Today in school, in my Current Affairs class, we watched a news story regarding teen sex offenders.
FACT 1: The most represented age of ALL sex offenders of ANY age is 14.
FACT 2: 88% of teen sex offenders were victims first, meaning an adult family member or adult friend molested or raped them long before the teen offended someone themselves.
FACT 3: All teens charged with a sex crime MUST register as a sex offender.
So let's talk about each fact.
Fact 1 - All teens experiment. Whatever happend to it being okay to 'show me yours and I will show you mine'? Is this a crime? Today it is if you are caught. Sexual curiosity is natural. It's going to happen. So it is no surprise that the most represented age of all sex offenders is the tender age of 14. The next most represented age was 15! To go along this line, the most represented age of being offended by an adult is the age of 13!
Fact 2 - Sex crimes are learned. Most teen sex offenders are victims first. Some adult in their life has molested or raped them first. They are quick to learn that trust is nothing more than a screen, something you use to gain trust of your victim. Once you gain a person's trust, it's easy to get them to let you offend them.
Fact 3 - Every teen sex offender must require to register as a sex offender. THIS IS SO WRONG! In the cases where the teen offender was the victim first, they shouldn't have to register. But today, the laws are so general, that is the way it is. Only after the offender receives treatment can they appeal having to register. So for a while they are registered. Fortunately in the cases where the teen offender was first a victim, the appeal usually overturns having to register. But the process we have today is wrong. Evaluate BEFORE making them register, they shouldn't have to register until after treatment and they are evaluated that they are still a risk to offend in the future. Treatment usually has a 85% success rate according to Starr Commonwealth. With that said 85% of those teens who have sexually offended were victims first, went through treatment, but still had to register as a sex offender, and THEN appeal in court.
The real underlying problem is lack of education. In the 70s and 80s sex education was taught in almost every school in America. My parents had it in school. Many of my adult friends say they had it in their school. All of them agree, it is something that should be put back in the curriculum.
The teen support group that I am a part of REQUIRES new members to take a sex education class. The first part of the class goes over the male and female anatomy. The second part covers the sexual acts. The third part covers safe sex. And the last part covers the current laws of teenage sex, and how to stay out of trouble when having sex. Everyone who takes the class has become more responsible and knowledgeable regarding sex. Yes, our parents know about this class and even are permitted to sit in on the class themselves. The parents all approve of the class and wish it was taught in the schools.
But in conclusion, today's society has created this taboo regarding teen sex. It's almost like if you have sex it's a crime. It's just a matter if you get caught.
In Ohio, this past summer our lawmakers passed a bill, where if a teenager exposes themselves online in pictures or on webcam, it is a crime and you will be arrested, charged, and register as a sex offender.
The first person arrested under this new law (14yo male) was charged with child pornography, performing a lewd act in public, and public indecency. He was required to go to a treatment facility and register as a sex offender. He completed his treatment in 90 days. His family then got an attorney and appealed having to register as a sex offender. Because he was not a victim first, the judge ruled this made him a predator, thus must register for the next 10 years as a sex offender, and not permitted to use the internet during those 10 years.
The second person arrested under this new law, a 15yo male, was charged the same, required to get treatment, and register as a sex offender. His parents immediately hired an attorney and tried to appeal before he got treatment. The judge denied the appeal and said he had to receive treatment before he would accept an appeal. So he got treatment. Here it was learned that his uncle had molested him numerous time from the age of 12 to 14. After treatment the attorney filed the appeal again, where it was explained he was a victim first, and the judge overturned having to register.
But do you see the flaw in the process? Immediately when arrested and charged, the judge should hear the circumstances including whether or not they are victims first. If they are a victim first, then get them counseling, do not require them to register as a sex offender until a counselor deems they may be a threat to offend in the future. If they were not a victim first, then the current procedure is probably correct.
I'm so sick and tired of our government overprotecting us teens. They basically are stripping away our rights and not letting us be teens. They are stealing our teenage years and forcing us to be adults long before we need to be adults. Laws such as teen males not being permitted to be shirtless in public, swim teams can no longer wear speedos in high school, and now this new law treating teens as adults when it comes to exposing themselves in pictures or on webcam online.
Are these new laws stopping teens from doing what normal teens would do? NO. You can log into a webcam chat every night and teens left and right are exposing themselves on cam. The problem is when a teen lets an adult watch, that is the only crime. Go after those adult predators, not the teens who are innocently having fun. After all, wouldn't parents rather have us having innocent and safe fun on a webcam than actually meeting in person with another teen and having sex? You'd think so.