Societies Evolve!

Another nation has joined the Evolution of Reason which currently is eluding a majority of the US population. Spain has become one of two more countries to recognize the humanity of homosexual couples.

The conversation resulting from Wednesday's post on Canada's exemplary new law is full and deep and appreciated. My $.02 on the "choice" issue is simply this:

We have NO choice o'er who attracts us sexually.
We look into his/her eyes and, wham!, we want 'em! We can only choose which attractions we will pursue, and, as I'm sure we've all experienced, we frequently don't even get That choice fulfilled if the attractor doesn't share our interest!

Who attracts us is born and bred into our bodies and denying it is, at best, less than helpful. Our tastes certainly change over time thanks to our experiences, but that just means, for example, that we have different specifics of what attracts us: personality becomes more important than physique; blonde hair is more appealing than black; wealth means more than sense of humor (or vice-a-versa!). But if men still smell better to one than women do, why would that one choose physical intimacy with women over men? Because Society approves??? THAT is simply disgusting!

If an adult chooses to pursue their attraction to another adult of the opposite sex, "Society" smiles and approves; unless of course, that society has a caste system in place and the two are of different castes. Then the society has a problem because it has some interest in keeping the agreed upon order of things status quo. I'm not ever going to say that such is a fundamentally bad situation. It is an integral part of our evolution as Social critters. Like our innate sexual attractions, it has value and a point; a reason; an end. But unlike sexual attraction (or blue eyes or freckles or the shape of one's skull) those standards are variables which can be adjusted through rational analysis of the society's needs. They require reason, conversation and compromise.

As so frequently happens when homosexuality is discussed between supporters and detractors, the incest and pedophilia flag was waved, sheesh! Both of those conditions involve one person using another who has limited or no ability to refuse their being used. It is irrelevant whether a child "seems" to enjoy or to "desire" the sexual attention of an adult. Adults have a responsibility to let children mature physically before such choices become necessary! Adult sexuality, whether same sex or opposite, is a mutually agreed upon endeavor.

Research strongly suggests that pedophiles can not help their attraction, but, like any person, they absolutely CAN avoid acting upon it. Any adult can practice abstinence. I'm not even going to call it a disease but it’s definitely an unfortunate condition (a condition which research suggests is as unavoidable as heterosexuality!) whose expression causes harm and psychological damage. It seems inevitable that Medical Science will find a way for people to physically change their orientation. We can already change our gender. But our orientation remains because it is determined in our brains more so than in our gonads.

I hope this medical technique is developed soon. I know how important my own sexuality is to me and I would hate to find myself in the position where the only way I could express and satisfy it would actually cause harm to anyone. When (when!) Med Sci figures out how to change such in the brain, homosexuals can become hetero if they can't stand society's mores. Heterosexuals can become homo for whatever reason. Pedo's can become people who don't need to abuse and misuse innocents in order to be sexually complete!

I see the changes made in Societies over time by viewing History through many different filters. The US Constitution states in the preamble that:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Article 6 assures us that:
no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
This is not limited to either men or women. It is not based upon one's sexual orientation which, at the time of its writing, was not understood to be biologically determined. It applies to All People. The ultimate goal of societies is the same as for any individual species. It is survival. Canada’s move towards the recognition of one segment of its society as Equal to the others is going to make it a stronger, better adapted society. This is an embrace of one of its integral components and it will allow that society to focus its energy on debilitating problems elsewhere.

Comments

  1. Very well said, Michael.

    It seems inevitable that Medical Science will find a way for people to physically change their orientation. We can already change our gender. But our orientation remains because it is determined in our brains more so than in our gonads.

    Maybe, but I think this would require extensive rewiring of certain sections of the brain and isn't likely to become common.

    I think the only way to stop pedophilia is to stop the abuse that causes it beforehand. Research strongly links pedophilia to a history of child sexual abuse, and that can only be stopped by shining some very strong lights into dark corners of our collective psyche. The vast majority of CSA victims are victimized by relatives or family friends, but the most common perception of the pedophile is of the perverted stranger. Of course, most victims don't become pedophiles; we don't yet know why some do.

    I think that some people who have been hiding CSA -- either their own victimization or their perpetration, esp. the latter -- have convinced themselves that those experiences are wrong b/c they're "homosexual" when in fact they're wrong b/c they're abusive. Labeling it the first way generally enables them direct their valid anger outward to avoid the consequences of directing that anger where it should go -- at the adult they trusted who fucked them, esp. if that person is in a position of authority in the family or community.

    I also think there's a vein in fundamentalist thought that at the very least winks at CSA, if not accepts it. It is, after all, found in several biblical passages which they claim are infallible...

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  2. but I think this would require extensive rewiring of certain sections of the brain and isn't likely to become common.

    I hear ya Jay. I'm thinkin' human cloning will be en vogue before they even know exactly how to go about it. I sincerely hope not though. I really do.

    On the CSA issue, the research is unfortunately at an early and contradictory stage. I've googled the topic on several different occasions. Apart from there being many a religious psuedo-scientific opinion on the matter, the evidence seems fairly balanced between Nature and Nurture. Ie, as many perpetrators claim to have been abused as have claimed they were not. Perhaps, and I think it likely, this is because of the stigma of being a victim is even greater for them than that of being a perp. An understanding of Sociology leads my thoughts that way. Research continues...

    I have a hard time making a case against either cause. The case FOR either is more relevant anyhow, as I think you might agree. Regardless of why one perpetrates sexually, they need to find a way to stop while still assuaging the drive to do it.

    And oh yes! The bible, as moral and efficacious as some of its content certainly is, does indeed support rape of all sorts and kinds; as long as it is done against "others" outside the tribes of Israel. That is why I will occasionally refer to that book as the Ultimate Manual of Genocide. The Jesus myth, at its core, seems to oppose that theme. A statistically predictable minority of christians seems to embrace it wholeheartedly though.

    Silly humans...

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  3. Perhaps, and I think it likely, this is because of the stigma of being a victim is even greater for them than that of being a perp. An understanding of Sociology leads my thoughts that way. Research continues...

    I have a hard time making a case against either cause. The case FOR either is more relevant anyhow, as I think you might agree.


    Yeah, I do. The problem I'd have with a "nature" (ie genetic predisposition) argument for pedophilia is... how could such a gene benefit its carrier, esp. if it manifests in assaulting prepubesecent kids? Obviously, that's not going to create another generation is it?

    I think your point about social stigma is the answer, or at least their PERCEPTION of such stigma. Generally, victims believe they're the "only one" b/c of the secrecy imposed on them by their abuser. That's why this issue needs more public exposure.

    If you're interested in some serious research on this issue, check out David Baldwin's Trauma Pages if you haven't already.

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  4. Michael and Jay,

    I do agree, once again you have out done yourself with this article.

    But I do have a few things to add to the comments...smiles.
    First off being a sexual and physical abuse survivor, I believe there comes a time that one makes a choice to keep the horror of that abuse alive and thereby inflicting it upon others, or they choose to rise above it and stop the horror. I am not saying that this is an easy task mind you, but I am living proof it can be done. I do not think we can use our own abuse as an excuse for abusing others. One must take responsibility for ones own actions. A wonderful man said the following to me, "Acknowledgment of the problem is the first step. Suffice it to say that hiding the problem or simply attempting to disappear will not make the problem go away. God does not make junk. In his perfection, he is incapable of making garbage. That said, you might ask about the abusers - my response is simple, they are not junk either - they are not flawed in their creation. Rather, they are flawed in the way they chose to deal with the wrongs perpetrated upon them by someone else.

    Bad things are going to happen to people - it is how they choose to handle such difficulties that define their respective characters. The abused - without any help are doomed to remain locked in their feeling of victimization. To rise above such pain and break the cycle for subsequent generations, they have to face the issues that trouble them the most. When you can see your abuser and take in his world-view, you will find peace. The wrongs he visited upon you will make sense and thus are wrongs that can be forgiven". I have taken these words to heart and believe that they are true. But I also fear that we are not teaching people about abusers or abuse, instead we are placing fear into parents when it comes to discipline and are finding more and more children out of control. I am not saying hitting a child, but this is causing parents to not be corrective in any manner for fear of being accused of wrong doing and that is also not right. There has to be a medium, a place to stop the insanity and start the love. I have suggested before that maybe it should be required that parents take parenting classes before their new arrival is born. This would at least give them something to go by in case their childhood did not provide the best of examples. Make sense?

    Soft love,
    T

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  5. Thanks for the Baldwin link Jay. It looks quite promising as a recovery resource.

    ... how could such a gene benefit its carrier, esp.

    Remembering that Evolution occurs on the species level, the appearance of adaptions in individuals doesn't necessarily have to benefit any individual. If it were part of some other system or function and exists as a secondary genetic expression, then it will stay in the gene pool should it not kill the individual before it reproduces.

    Genetic Research is showing that many gene expressions are by-products or synergies of other functions. This synergistic law of biology seems to be the real driving force in natural selection. It explains how such an enormous number of such randomly Positive or Negative adaptations arise when evolution does not involve any motivator.

    --- gene fusion events result in alterations at the level of protein function, gene expression, and subcellular localization. The end result of these alterations is high levels of exclusively nuclear localized chimeric transcription factors that inappropriately activate transcription of genes---

    Our genetic make-up allows individuals to either take advantage of environmental factors or to fall prey to the same.

    As I suggested with my alteration hypothesis, as Med Sci becomes more knowledgeable and adept at manipulating these structures, reconstitution of individual organisms at the most basic levels becomes closer to reality.

    And thank you T! I found your comment to be along the lines of the "regardless of the cause, this solution is repeatedly shown to work" variety. LOL! As I think you know, I don't believe there is any god to be making junk. But that hardly matters since your perscription for dealing with the problem of Predators (understanding) is indeed the beginnings of the solution to all problems.

    And your reminder to do it with Soft Love, which in regard to this issue, I personally interpret to mean - don't destroy in your effort to fix, is indeed first on the Parenting Checklist. IOW, relax before you break someone else!

    Extremely efficacious advice for new parents is that. I've often though people should need a License to procreate but, and here is always the over-riding achilles heel of that idea: Our government would be the one setting the Test Standards!

    I think the idea is less than a couple of hundred years away from objective implementation though.

    Even cultural evolution just takes so damn long!!!

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  6. One must take responsibility for ones own actions.

    THAT is what should be engraved upon the entrance to every court house in World!

    I also really wanted to thank you for this T:

    ... we are placing fear into parents when it comes to discipline and are finding more and more children out of control. I am not saying hitting a child, but this is causing parents to not be corrective in any manner for fear of being accused of wrong doing and that is also not right.

    My family watches the Nanny 911 and Super Nanny programs and I find them to be extraordinary examples of how to deal with the difficulties of parenting. Discipline is Not punishment! It is love and consequences and love and rewards and love and Life. You should see how afraid of using this tool so many of the parents on these programs are. And that fear causes them to let their children damage themselves and their families. Once the nannies show the parents and children the efficacy of taking personal responsibility for their actions and imposing limits, families that were utterly out of control are transformed into happy functional groups.

    These shows offer nothing new, but they are awesome and accurate reflections of what has always been known: if we aren't responsible for ourselves, someone else will make us so!

    That is a message that gets lost all too easily when we ignore History.

    Thanks again T.

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  7. Hi, T,

    one makes a choice to keep the horror of that abuse alive and thereby inflicting it upon others, or they choose to rise above it and stop the horror. I am not saying that this is an easy task mind you, but I am living proof it can be done. I do not think we can use our own abuse as an excuse for abusing others.

    I agree entirely; the fact that it IS so difficult is exactly why healing should be treated as the courageous effort it is. You have a right to be proud.

    In some cases, it's failure to acknowledge the damage that one's childhood experiences had on oneself that makes it possible for someone to perpetrate them later in life (or coming to believe such behavior is "normal" or maybe, for them, it was the KINDEST thing that happened to them).

    Part of the problem with the discussion of discipline is that some of what people (especially on the Christian Right) promote as "discipline" has at least one foot in the area of abuse. Is there something out there that addresses this in an effective but mostly non-physical manner?

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  8. Jay,

    There are several different things that parents are being taught, but here is a link to a site called, "Positive Discipline without Yelling or hitting". (http://www.positivediscipline.com/parents/2002/Discipline%20Without%20Yelling%20or%20Hitting.html) On this site there are links to workshops for parents (something I thought should be mandatory before the birth, as well as other interesting articles. I intend to go more thoroughly through it. I am thinking of ways to get the message out to hospitals, if nothing else maybe they could enclose local parenting classes in their booklets for new parents as a reminder that there is help out there.

    One more thing, you referred to the victim believing that the abuse was the kindest thing that had happened to them. I can relate, I often say to myself, the physical abuse was a gift, because if it was just punching or hitting, etc, the sexual abuse didn't happen that day or night. I also say that maybe had it not happened that I wouldn't be who I am today.

    I'll have to rethink that now.

    Soft love,
    T

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