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John Kintaro
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It is a common view held in our modern culture that a child is incapable of making their own sexual choices. In the situation where Children are making sexual choices these are seen to have a negative effect. It is said that Children and sexuality don't mix and produce trauma. In the name of this it is held that expressing sexuality with a child is illegal.

It isn't just forbidden that children hear of sex, but it seems commonplace for people to specifically lie to Children that sexual pleasure is pain, and lie to everyone else and themselves in the process. Informed consent? I am not sure anymore of what it is one is to be informed about. The process of sexuality is simple.

The way I see it, as someone who most would title “sexually abused,” (except myself, I can justify “reality abuse,” as a far more correct term) the only thing traumatic had little to do with the sexuality and simply the lies preached in attempt of blanking-out a reality I experienced (sexuality is good). Through most of my childhood psychologists would simply attempt everything to preach that “sexuality is bad.” It is obvious to me now that this wholesale robbery of my sexuality was in the name of protecting the other children from me, because being informed of sexuality in a very physical way I knew how to inform them that Sex is Good. Of course, myself being one small child at the time stood little chance against this insidious belief that sex is something it isn't, so it led to many classical confusions of sexuality which would be the general resulting trauma.

I am saying the trauma isn't the sexuality itself but the process of bullshitting sexually abused children on a very large scale.

For this I can only really say “Find one account of trauma in ancient Athens where sexuality between adults and children was pretty commonplace.”

Any thoughts?

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It isn't just forbidden that children hear of sex, but it seems commonplace for people to specifically lie to Children that sexual pleasure is pain, and lie to everyone else and themselves in the process.
You're mixing two different issues which must be separated. Sex with children is rape, so should be punished under the law. It is a fact that some people also consider it to be improper to discuss sex with a child, and possibly to lie to a child about sex. It is never proper to lie about sex, but it is sometimes proper to package information about sex (just as it is necessary to package all sorts of information for children). They ought to know the real true facts by about 5th grade.
Informed consent? I am not sure anymore of what it is one is to be informed about. The process of sexuality is simple.
I can't say that I've ever heard anyone apply the idea of "informed consent" to a child, since, more simply, they are just incapable of consenting. "Informed consent" is a notion applicable to adults, and is pretty much derived from certain medical laws.
I am saying the trauma isn't the sexuality itself but the process of bullshitting sexually abused children on a very large scale.
Maybe; children seem to be much better able to recover from various traumas that bother adaults. Assault is pretty commonplace among kids and we all coped, but adult assault victims aren't as resilient as kids seem to be. At any rate, psychologists in the "healing" business probably all trowel on a thick layer of bullshit.
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Why can't a child consent? Blank-out it seems. That is my point, I believe a child can consent and on better terms than most: I was a child and consented. You would be suprised how easy it is for me to find others with my views providing they also were "molestered," at some point. Calling it rape is a mockery of rape, and of children who were actually raped.

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I can think of my entire adolescence along these terms of "manipulation" and "informed consent" now as a series of rapes, many of my first girlfriends didn't exactly invite my hand into their pants, but they certainly felt good about it after. Is this statutory rape as well? Because it uses the same devices that were used on me as a child.

It seems we are capable of sexual pleasure from a very young age, issues of maturity aside, I think its more exploitive of children to have this system which currently robs of them experiencing the pleasure they are capable of having. Also, that its forbidden on the same grounds not to tell Children anything about sex, opens up a doorway to this exploitation to anyone who will and can show a child sexual pleasure.

Edited by John Kintaro
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The issue of trauma is irrelevant. What is relevant is the issue of *rights*. It is rape for an adult to have sex with a child because adults *necessarily* exercise certain rights on behalf of children. If someone has political power over you then no aspect of your relationship can properly be said to be consensual. Parents don't parent by consent, they do so by right . . . provided they fulfill certain responsibilities and obligations, of course.

If only minors are involved, I don't see how there is a problem.

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[Adults] ... exercise certain rights on behalf of children.

They do so for a reason. My six year old child is in no position to give informed consent to anyone and not only about sex but also about, for example, what kind of food he should be consuming on regular bases or how much time he should be spending playing video games.

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All I see is the denial of rights for absolutely no reason, every argument I encounter seems pretty secondhanded.

Unless sex has some mystical content not revealed to me, that there is really no wrong being done. For someone who believes that unmarried sex will send people to hell though, its pretty easy to believe its a bad thing.

I see it primarily as an issue of rights, the issue of trauma is always what I get told in response to it. I think it is right for a person (child or adult) to take their sexual curiosities where they lead them and if an adult wishes to show them, I don't see a problem.

Children are capable of consent, for as long as they understand words like "yes," "no," "good," "bad," clearly and can actually experience sexual pleasure. This makes any child of about 8 years old and over capable of consent.

They do so for a reason. My six year old child is in no position to give informed consent to anyone and not only about sex but also about, for example, what kind of food he should be consuming on regular bases or how much time he should be spending playing video games.

I'd argue because sex bares none of the conseqences of any of those things. Except in a culture which ostracises pedophiles, where it could lead to the child becoming kidnapped in a desperate attempt by the pedophile to escape with his freedom and the child. I can see negative outcomes for the wrong food and too much time playing videogames. I can't see any such consequences in sex.

Edited by John Kintaro
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Children are capable of consent, for as long as they understand words like "yes," "no," "good," "bad," clearly and can actually experience sexual pleasure. This makes any child of about 8 years old and over capable of consent.

Not really since they cannot understand the consequences of the action.

I'd argue because sex bares none of the conseqences of any of those things. Except in a culture which ostracises pedophiles, where it could lead to the child becoming kidnapped in a desperate attempt by the pedophile to escape with his freedom and the child. I can see negative outcomes for the wrong food and too much time playing videogames. I can't see any such consequences in sex.

It has its own consequences, such as possible STD infection, possible early parenthood which a child is NOT ready for, nor are they ready to understand parenthood. STDs and early parenthood are the negative consequences of sex, especially if parenthood is undesired by the child.

Edited by DragonMaci
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Not really since they cannot understand the consequences of the action.

It has its own consequences, such as possible STD infection, possible early parenthood which a child is NOT ready for, nor are they ready to understand parenthood. STDs and early parenthood are the negative consequences of sex, especially if parenthood is undesired by the child.

Any child is capable of being aware of those things with education, and every person requires education in some form to understand this. Yet, it is typically forbidden to educate a child of these things on the ground that the education itself is "abuse."

Edited by John Kintaro
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Any child is capable of being aware of those things with education, and every person requires education in some form to understand this. Yet, it is typically forbidden to educate a child of these things on the ground that the education itself is "abuse."

Aware, yes, but they cannot fully understand them, especially parenthood. No child can fully understamd parenthood. They don't have the metal capaicity or intellectual development for that.

However, parenthood does NOT require education about parenthood. Many people can and do be good parents whithout being taught about parenthood.

Finally, whether or not it is forbidden to teach them such things is beside the point. The point is that they cannot fully understand them, especially parenthood.

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Aware, yes, but they cannot fully understand them, especially parenthood. No child can fully understamd parenthood. They don't have the metal capaicity or intellectual development for that.

However, parenthood does NOT require education about parenthood. Many people can and do be good parents whithout being taught about parenthood.

Finally, whether or not it is forbidden to teach them such things is beside the point. The point is that they cannot fully understand them, especially parenthood.

I was talking of the teaching that having sex can result in Children, not on teaching people to be wonderful parents.

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Children are capable of consent, for as long as they understand words like "yes," "no," "good," "bad," clearly and can actually experience sexual pleasure. This makes any child of about 8 years old and over capable of consent.

Young children have no ability to properly judge what is "good" or "bad". That is why adults have to make decisions for them.

Because children take direction from adults - because adults act from a position of authority (life expert vs. life novice) - children are socially conditioned to agree with adults - to follow their lead on matters they don't know enough about. This is not a relationship between developmental equals. Consent is impossible.

Furthermore, sex is a serious matter - with both physical and psychological/spiritual consequences. It matters to a rational human being how, when (as am I ready for this?), and with whom he goes about pursuing sexual pleasure. Young children have no ability to make proper decisions on such matters.

Do you believe that it is proper for a human being to seek sexual pleasure with an animal, for example? Why not? After all it is no big deal according to you.. just robbing for physical pleasure.

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I was utterly disgusted when I started reading this thread, but now I'm thinking you may have a point. I'm going push on through my nausea.

I think we should specify age ranges, because while 18 is not completely arbitrary, it is also not scientific or magic, nor is it what I think of when someone says "children." In this post, when I say children, I mean under the age of 12.

I see three questions:

1. Legally, should a parent be able to control their child's sexual behavior? The answer is yes, just like they can control any other behavior. Children do not have full use of their reason yet, and reason is our only tool of survival. A parent's job is to substitute for their child's reason. In so doing, the parent uses their own reason, not anyone elses. Whatever the parent thinks is right (that does not cause physical harm), they can enforce on their child. This means circumcision (genital mutilation) should be illegal, but baptism (like getting a bath) should not be. Showing your child pornography or even photographing a child for pornographic purposes causes no physical harm and should be legal, but inserting objects into a child's rectum (without medical necessity and in a way that causes damage) should be illegal. Beyond physical harm, parents have full control, thus a parent could forbid sex (or anything else) between his child and another.

2. Legally, should children be protected from sexual behavior with the parent's consent? Yes, if there's physical harm, otherwise, no, I think. See above. Yes, this means a child could touch an adult's genitals in a way that is sexually stimulating for the adult, and vice versa.

3. Is any of the above moral? Sexually stimulating your child, being stimulated by them, allowing that between children or between your child and another adult, anatomy lessons? Given what sex is and what it ought to mean for a rational adult, it's grossly immoral to engage in that behavior with a child for gratification. Although not full adults, children are people. They are too young to be rationally attracted to them for a romantic relationship, and they are not good partners for one-night-stands. And they are people, NOT sex toys. So that is utterly, utterly evil. Times a thousand for letting another adult do it to your child. Between children, I think it depends on their age. When they are old enough to begin to understand why their body is precious, it might make sense to make rules against sharing it indiscriminantly. What about stimulating your child for their benefit? Even babies can and do masturbate. I don't see anything immoral about teaching your child (however young) how to gratify themselves. In fact, it might be a very good idea. Educating your child about their body and adult bodies using yourself or other live examples seems reasonable, but an education process should only present what a child can understand at their state of development. It might be appropriate to educate a ten year old with porn, but a five year old wouldn't be able to grasp all the concepts involved and should be taught simpler things, like the difference between male and female genitalia.

I have a bad taste in my brain for thinking about this, but thank you!

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Starling, you left out pyschological harm, which should also be forbidden. In other words a parent should not be allowed to do anything that will psychologically harm the child, such as allow it to do something it is not yet mentally equipped to handle (eg, sex). Even with a parents consent a child is not mentally equipped to deal with sex and its consequences, therefore the parent should not be permitted to allow it.

I won't be responding anymore. As a parent, I am disgusted by the responses.

I don't blame you. They disgusted me and I am not a parent. I am an uncle though, and let me tell you, I wouldn't want that done either of my darling neices.

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Starling, you left out pyschological harm, which should also be forbidden. In other words a parent should not be allowed to do anything that will psychologically harm the child, such as allow it to do something it is not yet mentally equipped to handle (eg, sex). Even with a parents consent a child is not mentally equipped to deal with sex and its consequences, therefore the parent should not be permitted to allow it.

I don't blame you. They disgusted me and I am not a parent. I am an uncle though, and let me tell you, I wouldn't want that done either of my darling neices.

So I'll go back to my original argument and set out a challenge for you, there was a society in which people porked their kids, but they also had writing. Then why are there no accounts of this "psychological harm" where it was acceptable? Probably, because the psychological harm is an effect of all the "caring" done to kids who were apparently "sexually abused" like myself. The psychological harm is not a result of the sex, but of those who try to tell the child what they have experienced to be good, to be bad.

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So I'll go back to my original argument and set out a challenge for you, there was a society in which people porked their kids, but they also had writing. Then why are there no accounts of this "psychological harm" where it was acceptable? Probably, because the psychological harm is an effect of all the "caring" done to kids who were apparently "sexually abused" like myself. The psychological harm is not a result of the sex, but of those who try to tell the child what they have experienced to be good, to be bad.

1. I said the potential results of the sex are the main cause of the harm.

2. They wouldn't of recorded such harm.

3. Very few records from those day still exist. A lot were destroyed via natural attrition. Books/stone tablets/scrolls/etc have a limited lifetime. Other records were destroyed in the Dark Ages when many records and much knowledge was burned or otherwise destroyed. To quote Daniel Jackson from Stargate SG-1, "We'd be exploring the galaxy now if it wasn't for the Dark Ages." Okay, we might not literally have technology that advanced, but Jackson was right that we'd have a lot more knowledge and thus our technology a lot more advanced if the Dark Ages had not of happened. In short, we know a lot less than we could of thanks to the Dark Ages resulting in a lot of that knowledge being destroyed and this has set us back in many ways, including knowledge of that time.

Addition: We should go off what we know today, not what we assume about how things were thousands of years ago.

Edited by DragonMaci
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Let me start fresh. Anybody who believes that somehow, at the age of 18, you magically become mature is a believer in Intrinsicism's notion of sex. However everybody here who is defending sex with persons too young to have a fully integrated rational development believes in Subjectivism's notion of sex: It's good if I feel like it.

The problem with the definition of 18 being the age of maturity is that it is based exclusively on social norms, with only token considerations given to when a human being develops maturity. It is out of the scope for a philosophy (at least in the way Ayn Rand defines it) to make a claim as to what age one has both physical maturity and intellectual maturity. However, in knowing this, an attempt can at least be made to define the proper PROCEDURES, not in detail, but in general, by which to judge physical and intellectual maturity.

The age at which a human being learns to integrate ones pre-sexual metaphysical evaluations (the ones to be related with sexuality) with ones biological sexual capacity (which itself is not the basis for informed consent) is not fixed philisophically, because age is the application of time to a BIOLOGICAL entity, and biology works on abstract principle, not on concretes which are subject to change, of which age is necessarily one.

Let's say that we know a person whose intellectual and physical faculties, WRT sex, have been developed and unified, but they are not the age of consent in their country. By what right do we have to deny, in absolute terms not subject to variation of individual development, this person's "metaphysical celebration of his/her own existence"?

More important, how do we KNOW when a person is ready? When WE are ready? What kind of process exists to judge something like that? Obviously there exists objective principles upon which right to consent is determined. Obviously these do not require that a person necessarily accepts certain philosophical principles as existing constructs, but the POTENTIAL, at that age for that person, for an integration to develop, in the same sense that there can be objective values in art that don't depend on ethics or any of its sub-fields.

We need to assume some premises in this argument and avoid the intrincisist/subjectivist dilemma that I noted earlier. How about we start with those, considering that this is a context about which many people are confused?

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I am good friends with a thirteen year old girl, usually parents wouldn't permit such friendships (because I'm 20) but since we play music together they make an allowance. This girl is most certainly interested in me, and I knock her back on basis of the law. She is consenting, knows what the consequences are, this still cannot be enough. Along with this, we both value each other clearly. What can I do? Either hurt this girl and myself, or risk jail hurting this girl and myself. Great choice the law has offered us both!

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The problem with the definition of 18 being the age of maturity is that it is based exclusively on social norms, with only token considerations given to when a human being develops maturity.
Are you complaining about the specific number 18 (California, Tennessee etc) vs. 16 (Ohio, Montana etc), or are you complaining that the law is stated objectively and not subjectively?
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She is consenting, knows what the consequences are, this still cannot be enough.
Can you provide solid, objective proof that she actually grasps the act and its consequences and has rationally concluded that this would be a value for her? Of course you cannot. Your pretense that she would "consent" is pure pretense.
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