Wake Up and Smell the Starbucks Coffee: How Doe v. Starbucks Confirms the End of 'The Age of Consent' in California and Perhaps Beyond

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice, Vol. 33, Forthcoming

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research Paper No. 2013-06

47 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2012 Last revised: 20 Feb 2013

Jennifer Ann Drobac

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Date Written: February 15, 2012

Abstract

Since 2005, California civil courts have effectively abandoned the “age of consent” set by former California statutory rape law and, arguably, encoded in current penal code sex crime provisions. In declaring that California civil law may credit a child’s consent to sex with an adult, courts conflate or confuse legal consent, capacity, and acquiescence. Now that California federal antidiscrimination cases have followed this trend to treat minors more like fully mature adults, the chances increase that other states will adopt these dangerous precedents. This Article analyzes both California and United States Supreme Court cases to conclude that a strict liability civil law approach to juvenile acquiescence to sex with an adult would better serve developing teenagers. Brief exploration of adolescent assent, a new mechanism based in traditional contract law for dealing with the decisions of maturing teenagers also justifies review of the current approaches in California and across the nation.

Keywords: teenagers, consent, statutory rape, capacity, sexual harassment

Suggested Citation

Drobac, Jennifer Ann, Wake Up and Smell the Starbucks Coffee: How Doe v. Starbucks Confirms the End of 'The Age of Consent' in California and Perhaps Beyond (February 15, 2012). Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice, Vol. 33, Forthcoming; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research Paper No. 2013-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2072655

Jennifer Ann Drobac (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States
317-278-4777 (Phone)
317-278-7563 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.indylaw.indiana.edu/people/profile.cfm?EmpNum=41

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