UT Arlington professor questions age of consent past and present

ARLINGTON – An Arlington philosophy professor is getting national attention for his thoughts on the age of consent, questioning the uproar over very young girls in relationships with much older men (because it’s nothing new).

A column published November 30 in The Federalist details why Alabama residents should support and vote for Roy Moore even if the sexual abuse allegations — which include initiating sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl — made against him are true. In the article, writer Tully Borland links to UT Arlington philosophy professor Keith Burgess-Jackson’s November 11 blog post, which asks, “What’s the big deal about a 32-year-old man courting a 14-year-old girl?”

Burgess-Jackson explains his grandmother was 15 when she married a 41-year-old man, conceived her first child at 16, and went on to have 10 children with him over the next two decades because “this was normal back then.”

Borland supports Burgess-Jackson’s argument, pointing out that those wanting a large family require the wives start becoming mothers at a young age and the husbands be established enough financially to support their families.

In addition to pointing out this was probably also considered normal 40 years ago in Alabama, where politician Roy Moore is emphatically denying sexual misconduct allegations, Burgess-Jackson argues if Bill Clinton committed the same sexual misconduct today that made him famous in the 80s and 90s, he would be vilified by all sides.

One of Burgess-Jackson’s points is we should not impose current moral standards on people and situations from the past. People like Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, and… Alabama Republican Roy Moore (whom he does not defend).