''Consent adults'' vs ''Consent persons''

I was in a debate with someone recently over a strange issue.

I commonly hear the phrase ‘’(insert sexual activity here) should be legal as long as it is done between consenting adults’’

What does Prostasia think about the possibility of instead using the term ‘‘consenting persons’’ in arguments concerning sex positivity to include teens who obviously aren’t adults but are fully capable of consenting to sex with other teens?

I’ve proposed this idea in other spaces built around sex-positivity but the answer has always been a resounding ‘‘no’’ due to the popular belief that even though sex-positivity groups are against abstinence-only education, they should also recognize that teen sex is a moral evil regardless that should merely be quietly tolerated until medical and academic advances allow it to be eliminated.



18 is considered being a legal adult, so yes, I agree with '’(insert sexual activity here) should be legal as long as it is done between consenting adults ’’

Consenting persons, how politically correct. Unfortunately, that would include any age. That’s a NO-GO. Consenting age of consent persons, maybe.

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I think it’s a good idea/good term, but it can also be a problem, a lot of people will get it wrong


Seems an odd take from someone who tags themselves @AntiAuthority

However, 18 IS considered being a legal adult here in the UK also, but the age of consent is 16, and in many other European countries it is as low as 14 (often with caveats).

Point is, legalizing Minors to allow them to have sex, but at the same time saying they’re incapable of consenting to having sex is at leastways confusing, if not liable to lead to feelings of self-loathing and lack of self-belief… which I guess may be fine if those feelings disappeared as magically as the ability to consent arrives at midnight on one’s 18th birthday, but they tend not to.

As to @anon49547193 OP, I think “consenting people” sounds more natural; not as likely to sound an attempt to force a “woke” acclimation on those it may trigger as “consenting persons” would. Actually, in part because also: “persons” is mostly understood as meaning all human beings of any age, whereas in most spoken contexts Children/Minors are not considered as “people”. (Semantics)

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‘‘Consenting people’’ does sound more natural, I used ‘‘consenting persons’’ since ‘‘persons’’ seems to be frequented by legal documentation.

The thing is, I know everyone would love to live in a world where people have no sex drive until they reach the ages of 18-21 but that’s simply not how things work and in my personal opinion, no amount of education, social reform or improved mental health will make that happen.

Minors can consent to sex with other minors but not adults, sex between minors is still sex and thus I think it should be acknowledged in legal discussions concerning sex legislation.


" *‘’(insert sexual activity here) should be legal as long as it is done between consenting adults ’’

Has become a sort of braindead aphorism, and it’s a phrase that really irks me, especially in certain discussions.

For example, there are so many people who would repeat this phrase, and then immediately deny the right of MAPS to use fiction or dolls as masturbatory aids.

Apparently sex acts between consenting adults should be legal, end of discussion.
But sex acts between an adult, and a inanimate object shouldn’t be?

That’s what bugs me about how this phrase is used. It’s just so often repeated mindlessly as this indelible and unassailable sexual freedom, while at the same time denying arguably more fundamental sexual freedoms.


Not to mention the right of an adult to sell their services if they wish.


Not necessarily. Depending on the jurisdiction, minors who are above the age of consent may have sex with adults.


If you are above the age of consent you are no longer a ‘‘minor’’ yes?

No. A minor is one who is below the age of majority, unable to marry (in many countries), unable to enter into contracts, unable to vote, et cetera. Age of consent is when the powers-that-be decide you are old enough for sex, not necessarily the same age…


Not quite.

For example, in cases of people aged 18-21 caught possessing or purchasing alcohol - they are legally refered to as minors (with respect to alcohol). Same would go for tobacco, marijuana, etc.

“Minor” in American legal terminology is a term that is applied with respect to the age of majority, but also with more specific law’s which are age based in some capacity.

Basically “minor” different things in different contexts in the United States.

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Ok, but why does that mean that ‘‘consenting persons/people’’ is a bad idea?

Saying a common phrase like ‘‘same sex relationships are fine as long as it’s between two consenting adults’’ implies that same sex relationships are not ok if they are between two minors or polyamorous couples.

Using ‘‘persons/people’’ is more inclusive and I don’t see why that’s a bad thing.


He was addressing your original comment - and pointing out that in certain jurisdictions, teens below the age of majority but above the age of consent can in fact have sexual relations with adults legally speaking.

They’re called Romeo and Juliet laws here in the states, and they were created mainly so that teen couple’s wouldn’t be forced to separate once one of them turned 18 but the other one didn’t. Kind of ad-hoc as I see it, but it is what it is.


Because many times it is not ok for minors to have sex. Ask @Chie if you doubt me.

I understand that but I don’t understand why or how that should invalidate minors who have positive sexual experiences with other minors. Sex is not exclusive to adults even if most people would really like it to be.

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Sex between two minors is fine. It’s a fact of life that teenagers are sexually active, one that cannot be denied.

Sex between adults and minors, however, is not, because of the harm inherent with the activity.
Adults and children, even teenagers, differ in a variety of ways both physically and mentally.

Just because little Timmy and little Suzy decide to “play doctor” and explore or experiment with each other’s bodies, or even their own, doesn’t mean they actually understand those feelings or sensations, at least enough to know that it’s more than “i touch this part of my body and I pee a clear slime and feel good” because they don’t.

The same goes for teenagers. Teens are more mature and understand sex better than prepubescent children, sure, but not on the same level of an adult 7 - 10 years their senior. They don’t have the knowledge or experience to understand consent, and if we invoke an understanding of child-teen psychology, we can find that young teenagers, like any animal, instinctively perceive and interact with adults differently than peers of similar age. And mixing those with a still-developing sexual psychology, is extremely likely to lead to traumatizing and regressive sexual experiences, especially if a certain type of force is involved.

I’m not in the mood to argue this, @prostasia, its community, its staff, and its advisory council believe that sex between adults and minors is innately harmful and a always form of abuse, and to argue otherwise is both selfish and irresponsible because that would require us to ignore the overwhelming evidence of the risk of harm.

This is also not something we prefer to argue about on the forum.

I never argued that minors can consent to sex with adults, I’m not sure how you or anyone got that from my post. This isn’t an argument over consent laws, it’s an argument over terminology. I argued that minors can consent to sex with other minors, which is an objective fact and for that reason, I think the term ‘‘consenting persons’’ should be used in legal documentation as a means of including all people who are capable of consent. I still have yet to see any evidence as to why/how a simple terminology change like this could increase the rate of child abuse.

I also think it’s incredibly ageist to refer to teenagers as ‘‘animals’’. They are people and their intellectual capabilities are no different than any human, thus they are deserving of human rights and should be included in any discussion that involves their safety and general wellbeing. If the Prostasia Foundation does officially recognize minors as ‘‘animals’’ then I have no interest in supporting the foundation any longer as I believe that youth rights are essential in protecting children from all manner of exploitation.

The word persons includes minors and doesn’t differentiate between minor/minor, adult/adult and minor/adult. While we find that blindingly obvious, not everyone will.

Yet there are those who challenge that, since 18 year olds are supposed to be full adults and if they can be drafted to go to war, they should be able to drink, smoke, gamble, buy firearms, etc.

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