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sex and the rights of children

Page history last edited by Andrew Alder 1 year ago

This page deals with sexual issues



Before you get too excited

This page is purely about adult sexuality and sex between adults.


It is not about the sexual exploitation of children, or even about their own sexuality. Those are important topics. But this page isn't about them.


It's about how we all have rights that should be respected by those who create us.


and a work in progress

probably not really ready for publication. But here it is anyway. Comments welcome, contact me by the link below.


Some rights all children and adults should have

Hold onto your hats, this is going to challenge a lot of people and preconceptions.


A child has the right to know who they are

and this includes, knowing who their parents are.


Biological parents

At this stage of technology, every child has two or three biological parents. Mostly, they have a father and a mother, but a small but growing number have a father, a genetic mother, and a birth mother. There are no other current or foreseeable possibilities.,


Social parents

Some children have one or more social parents quite apart from their biological parents.


Adoption has a long and complex history. In the Jewish tradition, it is accepted and absolute. An adopted child has no continuing relationship to their biological parents, and an equal relationship to any biological related children.


Remarriage after divorce or widowhood can introduce social parents. Sometimes these are called stepfather or stepmother. Other times they assume full parenthood. 


How they relate

There is a growing body of evidence and opinion that the Jewish model is inadequate. People want to know who their biological parents and relatives are, and this is a legitimate expectation.


This flies in the face not just of the Jewish model but of much current practice. It is controversial. It affects not just the work of adoption agencies, but also the rights of sperm and ovum donors, whose anonymity has often been guaranteed and even protected by law.


One difficult example 

I invite you to consider the position of a boy being raised by a lesbian couple.


He has a father of course, and will in time probably want to know who that is. And in my opinion it is his right to know this.


But, I would suggest, he also has a right to a social father. If so, how is this right to be protected?


A child has a right to support


Being wanted

A child has a right not only to be wanted, but to feel wanted. 


To create a child that you don't want is not just careless, not just irresponsible, not just a violation of human rights, but in many ways the ultimate obscenity. 



A child has the right to be raised in a loving relationship.


Some alarming consequences



To create a child that you are not willing to recognise and support is (or should be) a serious violation of human rights, on the same moral level as murder. Yes, I said alarming!


How should such crimes be prosecuted?


Gender equality

A same-sex marriage cannot produce a child without outside help. If the rights of that child include a relationship with its biological parents, then there are obvious complications.


But it does nobody any good to ignore these complications. These children will want to know who they are, regardless of whether or not their right to know is supported by law.


Some reflections

The creation of children is not the only expression of sexuality. In an interview with Playboy Magazine, Miles Davis attributed all of his enormous creative energy to sexual energy.


Freud said something similar.


There is a growing body of opinion that a variety of sexual expressions are equally valid. Same-sex marriages are an obvious part of this.


But there is also considerable traditional resistance to this, particularly among religious conservatives. Some of these traditions oppose not only same-sex activities, but also masturbation and birth control, and on similar grounds.


And there are some elephants in the room. For many couples, sex does not end with the end of reproductive years. How does this relate to these other issues? For many men, some form of pornography is necessary to achieve climax in masturbation, and there are even circumstances where failure to release sexual tension can be medically dangerous (and extremely painful). What restrictions on pornography are good? 


The creation of children is in one sense the purpose of sex, and in this sense perhaps its most significant expression. But I did say perhaps. It is not the full story.


Hold on to your hats... 


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