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, you have the following dilemma:
- 1. As the sources I have provided have shown, even when we include coercion in the sample, boys' later recall of adult-child sex is overwhelmingly positive or neutral. Girls' recall is overwhelmingly negative, i.e. they feel they have been abused.
- 2. Absence of simple consent (not informed consent - an arbitrary legal category) accounts for by far the bulk of negative adjustment outcome - something like 8:1. At the same time, while girls are more commonly subjected to force, this does not account for all of the difference in outcome. In other words, their recall is highly indicative of post-event misogynistic conditioning, resulting in the slightly higher levels of iatrogenic harm (when measured as later adjustment, this is typically far less extreme than their subjective recall suggests).
- 3. So your dilemma is effectively - do you:
- 3a. Endorse an overly-inclusive definition of CSA, which by including simple consent cases, becomes **empirically invalid**, as it can not be proven to be inherently traumatogenic. Or...
- 3b. Endorse a carefully crafted definition, in which force or coercion forms the basis for determining abuse.
- 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 predeclare their simple consent by opting in to an emancipation program with no assessment of capability other than an exclusion of severe mental incapacity.
- 5. In this sense, with existing laws against sexual assault, you exclude actual CSA from the cohort just as well as with the previous law, and likely reduce the stigma and iatrogenic effects by process of legalisation and education. It is essentially a moral dilemma of objective evidence based policy vs your "ick factor". As they say, you instinctively know that getting bitten by a dog is bad touch, but when it comes to a 12 year old boy getting a blowjob from his teacher, for some reason he needs to be indoctrinated by society for that to happen."
By leaving your opponent with this dilemma, you are essentially covering the same philosophical ground as Rind et al in 1998, but integrating it into your broader policy outlook.