You just explained why it isn’t arbitrary, right there in your post Keith. Why is the speed limit 25 in some places and 35 in others? Why are you legally drunk when your blood alcohol level is .08? The answer? Because those were the numbers agreed upon when writing the law. Regardless of if everyone agrees, these were not picked arbitrarily. Same thing goes for the age at which you are considered an adult in America, 18. The age at which you can enter the armed forces, vote, etc.
Whether or not we agree with the numbers, they are not arbitrary. So while the specifics may vary from state to state, the bottom line is that in general, “adults” are not permitted to have sex with “children”. Ambiguity is removed so that there is no question should an actual crime occur.
One would hope that the legal system would be applied in such a way as to weigh all of the evidence(sweethearts for years, mutual consent), but in the end. If a parent makes a complaint, and their child is a minor, there really isn’t much else the law can do but pursue the case, which is their job. So regardless of the motivation of the parents, regardless of our personal opinions on what should and shouldn’t be permitted, the police aren’t being fascists when simply doing their job.
I don’t think taking pictures of people without their consent in a public place for profit should be legal, doesn’t mean I condone Kanye punching a paparazzi(well actually I do, I hate the idea of paparazzi), but that doesn’t make his actions right.
Thinking society is too controlling is one thing, saying that those rules have been created arbitrarily is quite another.
Do I think these kids should be in jail? No, personally I don’t see the need to waste resources on them any more than on minor drug offenses. Do I think they should be punished at all? Honestly, not really, I think this should be a civil matter between families and not a criminal one, again, seems like a waste of resources. Does that mean I think the cops are unjustified? Nope, they have a job to do just like everyone else, some abuse the power that comes with the job, some don’t, it is just a job with a set of rules to follow in either case.
“Oh yeah, she’s also gay. That probably has something to do with it too. Apparently her girlfriend’s parents had her arrested for corrupting their daughter.”
That is why I posted BTW. To me you are implying that they have no justification for their actions, because it is not congruous with their daughters choices or the things you see as reasonable. And by choices I mean potential mate, not necessarily the gender of said mate as it is politically incorrect to imply who we are attracted to develops as we grow up and that we choose our sexuality, as opposed to it being part of our DNA(I say it is a little of both BTW).
I don’t see their disapproval or complaint as an indication of a larger societal prejudice, but rather an example of parents holding on a bit too tight and making their daughter(and her girlfriend) pay the price.