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Sexual Exploitation of Teenagers"Adolescent Development, Discrimination, and Consent Law"$
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Jennifer Ann Drobac

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226301013

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226301150.001.0001

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The Development of Civil Law’s Response to Worldly Women and Precocious Teenagers

The Development of Civil Law’s Response to Worldly Women and Precocious Teenagers

Historical Wisdom or Oppressive Judgment?

Chapter:
(p.97) Chapter Five The Development of Civil Law’s Response to Worldly Women and Precocious Teenagers
Source:
Sexual Exploitation of Teenagers
Author(s):

Jennifer Ann Drobac

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226301150.003.0005

The civil system addresses personal injury, sexual exploitation, and “consent,” among other matters, through common law tort (personal injury) laws or more modern state statutory responses to human interactions. This chapter provides the civil law backdrop for the analysis of how adults, and especially jurists, might use the new information regarding adolescent development and psychosocial maturity. By comparing the varied traditional civil law approaches to juvenile behavior, this chapter reveals gross legal inconsistencies between criminal and civil law treatment of adolescent capacity and “consent.” Before one evaluates the efficacy of modern anti-discrimination statutes, most not designed to protect “consenting” teenagers, one should consider the development of civil common law rules that cover similar behavior. These common law claims highlight the importance of capacity and consent. They influenced the development of antidiscrimination law and, perhaps, reveal clues about how jurists exported some traditional and discriminatory attitudes to those new laws.

Keywords:   civil law, adolescent capacity, consent, personal injury claims, rule of sevens, negligence, misprision, writ of seduction, comparative fault, tort

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