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Thread: Under 18?

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    Under 18?

    Is it legal if a person under 18 talked about having sex on a forum or takes part in any discussion similar to that?

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    Non-Member crunchi's Avatar
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    it is as legal as talking about sex at the school, at the station, at the playground, why shouldn't be legal*?

    r

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    Good to hear, I just wanted to make sure. Thanks!

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    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    If you want to attract sexual predators, it's a great topic.

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    SitePoint Evangelist tokyoice's Avatar
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    How can you have sex on a forum?

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    SitePoint Evangelist sysice's Avatar
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    South Park Did It!

    Cartman: Hi everybody! I am a young boy seeking an older male for a good time. I am 8 years old and would like...

    *messages pop up like crazy*

    Cartman: Wow, look at all these guys that want to be my friend!

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    I have a forum that's an advice forum. People go there for advice, that's the type of forum I manage.

    For example, can a person under 18 talk about sex on a forum?

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    SitePoint Evangelist sysice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtremeliquid
    For example, can a person under 18 talk about sex on a forum?
    It depends on the specific topic and who it is with and what state/country you are in. For instance, if you were having some kind of sexual relations over a forum with an older person, that may not fly. If you were talking about how you are doing things with your teacher and post the video she sent you on the camera phone, then she will probably get in a trouble.

    But if you were asking a question about why it itches all the time and should you see a doctor, then that is probably ok.

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    For example, if a young couple were having sex and one of them posts on the forum asking for advice, is that okay? People are asking for advice because they've had sex before and they're under 18 and so on. Is that okay?
    Last edited by xtremeliquid; Aug 3, 2006 at 22:38.

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    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtremeliquid
    For example, if a young couple were having sex and one of them posts on the forum asking for advice, is that okay? People are asking for advice because they've had sex before and they're under 18 and so on. Is that okay?
    Giving advice is a bad idea beyond see a doctor or talk to your parents. The people on your forum may mean well but they should be careful about advice.

    This kind of advice is okay - what should I wear for a date, where should we go, etc.

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    SitePoint Evangelist sysice's Avatar
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    I've seen hundreds of similar groups browsing through LiveJournal Communities, so I believe this is alright. If it's geared towards the health aspects of it and not towards the actual act, then it's not different then sex education from school.

    Though, I did just search around to see what others are doing and many sites do require you to get parental permission before entering the site if you are under 18. I think its one of those border line issues that hasn't been tested in court yet so it could be legal or illegal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xtremeliquid
    For example, if a young couple were having sex and one of them posts on the forum asking for advice, is that okay? People are asking for advice because they've had sex before and they're under 18 and so on. Is that okay?
    I think you might want to draw a distinction between the 'legality' of the posts for the forum members and the liability of the forum host.

    I doubt anyone can answer your question with confidence as the law is different in different countries and in different states of different countries.

    For a start, there's no magic in 18. Different countries / states have different ages of consent, and some are well below, or above, 18, but not necessarily the same age for both sexes.

    The liability of a forum host is most likely to be quite independent of whatever laws apply to consensual sex between teenagers.

    To the extent that a host might have any liability, a host is more likely to be at risk for more general and vague offences such as, depending upon the jurisdiction, 'contributing to the delinquency of minors' or various vague offences about procurement of minors for sexual acts, etc. I doubt that there is a lawyer on the planet who has the faintest knowledge of the relevant laws in every country on the planet which might apply.

    Depending on where you are, a pretty fair guide would be to look at government sponsored sites about safe sex, kids at risk, kids' help lines, etc. If they're covering similar topics in the same way, the odds are that you're in safe territory, although it's not an absolute guarantee.

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    SitePoint Addict Adam A Flynn's Avatar
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    Whatever you do, I'd be putting a really big disclaimer on your site that says "not a substitute for professional medical advice" or something like that. I'd also make sure you have a sticky that also makes it clear that users should be weary of preditors, should be critical of any advice they are given, and should consult a professional or their parents or something about any issues they have.

    I'm certainly not a lawyer, but I would think that you could certainly be liable if people saw your forum as an alternative to professional help and hurt themselves or someone else because of following advice given there.

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    I've added it to my TOS and rules page already.


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