Debate Guide: Cognitive ability
- "Children/Minors have not yet reached an adequate level of cognitive development to engage in sexual activity. They cannot consent because of this."
This argument relies on the assumption that sexual intimacy is really something so complicated and hard to master that it requires maximal cognitive ability. It is actually a rather basic human pleasure, that requires only a little taboo-free education. After that, sexual touching can be virtually risk-free. Of course, this argument of mine relies partly on the deprogramming of sexual taboos and unnecessary infantilisation/oppression of young people and children. This is something your nativist argument fails to identify or consider.
It is also ageist to describe the cognitive abilities of children as inferior. Why not an alternative conception of a young person's abilities as best adapted to their age, needs and level of knowledge? Remember that IQ tests were set by western adults and tended to classify the learnings and innate abilities of successful western older people as superior, whilst neglecting other virtues.
Using your logic, one would also have to question why geriatrics, people with low IQs and the mentally ill should not be barred from sexual pleasures. Indeed, extending the cognitive argument yet further, age of consent laws would themselves be called into question. Considering that it is the "cognitive ability" of partners that matters - not the age, why legislate in such an arbitrary and potentially damaging way?
- Against: Power disparity - A similar argument, based on differences within a relationship.