Abstracts of essays; news; announcements; short takes.
hi alex, yep, good article - you're on a roll at the moment! - but you might just want to be careful when you quote people like hetty johnston. this is the same person who wants to charge the (well known and well regarded) australian photographer bill henson with child pornography offences, because he often photographs naked and half-naked teens (boys and girls) as part of his work. google hetty johnston and bill henson for the full story which i won't re-iterate here, and see how pernicious such witch hunting "activists" can be, and how it might be best not to lump them in with other, perhaps more rational, people.cheerst
Thank you for the heads up about hetty johnston. Your point is important enough that I shall add a footnote to the article.
two comments:1. assuming that equal penalties are to be applied to adult man-underage girl/adult woman-underage boy/adult man-underage boy cases (what about adult woman-underage girl lesbian acts - is that a crime or not?), you can either lower the penalty for man-boy or raise it for woman-boy; which do you prefer?2. the last case you cited in the article raises the defence of reasonable doubt - only the two people in the bathroom know what actually happened, and when they tell different stories, the accused was given the benefit; the fact that she was in jail for almost 4 months already presumably also was taken into consideration
To complicate the mess that the various government bodies have brought to bear on this case, S 377 is also an unconstitutional piece of legislation.By definiton provided for in the constitution, S 377 is null and void.Any court worth its weight in salt - and this criteria is key - would throw this case out on the basis of technicalities.However this outcome is prevented from taking place in Singapore so that the police (primarily) are vested with the widest possible discretionary powers; they can go around willy nilly charging anyone with anyone law at their every whim and fancy.Only in Singapore, would the possibility of winning a case based on technicalities would not be entertained; that's a check on the abuse of the system and its procedures that would be unacceptable because it is more important that the authorities save face than protect the citizens' interests.
To Yuen - From my reading of the laws, lesbian adult-minor relationships would be covered under the Children and Young Persons Act Section 7, Penal Code Section 375 (rape) and Penal Code Section 376A (sexual penetration of a minor).Psychologically, there is nothing special about the 16th birthday when a person becomes an adult under these sex laws. I'm sure the courts recognise a need for a kind of sliding scale of penalties for the older partner as the younger partner gets and older and older. This means he highest penalties should be for those in sex acts with children aged 13 and below; lower penalties for sex acts with those aged 14; and even lower for those involved with 15-year-olds.Therefore, I personally think that in the case of sex acts with 15-year-olds where no coercion or deception was involved, the penalties should at most be a month or two in jail, with a fine of a few thousand dollars, for the first offence. Common sense tells us that this should be appropriate in many instances where error of judgement and emotional confusion on the part of the adult is part of the story. Any more than that is meaninglessly punitive.I mentioned the 3 cases - and I think I should now amend the article to qualify how I cite them - to show how thorny the issue is from a public perspective, not how wrong the justice system in Australia and US is.At the same time, I cited the testimony of the 15-year-old boy in the Honeycutt case to show how even 15-year-old boys can be badly affected when seduced by an adult woman. This is to caution against the unthinking attitude that males do not suffer (and so adult women can be treated more leniently by the law than adult men).
I disagree with the article.Culture norms aside, I will just analyze from a purely biological point of view.Males and females, due to their biological difference have different optimal reproductive strategies.Males, potentially could have billions of offspring.Sperms are cheap, optimal strategy for males is to have sex with as many females as possible and let them bear the burden of raising the child while perharps concentrating resources on a few to ensure their survival.Females, potentially could have hundreds of offspring (8 child per pregnancy, assuming 30 years of fetility. Realistically this number is much less because of the health risk for both mother and child)Bearing a child is time consuming and expansive in bliological resources. Optimal strategy for female is to maximise survival chance of each and every child, so choosing suitable male to father her child and a male partner willing to invest his time and resources to raise the child is essential. Because of the difference in strategy, a male having sex with a female is no big deal to the male, unless ofcourse, it is a ploy by the female to get him to commit resources to raise a child. If a female get pregnant and is willing to raise the child on her own, all the better for the male from a biological stand point.The situation is different for a female. Each pregnancy is a huge investment. Having a child by a unsuitable male, probably have to bear the burden of raising the child alone and the increased difficulty of finding a good mate in the future make this a very distressing situation for the female. (Emotional distress is your instinct telling you that what's happening is something that is very bad for yourself)Back to the situation at hand. Although the article is about having sex with minors, the same basic principles applies. Sexual abuse of a male child by a female will cause much less distress than sexual abuse of a female child by a male.The "interesting" (not sure if this is the appropriate word to use) thing is what happens when a gay child is sexually abused? (Which I suspect is the point of view that the author is coming from) Will abusing a male gay child cause the same destress as abusing a female child... or not? How about the other way round?
I'm generally not in favour of unnecessary heavy penalties in cases of consensual sex with minors. As can be seen in these 2 local cases, the minors are more than guilty. I agree with YB that the closer they reach to 16 yo, the lower the penalty should be. Yuen's question about lesbian sex points to total ignorance and archaic notions of sex meaning only penetration by penis. To avoid offending lesbians any further, these archaic notions should be sheleved where they belong, in ancient caves.The law is the law, assuming the law is justly drawn, it should apply to any kind of sexual offences , not to one type or another type of people.
>Yuen's question about lesbian sex points to total ignorance and archaic notions of sex meaning only penetration by penisoh so you are well informed; are the following lesbian acts criminal between an adult woman and underage girl?a. mutual masturbationb. contact between the two females' private partsc. oral-general contactd. one party holding a vibrator for the other to suckin the first three cases, no penetration occurs, but the acts are definitely sexualin the last case, there is penetration, but using an inanimate object; is it sex or not?anyone who thinks such issues are simple is "naive"
To Yuen:"in the last case, there is penetration, but using an inanimate object; is it sex or not?"No answer proposed. Only thatwhatever the answer is, it shouldbe the same no matter what thegender of the two participants are.Which is exactly the point of thepost you were responding to.
Its times like these and others.. whether its regarding people in society or politicians on the streets in Singapore, that I want to scream out "DISCRIMATION"!But then I remember that this is just a blog and all the only thing that will hear my is the computer screen.
>I want to scream out "DISCRIMATION"! But then I remember that this is just a blog and all the only thing that will hear my is the computer screen.not so, you need to remember that Alex Au is an activist and currently quite in favour with both local and overseas press; if there are valid ideas that emerge from the discussion here, they might become part of his activismsecond, I am not sure whether your cry of "discrimination" refers to heavier penalty for male-male underage sex, or lack of past prosecution of lesbian underage sex - it appears that the government and YB readers are generally in favour of gender equality, so that we can expect prosecution of lesbian underage sex in the future?now it is easy to demand/support equality, but I point out what a can of worms this opens: there must be regular cases when sisters sharing bedroom (in small homes, maybe sharing bed) and school friends on camping trips, whether heterosexual or lesbian, have engaged in mutual masturbation, genital contact, even oral-general contact; if one of the girls is underage, did they commit a crime? if they get into a quarrel, could the younger girl make a police report? would the police take up such cases?in fact, it would probably require some test cases to come before the courts before the situation is clear
To Yuen:Another non sequitur.First:"now it is easy to demand/support equality,"Then" but I point out what a can of worms this opens: there must be regular cases when sisters sharing bedroom (in small homes, maybe sharing bed) and school friends on camping trips, whether heterosexual or lesbian, have engaged in mutual masturbation, genital contact, even oral-general contact; if one of the girls is underage, did they commit a crime? if they get into a quarrel, could the younger girl make a police report? would the police take up such cases?"The second part can stand on itsown and applies to all gendercombinations.I leave to other readers to speculate on why a connection was made where none existed.
To Yuen:"now it is easy to demand/support equality, but I point out what a can of worms this opens"I agree. All you have to do is see whatequality has done in the past. An African-Americanwas originally 3/5 of a white man. Theyhad to amend the constitution! I mean how messycan this get? So are they equals or superiors or inferiors toNative Americans? What white judge wouldn't tear his hair outif he had to adjudicate this!Let's not even talk about theChinese building the railroads! Or inter-racial rape!!!!Talk about can of worms!
>The second part can stand on itsown and applies to all gendercombinations.actually not so; with male-female sex and male-male sex, any activity without penile penetration (oral, vaginal or anal) is not regarded as "serious" sex; because lesbian sex does not involve penile penetration, the boundary between "serious" and "non-serious" sex need to be defined before we know what is criminal underage sex and what is notto repeat, it is easy to say you believe in inequality; the devil is in the details
To Yuen:Another non sequitur."actually not so; with male-female sex and male-male sex, any activity without penile penetration (oral, vaginal or anal) is not regarded as "serious" sex; because lesbian sex does not involve penile penetration, the boundary between "serious" and "non-serious" sex need to be defined before we know what is criminal underage sex and what is not"Equality means the same actsare covered by the same lawsno matter what the gender of the perpetrators. Females lack the penis, so the laws with respect to crimes committed with the penisdon't apply to them. No one considers that it is unfair or unequal that this is so.
To Yuen:"to repeat, it is easy to say you believe in inequality; the devil is in the details"In every struggle for equality(gender, racial, ethnic, religious),the reactionaries are usually divided into the unabashed bigot "bad cop" camp andthe "good cop" camp.You can be sure that somethingalong the lines of what I quoted is in the repertoire of the "good cops".
>Females lack the penis, so the laws with respect to crimes committed with the penis don't apply to them. No one considers that it isunfair or unequal that this is so.>You can be sure that somethingalong the lines of what I quotedis in the repertoire of the "good cops".I have no idea what such vague statements amount to, but since (supposedly) lesbian underage sex has been made criminal, how do lesbians find out what is criminal and what is not? you guys call others ignorant so must be well informed, so reveal some information; I am asking a simple question, am I not?
To Yuen:"how do lesbians find out what is criminal and what is not? you guys call others ignorant so must be well informed, so reveal some information; I am asking a simple question, am I not?"This either selective or ignorant(take your pick). How does anyoneknow what action violates whatstatute? This applies to allareas covered by legislation.
Willing party willing sex, the teacher ends up being prosecuted. I think this is not fair to the teacher.
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