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The outlaw of sex with minors

On 20 April 2005, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Crimes Amendment Act 2005. It amended the sexual crimes section, practically rewriting it. It also removed the words from each section, "being a male".

Where was the hail? Where was the news? Where was the "it’s finally happened, about time"? The New Zealand Herald did not care to note that sex with underage child would be illegal for women too. They made only a brief mention that sexual grooming would be outlawed.

In fact, I discovered this about a month ago when I was browsing the Crimes Act to see if treating (voters in an election) was there, and noticed the sexual crimes section had changed.

The new law, in effect, removed all distinctions that were made in the old law about the sex of the offender and victim. It was not an offence, for example, for a woman to have consensual sex with an underage boy. But then it was made a criminal offense — punishable by up to 10 years prison.

I had had the impression that all distinctions in gender were socially incorrect and that any law change that removed such distinction would receive large welcome from the public. But a country that passed the Civil Unions Act 2004 could not cover a loophole that allowed consensual sex with an underage boy (for women) until 2005. Why so long? Didn’t the political correctness revolution start decades ago? (If you can call it political correctness — common sense more like).

Perhaps this is what we expect of the government — when something good is passed, no-one cares, but when 5 percent of New Zealand doesn’t like something it’s a big hoo-hah. Perhaps a good government is one that’s not noticed, and politicians are doomed to a career full of criticism and void of praise.

Or maybe it’s just not that big a deal. It’s just another crime in another act passed by another government on another day. Sex with minors — that’s nothing major, is it?

Related Links

  • Legislation: Statutes of New Zealand — expand "C", expand "Crimes Act 1961". The sexual crimes section is in "Part 7 – crimes against religion, morality and public welfare". The Crimes Amendment Act 2005 is under that title, under "Crimes Act 1961".
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