Some time ago, I was involved with the creation of this proposal. It came about as the result of a back and forth between myself and another individual going by the handle PoeticVengence. I asked what the function of Age of Consent was. I asked what people who were under the magic age line supposedly lacked that people above the magic age line supposedly had. The feedback PoeticVengence and others provided, both during and after this initial back and forth, served as the base for this proposal.
Proposed Relational Maturity and Sexual Competency (RMSC) testing schema:
In order to be declared mentally competent to engage in consensual sexual activities (rather than having had a certain number of birthdays) under the proposed system, the test-taker proves his/her mental competence by passing a test.
The testing requirements include:
1.) Factual knowledge about sex, sexuality, reproduction and STDs.
1.a.) Subject must understand the mechanics of sexual intercourse. Sexual anatomy, some common intercourse activities (at least the big three oral, anal and vaginal), masturbation, and outercourse activities (mutual masturbation in its various forms) should all be understood at a mechanical level.
1.b.) Subject must understand the mechanics of human reproduction. Ejaculation, sperm fertilizing egg cells, warning signs of pregnancy including missed periods, a basic understanding of the nine month gestation period, childbirth, and the intrinsic physical risks of pregnancy. (Including factors that can increase those risks, ie low body mass and lack of physical development.)
1.c.) Subject must understand his or her options in terms of preventing pregnancy. Subject must be aware of the existence and usage of barrier methods like condoms, hormone options like birth control pills, sterilization procedures like vasectomies, spermicide options, and demonstrate an understanding of the relative failure rates of these products. While it is not necessary to be able to prattle off statistical failure rates, an understanding of which are most and least effective must be demonstrated, as well as the understanding that they can be more effective when used together.
1.d.) Subject must be aware of abortion, what it is, the legal status of the procedure locally, and, if legal, the risks inherent in this procedure.
1.e.) Subject must know about STDs. Subject must be aware that exchanging bodily fluids, particularly sexual fluids runs the risk of transmitting diseases. Subject must be aware that some such diseases are incurable. HIV in particular should be understood in terms of its transmission methods, and its effects.
1.f.) Subject must know where to go for testing and medical advice regarding STDs.
1.g.) Subject must be aware of methods besides abstinence for preventing STDs, in particular the efficacy of barrier methods and the risks of multiple partners and anonymous sex.
2.) the capacity to use critical thought to judge situations (consequence acknowledgment, goal setting, etc)
2.a.) Subject must understand that actions have consequences.
2.b.) Subject must be able to use prior experience and provided factual information to select the course of action leading to the best outcome in a hypothetical situation.
2.c.) Subject must be able to recognize when there is not enough information provided in a question to provide a meaningful answer.
3.) Ability to identify the fact that people lie to and use each other, and be able to judge (to a certain extent) when that's occurring in certain examples.
4.) Understanding of the concepts of rejection (both non-personal caused and personal caused rejection, as well as being able to reject people themselves).
4.a.) Subject must understand that not everyone wants to have sex with them.
4.b.) Subject must understand sexual orientation, and that some people just don't want sex with certain categories of people.
4.c.) Subject must recognize that some people do not want to have sex with them personally.
4.d.) Subject must be able to reject others.
5.) Understanding sexual ethics (like how rape is considered wrong, using sex to hurt people is considered wrong, etc. All because these hurt people for no justifiable reason.)
5.a.) Subject must be able to differentiate between rape and consensual sex in examples.
5.b.) Subject must understand that rape is illegal.
5.c.) Subject must be able to recognize sexual abuse other than rape in examples.
5.d.) Subject must understand that sexual abuse is illegal.
5.e.) Subject must understand the consequences and implications of using sex as a commodity.
5.f.) Subject must be aware of how to report the crimes they were required to be able to identify.
5.g.) Subject must understand that they have the right to request any potential sexual partners be tested for STDs before consenting to sex.
5.h.) Subject must be aware that they can insist upon a partner using adequate means of prophylaxis (STDs, pregnancy)
The proposed testing format is as follows:
Use a review board, and allow researchers to propose alternative testing methods, approved by the review board, and allow anyone applying to take the test to use whichever approved test they wish. (I should point out the need for an oral test, under the assumption that even illiterate adults or children could potentially have the necessary skills and knowledge even if they lack the skills and knowledge of reading and writing. And, of course, the need for a version of the test to be available in multiple languages so as not to discriminate against non-native english speakers.)
At the testing facilities, social workers will be present to evaluate and ensure that test takers are here by their own free will. Abuse intervention programs and counseling services will be available at testing centers.
On site sex education classes will be available in order to help prepare test takers for acquiring the factual knowledge required for requirement two. This should help alleviate the imbalances in educational backgrounds of test takers.
Upon having passed the test, a picture ID is issued indicating you are competent to have sex. Having sex with an unlicensed individual is treated as statutory rape. Test status will be hidden from third parties (First is Child, second is Government) unless the first party decides to tell someone (Ostensibly to prove sexual legality).
If there is reason to suspect that an individual is trying to "play the system" (by deliberately remaining untested despite being actually competent in order to maintain access to partners unable to offer meaningful consent or by deliberately failing the test), the court could order that the parties involved be tested, and dealt with accordingly in terms of the results. (A stripped down version akin to current criminal responsibility tests should be used in order to prevent deliberate failing.) If one party is found be capable and the other not, it should serve as compelling evidence that this was a case that should be treated as statutory rape, and the now competent party would have to prove in some way that they only gained this competence in the intervening time between the act and the sexual encounter. If neither party proves competent, there's nothing to be done, regardless of ages involved. If both parties prove competent, they should both be held criminally responsible, but not to the same level as if they were the only one involved who was competent. Likely a fine of some sort would be the best choice for such an infraction.
A grandfather clause is included in this proposal, such that anyone who is over the local age of consent at the time this proposal goes into effect will not need to be tested so long as they wish to be sexually active only with other individuals who were also grandfathered out of the program. If they wish to be sexual with someone operating under the new system, they must submit for testing, and thereafter abide by the new system as though they had not been grandfathered out of it.
The primary difference is that actual competency as determined by the test, rather than assumed competency based on age is the primary determiner.
Thoughts? Additional testing requirements you feel are important?