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Burning a Book Before It's Printed

By Eloquence in Op-Ed
Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 07:07:00 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

It is easy and comfortable to believe that we live in enlightened times, that scientific and rational thought have illuminated all parts of our culture. But every now and then we are reminded that there are subjects that we are not supposed to talk about, even think about. One of these subjects is child sexuality, as is demonstrated by the reaction to the book Harmful to Minors by Judith Levine. Even one month before its publication, it has been widely denounced as "evil" by people who have never read the book -- because it argues that children and juveniles should be allowed to have satisfying sex lives. A stunning tale of shutting up those who dare to ask the wrong questions.


"In America today, it is nearly impossible to publish a book that says children and teen-agers can have sexual pleasure and be safe too," writes Judith Levine in the introduction to Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex (Amazon.com). The book, on which she has been working since the mid-1990s, was rejected by one publisher after the next, its content called "radioactive" by one of them. The University of Minnesota Press accepted the manuscript a year ago -- a decision it now almost certainly regrets.

The UMNP description of the book reads as follows:

A radical, refreshing, and long overdue reassessment of how we think and act about children's and teens' sexuality.

Sex is a wonderful, crucial part of growing up, and children and teens can enjoy the pleasures of the body and be safe, too. In this important and controversial book, Judith Levine makes this argument and goes further, asserting that America's attempts to protect children from sex are worse than ineffectual. It is the assumption of danger and the exclusive focus on protection-what Levine terms "the sexual politics of fear"-that are themselves harmful to minors.

Through interviews with young people and their parents, stories drawn from today's headlines, visits to classrooms and clinics, and a look back at the ways sex among children and teenagers has been viewed throughout history, Judith Levine debunks some of the dominant myths of our society. She examines and challenges widespread anxieties (pedophilia, stranger kidnapping, Internet pornography) and sacred cows (abstinence-based sex education, statutory rape laws). Levine investigates the policies and practices that affect kids' sex lives-censorship, psychology, sex and AIDS education, family, criminal, and reproductive law, and the journalism that begs for "solutions" while inciting more fear.

Harmful to Minors offers fresh alternatives to fear and silence, describing sex-positive approaches that are ethically based and focus on common sense. Levine provides optimistic, though realistic, prescriptions for how we might do better in guiding children toward loving well-that is, safely, pleasurably, and with respect for others and themselves.

The book has been endorsed by Dr. Jocelyn Elders, who wrote the foreword, and by authors Robie Harris, James Kincaid, and Debbie Nathan. But a misleading interview with the author in late March quickly triggered a national wave of protests against the book, mostly coming from religious fundamentalists. The article by Mark O'Keefe (Newhouse News Service, published in the Star Tribune) titled "Some in mainstream contend certain cases of adult-minor sex should be acceptable" discusses recent scientific studies of adult-child sexual interaction. One of these studies is the controversial meta-analysis by psychologists Bruce Rind and Michael Bauserman that found that negative effects of adult-child sexual contact "were neither pervasive nor typically intense, and that men reacted much less negatively than women." (Much of Rind and Bauserman's work is documented here.) Their study has been subject of loud scientific and political controversy (so much that the US House of Representatives eventually unanimously passed a resolution condemning the study).

The study is cited by Judith Levine in her book, which is described in the article as follows:

A soon-to-be-released book, "Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex," is being advertised by its publisher, University of Minnesota Press, as challenging widespread anxieties about pedophilia.

In an interview, the book's author, journalist Judith Levine, praised the Rind study as evidence that "doesn't line up with the ideology that it's always harmful for kids to have sexual relationships with adults."

She said the pedophilia among Roman Catholic priests is complicated to analyze, because it's almost always secret, considered forbidden and involves an authority figure.

She added, however, that, "yes, conceivably, absolutely" a boy's sexual experience with a priest could be positive.

"When I was a minor, I had sex with an adult," she said. "He was one of my first lovers. My heart was broken, but my heart was broken by a lot of boys, too. I'd say on balance that it was a perfectly good experience."

Even with the little information provided here, it is already obvious that this is a gross mischaracterization. From the UMN press release, it is clear that Levine's book discusses much more than just pedophilia. Her statement about a relationship between a boy and a priest is abridged, and it is unclear to which question she responded. Levine's last statement could come out of a completely different context, e.g. statutory rape laws (how old was she when she had sex with an adult?).

Based on this almost propagandistic mischaracterization, a media campaign against the book quickly followed. One of its main spokespersons is Robert Knight of the religious fundamentalist propaganda organization "Concerned Women for America", which is also anti-homosexual, anti-evolution and anti-abortion. Two days after the Star Tribune story, CFI released the following statement:

Reject Academic Cover for Child Molesters, CFI Says

Knight Urges University of Minnesota to Fire Officials Responsible for Book Advocating Adult-Child Sex

Washington, D.C. - "Child molesters are getting a big boost toward legitimacy with the University of Minnesota Press' publication of a book advocating sex with children," said Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute. "Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex is every child molester's dream--and every parent's nightmare."

"Joycelyn Elders, who was Bill Clinton's surgeon general, wrote the foreword for this evil tome," Knight says. "Not content to advocate for adults teaching children to masturbate, she is giving cover for adults having sex with kids--so long as the kids give their consent. Everybody except for the molesters and their apologists knows that children cannot give meaningful consent to sex. Everybody knows that children are coerced into giving 'consent,' and that the damage can last a lifetime. The author of this book, Judith Levine, is Exhibit A. She was molested as a child and now advocates it for other children.

"Accused molesters have already misused a 1998 study published by the American Psychological Association to justify their perversion; now they will be citing this hideous book to excuse their crimes against children.

"If the Regents of the University of Minnesota do not act quickly to fire those responsible, the people of Minnesota and their elected representatives should move quickly to replace them," Knight said.

One should also note the small notice at the bottom of the press release:

Knight, a former media fellow at the Hoover Institution, wrote and directed The Children of Table 34, a documentary about Alfred C. Kinsey's use of children in sex experiments, and is the author of The Age of Consent: The Rise of Relativism and the Corruption of Popular Culture (Spence Publishing).

The Children of Table 34 is a professional, expensively produced "documentary" that has been used to discredit Alfred Kinsey's groundbreaking and unique work on human sexuality -- because some of his data on child sexuality came from a pedophile's personal records. As a propaganda expert, Knight was the right man for the job of destroying another book that advocated a positive attitude towards children's sexuality.

He managed to get his message, which was based on a misrepresentation in another article, into the international Associated Press wire news service, from where it was then broadcasted to millions of homes, over websites like MSNBC, ABCNews, CNN and others. The AP story quotes Knight as saying that "the action is so grievous and so irresponsible that I felt they relinquished their right to academic freedom." He calls the book "very evil", although he admits he hasn't read it. He also claims that "this book will aid and abet child molesters because it gives a pseudo-scientific rationale that can be used by a defense attorney."

ABCNews, in their expanded version of the AP story, at least allows Levine to make her case:

Levine says her quote was misconstrued and that she does not approve sex between authority figures such as parents, priests and teachers and the minors in their charge. However, she argues that teenagers should be given more credit for the choices they make when they become involved in relationships with adults.

[...]

Levine endorses the Netherlands' approach to age-of-consent laws. In 1990, the Dutch parliament made sex between adults and children ages 12 to 16 legal as long as there was mutual consent. The child or the child's parents can bring charges if they believe the minor was coerced into sex.

Levine believes the Dutch law is a "good model" for the United States because it recognizes children as sexual beings who can determine their future while not ignoring the fact that they are weaker than adults and still need legal protection. U.S. consent laws, she says, mistakenly put all minors under one category without recognizing their ability to pursue relationships.

"Legally designating a class of people categorically unable to consent to sexual relations is not the best way to protect children, particularly when 'children' include everyone from birth to eighteen," Levine writes. "Criminal law, which must draw unambiguous lines, is not the proper place to adjudicate family conflicts over youngsters' sexuality. If such laws are to exist, however, they must do what [social psychologist Lynn M.] Phillips suggests about sexual and romantic education: balance the subjective experience and the rights of young people against the responsibility and prerogative of adults to look after their best interests, to 'know better.'"

[...]

"The hysteria surrounding my book is precisely what my book is about," Levine said. "There are some real dangers [facing children] in the world, of course. But we need to look at them realistically and separate the real ones from the exaggerated ones."

Elsewhere, Levine also clearly states that she doesn't think children below the age of 12 can have positive sexual experiences with adults. "I deplore rape, sexual abuse of children and any way that a person is forced to have sex against their will," Levine says. "I am a feminist, and I am glad that our legal system has laws against rape. For anybody to say I promote child abuse is absurd."

Of course, given the emotions already invoked by calling Levine a pedophile-defender, her rebuttal was not enough. State Rep. Tim Pawlenty, majority leader of the Minnesota House and Republican candidate for governor, called for the stop of the book's release, according to the Star Tribune:

"In recent weeks, the headlines have been filled with the stories of victims sexually abused as children," he said in a prepared statement. "This kind of disgusting victimization of children is intolerable, and the state should have no part in it."

Pawlenty said Wednesday night that he has not read the book but became upset after reading articles about its content.

[...]

"We deserve to know why the name of one of our most respected institutions is being associated with this endorsement of child molestation," Pawlenty said.

While the UMN has so far mostly defended its release of the book, it had reportedly received more than 200 mostly negative responses by early April, and has now announced to review its publishing guidelines. While the press release still defends the book, it sends a chilling message to all those wishing to inititiate rational discourse of children's sexuality.

What we have here is a classical case of an attempt to kill a book before it is even released. Apparently the rationale of current statutory rape laws, which has put many juveniles in prison for consensual sex, as well as for sexual abstinency education, a major cause of teen pregnancies, is so weak that anyone arguing against it must be singled out and completely discredited in a well-funded ad hominem campaign.

Some of Levine's previous writings are interesting to gauge where the author is standing. For example, in Shooting the Messenger: Why Censorship Won't Stop Violence, she argues against using the media as a scapegoat for school violence as was done in the aftermath of the Columbine shootings. In A Question of Abuse (Mother Jones 1996) she tells the tale of a young boy who was treated -- and psychologically destroyed -- for being a "sex offender" at the age of 9. She describes the "children who molest" scare, which I have already discussed in my Right to Pleasure article. To understand the child sexual abuse scare, the book Making Monsters: False Memory, Psychotherapy, and Sexual Hysteria (Amazon.com) is an absolute must.

If you want to protest the smear campaign against Levine's book, you can contact the University of Minnesota Press to show your support:

University of Minnesota Press
111 Third Avenue South, Suite 290
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Phone: 612-627-1970
Fax: 612-627-1980
E-mail: ump@tc.umn.edu

You can also contact the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Minneapolis Star Tribune
Editorial Department
425 Portland Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55488
Phone: 612-673-4823
Fax: 612-673-4359
E-mail: opinion@startribune.com

Of course, pre-ordering the book will probably send the strongest message.

The attempted suppression of Levine's book raises another question: How many books about controversial subjects never find a publisher? What is the value of free speech if nobody is willing to make your speech heard? Hopefully, the Internet and books published through print-on-demand will eventually make it possible for non-technical authors to reach large audiences effectively.

Further sources:

Book on children and sex finds harsh critics (Star Tribune)
Mainstream Book Advocating Adult-Child Sex Draws Howls of Protest (Fox News)
Child sex book scandal triggers review of U of M publishing arm (Star Tribune)
Critics say book encourages pedophilia (USA Today)
New book on children's sexuality causes furor (AP story on CNN), Book on kids' sexuality causes furor (AP story on MSNBC), Furor Over Youth Sex Book (AP story on CBS)

Erik Möller 2002, public domain content. If you enjoyed this article, buy me a text-ad on Kuro5hin (email me for details).

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Poll
Is the reaction to Levine's book justified?
o Yes, child sexuality is a legitimate taboo 5%
o Yes, if she argues that some adult-minor sex is beneficial 5%
o Undecided 5%
o No, the book poses important questions, and the reaction is propaganda 49%
o No, critics should wait until the book is published 34%

Votes: 157
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o Amazon.com
o University of Minnesota Press
o UMNP description
o Some in mainstream contend certain cases of adult-minor sex should be acceptable
o Much of Rind and Bauserman's work is documented here.
o "Concerned Women for America"
o statement
o allows
o review its publishing guidelines
o Shooting the Messenger: Why Censorship Won't Stop Violence
o A Question of Abuse
o Right to Pleasure
o Amazon.com [2]
o ump@tc.umn .edu
o opinion@st artribune.com
o Book on children and sex finds harsh critics
o Mainstream Book Advocating Adult-Child Sex Draws Howls of Protest
o Child sex book scandal triggers review of U of M publishing arm
o Critics say book encourages pedophilia
o New book on children's sexuality causes furor
o Book on kids' sexuality causes furor
o Furor Over Youth Sex Book
o email me
o Also by Eloquence


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Burning a Book Before It's Printed | 214 comments (209 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
!freedom of the press (4.50 / 30) (#5)
by miah on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 06:13:55 PM EST

It's nice to know that US government representative wanted this book to not be published in the name of "decency". I would hope that an elected official would hold the values of their constituents close to their hearts. That form of censorship proves one thing to me: that elected officials in the US are more concerned with being "decent" and getting elected than they are with following the wrote of the Constitution (which, I think is a pretty good document).

If you don't like a book that is being published, don't buy it. This phenomenon is especially true when you think about academic papers and research. If the book is that wrong, then peer review will show that it is, not a government.

This is exactaly why censoring or even profiling what books people buy is a Bad Thing(tm). Nice to know that efforts by religious and governmental groups to squelch this before it could be published just brought more attention to it. Freedom of the Press is more important to me than holding up supposed moral values and ideals.

Viva Gadjookistan!


Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
SLAVEWAGE
No Right to a Soapbox and Right to Disagree (3.19 / 31) (#6)
by Woundweavr on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 06:48:21 PM EST

The attempted suppression of Levine's book raises another question: How many books about controversial subjects never find a publisher? What is the value of free speech if nobody is willing to make your speech heard? Hopefully, the Internet and books published through print-on-demand will eventually make it possible for non-technical authors to reach large audiences effectively.

There is a Right to Free Speech/Press. There is no Right to a forum. This book is pretty dumb in its conception and from the arguments I have read, both from the mainstream news and direct quotes from the book, it is a piece of crap.

For instance this Q&A contains this quote -

Simply standing up and cheering for pleasure isn't enough. For adults to be moral about children means creating the conditions, in families and as a nation, that allow every child to thrive. The same conditions that prevent thriving in other ways also contribute to a failure to thrive sexually.

For instance, poverty. Eighty percent of teen moms come from poor families. Poverty is even a major correlate of sexual abuse. Not that middle-class kids never get abused, or that poor people are sexually craven. But poor families suffer more stress, they're less educated, and have less stable living situations. All that leaves children vulnerable, sexually and otherwise.

Sexism is another social condition that affects what sex is like for girls and boys. Deborah Tolman at Wellesley has found that girls who are most concerned about acting feminine are least likely to use contraception or withstand unwanted sexual pressure, while those who own their sexual desires and who don't care about being "girly" seize more control over their sexual lives. Boys, meanwhile, are taught that masculinity means always being ready for sex and never getting too emotionally involved. That might give boys more chance to express their sexuality, but it also deprives them of experiencing it more deeply. Sexual equality would let girls and boys say no -- or yes -- when they really want to and are ready to, and discover what sexuality means to them.

I don't know what is dumber. Her transparant transplantation of her feminism to children, assuming they are rational beings capable of making choices in Western culture of this importance and complexity, or her worship of sexual pleasure as something that must be championed and heralded.

Now read this passage from the book on pedophiles and tell me that is could not easily be taken as apologistic for pedophiles.

Now, even if you disagree with my opinion on the book, its too bad. These groups are allowed to say the book is evil, the work of the devil, or whatever else they want to say because they have a right to free speach as well.

The Obligation to Speak Out (4.66 / 15) (#11)
by Eloquence on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 07:31:51 PM EST

There is a Right to Free Speech/Press. There is no Right to a forum.

Of course not, although we may want to create this right within the infrastructure of the Internet. Within the context of traditional publishing, it is ultimately society that decides which views can be published to a wide audience and which cannot. However, if you feel that Levine's book presents a view that deserves attention and discussion, then it is a good idea to hold your voice against that of the organized religious fundamentalists protesting her book on the basis of false claims and hysteria.

I don't know what is dumber. Her transparant transplantation of her feminism to children, assuming they are rational beings capable of making choices in Western culture of this importance and complexity,

Your ad hominem attack is unfounded. There is no reason to assume that teenagers will act irrationally and only acquire rationality at the magic border of adulthood. In fact, as countless studies show, the human brain reaches the peak of receptiveness to new knowledge around the 10th year, which means that if you want to teach children responsible sexual behavior, you have to do it early. There's no reason not to present safe sex as a subject in kindergarden.

Your irrational attitude is most easily refuted by pointing to the statistics on teen pregnancies in countries which do not have sexual abstinence education, but discuss sexuality at a relatively early age.

Teen pregnancies per 1,000 teenagers:

United States 98.0
United Kingdom 46.6
Norway 40.2
Canada 38.6
Finland 32.1
Sweden 28.3
Denmark 27.9
Netherlands 12.1
Japan 10.5

(From here.) This is rather old data, I have quoted more recent statistics in the Right to Pleasure article, but this contains more countries. It is scientifically proven beyond reasonable doubt that sexually liberal education is the best way to reduce teenage pregnancies, just like Levine implies.

As for your link to the Levine excerpt, this is basically what criminologists have been saying for more than 40 years (e.g. Gebhard, P. H. et al. (1965): Sex offenders. An analysis of types. New York. -- still contains homosexuality as a sex offense, yet describes most pedophiles as non-violent.) If a statement like "The vast majority of so-called pedophiles do not go out and ravage small children" can get you labeled an "apologist", this is a telltale sign of mass hysteria.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Um, Southpark... (2.20 / 5) (#18)
by miah on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 08:13:43 PM EST

I think Southpark covered why we don't teach kids Sex Ed in kindergarten.

Mr. Garrison and Mr. Hat

Look it up, the episode is hilarious. :)


Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
SLAVEWAGE
[ Parent ]
Misunderstanding (3.54 / 11) (#22)
by Woundweavr on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 09:00:23 PM EST

Your ad hominem attack is unfounded. There is no reason to assume that teenagers will act irrationally and only acquire rationality at the magic border of adulthood.

Right. Teenagers act rationally and responsibly all the time. Don't be ridiculous.

In fact, as countless studies show, the human brain reaches the peak of receptiveness to new knowledge around the 10th year, which means that if you want to teach children responsible sexual behavior, you have to do it early.

"Peak of receptiveness" has little to do with it. Yes that is often the age that is cited for the ability to learn facts and skills the most quickly. The ability to reason and make rational decisions doesn't really fully develop until 15-17. This has been understood for decades and has been supported even more so by more recent evidence. And this is merely the development of the brain itself. Deciding to ignore the effects of hormones in the developing body, especially when it comes to sexual decisions, rational thought and understanding consequences on the adult level, is foolish and blind. Ignoring these facts seems the very essence of irrationality. Furthermore, kindergarden starts at 6, not 10.

In addition, the author was not advocating earlier/increased sex ed only. She also contends healthy and non-harmful sexual relations can occur as early as 12. For instance, in the passage I linked that apparently you agree with :

Even if a child survives a liaison with a pedophile, we believe, he will inevitably suffer great harm. "The predatory pedophile is as dangerous as cancer. He works as quietly, and his presence becomes known only by the horrendous damage he leaves," stated the children's lawyer and sex-thriller writer Andrew Vachss.

or perhaps this part is more something you'd agree with(emphasis mine)

Pedophiles are not generally violent, unless you are using the term sexual violence against children in a moral, rather than a literal, way. Its perpetrators very rarely use force or cause physical injury in a youngster. In fact, what most pedophiles do with children could not be further from Charles Jaynes's alleged necrophilic abominations. Bringing themselves down to the maturity level of children rather than trying to drag the child up toward an adult level, many men who engage in sex with children tend toward kissing, mutual masturbation, or "hands-off" encounters such as voyeurism and exhibitionism

or

Our culture fears the pedophile, say some social critics, not because he is a deviant, but because he is ordinary.

When one says their crimes aren't really harmful, that everyone is a pedophile and that having sex with a child isn't violent except moralistically violent (spoken in a derogatory manner) to me is clearly apologistic.

If we are talking about sex ed, we only disagree in degree. I am in favor of sex ed, but not until 12 or 13. Either way, that isn't whats being objected to in this book. Its the supporting of 12 year olds having sex with adults and pretending they can make adult decisions in this arena.

There is no direct corrolation between either early sex ed (or sex ed and all) and teen pregnancy that can be proven. Personally, I'm in favor of it, but many people like to think that because the US doesn't have as much sex ed, it is sexually healthier, especially for children and teens. However...

  • The Netherlands & Belgium - widespread child prostitution and sale of children
  • Denmark - less severe problems exist. Similar conditions exist in most Scandanavian countries.
  • Japan - a majority of teenage girls have performed sexual acts for money and nearly all have been offered.

Sex ed plays a smaller part than most like to think. Cultural attitudes about sex, especially how much parents talk about it, how expected and accepted teen pregnancy is within individual communities as well as the cultures they exist within and the stringency of the very laws that the author wants to eliminate, play the biggest role.

However, this has turned into a debate on the merits of he work. Regardless, these people can criticise both the morality (even if you don't acknowledge the existance of such) and the views expressed as represented in the advance passages of the book and what is known about the manuscript from the author's shopping of it.

[ Parent ]

Hear no evil, see no evil (5.00 / 12) (#35)
by Eloquence on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:41:12 PM EST

You are correct to state that teenagers, in many cases, will act impulsively -- I never said the opposite. However, to primarily attribute such behavior to an inferior state of development is simplistic. In fact, the main reason why unplanned teenage pregnancies occur at all is that, in an atmosphere of sexual tension, impulsive actions are much more likely -- someone who has been taught sexual abstinence may well know about safer sex, but be unable to apply this knowledge accordingly in the first spontaneous sexual situation.

Training and education are essential for developing responsibility and the skills of rational planning. This is something we accept in all other areas of teenagers' life -- why not sexuality? You can make no case that giving children knowledge to act responsibly will hurt them.

If we applied the "sexual abstinence" logic in another area, say, personal finance, we would not tell children much about money until they become teenagers, then tell them that money is the work of the devil and that they should stay the hell away from it, and then, when they reach adulthood, expect them to be able to use it rationally because of their now reached enlightened state of intellectual development. Sounds like a good plan for destroying the capitalist system.

Furthermore, just because we observe a certain kind of behavior in our current culture, there's no reason to assume that this kind of behavior is "normal". This is evident from our observations of "primitive" cultures where the sexual restrictions we place on minors were absent:

In Samoa for instance...children of both sexes are accustomed long before the age of puberty to toy with one another in sexual play and to imitate the sexual act. They are encouraged in those habits by their elders, and that infantile play develops as soon as they reach sexual maturity into complete sexual experience. Abominable, revolting! But the result of those abominable and revolting morals is that there is no such thing as a crisis of puberty in Samoa, and incidentally that the relations between the sexes are rather remarkable for their quietness and moderation, the disturbing influence of sex, which serves as an excuse for Christian morality, being in Samoa scarcely disturbing at all.

Briffault, R. 1931. Sin and Sex. New York: The Macaulay Company. p.94

Emphasis mine. There is strong evidence supporthing the thesis that the "crisis of puberty", as also mentioned in the Frontline interview you cite, is actually the result of unrelieved sexual tension because of modern cultural taboos. Of course, this is a subject that nobody would fund a study of -- given your indignation at Levine's book, a state of affairs you must be happy with.

And as for "rational thought and understanding on the adult level", the problem of unplanned parenthood does obviously not end with adulthood. The very same psychological mechanisms of sex guilt and lack of understanding are responsible for many unplanned pregnancies and abortions in later life.

In addition, the author was not advocating earlier/increased sex ed only. She also contends healthy and non-harmful sexual relations can occur as early as 12.

Yes, this is also obvious from my article, where I cite her approval of the Dutch age of consent model. This is not a defense of pedophilia, either, as the consent of the parents is required. It is, however, an effective alternative to the idiotic statutory rape laws of the United States, where 19 year olds land in jail for years on the request of their girlfriends' parents.

When one says their crimes aren't really harmful, that everyone is a pedophile and that having sex with a child isn't violent except moralistically violent (spoken in a derogatory manner) to me is clearly apologistic.

It would be apologetic if she argued that being violent is acceptable -- she is clearly taking a stand against violence, however, and merely pointing out the fact that most pedophiles are not violent. How is pointing out a fact apologetic? Can you actually refute her, or are you just trying to discredit her?

There is no direct corrolation between either early sex ed (or sex ed and all) and teen pregnancy that can be proven.

Uh-huh -- the correlation was already obvious from the small table I presented and would be more glaringly obvious from looking at the culture of the different countries. Whether this is actually a causation is a different question -- to verify this, we need to check the predictive value of our hypothesis. Can we find a country with very good sex education and very high teenage pregnancy rates? That would refute our hypothesis. Inversely, if the religious right was right, most European countries would have to exhibit horrible teen pregnancy rates.

The Netherlands & Belgium - widespread child prostitution and sale of children

Nonsense. That report is the result of the wide-spread hysteria surrounding the Dutroux case, which is a tale of its own. The report is basically a collection of the most sensationalistic media reports on child murders and child pornography, which are presented as "facts". A similar collection could be made for any country. In actual criminally recorded sex offenses, the Netherlands have several times lower crime rates than the US.

Japan - a majority of teenage girls have performed sexual acts for money and nearly all have been offered.

With which we do, again, get to the right to make decisions and the ability to think rationally. And from what I can fathom, these girls act quite rationally.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

I agree but there's one thing I don't get (4.00 / 4) (#98)
by greenrd on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:07:00 PM EST

Yes, this is also obvious from my article, where I cite her approval of the Dutch age of consent model. This is not a defense of pedophilia, either, as the consent of the parents is required. It is, however, an effective alternative to the idiotic statutory rape laws of the United States, where 19 year olds land in jail for years on the request of their girlfriends' parents.

I don't understand the practical difference here. Maybe I'm just being dumb, but if Dutch laws require parental consent, and the US laws also require parental consent, why are the Dutch laws better?


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Parental consent (4.75 / 4) (#104)
by vectro on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:02:36 PM EST

US laws make it illegal, regardless of the presence or abscence of parental consent.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Deflecting the argument (2.20 / 5) (#106)
by Woundweavr on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:08:07 PM EST

You're deflecting the argument. The opposition of the book isn't citing her stance on sex ed as a main point. Although sex ed of 6 year olds is ridiculous (we don't teach them how to read yet but we'll teach them about the reproductive system?), thats not whats so controversial about this book.

The author contends that sex between a 12 year old and someone of a majority can be, and is in fact likely to be, both non-harmful and in fact beneficial. All studies show this to be a ludicrous stance, but Levine puts it forward as fact.

Children are not minature adults. They do not think the same way, nor do they have the cognitive abilities of their adult counterparts. This is a biological fact. Some may develop faster than others, but to pretend a 12 year old has the ability to make decisions as an adult is false.

It would be apologetic if she argued that being violent is acceptable -- she is clearly taking a stand against violence, however, and merely pointing out the fact that most pedophiles are not violent. How is pointing out a fact apologetic? Can you actually refute her, or are you just trying to discredit her?

Is that what she's clearly doing? Then why did she say that sex with children is not violent, and claiming that it is only "morally" violent. The fact is that for over 70% of women who have sex before 13, it is an unwilling act or it is forced. If rape is violent, so is, in almost all of the cases, sex with a 12 year old. A sexual liason between a 21 year old and a 12 year old will not be healthy. Pretending otherwise is both blind and apologistic to pedophiles.

There have been many studies about the innocent native and their utopias where everyone is equal and such. Its crap. For instance, Briffault is referencing Mead and his clique's work in Samoa which included quotes like -

. Here men and women played through the long days like children. Time had no meaning. Life was a game, a dance, a frieze on a Grecian urn.

However, later reports such as those by Freeman in 1983 include -

I have yet to meet a Samoan who agrees with Mead's assertion that adolescence in Samoan society is smooth, untroubled, and unstressed. and the fact that Samoan rape rate(60/1000) was twice that of the US and 10x that of most European countries, primarily because the virginity of young women was highly protected and sought after. One can believe some kind of primitve utopia that the major advocates of Eugenics (such as Mead) put forth if you will, but pretending that it was scientifically derived is simply self-deception.

Claiming that education alone will allow children to act as adults is irresponsible. However, even if you don't believe this, you have no right to censor those who wish the book not to be published. They have a right to call for it not to be published, just as you have a right to call for its publication. If you claim that they should be silenced, you are as much the censor as they.

[ Parent ]

Manufacturing dissent (4.50 / 10) (#135)
by Eloquence on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:01:09 PM EST

You're deflecting the argument. The opposition of the book isn't citing her stance on sex ed as a main point. Although sex ed of 6 year olds is ridiculous (we don't teach them how to read yet but we'll teach them about the reproductive system?)

Well, yes. Just like we teach them about the digestive system pretty much as soon as they're born. "Teaching" means different things at different ages, obviously. Sex-ed in kindergarden would involve lots of pictures (much of which might be classified as "child pornography" depending on your point of view), connected to rather simple concepts: Sex is fun. It is also used to make babies. If you don't do this or that, you can get sick. etc. See Will McBride's "Show Me", a 1970s photo book for children that has received many international awards (but has been called "child porn" in recent years), for good examples (although the photos are way too big).

And by the way, children should be taught to read a lot earlier. Personally, I learned it at the age of 3 or 4 from my brother. I can't say that it has done me much harm.

The author contends that sex between a 12 year old and someone of a majority can be, and is in fact likely to be, both non-harmful and in fact beneficial.

Sure, if that is your interpretation of the Dutch law, which still makes non-violent sexual interaction punishable if there is no consent (even after the fact) by the parents or the child. However, I fail to see how arguing for changing US law to Dutch law justifies the polemics and insults thrown against Levine. Last I checked, the Netherlands were still considered part of the civilized world by the US, although these definitions are admittedly quite fluctuating at the moment. Similarly, Germany has an age of consent of 14 years (without the clause that allows parents to interfere), and Spain an AOC of 13 years.

All studies show this to be a ludicrous stance

While I am sure most psychotherapists in the area of child abuse would condemn Levine's work, their very own role in the sex abuse witchhunts of the last two decades is well documented and paints a gloomy picture of their profession. Nevertheless, I would be interested in the studies that "show [the support for the Dutch model] to be a ludicrous stance". Similarly, I would be interested in your arguments against Rind & Bauserman.

Children are not minature adults. They do not think the same way, nor do they have the cognitive abilities of their adult counterparts. This is a biological fact. Some may develop faster than others, but to pretend a 12 year old has the ability to make decisions as an adult is false.

The question is: What is a wrong decision for the 12-year-old? Surely, a wrong decision would be one that causes the child to suffer, either in the short or in the long term. However, there is no evidence that either is happening on the scale you imply. On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that the restriction of sexual behavior actually causes aggrsesion, tension and violence.

Then why did she say that sex with children is not violent, and claiming that it is only "morally" violent.

You are paraphrasing a little too much. She said that generally, pedophiles are not acting in a violent way. There's nothing in there about whether sex with children is violent (most pedophiles don't have actual sexual intercourse with children). The point is, pedophiles do not usually physically coerce children into sexual acts. That's a fact. Now, if you argue that they "mentally coerce" children because children, even at the age of 12, have not attained the intellectual capabilities of adults (and their expressed consent is actually dissent, or should be, or whatever), then you may call this "moral violence" (as Levine somewhat grudgingly contends -- grudgingly because it's the use of an unnecessarily emotive word), but it is not violence by any relevant definition.

What you want to do is first redefine violence to include acts you do not approve of and then argue that anyone not abiding by your definition is morally bankrupt.

And by the way, I do not approve of the very broad definition of "rape" used in the United States. Rape is, first and foremost, physical coercion into unwanted sexual intercourse -- the more severe the coercion, the more severe the rape.

As for the Mead(Mead was a she, not a he, btw)/Freeman controversy, I had all but forgotten about it. Reading into it again, I tend to side with Freeman. However, he definitely goes over the board in his condemnation of anthropology and his fixation on genetics, and much of his criticism of Mead is unfounded and obsessive (see this Skeptical Inquirer article).

The ironic part is that if Freeman is right, his work supports the cultural model of sexual repression as a cause of violence and tension. Because if the Samoans were highly violent (as Freeman claims) and highly sexually repressive/conservative (as Freeman claims), this supports the hypothesis that sexual repression, under certain circumstances, creates violence.

See the tables in Dr. Prescott's 1975 paper, which include a summary of the existing anthropological data to examine the hypothesis whether sexual repression in adolescence and physical punishment in infanthood causes violence. He even annotated the data about the Samoans with a reference to Freeman.

However, even if you don't believe this, you have no right to censor those who wish the book not to be published.

Please, at least put some effort into your straw men. In any case, you may face charges of aggragated assault for so severely violating them. All arguments I have made call for more speech, not less.

Claiming that education alone will allow children to act as adults is irresponsible.

True. They also need lots of physical affection.
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Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
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[ Parent ]

You can't be serious (2.83 / 6) (#156)
by Woundweavr on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:09:26 PM EST

Either you're just being an idiot intentionally or you really have no idea of what you are talking about.

I mean - Claiming that education alone will allow children to act as adults is irresponsible. True. They also need lots of physical affection. -

Could you put forth a more ridiculous and uninformed argument? Children develop over years and years. They do not make real life adult decisions if given sufficent physical affection and information. These can only lead to the development of the ability to make rational decisions.

I'll reduce it to the most simple terms since you seem to ignore everything else.

1) The human brain develops structures involving rational thought, causal relationships and understanding of consequences until age 15-17. Primarily, this development occurs in the forebrain.

2) Hormone levels both high and unstable, incomplete sexual development and lack of experience in sexual relations further complicate any decisions involving sexual relations in adolescents.

3) Humans are not physically sexually mature by 12 except in rare cases. For females the more common age is 13-16 and for males 14-17. It is not uncommon for sexual development to not begin until 13 or 14 or even later. The complete cognitive assimilation of sexuality generally takes places 1-3 years after the end of puberty.

4) Because of these factors and more, children can not give consent. It is for similar reasons they can not vote, sign contracts or live by themselves, compounded by the complexity and confusing nature of human sexuality, especially for those who have not fully developed their own.

As a side note, one of the things that Levine and I do agree on is that a majority of sexual abuse of childrens occurs within a household. Putting the entirity of defense of sex would ignore that danger. In fact, the only difference in the current US law vs the Dutch law is the Dutch law can allow an adult to approve of sex between a minor and an adult and the US law will not.

So the benefit of the law - allow children to have sex with adults openly (unlikely as few adolescents will openly discuss their sex life with their parents) if their parents approve - is moot. The downside of this policy would be the increased risk of sexual exploitation of children.

Let's follow the complaint of the parent article. A publishing group plans to publish a highly controversial book. Another group complains and tries to influece the publishers not to publish the book. Here this is condemned as censorship. The groups are condemning a group spreading a book containing opinions they believe is wrong. The article believes expressing those opinions are in turn wrong and condemns the national media for spreading them. That is not truely increasing the amount of speach, but rather attempting to repress those who don't agree with you.

[ Parent ]

It's called "tongue in cheek" (4.66 / 6) (#179)
by Eloquence on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 12:41:20 AM EST

Look it up some time. As to your bullet-style list, it's interesting now to see where your main misunderstanding comes from. It's your complete fixation on sexuality as a means of reproduction, instead of a part of social relationships and a tool for relieving social and personal tensions -- it is evident from both neurobiology and cross-cultural studies (see Prescott's work, but also Heath's, which is not online yet but which is found in Prescott's bibliographies) that this is the main function of sexuality in humans and bonobos. Most of the time we have sex, we do it without any interest in reproduction, we do it because it's "fun". The whole responsibility talk applies to acts of reproduction, not to acts of fun.

This fun, in the form of orgasm, is, by the way, associated with strong activity in the frontal lobes.

Yes, the prefrontal cortex is likely involved in rational long-term planning and receives another boost during puberty -- I never denied this. But it is a mistake to assume that sexual relationships necessarily require this kind of "adult" planning to be mutually beneficial (arguments against adult maturity notwithstanding).

Sexual development is only incomplete before puberty when it comes to reproduction. Orgasm through self-stimulation can be found in infants and small children. Childhood mutual sex play is natural and observed whenever children's activities are not regulated. Frequent orgasm is obviously a good way to reduce tension, and early sex play among children was likely also necessary for natural mechanisms of contraception, like coitus interruptus, to be trained.

That the "crisis of puberty", frequently expressed in the form of aggressive violence, can be at least alleviated, if not eliminated through physical affection can be clearly derived from Textor's cross-cultural data, which you should take a look at. Another factor in this crisis is the incest taboo -- I describe this in much detail in comments to my Right to Pleasure article -- and its activation shortly before puberty, which results in increased tension between children and adults if sexual desires remain unsatisfied.

Because of these factors and more, children can not give consent.

Now, to some extent, I even agree with this statement. I am not in favor of sexual interaction between adults and children below the age of 12, and neither is Levine -- for one simple reason: Such "relationships" could quickly become exploitative and secretive, because some children can be effectively silenced. In spite of all hysteria surrounding child sexual abuse, that this happens and is a real threat cannot be denied. It has more to do with an inability to express dissent, however, than with an inability to express consent. Sex play among children is completely normal and healthy.

It is for similar reasons they can not vote, sign contracts or live by themselves,

Therein lies your horrible mistake: That you equate the joys of sexual play and early relationships with the complexities of marriage and family planning. These things have nothing to do with each other, and they serve completely different evolutionary purposes.

As a side note, one of the things that Levine and I do agree on is that a majority of sexual abuse of childrens occurs within a household. Putting the entirity of defense of sex would ignore that danger.

Until the age of 12, sexual acts between adults and children should be generally prosecutable, no matter whether the parents consent -- they may well be the abusers. However, at the age of 12, where dissent can be meaningfully expressed, it is sufficient to rely on children's expressed will when it comes to abusive relationships, regardless of whether these are sexual in nature or not. You may argue that children even at this age may be in such a dependency situation that they cannot get away from their parents, and that is true: That's why children have to be educated early and clearly about what they can do when they are abused (against their will) -- a law, on the other hand, wouldn't change the facts. Again, your irrational assumption is that children at this age will not be able to express what they do not want.

A publishing group plans to publish a highly controversial book. Another group complains and tries to influece the publishers not to publish the book. Here this is condemned as censorship. The groups are condemning a group spreading a book containing opinions they believe is wrong. The article believes expressing those opinions are in turn wrong and condemns the national media for spreading them. That is not truely increasing the amount of speach, but rather attempting to repress those who don't agree with you.

Now that's a more elaborate straw man. Indeed, it is a desirable end result that propaganda groups like CWFA are not given as much attention by the media as is currently the case, much like the "Flat Earth Socity" is not currently being given much attention. I did not, however, call for any kind of legislation to "force" the media to report more fairly (and thereby reduce the amount of speech by Levine's detractors). Instead, I suggested that people contact the publisher and newspaper to express their support for Levine's book, thereby increasing the amount of speech on the other side.

Need more straw?
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Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Sex is not merely Physical (3.25 / 4) (#197)
by Woundweavr on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 01:55:25 PM EST

You seem to equate orgasm as equivalent to sex. Therein lies the problem with your argument. Sex is much more than the physical processes that are its parts. It is more than a simple physical act of inserting tab A into slot B and out pops result C.

You simplify what sex is. Sex complicates and involves all segments of the human psyche. It is a simple act whose results can create or end life or lives, create or destroy lasting interpersonal relations and/or send shockwaves along the social network of the individuals involved. The statement that sex is generally intended for fun shows exactly where your thinking misses a main point. There is a difference between the intent of an action and the actual results of that action.

If you want to argue 12 year olds should be able to jerk off all they want, go right ahead. As you previously stated, they do so from a much younger age anyway. However, sex is both a mental, emotional AND physical act, no matter how much you designate it as "sex play." Even adults, even when they have one-night-stands, can not fully seperate the physical act from the metaphysical components that are built in to the psyches of those involved.

I am not in favor of sexual interaction between adults and children below the age of 12, and neither is Levine -- for one simple reason: Such "relationships" could quickly become exploitative and secretive, because some children can be effectively silenced. In spite of all hysteria surrounding child sexual abuse, that this happens and is a real threat cannot be denied. It has more to do with an inability to express dissent, however, than with an inability to express consent. Sex play among children is completely normal and healthy.

First, the point on inability to dissent vs inability to consent. You argument makes little sense and is merely semantics. Children under 12 can most certainly say No (if you've ever been around any children you know its one of the first words they learn). Children over 12 can as well. What is being questioned is their ability to make adult decisions. Children can not consent OR dissent since they are effectively unable to answer at all. However, doing something that requires consent without it is equivalent to doing it against the non-consenter's wishes or dissent.

Add to this fact that a 12 year old is still a highly suggestable individual and has not constructed their identity and even the ability to say no is confused. A 12 year old does not truly know who he or she is yet.

Next, explain why 12 is the appropriate age for sexual relations between an adult and a child to occur. It is equally arbitrary as having 18 (or 16 as is more common in the US) as the age of consent. You've agreed that they are not able to make adult decisions of weighty matter. I contend that deciding to have sex with the next door neighbor is not a decision of meager importance. Sex with an adult is not psychologically, emotionally or socially equivalent to that with another minor, nor is it legally. The only thing this law does is open the door for more abuse to occur. Children will not be more open about the fact that they are screwing their lab partner, and it will make harmful sexual liasons both more accepted and more likely without any increased openness.

Now that's a more elaborate straw man ... You really like the term strawman huh? You cut off the first line. I was pointing out why I was originally against the desire to silence critics (or censors as they were called) that was expressed in the parent article (which is why I said "lets look at the parent article"). Taking an argument out of context and then arguing against it. Hmmmm. Isn't that an example of your beloved strawman?

[ Parent ]

12 year olds able to express dissent (4.00 / 2) (#204)
by mami on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 08:36:55 PM EST

Until the age of 12, sexual acts between adults and children should be generally prosecutable, no matter whether the parents consent -- they may well be the abusers. However, at the age of 12, where dissent can be meaningfully expressed, it is sufficient to rely on children's expressed will when it comes to abusive relationships, regardless of whether these are sexual in nature or not. You may argue that children even at this age may be in such a dependency situation that they cannot get away from their parents, and that is true: That's why children have to be educated early and clearly about what they can do when they are abused (against their will) -- a law, on the other hand, wouldn't change the facts. Again, your irrational assumption is that children at this age will not be able to express what they do not want.

What kind of scientific proof do you have that a child at age 12 ( how and why is that age line chosen? ) can express dissent ?

Most sexual advances I have heard of are between teenage boys and pre-puberty girls, often within the family among brother and sister or cousins etc, undetected by parents. Most often the girls are not able to express dissent, because they are completely confused and scared. Children don't go to their parents and complain about their weirdo teenage boys/brothers/cousins/neighborhood childhood friends getting too close.

I know personally about a case of two sisters, which were both sexually used by one of their elder brothers. I don't know if it started before the girls came into puberty or not, but I know it lasted til the girls were in puberty (age difference about four or five years between the boy and the girls) One girl refused the advances of the brother after a while, the other not. Both girls never disclosed it to their parents. The girl, which endured the abuse, told her husband about it later in her life at age 25 or so. She became herself mother of three children. After the third child she started psychotherapy, because she couldn't bare her husband anymore, emotionally and sexually. She also told finally her mother about the abuse and talked with her twin sister about it (who didn't know of the other sister having been approached as well, so both exchanged their "secret advances" by the brother only some twenty years after it occured).

Because the twin sister resisted, she felt the more miserable and guilty and ashamed about her own lack of strength to dissent - and that feeling she had as an adult woman of forty years or so. Her mother just asked her WHY she is bringing this all up some thirty years after it happened. THAT reaction threw her completly out of balance. She went into deep clinical depressions for years, including several suicide attempts and long-term hospitalizations in psychiatric facilities. She is now, after 13 years of treatment, stable without medication, at an age of 55.

Her case made me also think about the "usefulness" of "coming out of the closet" for her. I guess you would suggest that accepting sexual intercourse in such a situation as "natural" and nothing to be "ashamed of" as a cure for that woman's feeling of guilt, shame and being a complete "looser". That would lead then to accepting incest relationships. Are they acceptable to you as well ?

I just wonder where you take the idea that 12 year old girls can express their dissent that easily. As you seem to have studied that subject thoroughly, can you point to research ?

Also most non-violent sexual abuses between adults and children and young teenagers occur within extended families, step family members and family friends. These are usually all persons, children are dependent on emotionally and target of their trust. I wonder why you don't see, that the lack of resistance children at this age have, is abused and why you don't consider that as a breakdown of a natural, social role play among family members. There is not one society (including Samoa), which is NOT decidedly opposed to it, AFAIK. And their opposition comes completely naturally. To deny that is simply manipulation of facts.

As I said before, I think it's quite reckless to not specify exactly what kind of sexual interactions you or the author of the book is discussing.

[ Parent ]

You're really out of date (4.80 / 5) (#181)
by pietra on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 01:05:16 AM EST

Those sexual maturity figures you cite for women are circa 1923. I know this from personal experience, having hit menarche (first menstruation, usually assumed to indicate the major phase of sexual maturity) at age 10. My dad freaked; my mom calmly busted out a ton of health manuals and showed him that 1) I was on the low end of normal, and 2) she herself had been menstruating at 11, 30 years earlier. My boyfriend's mom, who is roughly the same age as mine, got her first period at age 9. Good nutrition (especially iron-fortified breakfast cereal) and a lessening of the taboos regarding menstruation (i.e. girls are much less inclined to hide the fact that they're bleeding once a month) have dropped the age of menarche dramatically. Yes, it used to be 13-16. A friend of mine was 14 before she got her first period, and her panicked mother dragged her to the doctor, as she was the only freshman girl in the entire school who wasn't menstruating.

I stopped growing at age 12 (5'4") and have, in the intervening years, put on 20 pounds. Other than that, not much has changed physically.

[ Parent ]

You're confusing... (2.00 / 3) (#195)
by Woundweavr on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 12:40:53 PM EST

Sexual maturity with the onset of puberty. I am aware that it can begin as early as yours did and it averages around 10. However, having your period does not mean you are sexually developed in a purely physical way and certainly not in a mental way.

[ Parent ]
Lessee here (4.33 / 3) (#196)
by pietra on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 01:52:45 PM EST

I was:

1) ovulating (feels like a kidney punch, only in front)

2) menstruating

3) had developed secondary sex characteristics (breasts, hips)

4) a horny little booger, despite not having much of a clue what sex entailed<p? 5) 10 years old.<p> What's left out? I'm afraid I don't see how much more sexually mature I could have been, physically. I'm pretty sure I could have gotten pregnant by 12 (a cousin of mine managed it at 13). Now, mentally, I was in no shape whatsoever to have sex, despite being one walking hormone. But I'm quite serious when I say that not much has changed in the intervening 16 years, as far as physical matters go. Also, how did you get to be an expert on female pubescent sexuality as a 20-year-old guy?

[ Parent ]

sex ed (4.66 / 6) (#144)
by cyclopatra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:07:02 PM EST

"Although sex ed of 6 year olds is ridiculous (we don't teach them how to read yet but we'll teach them about the reproductive system?)"

Do you think we shouldn't? We teach them about the digestive system, the circulatory system, etc. When I was 3 and my kid brother was on the way, my mother made me a little book about being a big sister, including detailed diagrams of the womb/ovaries etc, and explaining "where babies come from". It didn't get into the mechanics of sex, but it was certainly a lot better, in my opinion, than claiming "the stork" brought my brother or something equally ridiculous that I'd have to unlearn later.

Not teaching children about their reproductive systems (regardless of whether or not we teach them about sexuality in general) can only contribute to a feeling of 'dirtiness' regarding those parts of our bodies - and being convinced that part of your *own body* is dirty or obscene can only detract from your self-image and stunt your mental and emotional (and sexual) development.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Do you have any knowledge of the education system? (2.80 / 5) (#151)
by Woundweavr on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 09:28:32 PM EST

Where exactly, do 6 year olds get taught the digestive system? Is this some alternate universe? Kindergarden generally involves drawing, coloring and using building blocks. First grade they start with reading and arithmetic. Second grade is similar.

As I've said before, I'm not against teaching about sex, just not at 10 (more like 12). The average age to lose virginity is 16, not 14 or 12. And don't pretend that the difference between 6 and 10 or 10 and 12/14/16 is minor.

Again, the argument is being deflected. Teaching children about the mechanics is different than allowing adult-child sex.

[ Parent ]

First Grade (4.80 / 5) (#166)
by cyclopatra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:48:20 PM EST

I remember watching videos of the Incredible Visible Man, whose musculature and organs were visible to the world, and learning basic stuff about anatomy.

Also, I'm not even arguing teaching the mechanics of sex to 6-year-olds (although I don't think that would be a bad thing, just sort of irrelevant). But at any rate, presuming that we want to help teens protect themselves during sex, then they need to know about it not just by the average age of first intercourse, but before any of them start having sex - especially since I think we can all agree that it's worse for a 13 year old to be pregnant than a 17 year old.

As far as adult-child sex goes, as I've argued elsewhere in this discussion, that depends on your definition of an adult, and your definition of a child - and all of that leaves out whether you should call the cops if you find your child playing doctor with the kid next door. The entire discussion of children's sexuality is mired in these sorts of definition problems - for one thing, because you can be labeled as a pedophile or pro-pedophilia for even suggesting that a child has a sexual identity (although it's pretty well established that they do; witness toddlers masturbating etc).

I know several people who started having sex at 12, some with adults, some with other 12 year olds. Interestingly, the ones who were dating adults consider it a positive experience on the whole, while the ones who were dating others their own age wish they had not. This is of course by no means a statistical sample, but merely yet another counterexample of the belief that all children are harmed by any relationships with adults.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Unwilling and Forced (3.00 / 4) (#168)
by Woundweavr on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:56:10 PM EST

I know several people who started having sex at 12, some with adults, some with other 12 year olds. Interestingly, the ones who were dating adults consider it a positive experience on the whole, while the ones who were dating others their own age wish they had not. This is of course by no means a statistical sample, but merely yet another counterexample of the belief that all children are harmed by any relationships with adults.

This would be very much against all studies. For instance, over 70% of women who have sex before 13 are forced or the event was unwanted. A larger percentage of those who have sex with adults, that its people over 18, before 13 are forced or feel the event was unwanted AND suffer signifigant trauma.

In my state (Massachusetts), the age of consent is 16 (its a little more complicated than that but in general). Does that mean sex between a 15 year old and a 17 yr old is definitely inappropriate or harmful? No. Does that mean it will be reported? Probably not. Does that mean that the age of consent should be moved downward indefinately to cover every contingency to the point that children are no longer protected? No.

[ Parent ]

I wasn't suggesting (4.66 / 6) (#171)
by cyclopatra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:02:26 PM EST

...that all children find all sexual experiences with adults to be positive. What I stated was that *not all* children are harmed by sexual experiences with adults - which appears to be the same thing this author and others have tried to say, and been reviled for saying.

"For instance, over 70% of women who have sex before 13 are forced or the event was unwanted."

You're proving my point. Conversely, this says that 30% of women who have sex before 13 are *not* forced, and the event *was* wanted. I never suggested that my friends' experiences applied to everyone - just that they were a counterexample, which is all you need to disprove an absolute.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Wait a minute (none / 0) (#211)
by Mysidia on Sat Apr 27, 2002 at 11:15:10 PM EST

This would be very much against all studies. For instance, over 70% of women who have sex before 13 are forced or the event was unwanted. A larger percentage of those who have sex with adults, that its people over 18, before 13 are forced or feel the event was unwanted AND suffer signifigant trauma.
You're quoting statistics that don't necessarily have any basis in reality. To qualify the statistics, you need to include the source, and the source needs to indicate how they have been drawn.

It could be the case that this is completely skewed by another factor such as the percentage of children/whoever who eventually reported this, and how they chose to report it when they did so... for example, maybe they later (after the fact) decided the event was unwanted and said trauma for some other reason

Perhaps people are encouraged to do so... after all, the more people claiming to have had some kind of trauma, the more graphs organizations for combatting abuse can display to show there's a problem to get more funding

As far as I know the stats could've been someone's random guess.



[ Parent ]
At age nine (4.50 / 4) (#180)
by pietra on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 12:54:39 AM EST

I wore a 34C bra. At age 10, I was menstruating. I would have been one confused kid if no one had taught me about reproduction and sex. As it was, I was one confused kid who at least knew the textbook version of why stuff was happening.

[ Parent ]
This is funny (3.50 / 4) (#39)
by John Milton on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:54:21 PM EST

From the link about the Netherlands: The police reported that up to 50 per cent of men involved in pornography in Amsterdam are either British or from the United States, and that those from the United States are more interested in girls, whereas British and Dutch abusers prefer boys.

I once thought that this was just a stereotype, but what is it about the Brits and buggery.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Re: Misunderstanding (5.00 / 2) (#164)
by alexdw on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:46:58 PM EST

Your ad hominem attack is unfounded. There is no reason to assume that teenagers will act irrationally and only acquire rationality at the magic border of adulthood.
Right. Teenagers act rationally and responsibly all the time. Don't be ridiculous.

That is true. Teenagers are often prone to irrational behaviour... but so are adults. While you may "acquire" more rationality as you grow older, this depends more on the individual person and less on some simple-minded metric of adulthood.



[ Parent ]
So people < 18 aren't rational beings? (4.69 / 13) (#12)
by bojo on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 07:41:02 PM EST

"I don't know what is dumber. Her transparant transplantation of her feminism to children, assuming they are rational beings capable of making choices in Western culture of this importance and complexity, or her worship of sexual pleasure as something that must be championed and heralded."

I've met some intelligent people 18 and under, and even chat with a few of them on a regular basis via IRC. I've also met some people in the middle of their lives, who had less of a clue than the little 15 year old I talked to the other day.

Who dictates the fact that someone is a rational being, besides government fed mentallity, which we have been forced to accept since we were born? I think society as a whole gets too caught up in group think, and give little thought other than "This is how it's always been, to think otherwise is irrational."

"You are under 18, you have little or no rights, you cannot make important decissions." This is what we tell these people, we give them little room to think for themselves from that big picture point of view. Don't you remember being a child in your early teens, knowing that you were feeling rebelious, and realizing that even though you had a poor perception of it, you felt that you were being put down by The Man?

[ Parent ]

Close (2.38 / 13) (#23)
by Woundweavr on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 09:08:19 PM EST

People under 15-17 are not rational in an adult way, no. Science dictates this. The brain, especially the forebrain, doesn't fully develop until this period. That, hormal inbalance and lack of experience is what creates the irrational behavior in teenagers.

Of course there are exceptions, those who develop the necessary structures earlier or later. However, as a general rule, the age is 15-17.

I very much remember being a young teen. I am 20. I actually think that gives me a clearer memory than most people here. Laws against adult-child relationships aren't there to hold children down but to protect them from adults that would take advantage of them.

[ Parent ]

Just to be Clear (2.00 / 7) (#31)
by Woundweavr on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:07:02 PM EST

I meant to include this in the parent post but somehow it was excluded. Oops.

There are definitely adults who don't make rational decisions as adults. However, this is their own fault (or if you prefer society's). The most obvious analogy is their software isn't up to it, while most early teens haven't developed their hardware sufficently.

[ Parent ]

That's also incorrect... (4.20 / 5) (#44)
by Nuup on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 11:32:17 PM EST

"There are definitely adults who don't make rational decisions as adults. However, this is their own fault"

Please read my response above to your first post, it touches on adults not being able to rationally make decisions. Basically it's not their own fault, it's fault of their parents and the environment they grew up in.


-------------------------------------------------
Did you exchange a walk on part in the war, for a lead role in a cage?
[ Parent ]
You're incorrect on the development of the brain.. (4.85 / 7) (#43)
by Nuup on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 11:29:56 PM EST

I'll stay impartial to the argument of this debate but I do want to correct you on your use of science to argue the maturity and development of the brain. The last physical stage of development occurs at age 12 for most healthy humans, it dictates reasoning and logical thoughts. This stage is known as the formal operational stage and was discovered and studied by Jean Piaget (1896-1980.) I'll put this in simple terms, it's far more complex than my summary however - at the age of 12 a child's brain reaches the last physical stage of maturity, this allows the child to use reasoning, logic and abstract thoughts to rationally make decisions on their own. By the age of 13 the child is generally competent and has enough experience with data operating through this part of the brain to make rational decisions concerning sexuality.

The summary is rather brief but to the point, if you're interested in further details the above development is known as cognitive development (Jean Piaget.) There are four stages in total :

1. Sensorimotor stage, begins at birth and lasts till about age 2. It allows infants to develop and use their senses and motor skills which provide the basis for the following stages to develop. An interesting development occurs here, children begin to realize that objects out of their sight still exist. (Before this stage develops, if you remove a toy from the child's view, as far as the child is concerned the item is gone, he will lose all interest in the item and not attempt to search for it.)

2. Preoperational stage, this stage begins at about age 2 and continues to about age 7. The earliest years of this stage focus on language development, followed by overcoming egocentrism and the development of symbolic interaction (language is a matter of symbols, it's how we communicate.) During this stage children cannot solve problems that require them to put themselves in someone else's perspective. (i.e. describe the room from Billy's view instead of yours.)

3. Concrete Operational Stage, This stage begins at age 7 and lasts till about age 12. At this point children develop a number of logical principles that permit them to deal with the concrete or observable world. For example, children will come to realize that the given amount of material does not change when a objects shape is changed (crushing some dough.)

4. The Formal Operational Stage, The last stage of development as I wrote about above. This stage allows abstract and hypothetical thinking based off of logic and reason. What's interesting (and this supports the person's argument I'm responding to in an offhand way) is that many people who grow up in worker class environments or environments which shun creativity never reach this stage. So someone who never develops to this point is truly not capable of making the rational decision that society demands to engage in sex, either at the age of 12 or the age of 40. A person who does develop this stage *is* fully competent by the age of 13 to make the decision to have sex.

If you're interested in more, found at libraries is a book called Sociology by Rodney Stark, there is an extensive piece on Piaget's theories. That is my source for this particular correction, but I've studied and researched in to this to more extremes (thus able to simplify it.) Hopefully who ever reads this learned something!

Take it easy


-------------------------------------------------
Did you exchange a walk on part in the war, for a lead role in a cage?
[ Parent ]
Teens irrational. So what? (4.28 / 7) (#80)
by zocky on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:37:14 AM EST

People under 15-17 are not rational in an adult way, no. Science dictates this. The brain, especially the forebrain, doesn't fully develop until this period. That, hormal inbalance and lack of experience is what creates the irrational behavior in teenagers.

Geez. We're not talking about getting a mortgage here. We're talking about a very simple and pleasurable act of having sex.

Face it. Teenagers are going to have sex, no matter how hard you make it for them. Withholding information on STDs and contraception, mainly based on unfounded hysterical views on children and sex, just causes problems.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Pretending Sex ... (2.60 / 5) (#158)
by Woundweavr on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:25:44 PM EST

Is not without consequences and pretending it is an unimportant act, both in real life repurcusions and psychological results is ignorant.

[ Parent ]
The law is rather dumb regarding children.... (4.54 / 11) (#15)
by Danse on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 08:02:15 PM EST

According to the law, When I'm 17, and about to turn 18 tomorrow, I'm still not of sufficient maturity to make my own sexual decisions. However, tomorrow morning I'll wake up enlightened and fully capable of making those decisions. From what I've read about the book so far, I think she makes the right arguments. There are a lot of areas where the law just doesn't make a lot of sense and could be made a lot better by taking into consideration the fact that children don't suddenly mature at any given point, and that parents should have a say in what's right for their child.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
So I suppose... (4.37 / 8) (#21)
by Tau on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 08:59:45 PM EST

...that the minute I turn 17 I'll be a responsible road user, or that when I turn 18 I will understand the dangers of alcohol, and that when I turned 16 I became aware of the risks associated with smoking and am capable of making decisions about my sexuality because I happen to live in the UK where the restriction is further back by two years?

Arguing for or against age limits is another issue. Yes they're bloody stupid as chronology has nothing to do with maturity. We don't have methods or equipment for a pervasive psychological profiling system (and I'm sure people like those you'd find on k5 and /. and I guess myself would be viciously opposed to such a system anyway) so you have to subclass at the end of the day. The issue's not about where the line is drawn, it's more about why the line's there in the first place.

Having said that of course, I can't say I really agree with this book. This sort of issue is way too complex for someone to really grasp the enormity of not long after they find they've got hair growing in weird places.

---
WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES WE WILL MAKE SAUSAGES OUT OF YOUR FUCKING ENTRAILS - TRASG0
[ Parent ]
I thought that was what I was getting at... (3.75 / 4) (#69)
by Danse on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:23:56 AM EST

The issue's not about where the line is drawn, it's more about why the line's there in the first place.

The line is exactly the problem. We have laws against rape, and we could take our cue from the Dutch law that somebody else mentioned. Basically don't allow adults have sexual relations with minors whom they have authority over. We'll still have to draw a line at some point most likely, but we can at least do it in a more sensible way.

This sort of issue is way too complex for someone to really grasp the enormity of not long after they find they've got hair growing in weird places.

This is exactly the problem. If they start learning about it early enough, then it won't be such a shock when they find they've got hair growing in weird places and they eventually start experiencing the accompanying strange desires and urges. These are kids that are becoming adults. They don't all make the change at the same rate. We need laws that understand that.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Bright lines (5.00 / 3) (#189)
by RandomPeon on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 03:40:15 AM EST

I grew up within a reasonable distance of the US-Canada border. For three years (18-21), my capacity to understand the effects of alcohol varied based on my geographic location. :)

There's no alternative to bright age lines, you are absolutely correct. Here's a different issue: normally we consider people who are slightly underage who partake in proscribed activities to be incredibly petty criminals. You have to pay a fine, and in the US underage drinking and smoking are in the same class of crimes as minor traffic and parking violations. A 20-year old caught drinking is fined and released rather quickly.

On the other hand, a 16 year old who has sex with their 15 year old boyfriend/girlfriend is committing a felony in most states (the most serious class of crimes in the US). Boys are actually prosecuted for such "rapes" to the full extent of the law, especially near elections, since prosecutors are politicians in the US. (My father was a defense attorney. Does it show?) I'm not saying society should encourage such relationships any more than it should encourage smoking or drinking. But the legal sanctions seem somewhat out of proportion.

[ Parent ]
Why do you consider sex to be so important ? (3.90 / 11) (#25)
by drsmithy on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 09:10:49 PM EST

I don't know what is dumber. Her transparant transplantation of her feminism to children, assuming they are rational beings capable of making choices in Western culture of this importance and complexity, or her worship of sexual pleasure as something that must be championed and heralded.

I've never understood why, in today's society (particularly in light of simple and effective contraceptives) intercourse needs to be a decision of any more "importance and complexity" than masturbation. Or giving someone a massage, if you want to insist on an analogy with personal interaction. Sure, sex is a way of achieving intense and lasting intimacy with someone - but there's no requirement that it has to be such an experience every time.

[ Parent ]

It should be obvious (3.66 / 9) (#26)
by Woundweavr on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 09:28:28 PM EST

First of all, the instinctual drive to mate is still active (obviously) and can override rational behavior, especially adolescents(sic?). this combined with social pressures can make decisions involving sex muddled. Then there are the high consequences including the obvious

  • Pregnancy - change the lives of those involved, create a new life, or undertake procedures dangerous for your health, harmful for social status and often expensive.
  • AIDs and other STDs - Often without a cure, sometimes fatal and almost always painful.
There's also the less obvious increased drug use, suicide rate and drop out rate that is corrolated with sex early in the teens. However, those are relatively unimportant as cause and effect can't be proven.

And these are furthered by extreme psycological conditions that occur with molestation cases.

[ Parent ]

Consequences (4.00 / 13) (#29)
by vectro on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 09:29:39 PM EST

Well, a massage dosen't tend to come with much in the way of consequences. Sex comes with STDs and pregnancy.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Consequences (4.83 / 6) (#34)
by drsmithy on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:37:35 PM EST

Pregnancy risk is all but eliminated by modern contraceptives. The risk of STDs is no different than that associated with any other activity where contagious diseases can spread (would you let someone massages you who had a rash all over their hands ?)

[ Parent ]
Mmhmm. (4.28 / 7) (#62)
by pietra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:43:47 AM EST

I know 5 women who have needed abortions because their contraceptive method failed. This is not to say that contraceptives fail all the time; it is not to say that one should not use contraceptives. But if you think that condoms don't ever break, or the pill doesn't ever fail, you're living in dreamland. It happens, and you'd better be prepared for that possibility if you're having sex and using contraception. In addition, lots of STDs show absolutely no external symptoms. HIV and chlymidia spring to mind. Your analogy just fell apart.

[ Parent ]
Oral Contraceptive Failure Rates... (5.00 / 6) (#65)
by ti dave on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:13:31 AM EST

center around 3 objective and resolveable problems;

1. Failure to take Oral Contraceptives at the prescribed times.

2. Failure of the Prescribing Physician to account for Patient's Body Weight.

3. Simultaneous ingestion of Medicines that interfere with Oral Contraceptives [e.g. Tetracycline].

If these practices can be abated, then the Failure Rate rapidly approaches Zero.


"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Yep. (4.00 / 4) (#99)
by pietra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:14:36 PM EST

But you know what? A significant chunk of prescribing doctors NEVER TELL THEIR PATIENTS that they need to take the birth control pill at the exact same time every single day, and that as little as six hours' delay can result in failure. In addition, many of those nuisancy little pamphlets which come with the pills don't mention this convenient fact either. Much of the information available out there was published in the 1970s, prior to the advent of the low-hormone pills that are prevalent now and require this strict timetable. In addition, jet lag, illness, and stress are other major factors. That said, I've been on the pill for 5 years now, and never had a problem. However, I am well aware that nothing is infallible. Period.

[ Parent ]
Don't see how "jet lag" could... (5.00 / 3) (#109)
by ti dave on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:27:03 PM EST

change the effectiveness, but here's a more formal source of info:

Why Pills Fail
U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health

If you take oral contraceptives, you should be prepared to use an additional form of birth control, because there are times the pill's effectiveness can be diminished.

Skipping pills.
This is probably the main reason for reduced effectiveness. Directions for what to do after missing a dose vary with the pill formula and are included in the package insert that comes with all pills. Using a backup method for the rest of the cycle (while continuing to take the pill) will increase protection from pregnancy.

Illness.
If you become sick with vomiting or diarrhea, your oral contraceptives may not be fully absorbed. It is safest to use an additional method for the rest of the cycle.

Drug interaction.
Some medications can diminish the pill's effectiveness, including certain antibiotics (rifampin, and perhaps ampicillin and tetracycline); epilepsy drugs (Dilantin); anti-inflammatory or antiarthritic drugs (phenylbutazone); and barbiturates (phenobarbital). If you are treated for any ailment, even one that seems totally unrelated to pill use, be sure to inform your physician if you take birth control pills.


"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Jet lag tweaks things out (4.50 / 4) (#113)
by pietra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:48:49 PM EST

because it tweaks *everything* out, and it can be difficult to calculate what clock your body is running on vs. the local time, thereby confusing what schedule you should be taking the pills on. This is more of an issue with transcontinental travel, obviously. As far as skipping pills goes, that's a lot easier than you might think. Try taking a multivitamin or some other kind of pill at the exact same time for three months, and you'll swiftly discover how complicated it can actually be. There was a large study a while back involving pill cases with timers built in to determine exactly when a pill was removed, and something like 85% of the women in the survey were off their appropriate schedule by several hours. Even more interestingly, very few of them realized it, and the majority of those who were *really* off were teenagers. (Not too surprising, given my own attention span when I was 17).

And here's a good one for you: I took Dilantin for several years, and was never *once* told that it could reduce the efficacy of the pill. This from the very same doctor who was prescribing the pill to me. In fact, I didn't know there was an issue regarding Dilantin until I read your post. Point being: there's a *lot* of stuff that can make the pill less effective, and a lot of it isn't very well-known. Instead, lots of people blithely assume that it's a magic cure-all for any concerns pertaining to reproduction. It can come close, but not with the lame-ass information that's disseminated in the U.S.

[ Parent ]

Hiden info (4.50 / 2) (#174)
by kfcempress on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:14:06 PM EST

Also...

To market the pill now, the major drug companies are emphasizing the positive benefits. Not only will you (most likely) not become pregnant, but your skin will clear up if you have acne. Also, your risk for uterine and endometrian cancer drops.

But then again...

Links to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer have been noticed by scientific studies (although the Pill has not been around long enough for a long-term study of the main lifelong effects of taking the pill, especially since they have lowered the progesterone levels dramatically (about 90%), which they suspect of causing the high cancer levels noticed in former pill takers). PLUS - women over 35, with high blood pressure (that's me), or who smoke have a much higher risk of developing hypertension and blood clots, neither of which are fun and could cause problems farther down the road.

But what company would emphasize that? They're selling the pill for an outrageous price (mine costs $25 UD /month) when it's really not a huge dose of anything that expensive.

[ Parent ]
The acne thing (4.66 / 3) (#177)
by pietra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:51:29 PM EST

They've actually been marketing it rather quietly as a treatment for acne for a long time now. They were definitely doing it in the mid-80s, which is when my acne decided to run horrifyingly rampant. From what I understand, talking to some health professionals, the "acne" prescriptions were often a polite and quiet way of prescribing the pill to teenagers who desperately wanted it but couldn't get it any other way. Ditto lessening menstrual cramps--and I for one would take the pill for that if no other reason. I used to curl up in an unhappy little ball for a day or so. Now I'm just whiny and cranky.

My main beef is that health insurance companies are finally being forced, kicking and screaming, to pay for the damn things (41 years after their introduction!), and they're retaliating by only paying for a "generic" version that sucks ass, at least as far as I'm concerned. The pill does have some valid health concerns, but it's also got some real benefits aside from being able to avoid pregnancy. The jury's still out regarding certain types of the pill and a decreased risk of ovarian cancer, but the initial evidence seems pretty convincing. In addition, many women over 35 go for more permanent methods of contraception--or they frantically try to get pregnant ;) It may be that the pill ends up being best for women in their teens and twenties, overall.

[ Parent ]

Actually (3.00 / 2) (#162)
by Woundweavr on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:40:53 PM EST

Even under ideal conditions, the Pill is around 99% effective. That means that about every 100 times you have sex, it will not work. So the likelyhood of getting pregnant is divided by 100 or so but there is still the risk. With some deviation, even if you take it approximately the same time each day its more like 5% failure. Condoms work something like 97% of the time.

Not to say that safe sex is bad or shouldnt be practiced, just that it will, at times, fail. Celibacy works 100% of the time but realistically, is that an option?

[ Parent ]

Nevermind I'm wrong (3.66 / 3) (#165)
by Woundweavr on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:47:29 PM EST

Apparently, I'm wrong on this one. The 99% refers to 99% of women won't get pregnant with perfect usage. 95% of women on the Pill will become pregnant in the first year of use.

My nurse gf has informed me I misunderstood. My apologies, I misunderstood the statistics.

[ Parent ]

Re: Mmhmm. (4.20 / 5) (#72)
by drsmithy on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:38:10 AM EST

I know 5 women who have needed abortions because their contraceptive method failed. This is not to say that contraceptives fail all the time; it is not to say that one should not use contraceptives. But if you think that condoms don't ever break, or the pill doesn't ever fail, you're living in dreamland. It happens, and you'd better be prepared for that possibility if you're having sex and using contraception.

Indeed, these things happen - but it isn't common. Additionally, if you use multiple forms of contraceptive at once then the risk of conception is damn near zero. This is before even taking into account the "oops" methods like morning-after pills and abortions.

In addition, lots of STDs show absolutely no external symptoms. HIV and chlymidia spring to mind. Your analogy just fell apart.

How is the presence (or lack thereof) of external symptoms relevant ?

[ Parent ]

Duh. (4.00 / 2) (#100)
by pietra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:17:00 PM EST

How is the presence (or lack thereof) of external symptoms relevant ?

Because you applied this analogy in your previous post:

The risk of STDs is no different than that associated with any other activity where contagious diseases can spread (would you let someone massages you who had a rash all over their hands ?)

Got it?

[ Parent ]

Theory vs. Practice. (3.40 / 5) (#64)
by vectro on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:06:47 AM EST

Even in theory, actually, sex presents a greater opportunity for disease transmission. Simply, the human skin forms an excellent barrier against disease, whereas sex is much more likely to involve the transmission of (potentially disease-carrying) bodily fluids. Even if the propensity of the two acts for disese propagation were the same, however, the risks would not be. There are a large number of deadly and/or disabling communicable diseases that can be transmitted through non-sexual physical contact, but it is quite clear that such diseases do not play in the same league as STDs. Look at any death statistics and AIDS will be the top acquired disease. So even if in theory there's no difference, that dosen't change the fact that the risks are not the same.

With respect to contraception, I don't mean to imply that it's not possible to have safe sex. That said, however, teen pregnancy /is/ a problem -- and denying that sex can have side effects is not going to solve it.

I'd like to point out that I think we generally agree. But I think it's counterproductive to say that having sex carries the same risk as trading a massage.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Not totally true (4.50 / 2) (#169)
by kfcempress on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:56:56 PM EST

That's not 100% true.

Not all contraceptives protect against all STIs. A condom is the best form of contraception that is also a STI barrier, but STI's can still be transmitted. HIV cannot fit through the pores of the latex in a condom, but some of the smaller virii and phages are able to fit through the pores. Scary, huh?

Also, if you're on the pill, there is absolutely NO STI protection. There is still bodily fluid exchange - the same amount as unprotected sex. The pill is the most commonly used birth control method in America (about 40% of American women use it). Barrier methods are second - condoms, diaphragms, Intra-uterine devices and such. The latter two still allow for exchange of bodily fluids, also. Even if fluids are not exchanged (such as the case with condoms) skin rubs together down there, making it extremely easy for genital warts and pubic lice and even virii such as herpes to be spread... even when using condoms.

Contraception has come a looong way in the past 45 years or so, especially with the advent of the pill. But people still get a LOT of STIs (Chlymidia is the #1 reason women visit their doctors, with 4 million documented cases a year), no matter how protected they may think they are. Contraception does not guarantee protection fron STIs in the least.

[ Parent ]
Oops (3.50 / 2) (#170)
by kfcempress on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:00:03 PM EST

Think I misread before.... thought claim was against STDs not pregnancy...

BUT - sexual activity, especially sex with multiple partners, even protected, puts you at higher risk. It's still much higher than shaking hands with someone and the diseases you can contract are usually much much more dangerous.

Sorry about the misinterpretation originally. :(

[ Parent ]
You live in LA, don't you? (3.16 / 6) (#42)
by morkeleb on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 11:23:09 PM EST

I've never understood why, in today's society (particularly in light of simple and effective contraceptives) intercourse needs to be a decision of any more "importance and complexity" than masturbation.

Well one reason is that not everyone has your unique "gift" for emotionally detaching themselves from sex. That's especially true for children and young adults who are still busy acquiring the psychological armor which would let them cope with getting into a relationship with someone who views them as the emotional equivalent of a fuck doll or a dildo.
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
Actually, I live in Brisbane, Australia (4.44 / 9) (#46)
by drsmithy on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:04:40 AM EST

Well one reason is that not everyone has your unique "gift" for emotionally detaching themselves from sex.

Why does "sex" need to be anymore "emotionally detached" than (for example) playing a game of soccer ? Like I said, sex can be a deeply fulfilling sharing of emotional intimacy, but it can just as equally be a quick root in the shower before heading out to dinner. There needn't be anything mystical about sex to make it any more inherently intimate than other activities involving your Significant (or otherwise) Other[s].

That's especially true for children and young adults who are still busy acquiring the psychological armor which would let them cope with getting into a relationship with someone who views them as the emotional equivalent of a fuck doll or a dildo.

I don't see the author proposing that _everyone_ should be having sex by the time they're 12. Merely that assuming it is harmful is, at best, naive. Indeed, there's more than enough evidence to suggest the average "paedophile" (yet another word that has been abused so much it's original meaning is completely lost - *sigh*) feels the complete opposite to how you seem to think they'd feel and would never deliberately act in a way harmful to the "child".

[ Parent ]

And I suppose you think... (2.80 / 5) (#89)
by Stickerboy on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 09:20:09 AM EST

...that rape is no more of a crime than assault and battery.

Why does "sex" need to be anymore "emotionally detached" than (for example) playing a game of soccer ?

Yep! No unique emotional damage or scarring there!

You can point out exceptions to the rule all day long. The fact is, in the vast majority of cases a child would be in an inferior position of authority to the adult and could not possibly be in an emotional state to give informed or willing consent. Is it worth it to lift the restriction on pedophilia for the 0.01% of cases where the child is mature enough to make this kind of decision? No.

[ Parent ]
Please clarify your position..... (3.66 / 3) (#133)
by morkeleb on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:39:08 PM EST

I don't see the author proposing that _everyone_ should be having sex by the time they're 12. Merely that assuming it is harmful is, at best, naive.

How precisely is that naive? I am assuming you are talking about sex between an adult and a child (not two twelve year olds playing doctor - which happens all the time and is considered a normal part of growing up by most people). So in your opinion - there are exceptions to this general rule? Sometimes it might be healthy for a 12-year old to have sex with an adult? When might such a situation as that arise?


"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
Speculation (4.75 / 4) (#147)
by skunk on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:21:34 PM EST

Who knows? Maybe you can have a society where the parents, by tradition, ask an older family member or close friend to teach their 12-year-old child the pleasures of the body. It could very well be an educational and positive experience in the usual case. If there were a society where this is the norm, and everybody grew up happy and well-adjusted, then that would be so much egg on the face of those who make the a priori assumption that pedophilia is invariably Bad(tm).

That's just a made-up example, of course, but it's precisely the kind of out-of-the-box speculation that is quelled by hysterically and uncritically stating that pedophilia is always harmful to the minor---to the degree that even the discussion of alternative views should be prohibited.

The burden is not on Dr. Levine and her ilk to make a convincing case that there is some way that a 12-year-old having sex with a adult can be for the best---rather, it is on her detractors to show why discussion on the subject should be so harshly repressed.



--SS
[ Parent ]
Predicable reactions (4.03 / 29) (#7)
by sisyphus on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 06:49:00 PM EST

It is easy and comfortable to believe that we live in enlightened times.

First of all, Good Story. With the events that have ocurred in the past months it seems that civilisation has gone back a couple of centuries,the reactions however are entirely predicatable, the religious and conservative organizations protect their "territory" linking everything to wholly disagreable subjects, whilst the lefties defend it whatever the subject matter, I haven't read the book (it is not published), so I can't say whether the subject is well researched, but it has all been said before, just read Marquis de Sade for sexual deviation, or Andre Gide or Nabokov for *so called inmoral* sexual preferences.

If the dumasses had just let the thing go it would have attracted a lot less publicity.


The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.

Er, reread what you just said (5.00 / 3) (#94)
by greenrd on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:07:50 AM EST

I haven't read the book (it is not published)... it has all been said before

Riiight. You haven't read the book, but you somehow know there's nothing new in it. Can I have some of what you're smoking?


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

The love that dare not speak its name (3.91 / 24) (#8)
by snappy on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 06:55:14 PM EST

-- Oscar Wilde

For some reason it was the thought that stroke me as I finished the article. I'm not trying to equal homosexuality with pedophilia- but I'm trying to say that it's like the subject was then.

The reason behind taboos are different as the taboos themself. But I think the main reason about having taboos is to regulate the society. Mayby it was like the law we have today, back in 'old times'. The problem with taboos is that when it's finally discussed- the will probably come out a certain acceptment of breaking the taboo.

I've read too many stories about kids being molested by adults -- including the recent ones about the Catholic Church. I deeply resent the priests that did this and I will probably in the end, accept the taboo as it is- because I do not wish this 'evil' to inflict another kid. This stance is formed by the media and the taboo.

But that does not mean that I can not accept a book that scientificly argument for a different approach on childrens sexuality - it just simply makes me shiver of fear of touching the subject-- fear of in the end 'accepting' molesting. The same thing I think applies to many of the critics (but certainly not all).

intuitional fundamentalism (4.50 / 14) (#13)
by speek on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 07:54:38 PM EST

I've read too many stories about kids being molested by adults -- including the recent ones about the Catholic Church. I deeply resent the priests that did this and I will probably in the end, accept the taboo as it is- because I do not wish this 'evil' to inflict another kid. This stance is formed by the media and the taboo.

But, what if a more liberal attitude toward discussion of the issue turned out to correlate strongly with fewer problems in society? It is perhaps unintuitive and a surprising result, but that doesn't mean it's not true. In fact, the evidence - if you compare the US to other countries - suggests that this unexpected correlation does indeed exist.

You can't stop at your intuitions if you want to consider yourself a rational being. You must be willing to investigate beyond them. Otherwise, you're just an intuitional fundamentalist. (I use "you", but I'm not referring to you, as I recognize the you are simply stating your intuitions without insisting they are true).

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Protection? (4.27 / 11) (#17)
by miah on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 08:09:32 PM EST

But will a taboo a way to save children from being molested by a priest? I think the taboo made it harder for people to deal with the fact that it happened. If it wasn't such a taboo the Catholic Church may have addressed the issue sooner.

Pope John Paul is getting pretty old and he knows that he may have to stand down from papal duties soon due to his health. I think that is why he is being a bit more 'radical' in what he is doing. He can do things that a new pope wouldn't dare dream of saying/doing.

In this case I think the taboo should be against the act of it and not talking about it. If we discuss our taboo's and decide that they are a Good Thing(tm) to not do then it is no longer a taboo and is now social norm. Taboo's rank right up there with my parents telling me "That's just he way it is, because".


Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
SLAVEWAGE
[ Parent ]
Oscar Wilde didn't say it (4.50 / 6) (#59)
by pietra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:36:15 AM EST

his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, future Nazi sympathizer and general dork, wrote it. About the only intelligent thing he ever wrote, too.

[ Parent ]
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back... (2.03 / 26) (#10)
by m0rzo on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 07:08:15 PM EST

+1FP. Eloquently written...


My last sig was just plain offensive.

So many 1s... (1.75 / 4) (#79)
by m0rzo on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:08:27 AM EST

and a zero! Okay, so it's not an editorial comment but really...


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]

Okay, okay.... (nt) (1.75 / 4) (#97)
by silsor on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:03:04 PM EST




✠  Patron saint of unmoderated (none / 0) top-level comments.
[ Parent ]
Why I marked you one (3.20 / 5) (#105)
by vectro on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:07:58 PM EST

It's not that it wasn't editorial (it couldn't have been, since you obviously posted after the story did) but that it made no meaningful contribution to the story or discussion - in either editorial or topical senses.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
i got a 'wrong question' for ya (2.27 / 22) (#14)
by turmeric on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 07:59:03 PM EST

how come the most scientific and rational people are continually arguing for corporate control of life, for techno-fascism, and for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, while completely ignoring the social progresses that make all of scientific achievement possible in the first place?

Well, are they? (3.55 / 9) (#16)
by Eloquence on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 08:03:26 PM EST

Can you point to some examples?
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
Libertarians, Objectivists, & Anarcho-Capitali (4.75 / 8) (#67)
by snowlion on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:54:01 AM EST

He's talking about Libertarians, Objectivists, and Anarcho-Capitalists, who have a much higher representation amongst geeks than in mainstream society.

Check again:

how come the most scientific and rational people are continually arguing for corporate control of life, for techno-fascism, and for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, while completely ignoring the social progresses that make all of scientific achievement possible in the first place?

By corporate control of life, he's talking about the pro-business, anti-government streak. By techno-facism, he's talking about the technology based meritocracy streak. By proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he's talking about the Right to Bear Arms (such as my portable nuke) streak.

By the social progresses that makes thinking geeks possible, he's talking about the union/anarchist (anarcho-socialist, anarcho-syndicalist, which are completely opposed to anarcho-capitalist) that made it so that your parents didn't have to work 14 hour days, 100 years later. (That's the track we were on; Read about it.) He's also talking about the public schools that we went to, and that our parents went to, and he's talking about the social programs that we all subsist and rely on at various points in our lives.

Assuming that we come from the middle or lower classes. (Myself included.)

That is a brief explanation of what he means.

His comment was a pot-shot. An accurate pot-shot, but a pot-shot none-the-less. {;D}=


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Values and ideologies (4.50 / 2) (#139)
by Eloquence on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:37:08 PM EST

I don't know if it's so accurate. For one thing, I don't think the technical community is particularly prone to such thinking. Let's assume for a moment that Prescott's S-SAD model -- deprivation of pleasure causes a different value system in the human brain, supporting aggressive behavior -- is correct. Let's also assume that people will tend to hold the beliefs that best match their value system, not vice versa -- that the value system cannot be easily overridden.

So what value system does libertarianism connect to? Let's see: A world where everyone fends for themself, affection must be earned, even children are treated like property -- I think we recgonize quite a few of Textor's primitive cultures and their rituals here. The Libertarian memeset is, however, not based on an entirely restrictive value system. Within the Libertarian context, some forms of pleasure are allowed without guilt, especially the ego-centric ones, and the acquisition of knowledge is generally regarded as positive.

This is in contrast to the more restrictive religious/conservative value set as found among many Republicans and religious fundamentalists, where scientific thought is often shunned (unless it helps build bigger weapons), and pleasure is always sinful.

What we get, then, is a model where we can place each ideology on a coordinate system that describes the underlying value set. In such a coordinate system, libertarianism would probably be somewhat closer to the "normal" value system in Prescott's sense than religious fundamentalism. (Mind you, I'm talking about the stereotypes here -- in each ideology group you will find people that came to it for different reasons, and for each value set you will find people that managed to change their ideologies.)

But to blame this on technology or science is misguided. The anti-welfare, anti-union, anti-affection attributes of libertarianism can be found in many different ideologies. It is a broken value system that is the common cause, and the fixes should be obvious.

The only correlation with technology is perhaps that the initial motivation for tech-centric people to become tech-centric is often lack of parental affection / social activity -- the addictive nature of some tech-related activities may then in some cases amplify the problem.

Thanks for linking to violence.de, BTW. Now if I can also convince you to join the fight against intellectual property, I have a true follower ;-)
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Geeks&Libertarians, then Ltd. vs. Abolished (C (5.00 / 1) (#188)
by snowlion on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 02:44:22 AM EST

I don't think geeks adopt libertarianism because computers (or technology or science) are somehow inherently corrupting. I can easily imagine (and have even seen) geek communities that do not have popular libertarian circles.

I do not know why libertarianism is so popular among geeks right now. I merely know that it is.

The only correlation with technology is perhaps that the initial motivation for tech-centric people to become tech-centric is often lack of parental affection / social activity -- the addictive nature of some tech-related activities may then in some cases amplify the problem.

I suspect that has something to do with it. I also suspect that the axiomatic nature of it appeals to geeks. (Notice how much they speak of being "rational".)

But I really don't know.

Thanks for linking to violence.de, BTW. Now if I can also convince you to join the fight against intellectual property, I have a true follower ;-)

I know you are joking about "follower" and what not, but I would like to say that my observation has been that society is cruel about sex for a long time.

As for InfoAnarchy- I am involved in the fight against intellectual property. However, I do not believe that getting rid of all copyright (as your sig suggests) is a good idea. I used to believe that was a good idea, but no longer.

I think a 10-15 year copyright on books and movies is a good idea. I think that other media should have different timelines.

I have read somewhere that some country abolished copyright law, and it turned out disasterous. Nothing but tripe was written by publishers that wanted to churn out books faster than competing publishers could churn them out. Was it as bad as the pro-establishment anti-copyright-abolishment people said it was? I don't know. But I am a little skeptical that abolishing copyright outright is the way to go.

The key problem is that you need to motivate and to compensate your authors, movie makers, and other artisans. I am in favor of a socialist approach; Some way of rewarding people out of a nation-wide (or global) fund, and then abolishing copyright. Unfortunately, I have not spent the time to think of a good way to do so. So until I see one, or think of one, I must regrettably support a very limited copyright duration.

I think that decisions determining copyright law should be made democratically and on a per-media basis. By democratic, I mean by a discussion and vote made by a randomly selected even portion of the United States (or whatever country it is that is deciding).


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
What the fuck are you talking about? -nt- (1.40 / 5) (#30)
by Woundweavr on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:03:03 PM EST



[ Parent ]
omg that was hilarious. shame on you. (NT) (4.00 / 4) (#45)
by BlackTriangle on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 11:40:13 PM EST



Moo.


[ Parent ]
A conundrum (3.20 / 24) (#19)
by imrdkl on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 08:20:38 PM EST

I'm totally against child-molestation and pedophiles, and totally against censorship. This article gives me a headache.

Conundra like this are the best... (4.50 / 10) (#28)
by Canar on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 09:29:16 PM EST

Because they result in the change and increasing coherence of personal belief.

[ Parent ]
Censorship (4.25 / 8) (#52)
by DJBongHit on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:36:54 AM EST

I'm totally against child-molestation and pedophiles, and totally against censorship. This article gives me a headache.

If you were truly "totally against censorship," then this article wouldn't give you a headache; you would realize that censorship is not only bad when ideas you agree with are being censored, but also when the ideas in question truly disgust you. I'm as offended by pedophilia, child molestation, racial hatred, and so on as anybody else, but I recognize that people who support these ideas have as much right to speak their mind as you or I.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Solid reasoning (3.25 / 4) (#71)
by imrdkl on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:36:08 AM EST

but wait 'til you have kids, then come tell me this again.

[ Parent ]
Okay, so- I'm a parent. Will you listen to me? (4.00 / 6) (#75)
by snowlion on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:45:49 AM EST

Hello, imrdkl, nice to meet you.

I am 24 years old, and have a 1 year old daughter named Sakura. (Sakura turned 1 on March 24.)

I have given much thought to these issues in my life, and have come to the same conclusions that the author of "Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex" has come to.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Accepting the tenets of the book (4.00 / 2) (#77)
by imrdkl on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 04:29:14 AM EST

is another matter altogether. I live in a European country where sex is not a pariah, where boys are automatically uncircumcised, and girls can say yes at 16. Neither would I oppose publication of the book, in the end, albeit somewhat grudgingly. The "Joy of Sex", as a child however, is pushing things just a bit too far for me.

[ Parent ]
Liquid reasoning (3.80 / 5) (#83)
by synaesthesia on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:16:24 AM EST

I think you've just demonstrated that having kids has changed your position of being totally against censorship.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Are you really against censorship? (3.75 / 8) (#61)
by cameldrv on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:38:02 AM EST

Many people who claim to be against censorship aren't. Being against the censorship of things you agree with is simple self-interest. If you believe in the principle of freedom of expression, then you support the right of people to say things which you disagree with. This is the true litmus test. If you aren't for Nazis marching down the street, you don't believe in the first amendment.

[ Parent ]
I am against censorship in all forms (4.25 / 4) (#84)
by imrdkl on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:51:44 AM EST

see my comment in the latest site news, if you don't think so. Freedom of speech is likely our most delicate and fragile liberty, and I would gladly die to protect it, as many Americans already have. For you to say that I should be "for" Nazis marching down the street is, quite frankly, ridiculous. I am not "for" anything of the sort, I am only "for" their right to do so unhindered, if not unopposed.

[ Parent ]
not quite... (4.60 / 5) (#140)
by cyclopatra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:42:45 PM EST

I'm not 'for Nazis marching down the street' in the sense that I'm going to try to get it started, or in the sense that I support their hypothetical aims. But I am *against* the government (or anyone) stopping Nazis from marching down the street - which is really all that's necessary to be anti-censorship.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

the reason for America's anti-sex propaganda (3.36 / 30) (#20)
by tiger on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 08:50:20 PM EST

Apparently the rationale of current statutory rape laws, which has put many juveniles in prison for consensual sex, as well as for sexual abstinency education, a major cause of teen pregnancies, is so weak that anyone arguing against it must be singled out and completely discredited in a well-funded ad hominem campaign.

True, but why is America like this? Why is America so anti-sex? Consider America’s current anti-sex campaigns:

  • male genital mutilation
    • In 1998, 57% of all newborn American males were mutilated (circumcised).
    • Most American men are ignorant of what they have lost as a consequence of their mutilation. Briefly, the sexual pleasure they get is much less than what the average non-mutilated man gets, and, on top of that, a mutilated man is a lousy lay for women. For more detail, see, for example, my non-K5 Monotheism and Genital Mutilation.
  • prostitution is illegal
  • the whole children-are-harmed-by-sex scare
    • This scare has been going on in America for more than 20 years now. The child-pornography-on-the-Internet is the latest addition to this scare.
  • bigger breasts; bigger penises
    • This creepy American media baloney, about how bigger breasts and bigger penises are more attractive to the opposite sex, has been going on for at least my entire adult life (25+ years). I, for one, strongly prefer women with small breasts. I specifically address this bigger-is-better claim in my non-K5 America Says: Bigger is Better.

As I have said in my non-K5 Wearing the American Brand: Male Circumcision: “The anti-sex policies in America serve the imperial needs of America, because sex is at the root of families, and families are at the root of nations, and nations want freedom and independence to live their own lives. Thus, whatever harms nations rooted in families, serves the American empire.”

Thus, imperialism is at the root of America’s many attacks against sex.



Well..... (4.10 / 10) (#24)
by Phoebe on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 09:09:11 PM EST

IMO, your comment/opinion stating that "a mutilated man is a lousy lay for women" is wrong.

I have been with both a circumcised and non-circumcised man. The "mutilated" one is much better to share a bed with.

Not to be perverted or to provide too much information, but you are able to feel the contours of the man's head better, and therefore it ups the pleasure for the woman than a man who has a "sheath" over the part of the male genitalia that can provide the most sensation for a woman.

But that is just my personal preference. You seem to be very set in your views though - have you ever been with an uncircumcised man to get these opinions?


--I dream of a wolf, shrouded in the mist. Looking at me with Amber Eyes--
[ Parent ]
Fascinating (4.00 / 9) (#38)
by BlackTriangle on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:51:57 PM EST

but you are able to feel the contours of the man's head better,

Not that you're lying, but there's something hilariously wrong with your post. When a man is thrusting their penis inside a woman, the head of the penis is, of course, deep inside the vagina, where there are no nerve endings.

A female can't feel anything beyond a couple of inches of the vaginal opening without applying pressure on the anterior wall, and an uncircumcised man will apply just as much pressure as a circumcised man.

In short, if you're feeling sensations deep inside your vagina, they're phantom sensations.



Moo.


[ Parent ]
Uh huh... (3.00 / 7) (#66)
by Jaboski on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:30:36 AM EST

And you would know this how...?

[ Parent ]
They call it (3.80 / 5) (#127)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:29:07 PM EST

"Reading A Book".

You should try it sometime.


--
I'm not a sexist pig!
I'm a plain-old-everyday pig!


[ Parent ]
Wow... (2.85 / 7) (#129)
by Jaboski on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:30:23 PM EST

Of course, SOMEONE has to make a smart-ass comment from behind a computer - how cute. Anyway, when I posted that, I was asking for sources...without some good proof, I'm inclined to listen to a female's view over a male's when it comes to the above matter.

[ Parent ]
Your attitude was smarmy and condescending (3.00 / 5) (#138)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:26:22 PM EST

And you deserved to be put in your place.

Moo.


[ Parent ]
Put in my place? Please. (none / 0) (#201)
by Jaboski on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 03:55:28 PM EST

This is a great example of why I'd rather just lurk. Someone always HAS to be cute behind a computer, but you wouldn't dare say that to my face.

[ Parent ]
Jabowski beat me to it, but... (1.77 / 9) (#68)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:18:01 AM EST

since BlackTriangle is neither a woman nor a gynecologist, he has abso-fucking-lutely no reason to be advancing his opinion on this matter, or any other for that matter.

[ Parent ]
wtf!? Calm down. (4.12 / 8) (#76)
by arcade on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 04:05:04 AM EST

What the fsck are you talking about?

First of all, anyone should say what they know. In this case, BlackTriangle is absolutely right. If you took your time to do a google for "vagina nerve-endings" you can referr to the 4 first articles that pops up - and every single one of them agrees with BlackTriangle.

Women doesn't have many nerve-endings inside the vaginal 'canal' or whatever you call it. The reason for this, is that they give birth through the same canal. You really don't want the vagina to be hyper-sensistive.

Read the article, tone down, search for more information, and don't scream "you're no authority so shut up" before you know what you're talking about.



--
arcade
[ Parent ]
the difference between (4.50 / 6) (#142)
by cyclopatra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:48:33 PM EST

'relatively few' nerve endings and 'none' is huge. especially when 'relatively few' usually refers to 'as compared to the clitoris'. Suffice it to say, as a woman, I know what's going on in my vagina - I may not be able to read Braille with it, but it's far from sensationless.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Ah, c'est bon (4.00 / 5) (#153)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 09:53:05 PM EST

I wasn't sure if it 'almost none' or 'absolutely none,' but the point still stands. That's 'almost no nerve endings deep inside the vagina, compared to at the entrance to the vagina'.

Moo.


[ Parent ]
No (4.00 / 6) (#86)
by Phoebe on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:05:13 AM EST

Not phantom sensations.


--I dream of a wolf, shrouded in the mist. Looking at me with Amber Eyes--
[ Parent ]
How did the uncircumsized guy in question (3.66 / 6) (#60)
by ODiV on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:36:45 AM EST

keep his foreskin over the head of his penis? It rolls back to expose the head during sex (at least that's my understanding/experience).

--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
You are right... (3.60 / 5) (#82)
by mikael_j on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:33:02 AM EST

When I read the parent post I instantly tried to figure out how one would keep the foreskin in place, crazy glue?

/Mikael
We give a bad name to the internet in general. - Rusty
[ Parent ]
My opinion(to BlackTriangle as well) (4.00 / 6) (#85)
by Phoebe on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:01:57 AM EST

Is that when I think back to when I was with the un-circumcised guy, there was not that wonderful sensation when he was pulling back then thrusting in again.

I am well aware that nerve endings near the bakc/end of the vaginal wall are few and far between. But I was talking about the sensation that came when the penis was close to the front/opening of me. That is (as you pointed out) where the most sensitive nerve endings are.

I know that when a non-circumcised male thrusts in the foreskin is pulled back - but that extra layer of skin takes away from the ridge under the head of the penis. Maybe he was just inept(wouldn't surprise me at all actually), but I am able to feel the ridge under the head of my finacee's circumcised penis MUCH better than I ever could with the other guy. That ridge (to me at least) is what causes the most pleasure as it is the most "textured" part of the penis to to speak.

Again though, this is all in my opinion, so take it as you will :)


--I dream of a wolf, shrouded in the mist. Looking at me with Amber Eyes--
[ Parent ]
I don't know about your partner, but... (4.25 / 4) (#90)
by dipipanone on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 09:29:25 AM EST

Not to be perverted or to provide too much information, but you are able to feel the contours of the man's head better, and therefore it ups the pleasure for the woman than a man who has a "sheath" over the part of the male genitalia that can provide the most sensation for a woman.

Most foreskins roll back when a man gets an erection. Any excess skin that's visible when flaccid stretched by the additional size and girth that you get with an erection. The truth is that the only possible difference it could make is to male sensitivity. ie, circumcized men feel marginally less, therefore could do it for marginally longer.

In fact, it probably makes no difference at all, and the only real reasons for doing it are aesthetic or religious.

--
Suck my .sig
[ Parent ]
Have you had your mental health checked recently? (3.10 / 10) (#36)
by BlackTriangle on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:48:48 PM EST

I had a gander at your essay, and while I agree with your take on circumcision and the way it negatively modifies the relationship of families in subtle ways, the rest of your essay is utterly bizarre.

Your statements on cleaning your ass without a bidet resulting in the accumulation of wealth, for example, is off the wall.

Moo.


[ Parent ]
I disagree (4.25 / 4) (#96)
by greenrd on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:49:01 AM EST

I found that very informative, and not at all implausible. I will have to try it out.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

huh? (3.85 / 7) (#63)
by luethke on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:53:12 AM EST

dude, you make some wild accusations there. As far as the study you quoted - 138 women? have you even had a fundamental class in statistics? if you had even that you would know the term anecdotal evidence and the basics on generating a sample, lets just say 138 women are not enough. Even then where were the interviews taken? how was the sample taken. especially with only 138 samples this is VERY important. The rest of the stuff was totally anectdotal and worhtless. Next comes the big breast thing. Well, since you like small breasts then of course thinking that the majority of men in this country prefer large breasts is stupid, I mean come one we have a sample of ONE! The quote you have neither negates nor confirms this statement. Iit simply says we are hardwired to prefer some physical form. I would be willing to bet that in most of these cases the internal ideal form from most males contains an image of large breasts (other wise I doubt large breasts would sell as they do). Plus, while this is not mentioned above (was in another persons post) I use dry toilet paper and do not have problems with "dirty underwear". I've been known to wear the same pair for a week and not have fecal matter on them. I would bet a wet fart contriibutes more to it than a dry wipe. And last, but not least

The anti-sex policies in America serve the imperial needs of America, because sex is at the root of families, and families are at the root of nations, and nations want freedom and independence to live their own lives. Thus, whatever harms nations rooted in families, serves the American empire.

hmm, if America wanted to break up families wouldn't they ENCOURAGE sex. They encourage monogamy and only sex within a marriage which is very beneficial for families. Turns out that if both the male and female screw anything that moves it tends to destroy that family. It also turns out that if they both screwed anything that moves before marriage they also have more trouble (not imppossible, just requires more work) achieving the same level of intamacy as one that doesn't. Therefore your line of logic breaks down at the first assertion that anti-sex policies in america serve imperial needs. Because we are not anti-sex, anti-sex is bad for families, and we are not imperialistic (ever look at what an imperialistic country is doing - expanding it's borders through force. Last time I checked it's been a while since we have added either a state or an occupied territory through force.)

[ Parent ]
Well lets see (none / 0) (#212)
by Hefty on Tue May 14, 2002 at 02:59:57 PM EST

My fiancee says that she has never been with a circumcised guy before me. And she says that I am absolutely by far the best lay she has ever had. Anyways as far as lack of sensation and pleasure. I can tell you that I have no problems there either. Plus, uncut members tend to be more prone to infection and disease. So there is more to it then just aesthetics and religious purposes for circumcision. Then here is the glaring point. Why do almost all dildos feature a circumcised member. Sure there are uncut dildos out there but for the most part they come in a cut fashion. Why in a free market, where women most definently buy what they want, would the majority of dildos be circumcised?

[ Parent ]
Vote with your wallet (3.92 / 14) (#27)
by jabber on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 09:28:37 PM EST

I intend to buy this book once it's out. I intend to give copies as gifts. I also am NOT checking that 'contribute toth e Presidential reelection fund' box on my tax return.. Ever.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Strangely still on-topic: Check the Box (4.66 / 9) (#74)
by cyberformer on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:42:58 AM EST

"Presidential Reelection Fund" makes it sound like people are voting to give money specifically to the current president. It isn't. It's actually the presidentical election fund: You're ticking to transfer $3 from the federal government towards funding the democratic process.

You might prefer to keep the $3, but unfortunately that's not an option: If you don't check the box, the government just has more to put towards corporate tax cuts, pork barrel projects, etc. And while transferring taxpayer money to political parties might seem like a bad idea, the alternative is worse. The fewer people who tick this box, the more that politicians have to rely on special interests and corporate donors. This leads directly to repressive laws that restrict free speech (and other freedoms).

[ Parent ]

Easy way out (off topic as well) (4.50 / 4) (#101)
by Betcour on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:49:47 PM EST

There's a better solution than having the gov fund the elections to avoid corporate lobbying. Do like in many European countries : make political adversing almost illegal (over here it is only legal to put ads in the street or distribute tracts, but no TV or radio ads). If there's no way to spend lots of money on the elections, there's no need for a lot of money and no possibility to buy the elections.

[ Parent ]
Actually, it's *worse* to check the box (5.00 / 6) (#102)
by vectro on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:57:16 PM EST

The money goes only the two major parties. The way they set it up, money is divided evenly amongst all parties according to the popular vote, with the exception that only parties who garnered 5% or more of the popular vote are eligible.

So I'd rather have my $3 go towards public services, the debt, or even pork, than towards the republicans and democrats.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
No need to wait... (4.75 / 4) (#95)
by dark on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:35:38 AM EST

I already ordered this book from Barnes & Noble. See here. They say it's "Usually available in 1-2 weeks" but "Temporarily out of stock". Looks like a scripting error, but as long as they're taking pre-orders it's fine by me.

I don't know if ordering the book is more useful or less useful than writing to the publisher, but I figured that my European opinion wouldn't impress them either way.



[ Parent ]
The fact the author's a complete loon... (2.25 / 16) (#32)
by Demiurge on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:20:21 PM EST

is also a factor. Judith Levine, stating in an interview last month -- in the middle of the Roman Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal -- that a sexual relationship between a priest and a youth "conceivably" could be positive didn't help matters.

Another favorite, "Teens often seek out sex with older people, and they do so for understandable reasons: an older person makes them feel sexy and grown-up, protected and special," writes Levine, who had an affair with an adult when she was a minor.

Also at issue is the fact it's being published by the University of Minnesota press, and is, in a way, being supported by taxpayer dollars.

What are you saying? (4.66 / 6) (#41)
by BlackTriangle on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 11:19:29 PM EST

Another favorite, "Teens often seek out sex with older people, and they do so for understandable reasons: an older person makes them feel sexy and grown-up, protected and special," writes Levine, who had an affair with an adult when she was a minor.

Are you implying that someone who has sex with an adult while they were a minor will grow up to be a complete loon?



Moo.


[ Parent ]
NOT TAXPAYER DOLLARS (4.00 / 4) (#49)
by dieman on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:09:28 AM EST

6% of UMP budget is what they get from UMN. that could easily be turned off without much harm I bet. They aren't worried about your threat of taxpayer money! Heck, they could take it out of the endowment fund without ever touching taxpayer money!
---
blah
[ Parent ]
Taxpayers nosepowder (4.50 / 6) (#73)
by fhotg on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:41:09 AM EST

The "but it's published with taxpayer's money, so the politicians should be able to influence" is missing the point by some nautic miles. Even if the university's publishing shop were tax - funded (it usually isn't), no frickin politician or let alone "the public" has a say what it's publishing. Tax dollars for academia are to be spent by academia for whatever academia thinks it is it's job. Like publishing controversial material, for example.

[ Parent ]
Just out of curiosity (5.00 / 4) (#103)
by pietra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:01:46 PM EST

If you, at 16 years of age, were approached by a mindbendingly attractive 19-year-old who thought you were incredibly hot and wanted to screw you every night of the week and twice on Sundays, however you saw fit, would you think that was a positive thing? Would it make you feel sexy and special? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that a rather pervasive male fantasy, circa age 15-16? (Female, too?) (Human, too?)

[ Parent ]
Counter-productive (4.58 / 24) (#33)
by bodrius on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:22:58 PM EST

A big problem with this kind of paranoid reaction to academic research is that it actually helps the fallacious argument that child_molestation is identical statutory_rape.

It legitimizes crimes related to paedophilia by dealing with teenage-sex in the same legal field, which is absurd because what defines adolescence is lots of hormonal activity encouraging sex. By pointing to the absurdity of statutory-rape laws, which are meant to protect the "right of property" of the parent as much as the "victim", paedophiles can try to prove the absurdity of considering a completely different situation harmful.

Whether you consider adolescent sex harmful or not, it is plain ridiculous to say that the power balance in the relationship, and the corresponding risk of psychological damage, is the same between a 10-years-old and an adult in his 30s than between a 17-years-old and the same adult. As any parent with a teenager in his/her household, they only accept so much coercion from authority and they can stand their ground a bit.

Each subject has to be dealt by itself, and that requires acknowledging the existence of active sexuality in both children and adolescents, so as to ascertain the differences. We have to realize that the problem with sexual relationships between adults and children is not the sex, but precisely that which is not "just sex": relationships of psychological and physical power, fear, transference, etc.

I find it ironic that in a society as apparently Freudian as that of the US, it's so easy for parents to pretend their children do not have a sex life (or that, somehow teenage sex is not a "real" sex life).

Also, I find it worrying that it's so easy for people concerned with the damage an adult-child relationship can make to condemn any research in the subject and dismiss any attempt as a paedophilia apology.

I mean, if we are going to assess the damage scientifically and come up with treatment, impartial studies need to be made. And some of those studies are going to say that, in some situations, there's really a good chance the kid will turn out not to be a psychopat serial killer, or we would have had a lot more of those (giving young teens in marriage was a common custom in history until recently, after all).

If we had a study saying that rape victims recovered quickly with appropiate treatment, I would think we would welcome that as good news for rape victims, not as some kind of defense for the criminal. Some people seem too concerned with keeping the "scarred for life" truism valid and too little concerned in removing those scars.

From all the controversy, I can't know whether the book has academic merit or not, I'll probably have to read the book for that.

What I do know is that any book with academic merit will receive the same accusations, because these people are obviously not concerned with truth (scientific facts) or they would at least read the book before condemning it.

It's not like there would be a shortage of experts and "experts" willing to debunk any thesis based on the actual contents. But if they don't get published, there WILL be a shortage of supporters and debunkers, and without debate, no serious research can ever get done.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
a difference (3.33 / 6) (#58)
by luethke on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:23:52 AM EST

I mean, if we are going to assess the damage scientifically and come up with treatment, impartial studies need to be made. And some of those studies are going to say that, in some situations, there's really a good chance the kid will turn out not to be a psychopat serial killer, or we would have had a lot more of those (giving young teens in marriage was a common custom in history until recently, after all).

There is a difference between saying it may not be damaging to saying it's ok/good thing.Since I have obviously not read the book I don't know what the point in the book was - the media (all of it) tends to egt things very skewed, what the book "the bell curve" said and what the media said it said were two very different things so neither of us at this point can say for sure. According to what was written the focus was on how they can be benificial. To take a more extreme example we know how to cure AIDS, ebola, and pretty much any virus/ bactereia you can think of. There iis a compund known as bleach that if injected into yourself will kill off pretty much everything - you could write a lot about what it killed. If you failed to mention it also kills you along the way you would not really be getting an informed opinion. Does she do this? I don't know, will have to read the book when it comes out if I want to know. As for teen marriage fairly recently that is irrelevant. Teen's back then were quite different than now. No real school and you were pretty much middle aged, when you die in your 30's you kinda have to grow up a little faster. At least the women die fairly young in childbirth, men tended to live longer though.

[ Parent ]
The call for the Minnesota Regents to fire (4.63 / 19) (#37)
by acceleriter on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 10:51:30 PM EST

. . . "those responsible" is another step by politicians on the beach head of academic freedom. In a similar instance of politicians attempting to use a battering ram on the academy, Members of the Missouri House of Representatives amended an appropriations bill that would strip $100,000 from the budget of the University of Missouri at Kansas City in retaliation for remarks made by Professor Harris Mirkin that he found offensive.
Source: KIT WAGAR

The Kansas City Star JEFFERSON CITY - House members said Wednesday they wanted to send a message: Pedophilia is not something that should be discussed. Not even in academic journals. And especially not by an employee of a Missouri land-grant university.House members called on the University of Missouri-Kansas City to fire professor Harris Mirkin because of his writings about pedophilia and homosexuality. They backed up their call by stripping $100,000 from the University of Missouri's budget.

additional article

These remarks were also with regard to pedophilia. Pedophilia is an easy target, given our mores (even those defending freedom of speech feel obligated to prefix their sentences with "I want to see those child molesters married to Bubba, but"). However, we as a people should keep a watchful eye on this trend--suppressing speech the majority doesn't like is a slippery slope towards nothing less than the destruction of our freedom to speak and publish.

Few Items (3.57 / 19) (#40)
by slick willie on Sun Apr 07, 2002 at 11:11:17 PM EST

I'm going to have to preface this with a disclaimer:
  1. I totally disagree with the idea of children having sex with adults
  2. I am a parent
  3. I spent most of my teenage years actively trying to have sex.
Now, that we've got that out in the open, let's address the censorship and breathless "First Amendment Rights" statement at the end of this article. (It was not stated, but definitely implied.)

The idea that the somehow the author's right to free speech is being abrogated is ridiculous in the extreme. In the First Amendment, you only need to read the part that says, "Congress shall make no law..." and you're done. Congress isn't making laws to cease publication of this book.

The fact that a lawmaker spoke out against it is an entirely different animal. As an elected official, he is supposed to (hold on to your socks, kids) represent his constituency. If his constituency believes that the publication of this book by a taxpayer-funded institution is wrong, then it is his duty to say that.

Further, nobody has the "right" to be published. Nobody. Some of the stuff that does see the light of day from publishers is frightening enough. Can you imagine what they decline? The publishers job is to make money. If they can't sell a book, they won't publish it. The right to free speech doesn't include the right to be heard.

Many of you probably don't believe that I remember being a teenager, but I do. I can remember trying to get laid at every turn. That was my mission in life for four years. Now that I have children, I look upon those days a little differently. At 16, by law, I was good to go to have sex, but I know know that I would not have been prepared for the ultimate consequence of sex: reproduction.

Also, kids differ in their development. I know some 13-year olds who would put 30-year olds to shame with their maturity level. But, when I was a kid, almost every adult was an authority figure.

In a nutshell, that is the problem I have with the thesis that adults having sex with children, no matter how the term "children" is defined.

I'll probably read the book, just to keep myself informed, but I definitely won't buy it.

"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

However... (4.45 / 11) (#47)
by dieman on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:05:15 AM EST

The UMP exists to promote 'normal' publishable works along with those that are possibly hot points of discussion and conflict. I would rather have a small (6% of the universities budget, which could easily not include taxpayer money) part of UMN's budget go towards alternative ideas not allowed the time of day in mainstream publishing. Remember, "actively promoting rather than stifling innovation through competition", is better achieved by using such funds to promote diverse ideas rather than blowing money on things that 'normal' publishers would print.
---
blah
[ Parent ]
Correction about budget (3.57 / 7) (#48)
by dieman on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:08:36 AM EST

Actually, 6% of UMP's budget is from UMN
---
blah
[ Parent ]
OK, but... (3.22 / 9) (#51)
by slick willie on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:36:02 AM EST

Any entity that takes any percentage of the budget -- even 6% -- is accountable to the taxpayers.

As you mentioned elsewhere, the UMP could probably do just fine without that 6%, and I would suggest that they do just that. Only then will they have true freedom of the press.

"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

[ Parent ]

You hit it right on the mark... (3.88 / 9) (#50)
by ti dave on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:27:23 AM EST

when I was a kid, almost every adult was an authority figure.

That's what I see as the root of the bulk of problems that Juveniles face today.

There's just no [in either direction] respect.


"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Yes!! (4.22 / 9) (#56)
by slick willie on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:03:57 AM EST

There's just no [in either direction] respect.

So many parents have tried to be "friends" to their kids instead of setting limits, which extends into the school systems, where the teachers are expected to act in loco parentis, but they (teachers) do not have the disciplinary tools to do so, and when they try, they are smacked down by the parents, who shout, "How dare you act in my place!"

How's that for a run-on sentence?

So, what you end up with is teachers who are scared to discipline kids, parents refuse to provide said discipline, and kids who realize that in this crossfire, they can do whatever the hell they want, and no one's going to stop them.

This cycle could easily be stopped with a healthy dose of respect -- like you say -- in both directions.

"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

[ Parent ]

here's some oof my thoughts why (2.42 / 7) (#57)
by luethke on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:09:09 AM EST

I totally agree with you. Respect from both ends is lacking. If I examine why it is in my case (anecdotal to be sure, but I'm willing to bet it's not ALL that unusuall) most of it comes from the juveniles (I use this term loosely). First of i'm 27 years old - I began full time summer employment when I was 12 (my parents own a bussiness so it is legal for me to work for them at that age - I am thankfull I was allowed to - both being a 12 year old with a full time paycheck comming my way every week and the experience), the job was physical labor for the most part (land surveyor, i didn't get to do the "mental" part until after high school). So within my family there are two teenagers (17 and 18). basically, what I call thier "path to glory", or thire life plans are 1: the 18 year old - marry someone rich (it is a male) 2: the 17 year - play profesional football (couldn't make the high school team). One college age - going to start as en execuutive at some law firm with thier degree in history. Most of the rest of thier life works that way. Unfortunatly this is really thier parents fault - when growing up all of them got whatever they wanted, were got out of any trouble they were in, and were never allowed to fall behind the neigbors in material items. The vast majority of college age people I knew were like this too - they expected this trend to continue. Of course not every one I knew was like this, there were a few people, and one middle school age kid I know that udnerstand what life is like. I also know people my age that flit from job to job and complain that no one appreciates them, basically they suck as workers - the stories I have heard from them are apalling, they consistantly do things they complain about thier co-workers doing and can't understand why other people get mad at them - so yes, I know this is not confined to juvenils exclusivly, just they tend to be more like this as they don't have a mortgage or rent, food bills, just general stress associated with living by your selfs. Most of this foolishness leaves them when Real Life hits and hopefully they havn't screwed around too much (the two cousins I mentioned may be in the arena of screwing around too much). It's hard to have a lot of respect for a group, that as a whole, has many of these attitudes. On the other hand they view the aduults with jobs as not really getting it and what they are saying. the cousin that plans to be an NFL quaterback gets very angry when you tell him to work at either school or trying to learn a trade. he tells us we just don't get it. I suppose from many of those people's point of view that attitude is justified - basically everything they have wanted to do has been justified and they have either done it or got the item. I don't really know what the answer is. Respect is something that must be earned. The juveniles I know that have a good head on thier shoulders garner a large amount of respect from me, and I would like to think they respect me. But in the case of the "world on a silver platter" people I can't show them respect in accepting thier plans and telling them "good job". It's a problem that must be addressed when thier small - teach them that anything they work hard enough at they can do (not quite true but not always untrue - I mean a presedent had to dream the unrealistic at some time) and back it up with your actions. Don't make life a living hell but a life too easy doesn't prepare them for the real world. Unfortunatly at this time there is a large enough group of adolescent silver platter kids that our natural grouping kicks in and labels them, which does a lot of harm.

[ Parent ]
<p>'s are nice (5.00 / 5) (#87)
by Sanityman on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:24:09 AM EST

and my browser doesn't have a Streaming Consciousness plug-in. Of course, if you're not bothered that nobody will bother to read that impenetrable chunk of text, fine. Otherwise, try formatting.

Sanityman



--
If you don't see the fnords, they can't eat you.
"You can't spray cheese whiz™ on the body of Christ!"


[ Parent ]
Good points but (4.33 / 3) (#126)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:21:52 PM EST

That was really, really, hard to read. Try using paragraph tags next time, or remember to switch to "plain text" so it will put the tags in for you!


--
I'm not a sexist pig!
I'm a plain-old-everyday pig!


[ Parent ]
sorry (4.50 / 2) (#183)
by luethke on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 01:11:02 AM EST

I should watch posting when I've had a bit of alchohol, formating of the posts tend to degrade.

[ Parent ]
Let's just hope (4.75 / 8) (#70)
by fhotg on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:28:34 AM EST

I'll probably read the book, just to keep myself informed, but I definitely won't buy it.
that you library will buy it.

[ Parent ]
information is the key. (4.85 / 7) (#88)
by bogado on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:58:06 AM EST

In your text you said that "I spent most of my teenage years actively trying to have sex" and also that "I know know that I would not have been prepared for the ultimate consequence of sex: reproduction". What you think it is missing between the first sentence and the second? I would say that information, you weren't prepared dosent mean that it is impossible to prepare a kid to have a healthy sex life.

I belive that parents cam be in between these positions :

1. They say to their children that sex is evil and should not be done for non-reproductive ends.

2. They do not say anything at all and censor the kids or other adults when the subject apears.

3. They talk about it naturaly, not saying that it is a sin but also stating the dangers, and in these days of AIDS it is indeed dangerous.

The children of parent 1 and possibly 2 would became ashamed of their urges, they would think that they are evil for feeling the way we all know is perfectly natural. The children in number 3 has more chances to deal with their feelings and even to have sex safe from the problems that it could bring. I believe that this is the position of the author of this book, and information and truth must not be hidden, sex can be good and should not be painted as evil. That is my opinion.


[]'s Victor bogado da Silva Lins

^[:wq
[ Parent ]

1 and 2 will learn on their own (4.80 / 5) (#111)
by Anon 20517 on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:31:44 PM EST

I would like to add that the children of parent 1 and 2 are likely to engage in sex regardless of mom and dad's messages. Speaking as a bit of a #2, I've noticed that popular culture bombards us with images and messages on sexuality. These conflicting ideas which the child gets at home and elsewhere can be extremely confusing. Unless the relationship between parent and child is particularly strong, I would venture to guess that pop culture wins out almost every time. Therefore, child 1 and child 2 are more likely to make harmful mistakes than child 3, who can draw upon the experience and wisdom of his elders. Counter-productive if you ask me...

--Greg

[ Parent ]
Lerning on their own. (4.00 / 2) (#191)
by bogado on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 08:37:46 AM EST

Your title called my attention, because it reflect a side of my post that I didn't had time to write at the time. I am realy disgusted with the common knowledge that children, especially in their teens, are stupid. Shure they lack a lot of experience, but they're are smart or even smarter then adults.

People tend to think children are unable to think or act for them selves. I tend to disagree, children can make choices, they simply need some guidence and feedback when they did somthing wrong. And this feedback does not need to be violent or anything, Let's say that a parent never talk about sex at all, but then one day the children comes and asks why women have tits and boys don't (I did that question myself when I were very very young). Lets say that the parent is openminded but does not feel confortable with the subject. He then tries to change the subject, but before that he was caugth by surprise. He reacted with a face of disgust or a scare, even thougth he did not made a scene about the question the child will notice his reaction and his unconfort, and she will learn from that.

Well Just to finish, of course there is children and there is other children, each child is an individual. Some maybe capable of deciding much of their lives being say 14 or 15 other may not yet reached this maturity at their 30's :-). The parent must know, or at least try, to listen to their children.


[]'s Victor bogado da Silva Lins

^[:wq
[ Parent ]

What about how 'adult' is defined? (4.25 / 4) (#110)
by Parity on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:29:04 PM EST

Remember, please, that an 18 year old having sex with a 14-17 year old high-school classmate is still statuatory rape, and I recall and 18 or 19-year old going to prison for something on the order of 10 years for having sex with his fourteen year old girlfriend being posted here or at the other site or both not that many months ago, so it -does- happen. Also, in many if not all states, it does not matter what the 'victim' says, it only matters what the parents say, that is, you cannot, as the girlfriend, go in and say, 'we've been boyfriend and girlfriend since I was 13 and he was 17, and please don't put him in prison for having a birthday, he didn't do anything wrong!'; or rather, you can, but it will be disregarded since the 'child' is legally not capable of making a decision about this matter (to oversimplify). If nothing else, I highly advocate a 4-or-5 year differential sliding window for statuatory rape laws (ie, if you could have, as a high school senior, met your partner, a high school freshman, it's not statuatory rape.)

(Never mind my opinions about diluting the term 'rape' by having such a term as 'statuatory rape'... though, to be fair, it's usually legally called something circuitous like 'carnal relations with a minor below the age of consent' or whatever, 'statuatory rape' is just a media-phrase, I think... anyone live in a state where that's the actual legal name of the crime?)

Parity None


[ Parent ]
First ammendment (4.33 / 3) (#190)
by RandomPeon on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 04:15:01 AM EST

In an interesting coincidence, a legal case involving the University of Minnesota went to the Supreme Court and answered questions about funding controversial speech.

A portion of the student services fee at my glorious alma mater is allocated to a wide variety of student groups, including "cultural centers" for minorities and gays. A conservative student sued over these fees. (I worked it out once as less than $5/semester, but I suppose it's the principal of the thing.) The Supreme Court ruled that public universities can't be disallowed from funding controversial groups as long as such funding is "viewpoint neutral". The Court argued that public universities provide a service by supporting a wide range of ideas. The student newspaper also successfully sued after funding was cut off after a controversial parody in the 70s and won every round. We like to litigate the First Ammendment funding issues at the U of M :).

[ Parent ]
Said it before (4.60 / 10) (#53)
by driptray on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:40:21 AM EST

After reading this extract from the book, I find myself in basic agreement with it. It seems to be saying something very similar to what I wrote in this post from October 2000.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating

The Real Taboo (2.09 / 22) (#54)
by Baldrson on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 12:48:20 AM EST

Child sex is taboo???

HA!

Here's the real taboo:

A multicultural society where the social contract is that any given subculture can engage in any sort of child-rearing practices it chooses without interference from the other subcultures or the central authorities -- even those deemed harmful by all subcultures but the one engaging in them.

We'll see an HIV-infected Pee Wee Herman sodomizing castrati infants on Federally-mandated pay-per-view Nickelodeon before the gummint will exist that breaks that taboo.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


Oh go away, nutcase. (1.83 / 12) (#55)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:00:21 AM EST



Moo.


[ Parent ]
it's a book, right or wrong... (3.72 / 11) (#78)
by KiTaSuMbA on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 04:31:18 AM EST

About the book's content:
<disclaimer>
I haven't read the book so I can't be neither specific nor categoric about it. So should you who haven't.
</disclaimer>
when I was a teenager (and all of my friends too) I could only think of one single thing: SEX. I suppose there is nothing wrong with that, since I never heard of anyone having trouble in his life for having sex at his teenage. In contrast, people who are *forced* (because no teenager will willingly do so) to ignore sexuality find themselves in some kind of mess sooner or later (from feeling as an outcast in college to serious psychologic complesses). There is a huge difference between sex and sexual harassment and this counts for teenagers and adults alike. Closing your eyes will never make things actually go away, only create an illusion and make it harder to deal with later on. Someone said that teens perhaps are ready for sex but not for the possible results (pregnancy). Well that's exactly why you shouldn't try to close their eyes. There is NO, and I repeat NO, way you can keep a teenager from having sex if he/she has the opportunity. If he has received no education about the protections and cares to take and was forced instead to look away from such issues, well trouble will come eventually. To make myself clearer: are you present with the absurd hypocricy of the japanese law about pornographic contents? Have you noticed what a terrible (and often disgusting) shift sexual behavior has taken in that country? The law ignores to see the current social situtation but society will go forth anyway. And since there is no law regulating things but rather prohibiting just about everything that is plain, healthy sex, you get a leading current of perverts. And people, teens included, will gain access to these contents anyway. Some months ago, I bumped into a teenager in IRC that was very interested in "ip tunneling" and found out he did so to pierce his parents' commercial firewall. He said it blocked access to google (and often content control systems do) but we can all imagine what he would search google for... There is nothing wrong with teenager sexuality. There is something terribly wrong with some adults' hypocricy that teens are wrong to have sexuality. Society's taboos will never gain control over hormones!

About a matter of principle:
Now, right or wrong that book, you simply cannot force it to non-existance. I can guess why editors would not publish it feeling it was too provocative, it's called bad PR and costs serious money. Academic press instead has a dedicated role in information, not in money, and is there to give alternative voices a stand. You don't like it? You have all freedom not to buy it and read it. I would be of the same point of view about a book of severe racial propaganda, even a neo-nazi "bible". I would actually hate that book, but you can't and shouldn't burn it. What you can and should do, is criticize it. Criticize the contents of the book, not the fact that it got published.
There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
Circumcision (3.90 / 22) (#81)
by iserlohn on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:45:22 AM EST

A quick reply the people who were discussing circumcision in the threads below. I'll try to be as objective as possible.

1. Circumcised males do in fact have inferior sensitivity in their penis, due to the exposed glands (where most of the nerve endings are), which is desensitized by the contact it has with the environment.

2. Uncircumcised males do have more natural penetration action, due to the foreskin acting as a "dampener". When the penis is thrusting in, the foreskin pulls back to expose the glands. When it is pulling out, the foreskin retracts onto the the glands. This means that the foreskin as a dampener acts like additional lubrication, it makes penetration easier and provides addition stimulation to the male because the foreskin is gliding over the sensitive glands. This also means masturbation is more difficult for the circumcised male, many of which need additional lubrication.

3. The drawback of having a uncircumcised penis is higher rates of urethal infection, and penile cancer. You also have a harder time keeping it clean.

4. The effect of circumcision is real. However, personal preference and religion factors in. The problem of infant circumcision is obviously the individual never had the opportunity to make a informed choice. You can be a circumcised male and be as good as or better in bed than a uncircumcised male, but remember that most of the time what we are born with proves useful in later life.

:: Ultimate Control Dedicated/VM Servers 20+ OS selections
An analogy (4.57 / 7) (#91)
by Obvious Pseudonym on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 09:39:11 AM EST

3. The drawback of having a uncircumcised penis is higher rates of urethal infection, and penile cancer. You also have a harder time keeping it clean.

While this statement is true, it is misleading. Just because the rates of infection are higher does not mean they are significant.

To use an analogy to circumcision, the chance of getting a lethal blood-poisoning from an ingrowing toenail are infinitely higher in someone with all their toes than in someone who has lost all their toes due to frostbite.

However, you do not see people advocating that all babies should have their toes amputated at birth, just in case. There is no good reason why not. After all we don't need our toes to balance, and women have sometimes said that toes make men's feet smell worse if not washed properly...

Obvious Pseudonym

I am obviously right, and as you disagree with me, then logically you must be wrong.
[ Parent ]

Toes ARE needed for one thing... (3.60 / 5) (#108)
by Kasreyn on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:23:52 PM EST

Running! We walk heel-toe, but run toe-heel. Try running without touching your toes to the ground sometime.

Of course, I may be wrong; maybe people born without toes learn to run in other ways.

But, of course, I get the point of your article. Amputating body parts at birth is extremely stupid, because it presumes we know better than god or evolution or whatever designed the human body. And we don't.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Infection rates (4.00 / 4) (#92)
by dachshund on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:23:46 AM EST

3. The drawback of having a uncircumcised penis is higher rates of urethal infection, and penile cancer. You also have a harder time keeping it clean.

There is also some circumstancial evidence to suggest that having an uncircumcised penis makes you more likely to contract certain STDs, including HIV-- this is probably due to the frequent, otherwise harmless infections that occur underneath the foreskin which can provide an entry point for the virus. No definitive, incontrovertable studies have been performed, but some research in Africa points to an enormous increase in the rate of HIV infection in uncircumcised males vs. circumcised males.

If this is true, it's nothing that condoms and common sense can't deal with. It really matters not at all to me how people wear their genetalia, but it does make me a little bit ill to hear conversion arguments. Just be proud of who you are.

[ Parent ]

And (4.75 / 4) (#93)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:57:43 AM EST

If you actively put yourself in a position to contract AIDS, circumcised or uncircumcised, well, you're not a rational human being.

Anyways, cut with the circumcision nonsense. That isn't what the article was about.



Moo.


[ Parent ]
But when the discussion isn't just academic... (2.87 / 16) (#107)
by wcbell on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:10:15 PM EST

When I read most K5 articles, I generally agree with what the user community has to say. I suspect that I am not alone in being relatively detached from the issues, and in many cases learning about them for the first time from the comfort of a cushy seat in front of my computer. You know, it doesn't even matter much to me that there is war, suffering, and abuse of rights going on elsewhere in the world and in the country, because the only places where it's apparent are news sites and K5. I have been raised well and am happy to be isolated from most of the truly horrible events that happen in this small world.

For the first time, though, I actually had a personal connection to a K5 story. When I read about Dr. Levine's book, I had an emotional reaction to it and it wasn't positive. You see, my best friend was molested by a family member when he was quite young. I've known him for over 10 years, and witnessed the slow, painful process that he went through in coming to terms with the issue a few years back. All I could think of when I read about this horrible book is that sexual abuse destroys lives, and I know this from firsthand experience. The fact of the matter is that our societal institutions (everything from the courts, to counselors, to my own extended family) just aren't prepared to help the victims of sexual predators. Relative age and power affords too much respect and credibility to older offenders.

And that brings me to the topic of this book: although it tries to stay politically correct by defining arbitrary limits on how young is "too young" (for the record this particular author believes <12 is "too young"), the fact remains that pedophiles look for mainstream sources, like this book, to support their antisocial behavior. They read into things; they misinterpret things; they want to believe that what they are doing is "okay." And they look for people like Dr. Levine to tell them so, and she has obliged. Instead of telling pedophiles the truth about the damage they do to their victims and to society, she pretends to discourage the conduct with a nod and a wink, and tries to lower well-known thresholds (like the age of consent). She's having her day in the sun right now and enjoying the media attention ( = book sales), but at what cost to the rest of us?

I would encourage K5 readers not to purchase this book and endorse Dr. Levine's continued exploitation of the most vulnerable members of our society.

~w

It needs to be discussed (4.57 / 7) (#119)
by skunk on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:46:54 PM EST

I sympathize with your concerns, and the plight of your friend. Certainly, sexual abuse is a problem in this day and age that has degraded many lives.

I think you are mistaken, however, in seeing this book's agenda as seeking to legitimize that. No academic work can explore the positive aspects of sexual relations in minors without potentially becoming citation fodder for those with bad intentions. To do as you suggest is to preempt any sort of scholarly exploration of the topic.

It is precisely this kind of work that should be encouraged from our academic institutions---books that challenge our beliefs, that take a hard look at topics most people would dare not touch. Do you think it was a good thing that heretics in the olden days were burned at the stake?

I am aware of why pedophilia is considered a Bad Thing(tm), and hold to that view myself. But at least one can be open-minded as to examine the reasons for that, and even to discuss a potential social structure in which sexual relations between a youngster and an older person might be positive. Who knows? I could imagine a fascinating sci-fi story positing such a society. Are you completely closed to hearing ideas as to how that might work? Is your grasp of sociology and psychology so complete that you can knowledgeably dismiss the feasibility of an alternate world where this is the norm, and everybody is happy and well-adjusted, in complete defiance of the "common wisdom" of our society?

And pedophilia aside, the scope of Dr. Levine's book is bigger that just that, encompassing child sexuality in general. A superset taboo, obviously not as strong, but a taboo nonetheless. It's very much a topic that needs discussion, considering the mainstream view of children as non-sexual beings, pervasive sex-negative attitudes in the U.S., and compelling speculation that said views/attitudes are in themselves doing a great deal of harm to the social/psychological/sexual development of our children (and, by extension, society at large).

(Granted, that in itself is a contentious point, but from all the material I've looked at, I've found the sex-positive viewpoint to be much more convincing than its antithesis)



--SS
[ Parent ]
Freedom of speech and "Open Publishing" (4.09 / 11) (#112)
by Kasreyn on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:40:19 PM EST

The trouble with freedom of speech at the moment is, who pays for it?

An earlier commentator has made the point that a publisher needs to be profitable, and chooses the books they will publish based on that. They also may have "decency standards", imposed by the government, or imposed by their customers / trade unions, or self-imposed, that make publishing many works impossible.

Trying to get anything that's politically incorrect published on dead-tree these days is very tough. The things people will want to ban are just insane anyway; they STILL ban "Catcher in the Rye" in many places. A publisher who isn't politically correct will tend to go out of business in this day and age. There are some publishers who cater to the "shock me!" crowd of customers, but these won't be interested in books like "Harmful to Minors" - they're interested in wildly slanderous, shocking books to titillate and horrify.

I have long held out hope that the internet would settle down to being a free and open forum for any speech, all speech, without restriction, but it has not. The giddy rush of free money has vanished, and everywhere you go online, someone has their hand in your face looking for money. The companies that control news sites and websites make sure that nothing can be printed on them that might get them sued or make them look bad. There are vanishingly few places where you can say whatever you want online, because everyone who funds a site online has SOMEthing they don't want to see said.

What I would like to see would be an "Open Publishing" forum, funded by an organization like the ACLU (or some other organization or individual with the dedication and funding to make it a reality), to allow publication of unpopular speech, and to provide a way for the writers of such unpopular works to meet publishers willing to print it (it's hard to even get an agent for a book like "Harmful to Minors"). How to go about it, I'm not sure. There are already many "free speech" sites, but most get swamped by current event news reporting of things the media lie about or cover up; precious few are dedicating their efforts to getting unpopular books and research into the public eye.

Freenet might be a solution, if the developers would get off their high horses and make a Win32 version that's not beyond your average user. Why should free speech just be for Linux geeks?


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Freenet (4.00 / 5) (#114)
by silsor on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 01:59:51 PM EST

Freenet might be a solution, if the developers would get off their high horses and make a Win32 version that's not beyond your average user. Why should free speech just be for Linux geeks?
Freenet isn't being pushed for the end user right now. Why should the developers work on making an idiot-proof front-end to Freenet when the actual content insertion process is currently "beyond your average user"?

I'm not sure if your "for Linux geeks" bit was a troll or not, but I don't think I'll even bother.


✠  Patron saint of unmoderated (none / 0) top-level comments.
[ Parent ]
Some of us are PROUD to be Geeks. ^_^ (3.50 / 4) (#116)
by Kasreyn on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:13:42 PM EST

To wit:

-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.12 GCS/H/P/L d- s+:--- a-->? C+++(++++) UL+>++++$ P+ L+ E W+++>$ N+ o? K---@+ w+@-- !O M- !V PS+++(+) PE- Y++ PGP t+++@ 5- X+ R+++ !tv b++++ DI++++ D+++ G++ e* h+ r- y ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------

=P


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
The Nazis were proud, too. (2.40 / 5) (#136)
by Demiurge on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:04:26 PM EST

And even they didn't quote that AYB shit.

[ Parent ]
Don't judge a geek by his cover. (4.25 / 4) (#154)
by Kasreyn on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:00:26 PM EST

You know, the Nazis thought all Jews were miserly bankers seeking to profit off others' sweat.

Apparently, you think all geeks are annoying AYB-quoters.

Hmmm... Get the connection?


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Don't go there (4.00 / 4) (#157)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:09:54 PM EST

They all foam at the mouth if you dare compare them to Nazis, no matter how justified it is.


Even as inocuous a statement as yours is likely to set them off.



Moo.


[ Parent ]
You know, he happened to be the first to use (4.50 / 2) (#159)
by Kasreyn on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:37:16 PM EST

the N-word.

He should be glad I didn't invoke Godwin's Law on him anyway.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
It must have been a troll. (4.33 / 3) (#122)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:11:36 PM EST

Freenet is a Java application, so it runs on Solaris, Win32, Linux, etc, already.

Moo.


[ Parent ]
So because it's Java, it's easy? (4.00 / 2) (#167)
by Kasreyn on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:53:02 PM EST

Just because it's written in a portable language doesn't mean it's currently accessible to enough people to be a useful venue for publication. I've seen more than my share of Java apps (and other cross-platform languages too) that were either plain junk, or extremely complicated to run.

Let me say this again, crystal clear for my fellow computer geeks:

If only computer geeks are capable of using a program, only computer geeks will use that program.

This would seem fairly obvious to me, but apparently it isn't to most. It should also be quite obvious that computer geeks are far too small an audience for such publishing projects.

I speak from experience when I say that most people can't use complex programs well. I've tutored people in computing applications, and many of them just can't get it. They can't learn to use a command line, they can't understand complex syntax, and they can't remember long lists of switches, options, and commands. They actually need a "point and grunt" interface. These are the majority. Until they are able to use Freenet (at least to download if not to themselves publish), Freenet will not be useful for dissemination of anything except the latest DeCSS programs and horror stories from despotic nations. Period end.


-Kasreyn

P.S. If a troll is defined as "a post designed to make the clueless open their cakeholes and output something idiotic", then it would appear you've made your case, though such was not my intention.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Oh, I assure you (4.00 / 2) (#173)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:03:31 PM EST

Java isn't the reason Freenet is hard to use.

Moo.


[ Parent ]
it ain't ready, dude! (none / 0) (#205)
by KiTaSuMbA on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 10:38:51 PM EST

To use freenet efficiently you need some good understanding of the networking as a whole, so don't ask for more right now...
Plus, some serious thinking: have you ever considered the security issues of a win32 version?

Finally, I see nothing wrong in being a linux user, even a fanatic one. Take that geek thing back! :-P
There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
Give me a break... (2.80 / 10) (#115)
by Judgment on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:09:11 PM EST

12 Year olds having sex? Just for an example, how could you, male or female, look at a 12 year old at a park or riding their bike near where you live, and think that they are ready for a sexual relationship? Sure, at 12 they might be ready, or on their way to being ready PHYSICALLY for the act of sexual intercourse, but by no means are they ready for the emotions that will come along with it. No 12 year old is in a situation where they would not be in some way influenced and have their actions manipulated by an adult to have sex with them. Even at 13 or 14 they could be easily coerced. Children have been raised, or at least attempted to be raised in a way to respect all adults, and in most cases, heed what they say. What 12-14 year old could say no to a teacher, or a coach for their little league baseball team etc? Of course some could, but at that age, many would feel like they were being "bad" or "wrong" for saying what they feel. No child at that age is ready for a sexual relationship with an adult, regardless. I obviously have not read the book, or seen if it mentions the possible sexual relationships between two children around the aforementioned age. This is the only case I can see where it would be acceptable, but even then I do not see it working in society currently. Sex education does not start early enough, but if it was, at least the children are on an equal playing field. Its easy to say no to someone else your age, you were not raised from your birth to idolize them, look up to them, and mimic their actions. When you get to the age of 16 or 17, its perfectly conceivable for teenager/adult sexual relationships to take place, but I still see this as being a problem for females, especially if this practice became acceptable in society. At 16, many females have low self esteems and would be easily manipulated into sexual intercourse with an adult when they did not desire to do so. I don't believe this would be as much of a problem for males, but of course it still would be a problem. When it comes down to it, children are too easily manipulated and influeced by the adults in their lives for this to work. While ready physically, and many would be willing, adults are just looking for a way to take advantage of children, and this gives the extreme cases (such as the priests in news of late) something to fall back on and defend their case even if their actions were sick, twisted, manipulative and flat out wrong. I do believe that children should be educated about sex at a younger age and that sex between similarly aged children would be possible if both parties agreed and they knew how to properly pertect themselves from the possible outcomes (children of their own, diseases). This all comes down to the choices the children would make. In the society we live, the choices they make would not just be their own, which is what the author seems to think they would be able to make if presented with a sexual situation. As for the public outcry, no one can honestly believe this would get published without some kind of political debate over it. I do not believe it should be censored, but I don't see anything wrong with people speaking against it. It is just as important to be able to speak against what you believe wrong as it is to speak about what you believe is right.

Emotions? (4.40 / 5) (#117)
by howardjp on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:20:23 PM EST

Will someone please explain to me why sex must come with emotions attached?

[ Parent ]
Heh (4.33 / 6) (#120)
by skunk on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:04:06 PM EST

I'm sure that if eating were always done alone and in private (except when you're very young, or with someone you love deeply), that talking about eating and digestion were taboo, and that everybody kept their mouths covered while in public, the act of sharing a meal would probably be fraught with powerful emotions too!

(Oh yeah, and bondage? Think being force-fed in black leather... *shudder*)



--SS
[ Parent ]
Lol. (4.20 / 5) (#124)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:14:35 PM EST

You vill eat your peas, you naughty, naughty boy!


--
I'm not a sexist pig!
I'm a plain-old-everyday pig!


[ Parent ]
Sign me up! (2.50 / 2) (#160)
by howardjp on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:39:41 PM EST

Where's the form??

[ Parent ]
Probably (4.00 / 5) (#125)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:15:46 PM EST

Probably to keep people from abandoning their offspring or, for that matter, their mates.

Keep in mind that while separating sex from reproduction is a swell ideal, millions of years of evolution have their own opinions on the subject.


--
I'm not a sexist pig!
I'm a plain-old-everyday pig!


[ Parent ]
depends on your definition (4.42 / 7) (#131)
by cyclopatra on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:51:30 PM EST

...of a child and an adult. Which I gather is the author's point.

For example, when I was 15 and 16, I had relationships with "adult men" - guys who were 18 and 19. To say that this was exploitative on their part is somewhat ridiculous - I was almost universally better-educated than they were, and often I was more experienced in the world of relationships. When I was 17, I dated a 21-year old - even more incontrovertibly an "adult" in the eyes of society - but other than the fact that he bought me cigarettes, something my mother did as well, he didn't exactly contribute to my delinquency or molest me - in fact, I was the one pushing for more physicality in the relationship.

I don't think anyone can say that all teenagers should date all adults - but I think it's equally silly to say that no one who is legally a child (although they may be physically and mentally mature) can have a relationship with anyone who is legally an adult. No magical change happens to a person on their 18th birthday, granting them suddenly with powers of judgement and the ability to deal with emotional problems that they lacked the day before - yet in many places, those 24 hours can mark the difference between a 'legal' and 'illegal' relationship.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Missing the point (3.40 / 15) (#118)
by Wing Envy on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 02:37:20 PM EST

Although we do have the right to free speech, we are not guaranteed to profit from it. No one has stated that her book was "illegal" by any means.

Ms. Levine is perfectly capable of printing it out on her home computer, to give it or sell it to people where she is allowed if she is incapable of finding a publisher. That is the right that publishers have- discrimination. What do you think of all the other aspiring writers who can't find publishers for their books? That they all must be controversial? Probably not, but I'm sure in some cases they may be.

The point is, no one has kept her from speaking her case, no one has taken away any of her rights. Publishers have the right and the need to do what is best for the company. Welcome to the real world. (And I wasn't even paid to say this. :) )


You don't get to steal all the deficiency. I want some to.
-mrgoat

A classic example... (3.11 / 9) (#121)
by Rahyl on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:09:16 PM EST

...of questionable marketing techniques. I'll explain.

Judith Levine wants to make money. One of the fastest ways to make money in America is to piss people off. Shock-rockers are very good at getting free advertising for their acts by stirring up controversy. This is what Judith Levine is doing only she's using a book instead of instruments and a stage.

And don't tell me the fact we're hearing about her book now is any sort of coincidence. It's a well-timed marketing strategy to maximize the sale of her work. We have the Dear Abby case and all these Catholic priests bringing pedophilia to the front burner. She's just riding the wave of controversy to generate revenue, nothing more.

In the future, look forward to even more books about subjects people will become enraged over. With the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in full swing, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if someone penned a book arguing that the Jews brought the Holocaust onto themselves and deserved what they got. Yup, very controversial, but the author is just using the same trick to earn a quick buck. What would (s)he have to fear, you? The more hate mail and negative publicity they get the better. The more enraged people become, the stronger the author's resolve will be and (in all likelihood) the more copies of the book (s)he will sell.

Will this strategy continue to work? If YOU buy the material, it most certainly will.


You have a point... (3.60 / 5) (#123)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:13:04 PM EST

Who would have heard of "The Bell Curve" or "The Skeptical Environmentalist" if the sacred cows hadn't moo-ed quite so loudly when they were gored?


--
I'm not a sexist pig!
I'm a plain-old-everyday pig!


[ Parent ]
Well thought out Arguments vs. Shock Value (4.16 / 6) (#137)
by randinah on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:12:11 PM EST

Whether or not Ms. Levine is cashing in on shock value is to me, questionable. I believe in the editorial above, it is mentioned that she has been working on this book since the mid 90's. Any incendiary quotes in this book have admittedly been taken out of context, and therefore are misleading, and of course, should not be taken at face value. I think that rather than casting this work aside as "shock entertainment," without reading it, I hope we all read this book, then decide whether Ms. Levine has been working for that past half decade researching, and formulating a valid opinion, or just cashing in on the events unfolding around us in the world of "underage" sexuality.
"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
I like to comment, but (3.25 / 8) (#128)
by mami on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:53:06 PM EST

for what it's worth, I see several subjects mingled together, most probably with the intent to hide motivations for writing and discussing this article to begin with.

I am pretty annoyed about the fact that the author is not being honest enough to define exactly what he wants to discuss:

Does he want to discuss a first amendment right case where an author is denied a publication of an unpopular or taboo subject ?

Does the author want to discuss the morality of sexual activity between a sexual developed person (whatever age, just fully biologically developed) and a child (not biologically fully sexually developed, i.e. before or just in the beginning stage of puberty) ?

Does the author want to discuss the morality of sexual activity between a teenager (post puberty) and another teenager (post puberty) ?

Does the author want to discuss the morality of sexual activity between a teenager (post puberty) with a legally adult person ?

Does the author want to discuss the LEGALITY of all of the above mentioned sexual activities ?

Does the author want to discuss the societal ramifications of surpressing or morally denouncing sexual activities between children (pre-puberty) and adults or teenagers (post puberty) and adults (whereby the teenager is legally dependent from the adult) ?

I just deny to comment to this, if the author doesn't come out of the closet and makes clear what his intentions and motivations are to discuss one or several of above mentioned, completely different situations and subjects.




Limited interest in discussion (3.50 / 4) (#143)
by Eloquence on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:51:38 PM EST

Although I am always ready to defend my positions, my primary motivation with this piece was to motivate people to express their support for Levine's book, so that the campaign by religious fundamentalists is at least countered with some common sense. I added the "is free speech free speech if nobody publishes you?" argument as an afterthought -- I do have some opinions on the subject, but I mostly hoped that some people would point to alternative ways to publish controversial views to a large audience. Most of the other arguments in this thread, with the exception of some arguments by Woundweavr, aren't new to me.

I'm afraid there is not enough material in the excerpt or the summary for an informed discussion about child sexuality. I do have some high quality material, but it still needs to be prepared. Although you may see me as part of a large conspiracy to destroy civilization as we know it, there is no funding behind our efforts to promote the pleasure principle. The best-case scenario, which has not happened, would have involved someone buying a $12 text-ad for me as suggested in the article's tagline, which I would have probably used to link to a political text.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

promotion of the pleasure principle (5.00 / 1) (#199)
by mami on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:06:20 PM EST

Although you may see me as part of a large conspiracy to destroy civilization as we know it, there is no funding behind our efforts to promote the pleasure principle

Thanks for your answer. I guess I didn't read your whole article thoroughly enough. You can blame me for being always suspicious, if I see a consistent promotion of one specific idea. I don't particularly like the usage of blogs for spinning one way or the other. Your remark of me seeing you as part of a large conspiracy to destroy civilization is a bit beside the point and a little cheap. I realize that you promote your site and subject consistantly on K5 and the only thing I try to understand is what motivates you to do so that strongly. So far I don't see where I voiced anything of a conspiracy complaint. I simply try to understand your personal motivation, that's all.

I happened to see the book discussed (ahem - trashed would be a better expression) on FOX O'Reilly factor (which I listen to like to ALL cable network news - not because I like it - I hate to do it - but I have to - unfortunately) and I try to understand what Jocelyn Elders had to say in defense of the book. Unfortunately she is not the most eloquent person to be able to handle a powerful, oral defense of the book's thesis against a media power manipulator like O'Reilly.

That leads me to avoid commenting about the book unless I have read it. I couldn't find it in any bookstore so far. I actually don't like to spend the $25.xx or so for the book, because the subject area doesn't interest me that much. The fact that her book caused so much controversy hints that her research may not live up to serious scientific research standards. (That's why I tried to figure out, which sub-subject she is really dealing with in asking you, what you want to discuss. "Harmful to minors": Minors is a terrible vague expression for such a subject area, so I ask for more definitions. If she didn't define it clearly in her book, then I consider that a weakness) I assume you have read the whole book and could answer that if you wanted to.

It's pretty clear that at the moment in time the media is full of quite hysterical coverage of sexual abuse cases. It's clear that coverage of those cases on TV is happily abused for monetary reasons. But unfortunately, even the attempt of steering against that sort of coverage and defending the book on an alternative medium, like the internet blogs etc., is just part of the whole medium abuse spin mechanism. I don't say that this is intentional, nor that you personally want to participate in an anti-O'Reilly-type of spin, but I think it's embedded in all media coverage, including online coverage. ( This article: Cyber Spin tries to tackle the issue a bit, though from another perspective. (I don't support this article one way or the other, I just happened to run into it and it fits in here)

Anyhow, I can't quite believe, that the author of the book can't publish it. At least she could publish it online, or not ? Is it really a "Burned Book" case ? Can you really have "Burned Book" cases in the age of the internet ? I don't think so. That's why I wanted to know, what you wanted to discuss.

[ Parent ]

Are you trying to lose the abstinence argument? (2.75 / 8) (#130)
by lonemarauder on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 05:48:40 PM EST

Concerning the social left:

Right side of mouth: "We must hand out condoms to stop AIDS because kids are doing it anyway."

Left side of mouth: "Kids should be doing it anyway."

This is a good case in point as to why the left is losing the war of ideas. This is the moral equivalent of planting land mines in roadways because you oppose cars, and then having the gall to point out as one of your reasons for such opposition that cars blow people up.



Where's the Contradiction? (4.57 / 7) (#134)
by snowlion on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:57:15 PM EST

First, there is no unified "social left".

Second, even if there were a unified "social left" (which there isn't), the statements are by no means contradictory.

Third, it is a gross overgeneralization to imply that people who want to hand out condoms to kids to stop AIDS believe that kids should be having sex.

I myself am of the opinion that kids should do anything that isn't overly harmful to themselves (though I believe that they must be allowed to make a certain measure of mistakes). I also am of the opinion that the sexual taboo harms children and adults alike. But the "social left" by no means is unanimous in agreeing with me on this. I mean, just look at the variety of opinions shown in this forum.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
rebuttal (2.12 / 8) (#145)
by lonemarauder on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:12:26 PM EST

Second, even if there were a unified "social left" (which there isn't)

A specious argument at best. My proof for this is hypocrisy, in the form of the left's having collectively impuned "talk radio" for causing the Oklahoma City bombing. Those who operate within a well organized conspiracy are more likely to presume it elsewhere.

the statements are by no means contradictory.

The statements are collectively contradictory when included with the idea that those making the statements are concerned with the well being of society in general and children in particular. As the left is quite able to totally abandon its supposed moral standards, I suppose I should have pointed this out. Forgive me.

I also am of the opinion that the sexual taboo harms children and adults alike.

How *exactly* does this "sexual taboo" harm adults?



[ Parent ]
Well, you see George (4.16 / 6) (#152)
by BlackTriangle on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 09:50:59 PM EST

You're born, then there's this thing called adolescence, then this other thing called puberty, then you get your driver's license, sufferage, then finally you're old enough to drink alcohol.

In case you missed the class in Biology, here's the lesson - children become adults.



Moo.


[ Parent ]
Typical (3.50 / 6) (#155)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:00:58 PM EST

Typical 'vast left-wing conspiracy' rant. The liberals all think as a group, they all want to control your minds, they're all the same hypocrites. Their mission: destroy America's morals. Move along, nothing to see here.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
WHA-?!? (4.40 / 5) (#161)
by snowlion on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:40:15 PM EST

Second, even if there were a unified "social left" (which there isn't)

A specious argument at best. My proof for this is hypocrisy, in the form of the left's having collectively impuned "talk radio" for causing the Oklahoma City bombing. Those who operate within a well organized conspiracy are more likely to presume it elsewhere.

As someone on what you call the "Social Left" (of which I claim there is no unity in opinion), I have absolutely no idea why anyone would blame the Oklahome City on... (I'm sorry, I must pause as I write this) ... Talk Radio???

No, the reason why we had the Oklahoma City thing was that Timothy McVeigh didn't like the US handling of Waco. I agree with him on that point. More generally, he was angry with the direction that the US government was taking (has taken) in the past few dozen years, if not century or two. Again, I agree with him there. I don't think it has anything to do with talk radio, and I don't notice any of my peers on "the Social Left" (as if we were unified), hell, not anybody on "the Social Right" (as if it were unified) either, saying that it had to do with talk radio.

Watch your mind. If you find yourself saying, "Damn Leftists, thinking xyz", think carefully about that. Do we really think that?

I've met a lot of Libertarians who believe that if kids consent to sex, that they should be able to have it. Does that place these Libertarians on the "social left"?

(Note that, when Libertarians say that kids that consent to sex should be able to have it- it freaks me out. The Libertarian notions of "consent" and "contract" are frequently anything but. Nor are Libertarians ever going out of there way to fix the crux of our problem - social attitudes and materialism.)

The statements are collectively contradictory when included with the idea that those making the statements are concerned with the well being of society in general and children in particular. As the left is quite able to totally abandon its supposed moral standards, I suppose I should have pointed this out. Forgive me.

What is your problem? Why do you think "the Left" has no moral standards? What do I say that implies a lack of moral standards? I am terribly concerned about our society, both children and adults (I think we should have concern for both).

Look, if you think that sex is evil and harmful, say so. But don't say that I am against society. I happen to believe that sex is good and healthy, and rather, that it is the negative attitude about sex that is harmful. There's a difference between having a difference of opinion over what is good/bad, and having no moral standards at all, wouldn't you say? In fact, if we have a difference over good/bad, then that would mean that we would both have to have moral standards, no?

I also am of the opinion that the sexual taboo harms children and adults alike.

How *exactly* does this "sexual taboo" harm adults?

Easy! There are a zillion ways. Let me list a few, though there are likely far more:

  • Children become adults. If a child has to spend time unnecessarily fighting their nature, then they cannot live naturally and fully. A lot of kids get depressed because they masturbate. A lot of kids grow up believing that their bodies are evil. They spend a lot of emotional and mental effort in this fruitless field. The kids become messed up adults. Some can cope, some can't. Many are scarred for life because of it. The social taboo against children and sex does this to people. It is cruel.
  • Children get locked away, psychologically. Adults want nothing to do with them, for the fear is always in mind- It is a child. It is dangerous. Not because anybody wants to fuck the child, but because someone might think that someone wants to fuck the child. This harms the relationships between children and adults. Nothing good will come of it.
  • "Adults" get bent out of shape over the 'evils' of pedophilia. The unimportant becomes all-consuming, and bad legislation passes to catch the "evil pedophiles". Adults gag one another.

There are many more, I'm not bothering to make a complete list.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Excuse me. I must pause as I write this... (2.33 / 3) (#182)
by lonemarauder on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 01:07:13 AM EST

I have absolutely no idea why anyone would blame the Oklahome[sic] City on... (I'm sorry, I must pause as I write this) ... Talk Radio???

Go do a google on "talk radio oklahoma city bombing". Go to the first link. If you don't find that particularly authoritative, do a search on "clinton purveyors hate division". Your sarcasm is about an accusation made by the then president of the United States. I am at a loss to explain your ignorance in this matter, but I think that sufficient evidence exists that I did not pull this idea out of thin air.

Why do you think "the Left" has no moral standards?

I think the left uses moral pressure when it furthers their ends, but abandons any pretense of morality when it would require something of them. A good example of this can be found in the book Shakedown, which documents Jesse Jackson having built a personal empire of great wealth on the back of what is supposed to be a social effort to address ... how did you put it? -social attitudes and materialism. Another case of me pulling ideas out of thin air that are hopelessly obscure or lack support? I believe Shakedown topped out at #4 on the NYT bestseller list.

Look, if you think that sex is evil and harmful, say so.

Okay. I think it is wrong for adults to have sex with children. Sex is a profound spiritual, emotional, and physical event that has profound implications. I might argue that I have so much respect for sex that I believe anyone engaging in it should be mature enough to understand and appreciate the act.

I appreciate that growing up is hard to do, and that dealing with sexual impulses is challenging for any youth. I simply disagree that the best thing for a 12 year old struggling with masturbation is to be sodomized by his priest. I realize that this opinion may cause some poor confused boy to grow up repressed for having lost such an experience, but I believe the research on child abuse would support my position.



[ Parent ]
McVeigh & Talk Shows & Politicians; Childr (5.00 / 3) (#187)
by snowlion on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 02:43:02 AM EST

Go do a google on "talk radio oklahoma city bombing". Go to the first link . If you don't find that particularly authoritative, do a search on "clinton purveyors hate division". Your sarcasm is about an accusation made by the then president of the United States. I am at a loss to explain your ignorance in this matter, but I think that sufficient evidence exists that I did not pull this idea out of thin air.

I've looked, and I have found that both the Left and the Right, from all levels- authorities, citizens, and talk show hosts, have been guilty of condemning Arab terrorists for Timothy McVeigh's damage.

I was not sarcastic in the least; And I still maintain that the "Social Left" was blaming the attacks on talk show hosts. If anything, it seems like they were (inaccurately) blaming non-existant Arab terrorists (along with everyone else). They did seem to be mad at talk show hosts, but not for instigating the Oklahoma City bombing itself..!

I think the left uses moral pressure when it furthers their ends, but abandons any pretense of morality when it would require something of them.

I think the popular heads of every popular movement does this. (This would segue into why I distrust all authorities and hierarchy, but I won't go there just now.

I think it is a common mistake to believe that because the leader of some movement is a crook, that the fundamental ideas of the movement are fundamentally flawed themselves. I don't think there isn't any movement that hasn't had crooks at the head at one point for another. Churches, political movements, companies, unions, nations, knitting clubs, all groups... Are we to cast them all of their ideas as rubbish, because crooks have led them at one point or another?

A good example of this can be found in the book Shakedown, which documents Jesse Jackson having built a personal empire of great wealth on the back of what is supposed to be a social effort to address ... how did you put it? -social attitudes and materialism. Another case of me pulling ideas out of thin air that are hopelessly obscure or lack support? I believe Shakedown topped out at #4 on the NYT bestseller list.

Tim Eyman (I apologize, this is a popular Seattle figure, so you probably don't know about him), a local Republican demagogue, recently admitted that he was taking money that he had been claiming was going to his causes, was in fact actually being used to supplement his income. So, what am I supposed to make of this- that the Republicans around the world have no moral integrity because of something like that? Shall I bring up Newt Gingrich and his adultery and wonderful literature on propaganda? Is this a sign that Republicans are morally bancrupt the world over, or is it a sign that politicians and demagogues have a particular lack of integrity?

That's not to say that there aren't genuinely good people both in politics and debate. Martin Luther King Jr. is generally recognized as a man of integrity. More than just a man of integrity- as a hero.

(Incidentally, he's the preacher from whom I heard that our problems stem from being a thing-oriented society, rather than person-oriented society.)

Okay. I think it is wrong for adults to have sex with children. Sex is a profound spiritual, emotional, and physical event that has profound implications. I might argue that I have so much respect for sex that I believe anyone engaging in it should be mature enough to understand and appreciate the act.

That's fair enough. I think that there are situations in which adults could have sex with children (I am thinking 13+, which is fairly arbitrary; generally, I would think it would be tied to when a teenager wanted to partake in a relationship), and it would be okay. I think that if it were standard practice in our society that 13 year olds paired with an older man or woman, who would help them out with their time, studies, and understanding of the world (including sex), that things could work out well. Provided, that is, of course, that the pair is not harrased at every corner and made to look horribly deranged. (Ask yourself: Who would be doing the harm in that situation- the pair, or the society?) I think it is entirely plausable to believe that this coupling can happen, and that it can work.

I've had so many of my myths about what is impossible shattered by reading about other societies, that I now only think about what is possible. The difficulty now, to my mind, is in showing what is not possible.

I absolutely respect sex, and think that it should be engaged with understanding and appreciation. (I also think that it shouldn't be killed by seriousness.)

I appreciate that growing up is hard to do, and that dealing with sexual impulses is challenging for any youth. I simply disagree that the best thing for a 12 year old struggling with masturbation is to be sodomized by his priest.

{;D}= Of course.

I don't think anyone is advocating what you are picturing, though. I think what they are saying is that, if, say in the future, sex were more acceptable and honored in our society, someone was having a problem with sexuality, that your local friendly church could help out.

Somehow, I don't think the help would take the form of sodomization, though.

I realize that this opinion may cause some poor confused boy to grow up repressed for having lost such an experience, but I believe the research on child abuse would support my position.

Be aware that the research on child abuse takes place in an environment that is extremely hostile to children having sex. Thus, any positive relationships that could possibly form are not being represented in the research sample set, because they are not allowed, and that those who would (the hypothetical pairings I have mentioned above), out of concern for their parterns, are not participating.

Imagine that children learning to read were starkly illegal, and one of the greatest taboos of all time. Imagine that occasionally, now and then, a child learned to read. When adults found out, they shunned the child at every turn, put him or her into a "special" school to treat their... Disorder... And then the researchers examined them. What would they find? They would find hoards of children saying, "I know I was wrong, I know I was bad, someone evil showed me how to do it, it has destroyed my life." And we would have conclusive proof reinforcing our taboo that child reading was, as we always knew, absolutely immoral and dispicable. Just look at all the damaged children.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Profound implications? (5.00 / 2) (#202)
by pedant on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 04:44:49 PM EST

Sex is a profound spiritual, emotional, and physical event that has profound implications.

This strikes me as being a rather unhealthy attitude toward sex. I think that it is much healthier to demystify it, so that people young and old will be better equipped to take negative experiences in stride. It doesn't surprise me that when you raise the significance of sex to such epic, mythical proportions, people are more prone to be traumatized by it.

By analogy, I think most of us would agree that sticking a pin in a doll is a fairly trivial act. But to a True Believer in voodoo, it could be a profoundly traumatic experience. But the doll and the pin have no inherent power to cause trauma; the power arises from the cultural context.

I would even say that there is a *possibility* that there is no *inherent* trauma associated with the controversial relationships in question... Which is not to say that they should automatically be legalized, because as long as society believes in voodoo-sex, real trauma can occur. But I have little doubt that it is *possible* for such a relationship to exist without traumatizing the younger partner. After all, it used to be common practice (and it still is, in some places) for 13-year-old girls to be paired off with much older men (although that opens up a whole other can of femini^H^H^H^H^H^H worms, so I don't want to dwell on it). Still, it's worth mentioning, at least for the benefit of the person who was pining for the "good old days."

[ Parent ]

great comment (none / 0) (#203)
by tiger on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:06:14 PM EST

I really like the list you give at the end of your comment, and I have quoted the first two of your list items, in my non-K5 American Culture article, at the end of footnote 16.

What I liked most about the two items from your list that I quoted, is that you covered a lot of ground in a small amount of text, and made some very good points. Very nicely done. Thanks for writing it.



[ Parent ]
Thank you. {:)}= (none / 0) (#206)
by snowlion on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:11:23 PM EST

Please feel free to replace "snowlion" with David Kimbro.

Do you have any of your books / papers in print? I think your Soliton/Bion theory is basically the right structure to be looking for; There has to be some sort of interface between awareness and the substantial world, since we are able to talk about awareness.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
answers (none / 0) (#208)
by tiger on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 03:39:02 AM EST

Please feel free to replace "snowlion" with David Kimbro.

Done.

Do you have any of your books / papers in print?

Not that I know of. My views are too anti-establishment to be printed in America anyway, so there is no point in even trying.

I think your Soliton/Bion theory is basically the right structure to be looking for

I’m not surprised to see that you looked at my book, since I read several of the items on your website earlier—after I decided to use your comment—including your item about your spiritual quest, and your extensive readings in that area. I also noticed that you claim at least one lucid dream.

I was certainly on my own quest for spiritual understanding when I was your age. Now I’m old, and my quest is mostly over. My book is my attempt to present and explain what I consider to be the results of my own quest, with the idea of making the quest easier for others.

There has to be some sort of interface between awareness and the substantial world, since we are able to talk about awareness.

Yes, I agree.



[ Parent ]
*sigh* (1.42 / 14) (#132)
by LilDebbie on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 06:36:26 PM EST

I miss the good ol' days when people were brutally tortured for harboring such thoughts. It is my only hope that all the various prophets of various gods were not lying when they said that the people who engage in such activites (the sexual ones, not the propogandizing, but that can be evil as well) were destined for horrible torment in some form of hell. I realize that what people consent to do is their business but children are so easy to coerce that we as a society shouldn't take the chance.

Don't believe my statement that children are easily coerced? Flip on MTV some day and look at the crap they're selling to the youth of the world. Just because you and I weren't so foolish in youth doesn't mean the rest of them aren't.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Ahh...the good old days... (5.00 / 3) (#163)
by humpasaur on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 10:44:59 PM EST

Ever read any Plato? He liked to bang young boys. He even argued that love of a boy is more pure than love of a girl.

Flip on MTV some day and look at the crap they're selling to the youth of the world. Just because you and I weren't so foolish in youth doesn't mean the rest of them aren't.

I'm sorry but this just makes you sound old. The media, as long as "the media" has existed, has ALWAYS sold crap to the youth of the world. They're too dumb to know any better and they don't have any bills to pay. Perfect market!

Yeah you may not have been "foolish" in your youth, but I can assure you that you are not everyone in your generation.
----

*sigh* Must I explain FURTHER?
[ Parent ]

So... (2.00 / 4) (#175)
by LilDebbie on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:29:22 PM EST

...aside from the Plato thing, you agree with my statement that the youth of the world is very impressionable? I'd thank you but your tone implied some sort of conflict with my position. If you could be a bit clearer upon your argument that might help.

And as to your Plato argument: Plato was a Greek, a heathen idolater who also would be brutally tortured if he lived in the Dark Ages.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
I just think you are naive. (4.50 / 4) (#178)
by humpasaur on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:54:09 PM EST

As though exploiting youth is a new thing. NO KIDDING children are easily impressionable.

If it weren't for Plato, there probably wouldn't have been a dark ages. I only brought him up because your first post mentioned how you miss "the old days," well you'll cede that Plato lived in "the old days," right?

Plus there was that crap about:

It is my only hope that all the various prophets of various gods were not lying when they said that the people who engage in such activites (the sexual ones, not the propogandizing, but that can be evil as well) were destined for horrible torment in some form of hell.

It is sad that you live a life of such narrow hopes and the line about "various prophets of various gods" makes me think you have a very simplistic understanding of theological history.

That is all.


----

*sigh* Must I explain FURTHER?
[ Parent ]

ahhh... the good ol' christianity spoke! (none / 0) (#209)
by KiTaSuMbA on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 10:42:06 PM EST

"Plato was a Greek, a heathen idolater who also would be brutally tortured if he lived in the Dark Ages."
Now, does this means that you approve those methods? Well then, start accepting facts as the good ol' times had it going that the earth was fscking flat, that the sun went round it and that if you said "Fuck", a lightning would burn you to the ground.
Fuck Fuck Fuck!!!
Hey, I'm still alive! How strange...
And what's that rubbish people call philosophy and science...

There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
A question. (4.25 / 4) (#176)
by rakslice on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:45:18 PM EST

There's a lot of pretty drippy advertising aimed at people over 18, too. By your reasoning, these people must be easily coerced, and as society cannot allow them to have sex if they can be easily coerced to do so, it should be banned altogether.

Question: In your world view, does this extend to anything someone can easily be coerced about? (e.g. buying a chocolate bar)

[ Parent ]
Addendum to question (none / 0) (#207)
by humpasaur on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:59:06 AM EST

Question: In your world view, does this extend to anything someone can easily be coerced about? (e.g. buying a chocolate bar)

Or a snack cake?
----

*sigh* Must I explain FURTHER?
[ Parent ]

Fire with Fire (2.88 / 9) (#141)
by bjlhct on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 07:42:45 PM EST

Freedom of speech abolished!!! Hrm, no. They don't have to publish the book. If they published every book they could, we would be overwhelmed with crap and they would be insolvent. So, the problem? People knocking the book, apparently. Your solution? Complain until _they_ shut up.

Something seems wrong here.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism

Missing the point (3.00 / 5) (#146)
by broken77 on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:14:50 PM EST

The point is not that book publishers should publish whatever gets shoved under their noses, but that if the content is interesting, and would make a good book, and they would publish it if they thought that it wouldn't cause too much of a commotion and the only reason they're not publishing it is because the content is "radioactive", then there is a good point to be made. What use is free speech if your own peers squash it, before the government even gets the chance? I.e., we all have free speech, that much is true, but what good is it if we have no forum or podium in which to express it?

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Some slight differences..... (4.00 / 7) (#148)
by sasseriansection on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:38:04 PM EST

Freedom of speech... yup, that's in the Bill of Rights.

Freedom to be heard... nope, that is not included.

And let's not forget Freedom of the Press (which, taken tounge in cheek in this matter) would mean that the publisher has the freedom to run it's presses to print whatever they want, however they see fit:).

There is a difference between being silenced and being ignored.
------------ ------------
[ Parent ]

Again... (3.71 / 7) (#149)
by broken77 on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 08:43:08 PM EST

There is a difference between being silenced and being ignored.
I think this is what your main point is (so please forgive me for not quoting everything you said). This point is not the same as the point the author (or I) was making. This is not a case of being ignored. Quite the contrary, lots of people seem to be making a fuss about this, and hence, it's getting a lot of attention. The issue is that she is being silenced. But, not necessarily that she is being silence by law (the government), but by society in general. And again, this is the main point. And that point is... What good is free speech when nobody allows you to say it in a public way (via printing a book, for example)?

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Maybe this wasn't the best story to make a case w/ (4.25 / 4) (#150)
by sasseriansection on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 09:10:20 PM EST

This is not a case of being ignored. Quite the contrary, lots of people seem to be making a fuss about this, and hence, it's getting a lot of attention. The issue is that she is being silenced.

The good majority of the sites/magazines where I have seen this topic written about have made it excruciatingly clear that she is not strictly writing about pedophilia. That, coupled with the fact of all of the discussion taking place about this (including people reading exerpts of it) makes a pretty weak argument about her being silenced.

If the argument was for the fundies to quit being so tight about questionable topics, then there would have been a discussion. Of course, interestingly enough, that would have been stifling again, although to a different viewpoint.

Oh, the tangled web we weave.

What good is free speech when nobody allows you to say it in a public way (via printing a book, for example)?

The good thing about free speech is she is not being killed/thrown in jail over it. Neither are the Klan for private publishing of their materials, not the Palestinian protestors in Miami. Those are two good examples of free speech still being heard, although not supported by the majority of the populace.
------------ ------------
[ Parent ]

Arrrgghhh!!!!!! (3.40 / 5) (#184)
by bjlhct on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 01:48:54 AM EST

Sadly, I feel compelled to defend myself, looking at the parent post rating and the responses to it. First I will say: Remember, arguing on the internet is like the special olympics: even if you win...I have no desire to get drawn into this.

You are claiming that people who do something that stirs up feelings, that is provoking, has a right to be heard, a right to be read. Yes? Think about that.

And then sign up to EVERY SPAM MAILING YOU SEE!

Look, they have the right to reject books. They are a business. Capitalism sorts it out if there's a problem, at least unless there's a monopoly.

Not only that, but you should take back EVERY TIME YOU VOTED AGAINST A STORY HERE THAT WAS A TROLL!

Look, people don't have to take crap. If you want to get the word out you can do this. See TimeCube. The idea is you have a discussion and you sort it out. You want money for this? You think you deserve it? You think others must help you get word out? At that point, someone might take you up, or maybe nobody cares. Saying publishers are too P.C. and we should do soemthing? Buy un-P.C. books. But hey, looking at my local bookstre that seems not much of a problem.

And finally, you may want to check out my sig and its link.

Have a nice day. =)

bjlhct clear

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[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

She's got a publisher. (4.75 / 4) (#192)
by Happy Monkey on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 09:24:11 AM EST

A publisher has already agreed to publish her book. Activist groups are now trying to prevent the printing, and even get the publishers fired. This isn't a case of publishers rejecting a book that has no value - it is a case of people attempting to punish a publisher for presenting an unpopular idea. They certainly have that right, but others have the right to criticise people for attempting to squash something rather than refute it.
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Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
Activists? Hah! (5.00 / 1) (#198)
by bjlhct on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:01:21 PM EST

What can a few people do? Boycott: probably not effective, they will probably not be able to get enough to do it. And stuff like that actually makes people want to buy it. Sue: Protected free speech. Get the publishers fired: What can they do? Yell? Chant mantras? Stick pins in voodoo dolls? Who cares?

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[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
I think once again... (none / 0) (#200)
by broken77 on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 03:45:00 PM EST

You've missed my point entirely. But as you said, discussing on the internet can, at times, seem utterly pointless. See HappyMonkey's comment below. I think s/he does a better job of summing up my point than I did. Sometimes that happens. And just what point were you trying to make by mentioning your sig? This is something I've kept in mind for years. Although I'm not familiar with Paul Valéry, it was said in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 as "Give a man a few lines of verse and he thinks he's the Lord of all Creation". Slightly different context, but I believe the principle is the same. But I really don't see how that applies to what I am saying. I think maybe it's just a product of the misunderstanding between us.

Take care...

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Seems like someone is trying to legitamize... (3.14 / 7) (#172)
by SinisterMcgee on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 11:02:33 PM EST

a childhood experience... "When I was a minor, I had sex with an adult," she said. "He was one of my first lovers. My heart was broken, but my heart was broken by a lot of boys, too. I'd say on balance that it was a perfectly good experience." The author most likely was in conflict with herself over this event, and rather then coming to terms with it has attempted to gathering proof to make her feel she didn't do anything wrong. Ask some well-known, respected child psychatrists about the patients they've had who had sexual intercourse with adults as children.

Freud is Dead! (5.00 / 2) (#185)
by bjlhct on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 02:03:17 AM EST

That kinda repression...childhood experience stuff, you know, is as of now completely rejected by modern psychology. And hey, I'd say it puts her if anyhting in a better position to write a book.

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[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
A stretch... Opinions are funny things. (4.66 / 3) (#186)
by rakslice on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 02:36:06 AM EST

Now, was this actually intended as an ad hominem attack against the arguments in the above-mentioned author's book, or was it just an unrelated thought? I'm interested to know the answer; but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and going with option two...

"The author most likely was in conflict with herself over this event, and rather then coming to terms with it has attempted to gathering proof to make her feel she didn't do anything wrong." Possible, but a stretch, no? By the author's account, she has come to terms with her experience. I mean, sure, you can fit what I presume is your pre-cast opinion to this situation. But I don't see how you could have come up with that evaluation from the source material... "Ask some well-known, respected child psychatrists about the patients they've had who had sexual intercourse with adults as children." Are you trying to support the "likely" in the previous sentence? I've always thought that most psychological analysis was heavily speculative; but I could be wrong. In any case, some non-anecdotal evidence would be nice if someone can provide some.

Commentary:

I especially love it when people with a largely speculative, difficult-to-support opinion on some issue or other decide to bite the bullet and proclaim that those with a different opinion are deluding themselves. I don't mean to pick particularly on this poster; a lot of people have strong opinions that are speculative and difficult-to-support (hi! *wave*). But when there's a big information vacuum out there, and solid factual information and analysis are lacking, it's strange that those people would be oblivious to that vacuum as a root cause of the discrepancy, and would instead blame it solely on the mental state of those they disagree with.

What's the point of stifling discussion on this and other issues, folks? Sure, it's possible that other people's take on the issue may be unrealistic, and that your evaluation was right all long. But if their misguided discussion of it inspires them to do further research, they may happen upon the truth (and, heck, they may even share it with you so you can fix the odd thing you didn't get quite right). =)

Anyway, now for my $0.02 flim-flam opinion, in case you're interested (which, by the way I encourage you to accord absolutely no weight for the reasons I outlined above):

Society has an interest in regulating non-consentual sex (or non-consentual anything, for that matter), and has to take into account the special nature of the control exerted over children by parents and other authority figures. However, I don't believe that the issue is compelling enough to require a blanket prohibition on consentual sex in certain age groups. As much as such prohibitions are promoted for this reason, they really exist because of squeaky wheels' moral views about sex (e.g. a risky stunt -- only to be performed by qualified individuals after all of the proper licenses have been obtained; where any and all restriction is justified, when supported by the proper level of paranoia, short of stopping the perpetuation of the species entirely).

I could pick up some other threads here: That today's overly-protective parents want wholesale control of their childrens' lives, and what they cannot obtain directly they attempt to gain as a block through legislative manipulations; that this is somewhat unfair, because minors have no recourse; that we can see this in everything from the prevalence of authoritarian "boot camp" to, you guessed it, age of consent/statutory rape laws. But that might be falling of the far limb a bit.

[ Parent ]

Dichotomy (none / 0) (#193)
by krek on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:55:14 AM EST

It seems to me that the American people suffer from two severe dichotomies:
One: An extreme facination and obsession with sex, while, at the same time, loathing and denying the fact of sex.
Two: An extreme and unhealthy obsession with youth, while at the same time hating and despising the young for possessing youth.

It can be seen in everything from the laws regulating consentual sex in many states like Utah, to common cliche sayings like "youth is wasted on the young", to repressive "protect our children" campaigns.
We have mandated that childeren cannot legally make a descision about anything. I believe that this may have more to do with the fact that if childeren had that capability to make a descision on their own, that would mean they have the youth that we covet so much, but as well, they can descide not to do what we want them to and behave as we want them to. Thus, we do not possess youth, nor do we control it. Perhaps this scares us a little bit.

AfterThought: Responsibilty is something that is learned over time by watching and immitating those who we respect and admire as children, not something that is biologically or legally "switched on" after our eighteenth birthday. People who have been coddled and protected and disallowed to make any kind of self-determination for their whole life cannot be expected to begin living as a responsable adult simply because they have managed to stay alive for an arbitrary number of days. A child with no sense of responsiblity will grow into an adult with no sense of responsibilty. It is a very simple formula.

[ Parent ]
Dichotomy (4.00 / 2) (#194)
by krek on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 12:23:55 PM EST

It seems to me that the American people suffer from two severe dichotomies:
One: An extreme facination and obsession with sex, while, at the same time, loathing and denying the fact of sex.
Two: An extreme and unhealthy obsession with youth, while at the same time hating and despising the young for possessing youth.

It can be seen in everything from the laws regulating consentual sex in many states like Utah, to common cliche sayings like "youth is wasted on the young", to repressive "protect our children" campaigns.
We have mandated that childeren cannot legally make a descision about anything. I believe that this may have more to do with the fact that if childeren had that capability to make a descision on their own, that would mean they have the youth that we covet so much, but as well, they can descide not to do what we want them to and behave as we want them to. Thus, we do not possess youth, nor do we control it. Perhaps this scares us a little bit.

AfterThought: Responsibilty is something that is learned over time by watching and immitating those who we respect and admire as children, not something that is biologically or legally "switched on" after our eighteenth birthday. People who have been coddled and protected and disallowed to make any kind of self-determination for their whole life cannot be expected to begin living as a responsable adult simply because they have managed to stay alive for an arbitrary number of days. A child with no sense of responsiblity will grow into an adult with no sense of responsibilty. It is a very simple formula.

[ Parent ]
Double standards (none / 0) (#210)
by deadmouse on Sat Apr 13, 2002 at 11:25:13 AM EST

[[One: An extreme facination and obsession with sex, while, at the same time, loathing and denying the fact of sex. Two: An extreme and unhealthy obsession with youth, while at the same time hating and despising the young for possessing youth. ]]

Levine expresses both dichotomies in her opening her opening quote from the exerpt on censorship

The twin concepts of innocence and ignorance are vehicles for adult double standards. A child is ignorant if she doesn't know what adults want her to know, but innocent if she doesn't know what adults don't want her to know. --Jenny Kitzinger, "Children, Power, and the Struggle against Sexual Abuse"



[ Parent ]
What the h#LL! (5.00 / 1) (#213)
by outraged on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:37:29 AM EST

I'm sorry, I'm just appalled at the thought of someone actually supporting the idea of sexual liberation of children and teens. What the h#ll is this country coming to. I was a victim of molestation at the hands of my step-father at the age of nine. The molestation turned to incest when I was 11 years old. This lasted until I was 14. Because of this relationship I entered into a string of unhealthy sexual relationships with several men young and old. I began to feel that having sex with older men was all I was good for. Most of these incidents were against my will. I started to gave them consent because I didn't want to fight them anymore. I even molested some of my younger cousins when I was 10. This had a damaging affect on them though they gave me their consent. One of them hate me with a passion even now. These sexual relationships did NOT benefit me at ALL. I suffered severe depressions and has attempted suicide numerous of times. I didn't start recovering from my pain until I was 21. Engaging in sex acts as a child and a teen only hindered me in every aspects of my life. I became vulnerable to molestors and rapest. I had no confidence in my academic ability. Instead of focusing on homework, I was worried that my peers would reject me if I didn't have sex. The reality is, most of the girls who were sexually active, was also victims of abuse as children. It is absurb to think that children and teens would benefit from early sex when they do not consider the consequences for the actions they already take. Because of teen sex, many young women, including my sister who was also molested by my father and step-father, are living in extreme poverty because of the many children they have and cannot efficiently take care of. This causes a strain on the tax-payers' dollars who fund the government's as they provide welfare to these many poverty-stricken, young, single-mother families. With young women getting pregnant as young as 11 years old now, how can adolescent sex benefit our children when they do not understand how to handle the consequences of sexual activities such as getting preganant and/or contracting an STD. With the increase of AIDS and other life threatening STD's within the younger generation, legalization of sexual relationships amoung children would be a death sentence. Many people young and old do not practice safe sex as it is. What makes the author believe that they would practice safe sex if allowed to engage in the act of sex with adults. Older people that engage in sex with children are obviously not concerned about that child's safety. They are only concerned about their own sexual gratification and would not instruct a child on safety precautions during sex. We are now paying the consequences of the sexual liberations within our society with the "Sexual Revolution" of the sixties and seventies. We know have uncureable diseases like Herpes and AIDS as common as the flu. A second revolution among adolescents will only result in more disease infested adults and more poverty stricken young families . Obviously, the author is representing her evidence without evaluting the disastrous psychological and sociological effect of legalizing and encouraging sex between adults and children.

I almost forgot to mention, (none / 0) (#214)
by outraged on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:56:15 AM EST

Dr. Jocelyn Elders, the former Surgeon General, who wrote the foreword to this hideous book, is an embarrasment to me as an African-American. I put her in the same pile of nutcases as I put Al Sharpton.

[ Parent ]
Burning a Book Before It's Printed | 214 comments (209 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
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