On the contrary, their purpose is to define the age up to which children are entitled to receive protection from seduction by adults. On this basis one could just as well argue that the laws discriminate against teenage girls because the period of protection granted to them is shorter.
Any arbitrary cut-off chosen, whether 16 or 18, has to balance opposing evils: restriction of freedom on the one hand and failure to protect on the other. It seems perfectly reasonable in setting such limits to take account of emotional and physical maturity and, therefore, there is nothing necessarily illogical or "unfair" in allowing that the period for which boys should be protected from seduction by homosexual males should be longer than that offered to protect females from being seduced by heterosexual males.
What this additional period should be would be better addressed by a rational consideration of the statistics regarding onset of puberty than emotive appeals in the name of an irrelevant "equality".
Professor STEPHEN SENN
Departments of Epidemiology
and Public Health and Statistical Science
University College LondonReuse content