Genarlow Wilson and Underage Sex

I have written about Genarlow Wilson before. He’s the young Georgia man who was sentenced to 10 years without parole for having consensual oral sex at age 17 with a 15 year old. The Wikipedia page on Wilson tells his story in its entirety. Before I enumerate and lambaste the issues in this case, I want to make very clear that I am so pleased that the Georgia Supreme Court today announced that this sentence was cruel and unusual. Wilson is expected to be released from prison today. Consensual sex between young people should not be a crime.

Nevertheless, today I am outraged.

First, there appear to be outstanding issues about Wilson’s interactions with an unconscious 17 year old girl at the same party. The same video that was used to convict Wilson for having consensual oral sex with the 15 year old shows Wilson having sexual intercourse with an unconscious 17 year old. But I talked all about that back in June.

The real issue from today is this change in the law that Wilson has benefited from. The change means that the conviction of sex between minors is no longer a felony, but is now a misdemeanor.

Outrageous! Sex between minors has no business being a crime! Teenagers have sex. It should not be a crime. Our society is so over-the-top concerned with teenagers and sex, so over-sexualizing and yet so concerned with controlling their sexual choices. I am so exhausted by all of this! What on earth business does the George Supreme Court have telling 15, 16, and 17 year olds that they can’t have sex? That’s private business.

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for your commentary. I was eager to hear your view about this.

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