- Seks tussen volwassenen en kinderen - wat is daar mis mee?
- Volume | Issue number
- 29 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
What (if anything) makes adult-child sex morally wrong? Two standard answers are given to this question. The first one (the harm argument) is that sexual contacts between adults and children are wrong because they likely are harmful to the child. The second one (the consent argument) localizes the wrong-making characteristic in the child’s inability to give valid consent to sex with adults. Both standard arguments are explained and assessed.
The upshot is that both arguments are sound, but only with respect to a particular subclass of sexual contacts between adults and children. The harm argument is effective only if the child is unwilling to participate in the sexual encounter, and the consent argument is successful only if the child’s parents did not give the adult permission to have sex with the child. Consequently, both argu-ments fail if the child participates freely and the adult involved received parental per-mis-sion. It will be argued that what makes these cases of adult-child sex morally wrong, or at least most of these cases, is the fact that if the parents had taken their role-responsibilities seriously, they would not have granted the adult permission to have sex with their child.
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