Teenage sexual activity and Dutch criminal law

From Brongersma
Jump to: navigation, search

Those between 12 and 18 years of age are protected by Dutch criminal law against sexual contact. Based on criminal cases of sexually active youngsters this article will show that promiscuous teenage sexual activity poses some dilemmas for the just application of law enforcement operating on the basis of age limits. This relates to the fact that sexual contact with minors can be a crime regardless of whether the act can be qualified as consensual. Taking 'consent' as a starting point the focus will be on criminalizing sex with youngsters from the standpoint of the alleged victim, the alleged offender and society at large. What will be shown is that sex at an illegal age is much more likely to be authorized when the age discrepancy is trivial and when the act of sex is accompanied by an affective relationship over time. Most notably this poses some conflict for promiscuous sexual contact among youngsters exploring their sexual desires and consequently constituting a temporal relationship. After presenting a legal framework and analyzing some empirical data this article will offer some theoretical reflections on teenage sexual experimentation as linked to social conditions at a more abstract level. In conclusion it will be argued that the legal application of parameters controlling teenage sexual activity is done in order to preserve more than just the sexual integrity of a minor.

source: Abstract from article < 'Pre-adults' Having 'Casual' Sex with No Strings Attached? Teenage Sexual Activity and Dutch Criminal Law > by Juul Gooren; link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12119-013-9195-0; Sexuality & Culture; 18:257-278; 2014