Monday, November 12, 2007

I Smell Some Justification Coming

I've mentioned in the past that some parts of the academic community is in the process of trying to come up with justifications for adults having sex with children, and pointed to the ACLU's efforts to find a "due process liberty interest" for minors having sex with adults--in a case where the minor said No.

I've mentioned in the past
studies that suggest that early sex for girls is very destructive, leading to increased suicide attempts. Now I see this November 11, 2007 Washington Post article:
Researchers at Ohio State University garnered little attention in February when they found that youngsters who lose their virginity earlier than their peers are more likely to become juvenile delinquents. So obvious and well established was the contribution of early sex to later delinquency that the idea was already part of the required curriculum for federal "abstinence only" programs.
There was just one problem: It is probably not true. Other things being equal, a more probing study has found, youngsters who have consensual sex in their early-teen or even preteen years are, if anything, less likely to engage in delinquent behavior later on.
The phrase that ought to scare you witless is: "preteen years."

Now, it is entirely possible that this study is correct that there is no statistically significant correlation between early sex and juvenile delinquency. But I would be very surprised if this "consensual sex in their ... preeteen years" isn't doing considerable damage.

Over at Volokh Conspiracy, the usual commenters (largely lawyers, law professors, and law students) have turned to argue in favor of often and young, such as:
I actually have some personal experience with this one -- I lost my virginity at age 12 (to a 26 year old). Looking back on it 30 years later I don't see that waiting would have hurt me, but neither do I see that not waiting did me any harm, and I'd be surprised if there is any kind of a cause and effect relationship between early loss of virginity and anything.
As bad as the neo-puritans, prudes and government say pre-teen sex, teen sex and child pornography are, the exact opposite is true. They are every bit as GOOD as their detractors are maintaining that they are bad.
Watching the crowd that shows up to comment at Volokh Conspiracy is part of why I am increasingly of the opinion that instead of making law school a requirement to be a judge, it should be a disqualifier. For reasons that I don't entirely understand, it seems like a really unsavory bunch have been going to law school the last few years.

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