Miscellany:Instituting shotgun weddings as a remedy in cases of premarital defloration
|This is an archive of Larson for Delegate.|
The legal consequence for a man's taking the virginity of another man's unmarried daughter should be that the father can force him to marry her. This ensures that any children born to them will be legitimized, and that her value as a wife will not be reduced by the fact that she had sex before she was married.
This rule should apply regardless of whether the woman assented to the sex or was raped. The reason is that women are incapable of giving consent to sex (since they are essentially sexual property to be guarded by their fathers till marriage, and then given to the husband at the time of marriage), so therefore it would be nonsensical to have a law against having sex with a woman without her consent.
Virginia already recognizes that in some cases, no distinction should be made between sex in which a female assented, and sex in which she was forcibly raped over their objections. For example, Code of Virginia § 18.2-61 provides that the law will not take into consideration whether a girl under 13 assented to sex, in imposing consequences on the man who had sex with her. The law recognizes that some women, anyway, are unable to consent.
When nubile women are being married off at a young age rather than spending those years at college or in the work world, there will not be a lot of women to whom this kind of rule would end up being applicable to anyway. Therefore, what I am proposing is not all that unusual or outlandish. It is even traditional; see Exodus 22:16 and Deuteronomy 22:28-29. It is simply a "you break it, you bought it" policy with regard to women's hymens.