Authorities turned a blind eye in Rotherham because they thought the relationships might be ‘consensual’
One of the favourite concepts of the political philosopher Edmund Burke is that of the “little platoons”: all those small, voluntary, self-regulating organisations that flourish in a healthy democracy and which come together for the sake of the common good. I was thinking of this phrase when reading “Unprotected: How the normalisation of underage sex is exposing children and young people to the risk of sexual exploitation”. Written by Norman Wells and published by the Family Education Trust, it draws attention to the vulnerability of young people in today’s ultra-liberal society.
The Family Education Trust is exactly one of these “little platoons”: an organisation devoted to upholding the rights of parents and families within a society that often gives them a low priority. Reading this slim book highlights the profound difference between what the law states in this area and how it is generally applied. For instance, the law states that 16 is the age when a child becomes an adult and can lawfully consent to sexual relations; thus sexual relations when one of the parties is under 16 is unlawful.
Despite this, GPs, school nurses, family planning clinics and chemists – in other words, the whole culture in which young people live – accept that underage sexual activity is “a normal part of growing up and seen as relatively harmless as long as it is consensual.” This begs many questions: is it “normal” for a 12-year-old to engage in sexual relations? Is it “harmless” to their psychological and emotional wellbeing? What does the word “consensual” mean in this context?
Read more at Catholic Herald – http://catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2017/09/18/vulnerable-young-people-victims-of-the-sexual-revolution/