Today I saw a Dr. Phil episode (yes occasionally I watch Dr. Phil and I’m aware it’s sort of trash TV) about people who tricked their significant others into marrying them through pregnancy. I don’t know if it was a rerun or not, but it left an impression on me.
One of the cases was a woman who stopped taking her birth control without telling her boyfriend at the time and lying to him when he would ask if she was taking it so she would get pregnant. She succeeded, and her boyfriend married her. The other case was a man who convinced his girlfriend to let him go without a condom and use the withdrawal method instead. He did not withdraw because he wanted to get her pregnant and sure enough, she did and they got married. They would go on to have a second child. The third pregnancy was a surprise to the wife because as far as she knew they had not had sex in months, but it turned out that her husband had had sex with her while she was asleep unbeknownst to her, an act that many would consider marital rape, but the wife just said that she felt that he had violated her and wouldn’t use the word rape. They also had a fourth child later on.
This should be a crime. It should be a crime to deceive someone in this way. First of all, the second case is just straight-up marital rape.
But the first case is not a crime and the withdrawal incident in the second case isn’t a crime. It is not technically a crime to trick someone into a pregnancy. To me this is a disgusting action, and only a step below rape.
Think about it. In the first case, do you think the man would have given his girlfriend his consent to have sex without a condom if he knew that she was not on birth control? No. He consented to a false situation. He did not give his consent to the real situation because he, to no fault of his own, was ignorant of all the facts. He had been lied to. This is what I call ignorant consent: consenting to something under false pretenses. And I do not believe it is a valid form of consent when it comes to sex.
The same goes for when someone has an STD. If someone has an STD that is not outwardly visible. But you consented to the sex so there’s nothing you can do about it and that person gets off scot-free. If that person had told you they had the virus/syndrome/disease/infection, would you have consented to the sex? Perhaps not. So in a way, isn’t that kind of like rape? I’m not saying it is exactly the same thing or that it’s on the same level, but the parallels are there.
This crime should be called sexual deception. And the basis for a guilty verdict should be whether the victim gave ignorant or fully informed consent. If someone gets someone to consent to sexual acts with them by using deception or by withholding information that may impact their partner’s decision, it should be a crime. Sexual deception should be a crime, and the grounds should be ignorant consent. It is a step below rape. No man or woman should get an STD because someone lies about whether they have one or not. No man or woman should be deceived into a pregnancy that they don’t want. All of these things should be illegal. These things can happen to someone who carelessly sleeps around or someone in a committed relationship with someone they think they can trust. And we know that marital rape can happen. But that is a whole other issue altogether. Or is it? Perhaps sometimes these things overlap. So let’s reserve judgment over each other’s sexual lifestyles and all just agree on the fact that sexual deception by ignorant consent is totally wrong.
And when it comes to getting trapped in pregnancies, let’s not forget about the impact it has on the kids. Any kid that results from a trap pregnancy has the burden of holding a relationship together from the moment it exits the womb. The child is merely a pawn in a game. And there may even be some resentment towards them. And oftentimes the relationship between the parents is strained which leads to further stress for the child.
And whoever the victim is should be allowed more leniency when it comes to child support payments when it comes to trap pregnancies.
Sexual deception by ignorant consent is a horrible act. Let’s fight to make this illegal.