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28-06-2017, 01:39 PM
RE: Surprised and shocked.
But seriously, folks....

Child marriage does seem to be a problem in the US, but I'm not sure exactly how much of the statement of the problem is accurate.
For example, the statement that child marriage is legal in "50 states and the District of Columbia" is not true.

The legal age for marriage in Oregon is 18 without parental consent, and 17 with parental consent, and this has been the law here since at least 1965.

Given that, I looked a little further into state statutes:

Minimum age in Nebraska is also 17 (with parental consent), and this seems to go back at least to 1924.

39 states and DC have a minimum age of 16 (with parental consent) for one or both parties. That strikes me as rather young, but whether it constitutes a "child marriage" depends, I suppose, on what age parameters one puts around the definition of "child".

Two states (Kentucky and Louisiana) have a minimum age of 18, but there are exceptions built into their laws which render that limit moot.

It's a battle worth fighting, for sure, but I'd want to make sure I was fighting it with the right weapons, and in the right theater.

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28-06-2017, 03:31 PM
RE: Surprised and shocked.
(28-06-2017 01:39 PM)Dr H Wrote:  But seriously, folks....

Child marriage does seem to be a problem in the US, but I'm not sure exactly how much of the statement of the problem is accurate.
For example, the statement that child marriage is legal in "50 states and the District of Columbia" is not true.

The legal age for marriage in Oregon is 18 without parental consent, and 17 with parental consent, and this has been the law here since at least 1965.

Given that, I looked a little further into state statutes:

Minimum age in Nebraska is also 17 (with parental consent), and this seems to go back at least to 1924.

39 states and DC have a minimum age of 16 (with parental consent) for one or both parties. That strikes me as rather young, but whether it constitutes a "child marriage" depends, I suppose, on what age parameters one puts around the definition of "child".

Two states (Kentucky and Louisiana) have a minimum age of 18, but there are exceptions built into their laws which render that limit moot.

It's a battle worth fighting, for sure, but I'd want to make sure I was fighting it with the right weapons, and in the right theater.
I don't pretend to know the answers, but something is amiss with just setting an arbitrary age (generally, 18) for the age of majority. There must be some semi-objective standard people have to meet of basic capability and responsibility. I have known 12 year olds with more maturity than some 80 year olds; I have known adults who act totally like children. One doesn't magically become an "adult" on their 18th birthday.

This isn't only relevant to drawing some kind of line that determines when someone is able to give informed consent to sex. It is every parent's nightmare for example (and I speak from personal experience here) to lose control of their children's mental health care when they turn 18. Suddenly the doctors won't let you be in the loop, you don't know if they're picking up or taking their meds, you don't know if they're going to appointments. Often you can't even find out what the diagnosis or prognosis is. More than one child disappears onto the street to die (or worse) simply because the law stupidly regards them as adults using criteria that has zilch to do with their actual demonstrated capabilities.
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28-06-2017, 04:28 PM
RE: Surprised and shocked.
(28-06-2017 03:31 PM)mordant Wrote:  I don't pretend to know the answers, but something is amiss with just setting an arbitrary age (generally, 18) for the age of majority. There must be some semi-objective standard people have to meet of basic capability and responsibility. I have known 12 year olds with more maturity than some 80 year olds; I have known adults who act totally like children. One doesn't magically become an "adult" on their 18th birthday.
Age of majority in the US is 21 for most things other than tobacco, and they just raised the age for tobacco to 21 in my state.

Generally, though, I agree with you, to a point.

I think there's a certain scientific basis for setting a minimum age for certain things, based on the level of physiological brain development necessary to develop certain kinds of cognitive maturity. I'd probably put it in the 16-18 year old range, depending on what we're talking about.

But I'd also have some sort of test/challenge/etc. available, so that a younger person could challenge the age limit on particular points. If the test shows they have sufficient maturity in that area, then they would be granted those particular rights 'ahead of schedule' as it were.

That said, if (assuming it's possible to do so) a 16 year old tested out to have the cognitive abilities and emotional maturity of, say, a 24 year old -- or the minimum necessary components to make a competent decision about something like marriage, then at that point they should be emancipated, and parental consent not needed.

I don't think most 16 year olds could pass such a test, but some could, and they should have the chance to do so.

Quote:This isn't only relevant to drawing some kind of line that determines when someone is able to give informed consent to sex. It is every parent's nightmare for example (and I speak from personal experience here) to lose control of their children's mental health care when they turn 18. Suddenly the doctors won't let you be in the loop, you don't know if they're picking up or taking their meds, you don't know if they're going to appointments. Often you can't even find out what the diagnosis or prognosis is. More than one child disappears onto the street to die (or worse) simply because the law stupidly regards them as adults using criteria that has zilch to do with their actual demonstrated capabilities.

That's kind of the flip side of the coin. In that scenario it's a matter of protecting a patient's rights, or getting them to sign a release under conditions of voluntary informed consent. Two huge cans-o-worms.

18 is also the age where, in most states, a kid gets bounced out of the foster care system, and told to go fend for themselves. So you have someone who may have spent their entire life to date moving from family to family every couple of years, with no stability, and consequently with damaged emotional maturity, suddenly thrown out virtually onto the streets. Not a pretty picture, and one that doesn't end well for too many kids.

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28-06-2017, 06:28 PM
RE: Surprised and shocked.
(28-06-2017 04:28 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(28-06-2017 03:31 PM)mordant Wrote:  I don't pretend to know the answers, but something is amiss with just setting an arbitrary age (generally, 18) for the age of majority. There must be some semi-objective standard people have to meet of basic capability and responsibility. I have known 12 year olds with more maturity than some 80 year olds; I have known adults who act totally like children. One doesn't magically become an "adult" on their 18th birthday.
Age of majority in the US is 21 for most things other than tobacco, and they just raised the age for tobacco to 21 in my state.

Generally, though, I agree with you, to a point.

I think there's a certain scientific basis for setting a minimum age for certain things, based on the level of physiological brain development necessary to develop certain kinds of cognitive maturity. I'd probably put it in the 16-18 year old range, depending on what we're talking about.

But I'd also have some sort of test/challenge/etc. available, so that a younger person could challenge the age limit on particular points. If the test shows they have sufficient maturity in that area, then they would be granted those particular rights 'ahead of schedule' as it were.

That said, if (assuming it's possible to do so) a 16 year old tested out to have the cognitive abilities and emotional maturity of, say, a 24 year old -- or the minimum necessary components to make a competent decision about something like marriage, then at that point they should be emancipated, and parental consent not needed.

I don't think most 16 year olds could pass such a test, but some could, and they should have the chance to do so.

Quote:This isn't only relevant to drawing some kind of line that determines when someone is able to give informed consent to sex. It is every parent's nightmare for example (and I speak from personal experience here) to lose control of their children's mental health care when they turn 18. Suddenly the doctors won't let you be in the loop, you don't know if they're picking up or taking their meds, you don't know if they're going to appointments. Often you can't even find out what the diagnosis or prognosis is. More than one child disappears onto the street to die (or worse) simply because the law stupidly regards them as adults using criteria that has zilch to do with their actual demonstrated capabilities.

That's kind of the flip side of the coin. In that scenario it's a matter of protecting a patient's rights, or getting them to sign a release under conditions of voluntary informed consent. Two huge cans-o-worms.

18 is also the age where, in most states, a kid gets bounced out of the foster care system, and told to go fend for themselves. So you have someone who may have spent their entire life to date moving from family to family every couple of years, with no stability, and consequently with damaged emotional maturity, suddenly thrown out virtually onto the streets. Not a pretty picture, and one that doesn't end well for too many kids.

It is a fight worth fighting, I mean I hate random arbitrary idiotic systems and right now that's pretty much what we have. But you're not going to get a rational reasonable justifiable change by fighting this fight. People are too.... irrational to approach the issue as adults, and I'm actually going far beyond the scope of marriage or sex. I've known 26 year old girls who's parents gave them bed times wouldn't allow them to get jobs monitored who they were with at all times and constantly checked in on them. I've known 15 year old's kicked to the streets (like I was for a while). I there's no consensus at all not even close as to what constitutes an adult vs child in that specific area. I mean you would think based on our legal system (depending on the country or state) it would be either 16 or 18 or 21 (in Texas it's 15) but really no one agrees with any of that, and I could make a sound and solid argument that no one should be allowed to get married before they are 30 because fucking Americans in general are pretty much all stupid irrational children that never actually fucking grow up (which is the problem here).

What you say sounds reasonable, but it'll never happen. Even a universal arbitrary number like 18 or 21 would make more sense than what we have. I'm pretty damn sure there's NO justification for someone 12 or 13 years old being able to get married though, no matter what. That shit is just wrong, and no one should ever be forced to get married at any age. but your statement was about what exactly the age of majority should be and well, no one really has the answer to that yet which is why we have the cluster fuck random system we have. It's full of very emotional people who are convinced THEY are right and everyone else is wrong and for that reason I would (and am) recommending perhaps you um... change the subject before someone rages on you with some random asinine emotion based position. My personal opinion is Americans are mostly all too immature for marriage at every age so questioning what the age of majority should be seems.... pointless.

I don't know but I think this line of questioning may violate forum guidelines (or be twisted in that direction) which is why I'm recommending lets talk about something else ya?

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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28-06-2017, 06:31 PM
RE: Surprised and shocked.
@the OP

I'm really glad your wife got this message, having had the bible used to justify child abuse is all too common and one I wish more Christians would honestly think about.

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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28-06-2017, 06:34 PM
RE: Surprised and shocked.
(24-06-2017 03:20 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I had no idea child marriages were legal anywhere in the US. On top of that, it appears to be a way of dodging statutory rape charges. What the actual? Clearly religion is behind this.

I've known about this a long time, and I always thought the same. It's to bypass statutory rape laws and it's there because of Christians specifically.

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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29-06-2017, 03:56 PM
RE: Surprised and shocked.
(28-06-2017 06:28 PM)JesseB Wrote:  [...]
What you say sounds reasonable, but it'll never happen. Even a universal arbitrary number like 18 or 21 would make more sense than what we have. I'm pretty damn sure there's NO justification for someone 12 or 13 years old being able to get married though, no matter what. That shit is just wrong, and no one should ever be forced to get married at any age. but your statement was about what exactly the age of majority should be and well, no one really has the answer to that yet which is why we have the cluster fuck random system we have. It's full of very emotional people who are convinced THEY are right and everyone else is wrong and for that reason I would (and am) recommending perhaps you um... change the subject before someone rages on you with some random asinine emotion based position. My personal opinion is Americans are mostly all too immature for marriage at every age so questioning what the age of majority should be seems.... pointless.

I don't know but I think this line of questioning may violate forum guidelines (or be twisted in that direction) which is why I'm recommending lets talk about something else ya?

Hmm... not sure in what way we would be violating forum guidelines.
I certainly am not advocating child marriage in any way, shape, or form.

I was attempting to convey two things.

One, that -- while I agree most "age of majority" laws are arbitrary -- there probably is a sound biological reason to set a certain minimum age, below which certain things are not allowed. This is supported by brain research and cognitive development studies which show that certain faculties are not fully developed until much later in life than we have been wont to assume.

Two, that individuals develop individually, so there is no hard and fast arbitrary age at which we can assume that everyone will suddenly become, say,
a responsible consumer of alcoholic beverages. As you point out, some people may achieve maturity in that area at 16; others may not have achieved it
at 30.

If I had to pick an absolute arbitrary minimum age, below which I would consider anyone still a child, regardless of their level of maturity, it would probably be somewhere between 16-18. Split the difference, and call it 17. Sure, some mature younger people might feel that's unfair, but part of maturity is realizing that a) you can't always get what you want; b) some things are worth waiting for; and c) that our judgment -- for any of us -- may be suspect in some areas and for various reasons. This harkens back to my first point; below a certain age a person is likely not yet to have achieved the level of physical brain development necessary to have developed full maturity in certain cognitive functions.

Then there is the fact that the age at which various rights are granted has always been politically motivated to some degree. I grew up in a state where the drinking age used to be 18, and had been that way for decades. That fact, along with the age of conscription into military service (also 18) were, in fact, two of the things used to argue for passage of the 26th amendment, giving 18-20 year olds the right to vote. "Old enough to drink; old enough to kill; old enough to VOTE!" went one form of the argument.

So 18-20 year olds got the vote. Then along came Ronald Reagan, to blackmail states into raising their drinking ages to 21 -- under threat of losing federal highway funds if they didn't comply. One argument used to sell this legislation was that it was designed to reduce teenage drunk driving, accidents, and fatalities. A noble cause, right?

But here's the deal: some people are plenty mature enough to drink responsibly at 18; others are NOT mature enough to drink responsibly at age 21. However, the same can be said for driving: some 16 year olds are mature enough to drive safely; some 20 year olds are not. If the logic used to sell the raised drinking age is valid, then the same thing could theoretically have been achieved by leaving the drinking age alone and raising the driving age to 21, no?

Funny how no one even considered that as an option.

Which brings me back to my point #2: go ahead an set your (using a generic "you" here, not you personally) arbitrary drinking age, for example, at what ever you want -- 21, if that floats your boat. But provide an opportunity for individuals to challenge that arbitrary limit, on a case-by-case basis. So if an 18-year old thinks he or she are mature enough to handle liquor responsibly, you have some way to test their maturity in that area, and if they pass, you grant them an exemption. IOW, they get to enjoy a particular right a few years early because they've demonstrated the ability to handle that right responsibly. (And if they do fuck up, the right is revoked, and they have to wait until 21, like the majority of the population.)

And this wouldn't just be a blanket granting of 21-year old rights to 18-year olds (or whatever), but it would be done item by item. Some people might be mature enough to drink, but not to drive a car. Some might be mature enough to handle a property contract, but not marriage and the responsibility of raising a family. Etc.

See what I'm saying there?

And no one under majority age would be forced to take on any additional rights and responsibilities for which they didn't feel personally ready.

<shrug> You might be right that it will probably never happen. But if it did, I think it could be made to work.

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29-06-2017, 04:05 PM
RE: Surprised and shocked.
(29-06-2017 03:56 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(28-06-2017 06:28 PM)JesseB Wrote:  [...]
What you say sounds reasonable, but it'll never happen. Even a universal arbitrary number like 18 or 21 would make more sense than what we have. I'm pretty damn sure there's NO justification for someone 12 or 13 years old being able to get married though, no matter what. That shit is just wrong, and no one should ever be forced to get married at any age. but your statement was about what exactly the age of majority should be and well, no one really has the answer to that yet which is why we have the cluster fuck random system we have. It's full of very emotional people who are convinced THEY are right and everyone else is wrong and for that reason I would (and am) recommending perhaps you um... change the subject before someone rages on you with some random asinine emotion based position. My personal opinion is Americans are mostly all too immature for marriage at every age so questioning what the age of majority should be seems.... pointless.

I don't know but I think this line of questioning may violate forum guidelines (or be twisted in that direction) which is why I'm recommending lets talk about something else ya?

Hmm... not sure in what way we would be violating forum guidelines.
I certainly am not advocating child marriage in any way, shape, or form.

I was attempting to convey two things.

One, that -- while I agree most "age of majority" laws are arbitrary -- there probably is a sound biological reason to set a certain minimum age, below which certain things are not allowed. This is supported by brain research and cognitive development studies which show that certain faculties are not fully developed until much later in life than we have been wont to assume.

Two, that individuals develop individually, so there is no hard and fast arbitrary age at which we can assume that everyone will suddenly become, say,
a responsible consumer of alcoholic beverages. As you point out, some people may achieve maturity in that area at 16; others may not have achieved it
at 30.

If I had to pick an absolute arbitrary minimum age, below which I would consider anyone still a child, regardless of their level of maturity, it would probably be somewhere between 16-18. Split the difference, and call it 17. Sure, some mature younger people might feel that's unfair, but part of maturity is realizing that a) you can't always get what you want; b) some things are worth waiting for; and c) that our judgment -- for any of us -- may be suspect in some areas and for various reasons. This harkens back to my first point; below a certain age a person is likely not yet to have achieved the level of physical brain development necessary to have developed full maturity in certain cognitive functions.

Then there is the fact that the age at which various rights are granted has always been politically motivated to some degree. I grew up in a state where the drinking age used to be 18, and had been that way for decades. That fact, along with the age of conscription into military service (also 18) were, in fact, two of the things used to argue for passage of the 26th amendment, giving 18-20 year olds the right to vote. "Old enough to drink; old enough to kill; old enough to VOTE!" went one form of the argument.

So 18-20 year olds got the vote. Then along came Ronald Reagan, to blackmail states into raising their drinking ages to 21 -- under threat of losing federal highway funds if they didn't comply. One argument used to sell this legislation was that it was designed to reduce teenage drunk driving, accidents, and fatalities. A noble cause, right?

But here's the deal: some people are plenty mature enough to drink responsibly at 18; others are NOT mature enough to drink responsibly at age 21. However, the same can be said for driving: some 16 year olds are mature enough to drive safely; some 20 year olds are not. If the logic used to sell the raised drinking age is valid, then the same thing could theoretically have been achieved by leaving the drinking age alone and raising the driving age to 21, no?

Funny how no one even considered that as an option.

Which brings me back to my point #2: go ahead an set your (using a generic "you" here, not you personally) arbitrary drinking age, for example, at what ever you want -- 21, if that floats your boat. But provide an opportunity for individuals to challenge that arbitrary limit, on a case-by-case basis. So if an 18-year old thinks he or she are mature enough to handle liquor responsibly, you have some way to test their maturity in that area, and if they pass, you grant them an exemption. IOW, they get to enjoy a particular right a few years early because they've demonstrated the ability to handle that right responsibly. (And if they do fuck up, the right is revoked, and they have to wait until 21, like the majority of the population.)

And this wouldn't just be a blanket granting of 21-year old rights to 18-year olds (or whatever), but it would be done item by item. Some people might be mature enough to drink, but not to drive a car. Some might be mature enough to handle a property contract, but not marriage and the responsibility of raising a family. Etc.

See what I'm saying there?

And no one under majority age would be forced to take on any additional rights and responsibilities for which they didn't feel personally ready.

<shrug> You might be right that it will probably never happen. But if it did, I think it could be made to work.

Personally I find your reasoning sound and acceptable. I kinda agree. And I hope we can find a less arbitrary more sensible (and by extension universal) science and rationally based method for deciding such matters. The biggest problem I have with your position is in practice that would potentially be very complex and.... unwieldy to manage.

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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30-06-2017, 01:10 PM
RE: Surprised and shocked.
(29-06-2017 04:05 PM)JesseB Wrote:  Personally I find your reasoning sound and acceptable. I kinda agree. And I hope we can find a less arbitrary more sensible (and by extension universal) science and rationally based method for deciding such matters. The biggest problem I have with your position is in practice that would potentially be very complex and.... unwieldy to manage.
It would be complex, for sure. But no more so than some systems that already are, or used to be in place not that long ago. Right now we have laws on the books in various states where people acquire various social privileges at different ages within the state. For example:

Where I grew up, you could get a driver's permit at 16, except in Weschester County, where it was 18, or if you lived in a rural area and were employed on a farm, where it was 15. If you passed the road test, you could also get your license at 16 (but not at 15), but you weren't allowed to drive at that age -- even with a license -- in Westchester Co. or NYC. Also, you couldn't drive after sunset or before sunrise before you were 18, unless you were driving to or from school to attend classes, or to or from a school-sanctioned event like an evening football game, or if you had a licensed driver over age 18 riding in the car with you. You could legally smoke at 16, but you couldn't legally drink until 18. You couldn't be in a bar or place that served alcohol until you were 18, unless it was a restaurant where the bar was separate from the dining area. But, if you were a 16-yo musician and played in a band,you could get a special permit that allowed you to play in bars and clubs, provided you went outside during your breaks. You could legally get married without parental consent at 18, but you couldn't buy a house until you were 21. And you couldn't vote until you were 21 (although that got changed before my time...)

And on, and on, and on.

They managed to keep all that straight for decades, so I don't think my system would be that much more of a challenge. That I even remember all that is evidence that it's not all that hard to keep track of things. Smile


(I guess we have kinda wandered from the original topic. We seem to have chased everyone else away.)

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30-06-2017, 08:14 PM
RE: Surprised and shocked.
(30-06-2017 01:10 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(29-06-2017 04:05 PM)JesseB Wrote:  Personally I find your reasoning sound and acceptable. I kinda agree. And I hope we can find a less arbitrary more sensible (and by extension universal) science and rationally based method for deciding such matters. The biggest problem I have with your position is in practice that would potentially be very complex and.... unwieldy to manage.
It would be complex, for sure. But no more so than some systems that already are, or used to be in place not that long ago. Right now we have laws on the books in various states where people acquire various social privileges at different ages within the state. For example:

Where I grew up, you could get a driver's permit at 16, except in Weschester County, where it was 18, or if you lived in a rural area and were employed on a farm, where it was 15. If you passed the road test, you could also get your license at 16 (but not at 15), but you weren't allowed to drive at that age -- even with a license -- in Westchester Co. or NYC. Also, you couldn't drive after sunset or before sunrise before you were 18, unless you were driving to or from school to attend classes, or to or from a school-sanctioned event like an evening football game, or if you had a licensed driver over age 18 riding in the car with you. You could legally smoke at 16, but you couldn't legally drink until 18. You couldn't be in a bar or place that served alcohol until you were 18, unless it was a restaurant where the bar was separate from the dining area. But, if you were a 16-yo musician and played in a band,you could get a special permit that allowed you to play in bars and clubs, provided you went outside during your breaks. You could legally get married without parental consent at 18, but you couldn't buy a house until you were 21. And you couldn't vote until you were 21 (although that got changed before my time...)

And on, and on, and on.

They managed to keep all that straight for decades, so I don't think my system would be that much more of a challenge. That I even remember all that is evidence that it's not all that hard to keep track of things. Smile


(I guess we have kinda wandered from the original topic. We seem to have chased everyone else away.)

I got my first drivers licence when I was 15, I had my first car accident when I was 17, my second car accident when I was 35 >.>

Only like 3 traffic violations my entire life. I go in to take the drivers test and I've never even studied for it I get 100% every time cause it's too damn easy, it's just fucking common sense people. What concerns me are people who fail the driving written exam and still end up getting licenses in the end, it's so damn easy I'm thinking maybe if you can't pass it on the first try without studying for it.... maybe you just shouldn't be trusted with a 2,000lb fucking hammer to crush people with. Just an idea. Oh and because I've moved a lot I've taken the drivers written exam in Washington state, Maryland, California, Texas. I've prolly taken it a bit more than the average person as a result of how many times I've moved and I'm always flabbergasted at some of the brain dead questions on it, fuck some of those questions are scary like.... if you don't know the answer how the fuck do you get out of bed every day without killing yourself by accident.

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