Tucci78 on April 30, 2011, 12:08:15 am
For some strange reason, almost everyone in our society looks down on a 30-year-old teacher who has consensual sexual intercourse with even a 15-year-old student of his who happened to have a crush on him. That is considered a very inappropriate response to the situation.

The age difference isn't so much the problem - for people who aren't absolutely rabid about "jailbait" issues - but that the teacher is in a position of authority over the student.  Same thing for a 30-year-old college professor messing around with an undergraduate old enough to buy himself an adult beverage in a bar.  The sexual relationship makes the pedagogical situation shaky.  It's malum prohibitum for the same reason that a well-ordered military force runs under standing orders prohibiting sexual contacts between personnel of differing rank, which is "conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline."  

 Although you have made arguments which, on the surface, appear plausible that this is a culturally-conditioned attitude, which if viewed from the outside in an impartial manner, would be seen as insane - I think you should not be surprised that people are reluctant to accept that the normal view of the whole world is insane, and the view of a very small group of people, radically opposed to long-established practice, is, instead, the truth.

This remains true even if it is difficult to articulate precisely where your arguments, plausible as they may appear, are wrong.

That's because my arguments aren't just "plausible," they're (you should pardon the expression in a discussion where contraception is under consideration) impregnable.  It's not that it's "difficult" to make any case that my contentions are wrong, but altogether impossible.  I wouldn't voice those contentions were the case otherwise.  

Our standards of sexual behavior formed, of course, when neither effective contraception nor safe abortion were available. The hormonal changes of pregnancy are partly responsible for the intensity of a mother's love for her child; it is not true that a typical woman, if she is abandoned by the father of her child before giving birth, can simply put the child up for adoption and be none the worse for wear.

In a society of peasant farmers, before there were careers for women as typists and stenographers, because women were not suited to at least some aspects of the heavy physical labor of farming, a woman's ability to play an economic role usually depended on her ability to be a good wife to a responsible husband.

He would support her and her children because they would also be his children - the fruit of his loins as well as of hers. And because she would be sincerely and genuinely emotionally attached to him.

It's been found empirically that it helps if they're virgins.

Now, though, that women are to be independent citizens in their own right, instead of marrying off 13-year-old girls, families send them to school. Ages of consent that are rather high in historical terms have come about as a result of attempting to reconcile the current situation with the habits of the past. While I won't deny that some sort of re-thinking may be in order, I see no reason to rush in with anything that is highly likely to expose many young women to predatory exploitation. Male sexuality is sufficiently intense that it is well known as a common stimulus to aggressive and untrustworthy behavior.

To whatever extent these conditions have colored custom and law in Western civilization currently, we are in this forum discussing the cultures prevailing on Ceres and in the extraterrestrial solar system generally, some decades in the future.  In the speculative fiction context as has thus far been delineated in Escape From Terra, what might be reasonably expected to happen?  

You speak of our present codes of laws "as a result of attempting to reconcile the current situation with the habits of the past."

Okay. So given the circumstances in which the people of Ceres and the rest of the Belt find themselves in the EFT plenum, how d'you think that they might have reconciled their capacities and their resources so as to address both exigencies and opportunities?  

The depictions provided by the authors of EFT have made it clear that the Belt civilization is rich in raw materials, useful energy, information access (the Tanglenet), technical expertise, and freedom from the inhibitory toxicities of authoritarian government.  

For a number of reasons, I've inferred that their economy is relatively labor-poor, given the fact that there are market niches ("Ceres Spaceport Agent," for example) which are being profitably filled by older children and younger adolescents.  People of marginal physical capacities who want to engage in productive enterprise do not face the kinds of heavy competition which tend reliably to develop in labor-saturated economies. At the outset of the graphic novel, we see a couple of extremely unskilled U.W. bureaucrats having no difficulty finding work and providing themselves with comfortable living circumstances when they decide to relocate to the Belt.

Medical technology is extremely advanced.  This is a civilization in which a lady who runs a bed-and-breakfast/fast food eatery can afford to have her life extended and her physical condition restored to youthfulness in a "rejuvenation" process, and had only deferred the procedure because she'd become weary of living before the blossoming of romance gave her new zest for the pleasures of the flesh.

Noise about the supposed unreliability of contraception, or about the risks of incurable sexually transmitted diseases, is therefore not to be tolerated in this forum.  Anybody who tries to peddle that argument should find a proctologist and get his head unwedged.  

Families will doubtless continue to exist, but what gives anyone to conclude that they'll necessarily consist of male-female pairs, as we see them in most present-day Terran cultures?  It's been almost fifty years since Heinlein published The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, with its speculations on the ways in which human beings have structured various "arrangments for living" (polygyny, polyandry, etc.) as well as his suggestion about what he called "line marriages."  

A bit less than half a century later, do we have people reading here who are so bloody illiterate as to have never read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, or such obdurate cement-heads as to have blocked out further thought about how people under anticipatable future conditions would adapt their social and cultural practices to serve their needs and desires?  

Ain't no "Defense of Marriage Act" in the Belt, folks.  

Even child-bearing might not necessarily require a woman to experience pregnancy and parturition.  On Mars in this graphic novel, they've got rejuvenation.  Speculation on extrauterine gestation has been present in science fiction for about half a century, too (recall A. Bertram Chandler's Spartan Planet, and look more recently to Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga novels, set in the same plenum as her Falling Free and Ethan of Athos).  

It wouldn't - couldn't - happen in the extraterrestrial civilization described in Escape From Terra?  

Yeah, sure.

Technical resources have always changed human behavior.  Just how dead-from-the-neck up do the social/traditionalist "conservative" participants in this discourse have to be in order to blot out understanding of this inescapable fact?

Jeez, wotta buncha frackin' mundanes!  
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 12:18:30 am by Tucci78 »
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

J Thomas on April 30, 2011, 12:20:48 am
What I've noticed from medical researchers who were not reporting tests of new pharmaceuticals seemed to me to be a whole lot of honest error. They thought they knew the truth, ad they got results which were compatible with what they already believed, and they published their results as if providing proof for their claims.

It was almost always easier for me to think they were kind of stupid, than deceitful.

No, it's deceitfulness.  Even if it's inadvertent - not consciously self-dealing with the overt intent to lie - the purpose of scientific method is to wring as much of the error-raddled unreliability of subjective prejudice out of the processes of inquiry and analysis as possible. 

Well, if you're talking about unconscious deceit, I doubt we have a real disagreement.

My experience has been that scientific method looks simple and obvious, but you only get good at it with practice. Like riding a bicycle or doing math. There are lots of ideas involved that people don't get easily.

Like, when you control for confounding variables by setting each of them to a known value, you can establish relationships among your test variables -- but what you have established is only the relationships among your test variables when all the confounding variables are set at the values you chose. The relationships among your test variables might be completely different when the confounding variables have different values. But there's a strong temptation to imagine that the confounding variables actually have no effect and that the relationships among the test variables have been determined....

There are lots of pitfalls. And the way it works, medical research is much easier to fund when it is run by MDs who know medicine than by PhDs who know scientific method. It's just one of those things.

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In the most memorable instances of deviation from ethical practices in the clinical literature, the selective reporting of findings ("cherry-picking"), duplicitous number-bashing ("lies, damned lies, and statistics"), and wildly leaping conclusions to support recommendations in diagnosis and treatment that really don't have a damned thing to do with improving patient outcomes, have all been the results of deceitfulness.

Yes. In my experience, intro statistics courses have mostly failed. The students think it's very hard (lots of math) and also often think it's bullshit they are required to endure. The teachers water it down and concentrate on getting students to correctly do t-tests and such, with perhaps some rote rules about when a t-test is appropriate. It's only natural that MDs who sat through something like that will believe they know the real truth already, and that proving significance etc is only a bullshit obstacle they have to somehow cross. So a few dramatic results that convince them naturally tend to result in cherry-picking, and a belief that statistics is bullshit in the first place leads them to lie about statistics, and when they jumped to conclusions in the first place from dramatic outliers....

I found the epidemiologists generally better. Since so much of what they did was collect and interpret data, rather than medical treatment, it was a bigger part of their skillset.


Well.... Like 'em as much as you please. My personal and professional experience with the epidemiologists gives me to opine that they're as hot for eyeball-grabbing "high-impact" publication credit - and as susceptible to political bigotry - as anybody else in the sciences or in clinical medicine. 

You pays your money and you takes your chances.
[/quote]

There is that temptation. It's frustrating to do a big expensive study that takes a long time and a lot of work that then only gets muddy useless results. I sat in on intro epidemiology classes that got the training in scientific method and in statistics-gone-wrong that the MDs didn't get. And in the things I could check, the average performance was much better. But it's mostly impossible to collect epidemiological data double-blind, and so there are various forms of unintended bias that I can't check. And it's generally hard to detect fraud unless it's done sloppily.

There's the argument that if somebody fakes an exciting result, it will get enough attention that others will do similar things and note the problems. And if you fake work that nobody has any interest in, why bother? But like other arguments that say X should not happen because the people who do X will suffer for it in the long run, somehow we can't depend on people to think about the long run. Particularly, people who are in danger of failing in the short run often do things they hope will get them by in the short run and hope the long run will somehow take care of itself. So while I prefer to think there is no scientific fraud, still it does get discovered every now and then.

J Thomas on April 30, 2011, 12:33:21 am


In general, when somebody on the internet says you are insane, he is only being rude. "Insane" on the internet basicly means "says things that don't make sense to me". In person, insane also includes "does things that don't make sense to me". The assumption is that if I don't understand it, it must be crazy.


I beg to differ.  When I describe sams as insane, I mean that his writings on this subject - the involvement of children in sexual activities (copulative or non-copulative), adult-child sexual relationships, pedophilia, and so forth - make no sense to anybody.

Well, you are wrong. It appears to me that his ideas make sense to a whole lot of Americans, and in particular to a large fraction of Republicans.

You can argue that they're all crazy, but....

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They have no support in objective reality, but spring entirely from sams' suppositions that the traditions and other usages he accepts without critical thought must be received without question despite contrary evidence which has undergone scrupulous verification and is appreciable by any honest person reading here, no matter how reluctant such a person might be to admit that understanding. 

Yes? A whole lot of people accept those traditions without critical thought. They agree with each other, and a lot of them say that it's wrong to apply critical thought on those topics.

And I strongly suspect that you fully understand his claims. They make sense to you that way. It's just that you disagree, and you believe that you are right and that he is wrong. You believe that you could point to objective scientific evidence that you are right and he is wrong.

For what it's worth I tend to think you're mostly right and he's mostly wrong. But "insane" in this context is just name-calling.

J Thomas on April 30, 2011, 12:56:39 am
I think that Scientific American has a lot of credibility on scientific subjects. But I also think that they've waded into politics on occasion, and if they run an article saying that missile defense system X is going to escalate the arms race and is therefore a Bad Thing, I see no reason not to take that with a very big grain of salt.

Scientific American traditionally went to people who were considered near the top of their specific fields, and asked them to explain it in therms laymen could understand. Needless to say, the experts they called on had varying competence at writing for laymen. And when there was important ongoing controversy in their fields the experts often explained it their way and not the other guys' ways.

I noticed them drift beyond game theory into questions of military strategy that US citizens might care about. Like, at one point we were looking at taking our second-strike theory as far as it could go. We wanted to show the Soviets that we didn't have more missiles than our treaties allowed without actually letting them know where the missiles were. So we were going to have a giant system with lots of silos ad a gigantic underground railroad to move missiles from one silo to another. Ginormous expense. And we would occasionally open some of the silos to show the soviets that they didn't have missiles parked in them so we didn't have all the silos full. And if they wanted to do a first strike and knock out all our missiles they would be playing whack-a-mole bombing empty silos and it would nuclear-winter them. The idea was kind of crazy, but Scientific American covered it in depth so its proponents could explain what they wanted to do and why.

There was one about tracking the world phosphate trade. The idea was that if anybody wanted to make a lot of nerve gas, which is after all a WMD which they should not make, we could tell they were doing it by the amount of phosphates they traded. And the article explained the details of how that would work.

And there was one about how we were getting rid of our old nerve gas stocks and replacing them with new binary nerve gas which was much safer to store and transport. It described in detail how binary nerve gas worked -- it only got mixed together after the artillery shell or cluster-bomb etc was already launched, and while the munition was in the air the chemical reactions happened to made the nerve gas, and so the bombs were completely safe. Even if one of the components leaked it was no big deal.

I guess what gives it credibility is that it's supposed to be real experts writing the articles. Sometimes they have political agendas etc, but they are actual experts with agendas and not people with agendas who pretend they understand the details.

J Thomas on April 30, 2011, 01:26:56 am
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In a society of peasant farmers... [emphasis added]

Is this where you're getting your idea of human "normal" from?  Why should the last 7000 farmer years be more normal than the last 200,000 hunter-gatherer years?

The last 7000 or so years is enough to get a lot of genetic adaptation. So, populations which have traditionally kept cattle tend to be lactose-tolerant. Populations which have used a lot of wheat tend to be gluten-tolerant. Populations which have used a lot of soybeans tend to be phytate-tolerant. Since cultures are supposed to adapt quicker than genes, it makes sense that the most recent thousands of years would have a big effect.

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I think human-normal is tribal.  For most of our human existence, the father might be any one of a handful of males in the tribe, depending on whether the mother snuck off with a beta male or stuck with the alpha.

Modern humans are tremendously variable about sex, and moderately variable about families. It's possible that for most of human existence people fit into one single ecological niche that demanded one particular approach to tribes and families and so on. Do you believe that?

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Any child in the tribe was, if not the actual progeny of a given male, at least related, hence worth helping care for.  Virginity thus irrelevant.  And even in some agricultural communities it's happened that a woman who had already borne a child or two had proven her fertility and was thus worth marrying.  With respect to knowing the father, a virgin is useful; with respect to barrenness, a virgin is a pig in a poke.

This all makes sense. However, in europe starting in the 1490's they had a lethal syphilis epidemic. At first the disease killed quickly. It killed horribly, and in large numbers. Maybe 5 million deaths. And there were lesser STD epidemics which had consequences. One immediate conclusion is that there was a whole lot of fornication going on in those days. You don't get syphilis epidemics without that. Is it possible that the intense emphasis on virginity etc might have come after that? A virgin bride will not give her new husband syphilis. Too bad they couldn't check the boys....

Sometimes traditional customs don't make sense. But there's a possibility they might be responses to serious problems. Get rid of the solution and you might get the original problem back. Or maybe it's gone extinct or mutated in the meantime.

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And as for the 30-y-o with the 15-y-o, age has only really mattered in the last hundred years or so.  Heck, Georgette Heyer, writing romance novels in the 1930s, thought nothing of pairing a 17-y-o heroine with a 34-y-o (or older) suitor, and when I say "thought nothing" I mean that there is nothing in the story even hinting that it's at all inappropriate.

When one spouse has a great deal more experience at most things than the other, it makes a difference in how they relate. That doesn't have to be a bad thing.

J Thomas on April 30, 2011, 01:37:35 am

Female chastity and male investment is a prisoner's dilemma game.  Obviously both men and women are better off if women are faithful and men invest, but if a woman is faithful, a man has an incentive to halt investment after she is pregnant, and if a man invests, a woman has an incentive to get pregnant with someone else while attributing the pregnancy to her husband.

Why does a woman have an incentive to get pregnant with someone else?

Here's the best possibility I found: If a woman has 7 children with the same man, a single disease that they neither are predisposed to resist, might kill all the children. But if one of the children has a different father, then the chances are much better that one will survive. (Though a disease might take that one and leave the rest.) DNA data indicates that the rate of pregnancy by someone other than the designated husband is about 10%, pretty much worldwide. Maybe this is the reason.

What is the man's incentive to leave a pregnant woman stranded? Say he does that once and runs off with another woman. He has one child he does not have to support. Then he does it a second time and he has two children he doesn't have to support. But at this point, it's only particularly stupid women who will run off with him, so the rest of his children are likely to be stupid. What has it gotten him?

sam on April 30, 2011, 01:42:04 am
Now, though, that women are to be independent citizens in their own right, instead of marrying off 13-year-old girls, families send them to school. Ages of consent that are rather high in historical terms have come about as a result of attempting to reconcile the current situation with the habits of the past.

Pretty much the entire world, representing a wide array of wildly different cultures and societies, now theoretically has ages of eighteen or so, including parts of the world where we see eight year old girls being married to eighty year old men, and parts of the world where school break tourist spots often feature drunken fourteen year olds screwing in a great big pile.

And when you say "historical standards", I am sure that many older readers screwed twelve year old girls back when screwing twelve year old girls was legal - we are not talking ancient history here.

Plus,observed behavior is that people just do not get upset when they see intergenerational heterosexual sex.  Even though it is theoretically rape, ordinary people just do not react as if it was rape.

Thus the age of consent laws represent a social aspiration, rather than any actual intent of social practice.

We wish that sex was done rationally and that people engaged in sexual acts were well behaved to society, family, and each other, that lovers just had good clean fun, though in practice, the adage that all is fair in love and war applies.  People get hurt, and hurt other people badly.  People behave in destructive and self destructive ways.  People get vicious and act crazy as a result of sex.  Since we are reluctant to control that, or entirely unable to control that, we pass laws that are pious aspirations, without contact to reality.

sam on April 30, 2011, 02:01:06 am
Female chastity and male investment is a prisoner's dilemma game.  Obviously both men and women are better off if women are faithful and men invest, but if a woman is faithful, a man has an incentive to halt investment after she is pregnant, and if a man invests, a woman has an incentive to get pregnant with someone else while attributing the pregnancy to her husband.

Why does a woman have an incentive to get pregnant with someone else?

Women are hypergamous, men are polygynous.  In the absence of social restraints, ninety percent of women screw the most attractive ten percent of males  (example: college).  Obviously males in that ten percent are not supporting anyone. 

This strategy, in the ancestral environment, got women the best quality genes for their children.

With contraception, this results in a society where a large proportion of women wind up as cat ladies, and despite contraception, results in a society where a large proportion of children do not have fathers.

sam on April 30, 2011, 02:10:07 am
Medical technology is extremely advanced.

If belters reproduce in the old fashioned way, then they have the same problems with love and sex and children as the Romans did.

If, on the other hand, they are decanted, rather than born, then things will be different.

Tucci78 on April 30, 2011, 02:17:40 am
In response to my assertion that sams is reliably characterized as insane because his writings on this subject - the involvement of children in sexual activities (copulative or non-copulative), adult-child sexual relationships, pedophilia, and so forth - make no sense to anybody:

Well, you are wrong. It appears to me that his ideas make sense to a whole lot of Americans, and in particular to a large fraction of Republicans.

You can argue that they're all crazy, but....

You mean those Republicans who aren't simply lying?  When recent years have revealed so very many among their senior leadership to be subject to all kinds of extremely deviant paraphilias (emphatically including homosexual ephebophilia and pedophilia), I'd merrily make that contention.  Considering the rank-and-file among the core Red Party constituencies, there's much to be explained by mass psychosis, no?

Of course, things are entirely the same for the National Socialist Democrat American Party (NSDAP, useta be "Democrat" before they shoved Obamacare up the national cloaca in the face of their own voters' enraged opposition).  

The social/traditionalist "conservative" mindset has always been intensely - one might even say pathologically - neophobic.  Some of them have lucidly appreciated reasons for hating and fearing the "new," particularly the workings of the free market.  They are so invested (materially as well as emotionally) in things-as-they-are that anything possibly perceivable as having even the remotest prospect of upsetting their applecart is going to be attacked with implacable viciousness.

They're alien to the Zero Aggression Principle because aggressive violence is their customary response to people who peaceably speak or act in ways which can and would cause social/traditionalist mores and methods to be exposed as less than "the best of all possible worlds."  

The Republicans are the political party of mercantilism, of state and corporate socialism, and of rigorous orthodoxy in thought and speech.  They always have been.  They were that way when they were calling themselves "Whigs," and before that "Federalists."  Where they're not a criminal conspiracy, they're an enormous cluster of functional but definite neurotics and psychotics.  

Insane?  You betcha.

With regard to the traditions and other usages accepted uncritically (and defended rabidly) by sams:

Yes? A whole lot of people accept those traditions without critical thought. They agree with each other, and a lot of them say that it's wrong to apply critical thought on those topics.

Not that reasoned observation of objective fact is subject to majority opinion, of course.  Argumentum ad populum is a logical fallacy, and if we want to get the discussion down to the level at which children understand it, let's remember the moral of Hans Christian Anderson's "The Emperor's New Clothes."  

I'm not quite at the level of Bethe, of whom a possibly apocryphal story is told regarding his discovery of the principles of stellar fusion, to the effect that the evening after he'd made his breakthrough, while walking with his girl under the darkened sky, he responded to her exclamation: "My, aren't the stars shining brightly tonight?" with "Right now I'm the only man in the world who really understands how they shine."  

But there aren't a whole helluva lot of people who know - more importantly, who are willing even to admit to themselves - that what I've written here on this subject is a correct reflection on the reality of human nature.

And I strongly suspect that you fully understand his claims. They make sense to you that way. It's just that you disagree, and you believe that you are right and that he is wrong. You believe that you could point to objective scientific evidence that you are right and he is wrong.

For what it's worth I tend to think you're mostly right and he's mostly wrong. But "insane" in this context is just name-calling.

Nope. It's because I understand sams' claims - and their grounding in sams' psychopathology - that I appreciate the nature and the crippling depth of his insanity.  

As for belief in "objective scientific evidence," we have in sams' argument for violent aggressive interference with non-coercive human action among parties he does not legitimately control a strong burden-of-proof obligation when it comes to justifying the viciousness he espouses.

Me?  I'm saying nothing more than "Keep Your Fracking Hands Off" ("KYFHO") and guess what happens.  

What real need have I to prove anything?  sams and his co-religionists are the ones straining like hell simply to shut off discussion of this subject.
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

J Thomas on April 30, 2011, 02:24:11 am
Female chastity and male investment is a prisoner's dilemma game.  Obviously both men and women are better off if women are faithful and men invest, but if a woman is faithful, a man has an incentive to halt investment after she is pregnant, and if a man invests, a woman has an incentive to get pregnant with someone else while attributing the pregnancy to her husband.

Why does a woman have an incentive to get pregnant with someone else?

Women are hypergamous, men are polygynous.  In the absence of social restraints, ninety percent of women screw the most attractive ten percent of males  (example: college).  Obviously males in that ten percent are not supporting anyone. 

I believe you are out of date on this. In, say, the 1950's, only 10% of the college males could get up the nerve to actually seduce a woman. This did not make them the most attractive, it made them the only ones in the running.

In the 2000's, it's more like 70% of the college males who have that nerve. Society has changed.

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This strategy, in the ancestral environment, got women the best quality genes for their children.

If it had been the way you said, and only 10% of the males were attractive enough to get women interested in them, why would that involve good-quality genes? Peahens who followed that strategy might wind up with hatchlings that would grow up to have the biggest rack of tailfeathers. Is that good? I guess it's good if you're a peacock.

If it's only 10% of the men who have convertibles with tailfins, and just the right ducktail haircuts, and they roll up their cigarette packs into their t-shirt sleeves just right, how does that translate to good quality genes?

Tucci78 on April 30, 2011, 02:39:05 am
If belters reproduce in the old fashioned way, then they have the same problems with love and sex and children as the Romans did.

If, on the other hand, they are decanted, rather than born, then things will be different.

Oh, I'll go ya one better (if "better" can be used in such an extremely perverse context) on that.

If extrauterine gestation becomes technically possible, what's to prevent a Belter (or a consortium of Belters) from acquiring the material means and the expertise to bake babies to order?  

Gaining germ plasm from sources as might suit him/her, the fixated pedophile pays the baby-bakery to gin up a conceptus, bring it to term, and hand him/her the little critter for to raise into the pervert's notion of an ideal child sex object.

Yeesh.  Talk about "grooming"....
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

sam on April 30, 2011, 02:41:42 am
Women are hypergamous, men are polygynous.  In the absence of social restraints, ninety percent of women screw the most attractive ten percent of males  (example: college).  Obviously males in that ten percent are not supporting anyone. 

I believe you are out of date on this.

I doubt it.

This strategy, in the ancestral environment, got women the best quality genes for their children.

If it had been the way you said, and only 10% of the males were attractive enough to get women interested in them, why would that involve good-quality genes?

Everything that makes men attractive is an indication of good quality genes, or was such an indication in the ancestral environment.  Everything that makes women attractive is an indication of good quality genes and/or fertility.

sam on April 30, 2011, 03:02:01 am
If extrauterine gestation becomes technically possible, what's to prevent a Belter (or a consortium of Belters) from acquiring the material means and the expertise to bake babies to order?  

Gaining germ plasm from sources as might suit him/her, the fixated pedophile pays the baby-bakery to gin up a conceptus, bring it to term, and hand him/her the little critter for to raise into the pervert's notion of an ideal child sex object.

Or the non pedophile might apply large doses of growth hormone and estrogen, so that at the age of three, the child is the size of a ten year old, has adult sized genitals, and adult secondary sexual characteristics, indeed hyperadult secondary sexual characteristics that would be incapacitating under earth normal gravity.

Tucci78 on April 30, 2011, 03:26:06 am
...observed behavior is that people just do not get upset when they see intergenerational heterosexual sex.  Even though it is theoretically rape, ordinary people just do not react as if it was rape.

Thus the age of consent laws represent a social aspiration, rather than any actual intent of social practice.

It appears that the reality of consent (and the capacity of a child or adolescent to appreciate the circumstances under which he/she enters voluntarily into sexual liaison with an adult) is better accepted in Western polities than is the fiction of both statute law and the customs driving such political hypocrisies.

Normal people are prepared to accept the sort of stuff which we may characterize in the words of the immortal Hoban Washburne as "Wacky fun...."

It should be noted that in many contemporary cultures (and in subcultures within the Western nations), intergenerational male homosexual sex is viewed as at most an entirely pardonable peculiarity, wholly unthreatening, it being well-understood that the catamites of today will overwhelmingly tend to grow into happy gash-hounds, standing to stud in the matrimonial bed with fervor and fecundity throughout their adult lives.  
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

 

anything