Author Topic: Age of Consent topic  (Read 4185 times)

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Online One Above All

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #58 on: June 13, 2012, 06:09:52 PM »
You know, I would've been surprised at their idiocy, but I know that their parents tell them nothing about sex, save for "penis goes here".
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Offline rickymooston

Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #59 on: June 13, 2012, 07:30:56 PM »
They just say stop it, without giving them the ammo they need to be able to stop.

Well, that may be so.

My question is, is it "abstinence only" or the mentality of the people teaching abstinence only that is the problem? The main point about abstinence only, is to provide a predefined solution for them. A solution that many of them, even if you teaching them about mental manipulation, are going to ignore. I believe, within the framework of that solution, an intelligent person COULD, teach teens about mental manipulation and some of the emotional black mail that goes on.

However, if we take the view that students are going to make choices, whether we like them to or not, means giving them as much information to make those decisions as possible. These decisions may include them having sex and taking drugs or doing other really stupid things with possible consequences. Obviously, we would rather they avoided said decisions but given that they may end up being involved, we can hope they are still aware of the risks that they are taking and how to best reduce said risks.

The idea of responsibility for the consequences of one's actions, of being able to analyze the consequences and talk about them in a judgement free environment, is what a well designed health class is about.

As a teen, I did go through such a program. I didn't take drugs and honestly, I would not have been likely to do so anyway. I didn't engage in sex, I wasn't seeking sex per se, but objectively speaking, I was not faced with much of a temptation. I had crushes and they were all very innocent.

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Offline Traveler

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #60 on: June 13, 2012, 07:51:20 PM »
They just say stop it, without giving them the ammo they need to be able to stop.
...However, if we take the view that students are going to make choices, whether we like them to or not, means giving them as much information to make those decisions as possible. These decisions may include them having sex and taking drugs or doing other really stupid things with possible consequences. Obviously, we would rather they avoided said decisions but given that they may end up being involved, we can hope they are still aware of the risks that they are taking and how to best reduce said risks.

I agree completely, and the research supports the fact that more information leads to healthier individuals and healthier decision making. This is what good sex education and drug education, etc., is about.

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The idea of responsibility for the consequences of one's actions, of being able to analyze the consequences and talk about them in a judgement free environment, is what a well designed health class is about.

I agree.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #61 on: June 13, 2012, 07:54:01 PM »
I have just been listening to a Radio Program "Woman's Hour" Radio 4 BBC, in which the topic was the decreasing age of female physical maturity. The research shows that 50 years ago the average age in UK for periods and pubic hair to appear was 15, today it is 12. One woman gave a story of how her daughter, aged  7, (Yes, seven) developed breasts, pubic hair and started periods.

We must never ever forget that we are animals. We can give ourselves trappings of distinction and pretend we are not but nature steadfastly ignores this and continues on her way. It really does not matter to nature if you are mentally mature when you are physically mature. Consent is an irrelevance to nature.

The question thus arises "What does a society, which is known to ignore evidence that it does not like, say is an acceptable age for marriage?" ("Marriage" being a euphemism for "sexual relationships.")

The answer, as with many things, is to have a "one-size-fits-all" policy, when clearly one size does not fit all, but it is easier than judging each case on its merits.

I dare say that you, like I, can think of people who would have been happy to have been married at 15 and others who, although they are 30 should not be let near the other sex for fear they might reproduce. (Of course, nature has no such qualms.)

Yeah.  I posted about that in another thread.  8 1/2 years old is not considered premature puberty anymore.  A 6 year old girl in my daughter's kindergarten class has small, but visible breasts that have grown noticeably over the course of the school year.  I know a number of moms whose little girls are getting regular medical treatments to delay the onset of puberty until 8 or 9. 

That is why I said that at 5 1/2 my sweet little girl is 3 years removed from potty training, and perhaps as little as 3 years removed from puberty.  I hope for 6 or 7 years, but that is not the current trend. 

There is a lot of speculation about the causes.  Parents are cautioned against a variety of ingredients in shampoos and conditioners and lotions, and are also encouraged to give their children organic milk and eggs to avoid exposing them to the hormones given to animals on factory farms.   Childhood obesity is being blamed as well.  But no one knows for sure.   

There have always been girls who had precocious puberty.  And there have always been men who abused them, as evidenced by this list of the youngest documented birth mothers in recorded history.  The list includes one very well documented case of a 5 1/2 year old giving birth, and a couple of 6 year olds.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_youngest_birth_mothers

Offline Quesi

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #62 on: June 13, 2012, 08:10:15 PM »
Oh the whole abstinence pledge thing is so wrong on so many levels. 

First of all, they get these 12 year old girls to pledge to be virgins until their wedding nights.  Contrary to speculation in another thread, my experience leads me to believe that most 12 year old girls think that the idea of intercourse sounds pretty yucky, so they go into the pledge pretty willingly.  And it is what dad and mom want.  It is what god wants.  Blah blah blah.
 
And then a few years later, the thought doesn't seem so icky anymore.  But they promised. 

They gave up their ability to make a thoughtful, informed decision for themselves, at an age in which they were too young to even know what kind of a decision they were making.  They deferred to authority, and the only option left to them is to continue to defer to authority on issues of sexuality, so they end up giving their boyfriends blow jobs in the church basement because he thinks it is a good idea. 

Offline oogabooga

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #63 on: June 14, 2012, 08:41:38 AM »
Have you ever spoken to people on the Internet without knowing their age?
I'd really appreciate it if you actually read what I write. So far I have pointed out twice that age itself doesn't make you more or less intelligent or responsible, but it does grant you time to gather certain life experiences in order to at least be capable (if not willing) to make informed decisions.

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Unless the parts of their brain responsible for processing that information are underdeveloped, definitely yes.
But parts of the brain responsible for processing certain information are not yet fully developed (for lack of a better term) until you've reached a certain stage of development. And development takes time. So that would actually be a no.

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Can a five year old really decide as well as a twenty year old? We base our decisions on our experience, which we gather directly or indirectly (by experiencing something or by receiving information on it). Which means that age definitely has an impact on our decision making. It has nothing to do with tribal beliefs.

Bold mine.
Read the bold part again and the answer to the underlined question should be obvious.
What should be so obvious?

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Don't assume kids are retards just because the ones you've spoken to behave as such. Kids behave according to the way parents treat them. My mother and grandmother laughed (supposedly not to make fun of me, but I really don't give a shit now) when I used vocabulary that was "uncommon" for my age. I only started using it ten years after that; maybe more.
Please, do read what other people write - more specifically the very last sentence in the post you're replying to. If you have no reference frame for something (in this case sex), you simply don't have the mental capabilities to fully understand a certain subject. People aren't born with such reference frames, we get them through time. In the case of sex the reference frame is also biological - a child without an actual sex drive will simply not understand what you're trying to explain, even it he or she is capable of using appropriate terminology.

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...And? Your view is irrelevant. Things are what they are, regardless.
Things are what? If that's so, your views are just as irrelevant as mine. And that hasn't stopped you from expressing them. In a debate. On a debate forum. Wow.

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Apples and oranges. They need the basics to be able to understand the rest. Could I teach you particle physics if you knew everything about biology? Obviously not. Could I teach you the basics of physics and work my way up to subatomic particles even if you were ignorant of everything else? Yes.
Could you teach a child everything about sex if he or she isn't sufficiently developed to even understand what a sex drive is? How is that apples and oranges? And what would be the basic prerequisite for you to work your way up from the basics of physics to subatomic particles? Would that by any chance be time?

Anyway, while you could teach a child basic and particle physics, you'd soon discover that the kid knows the terminology and can parrot it back to you, but can't really use any of that knowledge in practice, even given an opportunity. 

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If age doesn't make you more (and therefore less) intelligent

Non sequitur and strawman; all in one phrase. Nice going.
How is that a straw man? You claim that age doesn't make you more intelligent, don't you? Therefore it's safe to conclude it doesn't make you less intelligent either. I pointed out that we set age limitations on a lot of things, not just sex, and education is one of them. But the reason for such limitations is exactly the same - people in general aren't capable of understanding certain things without prior knowledge and/or before they're physically and mentally developed enough. All of that takes time and time does have something to do with age. I presume we wouldn't measure age in time units if it didn't. Illustrating a point of view with a similar subject is not a straw man the last time I checked.

The reason I used education is the fact that it changed over time. We've managed to figure out that words are extremely easy to learn, recall and repeat. Substance, however, is a completely different matter. That's why we discarded quite a few methods of teaching and replaced them with ones that actually convey information in such a way that it becomes useful. There are also very specific reasons why pedagogy and andragogy aren't identical. Methods of teaching adults and kids are quite different, and there are quite a few reasons of it, even if the subject matter is the same (presuming both don't know anything about a specific subject to begin with).

Anyway, I maintain that a person's physical, biological and mental stage are an important factor in what said person can understand and do (and decide, for that matter). And the mere existence of a small(er) percentage of people who are more or less developed than their peers doesn't mean you can apply the same criteria on all. Some people are really smart, regardless of their age, and some are incredibly dim compared to most. 'Most' being the key word here - most people are on roughly the same developmental stage at a certain age. Precocious or delayed puberty and other disorders don't mean that we should just consider letting kids decide on sexual (and quite a few more) matters before they're mentally and physically capable of it.

As we age we don't just change physically, but also mentally. Our brains change through time which makes us capable of learning and understanding things in certain way which would be impossible before we hit a certain developmental stage - at a certain age. We are simply incapable of understanding certain things before (and sometimes even after) that and would therefore act inappropriately when faced with certain decisions. I'm fairly sure developmental psychologists would agree with me on this.

Anyway, why do physical, psychological and/or sexual abuse have a completely different impact on children (and teens) than adults? Why do they perceive it and act on it differently than adults if they're fully capable of understanding just about everything, as you claim? Getting rid of age of consent would also get rid of the very concept of child/minor sexual abuse.
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #64 on: June 14, 2012, 09:07:57 AM »
oogabooga, I don't have the time to discuss this any further, so I'll just say this:

How is that a straw man? You claim that age doesn't make you more intelligent, don't you? Therefore it's safe to conclude it doesn't make you less intelligent either.

I misunderstood what you said. I thought you were saying that because age does not make one more intelligent, it makes one less intelligent.
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #65 on: June 14, 2012, 12:10:19 PM »
oogabooga, I don't have the time to discuss this any further, so I'll just say this
That appears to be a dodge of oogabooga's thoughtful post.

Unless you can explain why you have time to post in other threads, but not in this one.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 12:12:36 PM by Gnu Ordure »

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #66 on: June 14, 2012, 12:13:13 PM »
That appears to be a dodge.

Unless you can explain why you have time to post in other threads, but not in this one.

Size matters in these things. A reply to all of oogabooga's points would take time I can't spare.
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #67 on: June 14, 2012, 01:45:06 PM »
In all honesty... well, at least my opinion... when I saw this:

oogabooga, I don't have the time to discuss this any further, so I'll just say this:

It reminded me of a theist's post when you drive them to a point they can no longer refute.

I think it was Oogabooga that said about it being a "stage of developement." I agree with that myself. Yes, those "Stages of developement" happen around certain ages in most cases. People do end up ahead of the curve, and I know it's frustrating having to wait for the rest of those you grew up with to catch up to you... It's only after you realize you should have cherished it and been a child for just a little bit longer. Once you hit a stage though, you don't want to stop and smell the flowers, you WANT to grow up. You want to be treated like an adult, you want to be an adult. Hopefully they have some responsible adults that are there that can reign them in if they're headed to find themselves in over thier heads.

Offline Zankuu

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #68 on: June 14, 2012, 02:11:41 PM »
Size matters in these things. A reply to all of oogabooga's points would take time I can't spare.

Well it did sort of look like a dodge. When you do find the time I would like to see your rebuttal or concession on the points ooga raised.
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #69 on: June 14, 2012, 02:16:36 PM »
The fact that you consider the possibility that I was dodging as being greater than zero is insulting, to say the least.

I am taking a break from studying right now, so I'll indulge you and reply to oogabooga.
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Offline Zankuu

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #70 on: June 14, 2012, 02:33:00 PM »
My intention wasn't to offend you, but your choice of words made it look like you wouldn't be returning to address ooga's post.

If you had said "A reply to all of oogabooga's points would take time I can't spare right now" or "...time I can't spare for the next few hours" it would have looked like you needed time to craft a reply. Hell even a "I'll address this later you filthy, uneducated tramps" would have been sufficient for me.  ;)
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #71 on: June 14, 2012, 03:04:29 PM »
I'd really appreciate it if you actually read what I write.

I have. Misunderstandings don't mean I don't read; it just means I'm wrong. I am often (from my PoV) wrong.

So far I have pointed out twice that age itself doesn't make you more or less intelligent or responsible, but it does grant you time to gather certain life experiences in order to at least be capable (if not willing) to make informed decisions.

Said experience is gathered by making mistakes or hearing other people's stories. We don't protect adults[1] against the former for some mysterious reason, and the latter can be done to children.[2]

But parts of the brain responsible for processing certain information are not yet fully developed (for lack of a better term) until you've reached a certain stage of development. And development takes time. So that would actually be a no.

The age when development "ends", as was pointed out by another member (Traveler, IIRC, but I don't have time to check right now), is somewhere around 25. Why isn't AoC also 25? Because, way before then, people have learned enough from one another to make good decisions.

What should be so obvious?

Most children don't make good decisions in life because parents don't teach them anything until they're old enough to have made the mistakes that would've been prevented by said information. Some children get lucky and don't make mistakes, whereas others are treated like human beings by their parents and given the information they require to make good decisions.

If you have no reference frame for something (in this case sex), you simply don't have the mental capabilities to fully understand a certain subject. People aren't born with such reference frames, we get them through time. In the case of sex the reference frame is also biological - a child without an actual sex drive will simply not understand what you're trying to explain, even it he or she is capable of using appropriate terminology.

The reference frame is not biological. You can explain to a child what sex is without getting into why people have sex, because it's not essential to said explanation.

Could you teach a child everything about sex if he or she isn't sufficiently developed to even understand what a sex drive is?

Yes. Why is the reason for an act relevant to understand what the act itself is? Do you need to understand why a murderer killed people in order to understand how it happened?

And what would be the basic prerequisite for you to work your way up from the basics of physics to subatomic particles? Would that by any chance be time?

I could teach you particle physics since you started to speak, and it would take its time, but time is simply necessary because actions take time, and so does understanding. It's not a correlation; it's an effect[3].

Anyway, while you could teach a child basic and particle physics, you'd soon discover that the kid knows the terminology and can parrot it back to you, but can't really use any of that knowledge in practice, even given an opportunity.

What's your point? I know the basics of particle physics, and I can't use it either. It's because of what particle physics is. I also know biology and psychology, for example, but I can use that information because they deal with things I can perceive.

Anyway, I maintain that a person's physical, biological and mental stage are an important factor in what said person can understand and do (and decide, for that matter).

Ah, but here's the big question - is a person's mental state determined by their physical age or by the actions of those around them? I vote for the latter being a bigger influence than the former because I know how the actions of others affect people. I also know of several cases (anecdotal evidence; dunno if you count this as "regular" evidence) where children are taught things that other children aren't, and they do just fine with that. There are children whose knowledge surpasses what I knew at the time, and even their vocabulary is better than my own. In my mother tongue, no less!

And the mere existence of a small(er) percentage of people who are more or less developed than their peers doesn't mean you can apply the same criteria on all.

Considering that those people just happen to have been taught "complex" things from birth means you can apply the same criteria on all.

As we age we don't just change physically, but also mentally. Our brains change through time which makes us capable of learning and understanding things in certain way which would be impossible before we hit a certain developmental stage - at a certain age. We are simply incapable of understanding certain things before (and sometimes even after) that and would therefore act inappropriately when faced with certain decisions. I'm fairly sure developmental psychologists would agree with me on this.

And I disagree. Treat kids in a certain way, and they'll act in a certain way.

Anyway, why do physical, psychological and/or sexual abuse have a completely different impact on children (and teens) than adults?

Is that so? I was unaware of that. I thought that (some) children grew up to become abusers themselves, just like (some) adult abuse victims grew up to be aggressive and abusive themselves. My mistake.



Now, to conclude this thread (for good; I don't have the luxury of taking such long breaks from my studying every time you think I'm dodging), I'd like to present a few cases I know of as evidence for my claim that, if you treat children like retards, they'll behave like retards.

First case is my dad's. He was raised by an "excellent" father[4] who wanted him to get a job ASAP. My dad finished the fourth grade, probably tried to go all the way to 9th grade, dropped out, and joined the army some time after that. He was raised like an idiot, and so he became an idiot.

Second case is my friend's. She was raised by her mother to go to school, do her homework, et cetera. Right now she's on her way to be fluent in several languages. She was raised like a smart person, and so she became a smart person.

Third case is another friend of mine. He was raised to be a smart person, and so he became a smart person. He was even able to let go of his deep-seated homophobia that had resulted from an extremely religious upbringing. Right now he's on his way to getting his first boyfriend.


These are all various people from various backgrounds. While this is "just" anecdotal evidence, anecdotes are all I have at the moment, and they're all you're gonna get.
 1. For the record, I am only considering physical age when I use terms like "adults", "children" and so on.
 2. I will expand on this point and similar ones at the end of my post.
 3. I'm missing the proper word for this, but I really have to hurry this along.
 4. As this was a different time, his mother had no say in anything.
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Offline Samothec

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #72 on: June 14, 2012, 06:07:20 PM »
EDIT: this quote is used as a stepping off point - this post also covers other aspects of the discussion.
I apologize for my poor phrasing. A fully developed brain is not necessary for critical thinking and decision making. It may be necessary to solve equations without a pen and paper, for example, but it is not necessary to decide when and with whom to have sex.

Impulse control, and thus decision making, is the last faculty to develop fully. This is why car insurance companies impose high rates for those under 25 - they know statistically that poor decisions lead to accidents and tragedy and those that make them are more expensive people to insure. Does that mean AoC should be 25? No. If people can't make decisions that matter, they won't learn how to do so.

In the USA we don't allow those under 18 to make decisions that matter most of the time so it is a reasonable choice for AoC for the most part. In other countries where those under 18 have more responsibilities and make decisions that matter, there is justification for having a lower AoC.

However, given that in the USA we are prosecuting those 12 to 18 as adults without actually evaluating them to see if they do understand the consequences of their actions, we probably need to start reducing AoC and other age limitations to advance the rate of mental maturation to match how we prosecute.

That includes making complete sex education manditory for all students regardless of the parents' supposed "moral" or religious views. Only an informed person can make a good decision. Otherwise it's just luck.

As for alcohol consumption (which someone brought up): no reduction in the age. If anything that age should go up since the goal is to impair mental function with the consumption of alcohol. It should probably be ten years later than any other age limitation.

Part of my attitude about alcohol is colored by the fact that in my state vehicular murder manslaughter while under the influence is very lightly punished. Drinking & driving is IMO a version of 1st degree murder: it is planned and will kill someone eventually. It's just that the victim(s) is/are random. A man having sex with a child leaves his victim alive while a drunk driver kills their target and since we only have this one life, I feel more animosity towards drunk drivers.

In a more rational world we could have a law that is vague about AoC but requires that the older person only do what the younger one asks for without prompting. The only "prompting" allowed would be a discouragement - from mild for those close in age and close to adult, to strong for a larger age difference and/or greater youth.

But ethical decisions are difficult in a society that values religious morals set down several thousand years ago by far more uneducated people.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 06:24:20 PM by Samothec »
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #73 on: June 14, 2012, 07:59:41 PM »
I'd really appreciate it if you actually read what I write.

I have.

< etc etc ... >

Oh look. OAA does have the time to reply, after all. At great length...

So he was lying (and dodging) when he said:
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oogabooga, I don't have the time to discuss this any further,
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 08:31:50 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline oogabooga

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #74 on: June 15, 2012, 06:13:45 AM »
I have. Misunderstandings don't mean I don't read; it just means I'm wrong. I am often (from my PoV) wrong.
Actually, you made it sound like I claimed kids are retards (that's exactly your word), when I specifically said they weren't. From that I concluded you didn't read my entire post.

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Said experience is gathered by making mistakes or hearing other people's stories. We don't protect adults against the former for some mysterious reason, and the latter can be done to children.
We do protect adults the same way. That's why we set legal limitations on certain forms of behaviour - driving is a nice example. That's why we have speed limits, right of way, parking regulations and all sorts of other things. We set written and unwritten rules for all sorts of things and a vast majority of them is intended for adults.

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The age when development "ends", as was pointed out by another member (Traveler, IIRC, but I don't have time to check right now), is somewhere around 25. Why isn't AoC also 25? Because, way before then, people have learned enough from one another to make good decisions.
There are different stages of development at which people are capable of different things. We are capable of learning different things in different stages. This is a bit of an 'what use is half of an eye' type of an argument.

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Most children don't make good decisions in life because parents don't teach them anything until they're old enough to have made the mistakes that would've been prevented by said information. Some children get lucky and don't make mistakes, whereas others are treated like human beings by their parents and given the information they require to make good decisions.
I fully agree with you that children should be treated as human beings, not little idiots. But according to findings of developmental psychology and biology I can't agree with your conclusion that children are automatically capable of acting the same way as adults if you treat them that way. Brains develop and change throughout life and are capable of processing information in different ways in different stages of life. Abstract and hypothetical thinking (both necessary to understand potential consequences of 'wrong' behaviour) don't even develop until early adolescence.

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The reference frame is not biological. You can explain to a child what sex is without getting into why people have sex, because it's not essential to said explanation.
Understanding the reference frame is biological. Until your brain is capable of grasping certain concepts you simply won't understand them, regardless of the amount of information you receive.

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Yes. Why is the reason for an act relevant to understand what the act itself is? Do you need to understand why a murderer killed people in order to understand how it happened?
How and why are two completely different questions. You can describe an act to a child, but until he understands the reasons for it, he won't be able to fully comprehend it.

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I could teach you particle physics since you started to speak, and it would take its time, but time is simply necessary because actions take time, and so does understanding. It's not a correlation; it's an effect.
Actually, you couldn't. Before a person's brain is sufficiently developed to grasp theoretical concepts like particle physics, he'll just parrot the words back to you but won't be able to use the knowledge. The same goes for a lot simpler concepts than particle physics. I also don't understand how time can be an effect in teaching. It's a prerequisite.

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What's your point? I know the basics of particle physics, and I can't use it either. It's because of what particle physics is. I also know biology and psychology, for example, but I can use that information because they deal with things I can perceive.
But you're at a developmental stage at which you can perceive those things and therefore understand them. Could you have understood them when you were four?

Again, you didn't read what I wrote - I specifically mentioned that certain knowledge acquired at an inappropriate age can not be used even given an opportunity to use it. Children at a certain age have problems grasping metaphors, similes and other figures of speech. They gain the capability to do that at certain points in their development. 


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Ah, but here's the big question - is a person's mental state determined by their physical age or by the actions of those around them? I vote for the latter being a bigger influence than the former because I know how the actions of others affect people. I also know of several cases (anecdotal evidence; dunno if you count this as "regular" evidence) where children are taught things that other children aren't, and they do just fine with that. There are children whose knowledge surpasses what I knew at the time, and even their vocabulary is better than my own. In my mother tongue, no less!
A person's mental state is determined by their age (plus/minus a year or two) in optimal conditions. As I have mentioned more than once, we are talking about the majority of people, not the flappy ends of the bell curve. The mere existence kids who are more (or less) advanced for their age compared to most (due to biological and/or environmental factors) doesn't prove your point.

I also don't remember claiming that you shouldn't present children with information or that teaching them anything could be harmful. Of course kids will to fine with being taught things. But that doesn't mean they'll fully understand what they're being taught. A vocabulary is not a sign of real knowledge. It's just an ability to store and retrieve words and use them in contexts that we see fit - and not even necessarily the right context either.

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Considering that those people just happen to have been taught "complex" things from birth means you can apply the same criteria on all.
So people who simply have a lower (or even normal) IQ should be considered the same as people with exceptionally high IQ, simply because they haven't been taught enough? Children within one single family who are taught exactly the same things can differ vastly in that respect.

I'd like to use anecdotal evidence as well, if you don't mind. We have a set of twins in our family. And they had two other sets of twins in their kindergarten class. Now, our kids were treated exactly the same - there was not particular reason why they wouldn't be. One is a musical genius, highly analytical and logical, maths and physics wiz, the other is a bookworm with an amazing vocabulary that never ceases to amaze me, but doesn't particularly like numbers. Granted, the first is a boy and the other a girl, but nonetheless.

The other set of identical twins in their kindergarten class, two boys, are kids of two doctors (a psychiatrist and an gynecological oncologist). They started learning English and German at age three, they went to music school at age four. Their parents, dead set on shaping their kids into geniuses, were teaching them all sorts of things. They're both as average as they come. They're not doing all that well in English and German in school and they're not accomplished musicians either. But the funniest is the third set of twins, fraternal, but both girls. Their parents are 'ordinary' people, not exceptionally intelligent, not even university graduates, just simply average. The first girl started university at 16, because she finished high school in two years, instead of four, and the other is starting medical school this fall.

Nature versus nurture debate is still live and well and the battle between psychologists and neuroscientists, geneticists and biologists rages on, but they all agree that both factors (and the third, biology) have an impact on human development. Again, most people are what we'd call 'normal' or 'average'. They learn certain things at approximately the same age, which means their development takes a fairly predictable course. A smaller percentage of people are more advanced and some lag behind.

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And I disagree. Treat kids in a certain way, and they'll act in a certain way.
I actually disagree. Some abused kids do well later on in life. Some don't. Some well-loved kids will grow up to be abusers and some abused kids will end up being anything but abusive. And vice versa. Some kids respond to kindness, others respond better to punishment. There are kids who will take your explanation on why something is wrong at face value, others will demand endless explanations and end up doing the opposite. We all react differently to the same stimuli.

So, some kids who are sexually, physically and/or emotionally abused grow up into stable, well-rounded and non-abusive adults. Should we therefore treat all those, who do bear the scars of their abuse later on in life, the same as those who don't? Some kids excel when being pushed intellectually, most don't do all that well under such pressure. Should we also treat all of them the same way? And since we're talking about age of consent - some kids are capable of remembering to use a condom when having sex at age 12, because they're capable of understanding potential dangers of having unprotected sex. Most aren't. Should they be treated the same?

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Is that so? I was unaware of that. I thought that (some) children grew up to become abusers themselves, just like (some) adult abuse victims grew up to be aggressive and abusive themselves. My mistake.
And here you're contradicting yourself. Yes, some kids grow up to be abusers. Some don't. If you were in charge of making laws, meant to protect people, would you be willing to take a risk like that? That only some abused kids grow up to become abusers? That only some rape victims end up committing suicide or hurting their assailants?

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Now, to conclude this thread (for good; I don't have the luxury of taking such long breaks from my studying every time you think I'm dodging), I'd like to present a few cases I know of as evidence for my claim that, if you treat children like retards, they'll behave like retards.
You don't have to reply to anything here. Nobody is forcing you. And you don't have the power to end this thread. The debate will go on for as long as it will, whether you participate in it or not.

Again - I do agree that children aren't retards and should not be treated as such. I believe that the concept of neuroplasticity proves my point rather nicely.

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First case is my dad's. He was raised by an "excellent" father who wanted him to get a job ASAP. My dad finished the fourth grade, probably tried to go all the way to 9th grade, dropped out, and joined the army some time after that. He was raised like an idiot, and so he became an idiot.

Second case is my friend's. She was raised by her mother to go to school, do her homework, et cetera. Right now she's on her way to be fluent in several languages. She was raised like a smart person, and so she became a smart person.

Third case is another friend of mine. He was raised to be a smart person, and so he became a smart person. He was even able to let go of his deep-seated homophobia that had resulted from an extremely religious upbringing. Right now he's on his way to getting his first boyfriend.


These are all various people from various backgrounds. While this is "just" anecdotal evidence, anecdotes are all I have at the moment, and they're all you're gonna get.
And I have pointed out other cases in my life. And, yes, those are 'just' anecdotal cases, but mine prove you wrong. Which just goes to show that anecdotal evidence can go either way.

You also inadvertently proved my point. Children are impressionable and malleable. You can 'teach' or convince them to believe just about anything. Which means you can also persuade them to do things that are bad for them, like having sex. Who is easier to trick into having sex - a 12-year old or a 20-year old? Who is more likely to be game for something stupid, like burning a huge pile of leaves right in front of the house (even if they actually possess the information that it's a bad idea and even why), a 6-year old or an 18-year old? Why are there so many accidents in kids who were told (even with full explanations) why something is wrong? Just because you do explain something and even have the child repeat the explanation, doesn't mean it's actually understood the way you think.

People you mentioned were 'convinced' that what they were supposed to do is also the right thing to do. In case of the last friend, he learned that some things he thought were right, actually weren't, and he was smart enough to change his mind. But he had to learn to overcome his religious upbringing. And the way you describe him it also seems he was religious when he was a child. Why was that? And why did he change his mind? Would that have something to do with his capability to understand the world in a different way?

Anyway, why aren't you an idiot if your father is?
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Offline oogabooga

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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #75 on: June 15, 2012, 06:17:04 AM »
I'd really appreciate it if you actually read what I write.

I have.

< etc etc ... >

Oh look. OAA does have the time to reply, after all. At great length...

So he was lying (and dodging) when he said:
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oogabooga, I don't have the time to discuss this any further,
I wouldn't say that. He did say he was busy, and even then he took the time to address my posts - at length, as you said. He didn't just throw a tantrum 'you're wrong and I'm right, therefore you're an idiot'. I respect that. Anyway, we wouldn't have a debate if we all just agreed. It wouldn't even be fun.  ;)
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Re: Age of Consent topic
« Reply #76 on: June 18, 2012, 03:12:55 PM »
Oh look. OAA does have the time to reply, after all. At great length...

Oh look. Gnu Ordure suffers from a condition known as "selective reading".

I am taking a break from studying right now, so I'll indulge you and reply to oogabooga.

I couldn't take another break for the rest of the day just for that reply. So the next time you want to accuse me of lying, I recommend you ask about the full picture.
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