The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Erection Equals Consent’?

Posted on | September 16, 2014 | 84 Comments

This is a phrase I never expected to encounter and, when I saw the headline, I misunderstood what the writer meant by it:

The flesh is weak: On the
Erection Equals Consent rape myth

What I expected, based on that headline, was an argument by a feminist “deconstructing” the common claim that men are unable to control their physical urges, so that male arousal obliges women to consent to sex. Bracing myself to engage with such a feminist argument, I clicked the link, and found something completely different:

Whenever an article appears about the sexual abuse of men and boys – especially abuse perpetrated by women – you can almost guarantee that a comment will appear saying something like: ‘well he couldn’t have been that unwilling if he got a boner.’
It is an incredibly damaging and harmful myth . . .

WHOA! What strange argument is this? Tell me more, Ally Fogg:

Contrary to popular belief, many men can get an erection when they are too drunk to speak or to remember what they have done the next day. A man in a drunken stupor can sometimes be stimulated to erection without even waking up. . . .
Perhaps more pernicious is the belief that even if a man did not want to have sex before he got an erection, he certainly will once it is in place. This is patently untrue. Men are sentient beings who (mostly) have conscience and self-restraint and make decisions about who they want to have sex with all the time, independently of their erectile engorgement . . .
The academic literature describes how all of the above can play out in abusive situations. A study of 22 male-on-male rape victims by Nicholas Groth and Ann Burgess (1980) found that half of the victims maintained an erection throughout their assaults. The original, ground-breaking paper on adult male victims of female molesters by Sarrel and Masters (1982) described some of the assaults perpetrated on their subjects . . .

You can and should read the whole thing.

Glenn Reynolds yesterday noticed a case in which a 240-pound woman broke into a house and raped a sleeping man. Such cases are obviously exceptional. Where Ally Fogg’s argument is more typically relevant is in understanding cases of adult women (usually school teachers) who sexually abuse underage boys. When we read of these crimes, our instinctive reaction is to discount any claim that the boy is truly a victim. This reaction is particularly common if the perpetrator is young and attractive like Debra Lefave, so as to fit the popular “Hot for Teacher” fantasy. Our jocular reaction — “Oh, yeah, victimize me, baby!” or “Where were teachers like her when I was in school?” — ignores many moral and psychological issues involved, and risks setting up an “equality” argument that would justify underage sex in any case where (a) the perpetrator was attractive, and (b) the underage victim was “consenting.” That is to say, if we argue that Debra Lafave’s victim wasn’t actually a victim because Lafave is a pretty blonde, a logically consistent extension of such an argument would invalidate all statutory rape law in any similar circumstance, regardless of whether the perpetrators or victims were male or female, gay or straight.

Teacher-turned-predator Debra Lafave

Once you stipulate that sex with minors can be acceptable under specific circumstances, you open the door to a stampede of perverts who will use that premise in arguments you never meant to make. Statutory rape laws are often criticized on the basis that they are arbitrary in setting a specific age as the limit of legal consent when, as everyone knows, young people mature emotionally, mentally and physically at different rates. There are 15-year-olds who are more “mature,” in some sense of that word, than the average 17-year-old, yet if the age of consent is 16, the 17-year-old is fair game, whereas having sex with the 15-year-old could put you in prison. Such a limit is arbitrary and therefore, critics of statutory rape laws frequently argue, these laws should not be enforced.

Those arguments completely misrepresent the reasons we have statutory rape laws, although my purpose here is not to mount a thorough argument in defense of these laws, except to say (a) such laws are intended to set a minimal age below which consent is invalid as a legal defense; (b) this prevents prosecutors from having to put the underage victim on the witness stand, if there is evidence that sex occurred or if the perpetrator admits having sex with the minor; and (c) the discretion of prosecutors and judges will tend to ameliorate punishment in circumstances where leniency may be merited.

Furthermore, I will say — as I kept saying during the Kaitlyn Hunt saga — that most incidents of statutory rape never make headlines either because the perpetrator is discreet about their relationship with a minor or else, if caught, they take the plea bargain. Only because Kaitlyn Hunt rejected the plea deal offered by prosecutors, and her supporters tried to turn her crime into a political crusade, did she make national headlines.

Myth, Reality and the Assault on Innocence

Every parent, I hope, understood the danger involved in arguing, as Hunt’s “Free Kate” supporters did, that the law which criminalizes sex with minors (the age of consent in Florida is 16) should be disregarded because Hunt was “only” 18 when she engaged in sex with a 14-year-old girl. Nor could any parent fail to be angered by the claims made by Hunt’s supporters that she was a victim of homophobia, a claim that had the effect of impugning the motives of the 14-year-old’s parents. The effect of all arguments of this kind is to undermine the basic right of parents to protect their minor children. (Let me recommend Neil Postman’s 1994 book The Disappearance of Childhood and Dana Mack’s 1997 book The Assault on Parenthood as useful explorations of this theme.) It is possible to have ideals of youthful innocence that are unrealistic, perhaps even in some ways harmful, but those who criticize statutory rape laws are attacking a legal basis of parental authority in a crucial matter. If we wish to prevent another “Rotherham Horror,” we must take this threat very seriously.

Returning, then, to the “Erection Equals Consent” myth that Ally Fogg examines, we must ask what this tells us about women predators who take advantage of teenage boys. When I call attention to these cases, the same issues are raised by commenters: Here is a female teacher in her late 20s or early 30s (the typical perpetrator) who is at least moderately attractive and in many cases married, yet who has engaged in sex with a boy (or sometimes multiple boys) as young as 13 or 14. “Why can’t she get a grown man?” commenters will ask or, raising the same point from the obverse angle, “Why does she want to have sex with boys?”

These questions plague the minds of sane normal people who take for granted that everyone views sex in a sane normal way. We assume, for example, that people prefer (and believe they should prefer) an approximate parity of age in their romantic partners.

We view as creepy the middle-aged executive who divorces his wife and acquires a much younger girlfriend. It’s not just that the 25-year-old female is young enough to be the 50-year-old executive’s daughter (triggering our crypto-Freudian suspicion of symbolically incestuous ideas lurking in the old man’s depraved psyche) but that we assume, without need for any evidence, the young girlfriend is a selfish gold-digger who is cynically trading sex for money and status. Certain other assumptions are involved in the case of an older woman who goes into “cougar” mode, pursuing sex with virile young studs.

Many reasons (moral, political, anthropological) could justify our negative attitudes toward relationships between consenting adults of widely varying ages. People who engage in such relationships are guilty, at least, of disregarding common opinion that disapproves of wide age differences between sex partners. We are prone to suspect that people who flout social conventions are not trustworthy.

It is impossible, really, that the 28-year-old teacher who engages in sex with a 15-year-old boy is not aware that what she is doing is (a) against the law, and (b) strongly disapproved by society. She knows there will be terrible consequences if she is caught, but she wants to do it so badly that she convinces herself she can get away with it. Her willingness to engage in this illegal and socially disapproved behavior implies a risk-taking attitude that can only be explained by the perpetrator’s profound interest in the sexual attributes specific to a very young partner. We therefore are tempted to categorize any person caught in such crimes as perversely abnormal — that loathsome creature, the pedophile.

Defendants in these cases, however, quite understandably try to avoid this implication. They made a mistake, they showed poor judgment, they understand what they did was wrong, but please — please! — don’t put them in the same category with predatory perverts.

These typical defenses represent a belief that sex offenders can be clearly divided into two categories, one of which is the dangerous pedophile that everyone should hate and fear, and the other category (in which the pleading defendant always includes herself) of basically good people who are well-meaning and harmless, but just sort of accidentally happened to engage in sex with a minor.

That 15-year-old boy’s penis in her mouth? A random coincidence!

Such defenses involve at least three myths about these crimes:

  1. There is no significant number of adults who might seek sex with teenagers, if they thought they could get away with it;
  2. There is no objective or rational reason why any person would ever prefer an adolescent sex partner; and
  3. Laws against sex with minors were enacted by people who were ignorant of facts regarding Myth 1 and Myth 2.

Let me suggest (contra Myth 3) that lawmakers who established legal limits on consent, going back to Roman law and English common law, were as fully familiar with basic human nature as any latter-day sociologist or psychologist. Furthermore, contra Myth 2, it does not take much imagination (perhaps no imagination at all) to see why someone seeking to satisfy their sexual urges might select a 15-year-old as the object of their desire. And, contra Myth 1, if society did not exercise its legitimate authority to protect juveniles by enacting laws against sex with minors, the number of adults who might seek adolescent partners could prove much larger than anyone now imagines.

This is the “Sexual Anarchy” scenario that Matt Barber has warned about: People who want to normalize pedophilia typically claim that only bigotry and ignorance can explain society’s strong disapproval of underage sex. They ask us to believe that there is no real danger involved in a lenient attitude toward sex offenders.

The pro-pedophile activists accuse their critics of exaggerating these dangers and fostering a climate of irrational fear, so that when we point to a clear trend — e.g., the frequency of child pornography arrests, the discovery of organized child-prostitution rings, etc. — this evidence is denounced by pro-pedophile activists as an attempt to stir up a “sex panic,” a “witchhunt,” a hateful “hysteria.”

The Swiss Army Knife of ‘Consent’

Yet how do these arguments appear in light of the “Erection Equals Consent” myth as explained by Ally Fogg, and in the context of the typical “Hot for Teacher” scenario, where a reasonably attractive woman in her late 20s or early 30s is having sex with her 15-year-old male student? If we set aside all moral, legal, social and ethical objections to such behavior, must we pretend that we are unable to explain why a woman would be interested in a 15-year-old boy? Oh, hell, no.

Having once been a teenage boy, I know exactly what she enjoys in this activity. If erection equals consent, I was in a condition of permanent consent from the time I was 13 years old. A teenage boy is capable of sexual arousal with the least provocation, or no provocation at all.

Any adolescent male’s penis is, so to speak, the sexual equivalent of a Swiss Army knife — a tool that can be adapted to any purpose.

Furthermore, even if we ignore whatever aesthetic appeal there might be in the youthful appearance of an adolescent, there are other attributes typical of youth that might lead an adult woman to desire a 15-year-old boy as a sex partner. The teenage boy is more or less a tabula rasa, a lump of unmolded clay, an empty page on which she can inscribe whatever she wishes. Suppose that the teacher, attractive as she may be, is dissatisfied with the quality of her relationships with adult men. There in her classroom is a teenage boy, who is ready, willing and able to attempt any sexual act his teacher may desire him to perform. Not only is the boy’s impetuous eagerness flattering to her ego — adult men are probably less impetuous and more demanding — but as the teenager is less experienced in sexual activity by comparison to her adult male partners, the teen may be more easily tutored to perform sexually in the precise manner that pleases his teacher the most. The boy is more eager to please, more cooperative and less judgmental, and probably far more grateful to have her as a sex partner than any adult male would be.

The reader knows very well that I am not arguing in favor of such criminal activity. Instead, I am saying that if we are willing, for the sake of argument, to look at the situation outside of a moral framework, we can easily imagine why a Debra Lafave (or any other woman who was less than fully satisfied by her relationships with adult men) might find a teenage boy particularly appealing as a sexual partner. And we can extend or adapt this reasoning — in terms of objective incentives to illegal sex with minors — without regard to whether the victim is male or female, whether the perpetrator is male or female, whether the criminal behavior is heterosexual or homosexual. Once we are willing to recognize that the underage partner might have qualities that are sexually desirable to an adult, we can stop pretending to be mystified by these crimes.

Beyond that, if we can put aside our moral sensibilities for the sake of argument, we don’t have to pretend that the legislators who enact statutory rape laws — or the police or prosecutors or judges who are charged with enforcing these laws — are ignorant of the fact that a large number of adults might seek sex with young people, who might enthusiastically consent to those acts, if it weren’t for widespread social disapproval and strong legal sanctions against such activity.

We don’t have to pretend that sex crimes against minors are only perpetrated by a tiny group of predatory weirdos. We don’t have to pretend that minor victims of sex crimes are always helpless, unwilling innocents who were coerced or brainwashed into sexual activity. There is no need for us to prefer a convenient mythology to inconvenient reality. All we need is to agree that adult/minor sex is wrong, and that the laws against it should be vigorously and fairly enforced, and we can then reject as dangerous every nitpicking criticism made by moral relativists who want to squawk about how “arbitrary” these laws are.

Finally, let me point out (as if it were not already apparent) some reasons why this is relevant to my critique of radical feminism.

Readers of the “Sex Trouble” series are by now familiar with my contention that feminist theory has been decisively shaped by arguments put forward by radical lesbians, whose anti-male/anti-heterosexual biases have pervaded the field of Women’s Studies. Insofar as any woman’s attitudes are influenced by feminist theory, her attempts to live in accordance with these doctrines will make it difficult for her to find happiness in a life of men, marriage and motherhood. Let me further explain (again, as if it were not already apparent) that after more than 40 years of feminist activism, these ideas have been dispersed so widely through our society and culture, it is possible for a woman to have internalized feminist beliefs simply by conforming to what she is taught in school, what she absorbs through watching TV and reading popular magazines, and what she is told by her peers.

Therefore (and yes, you have now finally reached the conclusion) it is not surprising that many women are unhappy in their adult relationships with men, which are in many ways sabotaged by the influence of feminism. Nor is it surprising that these unhappy women, who have been told that sexual “empowerment” is an ideal goal for women — a goal thwarted by the compromises women must necessarily make in their relationships with adult men — should seek to exercise their “empowerment” in relationships with teenage boys.

You may be certain that somewhere a Gender Studies major is examining cases of female teachers caught in sex crimes against minors, and theorizing a way to blame these crimes on the patriarchy.

Of course, as every feminist knows, the patriarchy is always to blame for everything, especially anything that involves an erect penis.

(Mic drop.)




 

 

Comments

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  • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Dean Esmay

    Once you throw out away idea that erections = consent, it turns out that men report being forced into sex (i.e. raped) by women at about an order of magnitude higher rate than almost anyone believes. For a very good book on this matter by a responsible journalist and a researcher, pick up “When Women Sexually Abuse Men” by Philip W. Cook and Dr. Tammy L. Hodo. I interviewed Mr. Cook about this book here: http://youtu.be/tT-MmE5kFzc

    It may be that at some biological level, women are more traumatized by being forced into sex than men are. Or it may be that we teach women to be more traumatized and teach men to shrug it off. Or it may be a little of all that. In any case, the truth is, women are far, far more likely to be sexual predators than almost anyone wants to believe, conservative or liberal. It turns out that, just like domestic violence, sexual assault is not a gendered issue. A few researchers know this, almost no one else wants to talk about it or even consider it.

  • http://conservativecommune.com Joy W. McCann

    Actually, pedophilia =/= ephebophilia. This is a pet peeve of mine: they are different disorders, often conflated by those who are imprecise in their language. True pedophiles–people who want to have sex with children–want pre-pubescent kids, and will generally ditch their conquests once the latter hit puberty. (Also, many true pedophiles have no or little concern about the kids’ gender.)

    Obviously, the argument that an erection constitutes consent is just as flawed as the argument that a woman wasn’t raped if her body lubed up during the encounter (which it sometimes does as a protective mechanism, e.g., during a gynocological exam).

  • Andy Fox

    If you don’t believe in Hell then you don’t believe in the Bible. You’re not an atheist either, so what god do you revere? The god you created within your own mind?

  • Sam Wah

    I know that when I was 14-15, the thought of being initiated into sex by an older woman was an ongoing desire–never to be fulfilled.

  • MPH

    While I agree with the concept that erection does NOT equal consent (males can and do have erections while SLEEPING), you’ve made a few mistakes in this that damage your argument.

    A pedophile is someone who desires sex from the pre-pubescent. There isn’t a normal 15 year old in this country that isn’t post-pubescent. Girls are typically done with their major growth period and can successfully breed before 14, boys before 16 (they’ll both grow about 1 inch in the ten years after this). You’re post pubescent once you’re able to breed, which for females means once they’re menstruating regularly, which these days is usually happening before 9th grade. As an anecdotal example, I know of one girl who started at 9. So your repeated assertions that those who want to have sex with “minors” are pedophiles means you’re using a definition of the word that isn’t standard usage, even in law enforcement. Your entire argument based on the idea that a person wanting to have sex with a 15 YO is a pedophile is fallacious. It IS valid for those who ARE pre-pubescent, but alas, that isn’t what you addressed.

    It hasn’t been that long ago that “coming out parties” for young women were common. That happened once she started menstruating. It was society’s way of announcing that she was ready for marriage and having children. It normally happened before she turned 14 (an unmarried 18 YO woman was known as an “old maid” whose marriage prospects were essentially zero). In the Jewish religion, boys and girls are considered adults at the age of 13 (also arbitrary but closer to reality than states like CA, where the age of consent is 18). These traditions were recognitions of when people became biological adults, and so would be driven by their hormones to try to breed (yes, we’re rational beings that can override our desires; that doesn’t mean that the desire doesn’t exist or that it isn’t incredibly strong). The preceding are examples that desiring sex by and with 15 YOs was long recognized as “normal”. Modern society’s insistence that sexual activity on the part of people in their low and middle teens is abnormal is counter to millennia of actual facts. Note that it isn’t just that older people want to have sex with the young, it is that the young adult wants to have sex that used to be accepted. Today, we ignore millennia of evidence and try to set, yes, arbitrary age limits on when a person should desire to engage in sex, and with whom. Both genders are biologically programmed to desire sex with the newly adult. That’s the demographic that is most likely to be fertile and produce viable offspring (e.g. the older you are, the more likely you are to produce a child with a birth defect). Ignoring this just causes problems. Your assertion that the young are targeted essentially so that they can be “trained” to do what the older, more experienced partner wants actually applies to the inexperienced, regardless of age. Yes, it is more likely that the young are inexperienced, so all that means is if you’re looking for an inexperienced sex partner so you can “train them right”, young adults make for a target rich environment.

    The statuary rape laws weren’t written for the reason you seem to think they were. This will take some background, so please be patient.

    Prior to industrialization, the typical family lived and worked in the same place. Farmers lived and worked on their farms. Shop owners lived in the same building as their shop, or in a house behind/next to the shop. So husbands were essentially under the supervision of their wives all day long, making cheating nearly impossible. Then along came the industrial revolution. Men started going away all day to the factory for their job. On the way home they’d do things like stop at the local bar for a beer with their buddies. What happened occasionally was a husband would become enamored with a young woman in her middle teens (sometimes as a result of her being a prostitute and him hiring her for her services), and he’d leave his existing family to run away with the younger woman (keep in mind that back then, a 1 day train ride followed by another day on a stage coach or horseback meant you were NOT going to be found by your family). While such events were rare, women lobbied their legislatures for the passage of age of consent laws and for anti prostitution laws claiming that such events were “epidemic” in nature (we see BS like this even today – gotta stir up the panic by exaggerating the problem; this was the same strategy used to make opium illegal – legislatures were lobbied in which claims were made that there was an epidemic of nefarious oriental men that were using opium to “take advantage of good christian white women” when the problem was, in fact, rare). So the reason we have age of consent laws all boils down to: married women 30+ years old didn’t want to have to compete sexually with women in their teens to keep their husbands.

    Your conclusion that feminism has screwed women up so that they (rarely, since the older woman chasing a 15 YO is still rare) desire the young teen seems to be off target. Women have learned that desiring sex isn’t something they should be ashamed of, something that has been pervasive in western culture since Queen Victoria (who famously told the women of England that on their wedding night they should “lie back and think of England”, and who thought that sex was something that women should NOT enjoy, and under who’s reign the concept of a woman being the aggressor in a sex crime was removed from the legal lexicon; we’re talking about “the virgin queen”, after all). Being a “cougar” is also again becoming acceptable (there’s even a dating site for it, as well as a recent sitcom). All we’re really seeing is the outliers in a long established trend that had briefly become out of fashion and is now, while perhaps not being accepted, is at least being known. Unfortunately, we’re largely taking the wrong view, that the younger person involved is somehow ALWAYS a victim, when it may be that they only rarely are. As long as we continue to incorrectly define the problem, any suggested solutions will only fix the actual problem by coincidence.

    We need to once again accept that the young adult WILL desire sex. We also need to once again accept that the young adult is one who has recently obtained the ability to breed, and that such things happen WHEN THEY HAPPEN, rather than at some arbitrary age which has observably been set much higher than when people actually become an adult. Until we reaccept these two facts, we will continue to misdiagnose the problem, claim that people are victims when they are not (I am not saying that all such are not victims, but surely at least some are not), and imprison and vilify people who have engaged in a behavior with a willing partner in a manner that has existed and been considered acceptable largely throughout written history, if not longer.

  • NeoWayland

    Should it matter?

    I know it makes some of you feel uncomfortable. The answers aren’t going to make you feel better.

    If you don’t believe in Hell then you don’t believe in the Bible. More or less yes.

    You’re not an atheist either, so what god do you revere? Gods, plural. Part of the way I show my respect is not using their names casually.

    The god you created within your own mind? No.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    The council members of Rotherham expressed similar concerns.

    Statutory rape laws are there for a reason.

  • dicentra

    What for?

    I don’t give a rip if you’re an atheist. If you’re also a minarchist or something near that, we’re good.

  • MPH

    Based on what I’ve read the Rotherham situation didn’t need statutory rape laws, as many of the victims were forcibly raped and then threatened into silence. If the council and/or police would have done their jobs, the problem would have been resolved 15.5 years ago.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    They accepted the “consent” argument you laid out, above. Even though the victims were well below the legal age of consent.

    Most states in the US have used 17 or 18 as legal consent age precisely because we supposedly moved out of the Middle Ages. Never mind that 12-year-old girls are often capable of giving birth, just as some 13-year old boys are capable of being the male progenitors.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    To me at age 14, Seventeen *was* older. The thought of some 25-year old, alone in the same room as me, clothes or no clothes would have freaked me out.

  • MPH

    I don’t know where you’ve been reading about Rotherham, but where I’ve been reading about it they’ve been specifying that the majority of rapes have been forcible in nature, and the police wouldn’t do anything because they feared being considered bigoted and the council used the same excuse, but in my opinion the council’s real reason was that council members were heavily invested in the local taxi companies where a high percentage of the men involved worked (so the council members had a monetary motive).

    Most states in the USA have the age of consent set to 16 (28 do). FL is a special case. They’ve got special language that states that while a 16 YO can consent to sex, they can only do so with someone under 24, otherwise your partner has to be 18 (note that the legislature provided no exception for spouses). So FL would be the 29th state in which a 16 YO can consent to sex (at least under certain circumstances).

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  • NeoWayland

    Close enough.

  • Squid Hunt

    This:
    “You may be certain that somewhere a Gender Studies major is examining cases of female teachers caught in sex crimes against minors, and theorizing a way to blame these crimes on the patriarchy.”

    Is pure gold.

  • Squid Hunt

    Hey, look. Moral equivalizer.

  • Andy Fox

    I’m not “uncomfortable” with your beliefs, but I disagree with them. Nevertheless, on temporal matters, we can share goals to bring the US back to the original vision for this country incorporated into the Constitution, not the mangled mess we are currently living in ,brought through intellectually dishonest interpretations.

    Although I am strongly Christian evangelical, because God gave people free will I am pluralistic and believe that you should have a choice (of course that is guaranteed anyway in the US because of the First Amendment, but from a philosophical perspective I feel that way as well). I do wonder though about those who have spiritual belief based upon self-revelation, and whether they consider that if the Christian paradigm is the truth, that Satan wants to deceive people with false religion? I would concede that Christians sometimes do not express the concern for those outside of their faith in way that is conducive to dialogue, and come off as self-righteous and demeaning. I hope I did not come off that way.

  • NeoWayland

    You have two parts to your response on different subjects, so I am going to respond separately.

    …we can share goals to bring the US back to the original vision for this country incorporated into the Constitution…

    That might be up for debate too. I think a good place to start would be drastically reducing the size and role of government in our society. Most importantly, let people make their own choices as long as they accept the consequences.

  • NeoWayland

    I do wonder though about those who have spiritual belief based upon self-revelation…

    Now that is interesting. What if it is not self-revelation?

    …whether they consider that if the Christian paradigm is the truth…

    Speaking only for myself, I’ll readily concede that “the Christian paradigm” is a truth, although I question if it’s really “the Christian paradigm.”

    that Satan wants to deceive people with false religion?

    Now that’s a specifically Christian assumption. It also brings it’s own assumptions. From my studies, I’d say that the original version of the Biblical Adversary is not a demigod of evil, but a Tester of Faith, sort of a prosecutor and investigator and judge rolled into one. My own interpretation of Christianity is probably closer to the gnostic model. That’s probably personal preference though, it’s not really based on experience.

    I hope I did not come off that way.

    (grins)

    You’re not demanding I convert with threats of eternal judgement and hellfire. So I’d say we’re good.

  • Alan

    Many objectives of law may result in such messy, ambiguous investigations and resultant uncomfortable court proceedings. That’s why cops are usually looking for “bright line” criteria re: violation. A fixed age is one such.

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  • jimb82

    “Lie back and think of England” was Lady Alice Hillingdon, not Queen Victoria.

  • Wes Fulton

    Once you stipulate that sex with minors can be acceptable under specific circumstances, you open the door to a stampede of perverts who will use that premise in arguments you never meant to make.

    This.

    Being the pessimist I am, this nicely summarizes why I think adult/child sex is going to achieve at least some limited form of legalization during my lifetime: Because that is where the logic of Leftist legal theory inevitably leads. Once it has been demonstrated that kiddie sex is OK in some highly limited circumstance — and I have no doubt there are Leftist legal scholars out there somewhere working to dig up the perfect case to demonstrate this — the rest of the edifice simply crumbles through tireless appeals to “fairness”: If X is okay, why not Y? You can practically write the snarky Internet postings in your sleep:”It’s all based on mystical sky-god mumbo-jumbo anyway; why should we feel bound to it at all?”

    I’ve said before that while the vast majority of liberals are still too horrified by the idea to allow themselves to go this far, they are eventually going to reason themselves into this position by following the already well-worn paths of their own thinking. Dostoevsky saw it coming, and we’re doomed to live it out.

    And Stacy touches on another thing I’ve noticed: the way our culture tends to oversell the case against adult/child sex, painting it as the blackest and most unspeakable moral horror. I am highly suspicious of this; I think it is motivated by guilt about where we are headed, and I think it ultimately undercuts, rather than strengthens the taboo.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    FOr one thing you can read a lot about it here at this site. For better coverage, go to Breitbart London. The reports included specific instances where the police or other officers charged with enforcing the law knew that the girls had a) been “having” intercourse with adult males and b) were below the age of legal consent.

    And in those cases, they still elected to ignore the law and treat it like actual consent.

    That was one of the aspects of the story that led in many reports.

  • Sean

    Man gets hard being raped? He wanted it.
    Woman orgasms during rape? RAAAAAAPE!!!111!!11!!!

  • IrateScientist

    “That is to say, if we argue that Debra Lafave’s victim wasn’t actually a victim because Lafave is a pretty blonde, a logically consistent extension of such an argument would invalidate all statutory rape law in any similar circumstance, regardless of whether the perpetrators or victims were male or female, gay or straight.”

    Only because we refuse to base legislation on what everyone knows to be true. Namely, that males and females are profoundly different. If “logical consistency” has somehow come to require that we pretend there are no differences between the sexes, then logical consistency has become illogical.

  • Daniel Freeman

    Believe it or not, teenage girls have libidos too. (That’s why it’s called “statutory rape” instead of just “rape.”) If you only care about the harm to girls getting what they want, and not about the harm to boys getting what they want, then that’s on you, not them. That isn’t a difference in men and women; that’s a difference in how much you care about them.

    Face it: traditionalism tends to be damn near as gynocentric as feminism. That’s why you’ve been so ineffectual in disputing it; you’re only disagreeing around the edges on policy details, while agreeing on the principle that women are worth more.

    For example, gay weddings don’t disrupt straight marriages; divorces do. To object to the former, while treating no-fault divorce as a settled question, is to treat marriage as an institution not worth saving.

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