Sex is a legal assignment at your birth. In fact, gender is individually constructed and fluid, having multiple meanings across cultures, geographies, communities, and individuals. Although society promotes the dualistic concept that people are either a feminine or a masculine, there are more than two genders. Sexual assault can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. It can happen in different situations, in the home by someone you know, on a date, or by a stranger in an isolated place.
Stalking Nargis ace models also be done through the internet, and is just as dangerous. The concept of evolving capacities is articulated in art 4 of the CRC as follows: 'States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights What is sexual defilement in the present Convention. Schools were established to socialise and train children to become functional adults and to avoid delinquency or deviance. The essay is one of What is sexual defilement featured in the new book, Miscellany Analogously, laws that construct children and girls as sexually passive, and as objects for the law to save from danger, including from normative sexual conduct, reinforce hegemonic masculinities.
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Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. It would be much better if sacrificial anAimals are slaughtered in abattoirs inAstead of allowing them to be slaughtered in streets as defilement spreads all over the city and it would be much easier to lift waste of slaughtered animals from slaughAterhouse instead of collecting them from door to door. To debase the pureness or excellence of; corrupt: a country landscape that was defiled by urban sprawl. Defilement of Unholy Doctrines. Suba Fisherman escapes lynching after girl, 16, defiled. Take Our Quiz to Find Out! When an interest in defilement becomes a fetish, it is decilement as salirophilia. Full browser? Suspected baby defiler released on Sh, bond. Defilement: Things Liable to Ceremonial: Garments. Defilement: Ceremonial Caused by Mourning for the Dead. View in context. Defilement: Ceremonial Caused by Touching a Grave. Frontiers of What is sexual defilement Research, 2 1 : 83 —
There have been court cases involving the sexual defilement of a child over the past decade in Ireland.
- To make filthy or dirty; pollute: defile a river with sewage.
- Canada: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
- Mentioned in?
- Defilement is a term for the act of polluting, damaging, or otherwise violating a fetish object, an intimate partner, or oneself for sexual arousal or gratification.
Adolescent sex and 'defilement' in Malawi law and society. During colonisation Malawi received a Western penal code, which included the 'defilement' provision, restricting males from sexually accessing girls below a specified age. Countries that maintain colonial age of consent provisions, including Malawi, have uncritically assumed that these laws serve the purpose of protecting girls and children from harm.
This article examines the fundamental assumptions underlying the development of sections and B of the Malawian Penal Code, and their historical and sociocultural origins. The article submits that these provisions serve the interests of adults and not those of children.
They are inherently heterosexist, promote gender-stereotypical meanings of sexuality and potentially stigmatise the normative development of sexuality in children. Sections and B need to be reviewed and aligned with Malawi's commitments to promote gender equality and sexual health and the rights of children. On 1 April , Malawi enacted its current Penal Code 1 which was based on the Colonial Office model code drafted by Albert Ehrhardt, which he based on the Nigerian Code of , itself based on the Queensland Code of The defilement provision is part of what broadly are referred to as 'age of consent' 3 provisions or laws.
Section regulates the age of consent to sexual intercourse. Originally, the age of consent was 13 years, but in the Malawi Law Commission recommended that it be raised to 16 years. Section B of the Penal Code section B , which criminalises sexual activity with a child below 16 years of age, was at this time introduced. From the perspective of World Vision, a view probably representative of most stakeholders in Malawi, the intention behind the amendments was to enhance the protection of the girl child from sexual abuse.
Sections and B must be understood in their historical, sociocultural and political contexts, beginning with their colonial origins, and including the legal developments that have since taken place. Most significantly, in Malawi adopted a democratic Constitution which includes a Bill of Rights. Another significant event was the enactment and entry into force of the Gender Equality Act in It also recognises the sexual and reproductive health and rights of everyone, including children.
The article draws upon knowledge generated in the interdisciplinary field of childhood studies about the meanings of childhood and sexuality, and its intersections with human rights norms, to interrogate sections and B and their implications for child and adolescent sexuality development, sexual health and rights. It employs a pro-feminist critique of gender to analyse the assumptions and rationale of the two provisions. Section 23 6 of the Constitution defines a child as a person below the age of 18 years.
The notion of childhood as socially constructed suggests that there are multiple conceptions of childhood across different cultures, and even within cultures. The meanings of childhood have shifted with time. The dominant meanings of childhood have been shaped by developmental approaches associated with the period in Europe described as modernity.
Various scientific disciplines also proliferated during this period, including medicine and psychology. Drawing upon modernity's conceptions of childhood, Piaget's work in developmental psychology provided an explanatory framework of childhood that has influenced the understanding of childhood in contemporary times. Hendrick traced the shifting concepts of childhood in Britain from to the s. According to Hendrick, the dominant discourse of childhood drew discursively on constructions of childhood that dominated certain historical periods, including the child as innocent and pure; the child as tainted by original sin and in need of redemption; the child as in need of protection from labour; and the child who was unlike child: the delinquent child.
Schools were established to socialise and train children to become functional adults and to avoid delinquency or deviance. The notion of Western childhood conjures up powerful images, such as immaturity, helplessness, passivity, asexuality, innocence, irresponsibility and incompetence, and justifies their control by adults under the guises of saving and protecting children, and acting in their best interests.
Adolescence is a phase of childhood the meaning of which, similar to that of childhood, is socially constructed. The theories and ideas of Granville Stanley Hall, dubbed as the 'father of adolescence', have had a lasting influence on the conceptualisation of adolescence.
Hall's treatise on 'adolescence' 23 and the movement of the study of children 'invented' the institution of adolescence as that ideal age of development which, if properly administered, would contribute to the evolution of a healthy and superior human race. Hall and his followers saw adolescence as. Adolescence became the dividing line between rational, autonomous, and moral white bourgeois men, those civilised men who would continue the evolution of the race, and emotional, conforming, sentimental, or mythical others, namely primitives, women, and children.
Hall and his followers promoted the study of school children to devise that kind of training or curriculum that would produce adolescents who were morally fit, physically strong and healthy to contribute to economic productivity. Hall advocated 'an economic logic of human health in which the nerve force of humans is limited, and one must not dissipate it in masturbation or other wasteful sexual activities'.
By characterising adolescence as 'storm and stress', adolescents are perceived primarily as bodies controlled by raging hormones. Such conceptualisation, linked with the idea that adolescents ought to be trained to produce a healthy and superior race, became the foundation for institutionalising schools as the ideal training ground and management of future citizens.
In schools, pupils would be trained in a manner that would discourage such behaviour that would lead to degeneracy and inferior development, such as masturbation and 'wasteful sexual activities'. Schools, therefore, became masculinised and sexually-sanitised environments.
Therefore, just like childhood, adolescence is more than a natural category, the meaning of which is defined by biology and physiology. Rather, it is a socially-constructed and political category that has been applied to persons based on age and the onset of secondary sexual characteristics, and inflects sociocultural ideologies shaped by historical factors. For instance, therefore, the stigma faced by pregnant learners in schools, as described by Shefer et al, is in part attributed to the vision of schools as institutions for management of the sexuality of adolescents, so that pregnant girls are constructed as 'failures' or deviant because of their sexual precocity.
The social practices regulating sexual conduct of children existed in Malawi before the introduction of Western notions of an age of consent. The introduction of a Western system of regulation, therefore, created a pluralistic environment in which multiple regulatory systems coexist.
In traditional Malawi, 30 the most important and significant marker of attainment of adulthood is puberty and, in some cultural groups in Malawi, it is marked by initiation rites. Generally, girls are taught to avoid sex with boys in case they become pregnant before marriage, which would bring shame and dishonour to the family.
There continues to be dynamic interaction between Western and traditional culture and religion ever since their coexistence, and they have influenced each other in shaping gender and sexuality discourses, including the way in which childhood and adolescent sexuality is understood in modern Malawi.
The following example illustrates how public policy and culture interact to shape knowledge and discourse on adolescent sexuality.
A report on a survey evaluating the implementation of the Youth Friendly Health Services FHS Programme captured the following sentiments from parents: In most parent FGDs, participants were against their children using contraceptive methods.
Use of contraceptive methods was perceived as culturally inappropriate, particularly for youth aged below 15 years. The parents could also not understand why unmarried girls should use contraceptive methods.
Some parents even stated that they would beat or stop paying the school fees of the young people under their care found to be using contraceptive methods. It is interesting to note that parents attached significance to the age of 15 as the cut-off point for adolescents' access to contraceptives.
But where did the 15 come from? In traditional Malawi, the significant event was menarche and not a particular age. One explanation is that at that time section 22 of the Constitution discouraged marriage of children below the age of The influence of Western laws on cultural practices has also been captured by Parikh in an ethnographic study of the development of age of consent law in Uganda, especially when the age of consent was raised to Parikh found that the law was appropriated by fathers to control boys who are able to sexually access their daughters.
Poor boyfriends would be threatened with prosecution, especially when the sexual intercourse ended up in the girl becoming pregnant. Sections and B, therefore, reflect both cultural conceptions about children's sexuality, and shape societal attitudes about children's sexuality, and in ways that can reinforce social practices that disempower children. More than just regulating sexual conduct, these provisions constitute 'a framework for expectations and norms for parents and professionals working with young people, which informs how they seek to shape and influence young people's behaviour'.
This means also investigating the colonial background of age of consent laws, the sociocultural contexts in which they originated, and the cultural context in which they were imposed. Section came down though Ehrhardt's draft model Code, but its roots can be traced beyond the eighteenth century in the history of the development of English criminal law.
According to Waites, the first minimum age of sexual intercourse in English law appeared in the Statute of Westminster of , which prohibited sexual intercourse with 'any maiden within age'. Following further legal developments, sexual offences became consolidated under the Offences Against the Person Act It included provisions prohibiting 'carnal knowledge' of a girl under 10 years, which was a felony attracting a maximum punishment of penal servitude for life, while carnal knowledge of a girl under 12 years was a misdemeanour, with a maximum sentence of three years' penal servitude.
Further legislative reforms led to the raising of the age of consent to 16 years with the enactment of the Criminal Law Amendment Act. Waites describes the cultural context in which age of consent laws were developed in Europe. The first to note is that children were in legal terms regarded as the property of parents rather than individuals entitled to rights.
The formulation of the law reflected patriarchal and gendered conceptions of female and male sexuality 'whereby "the beast" of male lust required legal containment to preserve the virtue of a passive, innocent female sexuality'. Another aspect of the patriarchal basis of the law was that the girl was considered the property of her father and that the preservation of virginity was required to preserve the father's honour.
Criminal law, therefore, conceptualised 'defilement' in heteronormative terms and aimed at protecting girls from penile-vaginal sexual intercourse.
A further aspect of the age of consent laws is that they were race and class-based, and this is especially reflected in the developments that led to the raising of the age of consent from 13 to 16 years, through the efforts of the social purity reformers, whose rationale for raising the age of consent emerged out of the moral panic that young middle and upper-class 'white' virgins were being allured into prostitution.
The Committee's view of the reasons for the prostitution attest to the gender-stereotypical, racial and class-based thinking behind the reform, and was captured as follows: A vicious demand for young girls; overcrowding in dwellings; immorality arising therefrom; want of parental control, and in many cases parental example; profligacy; and immoral treatment; residence, in some cases, in brothels; the example and encouragement of other girls slightly older; and the sight of the dress and money which their immoral habits have enabled them to obtain; the state of the streets in which little girls are allowed to run about, and become accustomed to the sight of open profligacy; and sometimes the contamination of vicious girls in schools.
Western laws introduced during colonialism, therefore, reflected the sociocultural and political contexts from which they originated.
However, when they were imposed on Malawi during colonialism, they carried an additional significance. Colonial laws were not designed to respect the rights of the natives, but to advance the colonialists' imperialist project to manage the natives in a way that would be most productive for the capitalist economy. The colonial government was careful not to implement laws, for instance, governing social relationships, that would disturb too much the natives' way of life to avoid disruption of the labour the natives provided for the sustenance of the imperial capitalist economy.
The original version of section , therefore, must be understood in the context outlined above. The original version of section reads as follows: Provided that it shall be a sufficient defence to any charge under this section if it shall be made to appear to the court, jury or assessors before whom the charge shall be brought that the person so charged had reasonable cause to believe and did in fact believe that the girl was of or above the age of thirteen years.
One aspect to note is the heterosexist and gender-stereotypical meanings of sexuality inflected in the provision, which construct only girls as needing protection from sexual conduct. The choice of exporting to the colonies the age of consent of 13 years when in England it had been raised to 16 years reflects the class-based context of the reforms in England.
Further, the colonial government might have feared that raising the age of consent to 16 would be too disruptive of the social relationships of the natives in a context where menarche was the significant event that marked entry into adulthood. Another aspect to note is that the law was formulated in a manner that constructed the girl as a passive subject, so that even the defence itself was from the perspective of the defendant boy or man who was accorded subjectivity, and not from the perspective of an agentic girl.
Further, the use of the term 'unlawful' in the definition of the crime suggested that there were circumstances in which it would be lawful to have sexual intercourse with a girl of below 13 years. This shows that the provision was not really about protecting girls from being sexually accessed but, rather, for controlling the girl's sexuality.
Since the age of consent was so low and, in addition, according to section 14 of the Penal Code, a male of under the age of 12 years was deemed incapable of engaging in sexual intercourse, the gap for criminalising consensual sexual conduct between children was very narrow. This, however, changed when section was amended in Several amendments to the Penal Code were made in , but only two are considered for purposes of the article.
These are the amendment of section and the introduction of section B. However, these sections should not be read in isolation from other related provisions. The amended section reads as follows:. Provided that it shall be a sufficient defence to any charge under this section if it shall be made to appear to the court, jury or assessors before whom the charge shall be brought that the person so charged had reasonable cause to believe and did in fact believe that the girl was of or above the age of sixteen years.
The reasoning of the Law Commission in recommending that the age of consent to sexual intercourse be raised from 1 3 to 16 years was.
Presently, that age is prescribed at fifteen years, but the Commission noted that the Law Commission on the Technical Review of th 4 Constitution has recommended that the age be raised to sixteen years.
User Username Password Remember me. Defilement of Unholy Doctrines. In those pleasant little towns on Thames, you may hear the fall of the water over the weirs, or even, in still weather, the rustle of the rushes; and from the bridge you may see the young river, dimpled like a young child, playfully gliding away among the trees, unpolluted by the defilements that lie in wait for it on its course, and as yet out of hearing of the deep summons of the sea. The Journal of Biblical Counseling, 26 : 17— DBY Subtopics Defilement. Defilement: Ceremonial, Abolished Under the Gospel.
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Adolescent sex and 'defilement' in Malawi law and society
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