Incompetence to Consent

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Post Number:#46  Postby Scott » June 15th, 2010, 11:56 am

Scott wrote:[...]let's say a horny 12-year-old girl asks an average 30-year-old man to have sex with her. The man asks the girl if she consents, and the girl even specifically says, "I consent." She resists in no overt way. Do you consider that to be consensual sex or rape?
Jackowens wrote:If by consensual you mean did the girl say "yes", the answer is obvious: it was consensual.
Scott wrote:Of course that's not what consensual means. There's countless examples of non-consensual interactions in which the victim said yes.
Jackowens wrote:I don't understand that. If, instead of the girl's saying "yes", she said the opposite, "no" (or "maybe"), that would have been consensual?
Scott wrote:No.
Jackowens wrote:No what?
Jackowens wrote:You asked me if the sex would have been consensual if the girl said no (or maybe); the obvious answer is no, it would not have been consensual.
Jackowens wrote:Then presumably I'm involved in a fallacy or contradiction. What is it?

It could also be an empirical error on your part. In any case, I'm not sure which specific error is causing you to think that it would be consensual for a 30-year-old man to have sex with a 12-year-old girl when the girl even said, "no."
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Post Number:#47  Postby Jackowens » June 15th, 2010, 4:37 pm

Dear Scott,

In reply to your post of 6/15/10 (#46):

"It could also be an empirical error on your part."


Between "it could be" and "it could not be", that doesn't get us very far. How about pointing out any empirical error that you see?

"In any case, I'm not sure which specific error is causing you to think that it would be consensual for a 30-year-old man to have sex with a 12-year-old girl when the girl even said, 'no.'"


I'm not sure I understand that sentence.

The error I see --and on your part-- is one of simple auditory perception: the girl says either "yes" or "no". If she says "yes", she consents. If she says "no", she doesn't. And, again, that her consent is not legally valid has nothing to do with whether the girl herself has consented or not. You fail to make a distinction between what the girls says and what the law is.

As a consequence my position is that you seem to be mistaken at the level of simple auditory perception, failing to distinguish between the sounds of "yes" and "no" and what those words mean.

Are you going to say that the error of auditory perception is mine? And that the sounds and meaning of the words "yes" and "no" that the girl has the option of selecting and enunciating are indistinguishable?

Regards,

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Post Number:#48  Postby whitetrshsoldier » June 15th, 2010, 5:59 pm

Scott wrote:[...]let's say a horny 12-year-old girl asks an average 30-year-old man to have sex with her. The man asks the girl if she consents, and the girl even specifically says, "I consent." She resists in no overt way. Do you consider that to be consensual sex or rape?
Jackowens wrote:If by consensual you mean did the girl say "yes", the answer is obvious: it was consensual.
Scott wrote:Of course that's not what consensual means. There's countless examples of non-consensual interactions in which the victim said yes.
Jackowens wrote:I don't understand that. If, instead of the girl's saying "yes", she said the opposite, "no" (or "maybe"), that would have been consensual?
Scott wrote:No.


Alright, please forgive me for butting in here, but I think I might be able to clarify.

Correct me if I'm wrong Scott,

But Jack,

I think he's saying simply that a 12 year-old's consent is not valid, as she is not capable of consenting to a sexual act. The reason for this is that she is ultimately mentally, emotionally, and psychologically incapable at this stage in her physiological development to possess the ability to understand the possible outcomes and consequences that might result from such an act.

Quite simply, he's saying that the "law" doesn't need to define it. That there are some truths, but they may not be universally defined societally.

I agree that a 12 year-old hasn't the mental capacity to comprehend the immense consequences that sexual activity has upon their body; from the phsycological effects to the physiological, and yet some countries still think that they are developed enough to consent.

Apparently you do too?

Do you think that an 11 year-old does as well? How about 10? 9? How young would you consider a person capable of making an "adult" decision?
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Post Number:#49  Postby Jackowens » June 16th, 2010, 3:29 am

Dear whitetrshsoldier,

In reply to your post of 6/15/10 (#48):

"But Jack, I think he's saying simply that a 12 year-old's consent is not valid, as she is not capable of consenting to a sexual act."


It sounds like you haven't read my posts very carefully; I've already conceded that point 3 times.

What this jumble seems to decoct to is this:

Let's say that the 12-year-old girl, having copulated with the 30-year-old man, is afterward asked if she consented to the act and she answers "yes". I would say that she told the truth if in fact she did say "yes" prior to the act. To you and Scott, if she says "yes" ln answer to the query, if in fact she did, she is lying because she is incompetent to consent. if, on the other hand, she says "no" when she actually didn't say "no, I would say that she's lying but you and Scott would say she is telling the truth because she was incompetent to consent.

If, with the passage of years, when she is competent at 18 and is again asked and says that she said "yes" when she was 12, would she be lying then?

I'm floundering.

Can you explain my error?

Regards,

Jack
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Post Number:#50  Postby Alethia » June 16th, 2010, 4:48 am

Jack wrote: Can you explain my error?


Sure! Your sample population upon which your whole debate rests and turns is one 12 year old girl. What may be true of one 12 year old girl is not necessarily true of all 12 year old girls and boys.

Our laws must be more far reaching and based on larger sample populations than your hypothetical allows.
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Post Number:#51  Postby pjkeeley » June 16th, 2010, 9:43 am

The problem here is that the argument is still centered on the correct definitions of words.

Let's be clear. To consent to something, in everyday speech, simply means what Jackowens takes it to mean: whether someone agrees to something or not. But consent also has another, specific meaning in regards to morality and the law. It refers to the willingness of persons to undertake certain activities. So, for example, if someone is forced to agree to something, they have not consented to it; legally and morally speaking, there is no consent in such a case. This notion of willingess therefore requires a capacity to will things, and there are certain beings that we consider incapable of such a capacity. For example, patients in a coma cannot will anything and cannot, therefore, consent to anything.

I argue that, in addition to the ability to will something, there must be an understanding of what is being willed. Animals, children and people with certain mental disabilities are incapable of understanding certain acitivities and cannot, therefore, be considered willing participants in them. Sex is one such activity. I argue that the 12 year old girl, in the present example, does not consent even if she agrees to sex and is also willing to have sex. She is too young to be considered capable of understanding sex such that she can consent to it. There cannot be consent.

What confuses matters, and which may be responsible for the confusion in this thread, is the fact that sometimes a distinction is made between valid and invalid consent. For example, a man may have sex with a woman who is heavily intoxicated but believes her to be only slightly drunk. He therefore believes that she is capable of consenting to sex and has done so, when in fact she is incapable of consenting to sex, and whatever indications the man took for consent are considered invalid as consent (because, for example, the law defines a certain level of intoxication for which consent to sex must be considered invalid).

Now, according to Jackowens, the fact that the 12 year old girl agrees to sex amounts to her having consented to it, with the caveat that her consent is invalid. I think the problem is that, in response, Scott appears to be arguing both that the girl cannot consent (in the specific legal and moral sense of the word that I mentioned earlier), and agrees with Jackowens that the girl has consented, but that her consent is invalid (in the sense described above). This is because for Scott, invalid consent (in the sense that Jackowens refers to) is no consent at all.

That, in my opinion, is the crux of this argument. We are all agreed that some beings are incompetent to consent. If we take [invalid consent] and [lack of consent due to an inability to consent] to be equivalent examples of [incompetence to consent] then there is no argument. The classes of beings that are either incapable of consent or incapable of valid consent is, from what I can tell, agreed upon by all.

Therefore, unless I am mistaken, my only point of contention with Jackowens is that he has yet to explain whether he considers animals capable of (valid) consent, and, if he does, why he considers bestiality wrong. In the thread on gay marriage, Jackowens argued that if marriage between homosexuals is morally permissable then there is no reason to consider marriage between a human and an animal immoral. I responded to that argument by stating that homosexual marriage is morally permissable because it is consensual, but that marriage between a human and an animal cannot possibly be considered consensual and is therefore immoral. Jackowens responded by arguing that animals could consent to sex/marriage. I received no further clarification of his position because he stopped responding to my posts and insisted on bogging the discussion down with methodological requests. To that my response is that I don't consider my writing style unphilosophical and that it shouldn't be hard to understand what I am arguing and respond to it. I hope I have made things more clear and I hope that Jackowens will give me the courtesy of responding.
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Post Number:#52  Postby Scott » June 17th, 2010, 12:57 am

Scott wrote:[...]let's say a horny 12-year-old girl asks an average 30-year-old man to have sex with her. The man asks the girl if she consents, and the girl even specifically says, "I consent." She resists in no overt way. Do you consider that to be consensual sex or rape?
Jackowens wrote:If by consensual you mean did the girl say "yes", the answer is obvious: it was consensual.
Scott wrote:Of course that's not what consensual means. There's countless examples of non-consensual interactions in which the victim said yes.
Jackowens wrote:I don't understand that. If, instead of the girl's saying "yes", she said the opposite, "no" (or "maybe"), that would have been consensual?
Scott wrote:No.
Jackowens wrote:No what?
Jackowens wrote:You asked me if the sex would have been consensual if the girl said no (or maybe); the obvious answer is no, it would not have been consensual.
Jackowens wrote:Then presumably I'm involved in a fallacy or contradiction. What is it?
Jackowens wrote:It could also be an empirical error on your part. In any case, I'm not sure which specific error is causing you to think that it would be consensual for a 30-year-old man to have sex with a 12-year-old girl when the girl even said, "no."
Jackowens wrote:Between "it could be" and "it could not be", that doesn't get us very far. How about pointing out any empirical error that you see?

:? If you actually think that if a 12-year-old girl has sex with a 30-year-old man and the girl says no that the sex would be consensual, then I'm done talking about it with you. That seems to me too blatant of an error--whether it's a fallacy or an empirical error--from which to continue any meaningful discussion. :?

Incidentally, if you disagree that the answer is no, then you are now also involved in a contradiction because in your post you wrote, "If she says "no", she doesn't [consent]." :?

Jackowens wrote:If she says "yes", she consents.

No, that is not what the word consent means and that premise is false. (In which case, you have made what you call an 'empirical error,' by believing a false premise in parallel to the example argument about Hitler.) I can provide numerous examples of a person merely saying, "yes" to an interaction that is not consensual.

Jackowens wrote:You fail to make a distinction between what the girls says and what the law is.

Incorrect. I made that distinction in post #40:

Scott in post #40 wrote:A young girl is incompetent to consent. Anywhere where the statutes do not agree with that, hopefully the statutes will be changed.

The movie Braveheart told the story of the King ordering his men to rape new wives in certain areas. This rape was legal. The point is that whether or not an activity is actually consensual is more fundamental than the law or legal code in any place at any given time. An act is either rape or its not. If an act is rape, and the law says it isn't rape or isn't illegal--such as in the case of the story told in the movie Braveheart--then the law is incorrect and hopefully will be changed.

Luckily, I and I think most people agree with the statutes for the most part in regards to there being an age of consent. The laws in most places have it right: Sex between a competent adult and a preteen is rape, and thus it is illegal. If the law in any place at some time said it was not rape if it was legal in that place and time, then the law in that place and time was incorrect.


I wrote that thinking you had already agreed that sex between a 12-year-old girl and a typical 30-year-old man is inherently rape. I'm going to ask you again so I can see if this is where we disagree or if you disagree with me about something else. Please remember that I am NOT asking you if the law in a certain jurisdiction considers this to be rape/illegal or not because the law can be incorrect (as in the case of legalizing the rape of new wives by the King's men). I'm asking you if it really is rape as opposed to consensual sex. Here is the question again, please re-answer it since you misunderstood me before as not making a distinction between what an activity really is and what the law in any place and time merely claims it to be:

Scott wrote:[...]let's say a horny 12-year-old girl asks an average 30-year-old man to have sex with her. The man asks the girl if she consents, and the girl even specifically says, "I consent." She resists in no overt way. Do you consider that to be consensual sex or rape?


Please re-answer that question this time making sure to note that I have pointed out that an act of intercourse is either rape or not regardless of what any one legal code in any one time or place says. If the law in some time-and-place is consistent with the reality, then the law in that time-and-place is correct; otherwise the law in that time-and-place is wrong. Hopefully the law is consistent with the reality. But the reality--whether or not an act of sex is consensual or is rape--is independent of and more fundamental than any country's law.

Pjkeeley wrote:We are all agreed that some beings are incompetent to consent. If we take [invalid consent] and [lack of consent due to an inability to consent] to be equivalent examples of [incompetence to consent] then there is no argument.

I agree. But I don't think that's the main confusion that's causing the misunderstandings and equivocations that give the appearance of false disagreements. If one says let's fine everyone who drives without a driver's license at least $100 when caught, and someone who is caught without license defends himself by saying the he didn't not have a license because he had a forged license which is admittedly an invalid license, we wouldn't think that person is actually failing to realize that having an 'invalid license' is a form of having 'no license.' Nonetheless, I agree that in this discussion there is a lot of misunderstanding and equivocation going on as opposed to real disagreement.
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Post Number:#53  Postby Jerry » June 17th, 2010, 3:04 pm

Scott:

Returning to the question you initially proposed.

"I wish to discuss how consent is complicated by the common belef that certain people are incompetent . . ."

By the end of this msg. I hope to have connected it appropriately to the matter you ask.

That animals do not have reasoning capacity is wrong. If a dog has food available and is hungry, it will eat, if not hungry, it will not eat. If you lead a dog to the edge of a precipice and encourage it to jump, it will not. I mean that animals, more or less, have mental capacities, just not the magnitude of humans; and animals usually behave to more practical circumstances, sometimes with more reason than humans. They can, obviously, be easily tricked, such as poisons in food, etc.

It seems to me your question pertains to the virtues old and tried; Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Courage. I believe this is where answers to your considerations lay.

By recent decades, I suspect from the sixties, our national attitudes have changed toward a more relative sense; individuals are inclined to determine their own virtue without reference to ancient up to WWII teachings of the same. I was prompted to read of our founders attitudes and actions finding them to be steeped in generations of learning, mostly into the virtues mentioned above. To present a reasonable argument I must provide some examples.

Savings and Loan Crisis of 1980’s.
The Dot-Com bubble of late 1990’s.
Enron and Arthur-Anderson.
Financial crash of 2008 and present.
Sexual liberties probably beginning with the “Pill.”
Mind altering drug liberties.

There are many others, my point being today’s mores as respecting traditional virtue. Any of events I represented could have happened, all-be-it on a far reduced scale, at any past time. They would have been curtailed any time prior to the late 1960’s, in my opinion, because most people carried a more conscience consideration of those four virtues and someone at those enterprises I exampled would have blown the whistle much earlier. I can recall year end fiscal reviews in which great respect was given auditors- they would catch the slightest error. Today, it seems, too many are of like mind, i.e.; without those traditional values that modify action.

While enacted laws can certainly influence behavior, not sufficiently, as proven by results from corruptions over the last few decades. While it is true that prudence (wisdom) is gained by experience it is evident that it needs to be assisted through education. The same can be said of Justice, Temperance and Courage. My opinion is that far too little attention is given those in the modern era, some of it explainable; from discovers in the sciences, and reliance in the same, much educational attention is given to those and related subjects leaving less time for any other. The same follows at parentage. Other than from religious studies, how much effort is to children’s understanding of virtue and vice. Any person is far more disinclined to rape, theft, corruption of all sort, and use of drugs, if they are taught of the evils of them than by the banning by laws. See also how it is true in government. No enterprises are more regulated than oil and finances; yet what have we and what are we seeing just now. Though it may draw snickers and jeers from some I believe we are sorely in need of a return to essential virtues learned and built on from ancient times. Presently we rely on actual life experiences and find that many discover to think they can get away with much - so they try. Competence, in most of life depends on education and, more often, should more be the determining factor than arbitrary age limits in decisions regarding. Therefore, I am proffering that we all may be incompetent of a sort.
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Post Number:#54  Postby Eveready » June 19th, 2010, 10:54 pm

Jerry 53#

I don`t think I have read a better post in years! well said and bravo!
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Post Number:#55  Postby Alethia » June 20th, 2010, 7:51 pm

Scott wrote:let's say a horny 12-year-old girl asks an average 30-year-old man to have sex with her. The man asks the girl if she consents, and the girl even specifically says, "I consent." She resists in no overt way. Do you consider that to be consensual sex or rape?


The twelve year old girl is horny? Are you serious? Most 12 year old girls haven't even started masturbating... let alone understand the concept of horny! Oh they may have touched themselves; poked at their newly forming breasts and wot not... but that's not masturbation. And you would dare to suggest that a 12 year old girl is horny for sex with a man old enough to be her father? Please... spare me your fantasies.

This example is so stereotypically sexist it is seriously un-funny. Why can't you ask about a horny 12 year old boy asking for sex from an average 30 year old woman? Heck, why does this discussion have to be about the act of sex itself, when there are so many real life examples where consent is seriously blurred that you could be using.

Here, use the following link, instead of creating the repulsive hypotheses of 12 year old girls hungry for sex with nearing middle aged men. (middle aged is 35 to 55 if you think about the life span of the average male)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Henson

And now lets ask the question... Do 13 year olds have the ability to consent to nude photographs that reference sexual ambiguity? Do parents have the right to consent on behalf of their children to same?

Notice won't you... I have removed sexism, removed the act of sex, maintained the primary concern with consensual behaviors of children and given you a real life example to work off.

My final point of irritation with this thread relates to our female posters.... WHERE ARE YOU? You know as well as I do that most 12 year old girls don't get horny for sex... so why aren't you protesting the sexualization of our gender's children?

Enough is enough gentlemen!
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Post Number:#56  Postby Eveready » June 20th, 2010, 10:42 pm

Alethia good question`s and very good points. I don`t know of many 12 yr old girls that want sex or would consent to sexual intercourse with middle aged men, [unless they feel frightened and intimidated which is duress not consent so Scott using the word consent is an error] 12 yr old girls may fancy the 13yr old or 15yr old boy in their school, they don`t want full blown intercourse even though they are attracted to boys their own age or slighly older. Equally not many 12 yr old boys want or would consent to sex with a 35 yr old woman. I grant you its in very bad taste for Scott to hypothesise on 12 yr old girls wanting sex with middle aged men old enough to be their father. Its not consent its duress and as an example its a very bad taste example.
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Post Number:#57  Postby Alethia » June 20th, 2010, 11:22 pm

It's not just bad taste, it's perverted... seriously perverted. What kind of mind assumes that 12 year old girls get horny for sex with men that are, to their young minds, old? And then again... What kind of mind accepts this thought experiment as valid enough to discuss earnestly? Yet another sick mind that cannot fathom or be bothered to fathom the repulsiveness inherent in that thought experiment.

There is a term for this kind of perversion: Hebephilia. It is related to Pedophilia, but more common.
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Post Number:#58  Postby Belinda » June 21st, 2010, 5:36 am

Human sexual development some facts
http://www.themediaproject.com/facts/de ... ecycle.htm
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Post Number:#59  Postby Alethia » June 21st, 2010, 6:47 am

Belinda wrote:Human sexual development some facts
http://www.themediaproject.com/facts/de ... ecycle.htm


It merely supports the fact that prepubescent children, mostly, are not horny for sex... I don't understand why you are linking this?

It makes no reference to 12 year old girls horny for sex with almost middle aged men, which is my point of contention... It's a perverted thought experiment. A link to Hebephilia would be more relevent... but I trust the 'aware' minds can do that themselves.

It makes no reference to the sexualization of prepubescent girls which is another point of contention here. A link to some sociological study would be more relevent... but again... we are all smart enough to do that ourselves.

Belinda... why are you not outraged at this?
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Post Number:#60  Postby Eveready » June 21st, 2010, 8:34 am

Aleithea
It's not just bad taste, it's perverted... seriously perverted. What kind of mind assumes that 12 year old girls get horny for sex with men that are, to their young minds, old?


I have read again over this thread and can`t say that Scott is agreeing that a 12yr old girl can consent, he appears to be saying to Jack Owens she can`t consent, even if she said yes. That is where the confusion in this debate has entered into, consent usually means giving a yes or no, what Scott didn`t make clear, is, even if the girl of 12yrs said yes it wouldn`t be consent it would duress and coercion from the adult. You are right, no 12yr olds I know of would want sexual intercourse with middle aged men, and many 12yr old girls are sexually inactive, they are becoming aware of their body development they are pre-pubescent, its a rare occurence for 12yr old girls to intend and want active sexual intercourse. Unless they hang out with much older girls who influence them into thinking its cool they do it. There are exceptions again it is not what I would call consent, as they are being coerced are not ready so its duress.
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