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single25-Oct-2012ethics/moralitymsgman by votes39157.9%


Is it morally acceptable or unacceptable for an older male to have sex with a 15 year old female?

For the purposes of this survey, "older" means at least 25 years old.

You can assume that no force or violence was involved, and that the act was essentially consensual on both sides - at least to the extent that, if the girl was not underage, it would not be considered rape.

I'm only asking you about the morality of the act itself, not about the law or your opinions on the law as it is in your country.

There are five basic options. Please pick the one that is closest to how you actually see it. There is a further option for those who are unable to pick any of the options.

British readers may have an inkling as to the events I have in mind while writing this survey.

11It is never acceptable under any circumstances
9It is not normally acceptable, but may be under some circumstances
3It is morally acceptable under all circumstances
3It is morally acceptable under most circumstances, but maybe not in some
2I am unable to answer this survey with any of the other options
1It is equally likely to be acceptable or unacceptable, depending on circumstances

gambler Silver Star Survey Creator
posted 25-Oct-2012 2:44pm  
It is not normally acceptable, but may be under some circumstances?.... I was thinking of scenarios where I would think this was Ok?

a) Nuclear War/ massive Holocaust and it was required for the purposes of Procreation
b) Some african Tribal civilisation?

posted 25-Oct-2012 4:11pm  
Society says it isn't. But if the guy were 30 and the girl 20 no one would think much about it.
posted 25-Oct-2012 4:47pm  
It is never okay.

We've answered questions like this before.

a 25 year old should be engaging in relations with someone of a similar age..not a child. A 15 year old is a child.
(reply to llamamama) posted 25-Oct-2012 6:08pm  
> It is never okay.
> We've answered questions like this before.
> a 25 year old should be engaging in relations
> with someone of a similar age..not a child. A
> 15 year old is a child.

What if it were a 15 year old guy having sex with a 25 year old female? The guy would be loving it.

I used to have sex with a 15 year old girl. But I was 16. Were we both children?

(reply to cerealkiller) posted 25-Oct-2012 9:01pm  
I don't care if they both love it, it's gross.
And yes, you were both children. 15 is not the magical upper limit of childhood.
posted 25-Oct-2012 11:32pm  
Maybe under some circumstances, I suppose.

The two issues are: Can the minor make an adult decision, and is the older person being manipulative.
With these particular ages, it's unlikely that a 15 year old has what it takes to make a wise decision, and a 15 year old is in quite a different life circumstance than a 25 year old, suggesting that they are after sexual exploitation, not a lasting caring relationship. If they are after a LTR, they probably have some confidence issues about being equal with a fully-formed persona.

If it turns out that they were both in it just for the sex, then the question really comes down to whethar or not it's acceptable for 15 year olds to have casual sex with anyone.
If it involved compelling though, a 25 year old probably has an unfair advantage over just another 15 year old at that.

I do believe it's possible for a 25 year old and 15 year old to fall in love with each other, but such circumstances mean the older one would have to a lot of adult thinking for the two of them, and deprive the younger one of making such informed decisions themself. It's not just about choice, it's about wise informed choice. 15 year olds really don't understand the weight of comparative lifestyle options.
posted 25-Oct-2012 11:46pm  
Unacceptable...unless married.

My mother in law was married at 13 years old to a 38 year old man. Of course, they divorced.
(reply to LJD) posted 26-Oct-2012 6:41am  
I think you've brought in an aspect the survey creator hadn't considered.

To rephrase the intent of the question for you, it would have to stipulate 'married', in which case the answer seems to be 'ok'.

I'm really surprised you've answered as such though, considering you seem to portray yourself as having been too young to make a wise choice.
posted 26-Oct-2012 9:37am  
I'm tempted to say "never acceptable" because that's easiest. But, if I think about it enough, I can imagine there being a 15 year old who is mature for her age and has a clear understanding of what she is doing and is thus acting as an adult.

In the abstract, I believe different people mature at different rates and our society's attempts to assign a general age of consent vary widely thus showing how our culture struggles to come up with an answer to this. Historically, marriage used to be allowed at very young ages in the past. And such marriage have worked out just fine as well.

Personally, I think I matured slowly and wasn't really an adult until 19 or 20. If I had sex at 15, it would have been very strange. I was definitely a kid at that age. But, who knows, maybe it would have matured me faster to have had that experience

I also think it's interesting to consider if the 15 year old in this example was male vs. a 25 year old female. Also, what if they were both male or both female? Does that change how we'd react to this? I definitely have more of a protective (sexist?) feeling toward younger females. Though, that even seems to extend into female/female (which doesn't see so bad to me), but not to male/male (which also seems dubious). So, I think my bias is mostly against the 25 year old male who I have tendency to see as taking advantage, based on a strong sex drive that overrules his reason and thus may be victimizing the under-age partner.

What was the British story behind this?
posted 26-Oct-2012 10:07am  
It completely changes my answer if you reverse the sexes. I assumed this meant I was being insulting towards girls, suggesting they were incapable of making their own decisions at age 15 while boys were competent. Of course when I put it that way, the idea seems utterly ludicrous. Still, it's not okay for underage girls to have sex with older guys but I really don't see a problem for boys having sex with older women.

But then Bill's comment about same-sex pairings is interesting. Maybe it's not the kid that matters but the presumed predatory nature of the older of the two. That doesn't feel quite right but I can't figure out where the argument goes awry.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
posted 26-Oct-2012 11:02am  
Never acceptable under any circumstances. 15 is too young.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to dab) posted 26-Oct-2012 11:11am  
I think maybe it's in the power dynamics, which do vary depending on the gender of the people involved. Older male/younger woman is a very different power dynamic than older woman/younger man. Also, the sexual experience would be hugely different. A 15-year-old girl is likely to be a virgin, which might be exciting to the man; and her lack of experience would be less of a downside than it would be in a 15-year-old male partner. There is almost no way the 25-year-old woman would come away from the experience satisfied, whereas the 25-year-old man probably would.
(reply to llamamama) posted 26-Oct-2012 12:47pm  
I think these days 12 years old is the upper limit of childhood the way girls act. Hell, 30 years ago when our boys were 11 and 12 they had girls their age wanting to have sex with them.
(reply to cerealkiller) posted 26-Oct-2012 12:56pm  
That's a parenting thing. 12 year olds are no different than they always were. Society is just different and parents don't want to stifle their children.
posted 26-Oct-2012 1:33pm  
It is never ever acceptable under any circumstances no matter what it still is child rape creator of this survey?
(reply to LJD) posted 26-Oct-2012 1:37pm  
Then they will have a baby at 15 years old or 12 and somebody has to be held responsible for that baby diapers food and clothing, plus an education when that baby grows up, and at this age it still is child rape no matter what
(reply to bill) posted 26-Oct-2012 3:54pm  
> What was the British story behind this?

There are actually two separate stories. One is a schoolteacher who got involved in a relationship with a 15 year old pupil and they ran away together to France. The other is a very famous (but now dead) DJ and TV presenter who is now known to have had a preference for underage girls. (He is also now being posthumously accused of other things, including rape, but I wanted to focus on the consensual side of things as far as this survey is concerned).

I suspect that if I had given more detail about either of these, people would have been more likely to pick "unacceptable" as their answer, as there are issues of abuse of power and influence here as well. But that's why I didn't, because I wanted to see whether people would mention that sort of thing as reasons why it's unacceptable in some cases even if they think it would otherwise be OK.
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator
(reply to cerealkiller) posted 26-Oct-2012 5:05pm  
It must be regional. They aren't like that here. If any are, they are in the minority.
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 26-Oct-2012 5:56pm  
I do not believe it is acceptable for any aged male to have sex with a 15 year old female. I don't think a 15 year old female has a is immoral. Often times, females wanting to please a man, will succumb, unable to make wise choices. To answer the question, it is UNACCEPTABLE for an older male to have sex with a 15 year old girl.

I did not make good choices as a young girl, it's for this reason I say what I do. When I was young you didn't hear anything "sexual". It was a subject not talked about. I was dumb as a boot.
(reply to JessicaWoman99) posted 26-Oct-2012 6:11pm  
I agree, it is a rape, even if the girl is consentual, because she hasn't a clue. He has taken advantage of a child..

I don't know in depth about my mother-in-law, She did have a baby at 14 years old by this man. At 17 years old she divorced the man. The father raised the child. My husband met his only brother about five years ago. It was difficult for both. Unfortunately, the brother died within six months of their first meeting. That poor man was raised thinking he had no siblings. I could feel that man's pain. He missed knowing my mother-in-law. The sins of parents visit for generations, putting future generations through alot of unhappiness.

My mother-in-law and I were not close, but within a short time I began dating my husband, she opened up. Told me about her son. She did not even tell her daughters about her son. She did however tell my husband. I told my husband to find his brother several years ago, because he will regret it if he doesn't. He said didn't because of his father. I believe he's sorry, but never says anything. Finally, when his sisters found out, they started on the search for their other husband went with them.
(reply to Enheduanna) posted 27-Oct-2012 12:33am  
Yeah, I can see the power dynamic argument. The older man is likely to have more power than the older woman and thus is more likely to be using that power to take advantage of the younger person, whether they're boy or girl.

I don't see that a 15 year old girl is all that more likely to be a virgin than a 15 year old boy, so I'm missing your argument on that one. Not sure it matters anyway.

And the who would be more sexually satisfied is a completely unexpected direction to take the argument but I have no idea what it argues for. In other words: say what?
(reply to LJD) posted 27-Oct-2012 5:16am  
That I believe from you. That's different than "Unacceptable.. unless married".

I wouldn't be surprised if you originally answered without thinking, defaulting to 1950's practices, and not incorporating what you now realize to be the truth.
(reply to LindaH) posted 27-Oct-2012 5:30am  
I think California may actually be different in that respect. 12 year olds there dress and do make-up for school as if they were going out to a fancy night club not much less than the 20 year olds do.
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 27-Oct-2012 11:10am  
Sure, some middle schoolers here do that, but that's just dressing up. They dress up to feel more grown up. But CK's experience seems extreme.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to dab) posted 27-Oct-2012 11:38am  
The 15 old boy and girl are probably equally likely to be virgins, but in the case of a girl lack of experience is less likely to get in the way of the other person's enjoyment--it might even enhance it. And even if they are not virgins, they're not likely to be especially experienced, which in the case of the boy means he's likely to last, what, 30 seconds with the older woman? The point is that having sex with a 15-year-old boy is likely to be completely unappealing to a 25-year-old woman, which I think figures in to why it doesn't seem as morally problematic to us.
(reply to LJD) posted 27-Oct-2012 12:51pm  
Wow what a story Jean, by the way have you heard of Joyce Meyers? Joyce Meyers she was sexually assaulted and raped by her dad as a little girl and her mom did nothing to stop the abuse and on it went until Joyce her dad passed away and her dad she totally forgave him and her dad he accepted Jesus into his heart yes Joyce Meyers and now Joyce Meyers she is happily married to Dave Meyers and she goes around the world preaching and teaching the gospel
(reply to LindaH) posted 27-Oct-2012 4:06pm  
Probably. It wasn't my experience at that age in California, but things could have changed further. They didn't even dress like that when I was that age, and that much I can see has changed.

I can't seem to find any statistics which compare years.
jettles Survey Central Subscriber
posted 27-Oct-2012 4:24pm  
nope, not acceptable. as the adult, he should understand that due to her immaturity she can not really consent.
jettles Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to cerealkiller) posted 27-Oct-2012 4:25pm  
> What if it were a 15 year old guy having sex with a 25 year old female?
> The guy would be loving it.

still not acceptable
posted 27-Oct-2012 7:15pm  
It is never morally acceptable for someone over 25 regardless of sex to have sex with someone that's only 15 years old. Nor do I think it should be legal.

With that being said, if both individuals are mature enough and are "consenting" (ignoring that one of them is under age), that should be reflected during the sentencing phase. I don't think its fair to give a 30-something-year-old a 10 year sentence for having sex with an underage person if that person really wanted to consent, although they should get some jail time.
(reply to JessicaWoman99) posted 28-Oct-2012 12:42am  
Yes, I've heard of Joyce Meyers. Forgiveness is important for the individual is healing..

It breaks my heart to hear of these kind of cases, such as Meyer's.

Years ago, something similar happened to my niece, and daughters, by an outside sister's husband. I filed an action, but knew my sister was going to stay with him. There were a couple people that hated me for filing the action, but so be it. I opened a can of worms so to speak. Without going into detail, I had to forgive this person for my daughters sake. My sister and I didn't talk for seven years. I had to go through a long emotional battle, plus I was going through a rocky marriage, very difficult time. I prayed, and my faith sustained me.
posted 28-Oct-2012 9:31am  
Personally I don't see a problem with it as long as it is consensual. Back in time, females were expected to be married by 15. Unfortunately laws by ignorant do gooders have changed things and made 15 year olds "children". Girls these days know more about sex than their parents did when they were in their 20's. Look around, girls are having sex at almost all ages.. People keep calling teenagers "children" instead of "Young Adults" which is what they are. 0 - 12 ARE children, 13 and up are Young Adults.
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
posted 28-Oct-2012 1:46pm  
I think most situations involving a 15 year old girl and a man at least 10 years older are likely to involve a degree of coercion or abuse of power. A 15 year old sleeping with her teacher is not okay.
posted 28-Oct-2012 3:41pm  
It's a touchy subject, really. When I was 15, my boyfriend was 23 - my father could have charged him; instead, he would rather know who I'm hanging with. I was physically and mentally mature beyond my age at the time so my relationship with him was completely normal.
However, I can't say that of all 15 yr olds and I would hope that my parents intervened if there was question of marriage. Obviously, it didn't work out as the rest of my life didn't include him...
(reply to llamamama) posted 28-Oct-2012 3:46pm  
> I don't care if they both love it, it's gross.
> And yes, you were both children. 15 is not the magical upper limit
> of childhood.

Gross? Really? Personally, I think our society infantilize our children way too long. We raise spoiled brats frankly. Back when people didn't live beyond 45-50 years of age; it was completely normal to be a contributing member of the family as young as 6. Now we have 30 year old "kids" still at home living off the fat of Mama and Papa... Everything is always relative in its context but having sex at 15-16 is not gross by any means.
(reply to Biggles) posted 28-Oct-2012 3:55pm  
> I think most situations involving a 15 year old girl and a man at
> least 10 years older are likely to involve a degree of coercion or
> abuse of power. A 15 year old sleeping with her teacher is not okay.

That's not always true. I met my husband at 19 and he was 10 years older than me. My daughter is also with a man who is 10 years older than her, and as in my relationship; she's the one who wears the pants. The important thing is that the parents are supportive of their children when they're are growing up, it's up to them to expose them to as much and as varied information that exists. Feed those brains for them to "see" what it's all about and make their own conclusions. Starve them of information and then it will be their peers who influence them...

I write this and Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet comes to mind, as always;

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
posted 28-Oct-2012 4:20pm  
19 is not 15 and a ten year age gap is really not that much when both are adults. My brother is 26 and I would be horrified at the thought of him going out with a 15 or 16 year old. My older brother is 30 and while a lot of 20 year olds would be too young for him, I could see the right 20 year old woman being okay for him.
(reply to Irene007) posted 28-Oct-2012 4:47pm  
I didn't say it was gross.
Gross was a 15 year old and a 25 year old. Which is gross. I'm sorry, but it's not 1825.
Also..working at 6? That was before child labor laws..BECAUSE kids shouldn't be working. Kids began to be looked at as more than just little adults during the Victorian era. Kids and adults are different.
Also, I'm not sure how you can say people are infantilized when 12 year olds are skanks. But, once's a parenting issue. Living with your parents at 30 isn't automatically abhorrent, but if you're leeching off of is..But, if you're doing so it's because your parents don't have enough balls to stop you.
But yeah, never said 15 year olds having sex was gross...because that wasn't what the question was about.
(reply to Gomezy3k) posted 29-Oct-2012 2:38am  
They may have more knowledge, but the actual sex is the trivial part, it's all the overhead which goes with it which may be beyond them.
They are unlikely to be able to weigh the emotional costs of marrying their first partner or not, the risks of missing school or career or the impact of having an abortion if things go wrong, the skill to evaluate if their mate will stick around, that sort of thing - stuff which some adults have difficulty evaluating at age 30. Someone age 15 doesn't have much sense what comparative life options feel like, in the same way that teens have relatively little fear of death, even though they know perfectly well what causes it.
they Survey Central Subscriber
posted 29-Oct-2012 9:00am  
As a mother of a 13 year old, I find this disgusting.
posted 4-Nov-2012 9:31am  
Normally, no. I'd make an exception if the 15 year old was sexually experienced and the seducer (so to speak) and the older male was intellectually disabled to some extent.
posted 4-Nov-2012 7:13pm  

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