Sexual self-determination is one of the most recent (pseudo scientific) "justifications" used to argue against intergenerational sexual activity (sexual activity between those over 18 years of age and those under 18).
The argument goes like this:
- If an adult seduces, coerces, or otherwise induces a child to engage in sexual activity, then (in some magical way):
- every other influence that would have determined the child's sexual orientation or preferences will suddenly be cancelled, nullified, and made naught
- any genetic influences, any of the child's other life experiences, etc. will all suddenly (and magically) no longer be determining factors in the child's developing sexuality.
Therefore, the child's (so-called) "right" to "sexual self-determination (supposedly) is abrogated by any (so-called) "sexual interference" "perpetrated" by an adult on the child.
The irrational myth is that there is some natural, intrinsic process that a child undergoes -- a "normal" process -- that, if "interfered" with by an adult, causes the child to suddenly veer off and become some other kind of a "sexual person" -- a "perverted" one, of course -- one they would not have become without the outside "interference".
This hearkens back to the anti-homosexual's (also mythical) argument -- once a boy (or even a young adult male) is "bitten" by the "homosexual bug" he is then lost forever to the "normal" world of heterosexuality.
The main problem with these kinds of arguments is that so little is known about human sexuality and sexual development that any conjectures are just that -- unfounded theories not based on any empirical research. And such theories (or rather, hypotheses) more resemble "junk science" than valid criticisms.
Such claims are extraordinary claims. And as the phrase popularized by Carl Sagan goes, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".
And, to date, such evidence is totally lacking. But the claim that sexual activity between an adult and child is "interference" in the child's "sexual self-determination" has been widely accepted among so-called "mental health professionals" and is one of the main arguments used to justify the current persecution and witch-hunt against BoyLovers.
In essence, it is like claiming that if a child just once tries Chinese food at the urging of an adult, then the child's "right to culinary self determination" has been violated, and the child will no longer follow the "normal" or "natural" path that he/she would have to determining what he/she prefers to eat. Does that argument sound "reasonable" to you?
Don't see also
- ... because Wikipedia does not consider the theory of sexual self-determination to be valid or notable or supported by evidence.