Stone-age sex law hidden in plain sight

Boy has sex with girl of same age. Who gets prosecuted? Who gets called the “victim” by the media? Whose name is published, and whose is protected? Why aren’t Singapore lawyers interested in justice? Full essay.

13 Responses to “Stone-age sex law hidden in plain sight”

  1. 1 dyno 23 December 2009 at 22:47

    This is again another example of truth being stranger than fiction. And the amazing part of this is that the Straits Times doesn’t even appear to see the irony in this outrageous situation. I guess straight guys also have problems.

  2. 2 yawningbread 23 December 2009 at 23:54

    Indeed, this illustrates how straight males also suffer from heterosexism, not just gay people. Heterosexism comes laden with ideas about masculinity, with stereotypical ideas about male roles versus female roles. The aggressor model is what morphs into the situation straight males now find themselves in.

  3. 3 Anonymous too 24 December 2009 at 09:39


    Just wanting to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy & joyous year ahead.

    Keep up the writings. Cheers!

  4. 4 Teck Soon 25 December 2009 at 03:20

    I feel this type of sexism every time I point out how unfair national service is to boys. People always heap blame and criticism on foreigners (and government policy) for not forcing foreigners to do something like NS. It’s always a Singaporean vs. foreigner debate, never a boy vs. girl debate. Does no one else think that our current system is unjust?

    When I once said that perhaps Singaporean women could serve NS equally as men, my friends jumped all over me. “The women suffer too! All the menfolk are gone from the house, and they miss them and worry about them!” It’s like saying I would suffer if I sent my wife off to work and I missed her when she was away from home earning money for me while I stayed at home and rested. What I have said actually sounds, to my ears, very rude towards women. How can I say something so mean? How dare I suggest women serve NS? Even to me, I read what I have written with a bit of shame. But when I try to push emotion out of the picture, I just keep thinking that the current system is really sexist – sending away all the boys to NS to “protect” the women and the nation. As if we were some giant tribe, leaving the women at home to weave baskets and worry while the boys go off and “become men”. What a rotten and unfair system.

  5. 5 yawningbread 25 December 2009 at 11:03

    Teck Soon – I agree wholeheartedly. National Service should be an equal obligation for females.

  6. 6 beka 25 December 2009 at 16:37

    There shouldn’t even be this law.

    I argue from a different standpoint than you, I agree. From a feminist perspective I find it odious because the reason the girl is considered a “victim” is because her marketable, marriageable chastity is no longer there. And because it holds the female to that standard of “purity” which is so laughable yet exploited. The law is sexist, in both directions: the male must be aggressive, the female passive. Deviation is not to be permitted, either way.

    Although from what I gather the girl is not let off easily; they send her for counselling, or put her in a home, sometimes, since premarital sex is considered unnatural, behaviour that must be corrected. So much so that consent is no longer important.

    This trivialising of consent is dangerous, too. It sends the message that saying yes means nothing. On the flip side, then, no is also meaningless.

    I am still waiting for Romeo-and-Juliet age-exemption clauses. O dreams, O pipe dreams.

  7. 7 Cymric 26 December 2009 at 12:33

    Stone age yes, but there are good reasons why stone age people have such views. A detail explanation will take a long post so I will try to make a very brief one here. Basically, it is evolutionary advantages for man to have sex with as many women as possible and for women, it is advantages for them to deny sex to man until the man show commitment to support her and her future offspring. Man on the other hand is disadvantaged by being unable to be 100% sure that an offspring by a women is his and thus will try to increase that chance.

    How does that applies here?
    1) In most cases, it is the man or (or boy in this case) who want sex so I will put the bulk of the blame on the boy.
    2) They are young yes and does not fully understand the consequences of their action, but the consequence for the girl is much greater than the boy.
    3) Quote from beka: “the reason the girl is considered a “victim” is because her marketable, marriageable chastity is no longer there.”

    Is this kind of view bad? Maybe.

    Does this kind of view exist? Yes, and is prevalent outside modern western society.

    Why? Because if a man have sex with a women who had never have sex before, and ensure that she does not have sex with any other man, he can be sure that her offspring is his too. He need not waste resources raising another man’s offspring. Thus a virgin will always be more valuable in men’s eyes. This is not morality, this is a biological trait acquired by man through evolution. Man cannot change it.. just like they cannot change their sexual preference when they are born gay.

    So there are perfectly valid reasons why this kind of law exist. However, “what is, is not what ought to be”, maybe the law should still be changed to go against human nature, but note that while the law can be changed easily, human nature need thousands of years to evolve to fit the new environment.

  8. 8 yawningbread 26 December 2009 at 17:15

    I’m sorry, but I find the above comment very problematic. It suggests that the proper view of law is NOT to free us from injustice, or point the way to a higher plane of consciousness and morality, but to reflect (and thereby, enforce on everybody else) a deterministic, perhaps baser, view of the human animal.

  9. 9 Robert L 27 December 2009 at 11:02

    Well done Yawning Bread, for opening up the eyes of Singaporeans, when evidently the mainstream media seems determined to keep them blind.

    I agree 100% with your article, yet I can still see that your article, including your paraphrased version, contain remnants of the unethical spin left by the media. You have repeated, ad nauseam, the accusation that the boy had sex with 2 girls, thus portraying him in a position of serial offender. This is false. Factual and yet false.

    Truth is – one boy had sex with one girl. After that, the girl may or may not have sex with other boys. And yes, the boy may or may not have sex with other girls.

    Next, the boy has sex with another girl. After this, the girl may or may not have sex with other boys. Indeed, this girl may or may not already have had sex with another different boy before this occasion, or with several other boys for that matter. Never mind, we do not go after the girl for any serial offending, we go after the boy only.

    And so it goes. Prosecutors in Singapore are not going after the
    sexual activities of the girls (termed “offenses” in our ridiculous Laws). Our Prosecutors are targeting only our young boys – this is glaring human rights discrimination. What our Prosecutors are doing is monstrous. Instead of protecting our youngsters, the State has criminalized them, for doing what Nature (God?) has designed.

    15 yr-old boy and 15 yr-old girl. Bam! One of them is picked out to be branded a criminal.

  10. 10 Jonathan Wong 27 December 2009 at 23:59

    While I do agree that National Service should be an equal obligation for females, I’m curious if there are any other countries in the world where females need to serve NS just like their male counterparts.

    Taiwan? S. Korea? Israel?

  11. 12 yawningbread 29 December 2009 at 18:23

    Yes, Israel. I did a quick websearch and from this site I see that it says:

    “Most men and single women are inducted into the IDF at age 18, women for two years and men for three, followed by service in the reserves, men up to age 51 and single women to age 24. In February 2006, the Defense Ministry outlined a plan to reduce mandatory service for male soldiers to 28 months. Further reductions will bring the final service term for men down to two years by 2010.”

    However it doesn’t seem to mention that in Israel, citizens of Arab ancestry are not drafted.

    Malaysia too has a form of National Service (very short duration) and it applies to both sexes equally.

  12. 13 Keith Richard Radford Jr 13 January 2010 at 03:36

    Laws about sex needs to washed from the books. People who use laws about sex usually are as guilty as the one who wants to make the other suffer for having sex with that includes the Judge, Jurors and the seducer/the seduced. Surely threats are made if you don’t have sex or visaversa.Get caught and call a cop? Get in bed with someone you want to case pain is the montage used and both are wrong if that is the desire to use sex as a weapon. Some say sex is only for procreation and they are dead wrong too. The law is dead and wrong. Look if you make a law it is for one thing and one thing only like a law against homosexuality in Africa to kill homosexuals. Sex is not nor has ever been something laws should be enacted for and the ones who do never in vision equality of sexes, the law is to curb any chance of equality between sexes. If the laws were abolished then sexes would have a chance to be equal in nature. If women really wanted equality they would can and trash these law too Judge Judy and any other judge that thinks they are doing something good by publicly abusing someone like using their image without their approval is legally irreproachable and disgustingly encroachingly disgusting. I’m confident if someone Photo Shopped JJ in bed with a child she would be upset. What is the difference when the justice system lies in a plea bargain? I find that worse by far.

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