Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
^ There is a debate, yes. To wit:
- Actual rape, as most understand the term, is the committing of brutal sexual assault through force of violence. No one here is defending that, of course.
- Statutory rape, OTOH, is called that simply because of an age difference. Meaning, a relationship that may otherwise be completely consensual, and involves no coercion or assault or violence of any kind, magically becomes "rape" simply because one party may be a few years too old. That is what people are arguing about.
It is "rape" because the law (and common sense) recognizes that there is a grossly unequal level of both overt and implied power in (mainly) girls of middle teen years and adult males in their twenties (often).
It recognizes that young girls (mainly) cannot legally consent to sexual relations with a far older male because coercion does not necessarily involve violence or the threat of violence.