Inequality in human relationships refers to a status quo whereby one party is considered in some way superior the other. Whilst this situation is practically unavoidable, relationships in which specific (age, disability) and/or marked inequalities are present have been interpreted as inherently abusive by modern society and its scholars - particularly in the fields of popular thought, victimology and mainstream feminism. With said dogma taken for granted, the emphasis of anti-oppressive social theory moves from a pro-choice position to advocacy for social restrictions; "protecting children and young people from potential harm".
Inequality and power disparity
The central argument put forward against sexual contacts between adults and minors by victimologists such as David Finkelhor is that inequalities between the generations are concrete in nature and often lead to abuse and harm. Critics point out that this argument could be applied to various other forms of unbalanced relationship, yet it is selectively applied against taboos by victimologists. Opponents argue that power disparities need not lead to abusive behaviors. For example, scholars generally accept that homosexuality was often throughout history, expressed in age-structured forms, particularly among the elites.
Advocates of youth rights recommend emancipating minor youth as a means to equipping them with the legal protections, experiences and knowledge required to function safely as social agents. Current taboos, low expectations and legal restrictions are said to contribute to the Infantilization of youth.
- "Youth Rights" - Wikipedia article.