Author Topic: Sex, age, and morality.  (Read 430 times)

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Offline Skeptress

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Sex, age, and morality.
« on: March 14, 2017, 03:44:36 PM »
Is there an age span for legal age consenting sexual partners that is or should be considered immoral? For example, a 21 year old meets a 50 year old. They have sex. Is this immoral? What about an 18 year old and a 50 year old?  If your country allows for a 16 year old to be of legal consent age what about them and a 50 year old? Take all those situations and add an additional 25 years to the older person's age.

I'm not terribly interested in the gender of the individuals as there are of course a large number of combinations that can be looked at, only the ages. I also have zero interest in discussing sex with individuals that can not be considered to give legal consent whether or not a person believes them to be mature enough to consent because that is rape not sex.

Do you have a personal age line that you find disgusting personally whether or not you find it immoral? Is it a firm x number of years difference between partners or does it fluctuate with the age of the youngest person?

Obviously many religions are perfectly ok with very old men marrying and having sex with very young women, but it happens the other way as well. 
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Online Ah.hell

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 03:54:47 PM »
Quite a few US States have sliding scales along the lines of +/- 2 years after 16 or 14 than whatever after 18.

There's a sorta of jokey rule that's something like Older <= 2 x younger - 7 that works kind of well.  Might be a off on the exact formula.

IDK, +/- 2 years up to 18, +/- 3 up to 25 and whatever after that?  Although, a 50 year old with a 25 year old is kind of skeezey and I'd judge them.   

Edit, I've some folks with an almost 20 year difference that seemed ok and folks with a 5 year difference that seemed off. 

Online Drunken Idaho

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2017, 04:21:21 PM »
Beyond both parties being able consent, I think age difference has no bearing on the morality of two people having sex.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 04:31:50 PM by Drunken Idaho »
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Online Mr. Beagle

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2017, 04:26:35 PM »
Beyond both parties being able consent, I think age difference has no bearing on the morality of two people have sex.
Yet I can't help but think that when an old obnoxious, rich guy marries a young immigrant model, there is as much negotiated exchange of services here as mutual relationship.  Just my biases speaking.
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Online Harry Black

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2017, 04:29:21 PM »
Beyond both parties being able consent, I think age difference has no bearing on the morality of two people have sex.
Same.
Assuming no differing power dynamic and that the younger person was not subject to advances/grooming prior to their ability to give legal consent, then I think its all fine.

I think it is possible for a person to engage in unethical sex with a person of legal age though if they believe that person to be not mature or informed enough to engage as an equal in a sexual or romantic relationship.
But thats a very personal judgement call specific to every individual situation and I would not heap shame on someone for it due to the subjectivity.

More a case of- You know if you did something wrong.

Offline lubbarin

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2017, 04:33:37 PM »
I agree that beyond the age of consent, which is a necessary and necessarily arbitrary construct, there are no generalizable moral rules

In other words, it depends on the specific people and the situation- and it's just one of those things people have to decide for themselves.
A boring answer maybe, but that's what it is.
My own biases come in when I see a vast disparity and not much going on aside from convenience or material gain. I don't object to that in itself, but it keys me in that one or both (probably both) of these people have a pretty mercenary attitude about love and relationships, which would make it difficult for me to trust them. But as I said- that's a personal bias.
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Online Johnny Slick

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2017, 04:46:57 PM »
This is a harder answer I think than it looks. Legally I agree that a 21 year old can sex up all the 50 year olds they want and vice versa. I also agree that there is nothing *inherent* in 21 year oldness or 50 year oldness that makes relations between the two immoral. All that being said... in *practice* a 40 or 50 year old person has gone through stuff in life that a 21 year old just plain has not. I don't mean just experiences in general - under that I'd have to think that, like, 35 year olds shouldn't date 40 year olds or whatever, and I don't think that's true at all - but in our culture 21 year old kids (and sorry, but to me most of them are kids, as I was when I was that age) simply have not gone out and experienced what it's like to have, for the lack of a better all-encompassing term, life happen to them. There are, I feel, things that you have to experience - understanding what it's like to need a job to pay your bills and not have one, understanding what paying bills means and the real consequences of not doing so, getting (and maybe even losing) that first job, falling in love with someone and being rejected... if it all adds up to anything, it's... just generally realizing how small a part of the world you are. Okay, I guess there was a term for what I was looking for after all, and that term is "humility". Sure, some people never learn this even in their 50s, and some 21 year olds have faced all of this for, like, 5 years by the time they're old enough to drink. But there is, I feel, a very specific barrier that I think you have to cross over in order to be able to relate that happens a little bit after that age for most people, and if you're not relating with the person you're sexing up or whatever, what is it that you're even doing?

The other issue I see is that stuff like this rarely happens in a vacuum. 40 and 50 year olds, just by dint of the fact that they've been around for longer, often find themselves in positions of power above 21 year olds. While, again, it's not necessarily a *feature* of 21ness or 50ness that makes those power dynamics important to acknowledge, it is *absolutely* immoral, I feel, to disrupt that dynamic by sleeping with a student or new employee who you are the boss of. There's also at some point some level of unequal footing that's going to happen between a lot of people who are older and a lot of people who are younger in terms of relationships because the former have been in more of them but that's hardly a universal thing - you can be inexperienced at 50 too, and just because you're experienced doesn't mean you have good experiences - and I think that's for individuals to figure out. And finally, I *think*, younger people tend to be more malleable of thought than older people, but as a middle aged person who at least tries to not be set in his ways, the fact that a lot of people my age are that way tends to make me, anyway, more attracted to (slightly) younger people, not less so.

I don't think there's a "half your age plus 7" rule that makes sense, honestly. There's just a "am I mature enough for this person, and is this person mature enough for me" question, I think. All the stuff I talked about above are trends, not hard and fast rules.
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Online Harry Black

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2017, 05:14:26 PM »
It may be important to separate the concept of 'sex' from the concept of a 'relationship'.
If a 21 year old goes out to hook up and is going to go home with a stranger and never see them again, does it matter how old that stranger may be?
Age generally does matter, but it matters in different ways to different people. And it goes in both directions.
As a 35 year old, its not ok for me to hook up with someone half my age.
But it may be also problematic for me to hook up with someone twice my age, depending on a myriad of factors.

Online Johnny Slick

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2017, 05:27:35 PM »
It may be important to separate the concept of 'sex' from the concept of a 'relationship'.
If a 21 year old goes out to hook up and is going to go home with a stranger and never see them again, does it matter how old that stranger may be?
Age generally does matter, but it matters in different ways to different people. And it goes in both directions.
As a 35 year old, its not ok for me to hook up with someone half my age.
But it may be also problematic for me to hook up with someone twice my age, depending on a myriad of factors.
Good points, although I do wonder how many places a 35 year old, let alone a 50 year old, is going to find willing, non-strings-attached 21-year-olds. The Internet I guess... maybe I'm just getting too hung up on the relationship aspect of sexual encounters. You're totally right; that stuff doesn't necessarily have to enter into the equation at all if neither party wants it to.
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Online Harry Black

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2017, 06:13:36 PM »
I think both aspects are important to the discussion.
For example- does the person you are going hoke with have an expectation of a relationship from an experience?
Many would say tough shit, but the truth is that if one party suspects it may be the case and doesnt address it, then it becomes less cut and dried from an ethical perspective.
And again, you cant read minds so its all about ones own genuinely held belief.

Of course this isnt age exclusive but I do feel like many younger folks do have a sort of expectation when they hook up with someone.
'Oh Im not looking for a relationship! I just want fun...with only you... and I dont wantyou to have fun with other people...but not a RELATIONSHIP!'

I guess exceptional people and exceptional situations do come along. But then you have to ask yourself just how many exceptions you are meeting?

Online Friendly Angel

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2017, 06:13:39 PM »
I'm disturbed that you all seem to be citing 50 as the age of impossibly ancient, asexual, geezer.
Amend and resubmit.

Online Harry Black

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2017, 06:15:58 PM »
I'm disturbed that you all seem to be citing 50 as the age of impossibly ancient, asexual, geezer.
I dont think we are? We are just considering the differences between someone of that age and a 21 year old and asking if there is some extra responsibility from one party to the other.

Offline 2397

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2017, 07:46:40 PM »
One general minimum age, an age range for those below the minimum age, and case by case, that's about it.

It may be important to separate the concept of 'sex' from the concept of a 'relationship'.

Yeah, I think sex is overrated in this context. There's a lot more room for hurt in relationships than what there is specifically from sex.

At some point you're old enough to consent to sex, and that's it. Or I suppose some people lose their mental faculties with age, and get to a point where they can't consent to it anymore. But a few instances of regretful sex is nothing compared to years spent on a relationship built on lies.

And otherwise older people can be exploited by younger people, as easily as the other way around. The best ideas and new scientific breakthroughs tend to come from people in their 20s, so I don't see why that age group should be seen as particularly vulnerable to older age groups.

Online Harry Black

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2017, 08:11:56 PM »
We seem to be agreeing on people in their 20s.
But in most places, 18 is considered old enough to have sex with other adults.
It is legal. But it feels more icky right?
Again though, I guess there is no reason a person cant be prepared for a sexual encounter. Its the relationship side that I would be quite concerned about.
And AGAIN, I guess there could be exceptions to that general impression.
I think it may be a good thing that society would push me to answer so many questions about myself and my partner and the situation if I were to date an 18 year old.

Online Drunken Idaho

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Re: Sex, age, and morality.
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2017, 09:50:55 PM »
Slick, I think you're right in that there will commonly be power discrepancies in relationships (sexual or other) with disparate ages, but it's still not about the age.

Nothing morally wrong with an 18 year old going home with a 60 year old for sex--but I think you'll often find other ethical issues with such couples.
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