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whcih is worse?  [message #67984] Wed, 11 September 2013 22:32 Go to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
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In the UK news we have a rash of celebrity abuse cases right now. They got me thinking. Which is worse, a sex act with an under age boy or with an under age girl?

And, just when you have got to grips with that, define 'worse'?



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Neither situation is better, or worse, than the other; in my mind ...  [message #67985 is a reply to message #67984] Wed, 11 September 2013 22:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Gay Deceiver is currently offline  The Gay Deceiver

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... both are equally abhorrent.

Abuse is abuse. This regardless of whether that abuse be physical or emotional and further not-with-standing either the gender or age of the victim and perpetrator.

Warren C. E. Austin
The Gay Deceiver
Toronto, Canada
Re: Neither situation is better, or worse, than the other; in my mind ...  [message #67986 is a reply to message #67985] Wed, 11 September 2013 22:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13659



Quote:
Abuse is abuse. This regardless of whether that abuse be physical or emotional and further not-with-standing either the gender or age of the victim and perpetrator.


Interesting. So is it always abuse if the young person is under age?



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Neither situation is better, or worse, than the other  [message #67987 is a reply to message #67986] Thu, 12 September 2013 05:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
dgt224 is currently offline  dgt224

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Quote:
So is it always abuse if the young person is under age?

"Under age" is a legal concept, while "abuse" has both legal and ethical/moral aspects. I think it is far more likely that the act is abusive when the young person is under age, but I am not convinced that sex is inherently abusive in all such cases. Usually unwise, even if not abusive, but that is another matter.
Re: Neither situation is better, or worse, than the other  [message #67988 is a reply to message #67987] Thu, 12 September 2013 08:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nigel is currently offline  Nigel

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Reading press reports of the recent sex trials I infer the following.  In law if an underage person is involved s/he is de jure the victim and it is then presumed de facto the victim.

There was a furore among social workers and commentators recently when a 13 year old girl was described as 'predatory'.  How could a thirteen year old possibly be predatory?  The accused was found not guilty.  Therefore she was not abused nor a victim.

However, if these lawyers prejudge that a child cannot be predatory, they need to leave their chambers and mix with the people.  Once they remove their blinkers, they will find otherwise.

Hugs
Nigel



I dream of boys with big bulges in their trousers,
Never of girls with big bulges in their blouses.

…and look forward to meeting you in Cóito.
Re: whcih is worse?  [message #67989 is a reply to message #67984] Thu, 12 September 2013 11:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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What I write below may give the impression that things are being stated as facts. However, they are opinions but it's too much hassle for me to preface every sentence with phrases such as 'I believe' or 'I think' or 'In my opinion'.

I can't see any reason why sex with an under age boy should be regarded as different in any way from sex with an under age girl.

As has been pointed out, 'under age' is a legal concept. So from a legal point of view, sexual activity with an underage person is 'bad'. As far as I know, the law doesn't differentiate between boys and girls, so there is no legal 'worse'. Sexual activity with a child under 13 is legally 'worse' regardless of the sex of the child.

From a moral standpoint, given that it's wrong to have sex with persons below a certain age (see below) then I can't see why the sex of the young person should make it more or less wrong.

The legal definition of 'under age' is not the same in all countries. In England it has changed with time, at least in respect to homosexual activity. Before 1967 it was impossible for two males of any age to have sex together legally, even in the privacy of their home. After 1967, two males could have sex if they were at least 21. Then the age was reduced first to 18 (I think) and later to 16. Attitudes toward girls have also changed. In mediaeval England it was not unusual for a girl should be married as soon as possible after she reached puberty.

Some people might consider that it was morally okay for two males over 21 to have consensual sex even before 1967 when all sex between males was illegal. Others might think that even nowadays, when it's perfectly legal, it's morally wrong for two men to have sex. Thus the link between morality and legality can be tenuous.

The link between legal age and abuse is also rather tenuous. I can legally have sex with a 16 year old, but does that mean that he can't be the victim of sexual abuse at my hands, for example if I applied emotional pressure to persuade him to have sex? If I have sex with someone aged 15 years and 11 months, it would be illegal, but if he initiated the activity, would it necessarily be abuse? If I went to a country where the legal age was 14 and gave a 14 year old boy a blow job, it would be legal, but would it be abuse?

Is there a moral 'under age' equivalent to the legal 'under age'? i.e. could we always say absolutely that morally it would be abuse to have sex with a person under a particular age, no matter how willing (or apparently) willing that person was? Personally, I'd say yes.

Puberty is the biological process that prepares a person for sexual activity. It follows, therefore, that any sexual activity before puberty has taken place is biologically wrong. Therefore it must also be morally wrong and abusive. The question then arises as to how long after puberty does the young person have the mental ability to consent to sex. That's like asking 'how long is a piece of string?'. Some 15 year olds can be totally naive and nervous about sex, others can be experienced, eager, and even 'predatory'.

My view is that one rule of thumb might be that if the young person has passed through puberty and initiates the sexual activity then it would be difficult to see how one could morally justify the term 'abuse'. Of course, even if it were not abuse, it might still be illegal and there could well be unpleasant consequences.
A little dissection  [message #67990 is a reply to message #67989] Thu, 12 September 2013 15:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13659



Quote:
Puberty is the biological process that prepares a person for sexual activity. It follows, therefore, that any sexual activity before puberty has taken place is biologically wrong. Therefore it must also be morally wrong and abusive.


That bears a little dissection. Puberty is not required before sexual activity is pleasurable. I know this only from learning to climb the rope in the gym when I was seven. WOW. I almost never made it to the top. Others have confirmed this to me about their own experiences.

Why might sexual activity prior to puberty be wrong? The body is technically prepared and competent to enjoy itself at any age. I don't comprehend 'biologically wrong'. It isn't even biologically wrong to shag sheep, just a biological dead end. What it might be, assuming penetration is the act performed, is physically unpleasant or even impossible, or, worse, physically damaging. This is a matter of 3 dimensional geometry.

Now, I view it as morally wrong to hurt another, emotionally or physically, for my pleasure, unless they genuinely wish it and continue to wish it during whatever process we are engaged in. 

For me it is abusive if I am exerting some greater power, emotional or physical over another. Their age is immaterial.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A little dissection  [message #67991 is a reply to message #67990] Thu, 12 September 2013 18:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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"Quote:"
timmy wrote on Thu, 12 September 2013 15:23
"Quote:"
Puberty is the biological process that prepares a person for sexual activity. It follows, therefore, that any sexual activity before puberty has taken place is biologically wrong. Therefore it must also be morally wrong and abusive.





That bears a little dissection. Puberty is not required before sexual activity is pleasurable. I know this only from learning to climb the rope in the gym when I was seven. WOW. I almost never made it to the top. Others have confirmed this to me about their own experiences.

Why might sexual activity prior to puberty be wrong? The body is technically prepared and competent to enjoy itself at any age. I don't comprehend 'biologically wrong'. It isn't even biologically wrong to shag sheep, just a biological dead end. What it might be, assuming penetration is the act performed, is physically unpleasant or even impossible, or, worse, physically damaging. This is a matter of 3 dimensional geometry.



--

As I mentioned at the start of the quoted post, my writings were only my opinions, even though they may have apparently been statements of fact. That's because it's tedious for both writer and reader if every sentence is prefaced by qualifiers such as 'I think' or 'In my opinion'.

In any case, I maybe I should have been more specific.
For example, perhaps it would have more accurately have expressed my thoughts if I'd written, "Puberty is the biological process that prepares a person for sexual activity with another person". Also, the biological process doesn't just involve changes in sexual organs but also changes in the brain and mental state. Children going through puberty have different sleep patterns, less ability to assess risk, mood swings, etc, etc.

Also, I should probably have written "sexual activity with an adult before puberty has taken place is biologically wrong."

As in many discussions, the exact meanings of terms may not be the same for everyone. In my mind, having a pleasurable sensation  from one's body, even from the genitals, is not necessarily a sexual experience. With more thought that it may be possible for me to expand on that, but maybe a first stab would be to say that physical pleasure isn't necessarily sexual  unless the pleasure is associated in the mind with sex or sexual interaction with another person.

There is a difference between physical pleasure from genitals and sexual desire and pleasure. A child can get pleasure from defaecation, but that doesn't mean he or she is ready for anal sex. A baby having its nappy changed might get physical pleasure from having its anus and genitals wiped, but that doesn't mean it's being sexual.

Did you associate your experience on the climbing rope with sex? At what point did you associate pleasurable feeling from your genitals with some sort of physical contact with another person?

It would be wrong to think that children are just small versions of adults with less knowledge and experience. Their minds work differently, their brain are wired differently, and they are hard-wired to copy adults and absorb language ad culture like sponges. They are easily influenced by adults. Small children can pick up multiple languages much more easily than an adult can learn one new language.

Puberty doesn't just affect genitals and other physical attributes. It also changes the wiring in the brain, and those changes don't necessarily proceed at the same rate as physical changes. As the child goes through puberty it begins to think more independently, it no longer follows the lead of adults without thinking, and it no longer accepts unquestioningly the attitudes of the adults around it. Thus after puberty it is more likely that the young person can give truly informed consent.

Again, maybe 'biologically wrong' was not the best way to express what I meant, though at the moment I can't think of a better way of expressing what I'm trying to say. From the example of shagging sheep, I think we understand different things by 'biologically wrong'.  I certainly don't mean the phrase to imply that there can be no procreation. Otherwise all forms of gay sex and many forms of hetero sex would be biologically wrong.

If a man shags a sheep or shags another man, he is fulfilling some desire or sexual need that he has. Thus he is doing something that is biologically natural for him. So it is not 'biologically wrong'. However, as far as I know, the biological desire or need for sex does not naturally exist in children before puberty. If an adult sexualises a pre-pubertal child by teaching him/her to associate physical genital pleasure with sexual interactions with the adult, then the desire or sexual need is not coming internally from the child but being programmed into the child.

That is what I'm trying to express by the phrase 'biologically wrong'. Similarly, if an adult male was programmed by others to want to shag a sheep when he previously didn't have an inclination to do so, or if I were pressured by others to perform cunnilingus then that would be 'biologically wrong'. i.e. it's not the act itself that is wrong but the fact that the act is not something that the person spontaneously desires.

After puberty a boy would feel the desire for sex even if he'd been kept away from all knowledge of sex so that he didn't have any idea of the actual mechanics involved. Before puberty he might enjoy giving himself genital pleasure but would have no real desire for sex, though he might want to explore the physical pleasure with other boys.

Before puberty a child doesn't really feel or understand sexual desire because there is more to sexual desire than just wanting physical pleasure. Just because a small baby can get an erection and get physical pleasure from its genitals doesn't mean that sex is biological right for it. One of the reasons for some sort of age of consent is the concept of informed consent.  How can any consent be informed if the pre-pubertal child doesn't really feel or understand real sexual desires?

[Updated on: Thu, 12 September 2013 19:00]

Re: whcih is worse?  [message #67992 is a reply to message #67984] Thu, 12 September 2013 22:26 Go to previous message
The Gay Deceiver is currently offline  The Gay Deceiver

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Quote

"For me it is abusive if I am exerting some greater power, emotional or physical over another. Their age is immaterial."

Quote

Not as clearly defined as your statement; but, in essence this is what I was suggesting.  Age or gender of either the victim or the perpetrator should never be a consideration.

On the other hand under-age children have been known to be the aggressor in these situations, and if shown to be true then abuse technically will not have been an issue, although morally it may be deemed to have occurred.

Warren C. E. Austin
The Gay Deceiver
Toronto, Canada



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