2014, The Observer released the statistic that 15% of people admitted to losing their virginity aged sixteen to eighteen.
It’s 2016 now, the legal age of sexual consent in the UK right now is summed up by Google in these very words: ‘In 1998, the Latvian Parliament adopted a new Criminal Code that contained a complex system of sexual offences: the age of consent for all sexual acts other than vaginal intercourse was 14; for vaginal intercourse it was 16′.
1998 I hear you cry? Yes, that was a very long time ago. Since then we’ve had celebrities sexualising themselves posing with nothing on but a wine glass balancing on their bottom, singers posing on fluffy clouds butt naked singing of California and a cloth-less Miley Cyrus singing from a swinging wrecking ball while licking a hammer. Girls have become normalised to this kind of behavior, some may even argue encouraged to portray themselves this way. So can the age of sexual consent still be just a mere sixteen years? This brings us to the fifteen year old who Adam Johnson has admitted to becoming involved with.
Currently 1/3 of all fourteen to sixteen year olds are sexually active. One third. Not really surprising when it’s all their role models seem to sing about in music videos, singers have to make money and lately it’s sex that sells. To me, sexual consent is being old enough and educated enough to understand yes, but also being aware. Members of the public have been using social media platforms to voice the opinion that ‘nobody forced this girl to message the footballer, to boast to her friends (so boastful that she videoed their time together), hang over her number or meet him privately’.
Yes, Adam Johnson was wrong. Yes, he should’ve known better. Yes, it is against the law what happened. I don’t disagree at all with those statements BUT, and this is a very big but, can
the press honestly continue to portray this girl as completely blameless?
Some are argued that this girl had a motive, to get close to Johnson. And, that she did.
She chased him. 834 messages of correspondence. Today’s girls of fifteen understand sex, they understand how to flirt, sext and manipulate. Let me remind you of that statistic, a third of teenagers are having sex. There is no representative figure of how many fifteen year old girls are statistically sexually active right now in the UK but it’s not hard to estimate.
Sexual consent cannot be defined by one number to blanket every single girl in the UK. Sex doesn’t work that way. Sex is too complicated for that and more importantly, so are young people and sexual situations.
I do not think she is to blame for this situation, but I also do not feel that Johnson is entirely to blame either. Maybe this is another 1/3. Boys can sometimes be labelled a little too easily. I would label Adam Johnson many things: a cheat, a liar and narcissistic. Yes, he’s guilty. But, others have concluded that she neither is completely blame-free. No girl who chases a boy, offers consent with the proper knowledge of what she’s doing and even boasts about it to then only ‘change her tune’ when he breaks it off is blame free to me, just guilty and too immature to understand the true consequences of their actions (both hers and Johnson’s) – the only true victim in my eyes is Adam Johnson’s poor ex-girlfriend and her child.
Katie Hopkins has published an article, it was actually the article that gave me the balls to publish this after waiting days in my drafts folder, voicing the same opinion as mine but hers is a much more artistic and elaborate piece. Before you all ‘boo’ it’s a good piece which I was even surprised I agreed with. Katie Hopkins on Adam Johnson and the UK’s age of consent.
These opinions are all my own views, all facts are quoted and sourced within my text.
I conducted a small 24 hour survey (not representative of the entire population) but I will include my results: