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Origins: Sixteen

Thompson 12 Apr 14 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,leeneia 12 Apr 14 - 10:53 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Apr 14 - 01:22 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Apr 14 - 03:05 AM
Jack Campin 13 Apr 14 - 05:57 AM
Jeri 13 Apr 14 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,marmdad 13 Apr 14 - 09:24 AM
Jeri 13 Apr 14 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,marmdad 13 Apr 14 - 10:05 AM
Jeri 13 Apr 14 - 10:26 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Apr 14 - 01:40 PM
GUEST 13 Apr 14 - 04:25 PM
GUEST 14 Apr 14 - 04:58 AM
Thompson 14 Apr 14 - 05:58 PM
GUEST 14 Apr 14 - 06:05 PM
Thompson 14 Apr 14 - 06:23 PM
GUEST 15 Apr 14 - 05:07 AM
meself 15 Apr 14 - 10:20 AM
meself 15 Apr 14 - 10:22 AM
Jim Dixon 20 Apr 14 - 09:36 AM
Les in Chorlton 20 Apr 14 - 12:56 PM
meself 21 Apr 14 - 01:20 AM
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Subject: Origins: Sixteen
From: Thompson
Date: 12 Apr 14 - 06:17 PM

I was dining with friends, including an American, the other night, and cited the many rock 'n' roll songs about girls aged sixteen as referring to the age of legal consent for girls to have sex. (I had this of the mammy, many years ago.) The American pshawed at any such idea.
Was she wrong to pshaw, and was my mammy wrong?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 12 Apr 14 - 10:53 PM

1. No
2. Yes


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Apr 14 - 01:22 AM

Agreed, Many of the songs much older than the establishment of the 'age-of-consent' at 16 -- not, as I never tire of saying, a law of nature, but an arbitrarily chosen bit of Victorian legislation.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Apr 14 - 03:05 AM

Up until 1875 the age of consent was 12 in Britain. They're now talking about reducing it from 16 to 15, in view of the increasingly younger age of sexual activity. Imagine the songs if it were 12. "You're twelve, you're beautiful and you're mine!" Sounds like a dreadful paedophile refrain.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Apr 14 - 05:57 AM

Perhaps they picked 16 as the age of consent BECAUSE there were so many songs implying it was the age to start?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Apr 14 - 09:05 AM

It's the age of consent in many places in North America, but not all. In the U.S., it depends on the state.
Wikipedia: Age of Consent


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: GUEST,marmdad
Date: 13 Apr 14 - 09:24 AM

18 in most states


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Apr 14 - 09:46 AM

It's 18 in 11 states,
17 in 9 states
16 in 30 states

It's 16 in most states.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: GUEST,marmdad
Date: 13 Apr 14 - 10:05 AM

Things have changed, should left it at 18.
I thought it was 12 south of the Mason-Dixon?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Apr 14 - 10:26 AM

Of course this site- LegalMatch.com -has different numbers:
18: 11 states
17: 6 states
16: 33 states

When was it 18? When was it changed?

Think the age is lower "south of the Mason-Dixon" is probably a common misconception among people who don't check facts.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Apr 14 - 01:40 PM

There is a lot of misconception [no pun!] on this topic. Kingsley Amis once wrote a novel called 'Girl 20' predicated on the belief that the age in UK was 18, which it has never been.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 14 - 04:25 PM

She was too young to fall in love,
And I was too drunk to care...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 04:58 AM

Actually, Eliza, the age of 13 was set by English Law in the 1875, and only raised to 16 in 1885. That it was very much in recognition of the social mores of the day, which the folk world recognises. As I commented on another thread recently, child abuse had been a theme of social reform for some time, I quoted Nancy from Dickens' Oliver Twist as an example from 1837. Far from the wholesome mother figure in her early 20s of Oliver!, she's just 17 at the time, yet has been the mistress of Bill Sykes for a good Oliver's age, and he's 10: so that was when she was 5. And since then she's thieved 12 years. She's seventeen, or younger.
The age of marriageable consent in feudal days was puberty, for two reasons: political and survival of the species. The political was stabilising, as knowing which families intended dynastic liaison from early on removed sexual contention as one source of Court friction. The survival aspect was more important: life expectancy of boys was not what it might be at that level, with things like the Crusades sucking them in. However, we have a more stable society, and that argument no longer should be prevalent.
The question of feasibility will always have children experimenting, and the recent cases of relationships between young people aged just months apart, but one over and one under the age of consent, being punished with the full weight of the law because that is what the law requires is evidently unjust. The law is there to stop minors being abused by adults far older than them, far more experienced and therefore manipulative. It was written because of child prostitution, and worse: it was also only at that time that the law on murder was extended to children.
Another documentary cause is to be found in Fanny Hill. Written at the end of 1748, it tells of the corruption of a young girl who falls on hard times aged 15. Had the age of consent in moral terms been considered less than that, there might have been little cause for concern, but as it was, it was banned until the 1970s.
Personally, I am worried about this whittling away of childhood. It may be preferable to identify what is causing the decrease in the age of puberty, and therefore the hormonal urges which follow, than to simply follow mindlessly. Sex produces babies, as no prophylaxis is 100% effective, and a girl's body must be physiologically strong enough to do so safely. That, I consider, must be the governing factor, and the Law must protect the weakest. 16 has worked for many years, and there seems no good reason other than licence to change it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: Thompson
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 05:58 PM

So what *is* the American fascination with sixteen?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 06:05 PM

Youngest green light, in 33 States.
The ideation of the virgin.
Innocence = naivity?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: Thompson
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 06:23 PM

In the 1950s/60s/70s, when the 'sixteen' songs were trope-iest, what were the ages, GUEST, d'you know?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 05:07 AM

I don't know for sure, but I think much as they are now. You'll have to look it up.
One aspect of the period is the relative absence outside of the Bible Belt of a Moral Majority (or its equivalent in earlier periods) and the sexual revolution permitted by the pill in the areas those songs were coming from.
Speaking from the wrong side of 50, it would also be interesting to see the history of the concept of the Dirty Old Man as a form of ageism. I think there are many Frustrated Old Women as a result!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: meself
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 10:20 AM

Bear in mind that these songs were aimed at the teenage market. You could hardly expect teenagers to be interested in songs celebrating the attractiveness of people as old as their prudish, stick-in-the-mud, twenty-something teachers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: meself
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 10:22 AM

Not to say, their thirty-something parents!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Apr 14 - 09:36 AM

Hispanic-Americans make a big deal out of a girl's 15th birthday, called quinceañera. As far as I know, nothing similar is done for boys.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Apr 14 - 12:56 PM

Well she was just 17, you know what I mean
And the way she looked was way beyond compare ..............

The word 'sixteen' has a certain resonance, simply as a sound which works well in pop songs - perhaps that's more important than ages of consent or whatever.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sixteen
From: meself
Date: 21 Apr 14 - 01:20 AM

No - there was (is?) a certain cache attached to age 16 - in North America, at least. Sixteen was/is the customary age at which you were eligible to get a driver's license, and was/is an age at which a few other more 'grown-up' activities might become available. For instance, when I was a kid, there was a local 'nightclub' that did not serve alcohol - but you had to be sixteen to be admitted. It seems to me that sixteen was often an age at which you could enter a higher level of sports competition, become a paid camp counsellor or be hired to do 'adult' work. When a girl turned sixteen, she was 'sweet sixteen'. (However, nothing to do with consent I agree).


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