CSA dilemma argument
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 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 this has no empirical validity. 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 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 - regardless of psychological adjustment (the same as adult women, to be fair).
- 2. Absence of simple consent (not informed consent - an arbitrary legal category) accounts for by far the bulk of negative *psychological adjustment* outcome - something like 8:1. Girls are more commonly subjected to force, but this does not account for all the difference in adjustment. In other words, girls' recall is highly indicative of post-event misogynistic conditioning, resulting in the slightly higher levels of iatrogenic harm.
- 3. So your dilemma is, effectively - do you:
- 3a. Endorse the present, overly-inclusive definition of CSA, which after including simple consent, becomes **empirically invalid**, as it can not be proven to be inherently traumatogenic. Or...
- 3b. Endorse a new, carefully crafted definition in which force/coercion forms the basis for determining abuse. Unlike the above one, this definition predicts the 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 exclude actual (harmful) CSA from the cohort just as well as with the previous law. You likely reduce the stigma and iatrogenic 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.