The shadow children’s minister, Tim Loughton, has called for the harsher treatment of children under sixteen who have sex:
‘[It is] against the law to get pregnant at 14. How many kids get prosecuted for having underage sex? Virtually none. ‘Where are the consequences of breaking the law and having irresponsible underage sex? There aren’t any.’
Asked if was advocating more prosecutions, Mr Loughton said: ‘We need to be tougher. Without sounding horribly judgmental, it is not a good idea to be a mum at 14. ‘You are too young, throwing away your childhood and prospects of developing a career.’
This seems like a counterproductive and wrong-headed idea. Better sex education and more males using condoms is the way forward. We have laws in this country that prohibit sex with those under sixteen because we don’t believe they are able to give consent. So what would be the point in prosecuting two, say, fourteen year olds? It won’t stop people doing it, and will just criminalise teenage girls (especially). Note too how the focus of Mr. Loughton’s criticism is on teenage girls, despite the fact that it takes two to tango and plenty of teenage girls suffer sexual-related abuse at the hands of their boyfriends.
It is telling that the only person the Daily Mail quoted in support of the plan is discredited ‘parenting expert’ Patricia Morgan.
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