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Author Topic:   Harm in Homosexuality?
Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 114 of 309 (160057)
11-16-2004 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by Rrhain
11-14-2004 8:43 AM


Re: No I am making a seprate argument.
I'm leaping in here with both feet before finishing reading the thread, but I think I might be able to clarify something here. I could be wrong, but I don't think that the D D is equating homosexuality and paedosexuality (mmm... why doesn't that word exist?) in the way you feared. I think that they came up together because

1)they both are percieved as "minority" sexualities in our culture,

and

2) both have/have recently had a social stigma attached to them.

In the '50s, most people probably viewed them with similar disgust. Some people still do. That is why it is worth comparing and contrasting them for people who do have a problem with homosexuality. And whether a sex act is harmful or not is totally a matter of informed consent, as I think you said. That's why bestiality and necrophilia are more questionable than other kinds of consenting sexual preference, like consenting hetero/homosexuality or incest. I don't know if its ever possible to get an animal's consent, so bestiality seems very suspect (having said that, I tacitly endorse the hideous slaughter of factory farms by eating the flesh of animals killed in them, so there's a contradiction. Why's jacking a Jack Russel off worse than slitting its throat?). Necrophilia could be different. At the moment it becomes even more disgusting to people because it is forced into a clandestine shadow-world. There could be workrounds put in place to make it easier for people with necrophilic leanings to satisfy themselves legally, if our society was more tolerant. Imagine leaving your body to a sex-morgue for the benefit of the necrophiles of your district!

I personally see incest as the next archaic taboo that should be tackled. I think many people would benefit if social attitudes softened towards it, in the same way that the change in social attitudes towards people who are attracted to people of the same sex has allowed us to live more fullfilling lives, less filled with fear.

So in conclusion: if they're a concenting couple, what's the problem?(Anyone seen Lone Star?).

Tusko x


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Rrhain, posted 11-14-2004 8:43 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by happy_atheist, posted 11-16-2004 11:26 AM Tusko has responded
 Message 121 by Silent H, posted 11-16-2004 3:37 PM Tusko has responded
 Message 175 by Rrhain, posted 11-18-2004 2:45 AM Tusko has responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 116 of 309 (160081)
11-16-2004 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 115 by happy_atheist
11-16-2004 11:26 AM


Re: No I am making a seprate argument.
I think that any genetic implications for incest become less significant in these post-pill times, but I take your point.

As for the necro-sex donations... I think we may have to wait a while before we can become card-carrying post-death sex-workers! The main point is that "deviant" sexualities become so much more corrosive when they are forced to become clandestine. But I think this is well off-topic. Sorry.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by happy_atheist, posted 11-16-2004 11:26 AM happy_atheist has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by Silent H, posted 11-16-2004 3:42 PM Tusko has responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 134 of 309 (160381)
11-17-2004 6:13 AM
Reply to: Message 121 by Silent H
11-16-2004 3:37 PM


I'm not sure if this is the time or the place for this discussion, but I'll respond here now, and if its got legs we could take it up in a new thread?

What is informed consent? Yes, its a tricky one. Bonobos(sp?) seem to get by okay for much of the time, and I don't think they ever get involved in this whole informed consent business. Furthermore, can someone with severe learning difficulties be said to give informed consent, or is any sexual activity in which they engage with a partner an exploitation, a RAPE?

Informed consent isn't the be all and end all then. Its just the best means that I can think of IN A CULTURE SUCH AS OURS to minimise exploitation and any resultant psychological and physical harm.

There are problems in even trying to define informed consent. But if we had to say SOMETHING about it, what would it be? I'm just reaching around here. You'd think that informed consent could only be given when the "consenter" has a working knowledge of what they are about to engage in (in this case, a sexual activity). I guess that means the health implications, the possible repercussions for the relationship, and other stuff that I can't think of. I'd imagine that most adults could be said to give sufficiently informed consent if it was couched in these suitably vague terms. Of course, many children could too.

I hope you didn't think that I was saying it was impossible for a minor to give informed consent. What the hell is a minor anyway? as you said at one point. In the Netherlands, I think you are good to go at 14. I think that much of the harm that can potentially result from adult/child relationships arises from the fact that such relationships are forced, in our culture at least, to be clandestine.

Related to this, the other big problem is that adults have much more power in our society than children, and so any relationship between an adult and a child is one in which there is an inherent power imbalance. This increases the likelyhood and the degree of expoitation that could creep in (in the same way that other societies through history have apparently allowed a great deal of exploitation of women by men). In a society where paedophiles are reviled AND where adults have much more power than children, things look more bleak for children who are having sex with adults than in some other culture.

My argument keeps coming back to exploitation here, and I'm not saying that exploitation is necessarily an evil in itself. Its just that if there is exploitation, there is an increased risk that the exploited party will be damaged.

Of course, it might depend from individual to individual, but I imagine that many fourteen-year-olds, or even twelve year olds in our culture might be able to engage in sexual activity with others if there was a supportive climate for these relations in their family a social circle. But actually, in a culture sufficiently different from ours, there would be no particular need to mark puberty as a particularly significant time in an individual's sexual maturity.
I have no trouble in imagining, for instance, a culture in which a parent masterbating a child was equivalent to a hug or other display of affection (Bonobo time again). However, this kind of behaviour in our culture might cause problems for the child, when they learned it was not "normal".

Does that help clarify my position?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by Silent H, posted 11-16-2004 3:37 PM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-17-2004 6:30 AM Tusko has responded
 Message 140 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-17-2004 6:56 AM Tusko has responded
 Message 146 by Silent H, posted 11-17-2004 9:28 AM Tusko has responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 136 of 309 (160388)
11-17-2004 6:27 AM
Reply to: Message 122 by Silent H
11-16-2004 3:42 PM


Okay, I can't remember which one, but I read in a UK paper (it was in the G2 supplement to the Guardian, I remember) about a year ago that the offspring of cousins has a 3% chance of having a nasty defect, as opposed to 1% for people who weren't related. Quite how they arrived at that figure, God only knows (what is a nasty defect? etc). But its pretty low.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by Silent H, posted 11-16-2004 3:42 PM Silent H has not yet responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 138 of 309 (160390)
11-17-2004 6:33 AM
Reply to: Message 137 by Jon_the_Second
11-17-2004 6:30 AM


Okay, sorry. Insert other place of your choice which has an age of consent lower than you'd expect.

http://www.ageofconsent.com/ageofconsent.htm


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-17-2004 6:30 AM Jon_the_Second has not yet responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 142 of 309 (160406)
11-17-2004 8:28 AM
Reply to: Message 140 by Jon_the_Second
11-17-2004 6:56 AM


Jon said:
Practically, this kind of behaviour would lead to disease increase.

I'll tell you why I don't think this boat floats. There are plenty of human behaviours that aren't overtly sexual that lead to disease increase, but we don't see mass protests about the evils of public swimming baths, or aunty's kisses, or whatever. We are surrounded by disease risk, and properly managed, its not going to crush civilisation. Besides, the Bonobos get by.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-17-2004 6:56 AM Jon_the_Second has not yet responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 151 of 309 (160548)
11-17-2004 1:25 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by Silent H
11-17-2004 9:28 AM


We can muddy the waters of "informed consent" as much as you like with examples that make it at best seem a questionable approach. I think its wrong that adults not in the position to give informed consent because of serious learning difficulties might be denied sexual closeness with another (sentence edited so it made some sense). How the hell do we go about establishing if sex is going to have a net detriment or benefit for someone? Is it any of my business? Probably not.

Talking about cultural relativism and child sex, what about those Pitcarin Islanders that were in the news recently. Maybe this didn't make your news?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3963863.stm

The confusing thing was that women were saying that it was okay, and that it was done to them when they were little girls too.

But I think there ARE differences between the way adult/adult sexual relationships and child/adult ones function in our culture. I personally believe that all of these differences can be ascribed to societal pressures; but nonetheless, I think the differences are profound.

The practical reality is that where there are children who haven't been educated about sex and relationships, and where there are adults who use threats, coercion or physical violence to have sex with children, because our culture forces them to act clandestinely, then the likelyhood of harm being caused is great.

Is that too full of asertions again? Sorry if it is. I'm going to have to hunt down some paedo-stats if you insist. I don't know where from though.

This message has been edited by Tusko, 11-18-2004 12:42 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by Silent H, posted 11-17-2004 9:28 AM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 153 by Silent H, posted 11-17-2004 3:15 PM Tusko has responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 191 of 309 (160915)
11-18-2004 6:03 AM
Reply to: Message 175 by Rrhain
11-18-2004 2:45 AM


Re: No I am making a seprate argument.
Ok. There are people who find sexual fulfilment with adults of their own sex, adults of a different sex, juveniles of the same or a different sex, dead people of the same or a different sex, animals of the same or different sex, geriatrics of the same or different sex, pieces of wood of indeterminate sex, or photographs of any of the above. For some people, the sex of the person/thing they are having sex with isn't the issue, but their smell is. There are people who only get sexual gratification from exposing themselves to people of the same or a different sex, and there are people who only get sexual gratification by raping people of the same or the opposite sex. There are some people whose sex is biologically indeterminable, who probably have a very confusing time of it all, but you can bet the farm that there are other people who find them sexually attractive.
Furthermore, people can belong to multiple groups, and their sexual preferences aren't necessarily fixed through their lifetime (sentence added by edit). In other words, there are a hell of a lot of different things that flip peoples' berets.

I personally think that its okay to talk about a broad range of sexualities when sexuality is being debated. I hope I'm not specifically conflating homosexuality with paedophilia any more than I'm conflating heterosexuality with foot-fetishism.

That having been said, if you have found what I have been saying offensive, then I sincerely apologise. It hasn't been my intention to somehow conflate a non-destructive, loving kind of relationship that happens to be between two geezers with any kind of violent or exploitative one. To me they are horses of an entirely different colour.

One possible solution, which I tentatively raised earlier, would be to begin a different topic on the wider remit of varied sexuality, so we don't keep blathering on about paedophiles in a thread about homosexuality. However, I think there is some place for this discussion here in this thread, especially after Holmes clarified why he was persuing this whole paedophile thing with Dread D: he seems to be trying to draw attention to a double standard he percieves in Dread D's argument, which seems relevant enough to the discussion.

Tusko x

This message has been edited by Tusko, 11-18-2004 06:45 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by Rrhain, posted 11-18-2004 2:45 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 253 by Rrhain, posted 11-22-2004 10:38 PM Tusko has responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 192 of 309 (160917)
11-18-2004 6:08 AM
Reply to: Message 153 by Silent H
11-17-2004 3:15 PM


Having read this reply, I really don't think I'm in dissagreement with you on this sex and juveniles issue. I think you've helped to clarify my thinking on it a little. I'm not so sure about this different but equal stuff though... I'm going to have a think.

This message has been edited by Tusko, 11-18-2004 06:36 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 153 by Silent H, posted 11-17-2004 3:15 PM Silent H has not yet responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 193 of 309 (160921)
11-18-2004 6:27 AM
Reply to: Message 158 by Jon_the_Second
11-17-2004 5:29 PM


Jon said:
Men who have consensual sex under 16 have an increased incidence of psychological problems.

I could be wrong, but I don't think that this is prove that underage sex is inherently damaging. I think it just shows that in a culture such as ours it is damaging. It is possible to imagine a culture where sex isn't such a baroque labarynth of weirdness, isn't it?

Those who are raped had an even higher incidence.

No-one's been condoning rape here. (Nor indeed has anyone been condoning sex with juveniles.) For my part, I'm just asking you if you can envisage a human culture where children can engage in social sexual behaviours and it not being damaging. I think that there probably have been cultures in the past where this has been possible. I don't know; all I think is that nothing's set in stone. This doesn't mean that I think that its okay for us here to start waiting outside primary school gates, with the intention of sweet-talking nine-year-olds into our cars. That's not going to be a recipe for anyone's happiness. Our society's attitudes to sex aren't going to chance overnight, but its inevitable that they will change over a hundred years. I don't know how, but it seems possible, even likely that people in a hundred years will engage in "normal" sexual activities that would make us decidedly uncomfortable.

But I want to return to one of your earlier points, in a post yesterday. It was about sex being "special". I can't remember when you said this, but I think it was in response to one of my wilder flights of fancy. I think this attitude is quite illuminating. I think our idea that sex is "special" is directly tied up with so many terrible problems and hypocrisies in our society. I wish it wasn't special, personally. I wish it was as boring as eating. As I'm sure you agree, though its a totally everyday activity, and surrounded by less taboos than sex, it can be a joyous, very pleasurable activity. That's not to say that I think that this is in any way a realisitic possibility in our lifetimes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 158 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-17-2004 5:29 PM Jon_the_Second has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 202 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-18-2004 11:53 AM Tusko has not yet responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 209 of 309 (161154)
11-18-2004 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by Jon_the_Second
11-17-2004 5:29 PM


This is from the BMJ report on non-consensual sex in men, in the section labelled "Psychological problems, at risk drinking, and self harm"

The effect of consensual sexual experiences in childhood is unknown.

I thought you said:

Men who have consensual sex under 16 have an increased incidence of psychological problems.

This seems to flatly contradict you. Thoughts?

Much to my shame, I didn't read the source you referenced at the time and took your word for it. (I'm a busy library worker, okay? ) There is of course the possibility that I'm misinterpreting it, but I'm sure you'll let me know if that's the case


This message is a reply to:
 Message 158 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-17-2004 5:29 PM Jon_the_Second has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 212 by Silent H, posted 11-18-2004 3:18 PM Tusko has not yet responded
 Message 219 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-19-2004 5:30 AM Tusko has responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 224 of 309 (161429)
11-19-2004 7:16 AM
Reply to: Message 219 by Jon_the_Second
11-19-2004 5:30 AM


Okay - I'll have another look at the BMJ thing when I get the chance. I thought the bit I quoted seemed to be quite clear though.

Jon wrote:

And you still haven't told me how you would tell which children consent and which do not

I'm a bit unsure as to what to say here. Are you asking me how I would determine which children its okay to have sex with? I'm not proposing that there IS a way for an individual to determine which children you can have sex with without damaging them. Its not like I have a geigercounter for non-damaging sex. Are you proposing that you have one that you use when wondering whether to commence sexual relationships with adults? In my experience at least, before you engage in a relatinoship its very difficult to determine if you are going to end up hurting someone psychologically, or indeed be hurt yourself.

I'm actually saying that there is probably a GREATER chance that a sexual relationship with a child is going to end up damaging them (in our current sexual climate) than a relationship with an adult. I believe sex between adults and children is made damaging by a complex cultural nexus, that takes in our attitudes towards childhood and children (a time of "innocence"), our attitudes towards sex (special) and desire (dangerous), and our distorted view of victimhood. I don't think these attitudes are healthy, and I think that they bring the idea of hurt through sex into being, and amplify it into something totally unhelpful. Does that answer your question? If not, tell me what you want addressed specifically.

What

This message has been edited by Tusko, 11-19-2004 07:25 AM

This message has been edited by Tusko, 11-19-2004 07:39 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 219 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-19-2004 5:30 AM Jon_the_Second has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 228 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-19-2004 10:16 AM Tusko has responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 234 of 309 (161505)
11-19-2004 1:49 PM
Reply to: Message 228 by Jon_the_Second
11-19-2004 10:16 AM


Hi Jon. It would really help me if you gave me your thoughts on my previous post, because its not clear to me what position you are coming from. I have to go now, but will try to cobble something together to answer you in the next day or so. x

This message is a reply to:
 Message 228 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-19-2004 10:16 AM Jon_the_Second has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 235 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-19-2004 1:55 PM Tusko has responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 245 of 309 (161742)
11-20-2004 6:23 AM
Reply to: Message 235 by Jon_the_Second
11-19-2004 1:55 PM


I'm finding this question really difficult to answer; I was thinking about it a lot last night. We are approaching this whole problem from really different standpoints, so it is proving really difficult to find a common frame of reference.

To give an answer to your question last night, I'm going to answer with another question I'm afraid. To paraphrase you, I believe you asked "how do you know whether a child was coerced into a sexual relationship or whether they willing took part without having been manipulated?" My answer is: in the case of an adult with severe learning difficulties, that mean that it is unclear whether they can be considered sufficiently independent-minded to ever give informed consent to sex, how do you determine whether they were coerced or not? I'd imagine that it would take a long, detailed investigation of that individual by professionals - and even then you couldn't be 100% certain either way. But even then, what does this prove?

It may be easier to manipulate a child or an adult with learning difficulties into having sex, but it is also possible, if you are a good enough manipulator, to manipulate an adult into having sex. I don't think that this is necessarily preferable to manipulating a child into sex because I don't think that the mental age of the manipulated person should determine the approbrium with which we treat the manipulator - it should be the degree of harm that is caused to the "victim" (though objectively measuring the level of harm, is of course, difficult). I also think that someone who doesn't know that they have been manipulated (because they haven't or because the manipulation was so clever), is likely to be less damaged than someone who feels used.

I am conjecturing here, and apologies to anyone who might have been sexually abused as a child if I'm wide of the mark. I'd imagine that the lies and threats that could well be used by an adult to instigate a sexual relationship with a child, and then keep its secret, might cause feelings of intense distress and isolation. The sex itself might be confusing, painful and unpleasant. However, I don't think that there is an INHERENT awfulness to sexual abuse of a minor by an adult, that automatically makes it the worst thing that can ever happen. I think it likely that there are other kinds of abuse that can be directed against children that are equally unpleasant, or indeed MORE psychologically and physically damaging - dependant on circumstances and the individuals in question. However, I think that upon discovering that a child is being abused, the reaction by other members of the child's family or social circle will be more extreme if the abuse is sexual in nature than to physical abuse - almost regardless of the degree of the abuse. This is because of our societal attitudes. I think a discussion of our societal attitudes is unavoidable when talking about this kind of behaviour. I think the people around that child will see the child as even more of a victim than if they had been facing plain old beatings - EVEN IF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE FROM BEATINGS MIGHT HAVE BEEN EVEN MORE SEVERE. I think that the severity of the victimhood that an individual is made to feel could be damaging for them, so I think that a child's social circle could end up reinforcing the damage done to the child by the abuser, rather than mitigating it.

I also think that it is very telling that you think that a legal approach is appropriate. A legal proceedings are only going to be brought when somebody percieves that there is a wronged party and a wrongdoer or wrongdoers. Inherent then, in a legal situation, is the sense that someone has been harmed somehow... so regardless of whether there was coersion or not (if we are talking about a case of sex between an adult and a child), a victim has been created, and quite possibly damaged as a result.

Does that help clarify my position?

This message has been edited by Tusko, 11-20-2004 06:28 AM

This message has been edited by Tusko, 11-20-2004 06:32 AM

This message has been edited by Tusko, 11-20-2004 06:34 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 235 by Jon_the_Second, posted 11-19-2004 1:55 PM Jon_the_Second has not yet responded

Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 266 of 309 (162523)
11-23-2004 4:33 AM
Reply to: Message 253 by Rrhain
11-22-2004 10:38 PM


Re: No I am making a seprate argument.
Oh dear. Again apologies. And now I bet I make things worse by attempting to justify myself again... but... I just can't help myself...

Honestly, I really don't think that paedophilia and gayness are connected any more than paedophilia and straightness; at least, that's what I THINK I think. Because its percieved as an aberant sexuality, paedosexuality is more interesting than plain old vanilla/strawberry homo/hetero. It's my fault for not starting up another thread to talk about it. Sorry.

Then why did you bring it up?

1) Can I pass the buck a little? It was Dread_D

2) I think the problem is that I always want to have the last word... so when someone else dusts off a favourite hobbyhorse of mine (i.e. all paedophiles should all be X, where x is usually something horrible involving pliers... which gets me angry even when I only see it implied) its very hard for me not to take the little critter for a spin. And of course, when I think that I've written the post to end all posts, it never is, so it goes on and on.

I doubt that's placated you even slightly, but nonetheless I really do feel genuinely sorry for the slight. x


This message is a reply to:
 Message 253 by Rrhain, posted 11-22-2004 10:38 PM Rrhain has not yet responded

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