Friday, October 19, 2007

More than 1/3 of libs approve of sex among 14 year olds: The General Social Survey asked 16, 973 Americans about their political orientation and how they felt about 14-16 year olds having sex. Below you'll see the percentage who said it's not wrong or only sometimes wrong:


Percent who think sex among 14-16 year olds is not wrong

Extremely liberal 34.9
Liberal 22.4
Slightly liberal 15.6
Moderate 12.2
Slightly conservative 11.0
Conservative 6.5
Extremely conservative 7.7

What is wrong with you libs? Either you're total relativists--"bestiality isn't wrong if no one gets hurt"--or you make yourselves stupid by dropping all context: "well, nature has made these two 14 year olds capable of sex, and they do it in Timbuktu, so who are you to deny them their human rights?" The belief that every consensual act done by anyone at any time is peachy is dogmatic and is short on common sense.

16 comments:

Jewish Atheist said...

Define "wrong." Is it evil or immoral, if both parties are consenting? No. Might it be harmful for some subset of that age group, potentially a large subgroup? Yes. Are some people in that age range ready? Absolutely.

Jason said...

Now why would a data-driven blog have to appeal to common sense? Facts often defies common sense expectations.

I think it would be more interesting to discuss what people actually do. As in, at what age people of various political bents lost their virginity. Of course, political affiliation changes with age, so it might be necessary to include the current age as some sort of factor.

Jason Malloy said...

"well, nature has made these two 14 year olds capable of sex, and they do it in Timbuktu, so who are you to deny them their human rights?"

Timbuktu? 15-16 is the average age people lose their virginity in America and most developed countries. (later in East Asia)

Most of the people who are saying it is not wrong then, it could be inferred, are simply generalizing from their own perceived experience that no harm resulted. And perhaps people who had bad experiences or started having sex later are the ones saying it's bad.

If so, political opinions, per se, may have little to do with it. People who are more genetically liberal might've just had sex at earlier ages because they were born with more of the personality trait "openness to experience".

Ron Guhname said...

From the first trustworthy website I found: "The median age at first intercourse** for women aged 20-24 ranges from 17.1 to 17.5 in Canada, Great Britain, Sweden and the United States, but is slightly higher (18.0) in France."

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3324401.html

Jason Malloy said...

Women tend to report slightly later first intercourse than men. Averaged together, 16-17 seems like the most common age for developed countries.



US:

"By 1979, the average age of first intercourse for women was 16.2; for males, it was 15.7. Blacks of both genders tended to experience sexarche at slightly younger ages than whites...

A later study of college students found that the average age was 16.5 (Sprecher, Barbee, & Schwartz 1995). It should be noted, however, that persons who attend college may well be more likely to postpone sexual activity."

http://kinseyinstitute.org/ccies/us.php


Norway:

"The median age of first intercourse is between 17 and 18 years for people below the age of 30. "

http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/ccies/no.php


Australia:

"The mean age of first intercourse is about 16 years"

http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/ccies/au.php


U.K.:

"The median age at first intercourse for... for those under 20 [is] 17"

http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/ccies/uk.php

tommy said...

jason malloy,

If so, political opinions, per se, may have little to do with it. People who are more genetically liberal might've just had sex at earlier ages because they were born with more of the personality trait "openness to experience".

Or "openness to making really stupid life decisions that the rest of society might have to help pay for."

jewish atheist,

Define "wrong." Is it evil or immoral, if both parties are consenting? No. Might it be harmful for some subset of that age group, potentially a large subgroup? Yes. Are some people in that age range ready? Absolutely.

I'm glad that liberals are carefully separating those two categories of (possibly serious) "harmfulness" from "immorality" now when it comes to behavior among immature minors. They wouldn't want to confuse kids about the difference between harming themselves and those around them and immorality after all. "Cocaine use is wrong? It's completely consensual! Define 'wrong' mom?" And to think, some people believe atheists like you and I are a threat to basic morality and decency. Where could they have ever gotten such an idea?

tommy said...

Are some people in that age range ready? Absolutely.

Ready for what? Children? Have we completely forgotten almost inevitable consequence of sex for 99% of recorded human history and 100% of unrecorded human history? Sex among fourteen year olds is perfectly appropriate for dirt farmers in Afghanistan. It isn't appropriate for people living in a First World country or for any country that aspires to join the First World.

MensaRefugee said...

Its perfectly fine to have sex at even 12 if youve hit already hit your cognitive peak and are ready for the real world.

Therein lies the rub - the school system delays development, and some people (aka dumb people) hit that glass ceiling way too early - and dysgenesis is the result.

tommy said...

Its perfectly fine to have sex at even 12 if youve hit already hit your cognitive peak and are ready for the real world.

I would guess that the percentage of 12-year-olds who are "ready for the real world" is close to zero.

MensaRefugee said...

By ready for the real world...I meant you wont get any more ready regardless. Ergo rationally for eg in Africa with an average IQ of 70, 12 year olds could have sex.

Generally it wouldnt apply to the West.

tommy said...

Generally it wouldnt apply to the West.

OK. Gotcha.

agnostic said...

You could do another GSS survey, but those 1/3 of libs would freak out about their 14 y.o. kids having sex. It's like your college-age kid telling you that he's going to major in English or Philosophy. Very harmful for his prospects in life, and simply irresponsible. But most aren't going to consider that inherently wrong.

That's a distinction everyone makes: inherently wrong and should be proscribed by laws vs. more of a vice or sin that should be curbed by shunning and ostracizing.

It's not ridiculous to hold that sex among 14 y.o.s is a vice or sin rather than a grave wrong.

agnostic said...

Sorry, I shouldn't have used the passive voice. Obviously legislators will enact laws against crimes. But who will shun or ostracize 14 y.o. girls who are having sex? Other 14 y.o. girls. Females are the primary agents of restraining female sexuality:

This review is a good read.

Conservatives complain that large urban areas prevent the ability of communities to enforce ostracism and shunning of bad behavior. But luckily, teenagers face the exact same small community, day in and day out, for the entirety of their adolescence: their peers at school.

tggp said...

I gave a bit of discussion to Saletan's suggestion that the age of consent be lowered at this post on my blog.

Anonymous said...

agnostic,

Baumeister's article seems to me to miss one important point. In a situation where one party has what another party wants, and over time it is predictable that this case will arise (ie, XY individuals will want what XX individuals have) evolution will ensure that XX individuals will have the neural circuitry to know that without having to learn that.

Do female spiders oppress male spiders so much that some species will go to their deaths to get sex?

Anonymous said...

Baumeister has more on a related topic at: Sexual Economics: Sex as Female Resource for Social Exchange in Heterosexual Interactions