Originally Posted by Quath
As an easy example, how do I feel about underaged sex? My first reaction is say it is wrong because they need an adult mentality to deal with it well. But I remember being young and wanting sex... Am I being unfair because I know it doesn't relate to me anymore? So one thing I do is see where the taboo lines are and why.
I've always understood that adolescence involves a lot of practice for being an adult. Teens put on personas to try them on for size. They try different types of activities to find those that fit. They experiment with life--and sex is part of that. I fear a lack of development if an adolescent isn't interested in sex.
Sexual activity ranges from snogging to petting to masturbation to oral sex to penetration and all variations thereof. I expect teens to experiment with all of that at some point as preparation for being an adult. I really don't care with whom they experiment, as long as it is consensual and nobody's trying to take advantage of somebody else's inexperience and naivete. I also don't worry if they get disappointed or heartbroken in the process--welcome to the human experience!
Pedophilia involves children who are simply physically not ready for sex at all, let alone being of an age to where they're practicing for adulthood, so that one I think is firm. Incest can lead to severe inbreeding and birth defects, so that's always a concern; it can also interrupt the regular functioning of a family, so I think it still something to be very wary of. I suspect many of the other sexual taboos we have arise from the ease with which things can go horribly wrong--preying on somebody's innocence for an unhealthy relationship.
So, while I think some of our taboos--adolescent sex, for instance (which is a fairly recent taboo, actually)--aren't necessarily warranted, some others appear to be highly useful.
Yeah, I know, this had squat to do with poly. It was just something that kept banging on the door to get out of my head as part of the discussion. We now return you to posts that might actually discuss sexual ethics as relating to polyamory....