January 22, 2004

THE CURMUDGEONLY CLERK has thoughts on statutory rape, which should probably be read in conjunction with this post by (but of course!) Will Baude. My own sense is that child molestation — along with real, as opposed to statutory, rape — is mala in se, while statutory rape is mere mala prohibita. This is a distinction that is often not reflected in the law, or in public discussion.

My column on society’s attitudes toward teen sex from 2002 is, somewhat, related.

UPDATE: More thoughts here, from Anne Cunningham.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More here.

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