sam on May 01, 2011, 01:33:00 pm
Problem:

In a study, 40 typical males, and 40 typical females, from the same population group, are interviewed.

These interviews revealed the following statistics:

1) The average age of first intercourse for the males was 15.

2) The average age of first intercourse for the females was 17.

3) When a male had his first sexual experience, he did so with a female who was, on the average, 1 year younger than he was.

Suggest a scenario, involving another 40 males and 40 females whose ages would have been appropriate to their being reproductively isolated, but whose characteristics are the same as those interviewed, which could yield these results.

Solution:

One scenario which is consistent with all three statistics is as follows:

All 40 males had their first intercourse at age 15.

Of the 40 females, 10 of them had their first intercourse at age 14, and the other 30 had their first intercourse at age 18.

At 14, those 10 tramps had all the 40 males to themselves. QED

I seem to perceive the reverse - that one or two popular guys screw all the girls.

This anecdotal observation fits with the genetic data, which indicates that we have substantially fewer male ancestors than female ancestors, and violently contradicts the survey data, which reports that males somehow manage to have more and earlier sex than females.

SandySandfort on May 01, 2011, 01:56:27 pm
Relating this to Ceres, I think that even absent a very long life span, people would be more willing to have children. They seem to be a happy, optimistic group, proud of their culture and seeing a boundless future of opportunity.

My opinion is that they would have fewer children. This is in line with the trend of people in richer counties having fewer and fewer children as wealth grows. In most cases, I don't think that phony "reproductive immortality" would hold a candle to the real "immortality" of living young, healthy and strong for hundreds of years or more. But that is just me. The few comments Scott and I have exchanged on the subject, would suggest he is in your camp. Anyway to the extent that EFT has a opinion on the subject, it is that though some "early adopters" might reproduce at the levels found in today's US and Canada, second-generation types would be less inclined to permit children to interfere with their fun. YMMV

J Thomas on May 01, 2011, 03:24:17 pm
Relating this to Ceres, I think that even absent a very long life span, people would be more willing to have children. They seem to be a happy, optimistic group, proud of their culture and seeing a boundless future of opportunity.

My opinion is that they would have fewer children. This is in line with the trend of people in richer counties having fewer and fewer children as wealth grows. In most cases, I don't think that phony "reproductive immortality" would hold a candle to the real "immortality" of living young, healthy and strong for hundreds of years or more. But that is just me. The few comments Scott and I have exchanged on the subject, would suggest he is in your camp. Anyway to the extent that EFT has a opinion on the subject, it is that though some "early adopters" might reproduce at the levels found in today's US and Canada, second-generation types would be less inclined to permit children to interfere with their fun. YMMV

You refuse to predict about abortion, but you hold an opinion on this topic -- and you do YMMV, you don't insist too hard.

I tend to think there is something wrong with our "industrial" "post-industrial" etc societies. I feel like societies which fail to maintain themselves have some sort of fundamental flaw. But when I look at the assumptions that lead me to that conclusion I'm not as sure as I am when I just feel it in my gut.

Anyway, if you have a society where most people live for hundreds of years, a very low birthrate can maintain their numbers. Get some big accident etc where a whole lot of them die and maybe people will have a big surge in births to replace them -- and if they can't then they have some problems.

If there are lots of opportunities in the Belt then it might turn out that the population expands fast until those opportunities don't look so big any more.

I dunno. We might not understand yet why the US upper-middle-class and above have such a low birthrate. It might not apply to future societies, or maybe it will.

I think I completely agree with your final conclusion here. YMMV.

sam on May 01, 2011, 04:00:56 pm
In 1895, age of consent in Delaware was seven.  In 1901, age of consent in the US was generally around ten.  In Australia, in 1970, fourteen for girls of good character, twelve for girls of poor character. 

Your post suggested that living members of this Forum could have had sex with a 14-year old. Now, I am old, but not that old.

This forum is international.  Some doubtless live, or lived, in Australia or other western countries, where the age of consent laws were, and to some extent still are, less extreme than America.

More to the point, though. I do not believe your numbers. Citations please, specifically for 1895 Delaware and 1901 United States ages of consent.

  Wikipedia says:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_consent
Quote
In the United States, by the 1880s, most states set the age of consent at ten or twelve, and in one state, Delaware, the age of consent was only seven. A New York Times article states that it was still aged seven in Delaware in 1895. [4] Women reformers and advocates of social purity initiated a campaign in 1885 to petition legislators to raise the legal age of consent to at least sixteen

quadibloc on May 01, 2011, 04:18:37 pm
I seem to perceive the reverse - that one or two popular guys screw all the girls.
That's what happens later.

In adolescence, only a portion of young women, due to the good fortune or misfortune of lax parental supervision, escape social norms enough to be sexually active at unreasonably young ages. They don't screw all the guys, as in my oversimplified example, but they do take on more than their share of the guys who are halfway popular.

After high school, most men get married. Some of those men fool around too, and some of their wives are unfaithful. And some of the unmarried men as well as some of the married ones manage to be popular enough to be involved with a lot of women.

Both sexes have variability in their sexual behavior. Because of the time it takes for a woman to bear a baby, male variability has had the potential to be more genetically rewarding.

sam on May 01, 2011, 04:39:47 pm
Rather than emphasis on the hardware - the genes which encode for traits physical and instinctual - it's more sensible to focus our attention on the software, the ways we human beings "program" our conduct in order to overcome adversity and exploit opportunity. 

This explains our courtship rituals and "arrangements for living" a whole bunch more effectively than do pheromones and "bad boy" posturing and the scent of Old Spice.  I don't deny the limbic system's role, but the telencephalon has to be given it's due.  We're a sapient - not just sentient - species. 

I would not know that by looking at our sexual activities.

Indeed, as I have argued elsewhere, the patriarchal program, with its emphasis on formal consent before witnesses and enforcement of contract, is intended to bring our mating and reproductive practices out of the ape era into the human era - and doing so requires a great deal of coercion.  We don't naturally and normally engage in sex in the manner that a species that has long been sapient should, hence the saying "all is fair in love and war"

The cost of child-rearing is high.  In polities where levels of technological sophistication are much above that of subsistence agriculture, it's definitely a negative-sum game for parents and other caregivers, so why do we do it?

As it says in the Epic of Gilgamesh:  Immortality.  Just as our genes impel us to stay away from the edge of high cliffs and the impel us to avoid activities likely to lead to death, they impel us to engage in activities that in the ancestral environment would unintentionally result in offspring, and they impel us to intentionally have offspring.

And there wouldn't be that much reliable tendency for people to make that investment in children who don't carry their genes, which a whole bunch of us have done since before the beginning of recorded history, not only through adoption but by way of charitable and educational and recreational activities undertaken in support of other, unrelated, people's kids.

We adopt pets too, but we are only playing at it.  When a pet gets ill, we have it put to sleep.  No one puts their natural children to sleep.  The "accidental" death rate among step children is notorious.  We are no less keen, and no more keen, on other people's children than on kittens.

SandySandfort on May 01, 2011, 05:10:51 pm
Wikipedia says:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_consent
Quote
In the United States, by the 1880s, most states set the age of consent at ten or twelve, and in one state, Delaware, the age of consent was only seven. A New York Times article states that it was still aged seven in Delaware in 1895. [4] Women reformers and advocates of social purity initiated a campaign in 1885 to petition legislators to raise the legal age of consent to at least sixteen

For a moment there, I thought I was going to have to eat crow. However, on careful reading of the "History and social attitudes" section, beginning with the paragraph "The American colonies followed the English tradition..." it is clear that the "age of consent" referenced was clearly about marriage, not sex outside of marriage. So wrong on the topic under discussion.

But wait; it gets better. The sole source of the nonsense was from an article in the New York Times, a consistently unreliable source. These are the folks who told us rockets would not work in a vacuum and that Stalin was a nice guy.

But it gets better still. They NYT article only quotes the opening speaker at the "Purity Conference" one Aaron Macy Powell. (THE Aaron Macy Powell? I guess so. Never heard of him myself.) He is quoted as saying he is a "reformer." Wow, I know I'm impressed now. Even he claimed that only four states had an "age of consent" of ten years, not most states as alleged. The sole source of this nonsense can be read in the original article, here:

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9B01EEDC113AE533A25756C1A9669D94649ED7CF

So Sam, is that all you got?

sam on May 01, 2011, 05:45:37 pm
For a moment there, I thought I was going to have to eat crow. However, on careful reading of the "History and social attitudes" section, beginning with the paragraph "The American colonies followed the English tradition..." it is clear that the "age of consent" referenced was clearly about marriage, not sex outside of marriage. So wrong on the topic under discussion.

http://books.google.com/books?id=LFoEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA165
"The Crisis" published 1916
Quote
In Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida, a child of ten years may consent to her own ruin

You think she was talking about age of consent to marriage?

So Sam, is that all you got?

The fact that you ask for citations demonstrates a striking ignorance about our recent past.  Present day culture is a rather recent aberration from historical norms.  Weirdness was on the horizon around 1890.  Things started getting strikingly weird by historical standards around 1910, and have become ever stranger since.

Human nature does has not changed.  We still find the heroes of old books heroic, even though they routinely do stuff that we theoretically find abhorrent, but we have a state sponsored effort to remake human nature, which effort has proclaimed itself successful, and rewritten the past.  I would expect that in anarchic society, we would swiftly revert to historical norms.

SandySandfort on May 01, 2011, 06:07:43 pm
http://books.google.com/books?id=LFoEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA165
"The Crisis" published 1916
Quote
In Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida, a child of ten years may consent to her own ruin

You think she was talking about age of consent to marriage?

I have no idea what "she" (I could not find an author to the editorial) was talking about. People say a lot of things. Again, you have no original sources. Just the word of some unnamed editorial writer in an obscure social activism magazine. You are not dazzling me. In fact, I smell desperation as you grab at even the most tenuous straws.

Look, I want to help you here. Original documents such as state laws are available on line. Show me the law that says it's okay to screw a 12-year old (absent marriage) and I will concede, but you haven't come even close with your citations. For all I know, you will find such a law, the world is strange. If so, I will be happy to say, "Ya got me!" (to the degree that you have gotten me, of course).

So Sam, is that all you got?

The fact that you ask for citations demonstrates a striking ignorance about our recent past...

Not only that, asking for actual evidence from people without it is rude.  ;D

Anyway, ignorant lawyer, writer, actor, teacher and entrepreneur that I am, I still want to see the evidence. The rest of your post was off-topic theatrics and pontification.

quadibloc on May 01, 2011, 06:52:18 pm
I tend to think there is something wrong with our "industrial" "post-industrial" etc societies. I feel like societies which fail to maintain themselves have some sort of fundamental flaw. But when I look at the assumptions that lead me to that conclusion I'm not as sure as I am when I just feel it in my gut.
I think that I know what the cause of our current low birthrate is.

Back in the early 1960s, before the victory of many modern attitudes, but still when they had obtained widespread acceptance by much of society, population growth was taking place at a rate of 2% per annum. If people then weren't that different from people now, it would seem to be the case that there isn't "something wrong" with us in a cultural sense. We still want to have children.

What took place since the 1960s was an economic downturn. So young people graduating from high school or college have had to take whatever jobs they could get - instead of starting steady careers. Women have been seeking, and getting, employment in their own right in much greater numbers than before.

So, instead of having a society of men with well-paying steady jobs, with stay-at-home wives who have all day to look after their children... we have couples where both spouses are working, the woman's job still doesn't pay quite as well, and because of her past training, she still gets stuck with more than her share of housework (hey, just like we used to make fun of Russia about...) - for the family to spend money on day care, and for a child to increase the need for housework is just too much to put up with.

What's wrong with our society isn't something wrong with us personally, it's something wrong with our circumstances. Give the men jobs that pay enough so they can afford a house in the suburbs while their wives stay home, and they'll be making babies just fine.

Competent socialists, who happen to be currently in pursuit of cannon fodder, have known what to do before, and would be able to do it again. It would be nice if we could get feel-good economics for less sinister purposes.

J Thomas on May 01, 2011, 08:40:01 pm

What's wrong with our society isn't something wrong with us personally, it's something wrong with our circumstances. Give the men jobs that pay enough so they can afford a house in the suburbs while their wives stay home, and they'll be making babies just fine.

That makes very good sense to me and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if you're right.

When I say I don't know I mean that, while your explanation makes perfect sense, there could easily be something else which is a more important cause.

I've known lower-class families who go right on having children. They accept that they just aren't going to have much money, and they spend what they have carefully. The approach that looked to me like it worked best, the man came home and gave his whole paycheck to his wife, who handled the finances. She would give him X dollars each weekend to go out and drink or something. Enough for a couple of drinks. They could raise 4 or 5 children that way, on one paycheck which wasn't all that big. Save money for the bad times when he was out of work.

And I've know people who made 20 times as much money with 2 paychecks, who felt like they could barely afford 1 child.

I don't know what's really going on, and I can't point my finger at why I feel like it's a bad thing. Your explanation makes perfect sense and I don't know why I'm not convinced that's all there is to it.

Aardvark on May 01, 2011, 08:52:41 pm
Quote
Sandy: For a moment there, I thought I was going to have to eat crow. However, on careful reading of the "History and social attitudes" section, beginning with the paragraph "The American colonies followed the English tradition..." it is clear that the "age of consent" referenced was clearly about marriage, not sex outside of marriage. So wrong on the topic under discussion.

Did you look at the top of the wiki article where they defined what they mean by "age of consent"?

"While the phrase age of consent typically does not appear in legal statutes,[1] when used in relation to sexual activity, the age of consent is the minimum age at which a person is considered to be legally competent of consenting to sexual acts. The European Union calls it the legal age for sexual activities. It should not be confused with the age of majority, age of criminal responsibility, the marriageable age, the age at which one can purchase and consume alcoholic beverages, or drive a car, or other purposes."

Clearly, the wiki was not speaking about marriage, it was speaking of the age of sexual consent. Regardless, even if it defined "age of consent" as the legal marriageable age of the day, I don't think it matters.

On Ceres and in the Belt, if girls of ten and twelve are considered to be full citizens, old enough to carry a gun, surely it follows that they have the right to decide when and with whom to have sex.  

SandySandfort on May 01, 2011, 10:37:22 pm
Quote
Sandy: For a moment there, I thought I was going to have to eat crow. However, on careful reading of the "History and social attitudes" section, beginning with the paragraph "The American colonies followed the English tradition..." it is clear that the "age of consent" referenced was clearly about marriage, not sex outside of marriage. So wrong on the topic under discussion.

Did you look at the top of the wiki article where they defined what they mean by "age of consent"?

Yes, of course. However the article clearly discusses different uses of the phrase. All of the examples given in the section I referenced had to do with marriage. In any case, your underlying "evidence" turns out to be a source without any reference to primary sources. You still have not addressed this weak point in your evidence. How about giving it a go?

On Ceres and in the Belt, if girls of ten and twelve are considered to be full citizens, old enough to carry a gun, surely it follows that they have the right to decide when and with whom to have sex.  

Stop! Please stop saying stupid words such as "citizen." Clearly, you do not understand how silly that is in the context of a market anarchy. Man, you guys just cannot think outside the collectivist box, can you? As to when girls can decide to have sex, it is you, not I, who keeps yammering about an "age of consent." What is your point?

quadibloc on May 01, 2011, 10:37:31 pm
I don't know what's really going on, and I can't point my finger at why I feel like it's a bad thing. Your explanation makes perfect sense and I don't know why I'm not convinced that's all there is to it.
Actually, I'm sure that you're right, and it isn't all there is to it. The decline of traditional family values and of church attendance, and so on, also does have some influence - I'm not really out to deny that. My position is, instead, that while these factors are influential, they wouldn't be enough to account for negative population growth, and so, even given a modernistic secular society, if prosperity is at levels sufficient to bring social contentment, population growth would be a problem.

If, on the other hand, prosperity can't be achieved, and population growth is needed, then one would need a religious revival and so on.

sam on May 01, 2011, 11:06:43 pm
http://books.google.com/books?id=LFoEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA165
"The Crisis" published 1916
Quote
In Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida, a child of ten years may consent to her own ruin

You think she was talking about age of consent to marriage?

I have no idea what "she" (I could not find an author to the editorial) was talking about. People say a lot of things. Again, you have no original sources.

She lived in 1916, was writing at in 1916, therefore is an original source for the age of consent at that time (ten in some states)

Plus,I am an original source.  I recollect my own youth and sexual activities.  Most of the world outside the US had fairly young age of consent until quite recently.  

Recollect the Polanski case.  He raped a thirteen year old, was plea bargained down from actual rape to statutory rape, fled the US, and hey, no problem in most of the rest of the world because thirteen year olds OK.

In fact, the recent remarkable uniformity of age of consent laws world wide is in large part US pressure.  The rest of the world is humoring the US by pretending to have high ages for consent which are very seldom enforced

Look, I want to help you here. Original documents such as state laws are available on line. Show me the law that says it's okay to screw a 12-year old (absent marriage)

There can never be a law that says something is OK.  You need to produce an old law that says it is illegal.  I don't have to produce a law that says something that everyone used to do and no one made a fuss about is legal.  The absence of such laws, and the absence of such enforcement, leads to an absence of records.

Statutory rape is the nineteenth century equivalent of date rape.  No one had heard of date rape until around 1965 or so.  And similarly no one had heard of statutory rape until feminists started making a song and dance about it in the period 1895-1916.

and I will concede

No you will not concede - no records can possibly exist that meet your standards.  You want a law legalizing sex with twelve year olds - but obviously no such law can exist until it is first illegal.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2011, 11:13:10 pm by sam »