The following is a list of the main arguments used to support the present day feminist age of consent. Historically, the age of consent generally co-incided with the average age at which girls began puberty. Beginning in the late 19th century, feminists began to successfully have the age raised to as high as 16 in the UK and even 18 in some states of the USA. Note that the average age of 'menarche' in the UK and USA is now 10 or 11 (in Victorian London, when the age of consent was raised, it was 17), and a majority of females have completed puberty by the age of 16.
When considering these feminist arguments that supposedly justify the present age of consent it is important to note that they are usually quite different to the arguments used by the 19th century Victorian suffragettes who originally set the AofC over 100 years ago (for example, most of the Suffragettes were Christians who believed sex outside of marriage to be a wicked sin - they were effectively trying to criminalize pre-marital sex).
Disclaimer - This site strongly and unreservedly condemns 'statutory rape' and underage sex with teens. Aside from the general moral and social good of respecting the law, such illegal acts expose a young person to the predations and toxic effect of the feminist child abuse industry and court system. This site also does not take a strong stand on what the age of consent should be, in itself. However, the outrageous hysteria over 'statutory rape' and increasingly barbaric punishments handed out across the supposedly civilised world for even minor infractions of the law, are clearly a men's rights issue and an anti-feminist concern, and to address these issues, and to highlight how excessive and barbaric these punishments are, it is necessary to discuss the underlying logic of feminist age of consent justifications. This is even more important now that leading men's rights activists are actively supporting a feminist age of consent as high as 18 in order to label teenage boys engaging in willing sex with older women (or men) as 'child abuse victims' (in the name of equality!!).
This page is intended to merely list the major arguments used by feminists in support of a high age of consent, together with a brief outline of each. Each argument will eventually be examined at length on a separate page. I think it would be better if we reserve discussion and analysis to the relevant page dedicated to the particular argument in question. But please suggest any arguments that I have missed in the comments section below, as well as any objections to how I have phrased or seperated the arguments listed.
A note on terminology - as what we are discussing is really whether sex with teens should or should not be illegal (or deserving of draconian punishments), and for the sake of brevity and simplicity, I use the term 'teen' to refer to the underage person, and 'adult' to refer to the older partner. I dislike the term 'minor' as it is a term that is being deliberately abused in order to create the moral norm that any sex with under 18s is wrong. The term 'minor' commonly refers to a person not of voting age, or not in possesion of the 'majority' of the rights of an adult. Although the voting age is commonly 18 across most of the world (though a trend is emerging for this to be lowered), the age of consent is 18 in less than 2% of the nations of the Earth - mostly backward and theocratic Islamic or American states. Of course, one of the key refutations of feminist age of consent laws is to counter-argue that teenagers are adults, or at least not children.
Note also that many of the arguments, or aspects of them, overlap with others. It should also be noticed that supporters of the age of consent often appear to pick one argument almost at random to justify their position. The fact that there are so many different arguments used to validate the present age of consent should itself be a cause of suspicion (as well as the fact, noted above, that most of these arguments are different to the original Victorian arguments used). This is quite unlike positions on other obvioius moral truths - for example, such as why murder is wrong, or even less historically held truths, such as why racism is wrong. In these instances, it is quite easy to articulate one commonly agreed definition or reason as to why we hold it to be plainly wrong (i.e., racism is wrong because it fails to treat a person as an individual but rather as the subject of a generalisation).
The Imbalance In Power Argument - There is an assumed imbalance in power between the adult and teen. This imbalance in power means that the relationship is inherently abusive.
The Harm Argument - Sex between an adult and a teenager leads to inherent harm and psychological damage for the younger person, independent of the defining of the act as abuse or harmful (else the argument would be simply self-fulfilling and empty).
The Lack of Informed Consent Argument - The age of consent refers to the age at which a person can be reasonably expected to be able to give 'informed consent' to sex. Feminists are typically vague as to what this mysterious 'informed consent' involves.
The Adult Only Wants One Thing Argument - Underage sex is abusive because the adult must necessarily be only interested in sex with the teen.
The Failure to Respect the Teen as a Person Over Time Argument - Similar to above, but not identical. This is a common 'philosophical' justification of the age of consent. States that the adult is only interested in the teen as a teen, rather than as a person.
The Unmarried Sex With a Teen is Wrong Argument - Proponents of this argument hold that what is wrong in particular with adults having sex with teens is that it is necessarily unmarried sex (in most countries the marriage age is now higher than the age of consent). This argument is often used to counter the historical fact that for most of human history over 18s having sex with adolescent teens was normal or even the norm - in most cases the older partner would be married to the young girl, or would marry. This argument is often used by Conservative men's rights supporters and their femiservative co-opters. Again, it is related to the previous two arguments listed.
The Innocent Child Argument - Teens under the age of consent are sexually innocent. An adult having sex with a teen represents an act of defilement and a premature loss of sexual 'innocence'.
The Woman Will Later Regret It Argument - One of the most commonly used arguments, it is held as valid even if no demonstrable harm has been caused by the teenage sex, but also often used as evidence of harm in itself, or as a cause of supposed harm. The subjective testimony and feeling of the 'abused' woman as she looks back on her youthful experience is held to be beyond question. Can also be described as the 'woman will regret early sex argument'. Held to be valid even if, as a teen, the female felt good about the sexual relationship.