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sociogenic and iatrogenic harm

Posted by Baldur on Sunday, June 13 2021 at 00:45:05AM
In reply to Destigmatization of So-Called Victims posted by madpenguin on Friday, June 11 2021 at 7:26:53PM

Yes, we have spoken frequently in the past about how most of the harm done to children related to sexuality is either sociogenic or iatrogenic - which is to say, caused by society or by doctors/therapists, respectively.

That's one reason why we sometimes spell "therapists" as "the_rapists".

Look up the Placebo Effect, and the related Nocebo Effect. If you understand these, you'll understand how this works.

However, age of consent laws are something else. People forget that before the sexual revolution there were laws - that were enforced - against fornication, which is to say laws that outlawed sex outside of the confines of marriage, i.e., extra-marital sex.

Originally those age of consent laws were designed to protect children from prosecution. That is why it was the conservative U.S. states that had a low age of consent almost universally in the 1950s, with some vestiges as late as the early 2000s - because they felt that a 7, 10, or 12 year old (depending on the jurisdiction) was old enough to be held legally responsible for their sexual behavior - so long as that meant punishment.

But in the 1880s there was a moral panic in England - you can look it up as the White Slavery moral panic. The thing is, there were lots of prostitutes in London, and many of them were young. The middle class wives of the men who were hiring those prostitutes did not like the fact that their husbands were spending their money on prostitutes. So they decided that they would pretend to be concerned for the prostitutes in order to launch a campaign against "white slavery", on the forced presumption that these young women must have been forced into slavery because no young woman would willingly turn to prostitution. The recent "sex trafficking" moral panic is almost a carbon copy - with most of the enforcement targeting prostitutes.

But in the 1880s they decided that the first thing to do was to change the purpose of the age of consent laws, so that instead of protecting children from prosecution these laws were now supposed to protect children from men who might have sex with them. And so to reduce prostitution in London they raised the age of consent ... to 12. What does that tell you?

About a decade later they raised the age of consent again, to 16.

Ironically, as this has all played out the age of consent laws that were originally enacted to protect children from prosecution ... are now used in many cases to prosecute children for actions that would not even be crimes if they were adults. These laws have been turned on their head.

And we're the "bad guys" because we recognize the absurdity of it all.

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