'Mental age' is not a well-defined concept in your argument. Girls may make fewer impulsive decisions. This does not mean they are in a position to make fully informed decisions. The standard by which this is measured is the capacity of an adult, not that of a child of similar age but the opposite gender.
And are you arguing that the laws should only change for relationships involving older males and younger females? And why are we moving younger girls up and not older guys down?
Even the article you linked to mentions that many places do have 'Romeo and Juliet' laws, which mitigate the problem as you initially presented it. Those laws probably won't cover an 18-yo and a 14-yo, though. And I'm fine with that, to be honest. Let's say half of such cases are starry-eyed innocents and half are guys who figure a younger girl is more likely to let him do whatever he wants. I think preventing the latter is worth more than facilitating the former.
Do you know there's no evidence, or do you just know of no evidence?
There's the usual disclaimers about more investigation, etc, but a correlation certainly exists.
It's certainly not about creating excuses to avoid addressing arguments that are awkward for your position. In the case you're talking about, as presented I don't think a custodial sentence was the best response, for sure. But you can't seriously think you can jimmy us into a false choice between the most draconian response possible and thepaedobay.org.
The above problem isn't going away. I mean, for the sake of argument, let's say you've convinced me, and I'm all aboard the la6ki teen-sex Orient Express. Where do we go from here? How do we distinguish the lovely natural harmless stuff from the nasty exploitative harmful stuff?
Now, one paper cited by this paper does provide evidence of what you were hoping to show:
This paper takes a coarser look at the differences in the maturation of the brain in males and females as they age. The brain features they looked at were much larger than the paper you cited, but they did observe time offsets between the way certain features grew and then shrank in males and females. But get this: the size of the offsets varied by feature, but typically 3 years, and always under 4 years (some features didn't show a significant difference at when changes happened at all). Your argument that a 19 yo male is at the same maturity level as a 14 yo female is not supported by any data presented so far. Indeed, the rate at which the volume of brain features decreases with maturity tends to accelerate from the onset of puberty up to age 18 or so (true for both sexes), it seems likely that the 19 yo would have a significant advantage in maturity compared to a 14 yo girl.
But I'm mostly on board with all that.
The scenario, though, that la6ki is upset about is now a 14 year old and an older teenager. That's not something that the older teenager was unaware of. Age of consent laws are not an overreaction to an isolated crime.
His rhetoric about "bureaucrats" telling you who you are allowed to love or whatever is not only disturbingly similar to the rhetoric you'll find on NAMBLA's website(and LirvA posts, the dearly departed even had the same pouty teenager tone), it's an attack on the very idea of "statutory" rape being a crime at all. Not "some" or "many" instances, he appears to be upset at the idea of criminalizing consensual sex due to an age difference.
(Though, as with the buying/selling stuff earlier, what la6ki says now and what he'll claim to believe later can diverge).
That wasn't my argument. Instead, my argument was that the gap in mental age between an 18 yo and a 14 yo is smaller than the gap in their biological age.
Admittedly I didn't read the entire exchange. If his argument is really that persons of all ages should be understood to be capable of consent, and all consensual sex between persons of all ages should be legal, I retract what I said in his defense.
What would it mean to move older guys down? To criminally prosecute a 20-year-old woman having sex with a 17-year-old dude?
Why do you think that's your decision, seriously? I mean, don't you feel a little uncomfortable at least sitting in front of your computer and making these judgments about other people's lives which quite often have dramatic effects?
I know there's no evidence regarding the ages per se. They don't really mean anything from a developmental point of view (they are quite arbitrary, rather). The only thing one could say is "people mature as they age", but that's obviously pretty useless. I could decide to make the legal age of consent 30, since then the women/men will have matured even more...!
And what do people usually say about correlation? What doesn't it imply?
I have a radical idea. How about we use our brains and look at each case separately, rather than vote dumb and blind laws which have the potential to crush lives?
Considering the fact that by definition that itself doesn't make me a 'pedophile', please explain based on what you think that guy had a pathological attraction to young girls and not simply be in the same situation as me. And I guarantee you that nobody (unless somebody incredibly spineless) will abandon his girlfriend because a weird judge told him so, nobody! So?
Anyway he had a huge crush on the girl I mentioned. Definitely a little weird - but she was into boys big time and he was a pretty immature junior. I'm pretty sure nothing ever happened. But do I think the guy was a predator who should have been locked up and labeled a sex offender for life if something happened? No. He was just a stunted kid and she was pretty advanced.
So anyway - yeah I agree it's a grey area. I don't mind it being against the law for him to mess around with her. But sex offender for life is too severe imo.
It can be reduced to this: One whose behaviour is pathological is more likely to risk imprisonment to engage in that behaviour than one whose behaviour is not pathological.
Surely you don't disagree?
Just in general it's unfocused lashing out at edge cases and concluding, from the existence of these edge cases, that blah blah blah government bureaucrats are preventing true love.
Oh, no, no. I'm quite sure he doesn't truly believe that. I'm sure he finds the concept of Jerry Sandusky seducing 11 year olds with wine coolers as distasteful as the rest of us. But,
But how would you square your rationale for allowing older males to bang younger females with allowing the converse? Shouldn't you be dead-set against it?
Maybe. This is all on the assumption that your claims about differential brain development are meaningful and pertinent, which I'm inclined to question, since, again, the capacity of children to offer informed consent is judged against an adult's capacity in that regard, not that of a child of the same age but the opposite gender. Five feet is longer than four feet, but it's still shorter than six.
Of course my moral judgements are my decision, don't be silly. If you want to argue that having to delay sex for a few years is worse than being sexually exploited, be my guest. And I'm with you, more or less, on custodial sentences often being a poor solution.
No, you said there was no evidence that early sexual activity is harmful. That's what I was asking about.
The number three most abused fallacy on the internet, second to straw man and ad hominem. Correlation doesn't imply causation, sure, and so the study is not proof. But we weren't talking about proof, were we? We were talking about evidence. And there it is. Incomplete, yes, inconclusive, sure. But more than you've got, and also something you said earlier didn't exist.
Firstly, who's "we"? Who would be making this call? What criteria would we employ ("our brains" is just further vagueness)? And who's going to pay for all this? Is that cost going to be worth the benefit it reaps? Given that no system is perfect, is that benefit going to outweigh the cost of false negatives?
This line is pretty loltastic, especially in its definitiveness. If your undergraduate professor let you get away with statements like these they should be harshly reprimanded.
A) Avoid the girl altogether
B) Maintain contact while refraining from sex, or engage in a one-time contact to vow to wait for each other
He went for C). Priorities differ, sure, but one way in which priorities can differ is by the behaviour of the person in question being pathological. And risking prison for sexytime should raise the probability estimate. That's all I've been saying.