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Fallen
03-31-2010, 11:39 PM
Over here in the UK, consensual age limit is 16., it goes to 18 if the kid is in college (i.e. it's still an offence for say, a tutor to have sex with a kid under the age of 18 if he/she is in a full time setting).

I'm trying to get a balance/inbalance sense of a parents view if their 17 old was intimate with 15 yr old, and if the 15 yr old became preganant.

What would your reactions be from either side of the fence if you were faced with that as a parent?

How would a parent react as 1) the girl's parent (15), 2) the boy's parent (17)

DeleyanLee
03-31-2010, 11:47 PM
Disappointment would be my first reaction, regardless of the gender of my child (I have one of each).

There's a whole pile of responsibility for everyone when there's teen pregnancy and that's something I'd want to discuss with both of them, and with the other's parents.

In the state where I live, neither teen could be charged with statutory rape, so there would be none of that. I'd be more focused on plans for coping, impact on schooling, finances, etc.

And, FWIW, my sister got pregnant at 16 (boyfriend was 22), and this is how my parents tried to handle it as well. It worked until his folks threatened to sue my folks for my sister "slutting" all over their son. But within our family, it worked well to pull us together to help support her and get her not only through high school but through college as well.

Fallen
04-01-2010, 12:22 AM
Dee, that's a bloody brilliant post, hun. And its help me out in so many ways...

Chris P
04-01-2010, 12:52 AM
I had two reactions: an initial very bad one and a final much more productive one.

Short story: My oldest was 18 and got pregnant from a one-night stand. TMI, but my initial reaction would have been different if she and the guy had been dating for a long time, was a decent person who didn't blow every penny on dope, and who worked more than 20 hours a week at minimum wage.

As it was, my initial reaction was almost all seven stages of grief at once. I privately cursed her for being careless, I hoped the urine tests were wrong, the whole gammut. I worried about their ability to provide for the child, especially medical expenses, food, etc. I worried about him running off for days or longer and leaving her without a car, money, or food. With the people they ran with, what type of things were going on around the baby? And I'll confess my own selfishness: how much of all this was I going to have to pay for?

We did more or less what DeleyanLee said: counseled her on finances, how to get car insurance, how to finance her schooling, etc. We paid for things once in a while and five years later the guy is long gone, she's most of the way through a nursing program, and my g-daughter starts kindergarten in the fall; spoiled, bossy and sassy but hey, she's five.

I have a boy who's 19 now, and we've has some scares, but so far nothing yet, so I don't have direct experience.

mscelina
04-01-2010, 01:12 AM
Over here in the UK, consensual age limit is 16., it goes to 18 if the kid is in college (i.e. it's still an offence for say, a tutor to have sex with a kid under the age of 18 if he/she is in a full time setting).

I'm trying to get a balance/inbalance sense of a parents view if their 17 old was intimate with 15 yr old, and if the 15 yr old became preganant.

What would your reactions be from either side of the fence if you were faced with that as a parent?

How would a parent react as 1) the girl's parent (15), 2) the boy's parent (17)

1) I'd beat the hell out of her, then find him and do the same.
2) I'd beat the hell out of him, then call her parents.

Here's the thing: both of my daughters successfully negotiated the traps of adolescence (thank God) in large part because we were open about every topic in our household. THey were explained the facts of life at the age I thought appropriate, and prophylactics were available without asking. (With my extensive background with AIDS victims, I was almost more strict about safe sex than birth control) When they were considering becoming sexually active, they told me about it and I went with them to the doctor for their first gynecological appointment and procured birth control for them.

So when I say I'd "beat the hell" out of them, understand that's a figure of speech. I never had to strike my children to get my point across, and even now I think they'd rather I hit them than lecture them. (One of the benefits of a large vocabulary and good vocal control--you can talk quietly to your children and scare the hell out of them.)

If my daughters had come to me pregnant at the age of fifteen, the first thing I would have done would be to contact the boy's parents. No lie. Any decisions after that would be made by my daughter, with my support. The freedom to choose is something I've pounded into them from birth. I don't believe that single parenthood necessarily ruins a girl's life, but she should be made aware of every option available to her and make her decision after a great deal of reflection and support from her family.

If I'd had a son who impregnanted a girl, he'd get basically the same treatment--maybe a little harsher if the pregnancy occurred as the result of his selfishness and/or unwillingness to be protected during a sexual encounter. And definitely much more severe for fooling around with a girl that was younger than he is. If the girl's parents wanted to press charges for having sex with a minor (some states will prosecute a 17 year old if the girl is underage) I'm not sure if I'd help him find an attorney or not, to be quite honest with you. Even if I did, I would encourage--okay, EXPECT--him to plead guilty and face the consequences (which wouldn't be that severe for a 17 year old) like the man he was pretending to be. My children knew from their youngest years that if they were in jail for some stupid reason like drugs or DUI, not to call Mom. I'd come pick them up if they were arrested for protesting, though) Then he would be schooled--literally--by his parents to make providing for the child (if the girl wanted to keep it) his first priority. His privileges would be completely taken away and he would be required to work when he was not in school. He would be encouraged to be an active part of his child's life whether or not he stayed with the mother or not.

I hope I've raised two children with a strong enough sense of responsibility to handle the mistakes they've made. One daughter got pregnant intentionally while the other got pregnant from a 'mistake.' Both are married and raising their infant daughters. And while I'm not happy they had a family before completing their college degrees, I can't object to the joy and ease with which they have embraced their new roles as mothers. If these pregnancies had happened five years ago, I'm not sure if I could have been as even-tempered about the situation. Fifteen is VERY young.

shadowwalker
04-01-2010, 01:18 AM
How would a parent react as 1) the girl's parent (15), 2) the boy's parent (17)


Totally honest? Well, since I'm not a nice person and have gone the single parent route meself :tongue , if I were the girl's parent, my first reaction would be to beat the bloody H out of the boy. If I were the boy's parent, my first reaction would be to beat the bloody H out of the boy. Only because he's older and should know better.

Second response - get a lawyer. For the girl to make sure the boy faces his responsibilities; for the boy to make sure he isn't taken advantage of.

Last response - if either of them talked about getting married, I'd boot them out and wish them luck. But that's just because I'd think it stupid and adding one mistake onto another.

So yeah - I'd be the hardcore type. :evil

shaldna
04-01-2010, 12:21 PM
Over here in the UK, consensual age limit is 16., it goes to 18 if the kid is in college (i.e. it's still an offence for say, a tutor to have sex with a kid under the age of 18 if he/she is in a full time setting).

Not exactly.

It's 16 in SOME parts of the Uk. It's 17 in others. And it never rises to 18 (execpt for gay men where the AOC is 18)

The issue you are talking about it an age gap related mandaroty rape, which is usually when a person who is of the age of consent but under 18 has sex with someone older. I think the age is 24, but I could be wrong.



What would your reactions be from either side of the fence if you were faced with that as a parent?

Given that my daughter was one of those unplanned accidental things with a guy I hardly knew, I don't think I could be too judging. Plus, I was brought up in a very liberal way and I don't think it's the end of the world when something like that happens. I wouldn't be disapointed, I know that much, and I'd never make my kids feel guilty over it.

These things happen, you know.

Captcha
04-01-2010, 02:32 PM
Is it weird that no one is mentioning the 'drive her to the clinic and sit in the waiting room while she gets rid of the fetus' option? I haven't been through this, thankfully, but as the parent of the girl, I would be strongly recommending abortion (like, VERY strongly. If she insists on having the baby, how is she planning on paying for it? We can talk about adoption, if she's morally opposed to abortion, but her keeping the baby is the ABSOLUTE last option, and if she chooses it, she'd better have a realistic plan for how she's going to take care of it).

If I were the parent of the boy, I'd be even more enthusiastic about either of the 'not becoming a father' options. I mean, I'd have to play it right, make sure I didn't come across too strong, but that would be because I wouldn't want to mess up my chances of being influential in the girl's decision, not because I wouldn't feel strongly that the best option is for the children to not have their own child.

shaldna
04-01-2010, 05:54 PM
Kate, while I understand where you are coming from with this, I can tell you that how you feel in those moments is very strange. When I first found out that I was pregnant I remember thinking 'Oh right, well, that explains alot.' beyond that I really didn't have a chance to process the information for several days. And I think alot of people are like that when an unplanned pregnancy happens.

Aside from not really knowing how you would react, I know that I personally would not encourage my daughter to do anything that she might regret in the future. I would be there to advise, but never tot ekll her 'this is what I would do' because that's not my choice. It;s hers, and I would support her with whatever she decided.

As for the guy, that would really be the last thing I would be concerned about at that moment. Although through experience I know the bond that fathers can have with their children. But my personal opinion and experience ran along the lines of 'so he doesn't want to know, well screw him.'

I think either way it's a very difficult decision to make for everyone involved.

However, in answer to your question, the reason no one had mentioned the abortion option was becuase the OP asked for opinions, and so far people had been stating their opinions.

Also, I live in Ireland and abortion is illegal here.

Fallen
04-01-2010, 05:58 PM
Not exactly.

It's 16 in SOME parts of the Uk. It's 17 in others. And it never rises to 18 (execpt for gay men where the AOC is 18)

.


I'm not so sure, hun. I'm a child protection governor for my local school and from the courses I've taken they state that if a kid stays in education until the age of eighteen (and it's 18 has gone compulsary now) then the age-limit for sexual relationships becomes 18 in an educational setting.

I don't know if you watch Coronation Street, but a few months back they had a school teacher 'John Stape' kidnap a 17-18 yr-old girl who went back into the setting stape was teaching, and I remember my Child Protection trainer going nuts over how it was going to be handled. If the producers of the show hadn't sent Stape down for that breech of law (fictional) then I think my CPT would have petitioned for the cancellation of the show. She was getting viloent with it.:)

shadowwalker
04-01-2010, 06:07 PM
I should've expanded a bit on my response - I was talking more about the initial response. But abortion would definitely be on the table, along with adoption. If either one of them, at those ages, wanted to keep it - I still stick by my "you're on your own". Mainly because I wasn't married when I got pregnant and I know how tough it was - and I was in my late 20s! A girl that age, trying to complete high school, raise a child, have any semblance of a normal life - not to mention the long-range consequences of either marrying the boy or not. I couldn't, in clear conscience, even imply my approval of that decision.

shaldna
04-01-2010, 06:16 PM
I'm not so sure, hun. I'm a child protection governor for my local school and from the courses I've taken they state that if a kid stays in education until the age of eighteen (and it's 18 has gone compulsary now) then the age-limit for sexual relationships becomes 18 in an educational setting.



Again, I did say in SOME parts. I live in Belfast, a part of the UK, and our laws are very different.

And it's not compulsory for anyone to stay in education until 18.

Parametric
04-01-2010, 06:18 PM
Not exactly.

It's 16 in SOME parts of the Uk. It's 17 in others. And it never rises to 18 (execpt for gay men where the AOC is 18)

Slightly off topic, but in England and Wales the age of consent is the same for heterosexual and homosexual acts. There was a court case about ten years ago which decided that having a higher age of consent for homosexual acts was a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. So the age of consent is now 16 across the board, rising to 18 where the adult party is in a position of trust.

shaldna
04-01-2010, 06:25 PM
Slightly off topic, but in England and Wales the age of consent is the same for heterosexual and homosexual acts. There was a court case about ten years ago which decided that having a higher age of consent for homosexual acts was a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. So the age of consent is now 16 across the board, rising to 18 where the adult party is in a position of trust.


I remember that.

There are also plans to lower the age of consent in NI to 16, although I believe this is still pending. I may be wrong though.

Homosexuality was illegal in NI until the early 80's, and until about 2000 the AOC was 21.

DeleyanLee
04-01-2010, 06:25 PM
Is it weird that no one is mentioning the 'drive her to the clinic and sit in the waiting room while she gets rid of the fetus' option? I haven't been through this, thankfully, but as the parent of the girl, I would be strongly recommending abortion (like, VERY strongly. If she insists on having the baby, how is she planning on paying for it? We can talk about adoption, if she's morally opposed to abortion, but her keeping the baby is the ABSOLUTE last option, and if she chooses it, she'd better have a realistic plan for how she's going to take care of it).

If I were the parent of the boy, I'd be even more enthusiastic about either of the 'not becoming a father' options. I mean, I'd have to play it right, make sure I didn't come across too strong, but that would be because I wouldn't want to mess up my chances of being influential in the girl's decision, not because I wouldn't feel strongly that the best option is for the children to not have their own child.

That's always an option--but that's not always an initial reaction. Most people need to process through "there's going to be a baby" before figuring out what to do with it. There's also individual/family religious/moral beliefs at play that influences the entire reaction. I think there are many people, like myself, who believe a woman has the right to choose but when the choice was mine, I couldn't opt for the abortion even though it was a practical choice.

And abortions do take a toll, emotionally and financially. It's not a "get out of parenthood free" card.

shaldna
04-01-2010, 06:30 PM
And abortions do take a toll, emotionally and financially. It's not a "get out of parenthood free" card.


Assuming of course that it's an option at all. Abortion is illegal in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and anyone wishing to have one must travel to England for one. I'm not sure what the laws are in Europe or the states.

Also, there are very strict time guidelines for abortion, which mean that alot of people are not able to have one.

For instance, I was 26 weeks when I found out I was pregnant (I had no sympotoms, no missed period etc nothing, so it was a bit more of a shock than most) had I wished to have an abortion then that wouldn't have been possible as I was over the limit. I think it's 25 weeks is the cut off time.

Chris P
04-01-2010, 06:36 PM
Age of consent in the US varies by state. And some states have age difference laws and some don't, and I'm not aware of any states that have different laws for gay vs. straight, or older man versus older woman, although many did in the past.

Interestingly, AOC is 18 in Tennessee and only 16 in Alabama. However, if a 20 yo and 16 yo in Tennessee go to Alabama for a fling, that violates a federal law (crossing state lines for immoral purposes - the Mann Act) although what they are doing is not illegal in the state they're doing it in. Even more interesting, in Alabama a sex performer only needs to be 17 for it not to be child porn; he or she can be filmed and paid for doing stuff that could be illegal across the street.

Chris P
04-01-2010, 06:42 PM
I wasn't going to comment on the abortion issue, but since others are... I'm not trying to trump anyone or belittle anyone's stand, everyone has the right to publicly voice their opinion and to follow any legal course of action they see fit. But this isn't like getting a tooth pulled. People - both men and women - who have been faced with the decision have a vastly different perspective than people who agree with the practice in theory. Not that all who have had abortions are now against them, but they have a different view of them. "Oh well, I'll just go and have it taken care of" is a pretty shallow perspective to anyone who has been involved in that decision, no matter which side of the political fence they are on.

shadowwalker
04-01-2010, 06:51 PM
I wasn't going to comment on the abortion issue, but since others are... I'm not trying to trump anyone or belittle anyone's stand, everyone has the right to publicly voice their opinion and to follow any legal course of action they see fit. But this isn't like getting a tooth pulled. People - both men and women - who have been faced with the decision have a vastly different perspective than people who agree with the practice in theory. Not that all who have had abortions are now against them, but they have a different view of them. "Oh well, I'll just go and have it taken care of" is a pretty shallow perspective to anyone who has been involved in that decision, no matter which side of the political fence they are on.

I don't think anyone was making the suggestion as if it were a small matter. The whole subject (teen pregnancy) is a big matter. And I've been in the position of having to make the choice whether to abort or not, so I know it's not easy. But it is another avenue.

shaldna
04-01-2010, 06:52 PM
Chris - Well said. And interesting point about the states. I didn't know that.

shaldna
04-01-2010, 06:53 PM
I don't think anyone was making the suggestion as if it were a small matter. The whole subject (teen pregnancy) is a big matter. And I've been in the position of having to make the choice whether to abort or not, so I know it's not easy. But it is another avenue.


I think that's the point people are trying to emphasise. No matter what your opinions on it are, when it comes right down to it, it's never going to be an easy decision for anyone to make.

Monkey
04-01-2010, 06:54 PM
As the mother of the 15-year-old girl...

I'd see it as a severe challenge to be overcome. Disappointment doesn't really enter into it for me; immaturity and carelessness (often bolstered by a false feeling of invincibility) are kind of par for the course during the young teenage years, and unfortunately, for a lot of kids, this coincides with a period of sexual awakening. We would have to talk--gently, at first, with me mostly asking questions (she wouldn't have to answer right away) and offering information and help wherever possible. If she chose an abortion or adoption, I'd ask her to talk to the father first, but otherwise would help her in every way that I could. If she chose to keep the baby, I'd offer to take a large share of the child care responsibilities--even to the point of assuming guardianship, if that's what my daughter needed.

I do have an eighteen-year-old son. I have always told him that if he gets a girl pregnant, he's a daddy. It doesn't matter how well he knows the girl, or if he likes her, or if he ever wants to see her again. Keeping the baby or not is HER choice, entirely out of his hands, and if he gets her pregnant and she keeps the baby, I will personally assist HER in making damned sure he pays child support, spends time with his child, and refrains from badmouthing the mother to anyone (but especially to the baby). Again, I would offer to take a large role in child care, going so far as to take guardianship if that's what the girl needed.

The way I see it, teens have had sex since mankind began. It's a very hard thing to prevent. I talk to my kids about sex, encouraging them to wait as long as possible but also offering advice, help getting protection, and non-judgemental ear when they need it. I stress how it would be nearly impossible to continue to enjoy the perks of being a child if they had one of their own, and how having a baby, while joyous, is ultimately an act of giving, of putting their own needs before your own, and of personal sacrifice.

I believe that. I love my children but I don't deny that there are a lot of sacrifices that I make for them. Hell, just a list of the child-related expenses I've had in the last year would be ample proof of that! :) My own children don't have that kind of money, time, or emotional maturity--they would find it nearly impossible to give a child what it needs AND finish up their own childhoods. That's why I would be willing to put their need to do the best by their own children above my own needs, and raise their children while they finished school or did whatever they had to.

For those who think this takes away the "consequences" or (yuck) "punishment" for their "bad behavior", I say that I would never want my children to think of thier own kids as "punishment" or to resent them as things that stood in the way of their happiness. I would do whatever it took to turn this less-than-perfect situation into something that strengthened my family.

Monkey
04-01-2010, 06:58 PM
Gah. That needs editing. But right now, my younger son is waiting on me to play a board game and my daughter wants a snack. I'm posting this because the timing is kind of an illustration of my point. :P

shaldna
04-01-2010, 07:07 PM
I love my children but I don't deny that there are a lot of sacrifices that I make for them. Hell, just a list of the child-related expenses I've had in the last year would be ample proof of that!.


This is a good point. I was ill after I had my daughter and it was a full year before I was able to return to work. In lost income (although I got maternity, it was about a fifth of my actual wage) and expenses, cost of food, associated medical costs etc we were down about 10k in teh first year alone. And this was in NI, where we don't pay for our health care (I had to see a private specialist for an issue regarding my pregnancy, so my costs were a little highter)

shadowwalker
04-01-2010, 07:55 PM
I talked to my son when he got to that age - basically told him that sex wasn't just for "fun", that he should really care about the girl...

And then I put the fear of God (aka MOM) into him if he ever got a girl pregnant.

Kitty27
04-01-2010, 08:38 PM
Over here in the UK, consensual age limit is 16., it goes to 18 if the kid is in college (i.e. it's still an offence for say, a tutor to have sex with a kid under the age of 18 if he/she is in a full time setting).

I'm trying to get a balance/inbalance sense of a parents view if their 17 old was intimate with 15 yr old, and if the 15 yr old became preganant.

What would your reactions be from either side of the fence if you were faced with that as a parent?

How would a parent react as 1) the girl's parent (15), 2) the boy's parent (17)




I had my son at sixteen and he is now going on eighteen. I would have a complete effing fit. A fit to end all fits.

Teen parenthood is a beyond hard road and to see my son repeating that would drive me insane.

I have told him a thousand times that kids aren't anything to play with. I drilled this message in him to the point that he doesn't even like to hold babies.


I wouldn't recommend abortion,because I feel that would make my son wonder if I ever thought about that option for him and I cannot tell the girl's parents what to do. If she chose to keep the child,I would make damned sure that my son steps up. If she chose abortion,I would accept that as well.