Tuesday, September 22, 2009

14 Year-Olds Are the Most Sexually Dangerous Group in America

America is turning its children into sex offenders. The chart above, from the US Department of Justice, illustrates how we are criminalizing what was once a normal part of adolescence - experimenting with sex. Via Andrew Sullivan's blog comes this essay.
In our new bizarre world of sexual offender legislation each child is a victim and a perpetrator. As the victim, they get no help, of course. The victim status is the excuse needed so that the sledgehammer may be used on the other child. So each becomes a perpetrator. They will be arrested; they will be forced into court. They are likely to be convicted and sentenced. They may be placed into the various prisons for children that have been established—places where they will learn what unwilling, sexual attacks are really like. They will be tortured by therapists and eventually released—maybe. Even that is no longer guaranteed under our sex panic. Today, someone who has served their sentence can then be held in preventative detention for the rest of their natural life because the mob demands it. And the politicians give the mob what it wants.
As any reader of this blog knows, I've been railing against the criminalization of "sexting" and other youthful sexual indiscretions for some time now. Teens have been having sex since long before recorded history, but it is only now in the age of technology and information that there is hard evidence that such activity exists. Where once a heavy petting session in the back seat of an automobile yielded merely some boastful claims and the hushed passing of secrets, now there are cell-phone photos, text messages, and Internet postings, all flowing in the trough for overzealous prosecutors, Christianist lawmakers and panicked parents to feed off.
It takes so little for this happen to a child. A girl in school has oral sex with a boy in school. She becomes a sex offender for the rest of her life. Streaking a school event, as a practical joke, becomes a sex crime in the new America. Two kids “moon” a passerby and are incarcerated in jail as sex offenders, where they may well learn a lesson or two about rape. A teenager, who takes a sexy of photo of him, or herself, is paraded around the community as a “child pornographer” for the rest of his or her life. Two kids in the back seat of a car have fumbling sex. The law says one is an offender because the other is a “victim.” One week later, a birthday passes, and it is no longer a crime. One week’s difference and a life is ruined. In other cases an act that is legal on Monday is illegal on Tuesday because the older of the two turned one year older. That becomes enough to qualify him, or her, as an offender.
The magnitude of this perversion of natural and man-made laws cannot be underestimated. Recently The Economist ran an editorial on the harsh punishment of sex offenders.
Because so many offences require registration, the number of registered sex offenders in America has exploded. As of December last year, there were 674,000 of them, according to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. If they were all crammed into a single state, it would be more populous than Wyoming, Vermont or North Dakota. As a share of its population, America registers more than four times as many people as Britain, which is unusually harsh on sex offenders. America’s registers keep swelling, not least because in 17 states, registration is for life.
So the rounding up and persecution of sex offenders is the new red scare, the new witch hunt, the new crucible in which to burn our fears. I recently received a postcard telling me that a sex offender moved into the neighborhood, giving his name and address. I'm sure everyone in the area got one, too, and everyone is now living in a certain amount of fear. I do not know what this man did, but I do know that I have never in my life received a notice when a bank robber, murderer, embezzler or violent criminal ever moved into my neighborhood.

I cannot state enough that true child pornographers, rapists, kidnappers and other violent criminals who would take the innocence, health or property of any other human being deserves to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Human vermin like Phillip Garrido, if found to be guilty of the heinous crimes with which he is accused, deserve no mercy from the courts.

But to take a teenager who is only fumbling around and experimenting with sexuality, and turn that kid into a sex criminal, is doing precisely the opposite of what the law intends. Thankfully people are beginning to wake up to this bastardization of justice, but it's too late to help so many of the kids who ended up behind bars, kicked out of school, found themselves unable to secure meaningful work, or ended up living in the streets.

These kids are criminals, not necessarily because they violated the life, liberty or property of another person. They are criminals because the politicians defined them as criminals. These damned “family values” conservatives, and compassionate feminist Leftists, who banded together to “save the children,” turned America’s kids into sex offenders by fiat. And they feel good about it. They are satisfied by it and only wish more had been rounded up earlier. The Left wants everyone in therapy and under the perpetual care of the state, and the Right wants everyone in prison, or in fear of the law, and under the thumb of the police. And that is what is happening. [Classically Liberal]


Elton said...

Is there a better way? I think its going to get worse. This litigation and lawmaking. Its going to get worse for everyone: nudists and non-nudists alike.

Anonymous said...

What is the source for your chart?

Nudiarist said...

Chart is courtesy US Dept. of Justice http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf

Anonymous said...

Remember, the real reason for the growth of crime of all kinds is NOT that more people are doing wrong. The true reason is that prisons are now FOR PROFIT enterprise and government serves business by providing prisoners for the prisons. To do that, they have to make more laws to break.

Time to move.

Anonymous said...

Read the paper that is linked to: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf

While Im sure that we have a population of teen experimenters that are getting shafted by the system, this graph is specifically for violent assaults....

Its pretty common.... 15 yo brother rapes 9 yo sister -- that is what we are seeing here.

otakucode said...

All underage sexual crimes are considered violent, because legally they cannot consent. Therefore, even taking a picture of themselves is considered coercive.

Until the mid-1990s, adolescent sexuality was considered a healthy sign of growing up. Now it's viewed as exclusively an adult corruption of innocence. Quite fucked up, I can't even imagine how oppressive these people will be once they are parents.

Emily said...

I'd be interested to see what the newest statistics are, since this report is just over 9 years old.... I would imagine it's about the same, just bigger numbers. :P

The law does not take common sense into account most of the time, and prosecutors become judges by arguing the letter of the law when common sense would dictate otherwise... and arguing common sense only when they're interested in making additional case law.