Melanie Philips: The end of childhood – what we lost when we dropped the age of consent

For a society obsessed with paedophilia, we’re disturbingly comfortable with sexualising childhood

In all the sound and fury about historic sex crimes against children, one crucial factor has been generally ignored. Last week, a review of the agencies dealing with the phenomenon of ‘grooming gangs’ in England said that more than 370 young girls in Oxfordshire had fallen victim to them over the past 15 years, and called for an urgent national debate into these ‘indescribably awful’ sex crimes. But the most shocking and overlooked aspect of the review was that, in Oxford, police and care workers dismissed evidence that girls as young as 11, 12 or 13 were being groomed for sex and repeatedly subjected to brutal sex crimes, intimidation and threats of violence, on the grounds that these were ‘very difficult girls making bad choices’.

Bad choices?

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  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Does The UK actually enforce their age of consent laws?
    If they raised it to 18 like almost all of The States, would anyone even pay attention?

    • David Murrell

      Since the Sheffield and Rotherham police forces will not enforce any rape and sexual assault laws against minors, it stands to reason the UK police will not enforce age-of-consent laws.

    • AlanUK

      The law is crystal clear as I have written many times. A child (male or female) CANNOT give consent below the age of consent which is 16. Anyone who performs a sex act with a child below 16 is guilty and we are only talking about the sentence. If both are below 16 the sentence will be less severe than (for example) a violent responsible adult such as a teacher.
      In the UK, the decision on whether or not to prosecute lies with the Crown Prosecution Service. They will not prosecute if the chance of conviction is less than 50% or if it would be “Against the public interest”.
      BUT it does depend on whether the Police gather the evidence. Recently the Police have used the excuse (not sating it’s untrue) that they are required to put available resources into other crimes – “We must meet our targets or we’ll have our resources cut further”. Pity the protection of children is not amongst the targets!!
      It’s a mess.

  • Jason

    Is it any wonder that we have people like Wynne and her friends trying to sexualize childhood when society in general is saturated with sexuality? (And, ironically, the more obsessed with sex society becomes, the fewer babies being born.)
    “Sex is the mysticism of materialism and the only possible religion in a materialistic society.” Malcolm Muggeridge.

  • David Murrell

    One can hearken back to, I think, the early Mulroney years. The PC government back then lowered the age of consent in Canada from 16 years to 14 years (this must have made the gay lobby happy). Red Toryism was in full bloom back then.

    Flash forward to the early years of the Harper minority government. The new Conservative government — with the help of the NDP — raised the age of consent back up to 16. The Liberal opposition party voted uniformly against the bill; the corporate media savaged the bill; lots of gay and “social” lobbyists hated it. But the Conservatives got the NDP to come on board, depicting the bill as something that would assist teenaged girls. So the bill passed.

    And amazingly, it got through the Liberal- Red Tory Senate. How that happened rivals the parting of the Red Sea. That the bill passed is extraordinary.

  • Blacksmith

    “Very difficult girls making bad choices”?
    I don’t know these girls, but I would imagine their choices were pretty limited, especially since their supposed protectors turned a blind eye to their problems. I hope all these enablers suffer long for their dereliction of duty, they deserve any punishment they get, it should be at least as bad as whet the rapist get.

    • AlanUK

      BUT THE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE THEY MAKE THOSE CHOICES.
      They are unable in Law to give consent. The Law is there to protect them.
      Pity it’s not being applied!

      • Blacksmith

        Agreed, the authorities are culpable and should. E held to account.

  • Clausewitz

    This is how I taught my daughter to deal with age of consent boffins.

    • AlanUK

      I WISH!