It is incredible the diversity of the people you meet in law school. Not just in terms of race, gender, sexuality, and the like, but the pure mindset of the others. So far, almost everyone has had a personality that is enjoyable, or at least insightful into worlds I have never known. This excludes our two main gunners, whose personalities are generally unpalatable. However, this is not to say that every idea everyone has is one with which I could agree, or even understand. Case in point.
Today in class we started discussing "To Catch a Predator" like scenarios, where the police entrap or entice (depending on your viewpoint) adults online trying to seduce underage persons. After class, one student mentioned to me that he disbelieved in age of consent laws. I couldn't let this go, so I walked with him and tried to wrap my head around his reasoning.
He explained to me that there should be no such thing as statutory rape. He believes that, in the interest of personal freedom, any two individuals should be able to do what they want with their bodies. I should point out that I believe this too, but only when the two persons involved are adults. Anyway, I asked him if he meant persons of any age, using an example of a nine-year-old girl who "wanted" to have sex with a fifty-year-old man. He said such a scenario would be fine, if the girl really wanted it.
I argued that the purpose of statutory rape laws were to prevent older people from taking advantage of particularly persuadable young people. He suggested that they were for the sake of prevention of pregnancy and STD in young people. The notion that the government worries about five-year-olds getting pregnant is one I cannot understand.
He made an interesting argument. He proposed that there would be a license that people younger than 18 could get that would give them permission to have sex with anyone they wanted of any age (all over 18 would automatically get the license). The license would operate much like a driver's license, in that the person would be required to have a knowledge of what he or she was about to do, and that they could appreciate the consequences of their actions. By having them jump through such a bureaucratic hoop, he suggests that young girls would get what was coming to them if they chose to have sex (since, in taking the test, they would be demonstrating consent). He likens this to a person who gets into deep credit card debt and have to pay it back three years down the road.
It was at that point I chose to end the conversation. I'm going to work on an argument to refute this notion (since apparently saying that young people can fall prey to perverts too easily is not sufficient).
I should emphasize that the guy is a generally good guy, and we've had many deep conversations about law and philosophy. But nonetheless, it's incredible the people you meet.