Monday, March 15, 2010

Age of consent should be determined by emancipation

Lately I have been reminiscing about my high school days. I went to high school in several places, but Wooster High in Reno Nevada is where I consider my real high school experience to have taken place.

I was reunited with a friend from that time period who I was a roommate of. When I lived with her, I was 18, she reminded me that she was 16 at that time (she had left home at 14). I had forgotten how young she was. I had lived on my own at 16 as well. Looking back on it, we really were young adults and not kids, however there are some 14-18 year olds that are still kids. Also I have been listening to an ongoing debate on Free Talk Live about the age of consent and when should this occur.

My take on it is that the dividing line should be emancipation. Once a person has left home, no matter what the age they should be considered an adult and able to make adult choices. This might mean that a person who is mentally challenged is never considered a full fledged adult and some exceptional kids may be considered adults at young ages, but in the end I believe this is the most logical way to determine who is an “adult” and who is not, base it on the amount of responsibility and independence the young person has exhibited. However, the caveat here is also that parents have no right to hold a child against his or her will if the child desire to emancipate themselves. This should just be a natural consequence of leaving home and fending for yourself, no judge or government needed.

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