Moral Panic Essay

950 words - 4 pages

Moral panic is the intense feeling formulated throughout the population dealing with threatening issues concerning shifts in social order. In order for moral panic to spread over a community there must be concerns and comments frequently made about a person’s or persons’ negative behavior impacting the society. Age-of-consent laws were constructed to avoid moral panic attempting to reduce social concerns about children, and children’s sexuality in order to protect the innocence of children. It is important that children abide by the laws created for their protection.
Two of the most alarming social concerns that impact children’s behavior are adolescents being forced to make reasonable decisions before they have fully matured, and being apart of this technology based world today. Age is not a huge factor in determining a child’s maturity level. According to Laurie Schaffner “socially, majority status represents an age of reason, rights, and responsibility,” although it varies when adolescents can be permitted to adulthood. (Schaffner, pg. 189) For the purpose of positive and effective development children must encounter constant nurturing from parents, or guardians. The love, affection, and support an adult can provide for an adolescent builds their self-confidence. This is an imperative element in child development. Nurturing gives children the opportunity to apply logic and display characteristics of responsibility. Interacting with family is necessary, but also interacting with others who are not within their immediate family is equally important. This is to ensure a child develops in all aspects, both mentally and socially. The experience of interacting with people outside the family will test and determine whether a child is ready to be considered an adult.
Age is a factor in pursuing a person on an intimate level. Often times women are turned off by younger men until they prove they are worthy of a woman’s time. On the other hand men are typically drawn to younger women because younger women are more desirable than older women. According to society younger men can attain a female, the more attractive the female becomes. Knowing young women are unavoidable to men, the Age-of-Consent law was passed “based on the principle that minors have a differential right to protection, originally the protected object was not the child herself, but her virginity.” (Levine, pg. 71) Young girls often visualize themselves as older women and want to speed up the process of puberty. The case where twenty-one year old Dylan Healy courted thirteen year old Heather Kowalski seemed to be a perfect example of society’s typical predator or pedophile. But this case was just the opposite of what it seemed. According to Judith Levine in Harmful to Minors “two facts distinguish this couple from the rest: their ages—hers at the start of...

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