Teens ignorant of sex laws

Filed under: Teens

What's the one thing teenage boys want more than anything? Teenage girls, of course. The thing is, whether you're an old man like me or a high school senior, those teenage girls are very much off limits. Genarlow Wilson found that out the hard way -- he ended up serving three years of a then mandatory ten year sentence for having consensual oral sex with a fifteen-year-old. He was seventeen at the time.

According to the Associated Press, many teens don't realize that the age of consent applies to them as much as it does to over the hill geezers like myself. Unfortunately, that means that the can end up on a sex registry alongside rapists and pedophiles. Wilson's lawyer summed it up: "In order to look tough on crime they (lawmakers) are criminalizing teen sex."

J. Tom Morgan, a former district attorney and author of the book "Ignorance Is No Defense: A Teenagers Guide to Georgia Law," is disdainful of the education kids receive about the legal side of sex. "We do a disgraceful job of educating kids about the very real consequences that they face," he says. "If society is going to punish them as adults, then society ought to educate them."

Some states are now changing their laws to reflect the difference between a couple of teens and a forty-year-old man who likes five-year-old girls. Connecticut changed its law so that teens who are less than three years apart will not be prosecuted. Wilson, meanwhile, is using his celebrity to educate teens about sex laws. "They need to know that they can actually go to jail," he says, from experience.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.