CSA dilemma argument

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You can use a basic CSA dilemma strategy to shut down an adult-minor/child sex debate on the basis of informed vs simple consent and concept validity. We republish this in the form of a templated argument, but you should modify the text slightly for originality. Link a research list - primarily outcomes or the Web Archive compo of all 4 articles on CSA outcomes and harm causation. This, particularly Rind et al, is your evidence referred to in the following argument - used to contest your opponent's idea that sex between adults and minors is intrinsically or at least generally very harmful, therefore immoral. Often your opponent will use clinical/legal type sampling in their sources - but these are far too unrepresentative. This type of selective sampling could be used to classify all sex between two adults or two people of different races as harmful if the researcher only solicited input from assault survivors or therapy referrals. Point that out (to show that you are a step ahead of them) and then cut to the dilemma:

As I see it, your argument brings up the following dilemma:

1. As my sources show, boys' later *subjective* recall of minor-adult sex is overwhelmingly positive or neutral. Girls' recall is more often negative, i.e. they are more likely to feel they have been abused (by the way, women also react just as negatively if they were initiated as adults! See Kinsey, for example).

2. With respect to the more important measure of negative psychological adjustment, as my sources have shown, "CSA's" relationship with this, fades to statistical insignificance once we eliminate confounds. Moreover, the absence of simple consent (i.e. yes please/no, stop, not informed consent, which is an arbitrary legal category) accounts for the a large amount of whatever negative psychological adjustment remains. Measures such as poor family environment are significantly more powerful predictors of harm than CSA, by a factor of around 9:1 according to Rind. This strongly suggests that any association between willing sex and poor psychological adjustment is not only statistically insignificant, but likely to be due to further, unaccounted for confounding variables. As for forceful interactions that lack simple consent, girls in particular are more commonly victims of this - but rather interestingly, this does not account for all of their reduced psychological adjustment when compared to boys. In other words, girls' substantially more negative subjective recall and marginally poorer psychological adjustment is highly indicative of misogynistic societal conditioning, resulting in slightly higher levels of iatrogenic/secondary harm.

3. So given what we now know about CSA statistics, your dilemma is - do you:

3a. Endorse the present, overly-inclusive definition of CSA, which after including cases where simple consent was present, becomes **empirically invalid**, as it can not be said to reliably predict trauma. Or...

3b. Endorse a new, carefully crafted definition in which force/coercion (lack of simple consent) forms the basis for determining abuse. Unlike 3a, this definition predicts some negative adjustment outcomes.

4. From my perspective, 3b. is the preferred option - and should be met with a change in the law in which youth aged 12 and up can pre-declare by opting in to an emancipation program, provided they meet basic competencies.

5. In this sense, with existing laws against sexual assault, you will still criminalize true (harmful) CSA at least as efficiently - in fact, probably with more specificity. You likely also reduce the stigma and iatrogenic/secondary effects by a process of legalization and improved, rights-based education. What I have presented is essentially a moral dilemma of objective evidence based policy versus your personal "ick factor". As they say, you instinctively know that getting bitten by a dog is bad touch, but to feel shame and trauma after a voluntary "sex act" takes a lot of social conditioning.

By leaving your opponent with this dilemma, you are essentially covering the same philosophical ground as Rind et al in 1998, but extending it towards a broader policy outlook.