Should the age of consent be lower?
[Gert Hekma, lectures at the University of Amsterdam:] Lessons about sex are good for discovery of the self and curiosity about others and also for understanding what it means to be a sexual citizen. Sexuality not only effects your deepest feelings but also how to deal with sexual issues in families, in sport clubs, in school yards, on streets and at work. It's better to teach youngsters as early as possible how to say yes instead of no to sexual pleasures because if they know what they like and how to say yes, they will also know how better to say no and reject insults or abusive proposals from family members, peers or strangers. For this reason I think a lower age of consent could actually protect many. Because of age limits, young queers have great difficulty accessing gay and lesbian bars, internet sites or organisations, despite desperately needing them.
[Hekma via email about this article (in Dutch):] 'Het artikel is lichtelijk geredigeerd en waar ik zeg dat er weinig mis is met contacten tussen en oud en jong, heeft de redacteur ervan gemaakt "slightly older" - kennelijk de grens van wat in Engeland mogelijk is; ook al opvallend dat ze mij moeten inhuren alsof er in Engeland niemand is die zo iets gematigds durft te zeggen (14 jaar!).'
source: Article 'Should the age of consent be lower? - Martin Popplewell's Big Debate'; Gay Times; 2010