Arbitrary: based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.
If the laws were made based on reasoning, if there was a criteria used to determine the ages and speed limits and such. By definition it can’t be considered arbitrary. The laws are applied to all citizens equally, and as a general practice, not randomly enforced, and certainly not enforced with the intent of special treatment for some and not others. Does this happen? Of course. Was that the INTENT when the laws were passed, unlikely, since that would mean there was some national speed limit, and voting age conspiracy at play.
Just because someone may not agree with the numbers, that does not make those numbers “arbitrary”.
I agree that the laws as they stand are flawed, but that does not make them without reason.
The real question is when do children become adults and since there is no real way to determine this, I know 40 year olds less mature than teenagers(and there is nothing wrong with that), there has to be an age set from which point the law and society treats them as such. 18. Why? Well seeing as 18 is old enough in pretty much all cases to have completed the standard level of schooling, it makes sense that it becomes the point, regardless of emotional maturity, that society recognizes an individual as capable of making their of decisions and being held responsible for their actions.
A minor is under the jurisdiction of their parents. And you don’t have to like how they raise that child, but it IS their prerogative to do so. So in both cases, the older participants are understood, even in the case where the boy is technically still a minor, to have more experience, and are expected to have more control over their actions. In both cases, when told to stop, they ignored that request. THAT is when their relationships with the minors became a problem. The moment they ignored the directives of the parents. Someone HAS to be accountable, our society and our laws generally favor the idea that the older someone is, the more responsible they are supposed to be. It is not and arbitrary determination in this case or in any other.
When you are a minor, you are under the protection and CONTROL of your parents. They are responsible for you, and they are liable for what happens to you. So they get to determine what you can and can’t consent to, it is really as simple as that. None of this was an issue, age was irrelevant, until the parents told them to stop.