Philosophy of Law

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Throughout this paper you will be reading how gender based laws such as statutory rape in California discriminate against males and not females. You may ask “why is this issue?” well this is an issue because it goes against our 14th amendment which states all laws should protect both men and women equally. The case you are about to read is concerning this law. A law that discriminates against males, stating that even if they have sex at a young age women are the only ones to get hurt. Studies have shown to prove otherwise. You will also read about how this law was put in place to prevent teen pregnancies. Now how this gender-based law preventing more pregnancies than a gender-neutral law? Michael M. v. Superior Court of Sonoma County concerns gender discrimination which is the inequality between the sexes. A seventeen year old male was convicted under California law for statutory rape of a female only one year younger than him; she was forced to have sex with him. This was a case about two young adults, one not consenting to sex and the other forcing her to have sex. Under the law men, but not women, are liable for statute. This makes it illegal to have sex with a female under eighteen, whether or not she consents. The reason why the court felt this law should be in place was because they felt there was a greater risk for women then for men. There is no argument against the fact that the boy should be punished for his acts but not under statutory rape. Debates about this case can go both ways. One can say that California law does not discriminate against men or women, which was argued by Justice Rehnquist. Justice Rehnquist said, "the statute protects women from sexual intercourse and pregnancy at an age when the physical, emotional, and psychological consequences are particularly severe. Because virtually all of the significant harmful and identifiable consequences of teenage pregnancy fall on the female, a legislature acts well within its authority when it...