There are many factors that come into play when determining whether an eighteen-year-old should be charged with a crime for having relations with his/her partner. Among these and foremost are the legal and social ramifications that arise. If the debate is not centered around the moral issue of whether kids of this age should be having these relationships, I think we can discuss the merits of both sides of the argument.
It seems to me as though when I was of the age of eighteen and had a girlfriend who was 14 years old, the legal consequences were of little thought at the time. In fact, I would have thought it potentially hypocritical for me to face legal trouble for my actions. Let me put a caveat out there that I will pull a Bill Clinton facing impeachment and say “I did not have…” with this particular individual.
What strikes me as a bit odd is how the Unites States has all sorts of different laws in almost every locale that would make it a little precarious to determine if what you were engaged in was legal, maybe legal, possibly or – “man I hope my Mom doesn’t read about this in the paper” wrong. When examining other countries and their laws (or lack thereof in some cases) regarding the age of consent, we come across the argument that it is socially acceptable and therefore must be legal.
My personal take is such that when I was fourteen years old I really wasn’t thinking there was much of a chance the young woman in my high school was 18. My thoughts were not entirely that wholesome. This does bring up the questions of gender in how it would relate to both sides of the argument. Is it okay if the male participant is fourteen and the female eighteen? If we are honest with ourselves we may find a different conclusion as to our feeling on the debate as a whole.
As you can see from just a few of the viewpoints put forth above, this topic is not exactly one to be taken lightly. My personal belief is that you would have to examine the particular situation at hand in the relationship between the involved parties in order to make a rational and even assessment of the consequences.
I am looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts on this matter. A good debate to be had by all.