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Young People’s Views Of Lowering The Age Of Consent

2217 words - 9 pages

Research Introduction
Age of consent is the age that you're allowed to have sexual activities. According to The Sexual Offence Act 2003, a person commit an offence if he touches sexually a girl under 16. Recently the Professor John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, had called for a lowering of the age of consent to make it easier for teenagers before age 16 years to seek sexual health service such as contraception from the NHS. While Downing Street reject the reduction in the age of consent. A spokesman said the current age is in place protect children and there are no plans to change it (Watt, 19). There is a public concern that lowering age of consent may guide juveniles’ attitudes towards sex negatively; it may encourage the premature sexual activities; and it may be furtherance of teenage pregnancy or even sexual crime. The concern is not groundless, and a valid social research evidence is needed for the debating and to proof or dispel doubts. The principal objective of this research is to find young people’s views of age of consent law with its changing.
Literature Review
In terms of young people’s sexual attitudes, the 3nd National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles shows that up to 30% of teenagers have the first heterosexual intercourse before age 16 years (Mercer, et al., 2013). The finding has also been proved by many other surveys, and another consensus is people have sex at an earlier age than before (Mercer, et al., 2013). In Miranda Sawyer’s survey ‘Sex before 16’, the Bliss magazine shows a shocking data—83% of Bliss readers who’ve already had sex experience were under 16 the first time and of those, 12% were 12 or younger (Sawyer, 2003). However, the empirical research evidence is relatively lacking within the existing researches about the age of consent and the juvenile sexual attitude. In Miranda’s program in 2003, the failing of law has been proved in some young people groups in ruling them but it didn’t give empirical evidences (Sawyer, 2003).
The Youth Values: Identity, Diversity and Social Changes research project examined the values of 1800 11-16-year olds providing the data including sex and age of consent (Thomson & Holland, 2002). This research approached questionnaires and interview to collect the data on this issue. According to the questionnaires, only 30% of boys and 37% of girls believed sexual intercourse under the age of 16 is illegal (Waites, 2005). In terms of the attitudes towards the law, contrary to what we have expected, many young people expressed support for the age of 16, and an increase to 18 was more popular than a reduction to 14 (Waites, 2005). However, as research developed, many young people are willing to reject the age of consent law when they conflict with their own moral judgements and. Teenagers shows two opposite view to the power of law and the criminal justice in this research. They would be willing to increase the boundary and value the age of consent law as a...

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