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Thread: Legal ages

  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    Default Legal ages

    I was reading something on another about underage jokes and was just wondering what the various legal ages are for various things.

    Here in the UK at the moment it is:

    Sex 16 (though there are some grey areas about if both parties are under that age)
    Alcohol 18
    Cigarettes 18 (Unbelieveably just gone up from 16)
    Marriage 16 (though I think in Scotland it's 15 - not too sure)
    Driving 17
    Voting 18
    Pornography 18 (strange when you can do it 2 years before watching it)
    Cannibis Still not legal but is now a class c drug, like steroids etc

    All I can think of.
    A man could lose himself in a country like this.

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    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    I was reading something on another about underage jokes and was just wondering what the various legal ages are for various things.

    Here in the UK at the moment it is:

    Sex 16 (though there are some grey areas about if both parties are under that age)
    Alcohol 18
    Cigarettes 18 (Unbelieveably just gone up from 16)
    Marriage 16 (though I think in Scotland it's 15 - not too sure)
    Driving 17
    Voting 18
    Pornography 18 (strange when you can do it 2 years before watching it)
    Cannibis Still not legal but is now a class c drug, like steroids etc

    All I can think of.
    Here sex is dependant on what sex you are. 17 if you're a boy (maybe 16), and 18 if you're a girl.

    Alcohol 21
    Cigarettes 18
    Marriage 16 (with permission of parents)
    Driving 16 (permits at 15 1/2)
    Voting 18
    Pornography 18.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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    Canada

    Sex: 16, different in Quebec I believe
    Cigarettes, Voting, Lotto tickets, Pornography: 18
    Drinking: 19 (18 in Quebec)
    Driving: 16 (15 in Alberta)
    Marriage: 16 with parental consent I believe

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    legal ages are some of the most arbitrary and ridiculous concepts in the legal world. Think about it...at 18 you can go fight a war and smoke a cigarette but you can't have a beer. A guy can have legal sex before a girl, though we are always told that girls develop faster and are more mature than boys at every stage. The bottom line is there is no magic age at which someone is able to make "sound" decisions and as such, there really shouldn't be these type of legal ages. Situations and circumstances dictate whether something is good and appropriate or bad and punishable.

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    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    True, but it's still creepy if a 45 year old man is having relations with a 16 year old girl. She may be old enough to make the decision on her own, who knows, but it still gives me the willies.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsbll4 View Post
    True, but it's still creepy if a 45 year old man is having relations with a 16 year old girl. She may be old enough to make the decision on her own, who knows, but it still gives me the willies.
    yeah but it wasn't that long ago that 45 year old men were marrying 16 year old girls and it still goes on all over the world so it's a matter of situation and context as to whether or not people get the willies...that's all I'm saying. I'm a big believer in context and in order to really know what's going on, it's important to look at the context within which something occurs. Then we can make whatever judgments necessary.

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    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    legal ages are some of the most arbitrary and ridiculous concepts in the legal world. Think about it...at 18 you can go fight a war and smoke a cigarette but you can't have a beer. A guy can have legal sex before a girl, though we are always told that girls develop faster and are more mature than boys at every stage. The bottom line is there is no magic age at which someone is able to make "sound" decisions and as such, there really shouldn't be these type of legal ages. Situations and circumstances dictate whether something is good and appropriate or bad and punishable.
    I agree wholehearteadly with this broken. I forgot about the military.
    An English soldier can go on the battlefield and kill or be killed for his country at the tender age of 16. But after he survives he can be arrested for trying to buy a beer or smoke a cigarette.

    Arbitrary is the most complete word to describe this kind of lawmaking.

    Also, the age of consentual sex or marriage (usually the same age) in different countries has me a little confused, regarding the fact that women mature more quickly.

    I will stand corrected if wrong but I am sure in Poland, for marriage, a man must be 20 but woman only 18. Yet the sexual laws in the US work in the opposite direction from what I have read here.

    Here's an interesting one, since I don't think we have any Swiss boardmembers. I am sure that in Switzerland you can drink a beer in a bar at 16 but you must be 18 to drink hard liquor. Seems like someone with a brain wrote that one.
    A man could lose himself in a country like this.

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    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    Just for the record, I agree with you guys. We seem to forget our ancestors were having kids at the ages of 14 and living to their 30's. We are hardwired that way. I wonder if in a few decades people will start to look at people who are attracted to teenagers as normal since it was the norm in the past. It wasn't until recent time that the age of person meant so much. It's one of those things people don't like to talk about for fear of being labled a pervert and ending up on Dateline to meet Chris Hanson.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsbll4 View Post
    Just for the record, I agree with you guys. We seem to forget our ancestors were having kids at the ages of 14 and living to their 30's. We are hardwired that way. I wonder if in a few decades people will start to look at people who are attracted to teenagers as normal since it was the norm in the past. It wasn't until recent time that the age of person meant so much. It's one of those things people don't like to talk about for fear of being labled a pervert and ending up on Dateline to meet Chris Hanson.
    exactly...it seems that as soon as someone brings up young people in the context of drugs and alcohol or sex, they get chewed up as being perverts, degenerates, irresponsible etc etc and then someone rolls up to drop the "wait until you have kids" bomb.

    Though I COMPLETELY empathize with the idea of wanting to keep our kids shielded as long as possible from the ills of this world and I COMPLETELY get the idea that they'll be dealing with sex, drugs, heartache and pain soon enough so for now let's keep them kids; it's unreasonable to even bother trying AND it can be COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. Every kid I grew up with who wasn't allowed to date, wasn't allowed to curse, wasn't allowed to watch anything over a G rated movie until they were in high school, and was shielded from the world in every way possible ended up being a drunken, drugged up slut or asshole sooner or later.

    We seem to think that some otherworldly force comes down and deems our children "ready" for sex at 17, certain movies at 13, driving at 16, other movies at 17, lotto tickets and cigarettes, voting and war at 18 and then finally, at 21, they've earned their stripes and can drink. Give me a fucking break. NOTHING happens between 11:59 and midnight of the night leading into their birthday to give someone enough cognitive ability and philosophical perspective to make any decision period. Different people reach these levels at different times. That's why I would completely do away with any every age related law and regulation on the books. If a 16 year old kid is deemed ready and willing to join the military, let him. It's his life to live well or fuck up. If a 15 year old wants to buy a pack of smokes, fuck it. If his parents don't approve they'll smell the smoke on him and beat his ass or ground him. If a 17 year old kid wants to buy a six pack great. Let him. He'll still be subject to any open-container/public intoxication/driving while intoxicated laws on the books. And setting the sex age at 17 exists ONLY to give pissed off parents recourse against tomcats that deflowered their precious little girl. Rape is rape no matter what the age but if the girl willingly had sex, sorry pops, your daughter has blossomed. Get over it. You did it to someone else's daughter when you were a kid.

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    The strictest parents are incapable of raising well-behaved, socially capable children. It's been proven time and time and time again.

    However, if you can buy porno, vote, and buy cigs there is no reason you can't have a beer. It's just stupid, and it's especially stupid in the U.S. to have to be 21 to have a beer. Although it must be nice in some ways to have that teenage debauchery last a little while longer.

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    Off the top of my head, and it might vary a bit depending on state laws..

    Smoking 16
    Driving 16
    Consent 16-17* (pretty sure this is a state law thing)
    Marriage.. not sure. Probably state dependent but generally same as consent
    Drinking 18
    Voting 18
    A little zen....... Headed your way.......

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    Van Halen bassist 16
    Delusions of eloquence

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    Quote Originally Posted by tap1966 View Post
    Van Halen bassist 16
    LOL. Love the link in your siggy too.

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    Age minimums change with the times.

    The age to vote was dropped from 21 to 18 durring te Vietnam War.

    The drinking age up unti a few years ago varried from state to state.

    The age of sexual consent still varries from state to state.

    In California you have to be 18 to smoke, vote or screw. 21 to drink.

    Personally, I don't want to be in a bar with a bunch of 18 and 19 year-olds so I like the 21 age limit myself.

    You can join the military at 17 with parental permission.

    My grandfather's first wife was 13 when they got married in Brownsville, Texas back in 1911. The family essentually pushed her off on him because she was developmentally slow and theyy couldn't take care of her. They also neglected to tell my grandfather her true age until after they were married. It was a much different time and not all that uncommon either. Women didn't go to college and many didn't attend school after the age of 16. Those who went to "College", which were called 'Finishing Schools" usually studied literature, art and calligraphy and these places were more or less training them to get married to a successful man.

    Anyway, things change.
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