Re: Sex, authority, and social norms

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 12 Feb 1998 16:57:57 -0800 (PST)

> >So I can presume from this message that there is no evidence to
> >support your claims. So granted it has no scientific basis we need to
> >find a rational way of looking at the current situation.
> I have not granted that there is no scientific basis for my
> statements--they fall in line with current psychological and medical
> studies and theory, and therefore I have no need to 'prove' anything.

Consensus--even unanymity--is not a scientific basis. But in the
absense of real evidence, it's a moderately good substitute. I'm
often willing to go with consensus-based "knowledge" if I think
it's not worth the effort to find real knowledge, but in this case
we're talking about something people get thrown in jail for. I
think it's reasonable to demand clearer, quanititative, controlled,
non-anecdotal epistemologically satisfying evidence of harm and
clearer definitions of the behavior itself when dealing with crime.
As compassionate human beings, we must demand that the lives
destroyed by the law are absolutely necessary to prevent destroying
the lives of victims, and I see precious little proof of that.

The most we can say now, I think, is that most young girls who
engage in sex much earlier than the norm perceive it as a
negative experience; similarly, recent studies show that most
young boys perceive it as a positive one (80% if I recall). If
that's the best we have, I might be comfortable looking upon an
older man having sex with a young girl with suspicion, but I'm
not sure I'd be willing to jail him; and I'd certainly be in no
hurry to jail older women like our dear Mary Kay.

I also realize you're not actively advocating that we jail these
people, just declining to mention them in your site, as is your
prerogative. But I do think it is too important an issue for
us as Extropians, or as human beings, to blindly accept the status

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC