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Sexual Offences Bill poll 3
mini me + poo
lovingboth
The 'age of consent' will remain at 16 (17 in Northern Ireland for no very good reason), with the existing - and expanded - restriction that someone in a position of care over a 16 or 17 year old cannot be sexual with them. (This was introduced as a sop to the opponents of the equalisation of the gay age of consent.)

An additional clause will make it illegal to pay for sex with any 16 or 17 year old. It is not otherwise illegal to pay for legal sexual activity.

Poll #119972 U-18 Prostitution

Should paying for sex with a 16 or 17 year old be illegal?

Yes
11(36.7%)
No
18(60.0%)
Other (see comment)
1(3.3%)

Other comment....



Update: Sandy - any 16 or 17 year old, ie paying for sex with someone who's 16 or 17 will make otherwise legal sex illegal. (It will also be an offence to pay for illegal sex, eg U-16, or with someone U-18 who you have a duty of care for, but that's already illegal..)

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I hope you plan to do a poll on that "position of care" thing too - at least at first glance, that doesn't seem unreasonable, assuming it's written and enforced without regard to gendre.

Update: Sandy - any 16 or 17 year old, ie paying for sex with someone who's 16 or 17 will make otherwise legal sex illegal. (It will also be an offence to pay for illegal sex, eg U-16, or with someone U-18 who you have a duty of care for, but that's already illegal..)

Aye, ah ken, t'was a rhetorical question.

See *I* think all sorts of unenforceable stuf should be in place that protects 16, 17 year olds depending not on their age but their circumstances such that 16, 17 year olds who are sorted and otherwise life-protected can be prossies if they want, it being their life. Of course, it doesn't work that way in the real world. I think the arguments for and against get rapidly polarised into "exception" territory. It's just stupid having different ages for consent/responsibility for different things anyway, I just think all of this could be sorted out by have one age, in my book probably 17, after which you are legally an adult and EVERYTHING changes after that, driving, army, sex, prostitution, the lot, equally for both genders, cos that's really the concept at the bottom of this, adulthood. You could argue til you're blue in the face about different kinds of adulthood, sexual, martial, driving-responsible, but really it doesn't make sense to seperate them for the purpose of the law. Either you take the position that there is childhod and adulthood and the law treats you differently before and after the magic birthday, or you abandon ages of consent and are a unique case that should be decided on its merits. I cannot buy into this "unhappy medium" where you're kind of an exceptional case because it's sex but not because you're over 18... if any of that makes any sense...

(Deleted comment)
Not that all 16 or 17 year olds are ready to have sex, but why should age of consent for sex work be different from age of consent?


Better than a lot of things

Well, I don't think it's a good idea to take up sex work very early because it's dangerous in various, straightforward and subtle, ways. But I don't think that masses of eager, miguided teens, who later regret their whoring years will be a big problem, or that the legislation would fix it if it is. In individual cases, whoring at 16 would probably be far preferable to starving, freezing, or whatever the compelling financial incentive is. Since no-one is prepared to care for random teenagers financially, it seems that sex work (any work) should be allowed.

Now, the problem is, of course, exploitation. Young sex slaves are both insanely valuable (to some people) and lacking ability to defend themselves, so they may be exploited by profiteers. It seems then that exploitation and slavery are what one should try to stop. I don't know how one goes about stopping these things, but I'd start at providing legal rights, housing, benefits, recourse to the law, social workers, general counseling, education opportunities, etc. As far as the profiteers are concerned, I'd start by applying a long list of labour standards (if you must employ sex workers you have to be above board and meet high ethics and safety standards). I'd even suggest that auditors, not the vice squad, should police this.

Pavlos

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