Lawmakers believe that implementing statutory rape laws will help deter male predators from and clean up the streets. What lawmakers fail to understand is that these laws have too many loopholes that would fail to address all the issues concerning having sex with a younger female: in many instances the relationships are mutual and the male counterparts are only two to three years older; Intervention of the law with health care providers would create awkward situations for women and make them feel vulnerable while seeking medical assistance because of possible prosecution for their suspected ‘predators’; and anecdotal evidence is available disproving the lawmakers theories. Statutory rape laws will not control the plummeting rate of teenage pregnancies and create more problems than solutions.
The statutory rape laws are based on countless loopholes and fail to applicable in the true sense of the statutory rape definition which is “which is typically a minor girl at least five years younger than her partner.” (Lynch) According to the evidence Lynch provides it is a common fact that there is social disapproval when a man impregnates a woman around a decade younger than him. This however, is not true when the age difference is up to three years and the individuals are over 18. “Women aged 18 to 19 account for nearly two-thirds of teen pregnancies (62 percent), and these pregnancies cannot be the result of statutory rape, even if the father was an adult.” (Lynch) Henceforth, “statutory–rape laws can affect only a bit more than one-third of all teenage births.” (Lynch)
According to health care providers, statutory rape laws will create more problems than solutions. One of their main concerns is that it will sabotage the confidential doctor-patient relationship by using personal information provided by the patient as means to prosecute the ‘statutory rapist’. (Donovan 33) “Providers point out that a young woman might be unlikely to jeopardize a relationship with a man whom she loves or from whom she receives support.” (Donovan 33)
An intervention of the law in standard procedures conducted in medical facilities will keep the patients from being honest with their doctors and some cases not go through with necessary medical procedures. In Georgia “some health officials have suggested that a statutory rape investigation be initiated whenever an underage female seeks STD services.” (Donovan 33) Enacting these suggestions will lead young women withholding important medical tests that could be pivotal to their health such as the STD test.
Anecdotal evidence is necessary to highlight how statutory rape laws have affected people’s lives. It is already established that according to social standards a sexual relationship between a teenaged women and a man 2 to 3 years older than her does not render disapproval as long as the woman is at least 18. In the following case two teenagers embark upon a sexual relationship that resulted in the pregnancy of a fifteen year old girl by a seventeen year old boy.
Afraid that he might be prosecuted the teenage boy committed suicide by hanging himself and leaving behind a 6 month pregnant girlfriend. The purpose of statutory rape laws is to stop male predators or underage citizens to from being sexually active with younger females. This case clearly proves that the law could not promote abstinence of prevention of any sort, instead it lead to the death of one person in a mutual relationship between two teenagers. (Teen father-to-be hanged himself)
It is easy to conclude that statutory rape laws create more problems than solutions because they seem to escape and not understand the idea of a mutual relationship between teenagers which is not exactly a statutory rape. If these laws intervene on doctor-patient confidentiality young women will feel vulnerable while seeking health care provision fearful that they might give away information that might lead to someone’s prosecution. The evidence is supported with a real life incident which clearly spells a “N O” to statutory rape laws because it cannot eradicate teenage pregnancies which is the obvious goal of the lawmakers.
Lynch, Michael W. “Enforcing statutory rape’?.” Public Interest (1998): 3-16. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO.
Patricia , Donovan. “Can Statutory Rape Laws be Effective in Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy?.” Family Planning Perspectives 29 (1997): 30-40.
Teen father-to-be hanged himself. 2008. BBC CO UK. Web.