The Definition of Statutory Rape

Document details
Category: Legal Studies and Law Essay
Subcategory: Law and Society
Words: 864
Pages: 2

According to the "criminology textbook", the term "statutory rape" refers to sexual relations between an underage minor female and an adult male. Although the sex is not forced or coerced, the law says that young girls are incapable of giving informed consent, the act legally considered nonconsensual, but who defines this? Typically, the state will define the age of consent above which there can be no criminal prosecution. The example to use for this paper would be the "State of Indiana." The state mandates that a male, 21 or over, having sex with a female, 14 and under is considered statutory rape. However, if the male was under the assumption the female was of legal age, should he be held liable? I feel he should not, and, let us examine some of the reasons why this law was enacted. Statutory rape laws have a checkered past. The primary purpose was to protect the virginity of young women from seduction and unscrupulous men who were unwilling to pay with his hand in marriage. However, a man could claim the woman was not a virgin in a court of law. So over time these laws were nothing more than words on paper because, Prosecutors became tired of trying cases they could not win the majority of the time. In some cases, the young woman was also coerced by her family to bring in a dowry from the accused man by claiming statutory rape. Therefore, over time, this law has become ineffective and needs to be revised or erased from the books and the female herself should be charged with a crime of coercion. However, if the woman does become pregnant it should not excuse him from his responsibilities. There are ways statutory rape laws can be effective as they are now discovering in the state of California. Eighty percent of teen pregnancies are due to girls having sex with a man that is 21 years old and...

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