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12 Feb 2009

Adolescent fences

The issue of sex with teenagers below legal age is a thorny one with discussions typically generating more heat than light, says Alex Au.

On the one side, there will be those who take a hard stand against it, but their hard arguments tend to be brittle ones too. To merely argue that it is illegal begs the question of why it should be illegal, and why the age of consent has been set where it is. When pushed, sometimes these strong opponents of sex with teenagers resort to hurling names  e.g. "paedophiles"  which does not add to any further understanding of the issue.

Image source: Singapore produced gay film, Solos.
On the other side are those who recognise that reality is complex. Some teenagers are precocious and very resourceful. They know to trawl for sex, and when encounters between adults and minors take place, it isn't always clear who the initiator is and who the respondent. Yet other teenagers are clueless, but easily seduced. And then there is an eternal fact: teenagers experiment sexually with each other. Unfortunately, it's very easy to be bogged down by all that complexity and end up with no coherent view on the matter.

There is also the question of the socio-cultural context: How does the society in which the teenagers grow up view sex? It is not true that all societies view sex in the same way. Societies heavily influenced by Christianity and Islam, sometimes through secondhand routes, e.g. middle-class India that has absorbed Victorian prudishness without absorbing Christianity itself, tend to see sex as dirty and socially destabilising. Typically, these societies see accord great social value to virginity and fidelity. For convenience, I call these the sex-phobic societies, even though the term is not quite accurate.

Yet sex-saturated contemporary culture is everywhere, not to mention peer pressure and the rush of post-pubescent hormones.

In societies that are sex-phobic, the contradictions between social expectations and desire are greater, hence teenagers are typically more troubled by the choices they face, and if they make a choice that they later regret, that regret runs more painfully than for a similar teenager in a culture that does not treat sex with deterministic importance.

That said, let's turn back to the question of law. Actually, let's not turn so quickly to law, for law does not exist in isolation.

It is more fruitful to examine the ethics of sex with teenagers, and then to see whether the laws of our country are consistent with it.

The ethics

Adults have many advantages over teenagers. We generally have more money and better social skills, but very importantly, maturity brings with it better control over our own emotions, resulting in more deliberate decisions and actions. We also have a wee bit more insight in the psychology of teenagers, having been ones ourselves.

Any relationship between an adult and a teenager is therefore an asymmetrical one, and naturally, responsibility for how that relationship is manifested must fall much more on the adult than on the teenager. Asymmetry means the potential for exploitation is there.

Ethical behaviour requires us to be cognisant of this asymmetry and to avoid putting others in disadvantageous situations. It is fair to expect self-control.

The general rule is this: the greater the asymmetry in maturity, the greater the asymmetry in responsibility. A 15-year-old experimenting with a 14-year-old is one thing; a 40-year-old having sex with the same 14-year-old is quite another. Even an adult over 30 having sex with a 17 year-old, while legal in many places, would be quite borderline ethically-speaking.

The law

Unfortunately, the law is a blunt instrument; it has only two states  legal and illegal  when the world is analogue. Yet, in practice, the law can be nuanced. Therefore a meaningful discussion of this topic requires attention not only to what the law says, but also how it is used.

What do we look for when we want to evaluate if the law is consistent with ethics and social reality?

First, there is the age of consent, and once again, it is necessary to be discerning. In Singapore, there are generally two ages of consent. For example, the age of consent for lesbian and heterosexual sex is 16; likewise for heterosexual marriage under Syariah law it is 16 too. For heterosexual marriage under civil law, it is 18; for commercial sex, it is 18 too.

The anomaly is male-male sex. It remains illegal regardless of age, but the government has openly said the law will not be "pro-actively enforced" in consensual situations between adults. However, it has never defined what "adult" means.

Is sixteen an appropriate age of consent? I think so. By that age, the most turbulent phase of adolescence would be passing, with emotional maturity beginning to set in. The individual should also be sufficiently informed, either through schooling or by parents, of behavioural norms and health risks. Sixteen too is the age when it is legal to work in Singapore  this means money in the pocket, mobility around the city and a socially recognised independence.

But this doesn't mean the law should treat a 16-year-old having sex with a 15-year-old the same way as a 46-year-old and a 15-year-old, though both relationships may be technically illegal. Common sense tells us the risk of exploitation is much greater in the latter case than the former. This is where the law has to be nuanced by intelligent sentencing.

Similarly, the law should not treat a 28-year-old having sex with a 15-year-old the same way as a 28-year-old with an 11-year old. We should of course recognise that a 15-year-old has more capability to stand up for himself or herself than an 11-year-old. Again, differential sentencing should reflect this.

So, the second thing to look for in your jurisdiction is the pattern of sentencing. Is it one-size-fits-all? Is it carefully differentiated depending on circumstances and the age gap? Does it take into account coercion, inducement and deception? Does it take into account mental age in cases where the younger person is intellectually impaired?

Even when sentencing is differentiated, yet another question arises: How much penalty is enough for each situation? There is no easy answer to this, unfortunately. I think much depends on a society's cultural bias. How much does a society value teenage abstinence and virginity? If it values it highly, then any teenager who does not live up to it may suffer severe social and emotional costs. This would argue for heavier penalties on adults who breach the law, the better to deter.

Conversely, in societies that are more tolerant of sex, one can argue that the social and psychological damage to young teenagers is less, and highly punitive sentences would be disproportionate.

In conclusion, what I'm saying is this: This subject, lying as it does at the intersection of law and human behaviour, does not lend itself to easy answers. Adopting a black-and-white, moralistic tone is never helpful. Neither is adopting an attitude that refuses to recognise that young people are vulnerable however "grown-up" our modern culture may cause them to appear. We must recognise that we have a responsibility towards them, both at a personal level and socially, through our laws.

What is needed is critical thinking, coupled with the caveat that ultimately we are dealing with social constructs. But most important of all, there has to be a sense of humanity. After all, sex resides at the heart of our lives, and as much as we think we are wise, in this world, each of us also takes turns at being foolish.

Alex Au has been a gay activist and social commentator for over 10 years and is the co-founder of People Like Us, Singapore. Alex is the author of the well-known Yawning Bread web site.


Reader's Comments

1. 2009-02-12 20:56  
Let me get this clear in my head.

This country, which has archaic laws about consensual homosexual sex (I refuse to use that stupid MSM bull) has a legally defined age at which 'commercial sex' is permissible?????
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3. 2009-02-12 23:03  
16 is the general age of consent in most countries in europe too - regardless of gender of orientation. However, there are countries, where it is set at 15 and in some (if i remember correctly) even at 14.

Commercial sex (a.k.a Prostitution) is also legal in many European countries.

4. 2009-02-13 09:13  
It's all nice to say about differential sentencing and all, but how bout the practicality part? How do you measure "differentially" between ages, say 15 years-old & 17 years old? Or 15 years old and 6 months vs 16 years old?

The basic concept is that 16 is the "average" accepted consensus of permissible sex, in the eyes of the law. The same reasoning for why the voting age criteria, even though a reasonable 15 year-old might be more mature/knowledgeable than a clueless 20 year-old. Similar concepts apply for driving and drinking as well.

Yes , it's subjective. And yes, it might not be fair to impose an arbitrary number. But how else then can the law be applied in a practical manner?
5. 2009-02-13 09:20  
this is a stupid article and is the reason why some of Singapore gay activist have no respect in the mainstream, while I respect the right to air one's academic views, I am a proud Gay Dad and once you have children you will realize that it is morally wrong to have sex with kids under the legal age, it is so wrong, morally, ethically and legally . .. this has nothing to do with prudishness, religion . .. and everything to do with judgement and self respect . . somewhere we have to draw the line, this is not a black and white arguement . . .

anyway, keep us the discussion but the law is the law and as a parent we have to be vigilent and teach our kids the right way to happiness, healthy sexual relationships and prosperity-- our kids can attain success in their life and have a wonderful spring awakening. . .

if anyone slept with my daughter or son while they were under the age of consent this is so wrong and I would stop at nothing to persecute them and kick their ass in court . . .

in the meantime, my kids will be subject to curfews and being forced to listen to Jordin Sparks One Step At A Time . . .and they will be forced to study and have a tremendous work load at school and play in competitive sports . . . and have a healthy dialogue about sex

Anyone who wants to even discuss the idea of having sex with anyone under the legal age is a creep and parents must be on guard and protect our kids . ..

just the thought of someone trying to even touch my underage kids is yucky . . . when you are a parent you will get it

, I am proud and gay dad and know that its wrong to have sex with an under age kid and it has nothing to do with a society's values, just a daddy gonna kick someone's ass who does something illegal . .. kids need some protection and a chance to incubate and this dad's gonna make sure that when the prince or princess does come, they are gonna be of legal age
6. 2009-02-13 09:37  
Mr Laugnabro, I would suggest you actually READ the article before flaming here.....

Alex has a very nuanced position and he has never at any point in the article said it was RIGHT to have sex with a kid. He's pointing that the law is rigid and does not differentiate between someone who could be clearing exploiting the child such as a 40yo having sex with a 15, then a 15yo teenager having sex with each other.

7. 2009-02-13 09:44  
For God sake , leave the kids alone.
Being adults - we should know that better than another one. I know some have more grey cells than the others - no excuse.

Kids need to be protected. It's not important who lure and set the traps. If you need sex - play on a fair playing ground. Leave the kids alone. No matter what , you do it with kids , you are wrong , so why bother ????

Get on with our lives !!!! Move on.
8. 2009-02-13 10:06  
hey adopting a black and white attitude on this subject is extremely helpful and there should be no grey areas in protecting kids and punishing offenders with the maximum protection of the law, and if the laws aren't tough enough, then parents should rise up and make the laws stronger... I don't agree with his opinions at all . . .sorry the law is not rigid enough as far as I am concerned . .. adults shouldn't have sex with MINORS period. . .as I parent it is so digusting to think about it.. in the U.S. we publish the names and addresses of sexual offenders that live in our neighborhoods so all in the community can keep this rift raft accountable and we know who these creeps are . .. and you know what kids like their daddies to protect them, that's what we do
9. 2009-02-13 10:34  
Wow, this article is a hot potato. I had to read it three times and still cannot figure out what the intent of the author is. He still comes across as someone who is questioning the legal status of sex between minors and adults. Sex between two consenting minors is not illegal, but sex between minors and adults is illegal. Even the female teacher that was sleeping with her underage student in today's Strait Times story was wrong. She turned herself in and will be prosecuted under the toughest laws on the books.
10. 2009-02-13 12:34  
I guess gay dads would have the most say on this topic. So what should the age of consent be you think? 21? Till they are legally married or what?

According to avert.org, the AoC in China is 14 for Male-Female Sex, Male-Male Sex and Female-Female Sex.

In Singapore, it's 16 for Male-Female Sex and Female-Female Sex, ans as we already know Male-Male Sex is illegal.

In Arizona, California, Idaho, etc, it's 18 all round...

In Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and most of the ME, same-sex sex is illegal and male-female sex is legal only when both parties are married to each other BUT child marriage is permissible.

So I guess you might want to get out of China before they get the idea that sex is ok when they are 14 but not if they move to California - then it's 18...
11. 2009-02-13 12:51  
It seems to me we're being advised to thorougly educate ourselves, to expand and refine our thought processes, and maintain some control of our actions when kids are concerned. I also believe a hard, black line needs to be drawn on the topic of sex with legally underaged people. I believe sex with kids is wrong, wrong, wrong. One commentor (the original report on the 6 guys with the underage boy) said that he believes we should be the mentors of children if possible. I like that word, "mentor". Personally, I think all of us queers should hold ourselves to higher standards of education, thought, and behavior than our heterosexual brothers and sisters..why? just BECAUSE...because we can. Adults having sex with kids is just wrong.
12. 2009-02-13 13:41  
lagunabro, it's nice of you to come in here and criticize people for being nuanced and not taking a black and white approach to something as complex as adolescent sexuality. If the people in here come off as "singaporean", then you come off as a typical American trying to bully people into thinking the way you do, thinking that your way of thought is the only right one, and even using threats of physical violence as if a tough-guy attitude is actually somehow going to protect your children from sexual predators.

Of course publishing names of sexual predators isn't going to protect them either, it's just a way to satisfy the blood-lust of a society that has become obsessed with sexual predators in the way that beachgoers became obsessed with shark attacks after Jaws came out. So I wouldn't "brag" about that uniquely American approach to the problem that doesn't really serve any purpose.

You obviously didn't read the article or didn't try to understand what the author is saying. What is underaged? What is a minor? In the US it's 17, 18, 19, or 21, depending on the state and depending on how it's defined. How old does it take for someone to be old enough to make decisions about engaging in sexual activity? Is there an automatic point at which one is old enough? I've known some people at 17 or 18 that were far more mature than others in their 20s and even 30s.

Or is the age somewhere between 17 and 21 simply because that's where the various American states have defined it?
13. 2009-02-13 14:05  
Law is law.

If there is one, follow it.

If the law is outdated and not useful and open to manipulation in evil way, then fight for an admendement or abolishment.

Personally, I believe the legal age for consent sex should be 18.

I agreed there are sexual predators who take advantages of young ppls and this can be a preventive measure.

If the young boys under 18 wanna have sex, well do it with ppls under 18 and behind close door. It is still an option.
14. 2009-02-13 14:21  
Most gay Singaporeans have no kids, so perhaps that perspective of a parent may be missing.

I agree with lagunabro that kids, as defined by any society's legal ages, should be protected against sex with adults. Society's agreement on legal ages should be honored, and a parent has the right to protect his/her underaged charges.

I only take issue when two different standards are applied to gays and straights, ie. the punishments given to a gay person with regards to the same crime may be higher than that of a straight person.

Other than that, being sidelined as a group does not mean that we can do anything we please.

It is tough learning the rules when Singapore society keeps sweeping gay people under the rug, but we can't stop trying.

Thank you Alex for your helpful article. It certainly gave a clearer perspective for us to think about.
15. 2009-02-13 14:38  
if law is law, and you live in Singapore, then don't be gay. right? after all "society" has chosen that law.. right?
16. 2009-02-13 15:09  
as a victim of sexual abuse when I was a child by an adult, I say this article is upsetting and misdirected . . . whoever is guilty under the law of such a crime should be punished to the maximum extent of the law, unfortunately the law is much tougher against gay men than straight men because of 377A, however this is such a serious crime that I would invoke whatever law is on the books to stop and deter such a crime ever happening again and punsh those offenders, its simply wrong and I was robbed of my innocence and I can never get that back
17. 2009-02-13 15:17  
nobody, including the author of the article, is suggesting that it is okay to abuse a child, that parents shouldn't protect their children from sexual predators, or that there shouldn't be laws against sex between children and adults. however, there is nothing wrong with questioning what an appropriate legal age of consent should be, what should be done in the case of say a 20 year-old and a 16 year old who get involved in completely consensual sexual and romantic relations, and whether or not the law ought to treat differently the case of a willing 15-year old who does something with an adult vs. a person that is 15 (or much younger) who is forced to do something against his/her will.
18. 2009-02-13 15:52  
age of consent? hard to get that from this article, better explanation from wikipedia

Sexual relations with a person under the age of consent is in general a criminal offence, with punishments ranging from community service up to and including the death penalty.[citation needed] Many different terms exist for the charges laid and include child sexual abuse, statutory rape, illegal carnal knowledge, or corruption of a minor.[1]

The enforcement practices of age of consent laws tend to vary depending on the social sensibilities of the particular culture (see above). Often enforcement is not exercised to the letter of the law, with legal action being taken only when a sufficiently socially-unacceptable age gap exists between the two individuals, or if the perpetrator is in a position of authority over the minor -- e.g., a teacher, priest or doctor. The gender of each actor can also influence perceptions of an individual's guilt and therefore enforcement.[1]

In many jurisdictions, age of consent is interpreted to mean mental or functional age

The judge will decide the correct punishment based on the individual case and nature of the relationship involved.
19. 2009-02-13 17:22  
Its nice to see some poster who thought it through, again Alex's argument here is to point out what is an age of consent.

A food for thought, how bout a 14 year old who has sex with a 12 years old. Happens frequently enough....... What should we do in this case?

Should we shout KIDS ARE MINOR WE NEED TO PROTECT THEM, well both are kids, who should we prosecute then??
20. 2009-02-13 17:32  
Age-of-consent, like race relations, is a very sensitive topic & so should be approached both delicately & with common-sense.
Of course having sex with a still-developing tween is the most vile & should be explicitly stated so
by law. Therefore you have unambiguous
age-of-consent written in stone to protect those teens who may not have the capacity or power to prevent exploitation by adults. BUT we have to accept that , even with age brackets, there's no cookie-cutter gauge for innocence...some teens DO go through early puberty & are precocious in such matters...that's something most people find uncomfortable confronting, but it happens.
And what abt those who 'experiment' with each other during their teens? Imagine charging them all with statutory rape....at least 75% of the populace will be in prison! lol
Also, the knee-jerk replies fr some posters really amuse me- they have not been reading the above article thoroughly. The author clearly states he does NOT view underage sex, gay or straight,
in good taste. What he's highlighting is the problem of paedophilia in socially-conservative countries & their tendency to sweep such hubris under the carpet to give the impression of the
'ideal family' image.
And in Singapore, where he's from- the law clearly doesn't make any sense. Age-of-consent is marked out for hetero bt NOT gay couples...because it's 'illegal' (377A). So how is a same-sex couple to know if & when they've crossed the boundary or not? If this does not clearly signal Singapore is no place for gays, I don't know what is.
21. 2009-02-13 18:01  
I began having sex with other boys and men when I was 14 years old. I knew nothing about age of consent. At that age I also had sex with an "older man" of 22 or 23 years. I was the person who initiated sex with most of my partners. There was no coercion involved, only the pleasure of seduction and sex itself. Therefore I cannot say that it is a black and white issue. Nor do I condone sexual abuse of any kind. But it would have been catastrophic and traumatic for me if we had been caught--exposed as it were--and if the older man had been arrested for something that was consensual and which I, the 14-year-old had initiated. I am now in my 60's and am a well adjusted gay male and happy with my life.
I would never have sex with an underage boy under any circumstances, partly because I am not attraced to boys but also because it is illegal.
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26. 2009-02-13 19:40  
Concerning the age you pitch valid consent at, I think 16 is a reasonable compromise, but it only works if it is backed up by effective social services. Most abuse seems to happen in-family, between father/step-father, and daughter. I was shocked by a secret poll on a course I was on in KL how many young women had been abused in this way. One report on the net puts it at 30% of women in the USA. Who can such young people turn to? It doesn't help when some cultures blame the victim: an extreme example is a 13 year old girl who was stoned to death in Africa a couple of years ago for being a rape victim.

How we arrived at 16:

Until the year 2000 there was NO age of consent requirement for males (only girls had to be over 16) whatsoever for heterosexual sex in England. That year the government equalised the age of consent for everyone, gay or straight, male or female, at 16. There are also special provisions relating to people in positions of trust to the younger person, such as teachers, even if the younger person is over 16.

16 had been the heterosexual female age of consent in England since 1885 (by the same Act that forbade all gay sex for men at any age). The age of consent prior to that for girls was 13 (12 prior to 1875) and had been raised to 16 following a press campaign exposing child prostitution and the white slave trade (a member of the Salvation Army had bought a girl of 13 to highlight the issue).

The gay male age of consent when I was at university was 21, but obviously no one took such a high age seriously, if we were even aware of it; later, after a brief period at 18, it equalised at 16 as mentioned above.
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39. 2009-02-15 12:55  
I would like to correct the writer who states that in Singapore, "heterosexual marriage under Syariah law it is 16". It was raised to 18 on 17/11/2008, on par with other countries like Morocco, where the minimum marriage age is 18 years for both females and males; while in Algeria, the age is 18 years for females, and 21 years for males. The change reflects the severity of too many teens are having unprotected sex resulting in an alarming raise in STDs and teenage marriages, resulting in endless cycles of broken families.

When it comes to sex concerning the underaged, there must be a clear line drawn on the age of consent. This should not be muddled with a case of two underaged experimenting with sex.

A recent case in Singapore involves a 32 yo married woman, a school teacher, and a 15 year old boy. The Law dealt with her very severely while nothing was said of what happened to the boy.

There was also the case of 2 teenaged girl molested and raped by the father. During the trial, revelations unfolded and the uncle was also found guilty.

The law is the law. The law protects the young in this case. Justice in Singapore means that the law will use every arsenal within the means to protect the young, which in this case includes section 337 unfortunately. However, when it comes to protecting the young, nothing should be left to question on the acts of the young and the "punishment" they should get, but more on the Adults, or Seniors (age 18 - 200). They should have known better.

Though the writer clearly states he does NOT view underage sex, gay or straight, in good taste, he mentioned that "Adopting a black-and-white, moralistic tone is never helpful. " His ending paragrah states "After all, sex resides at the heart of our lives, and as much as we think we are wise, in this world, each of us also takes turns at being foolish." , suggesting that it is alright to err in this case, on the part of the adult.

This totally seems to go back on what he stands for.

If the gay community wants the right to adoption, we must adopt a moralistic point of view, a " black and White" stance. Age of consent must be determined, regardless of sex. Also, sex between two individuals under the age of consent should be dealt with differently from a case of one a senior and junior. Judging from the number people who seems to be against the ruling, it seems that we, the gay communities are not ready to be guardians of the young, and should be prevent by all means till majority agrees that having sex with the young is morally wrong.
40. 2009-02-15 18:14  
Gymhotbody says:" we, the gay communities are not ready to be guardians of the young, and should be prevent by all means till majority agrees that having sex with the young is morally wrong."

It's a bit of a strange leap of logic from the age of consent, to adoption, which is on a strictly assessed, case by case basis, according to the suitability and qualities of the proposed parents, gay or straight. Obviously children wouldn't be placed with someone if there was the slightest chance they would be at risk.

I don't think anyone here thinks sex with minors is ok, particularly by those in a position of guardianship or trust over them, but even so, you don't rule out an entire class of people, tar everyone with the same brush, and deprive young people of loving homes. They are far from safe from abuse in Childrens' Homes/orphanages, as thousands around the world will attest, most recently from the Isle of Jersey. Evidence is that children of gay parents are doing very well thank you.

The examples you gave are heterosexual, and heterosexual abuse is, sadly, far from uncommon. It accounts for the vast majority of cases. By your logic, we should tar all heterosexuals with the same brush, and they should all be barred from adoption, which is obviously ridiculous.

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45. 2009-02-15 19:45  
Post #23 steveuk: "The examples you gave are heterosexual, and heterosexual abuse is, sadly, far from uncommon."

Speaking of heterosexual incest/abuse,
the Straits Times yesterday just reported on the rape of 2 teenage girls by their very own biological father & uncle...right in their very own family home in Hougang: Google "sex abuse uncle father hougang"....also a recent case where a girl was assaulted 23 times between 2 yrs (it happened when she was as young as 10): Google "daughter raped 23 times"...bt the most infamous -and heartbreaking-by far came from this man who has up to 10 wives (only 3 are legal), most of whom assisted in the rape of his own daughters: Google "daughter rape singapore multiple wives

The above 3 are by no means isolated cases...I come across cases of this nature almost like, at least once in every 2-3 wks in the Home section of the Straits Times.
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49. 2009-02-16 09:38  
Post #23 steveuk , you conveniently omited a phrase before that sentence you quote from my posting which says "Judging from the number people who seems to be against the ruling".

It must be noted that heterosexual community has a total objection against such acts.

You also mentioned that many here don't think sex with minors is ok. Please read all the postings again, including those from th eearlier articles. Even a 20% on the fence is considered NOT OK for such things.
50. 2009-02-16 10:03  
Hahaha...what's that 1st sentence Alex wrote?
The issue of sex with teenagers below legal age is a thorny one with discussions typically generating more heat than light- hey, spot-on, buddy!

Post #25 gymhotbod , you deliberately missed the point of steveuk's sentence:

"The examples you gave are heterosexual, and heterosexual abuse is, sadly, far from uncommon. It accounts for the vast majority of cases. By your logic, we should tar all heterosexuals with the same brush, and they should all be barred from adoption, which is obviously ridiculous."

The above statement is written clearly in plain English - he is NOT anti-heterosexual just because of the actions of a few bad-apple fathers.
And most other posters here have very explicitly stated they do NOT condone underage sex with UNWILLING parties. Pls read carefully.
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55. 2009-02-16 17:40  
Post #27 girlongirl says "And most other posters here have very explicitly stated they do NOT condone underage sex with UNWILLING parties. Pls read carefully"

Hmmmm, that means that seniors having sex with willing underage boys is okay ???

The leopard finally shows it's spots.

Everything is up to you lah. But don't get caught hoh. Recently there was a 60s priest who had underage sex with underage boys in Jarkarta and was extradicted back to Australia.

Having sex with underage boys, willing parties or not, is plain paedophilia. Asians reach puberty at a later age and a 15 yo asian boy looks really like a young child. Only paedophiles will support this.
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57. 2009-02-16 18:16  
Hmmmm, that means that seniors having sex with willing underage boys is okay ???

The leopard finally shows it's spots"

As everyone knows by now, our friend gymhotbod is a very elegant man who will never think of insulting other people or hurting their feelings.
He also has a good command of the English Language. Well, let me clarify my stance:

When I've said "most other posters here have very explicitly stated they do NOT condone underage sex with UNWILLING parties. Pls read carefully"
Does that automatically translate into "I condone underage sex with willing parties?"

By Law of Logic, the answer is: NO.
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59. 2009-02-16 18:24  
Well girlongirl, I didn't say "And most other posters here have very explicitly stated they do NOT condone underage sex with UNWILLING parties. Pls read carefully".

You are the one who said it.

I have made it very clear that I am dead against it.
60. 2009-02-16 18:39  
When I said "And most other posters here have very explicitly stated they do NOT condone underage sex with UNWILLING parties", i did NOT mean that I condone sex with willing parties.

Pls do not twist my words. Be ethical.
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64. 2009-02-16 20:30  
I am not here to ridicule others here but simply making my point in issues which I felt it is the right thing to do. I only participate in issues which concerns my homebase. I never critcise others unnecessary, especially when it comes to other countries's policies. I feel that whatever it is, it is up to the individual countries' gay citizen to resolve their issues internally. If they do not like their own country, just leave. Don't bring it down unnesscearily unless it is a matter of life and death. And it doesn't mean that what works in your country is good for us and must be copied wholesale without questioning.

Singapore has never been really a leader in such matters. We are followers.

In the next article on Hong Kong, good for them for taking action. But in Singapore we gays are not harrassed so much by the Church or the State, we need not do the exact of them. They are they and we are we.

This article originated from the case of 6 men charged in teen sex case in Singapore. 377A was used because it involved an underage boy. It is controversal, but then it involves an underage boy.
Comment #65 was deleted by its author
66. 2009-02-17 08:39  
One thing I've noticed in the discussions here is that people confuse paedophilia with ephebephilia. Paedophilia is physical contact with sexual intent between an adult and a physically immature child. Ephebephilia is sexual concourse between an adult and an adolescent between the ages of 15-19. The issue is one of "age of consent". When is someone emotionally mature and self-aware or congnizant enough to be able to freely consent and realize a sexual/emotional relationship with another person (whether same-sex or not) and not be adversely affected by such a relationship? Adolescents mature much more soon (physically and mentally) than in prior generations. Perhaps, it is because of the pervasive influence of the informative media. Perhaps, it is an evolutionary event. But when considering an intimate relationship between a 35-year old man and a 16- or 17-year old man, one must ask: what do either man get from such a relationship? Are these physical needs? Emotional needs? Economic needs? Is it about power? Control? Avarice? This is a complex issue and one that has no easy answers. But, "age of consent" laws should relflect current realities. Age 16 seems to be an appropriate age for a young man (or woman) to be able to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to enter into intimacy with someone else (whether a peer or someone older). The question should always be: should they? Education, education, education. If someone who is 16 or 17 is treated as the young adult they are, then they should be given all the information about sexuality, responsibility and hygiene in an unbiased way. Then, whatever decisions they might take will be informed decisions. Regardless, "consent" is the key. Any relationship of any kind that is coerced is immoral and should always be illegal.
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68. 2009-02-17 10:56  
Post #33 mikeyj -Thank you for providing indepth insights & explaining the difference between paedophilia & ephebephila - yr discussion's been most helpful. And I completely agree that we should treat & address teens like an equal.
It is precisely adults' patronising attitude, esp. when they themselves are clueless- that suddenly makes illict sex seem as attractive as forbidden fruit- teens just 'have' to taste it. Some even did so deliberately in a perverse way- usually to spite their parents/ authorities. Cause & effect- it's psychology. I believe we should treat teenagers with respect & get them to make the decisions themselves...afterall, if they make bad decisions, the consequences are already punishment enough- we adults should be more understanding & gracious not to rub salt in the wound by chastising their 'morality'.
69. 2009-02-17 13:35  
i am so disappointed by Singapore's so called gay activists. it is so creepy they have time to worry about whether it is OK for a mature 15 to lose their innocence or what the age of consent really is . . .no wonder with leaders like this we can't get any respect and we can't make progress in getting laws passed, guess he's too busy visiting the saunas in Thailand to work on the real issues which gay men deal with every day . . . like career, family and financial success

thank God in American we have classy and well educated leaders like Barney Frank, Ellen, Suzie Orman, and so on

really the article on even addressing the age of consent issue is creepy and no spin from other people can make it go away . .

there are classy gay men and creepy gay men. . .Brown Hard is really writing about what everyone already knows . . Alex is a creep and you even need to be 18 to even read his crap here in Fridae

please, the new generation of gay leaders need to rise up!
70. 2009-02-17 13:41  
gymhotbod is a good guy and makes sense . . Alex is creepy no one even listens to what he has to say, very little credibility... he can go back to being a hilly billy country gay boy, but this new generation of rich, successfully happilly married extremely fit and handsome gay men will leave his awful philosophy of unhappiness in the dust
71. 2009-02-17 17:39  
Post #31 gymhotbod says (Posted : 16 February 2009 20:30) :

I am not here to ridicule others here but simply making my point in issues which I felt it is the right thing to do. I only participate in issues which concerns my homebase. I never critcise others unnecessary, especially when it comes to other countries's policies.

Post #21 gymhotbod says (Posted : 16 February 2009 18:20) :

girlongirl, you are angry. Of cos I know Orchard Towers. We cross swords over your support for the toilet queen who was killed by a group of young boys and I said that he deserve it. Oh how dearly you will fight for the right of those who want to have sex with young boys.

You know which country allows lecherous-looking old white men to lavious their young ? . Remember the 60 over yo priest who had sex with many unbderage boys recently ?? It was on BBC just 3 days ago.

And for your information, Sex & sleaze, esp.those involving drunken US sailors + local prostitutes involves those above the legal age here and it should remain that way. Another point to add - most prostitutes here are not local. Some are exports from your motherland.
Clean your own turf first before you try to meddle with other's.
Comment #72 was deleted by its author
Comment #73 was deleted by its author
74. 2009-02-17 20:23  
Bravo ! you just pasted all the reasons why you deserved such treatment.
75. 2009-02-19 19:50  
Post #32 Brownhard emailed me this :

"You make such intense ctritics.....true, you dun like that leach Alex Au. You might be fair in your arguements about what is fair and what is wrong.
BUT I do know that you also go around attacking men's profile who have a good build, success and good looks by being totally bitchy and making disgusting personal remarks in a meek attempt to hurt them. But there is NO picture of you to uphold your claim to your good looks. One moment you are Chinese with bulk and muscles and now you are a skinny Malay. I do believe you are a LOOSER...behind all your ability to think, do creative writing and must admit, you are an intellegent bastard, but you hide behind sadness, frustration, bitterness and jealousy. All your abilty to think does not elevate you from your misery of your mirror's reflection. People may like to talk to you, hear how smart you are....BUT NOBODY...NOBODY ...loves you, they never did and never will. NOBODY even want you for sex, you are NOT up to standard, you are repulsive, hideous, just damn UGLY. Nobody wants to be your friend, NOBODY can stand you. NOBODY likes you, they just be around you to benefit from your brains. Otherwise, you have NOTHING to offer. Well, you can't them all, but you LOOSE more than you win...makes you a LOOSER...LOOSER LOOSER LOOSER...SAD PATHETIC LOOSER FRUSTRATED LOOSER!!!!! "

I wonder, when did I attack anyone with good looks etc etc. Totally baffled. And do I need to have a picture pasted to be here ??? This profile used to be my BF who happens to be Chinese. I used it now. Is it a crime ???

I am now 46, I had my good days in the gay circles, and I am still having good sex with my BF. Why do I need to advertise myself here for sex ??. Only pathetic people like you are loosers, with headless torso pics, just looking for sex.
76. 2009-02-20 11:42  
Bravo to gymhotbod for setting the Above Human ethical & moral standard, & for being so charming while doing so. In his dreams.
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Comment #78 was deleted by its author
79. 2009-02-20 13:08  
Best Performances by a Female Lead Actress in SELF-CREATED Dramatic ROLES in a Fictional Documentary; detailing the recurring (yawn) & boring struggles of a lonely, delusional, self hating, self serving, toxic, old & egotistical loser, in the classic, "SYBIL"; where the more personalities used to deceive the merrier.

And the loser award once again goes to.... (zzzz..no surprise !)...but seriously, who cares!...zzzzz...;P

Hey girlongirl..how r u?..;) Remember my past lessons on dealing with losers, ignore them. If u feed them, they will grow, starve them and they will perform only for themselves.

Btw Alex, more Power to U. Thought provoking article. Keep it up.

I've said my peace..lol..have fun...outta here.;)
Comment #80 was deleted by its author
81. 2009-02-20 17:41  
google "LuShun, The Story Of Ah Q"

Uncanny similairities.

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