OBJECT BY FORCE

    Fargo, ND 58102

    1) Syverson, Jesse James, Age 26, Offender possessed numerous images of child pornography on his computer.

    2) JAMES FRANK ELMORE, Age 70, GROSS SEXUAL IMPOSITION

    3) Trudeau, Rodney Russell, Age 60, Offender has a history of sexual conduct and contact with minor female victims (age 7-10). Conduct included indecent exposure. Contact included fondling and penetration. Offender was known to victims.

  87. Donna July 24, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    I didn’t get angry, although I do find you annoying. I just have no interest in continuing to flood the webpage with tit-for-tat postings about random sex offenders that nobody cares about.

    My only post in this vein contained exactly the same info (within the limitations of my state’s registry) that your first post contained. You called b/s and I said I didn’t care. Sorry if that hurts your feelings.

  88. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Are you saying that saying and providing evidence that there is NO glut of consensual teen sex leading to teens getting convicted of rape and sent to prison isn’t relevant? Because despite what the blog post at the top of this page would have you believe, there is no huge problem with teens like Lenore is stating she says that a “17 year old who had sex with a 14 year old is treated like a child rapist…” They aren’t. Statutory rapes account for about 18 percent of sexual convictions, a proverbial 99% of those convicted are not teens themselves. They are individuals much older than those who are raped.

    The only thing going on here is that you don’t want to hear it because you want to believe that there is some sort of grand conspiracy out to make you afraid. If there is let me reiterate teen sex isn’t part of the equation. There is enough going on that free range doesn’t have to make stuff up…

  89. Dirk July 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    It isn’t tit for tat. It is facts. You claimed that the sex offender registry is flooded with teens who had consensual sex and offered up examples with no backing. I called BS and offered up the opposite with actual proof. You got “upset” and called me annoying and tried to call BS…except I offered the exact area where my info was coming from but you can’t or won’t do the same. Sorry if you don’t like facts.

  90. Donna July 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    “You claimed that the sex offender registry is flooded with teens who had consensual sex”

    I said no such thing. You have me mistaken with other posters.

    “offered up examples with no backing.”

    I responded to your first post. I listed the exact same information that you did within the limits of my state registry (the date of offense is not available, but I gave date of conviction and age of victim is not available but I defined it as best I could under the local laws). If my comment was without backing, yours was as well.

    You called B/S and challenged me to look up more information. I declined that challenge and that appears to have you all upset because I don’t want to enter into this game with you. Sorry. We could go on all day pulling out random sex offenders on the registry. You could pull out serious crimes. I could pull out stat rape involving young adults. I could probably even find stupid misdemeanors if I looked at other state’s registries. It proves nothing more than there are both serious crimes and stupid crimes on the registry. Any authority on the registry would tell you the exact same thing.

  91. Donna July 24, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    I am opposed to the sex offender registry for many reasons that have nothing to do with the crimes contained therein. I wouldn’t care if it was solely a list of the 100 most violent child molesters on the planet. I would still be opposed.

    I am also opposed to stat rape laws. Most of my posts in this entire thread were in that vein and had nothing to do with the registry at all.

  92. Adam July 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    My problem with the Registry is best illustrated by a scene in “The Green Mile”:
    Percy Wetmore: [while tapping Arlen’s burned face after being electrocuted] Adios, Chief! Drop us a card from Hell, let us know if it’s hot enough…

    Brutus “Brutal” Howell: [Brutus grabs Percy’s arm and pushes him away from Arlen’s body] He’s paid what he’s owed; he’s square with the house again, so keep your goddamn hands off him!

  93. Adam July 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    My problem with the Registry is best illustrated by a scene in “The Green Mile”:

    Percy Wetmore: [while tapping Arlen’s burned face after being electrocuted] Adios, Chief! Drop us a card from Hell, let us know if it’s hot enough…

    Brutus “Brutal” Howell: [Brutus grabs Percy’s arm and pushes him away from Arlen’s body] He’s paid what he’s owed; he’s square with the house again, so keep your goddamn hands off him!

    If you do a crime, are convicted of that crime by a judge or jury, sentenced for the crime, and then serve your sentence, you paid your debt to society. Those individuals on the registry have lifetime sentences. They’re debt is never paid. They are never square with the house. It has been proven to be ineffective in numerous studies.

    Why is there no manslaughter registry? Why is there no DUI registry? Why is there no armed robbery registry? Why is there no assault and battery registry? Did these individuals not place anyone in danger? Did they not hurt their fellow humans? Did the victims of these crimes not suffer physical and emotional trauma? Of course they did. Yet, it is one group and one group alone who are singled out and never allowed to put their lives back to any resemblance of normal.

  94. Buffy July 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    “If I start at a new workplace, for how long must I not have sex?”

    Thanks for a day brightener….I’m still giggling!!!

  95. CrazyCatLady July 24, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    Dirk, I can look up stuff too. Like the father of a friend, who, in his professional capacity, pinched a client’s rear end. An adult client, in her 40s, when he was in his 70s. She charged him, he was found guilty. I don’t think that what he did was right.

    But…when I look him up on his state’s registry, it says that he is a 4th degree sexual offender. Which, when I look that up, it says that it is inappropriate touching of a person 4 or more years older than a 14 or 15 year old. Yes, this guy may be perverted…but he has never gone after kids, and when I worked for his wife his flirting was always with mature women. (I was dating his son, he stayed well away.)

    What I think happened is that the prosecutor wanted him on the registry, but they didn’t have a definition that fit, so they gave him this one, the one that makes people want to look out for their teen daughters, that makes it harder for him to see his grand kids. Really, he just needs to keep out of the workplace (he has retired) and probably stay out of the grocery line behind mature women.

  96. hineata July 24, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    @JT Wenting – no, actually, the ones listed in the Guardian article I looked at weren’t. One of the older offenders who’d been in there for life was a black teen who decades ago killed a white person so no great surprises there. A more recent example was a young girl whose boyfriend killed her grandmother. Both were more than capable of being rehabilitated. Have no data to back it up but Donna might know – I was told by a friend 20 years ago who was doing probation work at the time that ‘they’ think murder is often a crime of passion, and the recidivism rate for any sort of crime by murderers is low.

    I just think it’s a total waste of resources to jail a child for their natural lives. The Parker/Hulme murder case from the 1950s down here in Christchurch (there’s a film, Heavenly Creatures, based on it) resulted in the two 15 year olds who murdered one of their mothers getting 5 or so years in jail, then name changes and relocation overseas (one was originally from away anyway). Both went on to full lives, Juliet Hulme becoming the writer Anne Perry. Did they regret what they did? Yes, of course….but they went on to be useful adults. And so could these kids.

    And so could most ‘sex offenders’….

    @Dirk – I think it’s disgusting personally that you can find that sort of information about people….No business of yours if they have done their time. Am so glad we don’t have a SOR.

    @Donna – I am very old-fashioned really, and certainly kids dated when I was at high school (we had a high teen pregnancy rate, as at least one form of evidence that some sort of dating was going on) but I never did, and never felt like I missed out. My kids haven’t dated so far either, and as far as I can tell a lot of their friends don’t. Maybe we’re just slow down under… :-). But haven’t kids got other things to do with their time, like study and hang out with mates, or play sport or something? So I don’t find it weird that high schoolers date, but personally I don’t see it as a particularly important part of HS life either.

    Would be interested to know if anyone else was/is a nondater at hs, or am I the lone nerd/nerd family on the planet? :-)

  97. CrazyCatLady July 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Ah, the colorful people I know. I had a boss who was working doing drug and alcohol prevention. When he was about 15, he got in a cab with some other kids, and took a ride to some place. When they got there, one of the kids pulled a gun on the cabbie, and when he didn’t give him the money, he shot and killed him.

    Now, my boss went to Juvie for about 7 years, as I recall. He said that he got pinned as the murder because he was the youngest. (Not totally sure that was true or not, doesn’t really matter to me.) Anyhow, he got out, and he started getting some training, working for doctors, and eventually doing the drug and alcohol counseling and prevention.

    And he was good. Yes, he is a minority, and he related well to the kids, especially to the minority boys. He never told them his story beyond the fact that he grew up on the streets. He knew how to find people to tell their stories. He helped to convince kids that they shouldn’t be having sex early, that they don’t need to drink, smoke or do drugs. He helped people who were on drugs get clean, helped kids understand their parents addictions, helped to keep families together.

    Had he been locked away for life…he never would have done the good that he did. As far as I am concerned, he did his time, he needed the chance to become a good citizen, to give back, to have a job and pay taxes. If he was a teen now…I suspect that he would have been in much longer, given less resources if and when he got out, been a burden on society instead of a good citizen.

  98. Rachel @ Wife, Then Mama July 24, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    @hineata

    I was pretty much a non-dater, at least compared to everyone I knew. I dated two guys during high school, one for a week, and one for a month or two. I thought that long term relationships were a waste of time unless I felt that I could marry the guy, and most guys I knew didn’t seem like marriage material. I got married about a year after graduation, but that was to someone I met after I was out of school.

  99. hineata July 25, 2014 at 1:17 am #

    @CrazyCatLady – exactly! About the reformation possibilities, I mean :-).

    @Rachel – yay! Not alone in dating ‘nerdom’ :-)

  100. gap.runner July 25, 2014 at 1:49 am #

    I didn’t have time to wade through all of the comments. But it seems like the sex offender database in the States needs serious reform. There is a big difference between someone who urinates in public or moons someone and a serial rapist or child molester. But all of them are considered sex offenders. Most of the men I know would have been on a sex offender registry if they had them back in the ’70s. I think that almost every high school or college boy back then got drunk and urinated in public, mooned someone (usually from a car), or streaked.

    As to the 17-year-old boys with 14-year-old girlfriends…that was also a common thing back in the ’70s. Several of my friends and I were 14 in 10th grade (we ended up skipping a semester of school when LA Unified switched from kids starting school in either February or September to everyone starting in September). Those 14-year-old sophomores had 17-year-old boyfriends who were juniors or seniors. It seemed to be a pretty normal thing back then and nobody batted an eyelash over it.

  101. Katie G July 25, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    Wrong does not always equal dangerous. That’s the one-sentence acknowledgement for sex-offender laws. The pedophilia and the violent crimes of assorted kinds are dangerous. The teens-of-different-ages, the 20-something guy providing Playboy to a high school friend/brother/cousin- those are wrong but not dangerous.

  102. Dirk July 25, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    If you have been arrested for public urination, it’s possible that you could be charged with a sex offense. Perhaps this will serve as more incentive to empty your bladder at the bar or restaurant before taking off.

    Some may see public urination as a relatively harmless and victimless crime. After all, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

    But in some cases, you could be charged with a sex offense and — similar to pedophiles and child rapists — be forced to register as a sex offender.

    Generally, the crime of public urination involves just that: relieving oneself in public. Individuals may do this for a variety of reasons completely unrelated to voyeurism, threatening children, or anything sexual. For example, the simple fact is that at a lot of events there are a lot of beverages served, but just not enough toilets. As a result, revelers may be doing their business wherever they can.

    In most states, public urination is a misdemeanor charge. Those faced with the charge pay a penalty and avoid jail time.

    In contrast, a sex offense generally includes sexual acts against children. Besides acts like assaulting or molesting a child, a sex offense can also include crimes like exposing oneself to a child.

    So if you urinate in public, and there are children around, you could potentially get charged with a sex offense in some states.

    Whether someone is convicted of a sex offense will depend upon the laws in the jurisdiction. For example, if intent to commit a sex offense on a child is a necessary element of the crime, someone merely urinating in public may be exonerated of the charge. On the other hand, some jurisdictions make indecent exposure to a child a crime regardless of intent.

  103. Dirk July 25, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    Your contention Donna was this: That the SOR is full of statutory rape. It isn’t.

    You said this:

    “By Donna Thu Jul 24th 2014 at 11:06 am
    But back on point if you insist, the 4 closest sex offenders to me:
    1) Convicted of stat rape (consensual sex with a minor). Unknown age at time of occurrence (incident date isn’t included on our registry info; just conviction date), however he was 22 when first placed on the registry so it was some age less than that. Age of the victim is not given, but stat rape would be 14 or 15. Anything under 14 is child molestation and anything over 15 is legal.
    2) Stat rape – Age 21 when convicted.
    3) Aggravated assault with intent to rape. No child involved, but clearly not a nice person.
    4) Stat rape – Age 20 when convicted.
    People are somewhat lucky in my state since misdemeanors and juvenile adjudications don’t require registration as they do in many states. However, many felonies involving minors do end up on the registry even if no sex was involved so we have a number of people who robbed drug dealers who just happened to be under 17 and people who beat up the guy who raped their daughter/friend on the registry too (the rapist was never convicted so he is not on the registry, but the people who beat him up are).”

    I said I didn’t believe you and gave you 3 random area codes and put up the 3 closest convicted sex offenders to the center of that area code. None of which were stat rape cases.
    That is what happened.

    Lenore is the one who keeps insisting that there is somehow an epidemic of this happening. She says ” Once a person is labeled a sex offender, even a 17 year old who had sex with a 14 year old is treated like a child rapist” right at the top of this page as if that is what fills the registry. It isn’t there are plenty of states with romeo and juliet laws and even when there is the technical possibility of making the charge it is rarely enforced. In Lenore’s home state of new york for example if the older child is less than four years older than the victim it negates any charge that could be made.

  104. Dirk July 25, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    Personally I don’t really care about a public registry. But if they have a lifetime of probation and that means the cops have to know where they are so be it. I am sorry to have to tell you but Pedophilia and rape is what dominates the registry. Reform it all you want but Pedophiles and stereotypical rapists make up virtually all of the people on the SOR. Pedophiles and stereotypical rapists can’t be cured because those tendencies are stable over time.

  105. Dirk July 25, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    The idea that there is a glut of statutory rape on the SOR is 100% incorrect.

    Statutory rape convictions make up between 15 and 20% of all sexual assault convictions.

    About 80 percent of defendants are at least four years older than their victims.

    The median age of defendants? 24, and the average age was almost 30.

    One-third of defendants were older than 30 and at least twice the age of their victims.

    Only about 6% of rapists ever serve a day in jail.

    But the most damning statistic for the idiotic idea that consensual sex among teens is leading to statutory rape convictions and teens on the sex offender registry…wait for it…

    0.6% of people arrested for rape are 17 years old or younger.

    That is 0.6%…less than one percent people arrested for rape are 17 years old or younger. And only a tiny fraction of those are statutory rape cases. It’s not about “young love.” Cases of young defendants (18- and 19-year-olds) often included allegations of physical force and coercion, running contrary to ideas of “young love.”

  106. Dirk July 25, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    I feel like I really need to repeat that last statistic….

    But the most damning statistic for the idiotic idea that consensual sex among teens is leading to statutory rape convictions and teens on the sex offender registry…wait for it…

    0.6% of people arrested for rape are 17 years old or younger.

    Less then one percent of individuals charges with rape are teens. And only a tiny fraction of that is for statutory (non violent) rape. And only a portion of that tiny fraction of that less than one percent get convictions.

  107. Dirk July 25, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    I’d like to see Lenore post her keynote. I’d like to hear what it she proposes!

  108. Warren July 25, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    Dirk,
    There is only one thing to be done with the SOR. Scrap it altogether. It serves no purpose. Even to law enforcement. With all the tech available they don’t need a central list, as any search engine can get that info from their existing database.
    The SOR does nothing more than make the paranoid feel better, and cost the taxpayer a small fortune.

  109. Dirk July 25, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    Works for me Warren. Scrap it then. Certainly doesn’t help me in anyway that I can see. There is a movie called knocked up where a guy gets a girl pregnant and how they deal with it. It’s a comedy, pretty funny. In it a couple argue about how the husband doesn’t care about the SOR and how there are so many predators in their neighborhood. She is really made that he “doesn’t give a…” His response is what do you want me to do? Form a posse? I didn’t realize it at the time but his response really was, I know yeah there are some bad people out there, there aren’t that many and I can’t do anything about it so lets not let it effect us. Essentially he rejected the unnecessary fear his wife was feeling.

    Scrap it then. The only reason I went on it once was out of morbid curiosity. It didn’t make me feel good. The other time was to prove Donna wrong.

  110. Laurambp July 25, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Dirk, I’m not going to fully play your game in the interest of time, but I’m going to say this: the Maryland State Registry DOES NOT state the age that the crime was done or even the date, but only the person’s current age.

    Here are the crimes and current ages of the ten people closest to me in my zip code in Baltimore, MD:

    1. Age 32: 3rd Degree Sex Offense
    2. Age 27: 3rd Degree Sex Offense
    3. Age 23: 4th Degree Sex Offense
    4. Age 23: 4th Degree Sex Offense
    5. Age 28: 4th Degree Sex Offense
    6. Age 41: Sexual Solicitation Of A Minor
    7. Age 67: Reciept Or Possession Of Material Containing Child Pornography
    8. Age 44: Reciept Or Possession Of Material Containing Child Pornography
    9. Age 21: Sexual Solicitation Of A Minor
    10. Age 47: 3rd Degree Sex Offense

    The list should be abolished because this tells me absolutely nothing about what actually happened. How do I know that it wasn’t consensual sex in all of the 4th degree charges? How do I know that the sex in the 3rd degree changes happened when both parties were drunk and under the influence of drugs? How do I know that the possession of child porn wasn’t through an unintentional download in limewire? Or that the sexual solicitation wasn’t “I like your skirt”? We don’t know, but yet, I know of cases with these charges where these were the true stories. And yet, because of plea bargains, they are displayed with these wrongful charges in order to avoid jail time or serious monetary fines and fees.

    FYI, Definitions of 3rd and 4th degree:

    3rd degree sexual offense: Sexual contact without the consent of the victim, along with an aggravating factor, like causing or putting in fear of serious physical injury or disfigurement, suffocating, kidnapping, etc. Sexual contact is intentionally touching genitalia, the anus or other intimate area. It includes penetration by a part of the body except the penis or mouth.

    Also includes sexual contact with mentally disabled victim, victim under age 14 and perpetrator 4 years older, a sexual act with victim 14 or 15 and perpetrator 21, vaginal intercourse with victim 14 or 15 and perpetrator 21.

    4th degree sexual offense: Not considered a sexually violent offense. Sexual contact without consent of victim, sexual act with victim 14 or 15 and perpetrator 4 years older; vaginal intercourse with victim 14 or 15 and perpetrator 4 years older. Sexual contact is intentionally touching genitalia, the anus or other intimate area. It includes penetration by a part of the body except the penis or mouth.

  111. BL July 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    @Dirk
    “His response is what do you want me to do? Form a posse?”

    It’s happened:

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-04-16-maine-shootings_x.htm

  112. Dirk July 25, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    Hi Laurambp,

    I don’t care if there is a registry or not. All I am saying as that less than one percent of individuals charges with rape statutory or otherwise are 17 or younger. It is wrong to imply that there is some sort of epidemic of teens being charged with rape after having consensual sex. Lenore is just replacing one extreme position with another extreme position.

  113. Dirk July 25, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    This guy was his own Posse. I don’t know the full story of this…

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/18/justice/florida-father-beats-suspect/index.html

  114. Dirk July 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Laurambp, just to follow up.

    If you are implying that maybe the cases you listed were consensual. They were not. All the crimes you listed require that consent was not given, hence why the definitions say “Sexual contact without the consent of the victim…”

    Moreover, I can tell you, again, with a virtual 100% certainty that none of the individuals you listed were teens when they raped their victims. (That is what we are talking about here, rape). Less than 1% of people charged with rape are 17 or younger. So the high high high probability is that everyone of the people you listed were 18 or older.

    About 80 percent of defendants are at least four years older than their victims, the average age is 30, and one-third of defendants are older than 30 and are least twice the age of their victims.

    To sum up. Teens are not being charged with rape. People who are charged with rape are in general at least 4 years older than the people they raped and one third of rapists are at elast twice as old as their victims.

    None of the people you listed had consensual sex with as a teen and then got put on a sex registry. They had non-consensual sex with someone (rape) and where convicted of it.

  115. BL July 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    @Dirk
    “This guy was his own Posse. I don’t know the full story of this”

    That had nothing to do with registries. That offender was caught in the act, and was a first-time-offender (or first time caught, anyway).

  116. Dirk July 25, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    BL I guess I didn’t understand what you were saying. The individuals who committed murder should be brought up on charges. If you are implying that the SOR is bad because of vigilantism sure. You can say that. I don’t care if the thing exists or not. I don’t approve of vigilantism. To be honest I don’t feel bad for pedophiles and rapists either.

  117. BL July 25, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    @Dirk
    “The individuals who committed murder should be brought up on charges.”

    Well, yeah.

    “If you are implying that the SOR is bad because of vigilantism sure.”

    The question is: just what is the SOR for? What action are people supposed to take based on the information it provides?

    Apparently some vigilantes have decided it’s a hit list. If it’s not that, what is it?

  118. Donna July 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    “Your contention Donna was this: That the SOR is full of statutory rape.”

    Quote a single comment made by me in this thread (or in any thread about the sex offender registry) where I said that “the SOR is full of statutory rape.”

    My state’s is. I’ve put many of them on there by pleading them out to stat rape. But I don’t speak about other state’s sex offender registry. Laws and prosecutors are different in every state.

    “I said I didn’t believe you and gave you 3 random area codes and put up the 3 closest convicted sex offenders to the center of that area code.”

    And I chose not to play your game. I’m not sure what your point is with this entire comment.

  119. SKL July 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    So on my secret facebook group a lady is outraged because the camp her school-aged kids attend is having a field trip and asking for volunteer drivers – i.e., parents who can drive their own kid(s) and have space for one or more additional kids.

    The mom called up and demanded to know: did you do criminal background checks on these parents? BMV checks? Insurance verifications? Did you even bother to confirm they have car seats in their cars for the youngest kids?? What do you mean you didn’t arrange for a bus!??

    She then gets on facebook she and others go on about the “what ifs,” including child molestation. Sigh. Like a gym mom (or gym dad) is going to rape a little girl in front of his own daughter. But mostly the concern was a vague “liability” and “why don’t people think.” ??

    I feel sorry for the gym people.

    I am the only person who dared to admit that I let other parents drive my kids around, without any of that proof. (Well, I do send along my kids’ car seats, because the law requires it. I don’t expect other people to provide safety seats for my kids.)

  120. Andy July 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    @Donna What do you mean by “pleading them out to stat rape”?

  121. Warren July 25, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    Dirk, what prosecutors office do you work for?

  122. Donna July 25, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    Andy – I have had many clients charged with stat rape that entered a guilty plea while I represented them. Almost were under 25.

    Due to our Romeo and Juliet statutes and the fact that those convicted of misdemeanors don’t have to register in my state (they do in many states), there are very few 17-18 year olds convicted of stat rape on our registry. There are many 19-25 year olds. I can’t say whether there are more stat rape or more serious sex offenses. I don’t really pay attention to the registry unless looking up a client.

    The thing people need to remember is that prosecutors have great leeway in prosecuting crime. Different places view crime differently. My area of Georgia prosecutes stat rape all the time. You may get a very different result in Atlanta where there is more crime than resources. California may view it differently than Arkansas. Like most things criminal, rich white boys from the burbs are going to get away with much more than poor black kids from the hood.

    The sex offender registry is not one thing. It is 50 different things – one for each state. The laws relating to it vary greatly. The contents vary greatly. There is nothing universal to say about it except that it sucks greatly to be on it.

  123. Donna July 25, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    hineata – I wasn’t much of a dater in high school either. Did some off and on, but not huge amounts. I had a friend who also rarely dated. I don’t remember her ever having a boyfriend. The rest of my friends were fairly boy crazy.

    As for juvenile killers, that is a whole dissertation. There has been a big push in the US to charge juvenile killers as adults rather than juveniles and that is probably the rule rather than the exception now. Sentences for murder are harsh. In my state, a juvenile tried as an adult for murder faces either life with parole eligibility in 30 years or life without parole (we have the death penalty but juveniles can’t receive death). The nature of the murder and their role will play the biggest part in deciding whether they get life or life without. In my area, it would have to be pretty heinous for a juvenile (or adult really) to not be offered life with parole before trial. After trial, life without parole would be more readily given.

  124. Papilio July 25, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    I totally don’t get the fuss about 9th and 11th graders dating each other. No, not every single kid in my secondary school dated, but the couples we did have were practically always a few years apart.
    Personally I didn’t date either in those years; I just never met anyone I wanted to be that intimate with. But a quite large minority of teens DO, and as long as they take it (and each other) serious etc etc, I don’t consider that “wrong” on general principal.
    I’m very glad there is no SOR where I live, and there is also the consensus that educating teens about sex and relationships and being there for them (so they can make their own, informed, decisions and get your help if needed) rather than prosecuting them is the best way to keep them (all of them) out of trouble.

  125. Papilio July 25, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    Dirk: Even if only 0.6% of all SOs is 17 or younger and convicted of stat rape, does that suddenly mean it’s okay that they’re on there in the first place?
    You keep saying 3-4 years is a big age gap, but you seem to forget/ignore that girls generally mature faster than boys. Since most romantic relationships involve a boy and a girl, they will most likely be of different ages when at the same developmental level of maturity.

  126. Andy July 26, 2014 at 6:24 am #

    @hineata @donna My dating life was entirely different then yours seems to be. I never had a short term or on/off relationship. Once I was with somebody, it was for two years minimum :) (Ok, one exception there).

    I did not actively looked for dating partner, I was just lucky to meet good match.

  127. Omer Golan-Joel July 27, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    This is fascism. The basic idea is to keep everyone suspicious at everyone else all the time. This helps the ruling clique control everything, turn each and every citizen into a spy for the government for free.

  128. Dirk July 28, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    My point Donna, once again, is that unlike what Lenore (and you) are saying, less than one percent of individuals charged with rape statutory or otherwise are 17 or younger. It is wrong to imply that there is some sort of epidemic of teens being charged with rape after having consensual sex. Lenore is just replacing one extreme position with another extreme position.

  129. Dirk July 28, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    These are the types of people that ACTUALLY dominate the registry. (Not that I care that the public registry exists.)

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/sex-predators-undetected-city-neighborhoods-article-1.1881443

  130. Dirk July 28, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Because like I said before, less than one percent of individuals charged with rape statutory or otherwise are 17 or younger. It is wrong to imply that there is some sort of epidemic of teens being charged with rape after having consensual sex