Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Regarding Puberty & The Age Of Consent

or Society vs. Biology
(or, as some would insist, Civilization vs. Animal Nature)

Here is a little food for thought. If a law were passed tomorrow raising the age of consent to 25, you wouldn't suddenly stop being attracted to 20 year olds. Maybe after a few generations, people would start associating their feelings of attraction to women who look "under 25" with perversion and immorality, but it wouldn't change our basic biology.

The moment a girl hits puberty (which comes, on average, before the age of 13), she begins taking on changes that render her sexually appealing to males of all post-pubertal ages (and many pre-pubertal ones, if we let experience be our teacher). We have laws (that may be either sexist or unjustified - take your pick) that prevent older men from "taking advantage" of young girls, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing the basic fact that women under the age of 18 can possess appealing sexual characteristics.

And though I'm willing to believe there are some men who are genuinely turned off by young women who still possess some childlike qualities (physically or psychologically), there is no biological reason a man should have to wait until a girl is 100% fully matured in order to start taking an interest in her (which is not the same thing, necessarily, as sex on the first date). Pursuing her as a sexual partner may be against the law (although that varies greatly by local culture), but there is no shame in recognizing the existence of those feelings - it's all part of the glory of God's creation.

On a related subject, it frustrates me to observe people stigmatizing men's sexual attraction to teenage girls by conflating it with "pedophilia" - a gambit so obviously hinging on a logical fallacy that it's amazing how effective it manages to be (but not so surprising given how young adults are treated like children). The issue is so sensitive, it seems that if somebody calls you a pedophile nonsensically, for something arbitrary and totally unrelated to pedophilia, you'd nonetheless be in no position to argue, because you just don't argue when it comes to pedophilia - that could too easily be construed as sympathy. (I await the day that "pedo" becomes the new all-purpose slur that "gay" has already become - "broccoli for breakfast? Ew, that's so pedo, mom...").

But quite unlike pedophilia - which may reasonably be considered abnormal under the procreative model of sexual activity - men are evolutionarily adapted to be sexually attracted to post-pubertal teens - who, unlike actual children (not the same thing as "legal" children), are physically developed for sex. This is not pathological perversion, it is the nature of the average male. We can discuss what - if any - behaviors are appropriate for an older man to engage in with a teen, but even - or especially - in this (supposed) age of enlightened civility, it is not acceptable to call a man either pathetic or disgusting for expressing his attraction to beautiful, sexy teens.

And that's another truth about beauty.

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