Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Emotions have been running high on this thread, and the comments piling up and becoming unmanageable. So, if you’d like to continue the discussion, please do it here.

Comments

  1. #1 Another One
    March 15, 2007

    Thanks for this discussion forum Shelley. This is a worthwhile discussion, even if there is a lot of weird crap being said. I’m a tad dissapointed that my 6 page essay ended up on the bottom of the other thread, but I’ll leave it there in the interest of not taking up a ton of space in this one…

    I just wanted to address a few points from the previous discussion.

    Azkyroth made a really interesting point a few times during the discussion that leads me to believe he has taken time to rationally examine both sides of the argument before coming to a conclusion.

    He points out that the more often people post “Child sex is gross and disgusting and ewwww it makes me want to barf and shower and other things” without having anything of substance to say that does not stem almost exclusively from a visceral emotional reaction, the weaker their own argument becomes.

    Frankly, if I were not seeking out thought provoking research on the topic, I would not be exposed to anything thoughtful from the anti-pedophile camp. 99% of what I read is “OMFG EWWW THIS IS SO WRONG THEY ARE CHILDREN BARF!” which really does leave exactly the wrong message to the average pedophile. The average pedo assumes that since most people never have anything intellectually constructive to point out, that there is nothing intellectual about their argument… that it is pure visceral ick-goo.

    Even esteemed researchers can’t avoid this. A recent acclaimed study came under attack from some researchers. The study examined a national sample of Australians to determine their reaction to sex abuse (specifically violent sex abuse). They did normal statistical regression, presented the numbers briefly and then wrote a long conclusion about how “clearly” damaging abuse was and how the government must step up legislation to prevent it, etc, etc. Other researchers noticed, however; that their numbers actually showed very small coorilations between sex abuse and actual long-term maladjustment and they simply ignored the low coorilation values and went ahead with the conclusion that they had written the article with the intention of finding.

    In other words, it was patently obvious that this national study, intended to influence legislative process, was basically a puppet with a pre-formed conclusion. Suddenly, when the data didn’t quite support the conclusion, they glossed over the data and wrote the conclusion anyway. On a historical analysis, this seems to actually be quite common within this body of research. Azkyroth pointed out the study (Rind, et al 1998) and it is interesting to note that he took a bunch of other studies, all of which concluded “pervasive harm” from sex abuse, and he ran regressions, combining all the data, and found the actual stasistical coorilations were small enough that in most branches of science, they would be called “incidental”, not “pervasive”. He also pointed out the large variation in studies which were clearly intended to produce evidence of “pervasive harm” but failed to do so and were then drastically modified by throwing out questions, trimming samples, etc… Clearly, when the data didn’t agree with their pre-contrived conclusion, then it must be flawed data.

    To get back on the topic I was approaching, I also wanted to address the comments by the poster known as “Sam”.

    Why do you “complicate” sex and love? Let me try to put it into simple terms for your extremely simple mind, take a boy for example: Erection, sex, orgasm! Beautiful and Amazing. Now he goes out and plays. No harm done, that is until YOU attack him.

    Sam, this is a bit of an oversimplification. While on the most elementary basis, it is true and should perhaps be obvious, it is not necessarily a great example in the call to eliminate the AOC. There are a number of factors you need to consider.

    The complication in my mind is not that pedophile always cause harm to kids, but that their desires, combined with a lack of empathy, usually cause harm to children. In a perfect world, every pedo cares more about the kid than about themselves and understands the social, developmental and relational issues surrounding such an act. I contend that adult-child sex would still take place, but it would be, on the whole, a beneficial thing…. It would also, on the whole, be somewhat rare. Given all of those factors, there are many situations where it is advisable, even in a neutral culture, for an adult not to engage a chid in sex. In fact, there are many cases where the child will simply not be interested.

    Lets say that you, Sam, are of above average moral stature and have many of the characteristics I mentioned above. This means that… say… 85% of pedophiles are LESS aware of the child’s feelings than you are.

    The elimination of the Age of Consent essentially opens the door to many sociopaths who will manipulate children, take advantage of their trust for a quick fling and then ditch them. That is not to say that this would be pervasive, but it would be common.

    Love. Boy: “I love you.” Pedophile: “I love you, too.” Boy goes out and plays. No harm done, that is until YOU attack him.

    This is a gross oversimplification and also assumes that “high moral standing” again. Lets read this with subtext. Boy feels a great deal of affection and love for the man, since he spent the last few days being very nice to him. Man just thinks the boy has a hot ass and will say anything to stick his salami in it. Erection. Orgasm. Man leaves. but wait… the boy feels used. He begins to mistrust adults. It wasn’t magically beneficial or even neutral. But the boy said “OK” so it was legal in the absence of an AOC. I contend that eliminating the AOC is inadvisable and would result in a great deal of harm coming to many children, even where it would benefit a smaller group of other children.

    Again, you are systematically dehumanizing children by forbidding them to understand the basic concepts of love and their own, private bodies.

    This is the only statement I agree with. The odd prohibitions on ANY knowledge, regardless of age, is a bit silly. Recent state-wide bans of childrens books because they happen to mention the word ‘scrotum’ one time, in a scientifically valid way, on page 120-something, is a systematic dehumanization and will ultimately lead to a total disregard for the teaching of children, instead choosing to construct an artificial world of flowers and puppy dogs which will really screw up a generation or two of people that can’t handle conflict, disagreement, learning or struggles in their life.

    Under your thinking school and church would be too complex for a child. But yet our culture consistently asks children to go to church and learn extremely complex theological concepts such as the tripartite godhead in one entity, the wages of sin are death, and all the fascist political stuff that gets shoved into religion. But, yet, you STILL insist the MOST SIMPLE of ALL human communication, SEX, is too complex for a child.

    While I won’t disagree that church can really fuck up a kid and that it also can have a lot of benefit, I will point out that institutions such as schools go to great lengths to instill a reponsibility of progressively greater learning and work tasks and does so with the best of intentions. Churches, while often morally bankrupt themselves, must appease parents and offer what they regard as age-appropriate instruction. This may fall on its face and it is hard to justify telling a kid that putting his hand down his pants will cause God to smite him and he will spend eternity in a burning fire without a penis if he does it again. I believe that is abusive, though it’s not practical to police it, you’re right that it does have long-term implications.

    The problem with sex is that the adult has a vested (biological) interest in consummating the sex, regardless of the wishes or needs of the kid. While the more controlled and careful of us can appraise the situation and make a judgement based truely on the best interest of the child, many, or most, do not make that distinction, or make it only on an elementary level, resulting in actions that might hurt the kid. Given that children have less capacity to object and/or physically remove themselves, it seems reasonable that there is some extra protection for them. What is the true travisty in my eyes is that the popular view is that such a relationship can NEVER be neutral or beneficial, which is simply false.

    This is the first and primary stereotype to tear down and while discussions on this may lead somewhere, it is unlikely to result in the abolition of Age of Consent laws, as they do have a valid and genuinely beneficial purpose.

    Keep in mind that dogmatically insisting that you are completely right and everyone else is completely wrong does very little, rationally, and merely serves to cause people to tune out your comments as biased ranting.

    A

  2. #2 Another One
    March 15, 2007

    It is also worth pointing out, Sam, that likening the current situation to that of Nazi death camps, or American Slavery both weakens your argument and makes you appear, for all intents, a blathering idealogue.

    While there are instances of unjustified lynching of pedophiles (the recent murder case in Maine being one) and there are certainly many instances of gross injustice, when laws are twisted to mean whatever the hell prosecutors want them to mean (man convicted of child porn and sentenced fto 7 years for posessing collections of sear’s underwear catalogues, man sentenced to 35 years for sucking on a boy’s toe, man sentenced to 35 years for having a private diary of sex fantasies with children), we are not being carted off to death camps based on insinuation and suspicion.

    While it may be valid at some point in the future, if current laws regarding “indefinate civil detainment” and other such silly things continue to escalate, and the move to make child sex crimes punishable by death, regardless of the nature of the crime (see the recent Texas laws), we are just not there yet.

    If you refrain from ranting and flailing about, you will make your point more effectively. No offense intended, that’s a bit of friendly criticism.

  3. #3 Sam
    March 15, 2007

    Another One,

    My arguments are solid. NOBODY here has discredited them, they’ve only responded with hate and bigotry. And I will only continue to yell louder about about the “new genocide” that even you have shown is occurring. Of course some are going to think it’s hyperbole, just as most thought that shouting for the rights of Jews and Slaves was hyperbole. Like I said before, same story different context.

    I’m getting my point across as the massive responses show, how many 50, 100? Better than the 2 or 3 that would have popped up had no one called the bluff.

  4. #4 Shelley Batts
    March 15, 2007

    Sam, stating that no one has discredited your arguments doesn’t make it so: in the last thread there were numerous comments which did–even other professed pedophiles like ‘Another One’ as evidenced above.

    Also note that the responses have overwhelmingly been against or critical of your stance. Bait people, and yeah, comments will fly. Fine with me, as I’ll take it to the bank at the end of the month.

    One thing that was never addressed in the previous thread that I want to bring back here is: what about the physical differences (ie, size and ability to accomodate) between children and adults that would make sex dangerous for the child? Isn’t that a pretty good reason for children not to engage in sexual behavior until they are at least physically safe to do so?

  5. #5 Frumious B
    March 15, 2007

    I just said this over at Mike’s place, but I feel a need to repeat it here:

    Those first amendment lawyers cited in the news article must have slept through their Consitutional law classes. The first amendment protects speech from censorship by the government, not by ISP’s, not by individuals. While Obama is a senator, he is filing a lawsuit, not making a law. His actions in no way jeapordize anyone’s freedom from government suppression of their speech.

  6. #6 PeterC
    March 15, 2007

    I used to hunt down paedophile websites and hand the details over to the police. Not going into the detail of what I saw basically it is not only wrong, and dangerous but psychologically damaging for the child. I know some of the kids seemed to enjoy it but that doesn’t make it morally acceptable. There is also no guarentee that that apparent enjoyment was real. Given the ages that some children were being introduced to sex I can’t see anyone successfully arguing that they were capable of giving informed consent to taking part.
    Until a person is old enough to understand the physical and emotional ramifications of sexual intercourse then they are simply too immature to take part in it either as a participant or an observer.

  7. #7 Jon
    March 15, 2007

    “In a perfect world, every pedo cares more about the kid than about themselves and understands the social, developmental and relational issues surrounding such an act.”

    Another One, you are just an intellectualized predator; like a cat styling itself an ornithologist to justify it’s ornithophagy. Without conceding the silly point that your perfect world might be a justification for pedophilia, I hope that you must realize that your ideal world can never exist. Therefore, even in your own weird world view, children must be sancrosanct. Hell, it’s hard enough avoiding being hurt and exploited as adults.

  8. #8 Jon
    March 15, 2007

    Shelley:
    “What about the physical differences (ie, size and ability to accomodate) between children and adults that would make sex dangerous for the child?”

    To me that question is problematic, because it begs the counter that so long as no physical harm is one, then the child is in no danger. It may even help shore up Another One’s point about acknowledging the “developmental” issues of the child.

  9. #9 Sam
    March 15, 2007

    Shelley,

    Shelley, I’ve not “baited” anyone. I simply refuse to accept anything less than equality and justice for EVERY human being.

    I know I took a very overt, in-your-face approach to this argument. What I feel I am doing by adopting this convention is providing the diametrically opposed “other side” that has been (read PererC’s post) VIOLENTLY silenced. And when I say violent, I mean intimidation, witch hunts, and murder. I wanted/want to show in no uncertain terms the history of persecution that contemporary pedophiles fit in to.

    There are literally MILLIONS of pedophiles in America, and within their communities it is an ongoing argument as to the best tactics to fight for civil rights and liberties. The poster Another one has his/her way of argumentation, others are far more aggressive, still others believe in “laying low” and letting it “blow over.” In using the tactics I did I feel that I made some points very clear that have otherwise not even been considered by the mainstream.

    I think for many people there is the feeling of “How dare a pedophile even speek!” But what is forgotten is that pedophiles permeate EVERY stratum of society, and therefore we should not be surprised with the range and articulateness inside of the pedophile rights movement.

    My argument has never wavered from equality and justice. That is all I am arguing for, and it is a telling sign in the rage it creates in some people who are not concerned with such nobel ideologies. Again, “How dare a pedophile even exist!”

    I simply will not, and cannot settle for anything less than justice, no matte how much this virtue offends the public. For pedophiles today all you have to do is read a newspaper (replace “pedophile” with Jew or Black) to find the injustice is sickening.

  10. #10 Sam
    March 15, 2007

    Jon: “Hell, it’s hard enough avoiding being hurt and exploited as adults.”

    Nonsense! Unless you’re a convert to the cult of victimhood, and it sounds like you are. You’re POV here is unhealthy for everyone, not just children.

    Shelley,

    About the physical “dangers,” of course caution and common sense must be taken, just as whit adult-adult sex. But it is no reason to make the natural relationship illegal. Also, there are many sexual practices that do not involve penetration. I seriously doubt a tongue could do much damage, and I’m sure the pleasure would be exquisite.

  11. #11 Jon
    March 15, 2007

    Sam:
    I can’t speak for others commenting here, but my strong reaction to you isn’t my disgust at your sexual feelings. Certainly many children are sexual, and not all sexual contact with children will be harmful. The world is more complicated than that.

    My anger at you comes from my fear of you as a threat to the health and safety of my grandchildren, the children of my friends and family, and the safety of any child who might catch your fancy. You delude yourself into thinking you can decide what’s harmful for a child, as if your sexual feelings were somehow a guide to the welfare of the children you exploit.

    Nazi comparisons are such a hackneyed tactic. Someone has already linked to Godwin’s law so I won’t bother. But how is it that you can complain about persecution when it’s you and other pedophiles who prey on and persecute children?

  12. #12 Jon
    March 15, 2007

    Sam, you just demonstrated my point that pedophiles will have a counter argument about physical dangers. Thanks. And ouch, that victim cult thing really hurt. It’s like you saw right through to my soul.

  13. #13 Sam
    March 16, 2007

    Jon,
    I am sorry about the comment. I do not wish to be mean spirited. I know I got “into” this debate and was rather “insistent” to say the least.

    I never said that I was a pedophile, never. But I lost someone close to me, a man who killed himself, because of hate–someone I loved is dead because of this witch-hunt.
    There are few moments in life when you understand the Truth of things, and I had one of those moments.

    Believe what you want about pedophiles. Wish them dead if you want. But you cannot deny there is a witch-hunt on for these people. Good or Evil their attractions, you cannot deny that they are the scapegoats we have chosen.

    On the other discussion a person asked me to kill myself.

    Do you know how that feels?

  14. #14 Brian X
    March 16, 2007

    Sam, you still haven’t addressed the fundamental issues here: informed consent and the lack of sexual maturity of a prepubescent child. The most a child at such age is going to understand about sex is that masturbation feels good — the hormones haven’t kicked in yet, so the association between self-play and sex hasn’t either. What right do you, I, or anyone else have to try to rush along that child’s sexual development? Not only is a prepubescent not ready, the very concept of being ready for a sexual encounter is nebulous at best.

    As I’ve said, for an adult to encourage a child to have an adult sexual encounter is an abuse of power, even if the child consents, since the child simply does not have enough information to make an informed decision (sex play between children is a rather different story, as it theoretically happens among equals). No matter how you may choose to justify it to yourself, that is the one point you and other pedophiles keep avoiding. In the grand scheme of things, informed consent is what it’s all about (viz. my drunken sorority girl analogy that offended you so much). Someone involved in the BDSM world that took your cavalier attitude towards informed consent would be rejected by the community as a major harm risk to members — it’s true that no means no, but honestly, where is the morality in accepting consent from someone who doesn’t even understand when to say no?

  15. #15 Sam
    March 16, 2007

    Brian X: “sex play between children is a rather different story, as it theoreticallyhappens among equals.”

    Listen to you!

  16. #16 darius
    March 16, 2007

    Sam,

    There aren’t words for how tired and pathetic your comparisons to Nazism and slavery are. You are demeaning the genuine struggles that people went through by comparing yourself to them. Regardless of how just or unjust age of consent laws are, you are being ridiculous by claiming that being restricted from having sex with children is the same as genocide or slavery. When you have six million pedophiles locked up in death camps, or forced to work until their fingers bleed for no pay, then and only then will we consider your analogy. The pleasure of sex (whether adults or children are involved) is not on par with the right to not be killed or enslaved.

    Now, regarding the age of consent: is it too high right now in most areas? Definitely. I’m not sure who picked 18 as a good age for many states in the US, but it’s clearly erring far on the side of caution.

    However, you have made it clear that you’re interested in sex with children who are not biologically developed enough to be capable of the act: “But it is no reason to make the natural relationship illegal. Also, there are many sexual practices that do not involve penetration. I seriously doubt a tongue could do much damage, and I’m sure the pleasure would be exquisite.”

    Do you seriously have no idea why this is wrong? A creature (human or otherwise) that is not mature enough physically for sex is not capable of informed consent. Without exposure to this side of life by someone wishing to engage them in sexual activity, they would not be interested in such activity. When their body starts to mature, they will have these desires on their own, without someone trying to talk them into it. This is the reason for the laws against adults having sex with children; as someone mentioned on the previous thread, adults are in a position of power over children and can convince them to do things that are not in the child’s best interest.

    And in regards to your comment about oral sex with children, and how you’re “sure the pleasure would be exquisite”: I’m sure it would be, for the adult. Would a sexually immature child really find it “exquisite”? Probably not, if they lack the hormonal and neural feedback mechanisms for orgasmic pleasure.

    Even if they did, though, would it necessarily be right? I’m not convinced. Eating nothing but chocolate and drinking only Mountain Dew might be exquisite, but eventually will lead to death. I’m not saying that sex causes death, by the way (because I have no doubt you would not hesitate to claim that’s what I am saying), but just that pre-pubescent children are not mature enough to make all their own decisions. You would like to step in and make that decision for them, telling us that it’s in the child’s best interest. But, as previously mentioned by someone else, I don’t see child advocacy groups composed of children who are rallying to support the rights of pre-teens to have sex with adults. What I see are a bunch of adults who are interested in sex with children telling us that children would benefit by having sex with adults.

    Sure. And it would be in Donald Trump’s best interest to donate all his money to me. I wouldn’t even take the money if I didn’t think he totally wanted to donate it to me.

  17. #17 HW
    March 16, 2007

    Brian X: “sex play between children is a rather different story, as it theoretically happens among equals.”

    Listen to you!

    “Listen to you!” is not really much of an argument Sam.

    And as Brian X asks: What do you have to say about the fundamental issues of lack of emotional or sexual maturity of prepubescent children or the issue of informed consent?

  18. #18 Brian X
    March 16, 2007

    Listen to me what? I’m not saying it’s universally right, I’m simply saying that children playing with each other’s bodies is far less problematic than sex play with an adult.

    And what HW said. What about informed consent? Picking at a very small section of my argument doesn’t negate the whole thing.

  19. #19 Sam
    March 16, 2007

    I’m sorry, the post above that I pasted below was NOT made by Jon. I was tired and accidently put his name into the name field, when I actually meant to respond to Jon.
    Again, sorry for the confusion.

    ______________

    Jon,
    I am sorry about the comment. I do not wish to be mean spirited. I know I got “into” this debate and was rather “insistent” to say the least.

    I never said that I was a pedophile, never. But I lost someone close to me, a man who killed himself, because of hate–someone I loved is dead because of this witch-hunt.
    There are few moments in life when you understand the Truth of things, and I had one of those moments.

    Believe what you want about pedophiles. Wish them dead if you want. But you cannot deny there is a witch-hunt on for these people. Good or Evil their attractions, you cannot deny that they are the scapegoats we have chosen.

    On the other discussion a person asked me to kill myself.

    Do you know how that feels?

  20. #20 Sam
    March 16, 2007

    Brian X, HW, Darius: You can find answers to ALL your comments in my previous posts. I’m not going to continue repeating myself. I’ll ONLY respond to topics I haven’t addressed yet.

    Have a nice day.

  21. #21 Shelley Batts
    March 16, 2007

    Sam, I went back and changed your comment to avoid confusion.

    Agree or disagree, I’m sorry that someone told you to go kill yourself, that was uncalled for. Mike actually deleted that post because it was offensive.

  22. #22 Jeff
    March 16, 2007

    Just because someone has a genetic predisposition toward something doesn’t make it normal. Some people can’t control the urge to murder, but we still consider that type of personality abnormal.

    Pedophiles are not normal. They may not be able to help how they feel, but they are not normal.

    I don’t blame Obama for going after this sick individual; he has shown more restraint than I could have.

  23. #23 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 16, 2007

    I find it curious that the ones arguing for the “rights of the children” to engage in sex with adults are only the adults that would like to have sex with them. Seems like quite the convenient “argument” to me. To claim that children have the same ability as an adult to process information, make decisions and understand consequences is completely ignorant and is more than obviously self serving.

  24. #24 Circles
    March 16, 2007

    Well well, what an interesting thread. Seems that many insightful comments have been made, yet we/you still havn’t got to the crux of the issue.

    It’s certainly a complicated issue, but – and correct me anyone here if I’m wrong – the key issue here is not one of consent, but one of ‘harm’ – or, at least, ‘potential harm’.

    Rather than copying and pasting large swaths of text, permit me, please, Shelly, to post the link to an upload to an enlightening essay (complete with references) I’ve found on the issue. Alternatively, I can email it to you for you to post.

    I think it would certainly help move the debate along into more meaningful territory.

    SB: Please, feel free.

  25. #25 Jean-Baptiste
    March 16, 2007

    my apologies to those who already answered the questions raised, but I felt I needed to answer too.

    shelley: One thing that was never addressed in the previous thread that I want to bring back here is: what about the physical differences (ie, size and ability to accomodate) between children and adults that would make sex dangerous for the child? Isn’t that a pretty good reason for children not to engage in sexual behavior until they are at least physically safe to do so?

    You are correct when it comes to intercourse, but sex has more forms… fellating a boy to ecstacy is a different form that doesn’t harm anyone. How many males have complained because they received a blowjob? I doubt few boys will think they were harmed by a sub that brought them to orgasm. How many women complained because they got their clits sucked? I have no info about them, but I doubt few would.

    PeterC is talking about what’s acceptable concerning today’s morals.
    PeterC, (when it’s their first time) no one is old enough to understand all the ramifications. Only after that they came make an estimate. Even a virgin adult will not know all the ramifications.

    Prepubescent children may not always be sexually mature, some will be. Will you deny them the occasional adult or do you confine them to the misinformation that lives among their peers? Like the nonsense about hair on their hands when they masturbate or that a girl will definitely get pregnant when she has sex for the first time.

    I’ve seen talk about a perfect world. In a perfect world people would be having sex when they were ready for it with whomever they feel like. The terms children and adults wouldn’t be known. Each person would do what s/he could do best at any age…
    This is certainly no perfect world. We do have persons being called children and because they are called children some are denied the loves they seek. Please, have pity on those children that want adults in their sexual lives.
    Unfortunately there are also those predators that look only for their own pleasure. They’ll also be there.
    Alas, it’s impossible to keep the weak safe from the powerful. Therefor AOC-laws will not help. The harsher laws against intergenerational sex will not help. Well, they’ve helped us get rid of a 12yo boy who got his 13yo gf pregnant… hooray, a victory for you… they both got punished… the 12yo for impregnating a minor and the 13yo for having sex with a minor…
    The only thing that helps is to let the weak (and in this case the young) become stronger and make them able to defend themselves. Educate them. Don’t just say “Run away from grownups who are friendly to you.” and “Don’t talk to people you don’t know”. I read a news-story about a boy who did just that. He got lost in the woods and a search-party was looking for him. He heard his name, but he didn’t respond as he didn’t recognize the voices. He barely survived. Sometimes our protection almost kills…

    Darius… you said: “A creature (human or otherwise) that is not mature enough physically for sex is not capable of informed consent.”
    So you agree that at least teens can have informed consent as they are capable of procreating? By the way what exposure are you talking of? What of the person that rubs against his penis or her cunt and for the first time notices a reaction…

    Circles: Although harm is a part of the discussion (the original post was about a pedophile assessing presidential chances based on the cuteness of children in official pictures) the discussion has now swayed to broader themes. Within these themes antis have brought in their consent weapon.

    This has become quite the rant… It’s 2:22 and I’ll check tomorrow if any of you have bothered to reply.

    Blessed be
    JB

  26. #26 darius
    March 17, 2007

    Sam: Once again, saying you have answered something does not mean you have. You have not answered any of the questions or points I mentioned.

    JB: Yes, teens can have informed consent, I said in my post that the arbitrary age of 18 is a bit excessive. Would I say that relationships between adults and children are fine as long as the child is capable physically of reproduction? Not necessarily, because puberty is not instantaneous. Also, as I mentioned, there is an issue of mental maturity as well — i.e., getting around the fact that most adults have power over most children just by virtue of being older, bigger, and more experienced.

    Also, when I said that a person “not mature enough physically for sex” would not have interest in sex unless they were exposed to it, I meant that they were not physically mature enough for sex. Yes, there are occasional reactions to physical stimuli even at young ages, but generally they do not lead children to start having sex. Think of a society composed only of children, with no knowledge of sexual behavior passed on. Do you think they would start having sex when they were 7 or 8? Most likely, it would take them until puberty to figure it out.

    By the way, in response to your comment about misinformation: do you really think that sort of thing comes from children? Those superstitions are started by adults (along with other ones including masturbation-induced blindness, masturbation-induced hell, etc.), not by children. Sure, then they’re spread by children, but once again, in a society free of adults, those rumors would never start.

    Oh, and one other thing, JB: you were talking about pre-pubescent sexually mature children. This is not possible, by definition. Puberty is the process of sexual maturation. Pre-pubescent means pre-sexual maturation.

  27. #27 Sam
    March 17, 2007

    Darius,

    Asymmetrical power relations is a false argument on your part, mainly because you don’t know what you’re talking about. In EVERY relationship there is asymmetry, but we do not prohibit the “right to consent” on these grounds. Adult-adult relationships are always, to some degree or another, “unequal” be that reason of physical size, monetary value, age, intellect, etc. Certain radical feminists elements have argued that ALL heterosexual sex is rape because of asymmetrical power relations between men and women inherent in our society. Of course this is as nonsensical as your argument above, but if you do a little research you will find that the current CSAH, child sex abuse hysteria, is closely related to these arguments of radical feminism, arguments that have been, for the most part, expunged by contemporary feminism, but that still inflict child health services. (I argue this “infliction” is part and parcel to our culture’s current dehumanization of minors; and as we become more sensitive to the reality of “childhood” and child sexuality they will evaporate like other derogatory, dehumanizing mythologies.)

    That said, you would do well to read Alfred Kinsey et al. (Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948), & Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953)) studies that debunked the socially constructed hysteria of sexuality: sexual positions, orientations, masturbations, fetishes, etc. Kinsey also debunked the rather primitive view of child sexuality you profess above.

    To view children as pre-sexual, is to view children as pre-human, by your own line of argumentation. Such thinking is physiologically and cognitively false, and leads to such discrimination that we see today. Our humane culture agrees that the sole purpose of sex is not procreation, but also recreation, fun, sensation, eroticism, contact and orgasm. And to deny these natural processes of the human body to the child is a grotesque perversion of adult power. To deny a child the right to say “yes” or “no” is a grotesque perversion of adult power. And that is EXACTLY what you are doing.

    Take a prepubescent boy, for example. In the realm of male sexuality, a boy who cannot ejaculate is considered the poster child (pardon the pun) of male sexual stamina. Such a boy is capable of not one, but multiple dry orgasms, even the sustainment of the orgasmic state that would make even women envious of his ability. Not to mention the boy’s capacity to retain an erection after such multiple climaxes puts shame to the adult man who sometimes has trouble obtaining a full erection in the first place.

    To limit your argument to procreation is shortsighted and unrealistic, to say the least.
    We’re talking about sexuality, sexual fun, eroticism, and orgasm, a human right of both the child and the adult. A human right to be shared between both the child and the adult. The fear of sex is viscously hurting both adults and children, and the sooner we rid ourselves of this cloak of sexual fear and hysteria, the sooner we will become a more humane and loving society.

  28. #28 darius
    March 17, 2007

    Sam,

    Of course there is a degree of asymmetry in all relationships. But that asymmetry is generally a small difference between adults and other adults, and a very large difference between adults and children. To claim that adults do not have a large amount of power over children is ridiculous.

    By my own argumentation? Wow, you’re going to have to post where I said that. Because I didn’t, nor did I come close. What I said is that people (and animals) physically incapable of sexual intercourse do not develop thoughts of sexual intercourse without outside interference. I am not limiting my argument to procreation; I am merely saying that sex for pleasure, to those who are not physically mature enough for it, is not something that is natural. You base most of your claims on how sex is natural: it is, but if you plan on basing your claims on biology on a website like “scienceblogs.com”, prepare to have your arguments shredded. Sex for pre-pubescents is not a natural process.

    Denying the right of a child to say “yes” or “no” to sex is actually what you are trying to do with this argument; as has been mentioned in both this and the other thread, informed consent and consent are not identical. A pre-pubescent child is not truly aware of the ramifications of sexual intercourse; he/she cannot give consent to something that is not understood on an emotional, physical, or mental level. Instead, an adult, from a position of power, forces the child to engage in sex. That adult is the one denying choice, not those of us who wish to keep the child from being persuaded, cajoled, and intimidated into something he/she is not ready for.

    Also, your claim about the rights of children is, as I mentioned before, disingenuous. We do not see large amounts of children crying out for sexual rights; we see adults who want to have sex with children doing so. If this is a civil rights movement, it is the first one where the offended party is not involved in the struggle.

  29. #29 circles
    March 17, 2007

    Howdie all,

    As I mentioned above, I think this piece would help move the debate on.

    http: // circles . 50webs . com / AOSC . pdf

    (omit the spaces, it won’t let me post without them)

    regards,
    circles

  30. #30 Sam
    March 17, 2007

    Darius,

    I stand by my claim to your post which I critiqued: you are wrong, and your follow up post to mine only exemplifies what I have been saying all along.

    You write: “To claim that adults do not have a large amount of power over children is ridiculous.”

    I am claiming no such thing. Please read my posts more carefully. Obviously adults have a large amount of power over children, if they did not we would not be experiencing this current sexual fascism (which you seem to practice) that denies children rights to their bodies (the right to have sex, to be sexual), and the right to their minds (the right to consent to be sexual). Only a fascist ideology (that you seem to profess) would claim that asymmetrical power relations mean one part is too stupid to say yes or no.

    You write: “people (and animals) physically incapable of sexual intercourse do not develop thoughts of sexual intercourse without outside interference.”

    Again, this point only emphasizes my premise of “sexual fascism” practiced today towards children. Falsity # 1) Children are incapable of sexual intercourse. Falsity # 2) Sexual intercourse is exterior to sexuality. Correction #1) Of course children are capable of sexual intercourse, to claim that they are not is “unscientific” and sexual domination your part. Correction # 2) Penis + vagina, you do the math!

    To my shock, you wrote: “Sex for pre-pubescents is not a natural process.”
    Then you are saying that the bodies of children are not natural. You are living in a dangerous myth that believes a lie. I’m sorry for you. And as of yet I’ve not been shredded by the scientists, for science, if it is true science without ideology, cannot deny the sexuality of children.

    You wrote: “informed consent and consent are not identical.”
    A child does not need to be able to read the Patriot Act to give sexual consent. Pleasure and love are not complex unless you pervert them (which you do) and make them so. An orgasm is just an orgasm, it makes the child feel good, it makes the adult feel good. It IS good. It is YOUR twisting of reality that makes it dangerous. So if you deny the child the right to say “yes” to sex, you are also denying them the right to say “no.” And it is a sad case indeed if he or she must wait until the age 18 to find that they are free thinkers, for to prohibit the body is to prohibit the mind as well. Indeed, only a sexually free child can avoid abuse, for the sexually free child knows that he can either say yes or no. The oppressed child knows that he can say nothing.

    You write: “We do not see large amounts of children crying out for sexual rights; we see adults who want to have sex with children doing so. If this is a civil rights movement, it is the first one where the offended party is not involved in the struggle.”

    Please do not be so glib in your understanding of unalienable human rights. Every time a child’s will to be sexual is made known, your culture of oppression attacks that child with full force. Case in point, the recent event in Indianapolis where two sixth graders had sexual intercourse in the classroom. The anger and hate of the entire nation swooped down upon that little school to rip the children to shreds, over nothing but a sexual act. Do you wonder why children are keeping silent? In a culture that assumes a child cannot consent to sexual activity, when it comes to light that a child has consented, our culture moves to expunge that consent from the face of the earth. It is a sickness that has scarred generations of children, including yours and mine.

    To wit, When Jews in Nazi Germany spoke up they were “exterminated.” Before certain civil rights victories in the South, when a black spoke up he or she ran the very real possibility of having a rope tied around the neck and being dropped from the branch of a tree. Is it any wonder that it took over 100 years for the rights of freed slaves to become fully realized?

    Finally, your glibness prevents you from seeing the contemporary matrix of this new human rights, civil rights, and civil liberties struggle. Don’t mislead yourself, children are very much “involved in the struggle.” For it is the struggle of sexual liberation, and the “offended party” is two fold: the pedophile, and the child. One cannot be liberated without the other. Every activist pedophile I ever met understands this point, and thereby it is the pedophile who is the true child advocate in our culture.

    Much love,
    Sam

  31. #31 Sam
    March 17, 2007

    Circles,
    I tried the link, but it’s not loading. :(

  32. #32 Circles
    March 18, 2007

    Hi Sam,

    Seems to still work fine for me. As mentioned, you need to remove all the spaces in the address.

    Is it just me, or does anyone else always think of the word “paedophile” when they hear “pdf”? *shrugs* :-)

    Regards,
    Circles

  33. #33 Augustine
    March 18, 2007

    People who agree with Shelly that religion is OKAY, this is for you, so you can better understand why religion must be stamped out…

    Deuteronomy 22: 28 If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. 29 Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her

    Deuteronomy 7:1 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations … then you must destroy them totally. 2 Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.

    Leviticus 21: 9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father; she shall be burnt with fire.

    Shelly, I would like to buy into this Bible stuff like you do, but it seems too violent for modern society. Here is how a moderate Christian defends abortion…

    “The Book of Exodus clearly indicates that the fetus does not have the same legal status as a person (Chapter 21:22-23). That verse indicates that if a man pushes a pregnant woman and she then miscarries, he is required only to pay a fine. If the fetus were considered a full person, he would be punished more severely as though he had taken a life.”

    That is the kind of stuff that Christians like Shelley are fine letting others believe. Here is another example…

    “By our deepest convictions about Christian standards and teaching, the war in Iraq was not just a well-intended mistake or only mismanaged. THIS WAR, FROM A CHRISTIAN POINT OF VIEW, IS MORALLY WRONG – AND WAS FROM THE VERY START. It cannot be justified with either the teachings of Jesus Christ OR the criteria of St. Augustine’s just war. It simply doesn’t pass either test and did not from its beginning. This war is not just an offense against the young Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice or to the Iraqis who have paid such a horrible price. This war is not only an offense to the poor at home and around the world who have paid the price of misdirected resources and priorities. This war is also an offense against God.”

    Seems like that Christian has actually arrived at the right destination (one of the few who has), AMAZING! I guess the only problem remaining here is the compass (RELIGION), which can be unreliable and is easily misinterpreted.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/blogs/godspolitics/

    Leviticus 20: 27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones; their blood shall be upon them.

    Cheers to PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris (and myself), who can see the danger in sadistic “fairy tales”.

    SB: Augustine, you are either so single-minded in your fervor or just an idiot, but i’m not a Christian. In fact the post was about being an atheist. Did you even bother reading? Go pat yourself on the back somewhere else.

  34. #34 Jonathan H
    August 14, 2007

    I wish to add my voice to those on the previous page concerning Nabokov’s Lolita which I do not think is at all an out-and-out endorsement of pedophilia. Professor Humbert is manipulative, solipsistic, obsessive, compulsive, oblivious to his surroundings, and has no real knowledge of Lolita as a human being. She initially welcomes attention from Humbert, but soon becomes utterly miserable. I think it not a coincidence that Lolita is a nickname for Dolores.

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