Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Clearer Things

In light of recent events, it becomes clear that people are either unaware or ignoring some facts about sexuality. So, let me share. Being homosexual is not the same as being a pedophile. It is about as similar as liking cars and liking sports. There are people who like cars and like sports, but their like of the two things is not always related (unless of course they are NASCAR fans). There are plenty of heterosexual people who molest children.

Being sexually attracted to teenagers is not the same as being sexually attracted to children or babies. Without getting to deep into the psychology of it all, there are people who feel the desire to molest children who are not interested in teenagers and the reverse is also true. (Where this can get murky is if a person starts their sexual relationship with someone and they grow out of their age range they are sometimes able to continue the attraction by recalling the person as being younger.)

We have set ages of consent for sexual behavior in this country. The reason behind this is that adults (over the age of consent), particularly those in a role of authority over a child, can convince children to engage in behavior. From a legal perspective, we have made the decision that people under this age are not able to make appropriate decisions about such consent, and therefore all behavior is illegal. Is it somewhat arbitrary: yes. Does it vary from state to state: yes.

Another point that seems to get lost, is that while we all agree that under the influence of chemicals - legal and otherwise - we make different decisions than we might make without that influence, in the end we are legally responsible for those decisions. If I run over three people I am responsible for their deaths whether I was drunk or sober, high or straight. The same applies to any decisions I might make about sexual activity. Or about sending dirty emails.