Monday, August 29, 2005

Babies having babies

Who knew? A legally-married couple in the U.S. may nevertheless be committing statutory rape with each other. The Times story, about a 14-year-old girl married to a 22-year-old man, will not help New Yorkers think more highly of Kansas: "For now, Mr. Koso, out on $5,000 bond, sits in the basement of his parents' home, where the walls are papered with the pink-and-purple, heart-filled love notes that his wife, a ninth-grader, scribbled on notebook paper in class." Aww.

The world is a big place, and I'm sure that somewhere there is a 14-year-old, or even a 12-year-old, at least as prepared to get married as the typical adult. It can't be all that common, and are we as a society ready to protect that minority? It seems in some cases we are, although parental consent seems a poor indication that a 12-year-old is truly old enough to get married.

The obvious question: Why would this couple have been allowed to get married in the first place, while same-sex couples nationwide do not have that right? It would be interesting if things go further, with half the states permitting same-sex marriage but banning all marriages between minors, and the other states permitting minors to marry with parental consent but banning same-sex marriage. At 7 PM, half the states would get "Will and Grace" and the other half "7th Heaven." What some find icky others find perfectly acceptable, or even admirable ("better married gays than promiscuous gays" vs. "better a pregnant 13-year-old with a husband than a pregnant 13-year-old alone").

While I'd personally like to see gay marriage legalized and 14-year-olds untouched by skanky grown-ups, why does what I find icky matter? The best answer I can give is this: Let's say a certain number of things are ambiguously icky, meaning that some find them icky and others do not. Assume a certain number of these things will be outlawed through reasonable, constitutionally-acceptable measures. Now assume some of the things involve minors and others do not. Why not outlaw the ambiguously icky things that involve minors and keep the icky things involving adults legal?

OK, that made no sense, but think of it this way: Let's say a 30-year-old man married a 12-year-old boy, and that this marriage was consummated. Which aspect of the relationship would be more upsetting--the child-molestation element, or the fact that both parties were male?


Anonymous said...

Parental consent for a 12-year-old to marry might be coming from a 24-year-old. In other words, someone too young to rent a car.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

And yet for some (see above post) 24 would be an absurdly early age to have one's first child. Eh.

7472 said...

Alot of interesting comments on this blog, I was searching for some doctor related info and some how cam across this site. I found it pretty cool, so I bookmarked. I'll really liked the second post on the front page, that got my attention.

My site is in a bit different area, but just as useful. I have a mens male enhancement reviews related site focusing on mens male enhancement reviews and mens health related topics.