Age of consent Saturday, Sep 22 2012 

I have been reading quite a lot on this topic as discussions approach about the UK changing its age of consent from 16 to 14. This topic got me thinking about the age of consent in other countries and how laws may differ worldwide.

I found the website http://www.avert.org/age-of-consent.htm very helpful in my search for worldwide age of consent laws as it literally listed basically every country, their age of consent or if they did not have one. I found that the age of consent worldwide ranges from 12 to 21. This is a difference of nine years which in itself seems rather huge; however, when you consider the massive changes which occur to a person within these nine years the gap seems even larger.

Now, in terms of these ages I think that 12 is an absolutely shocking age to be having sex at. I mean, seriously, people having sex at 12!? I didn’t even so much as kiss a boy until I was 14 and even that was a fucking dare and lasted about a millisecond! It cannot possibly be healthy in any way to begin having sex at 12, I mean, I wasn’t even trusted to go out past about 7 so how on earth could I be trusted to make such an important decision as loosing my virginity. I genuinely think that at 12 you are a child and cannot at all comprehend and understand how to make this kind of decision. Also, at 12 you will not realistically have any strong and lasting feelings for someone you are going to have sex with and sleeping with people you don’t see yourself being with is a much more grown up and complicated issue than something you can deal with at the age of 12!

Whilst on the subject of this ridiculously low age of consent I would also like to make the comment that in Columbia the age of consent is 12 only for girls, yet boys can only have sex at 14. What does this mean? Who would these 12 year old girls be having sex with, boys at least two years older than them (which at that age is a huge age gap)? is it suggesting that girls are more responsible? I really don’t know what to make of this. The only conclusion I can really come to is that in many underdeveloped countries (such as Guatemala and Indonesia- which both also have different ages of consent for boys and girls [Guatemala: 14 for girls and 16 for boys. Indonesia: 16 for girls and 19 for boys], girls are typically expected to get married very early and to an older man who can help provide for her family. Either way, I am completely dumbfounded by this discovery.

On another note, I leant that in some countries the age of consent is only valid if you are married, an example of this is Bahrain which has its age of consent at 15 or the time of marriage. 15, to me personally, also seems to be a very low age to loose ones virginity. Also, the implication that it can be earlier if you marry earlier seems rather scary and filled with images of young girls being married of older men.

However, although I am, to an extent, stating that these ages of consent seem far too low I also discovered some rather unrealistic ideals. For example, may countries state that they simply do not allow sex before marriage, for example: Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Now, whilst I am not going to be a virgin when I get married this does seem to be a lovely idea and I think that if it was upheld by personal desires rather than religious stigma it would be an amazing thing to do. Nevertheless, although these countries are obviously rich in religious views it does seem to be rather idealistic and unrealistic to expect only the married to have sex. I also think it is rather ridiculous to punish consenting adults for having sex simply because they are not married. Personally, in the words of Samantha Jones (‘Sex and the City’ and yes, I know this isn’t exactly the intellectual quote I should be putting in this post): “Before you buy the car, you take it for a test drive!” This, I believe is completely true, both with sex and with living together!

Additionally, countries with the age of consent at the high age of 21, such as Cameroon, also seem rather unfathomable. I mean, yes, I agree that people should wait but I also think that if the age of consent is unrealistically high people will simply ignore it as ‘just one of those laws’, you know, the ones that are there but no one really listens to.

In conclusion, I believe that the age of consent is definitely a very difficult thing to determine: set too low it gives the impression that children having sex is promoted (‘Brave New World’ anyone?), set it too high and it will not be something that people even try to aspire to. The thing is, I do think that essentially it is not the age that a person has sex at that really matters, it’s the reasons why they are having sex. Of course, this does not mean that 12 year olds ‘in love’ should be having sex, I just simply mean that I think that some people mature earlier than others and for some sex at 16 will be the right thing whereas for others the right thing to do will be to wait until 20, 25 or even marriage. At the end of the day, to each is own (apart from 12 year old’s ‘in love’).

Personally, I think that below 16 is a ridiculous age to have sex but that waiting till after marriage is not going to do you any favors as sex is a large part of your relationship with someone.

I would genuinely love any input that anyone has on this matter whatever your views may be.

Grace x

Amazing sleep, horrific dream Monday, Sep 17 2012 

I rarely have such brilliant sleeps when my boyfriend isn’t around (pathetic I know), but today- wow, I feel refreshed, rested, happy. Excellent sleep all in all.

However, the dream was not so perfect. Now, I’ve heard various things about having bad dreams about someone you’re in a relationship with; some say it demonstrates your insecurities, others say that if you are truly in love you don’t have good dreams about your partner. I don’t know.

Anyway, I have never had a good dream about my boyfriend – Ever:

He has left me to be raped in a park by someone with no hands because he was too busy snogging his ex-girlfriend and he has cheated on me numerous times. Am I really that insecure?

Now, yesterday’s dream is still vivid in my mind:

Me and my boyfriend were somewhere, I think the pub or something, with a load of friends. We got bored as the night wore on and decided to go clubbing. I think pretty much everyone except for my boyfriend and maybe a friend of his or two came to mine for pre-drinks and to get ready. Chelsea was there and was blabbering on about how she wanted to be a better person (I assumed she wouldn’t tell anymore ridiculous lies), she said she would do this by stopping her lies (hurray)! She then told me she wanted to speak to me and took me upstairs to my old bedroom and told me SHE WAS IN LOVE WITH JEFF! She was in love with my boyfriend, what the fuck! I ran out of the room and began trying to call him, no reply. He was meant to meet us as the club so wasn’t as flustered as I could have been. However, with time I became more and more annoyed and one of his friends had to work on calming me down.

I don’t remember if anything else happened or when the dream actually stopped. It felt so vivid and real.

Well, at least it’s not exactly the worst dream I’ve had about my boyfriend!

Grace x

Congressman Akin Thursday, Aug 23 2012 

I’ve been seeing a lot about about this man floating about the internet recently and today decided to actually read into it.

I am horrified.

According to this charming gentleman, if you are able to conceive during a rape attack, it is not actually rape, it is consensual. This is interesting as I was not aware that all rapists were reproductively challenged and also assumed that when women are raped they do not know it is going to happen so would rarely be protected from pregnancy. Apparently, I am wrong and ‘legitimate’ rape cannot cause pregnancy.

Now, on top of all this rubbish Akin also states that because rape is a violent encounter the woman’s body would shut down. This is interesting because I do believe many couples have quite rough sex (obviously this cannot be compared to rape but just hear me out), so does that mean that as long as my boyfriend pounds me hard enough we no longer need to worry about contraception?

Although all his words seem like complete crap it does seem that some people are listening, and no, not even the men, women too! In an article I read I was informed about a woman, Martha Byars, who was recently raped and fell pregnant. After listening to Akin she is now convinced that she was in fact not raped and has told police and reporters that she will not be pressing charges because, as she got pregnant, the rape must have been consensual.

This demonstrates how detrimental how detrimental Akin is to society. Rape convictions are already extremely low with estimates that only 1 in 100 rape victims are able to convict their attacker, with Britain being reported as having the lowest rape convictions out of 33 examined countries. For this reason it is clear that people like Akin are not needed in society and that all rape cases should be examined properly and the 26% of American’s who believe that rape is at least in some way, if not completely, the woman’s fault need to converted.

Grace x