We have a penalty to downvoting so that we take the time to consider the downvoting.
Lets look at the "first post" review queue. Half of the time, these are prime candidates for downvoting. But downvoting is how we mark unfavourable content. A new question might be bad.. but there is often merit behind it. We do not want you to downvote a question for bad grammar. We prefer that you edit the fixes, so that other users may recieve the content better.
Penalising downvotes ensures we downvote when we see no other solution. This ensures that bad posts only remain bad posts if we can not fix them, through greater experience with what is acceptable, and what is not.
Given that one upvote on a question is worth 10 reputation, a measly -1 for a downvote is rather insignificant.
If, as a new user, this blemish is to significant to you, I would suggest this implys that you may not be ready to be able to argue the question/answer downvote worth.
10 downvotes = 1 person agreeing with any answerUIf you contribute more then downvoting, it does not make a big difference. Unless your only concern is internet points.
I personally downvote quite a lot, as I find the answer to many questions on here in the game manuals, and will also downvote any question that is an obvious duplicate or otherwise close candidate. Both arguments automatically imply issues in research on the game, or more importantly, the rules of the araqade.
I am, at the time of posting, in the top 0.1% of reputation earnt this year. I signed up half a year ago, and did not contribute for at least 2 months.
If reputation gain is an issue, all I can suggest is try to contribute more.