The closest relatives inbreeding can give rise to an almost 25% risk of getting some form of genetic condition - if such a condition already happens to exist in the family. No study exists which looks at the risk of a single generation inbreeding event (i.e. 100% unrelated grandparents), and controls for all non-genetic factors, but extrapolation for studies of cousin marriages puts the risk (over the baseline population) at only 6.8–11.2%
There are genetic illnesses - most notably Huntington's disease - which if just one parent has it, their child has a 50% chance of getting it themselves! Yet no one makes any argument that it should be illegal for a person who has the gene for Huntington's to ever have sex with anyone.
More over, with the existence of safe and inexpensive birth control and abortion, the inbreeding argument becomes irrelevant.
Touching sexual offenses include
• Using a child to film, photograph or model pornography.”
Suppose we flipped the moral assumptions on their head: those children raised to feel that sexuality is a normal and healthy part of life, and not something shameful to be hidden and avoided at all costs, grow up to be less repressed and uptight about sex, and due to this healthier outlook are more comfortable engaging in sex with a dating partner without the intention of marriage.
Nonclinical general population surveys revealing nonproblematic intergenerational sex include the Kinsey study of women (1953) indicating that 20% to 24% of the women questioned had been molested as children, about 4% having been approached sexually by adult male relatives before adolescence. The Kinsey researchers said "the contacts often involved considerable affection, and some of the older females in the sample felt that their preadolescent experience had contributed favorably to their later socio-sexual development." Gagnon (1965) surveyed 1,200 college females and found that 26% had been molested by adults before the age of 13. He concluded that most of the women did not appear to experience long-term consequences. Landis (1956), studying 500 college students who had sexual experiences with adults before puberty, said that only 3% were permanently damaged and that no harm, permanent or temporary, resulted for 81% of the males and 66% of the females. The author's descriptive survey (Nelson, 1986) of a self-selected heterogeneous nonclinical incest sample (68% of which were intergenerational) showed slightly more than 25% of younger partners in child-adult situations reporting their experiences as positive.”
I say, if you've had positive sexual experiences of any kind, don't feel pressured to conceive of them negatively, and if you've had negative sexual experiences of any kind, don't feel pressured to conceive of them positively. That should be a salubrious rule of thumb, and it doesn't necessitate abolishing ages of consent or other protectionist statutory instruments.
My girlfriend, incidentally, had a sexual relationship with her stepbrother (so no incest) for 5 years when she was aged 5-10 and he was aged 10-15. Occasionally she wonders whether she should feel bad about it, to which my response is 'do you feel bad about it?', and her response is 'no, I enjoyed it and I feel positive about it'.”
” I was first introduced to sexual experimentation in 1959 at age nine by an eleven-year-old neighbor girl. We were part of a group of neighborhood children all about the same age, and although we carefully hid our activities from the adults, we were involved in what amounts to a sexual experimentation group. The oldest child was a twelve-year-old girl whose mother was divorced (a big scandal back then) and who had to work, leaving the girl at home by herself in the house. This provided us with a secret place in which to meet. We were very careful to avoid attracting attention, and we swore a "kid's oath" to never snitch or reveal our activities to people (kids or adults) outside our group. One problem was that there were more girls than boys, so basically we had to "take turns." In retrospect, it was kind of odd to be sitting in a 4th grade desk, in the same classroom with two girls with whom I had "done stuff with." Same thing about church and Sunday school.
There was never any coercion or pressure applied to anybody to participate. I was more than willing, even eager, to do so. The oldest girl did "organize" things a little (spin-the-bottle or by drawing cards) and we had a rule about not writing anything down. (Different cards represented different sexual acts, corresponding to the different "bases" commonly used to describe sex among elementary school kids.) There were no adults involved, at all, but when I was grown up it occurred to me that the girl who introduced me to sexual experimentation sure seemed to know a lot about adult sexual behavior for a nine-year-old…”
So, while it may not be obvious, in my experience children are very active sexually”
(if you have never heard of such a thing, Google "PIV")
Clinical populations reveal nondamaging intergenerational sex. De Young (1982) reports that 20% of her "victims" appeared to be "virtually indifferent to their molestation." Instead, they tended to be traumatized by the reaction of adults to its discovery. Constantine (1981), after reviewing 30 studies of intergenerational sexual contact, said "only a very small percentage of cases appear to result in seriously harmful or long-term consequences as judged by standard measures of psychological health and social adjustment." Sloane and Karpinski (1942), using interviews from five clinical cases, stated that "if nonparticipating adults are comfortable with the known relationship, harm to the child is decreased."
Extreme caution must be taken in claiming causal relationships. Scientific definition of abuse must be based on the nature and extent of actual harm done, not on age differential or expectations of harm. How much of the perceived outcome was caused by the experience and how much by the societal response, need for secrecy, fear of discovery, or actual discovery? The situational variables in a given interaction include the answer to the question, What harm was done to the child or to the adult, and what impact did societal response and expectations have on those involved?”
Also be aware of sexual acting out and language that is not age-appropriate.
Another study using YRBS data was consistent with previous research in finding that [____] report high levels of victimization
… high rates of psychiatric illnesses, including depression, drug abuse, and suicide attempts, among [___]. Depression and drug abuse are strongly associated with [____] that lead to serious medical problems.
About 80% of 21-year-olds [____] met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
14% of all men and 36% of all women in prison [____].
[____] are less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs.
First of all, nearly every single “symptom” is some combination of subjective, abstract, or so general and generic that it could be attributed to 100s of different things.
Another thing to note is that it is virtually impossible to guess which list is describing which perversion.
In his books, he listed behavioral signs for parents to be alert for in order to determine whether their child was masturbating (Money, 1985). These behavioral signs for masturbation included the following (current suggested behavioral indicators for sexual abuse are in italics):
(note: I am referring specifically to those forms which make sex impossible without further surgery. I am not referring to cliteroctomies, which are indefensible).
Though they remained largely unchanged for several centuries, the laws in the late 1800s and early 1900s as other aspects of societies and the role of women changed. European nations and
Not everyone agreed with these changes, however, some that teenage women “were sufficiently developed not to need legal protection,” and, moreover, that “by late adolescence girls possessed sufficient understanding about how to use the law to blackmail unwary men.” Steven Robertson of the
Still, even if people acknowledged young women as sexual, the general consensus was that the laws were necessary to protect them from exploitation:
1. Molestation and exploitation that leave permanent psychological and sometimes physical scars.2. Exploratory sex play with peers and adults that does not result in permanent damage other than that caused by social disapproval and its consequent guilt and shame.3. Cultural desexualization and denial of children's normal sexual thoughts and feelings. Many patients who present with sex problems suffer not because they were exposed to early sexual experience but because they were deprived of the natural sexual imprinting that occurs among animals and primitive humans (Harlow & Harlow, 1962).”
In other words, the whole reason children don’t have a full understanding of the ramifications of sexuality is because adults deliberately go out of their way to prevent children from learning about it. Then they turn around and use the ignorance they have deliberately fostered as the rationalization for denying children choice!
A) they consent, or
B) it is known without doubt that it is definitely in their long-term best interests to proceed without consent.
Examples of B are getting vaccinations and going to school
“ Kinsey et al. (1953) and Ford and Beach (1951) in suggesting that early sexual experience is often positively correlated with greater adult sexual and interpersonal satisfaction.”https://www.ipce.info/ipceweb/Library/nelson.htm
Similarly, to cause a daughter to have the highest possible value in the bargaining game of marrying off your kids is to ensure she is a virgin, so that the in-law family doesn’t run the risk of being cuckolded, getting an already pregnant wife but believing her children are genetically related to you, thereby “wasting” your resources on someone else’s offspring.
Making child sexual contact the worst possible offense is simply the easiest way to ensure young women stay virgins until marriage. Extending the taboo to males helps in the same regard, as their most likely partners would generally be a female of the same approximate age as themselves, as well as reducing the chance that he might form an attachment to a female other than the parents choice.
And, while it is impossible to fully distinguish cultural influence from biology, there is some evidence that humans have a natural aversion to incest, which helps protect against the potential problems of inbreeding. Despite our logic and rationality, we have a lot of trouble distinguishing between our own feelings and true ethics.
However, incest is a specific subset, which wouldn't exclude all intergenerational contact, and besides, inbreeding doesn't become a factor until the youngest member of a pair is (physically) an adult.
“no sexual contact, period”
Until now it has not seemed necessary to classify the children other than as victims since children's sexual feelings have been denied or relegated to the categories of sex play and curiosity. As Okami (1987) points out, however, "these are the same impulses and behaviors that in adolescents or adults are characterized as sexual desire and sexual activity.'”
In closing, let me reiterate and expand on my second disclaimer from the beginning:
All this is in no way meant to promote or condone any particular behavior from any real person.
This is all purely a thought exercise. I am exploring what could be, maybe even what should be, but certainly not what actually is.
I've made the argument that the majority of the harm from sexual knowledge or activity in young people may actually come more from society's view of it than from the actual knowledge or act itself - but the fact remains that society is actually how it is.
The potential harm may be a secondary effect, but that doesn't make it any less real.
In other words, the very fact that almost everyone insists it is harmful may have the consequence of creating harm even under the best of circumstances.
In a society that finds sex before marriage, or consensual adultery (swingers), pornography, homosexual sex, or prostitution - none of which are intrinsically harmful to anyone - to be immoral, it is very risky to engage in those acts, and there can be both legal and psychological repercussions for going against the status quo.
With this specific sex taboo, there are also complicated issues surrounding power dynamics that make exploitation and abuse more likely then in any of the (adult) taboos just listed; because of that even in a hypothetical society more relaxed about sex in general, there would be a need for caution.
Because of the power dynamics, the line between "seduction" and "coercion" is necessarily blurred, and any form of initiation or encouragement by an older person would always be suspect. This alone prevents letting child abusers off the hook.
Obviously, just like with ending a tickle fight on request, every person is entitled to make decisions about what is and isn't done to their own body, and that basic human respect should extend to young people just as much as anyone else. Force is obviously off-limits, but bribery, pleading, and any other forms of manipulation would be just as much.
Mostly what I hope to convey is that the sort of things that can get a person onto the sex offender registry:
Megan's Law and The Sex Offender Registry (is a seriously flawed system)
...have nothing to do with actual harm, and are a direct result of our inability to separate our emotions regarding cultural norms from actual ethics.
This is one of the many examples where that inability causes us to collectively make choices that do more harm than good.
This post is not meant to promote childhood sexuality, but it is meant to change reader's perspectives when they hear about it in the news.
Maybe that particular instance was abusive - and maybe it wasn't.
Instead of making a blanket condemnation, maybe we should look at every individual case for its specific circumstances and details before making a judgement.