What's your view on minors?

I was accessing aIHoftGK from another computer, through the entrance, and the 18 or older thing got me thinking:

Do you think that it is right that minors should be banned from reading sexual or pornographic materials? Is it coddling them, or in their best interests? Would it increase underage sex or decrease it? Would it have an effect on their mental health?

Anyway, I'd like to see what comes up!

Forums: 
Capriox's picture

Embodiment

I'm tempted to start an index of topics covered in the forum to encourage thread necromancy over a plethora of threads duplicating each other. Possibly as a separate thread here, possibly as a section of the wiki.

What do y'all think? Useful? Not worth the effort? Suggestions on how to go about it?

If anyone else likes the idea and wants to start it, go ahead. If it's left up to me, it probably won't happen to July. (I'm so overbooked in my life that I told my husband he needs to stop me from volunteering for *anything* until this summer).

Also, the wiki needs updating with more of Lisset & Ototo's story if anyone out there has free time (might re-post this in the wiki thread).

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

Go for it! Smile I don't have time to do it either, but I think it's a great idea.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

...have some free time coming up in mid-March. I'll hopefully be able to do some wiki duty then.

Freegrassn's picture

Oh, thanks, I forgot about that.

The Vixen's picture

Devotee

I totally read "minion" and I was getting ready to make a "minyan/minion" joke

Taslin's picture

Postulant

I was all set to reassure you that Connin wasn't going to come through it when I realized what you actually said. Blum 3

Clare-Dragonfly's picture

Supplicant

I suspect many people here would actually be excited about the prospect!

Someone's picture

Postulant

Definitely reassure. I, for one, certain wouldn't want the morally questionable jerk coming thorough a mirror at me.

Maybe teacher. I'm sure he'd be really interesting. and less likely to mess with me for kicks.

Biestygirl's picture

Petitioner

being exposed to sex too early can definetly screw up children. what age is the "right" age for exposure? who knows. with more and more kids having sex (with each other) before they even hit double digits....

as adults we need to take the responsibility of what is and isn't appropriate for children. telling kids about sex in third or fourth grade, and trying to explain what happens when you have sex is one thing, showing them porn or explicit material is another.

teens are gonna get into sexual material whether it's legal or not. i know i did. does that mean it's okay? if they're gonna do it, they're gonna do it, we should make sure they know what they're getting into and are SAFE. let's not have anymore Bristol Palins.

Tirael's picture

Personally i think the whole principle of putting down an arbitrary line for when someone is considered "Mature" to be utterly ridiculous. I knew a 16-year old who ran his own business, and i've met 40-year olds who couldn't write a grocery shopping list if their life depended on it. The notion that age has anything to do with maturity of mind is completely ludicrous. That aside, people nowadays are just being stupid about it. 200 years ago, a person was considered an adult when they reached the age of 10, they were expected to get married and begin starting a family as early as the age of 13-15. Kids aren't as stupid as people seem to asume nowadays, and in many cases they KNOW when people aren't being honest with them. Treating someone like they're a moron who isn't ready to understand the world they live in is NOT going to make them better people, it's just going to make them pissed off and frustrated.

Personally i count myself lucky that i live in a country that's openminded enough to have the age of sexual consent (and the age of legal responsibility) at 15. Now if people could just start acting acording to it, things would look a lot better. OFC, showing your kids hardcore porn from the age 13 may be a bit excessive, but there's not reason to completely ban all sexual material.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... the bureaucratic nightmare that would be the result of testing for and enforcing maturity regulations on an individual basis for things like "can deal with drugs", "can deal with sex" and any number of other things. And that's ignoring the question of whether it is actually possible to test for actual maturity in any of those areas with sufficiently small effort to make it possible to implement something like that across the board. So yes, while I agree that hard and fast age-based rules suck, especially when they're as inconsistent as the ones we have in many Western countries, I don't see any viable alternative, really. (Doing nothing and letting the triumvirate of God, Darwin and the Fuckup Faerie sort them out, may be beneficial in the long term, but the short term costs of this strategy are something I don't even want to think about.)

Tirael wrote:
Treating someone like they're a moron who isn't ready to understand the world they live in is NOT going to make them better people, it's just going to make them pissed off and frustrated.

More to the point, it has a good chance of producing people who are morons who do not understand the world they live in, because vital information was withheld at key stages in their development.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

Tirael wrote:
The notion that age has anything to do with maturity of mind is completely ludicrous.

Bunk.
Theory:
1) Almost everyone, as they age, experiences an increase in their maturity of mind.
2) The average maturity of mind of any group increases over time (ignoring the death of members).
3) Age has -something- to do with maturity of mind.

They may not be 100% linked, but I think that age is the best simple proxy a government has when it comes time to determine who should be able to get an operator's license, consent to sex, or buy hardcore porn, liquor, or cigarettes.

Davik's picture

Embodiment

I will definitely give you that as people age they largely become more mature and have a better grasp of the world around them, but there's a ridiculous amount of variability. I've personally tested as running roughly 6 years ahead of the average for my age; I was doing contract work for the government at 16 and hanging out with grad students, but I wasn't allowed to vote. It might be a bureaucratic nightmare, but if you foot the bill for the testing yourself and show up with the paperwork saying you're mentally running X years ahead that you should get some of the rights early. I would especially consider this to be valid for voting as that's a solely mental exercise not dependent on any form of physical development.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I'm not sure we entirely disagree. I was mostly responding to the combination of text and perceived attitude in the passage I quoted. I think that if there were some widely regarded, rigorously tested way of determining "mental maturity," then we might plausibly be able to do that...except that then the system would bias in favor of wealthier "maturity overachievers" as against less-wealthy ones. Administrative costs would skyrocket. I'm not convinced that the benefit of such program would be worth the costs, especially if there would need to be funding available for relatively mature children in poverty. Moreover, your proposal might trigger the "slippery slopers" into worrying about the possible revocation of rights for the patently immature.

I'm not certain you're wrong--and for things like driving where physical maturity is implicated as well (see also, alcohol and tobacco), I think that the age cutoffs are far more significant.

Davik's picture

Embodiment

Yeah, I don't think I needed to be driving in third grade Blum 3 As far as the testing costs... I'm not even sure what the tab was for my own test; it must have been up there since it was two days worth of IQ testing to see if I should be skipping grades. In general though wealth (though my family isn't particularly wealthy, think middle class) does bring privilege, and I don't see that ever changing.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I'm not convinced that IQ and maturity are the same thing...God knows, I know some folks with high IQ's and less apparent maturity. Another obstacle to testing is the challenge of measuring actual -maturity- as opposed to intellect.

Davik's picture

Embodiment

Well, to start with, I was told my IQ and my apparent maturity as separate numbers (and actually my parents didn't tell me my IQ until after I had graduated high school in the fear that I'd slack off and coast through, which was what I did anyway, I just managed to coast with a 4.7 weighted GPA). I think that a lot of the very smart people are perfectly capable of doing things like assessing candidates for voting. When you look at what you're calling maturity it's just their social skills that suffer because they never really belong with the people in their age group and hence never learn to relate to people. Hell, I would have fallen in to that group if my best friend growing up hadn't been every bit as smart as I am, but aimed at social disciplines rather than math and science (he could sell sand to arabs and make them think they'd gotten the better end of the deal, and I'm not exaggerating in the least). Thankfully he managed to teach me how to deal with other people and I managed to ground him at least some in reality (or so I'll claim).

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Example: I tested at over genius level (like 157--I'm sure it's gone down). I think I reached a responsible maturity some time after I had No1. I'm really not kidding so much...

Davik's picture

Embodiment

Maybe you were just further along than you give yourself credit for Blum 3 I know based on your writing ability I don't have a problem tossing you in the genius crowd, even if you decided you wanted to show all of us an amazing lack of ability in something like mathematics (I'm not one of those who believes that intelligence solely involves math and science). Also, depending on the source you cite ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genius ) the so called "experts" place the cut off between 136 and 162. Though given that this is a logarithmic scale that's a hell of a spread Blum 3

MeiLin's picture

Most High

When I was a girl, when I was tested, 150 was considered the cut-off. My mom actually told me it was 147 because she didn't want me to get a swelled head. That's the story of my life, really. Who do I think I am?

Davik's picture

Embodiment

Eh, I don't actually know you so I can't give any kind of real interpretation, but there are fundamental flaws in the testing (with a leaning towards spatial and mathematical skills favored off the little I remember). Suffice it to say that my best friend growing up tested in the mid 140's, while I tested around 180, and I have no problem saying he is every bit as smart as I am. He may not be able to do physics like I can, but anything having to do with other people I couldn't hope to compete with him.

The Which's picture

Embodiment

High IQs are really hard to pinpoint exactly. Marilyn vos Savant, for example, has had her IQ calculated from 160 to THE HIGHEST IQ IN THE WORLD.

With geniuses being such a small portion of the population, once you hit that 140 mark, it starts getting harder to quantify who is smarter than whom. Sample sizes, standardization... science stuff Smile After all, your 180 is more than 5 sandard deviations from the mean.

I think I remember that the Wechler intelligence scale actually tops out at around 150.

Davik's picture

Embodiment

I'm honestly not sure which test I took (this was 5th grade for me after all), all I know is that I spent two days taking tests all day more than an hour drive from my home, and felt like shit the whole time. I know after the fact that I confused the hell out of them, because I blew all the low level tests (I'm guessing because I felt like shit and didn't care), but once they started throwing the tough stuff at me I managed to get it pretty much all right. In the end they placed me around 180 (there was definitely some uncertainty there, but I never found out how much), and claimed that I was running about 6 years ahead. They then recommended that I skip at least 2 years of school and attend a 2 year rather than 4 year high school. Ultimately I skipped one grade (because I had what I thought was a friend in the next grade, which was a hell of a mistake), and skipped the 2 year high school option after seeing the school (which I don't think was a mistake). In general I'm glad I took as long as I did to hit college, because most of what I learned in college was not learned in the classroom. That said I sure made a hell of a mess out of interpersonal things later, but that's the kind of thing that only experience will teach. Also, I understand sample size limitations, as 178 is the point where you hit one in 100,000 as I remember.

The Which's picture

Embodiment

A cadre of wealthy Republicans marching their newly "mature" 16- and 17-year old children to the polls. :O

On the other end of the spectrum, more wealthy students claim learning disabilities when taking the SAT.

Davik's picture

Embodiment

You'd definitely have to have some way of keeping that kind of bias out of the testing. On the flip side, your typical professor makes pretty good money and has some pretty smart kids, and I don't know about you, but most professors I know are not Republicans Blum 3 Hell, I went to at least one talk at the biophysical society conference where the speaker opened by trashing Republicans, and got a lot of laughs/applause. Though I've gotta admit on that note that I'm ambivalent; I think science should be apolitical, but on the other hand what the bush administration did to science would be more aptly called multiple amputation rather than hamstringing.

lady bp's picture

har har. I definitely agree with people who've commented before me in regards to sexual content too early (porn to 13-yr-olds), and... well. How do I put this.

When I was younger (I'm turning 19 in this April, so my "AGE OF SEXUAL MATURITY/CONSENT" according to America was not reached long before I got my own laptop/privacy), I honestly didn't given't a crap about warnings and compulsory "turn ye back if ye be fish not ready for catchin'" (meanwhile the age of consent in my country is 14, which, yes, is a couple years too low in my opinion).

So... I never even had second thoughts about lying about my age. Registering and entering sites, I mean - I will not have a puritanical hysteric matron from the other side of the globe tell me that I should be kept blind, deaf and mute for my own good, told what is approriate for my age when I was already fairly mature in nature, responsible, sexually active (and: my mother knows most of what I've done and has had no problem discussing sexuality openly with me).

Btw - ONCE, 3 months before my 18th birthday I admitted in a pleasant (and unusally reserved, albeit with a BDSM theme) chatroom in a private conversation that I was 17. And that person reported me a mod while placidly explaining that it was for my own good (extra rage points: being called "little one").

I apologize if this ranty thing makes me look like a moody teenager, but I find it incredibly, incredibly angering when people devaluate me to my face based on their personal code

Tirael's picture

TheBoy wrote:
3) Age has -something- to do with maturity of mind.

I might have been phrasing myself a bit black-and-white-ish there. The point i wanna make is, there's no guantee whatsoever that people learn from their mistakes, or gain maturity as they age. The greater part of the world's population couldn't find their ass with both hands, however good-natured they might be, and i think it's wrong that smart people have to suffer for the stupidity of the rest. I am aware that it is impossible to run testing on individual merrit, especially in a society like ours, but i also think that the rules are far too strict and non-sensical. F.eks, it's worse for kids to see sexual content that guts-splattering-over-the-walls violence? Surely there must be some kind of middle ground that can be reached.

Like... add some sort of test on the knowledge of certain things, like f.eks drugs, booze and such, into the school annual exams or mid-terms.
That aside, i think the real key, is more information. Kids and youngsters are gonna find out about these things either way, better they get some real proper info i say. That aside, if someone has been informed the risks and goes and drugs themselves into a coma... well, Darwin says let'em die and i'm tempted to agree.

Biestygirl's picture

Petitioner

the problem you hit there is conservative Americans not wanting their children "exposed to the evils of sex and drugs!" because they're convinced that if they hear about it they'll do it. Even though those kids already know about sex and drugs because they go to public school.

Biestygirl's picture

Petitioner

i don't know if it all necessarily has to do with being able to "deal with sex" as much as it is preventing children from being victimized by pedophiles. It may be acceptable in some cultures, but the Western world says NO.

Maturity isn't the issue at stake, it's the developmental stage the person is at, whether or not they can fully comprehend their actions or not. And I know lots of people who are legally able to have sex but not ready to deal with what happens afterward, but I think at a certain point people just decide that if you haven't figured out how to be an adult after a certain point you're just not gonna get there.

The age of sexual consent in Alaska is 16, btw, which I think is fine. I really don't have a problem with teens having sex, viewing porn, etc., but it's when kids my little brother's age (10) are having sex, looking at porn, getting pregnant, that I have a problem with it.

Elrac's picture

Fair warning: I've been called a troll before on this site. Feed me at your own risk. I may be too busy to come back and read other comments though.

I have a friend who's looking to get straight A's on his report card from Jeebus. He happened to be visiting me here in evil liberal-minded Europe shortly after Nipplegate. I asked him, "do you think there are children who took harm from briefly seeing Janet Jackson's exposed nipple?" He answered, perfectly seriously, "yes, I'm pretty sure some children were harmed by that."

Thing is, if your priest, your community, your parents and the talking heads on TV all agree that sex will harm you, then at some point you'll probably be so convinced of it that sex WILL harm you. My friend, now, he's close to 50 and still a virgin. I think his religion has completely and utterly fucked him up. It is my firm belief that the harm is much more in the religious view of sex than in sex itself.

That said, I think information about sex should be made available to minors on a "need to know" basis.

Before puberty, it makes sense to tell kids that, starting around teenage, guys and girls feel attracted to one another, like to see each other nekkid and touch each other, and that this is a topic of great, often inordinate interest to adults, and many are so obsessed with it that they do foolish things. It's also reasonable to tell them that sex often results in women growing babies in their tummy; I'm strongly opposed to raising a young person on a diet of lies.

Come puberty, they need to know that having sexual feelings is normal and natural but there are good reasons, both legal and practical, for keeping a low profile about some aspects. One practical reason is that sex at a young age can lead to pregnancy, and pregnancy can steer young people away from education and good jobs into a life of financial inadequacy and overwhelming responsibilities. Another is that sex is a private thing and people may be offended by inappropriate displays of sexuality. Your friendly next door neighbor is probably not interested in seeing the hair on your wee-wee. The legal reason is that the law tries to be very protective about minors and sex, and the moment any law-enforcing agency (including, by extension, your shool's officials) is made aware of any such thing they go apeshit and start dishing out wholly uncommensurate measures that break up families and destroy lives. Which brings us back to the practical: There is sex in prisons, but probably not the way you like it.

So where does pornography fit in? Humm, it's a sexual aid like a vibrator or a dildo: It can increase your enjoyment of sex but it's optional. For a girl, a vibrator may be more satisfying than her fingers, and safer than the handle of her hairbrush. For a guy, some titty pictures may give him something to fantasize during his solo dates. Though at that age, most young men don't need to be even *more* excited. Porn is not *really* educational; it's mildly harmful in that it nurtures incorrect expectations of what the "real thing" is like. In real life, your dick may be less than 12" long and girlfriend may have saggy breasts. Porn will make you worry about this, inappropriately. I think that if you put porn into perspective like this rather than locking it away and making a big secret deal about it, it will lose much of its appeal and kids will know to treat it as the amusing trash it is.

Keeping kids away from filth and porn is a losing battle, and a senseless one. Better to take away the mystique, let the novelty wear off and let them turn to more meaningful things: That's a wholesome approach, IMHO.

V's picture

Embodiment

The first three paragraphs were entirely superfluous to the rest of the post, and they're also the part I object to. You haven't learned how to disagree without being disagreeable, or you don't care to. I'm not cool with that.

After that, the post was actually pretty good.

If you'd like to be a member of the community or at least to post without getting called a troll, we'd love to have you--just work on making posts like the last 2/3 instead of the first 1/3. Make a reasoned case rather than being needlessly insulting and acting like an ass.

Elrac's picture

Pointing out that I've been called a troll was a warning to you, not a complaint from me. I choose to be disagreeable and would rather be kicked out of this forum (and others) than to keep quiet on those matters which mean the most to me.

My post, and in fact the whole thread, would have been completely unnecessary but for the topic of the first 1/3. There are societies where children are allowed to approach sexuality in a natural and light-hearted manner, and in those societies young people don't develop hangups about sex.

Sex is a problem so long as your kind of folks choose to make it so. In your words, "I'm not cool with that."

The Which's picture

Embodiment

Yes, it would be nice if the US had less strict views on sex. Do I think it has created a country of 50 year old virgins, like your friend? Since the US has not gone the way of the Shakers**, I think not.

*Margret Mead found that adolescence was easier for girls in a society that had more relaxed views on premarital sex. Some of her findings have since been disputed.
**Religious organization that did not believe in sex for any reason, including procreation. Obviously, a society cannot survive with out new members.

I like footnotes Smile

ETA: Being disagreeable is really the worst way to handle issues you feel strongly about. It makes people want to... disagree... with you, even if they hadn't before. Honey, vinegar. You know.

The Which's picture

Embodiment

Has a ton more sugars than distilled white vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is like your posts--a bit tangy, but ultimately delicious. A troll is like flavorless supermarket vinegar--nothing but acid.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

something to help smooth things out and make them slide down easier. Wink

Thank you, though. I'm glad I trend towards delicious. (otherwise, I might need to eat more pineapple)

MeiLin's picture

Most High

I keep everything smoove around here.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

Elrac wrote:
Fair warning: I've been called a troll before on this site. Feed me at your own risk. I may be too busy to come back and read other comments though.

Fair warning: I don't play particularly nice, and I'm not sure I want to engage in discussion, so much as talk at you.

Elrac wrote:
I have a friend who's looking to get straight A's on his report card from Jeebus. He happened to be visiting me here in evil liberal-minded Europe shortly after Nipplegate. I asked him, "do you think there are children who took harm from briefly seeing Janet Jackson's exposed nipple?" He answered, perfectly seriously, "yes, I'm pretty sure some children were harmed by that."

I'm going to make fun of someone I disagree with by belittling his beliefs about something fundamentally unknowable. Based on this difference of what can only be labeled opinion, I will belittle him, and then be dismissive of another opinion. All of this is minimally related to phrasing my own actual opinion.

Elrac wrote:
Thing is, if your priest, your community, your parents and the talking heads on TV all agree that sex will harm you, then at some point you'll probably be so convinced of it that sex WILL harm you. My friend, now, he's close to 50 and still a virgin. I think his religion has completely and utterly fucked him up. It is my firm belief that the harm is much more in the religious view of sex than in sex itself.

Now, I will go on to assert my own beliefs without any support.

The rest, as V said, was on topic, and reasonably well considered. However, as V said, as well, your introductory paragraphs were borderline vitriolic without adding anything of substance to the discussion--in which you didn't appear particularly interested in actually participating.

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