SC Controversial Topics and General Shitposting Thread

sytus

[14] Master
Brass tacks: the only notable difference between a 20 year old and a 15 year old is the year of birth on their ID. Emotionally, there's not a difference worth remarking upon.
From my perspective I don't think most people mature until their late twenties. I say that from my own experience of having a deeper understanding of context in things, plus the conversations I had with people around my age and older are also going through the same wisdom transition as me. I also think there are some people who don't mature mentally throughout their entire life.
 

TresDias

[07] Duelist
I'll go ahead and throw in the obvious qualifier that this stuff is going to vary by individual, because you can have a hella mature teenager or an abysmally immature twenty year old. Genuinely, though, my own experiences and observations tell me that if you set the average 20 year old next to their 15-year-old self, you are going to have essentially the same person.

This is because varied life experience accounts for so much of our growth, and for many of us, there's really not a lot of difference in the range of our life experience at 20 from five years earlier. We typically just have an additional five years of similar experiences.

The reason being is simple: much of a young adult's range of life experience is dictated by their parents/guardians/whomever.

If you had controlling parents, I'd bet dollars to donuts they didn't stop being controlling just because you turned 18. They still leveraged whatever they had over you to keep their sense of control. If you had parents who treated you with respect and wanted you to become a young adult with a sense of dignity and personal accountability, they didn't wait until you were 18 to start that process.

You can very, very easily -- whether it "should" be the case or no -- have two young adults five years apart in age yet still of comparable emotional range and development. I'm not going to begin to find a story like that of LuminAbyss even questionable at the conceptual level until we tack some more years onto him.
 
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AriesWarlock

[12] Conqueror
the plot thickens

Mr. Wiz's apology was pretty much an admission of his actions

Did this crackpr0n character deny these allegations ?
He says he was expecting Tiffany's statement. He has released a statement, not to deny the accusations but rather to explain why he did some things he did. But he didn't address some of the most damning accusations like the one below. He tries to rationalize his action but I don't think he does at all. Thoughts @Rusted Blade ?

When we met in person and we were in a gathering with our friends, if it felt like I was going against him, he would hit me in front of everyone. Things that were small and pointless, like if he wasn’t sure if he wanted to eat a certain food item, he would angrily slap my face in front of my friends and shout at me saying “how dare you question me”. It shocked a lot of my friends, but I didn’t want it to be a problem so I told them everything was fine even if it wasn’t. He took my virginity after manipulating me to think that it’s what I wanted. I felt empty as it happened. I was so dependent on him and thought no one else would want me anyways, so I should be thankful that he wants to have sex with me. He made me reject and cut ties with men that seemed like they wanted to pursue anything with me because they were “disgusting” and “not good people”. The night of my 18th birthday, right when it turned 12AM, he wished me happy birthday and reminded me that “if anyone asks, this is the first time I’m fucking you.
his statement:

 

Rusted Blade

[13] Hero
I'm biting my tongue on referring to some of my formal background in a couple of relevant areas here, because I am loath to argue from the authority of my credentials. Nevertheless, I have some substantial perspectives on some of the recent discussion regarding the spat of abuse claims as they continue to mount.

To begin with, and with much respect to my friend Tres, whose outlook I do not entirely disagree with: you are nevertheless categorically mistaken about one thing here: A 15-year-old is not "basically the same as" a 20-year-old. In terms of neurophysiological development, the difference implicit in those years is MASSIVE. In many important ways, the difference in developmental maturity between a fifteen-year-old and a twenty-year-old is more substantial than those between a twenty-year-old and a forty-year-old. Fifteen-year-olds a vastly less well equipped to recognize threats to their safety, to assess the longterm consequences of their reactions, to be able to recognize manipulation, to differentiate sincere concern from exploitative attention, to resist psychologically coercive pressure--and perhaps of paramount importance, their developing brains are especially susceptible to longterm trauma and conditioning as a consequence of abuse and manipulation.

This is an immensely complicated field of research, of course, but what I am sharing with you is very much the scientific consensus and has helped to inform where the law has placed the current boundaries on interactions between legal adults and children. I'm sorry, but whatever impressionistic feelings we might individually have about how much people age over certain spans, and however many caveats we may have as to how much mileage will vary for individuals, the empirical research is clear about children as a class: they do not have equal capacity to understand the consequences of romantic or sexual overtures that an adult has in making them. And yes, 15-year-olds are most assuredly children: legally, and in every way that counts for any question about their capacity to consent, with brains still developing and susceptible to both the influence and the longterm consequences of exploitation.

Regarding grooming, it is correct to say that in many jurisdictions which recognize it as a crime or an element of a crime, the charges are not necessarily 'statutory', as physical abuse tends to be: that is to say, unlike (for example) statutory rape, where it very well might not matter whether the accused knew the child's age (that is to say, in legal terms, they did not have the 'specific intent' to sleep with a child), in the case of grooming, it might be required that their intent behind the contact has to be established before they can be found guilty. However, even in these instances, intent can typically be inferred from context and behaviour. Now I'm not commenting here as to whether or not any particular one of our current crop of outed creeps who have admitted to the accounts against them has crossed that line in any particular case (except to say from some of those accounts, some of those guys better have found a decent lawyer soon), but I do think there is a real danger in giving too much of a benefit of the doubt that "If he never got to a position to push this to a legal charge, the behaviour is not of concern, and it's inappropriate for someone to bring it up in public." And it's beyond problematic to assume that there would not be longterm effects for the other party just because the abuse didn't move into express physical sexual encounters.

I do agree that we need some ability to sort wrongs in a useful continuum for punitive purposes, but I'll reiterate a refrain I've used above: I'm not losing any sleep over the actual details being in the public eye in most of the cases I have observed in this newest cluster of 'Me Too' accusations. Personally I think everyone ought to be prepared to to face scrutiny if they push or cross lines like we have seen in most of these cases. But particularly if you have chosen a profession where your fortunes are largely dependent on being adored by a fanbase, or competing in a public sphere that has its own community....well, you better really have a lid on your more unacceptable impulses. Fail to do that, and you have no one to blame but yourself for entering a highly public sphere, reaping the benefits, and then also reaping thr consequences of having your conduct scrutinized when someone has something less than great to say about how you have conducted yourself.

He says he was expecting Tiffany's statement. He has released a statement, not to deny the accusations but rather to explain why he did some things he did. But he didn't address some of the most damning accusations like the one below. He tries to rationalize his action but I don't think he does at all. Thoughts @Rusted Blade ?
I mean, insofar as he seems to have admitted that her account is essentially accurate, I'm not sure what degree of additional insight I can provide. other than maybe some speculation that I'm not sure she is going to be entirely gratified by his mea culpa. There's something of a dodge of the specifics of his own conduct in his response there. He goes into great detail in describing his own headspace at that time and trying to explain why he could behaved as he did, but despite repeatedly saying that he doesn't contest the substance of the accusations she makes about his actions, he doesn't even begin to own up to just how abusive that behaviour was. If he's not contesting her account, then he had a habit of striking her in the face, became sexually involved with her as a minor and directed her to lie about the timetable upon which they became sexually active to try to avoid any consequences. I mean, if I'm reading the chronology right from your post, then really my thoughts can be pretty easily boiled down: Fuck that guy. I hope he's well within the statute of limitations for all of that behaviour and that the matter gets referred for investigation.
 
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WuHT

Premium Moderator
He says he was expecting Tiffany's statement. He has released a statement, not to deny the accusations but rather to explain why he did some things he did. But he didn't address some of the most damning accusations like the one below. He tries to rationalize his action but I don't think he does at all. Thoughts @Rusted Blade ?
well the man doesn't come clean until he has to, despite taking to twitter to share his accusation story
 

TresDias

[07] Duelist
To begin with, and with much respect to my friend Tres, whose outlook I do not entirely disagree with: you are nevertheless categorically mistaken about one thing here: A 15-year-old is not "basically the same as" a 20-year-old. In terms of neurophysiological development, the difference implicit in those years is MASSIVE. In many important ways, the difference in developmental maturity between a fifteen-year-old and a twenty-year-old is more substantial than those between a twenty-year-old and a forty-year-old. Fifteen-year-olds a vastly less well equipped to recognize threats to their safety, to assess the longterm consequences of their reactions, to be able to recognize manipulation, to differentiate sincere concern from exploitative attention, to resist psychologically coercive pressure--and perhaps of paramount importance, their developing brains are especially susceptible to longterm trauma and conditioning as a consequence of abuse and manipulation.

This is an immensely complicated field of research, of course, but what I am sharing with you is very much the scientific consensus and has helped to inform where the law has placed the current boundaries on interactions between legal adults and children. I'm sorry, but whatever impressionistic feelings we might individually have about how much people age over certain spans, and however many caveats we may have as to how much mileage will vary for individuals, the empirical research is clear about children as a class: they do not have equal capacity to understand the consequences of romantic or sexual overtures that an adult has in making them. And yes, 15-year-olds are most assuredly children: legally, and in every way that counts for any question about their capacity to consent, with brains still developing and susceptible to both the influence and the longterm consequences of exploitation.

Regarding grooming, it is correct to say that in many jurisdictions which recognize it as a crime or an element of a crime, the charges are not necessarily 'statutory', as physical abuse tends to be: that is to say, unlike (for example) statutory rape, where it very well might not matter whether the accused knew the child's age (that is to say, in legal terms, they did not have the 'specific intent' to sleep with a child), in the case of grooming, it might be required that their intent behind the contact has to be established before they can be found guilty. However, even in these instances, intent can typically be inferred from context and behaviour. Now I'm not commenting here as to whether or not any particular one of our current crop of outed creeps who have admitted to the accounts against them has crossed that line in any particular case (except to say from some of those accounts, some of those guys better have found a decent lawyer soon), but I do think there is a real danger in giving too much of a benefit of the doubt that "If he never got to a position to push this to a legal charge, the behaviour is not of concern, and it's inappropriate for someone to bring it up in public." And it's beyond problematic to assume that there would not be longterm effects for the other party just because the abuse didn't move into express physical sexual encounters.

I do agree that we need some ability to sort wrongs in a useful continuum for punitive purposes, but I'll reiterate a refrain I've used above: I'm not losing any sleep over the actual details being in the public eye in most of the cases I have observed in this newest cluster of 'Me Too' accusations. Personally I think everyone ought to be prepared to to face scrutiny if they push or cross lines like we have seen in most of these cases. But particularly if you have chosen a profession where your fortunes are largely dependent on being adored by a fanbase, or competing in a public sphere that has its own community....well, you better really have a lid on your more unacceptable impulses. Fail to do that, and you have no one to blame but yourself for entering a highly public sphere, reaping the benefits, and then also reaping thr consequences of having your conduct scrutinized when someone has something less than great to say about how you have conducted yourself.
I think you misunderstood what I'm speaking to, my friend.

I was addressing the (to me) simple and straightforward question of whether there is any moral event horizon crossed in a 20 year old catching feelings for a 15 year old friend/girlfriend of a friend. There is precisely nothing inherently unbecoming about that.

As to the other matters you spoke to, of neurological development and whatnot, I wasn't speaking to that. On that subject, though, I'll reiterate what I said previously: You can very, very easily -- whether it "should" be the case or no -- have two young adults five years apart in age yet still of comparable emotional range and development.

As you pointed out, that chunk of time is potentially one of vast flux. However, it is even more easily one of prolonged stagnancy. What is put into a system is largely also what comes out of it.

As I went over before, hardware (i.e. neurology) is a limited part of the equation. Software matters just as much, and I'd be very hard-pressed to be convinced that your typical 20 year old sees much difference in their software from what they saw at 17 or even 15.

Again, don't take hardware out of this, but don't treat it as the benchmark either. In all practical senses, developed countries have a culturally delayed adulthood from what was recognized in decades past, due to multiple factors (largely economic, unfortunately). People are usually bound to their parents/guardians for longer than was ever expected to be the case, and as such, their range of experience/development continues being largely a product of that filter.

Kids given the leeway to be rebellious at 15, intent on not divulging where they are or what they're doing (to assert their "independence"), are still carrying on such behaviors at 20. Kids who have strict controls imposed them on at 15 are still dealing with those at 20. And kids with parents who have simultaneously cultivated agency and responsibility are still engaging with that. It is no longer even uncommon for "kids" to not be setting out until their mid- to late-20s.

Nothing is changing for young adults for an enormous span of time. That's the world we have built, so that's the world we live in.
 
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Rusted Blade

[13] Hero
I was addressing the (to me) simple and straightforward question of whether there is any moral horizon crossed in a 20 year old catching feelings for a 15 year old friend/girlfriend of a friend. There is precisely nothing inherently unbecoming about that.
The problem here is that your "catching feelings" framing of this situation is not really adequate to describe what is going on here. He didn't watch her and admire her from affair; he cultivated a deeply inappropriate relationship with her, and exhibited significant hallmarks of an adult grooming a child. His conduct was quite a ways beyond "unbecoming", as even he expressly says. To even have those feelings for a girl that young is creepy enough, frankly, but you add in the fact that he is actively seeking her to appreciate how much he loved her....Tres...this was never going anywhere good and it's just plain disturbing.

As to the other matters you spoke to, of neurological development and whatnot, I wasn't speaking to that. On that subject, though, I'll reiterate what I said previously: You can very, very easily -- whether it "should" be the case or no -- have two young adults five years apart in age yet still of comparable emotional range and development.

As you pointed out, that chunk of time is potentially one of vast flux. However, it is even more easily one of prolonged stagnancy. What is put into a system is largely also what comes out of it.

As I went over before, hardware (i.e. neurology) is a limited part of the equation. Software matters just as much, and I'd be very hard-pressed to be convinced that your typical 20 year old sees much difference in their software from what they saw at 17 or even 15.

Again, don't take hardware out of this, but don't treat it as the benchmark either. In all practical senses, developed countries have a culturally delayed adulthood from what was recognized in decades past, due to multiple factors (largely economic, unfortunately). People are usually bound to their parents/guardians for longer than was ever expected to be the case, and as such, their range of experience/development continues being largely a product of that filter.

Kids given the leeway to be rebellious at 15, intent on not divulging where they are or what they're doing (to assert their "independence"), are still carrying on such behaviors at 20. Kids who have strict controls imposed them on 15 are still dealing with those at 20. And kids with parents who have simultaneously cultivated agency and responsibility are still engaging with that. It is no longer even uncommon for "kids" to not be setting out until their mid- to late-20s.

Nothing is changing for young adults for an enormous span of time. That's the world we have built, so that's the world we live in.
What you are vaguely riffing on here is Skinnerism/radical behaviourism. It's an antiquated school of thought that has not held up well in the light of modern experimentation. The notion of the blank slate is not compatible with the modern brain science. I actually just deleted a sizable little side discussion exploring the topic of of natvism vs. behaviouralism: if you have an interest in theory of mind, I'd be thrilled to have that conversation with you at some point, but a detailed divergence into how the cortex develops in late adolescence isn't really the best way to discuss this.

So, look, I will grant you this as an alternative way of approaching the topic: a 20-year-old brain is by no means a fully developed brain: neuroplasticity finally ebbs and peak developmental potential is reached for most people around the age of 25. That is so. But this does not change the fact that a 15-year-old has far less capacity than a 20 year old--they just do. And the problem with the whole "well there's some variability" argument, is that his is exactly part of the standard rationalization of child abusers around the world: they mostly tend to think of their relationships as love stories. Society cannot afford to tolerate that kind of exceptionalist thinking in this area; we just cannot have a "Nah, it's cool, she's mature for her age." exception to pedophilic impulses. And a man being 20 years old and technically less put together than a 25 year old does not abrogate him of the requirement not to exploit a child. Whoevever likes it or not, most developed nations have set a standard age of 18 or so as the age at which you are deemed to have full capacity to comport yourself with integrity, and after which you are subject to the full force of the law when you do not. And no amount of "well, kids are being coddled today, so it's no wonder some of them don't learn responsibility" reasoning changes the age of consent, or the basic facts of the inherently exploitative interactions it prohibits.

Children need to be protected from those who don't get this. And in the case where only feelings are confessed and then the underage party wisely cuts off communication, with regard to the adult, we are clearly still talking about someone who doesn't get that. We shouldn't sit around on our hands giving him the benefit of the doubt as to just how much he doesn't get it. And we certainly shouldn't be saying anything that might suggest to children/former victims in this area that they shouldn't be speaking up if the man never touched them... I just don't see any reason why, an adult having conducted themselves in that way, it should be considered taboo or "excessive" or distasteful for the child in that scenario to speak up, even years later when they have become an adult, had time to process and gather the courage to speak up fro themselves. We clearly need that shit, both to remind us how pervasive the problem still is, demonstrate the human cost, and identify the dodgy mofos we need to be keeping an eye on.

Now I said I'd stick away from the broader neuroscience of the areas you touched on, but I've found a way to wedge some in here in a way that is quite on point: you were saying that you felt that experience/environment was the prime motivator here and that as a consequence of that, since the lives of adults between 15 and 20 are largely rote (not necessarily the case, but let's pretend it is for the moment its a controlled-for variable), and thus as a consequence they really wouldn't be acting all that differently. But that's not really how it works: the development of the brain is genetically programmed, and it's proceeding in a general anatomical fashion in large similar fashion somewhat regardless of what the individual learns during that time.

So just because a given person has an upbringing that you (or I, or person X) might arbitrarily define as "stunted" and not likely to promote responsibility doesn't mean that person's brain is developing less efficiently: it just means they are learning different stuff. Which yes, may or may not make them a more or less responsible (or flexible, or dogmatic, or truthful, or capricious) person in some respects. But much of the brain's development (and the effects upon behaviour merely as a result of certain brain regions getting boosts at certain points in development, rather than discrete neurons encoding specific lessons) proceeds according to how it is genetically programmed to develop. I'm simplifying here somewhat in that there are numerous areas in which developmental neurophysiology is impacted by epigenetic effects (the manner by which environmental factors influence gene expression), but the general principle stands: just because we might think of someone as having a less favourable learning environment does not mean they have an altered rate of brain development.

However, there are always big exceptions to general rules in this area and you want to take a guess at what one of the biggest factors is that actually does tend to seriously stunt development and/or cause longterm detrimental effects in how behaviour develops? You guessed it, sexual and physical abuse.
 
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DanteSC3

[14] Master
In a brief statement, I’m going to out myself as an apparent exception to the rule. Barring experience, of course, I do not honestly feel that my cognitive processing has changed since I was a child until now as an adult. I didn’t experience changes from 15 to 20 or even 20 to 25 or now even 25 to 30. I believe that I am now, at 30, the same, mentally, as I was at 15, in the general sense. So in that regard, as I’m certain that I’m not the only person who is that way, and Tres may also be this way, I believe in his side of this current debate having a rationale, though it certainly doesn’t apply to everyone.

The obvious follow-up, honestly, I think, is that the predatory cases are likely folks who do operate in this manner believing that everyone else also does, and they unintentionally prey upon those who do not, and don’t believe that they’re doing anything wrong, which is similar to what Rusted seems to be getting at. I could be wrong, but I believe Tres is saying that a 20 year old and a 15 year old who are mentally synchronized could have a legitimate and non-creepy relationship, despite social mores. Which I do somewhat agree with, but it is a walking-on-eggshells situation, to be sure. But the real answer, so to speak, should be that you shouldn’t take advantage of those who are lesser developed than yourself.
 

TresDias

[07] Duelist
The problem here is that your "catching feelings" framing of this situation is not really adequate to describe what is going on here. He didn't watch her and admire her from affair; he cultivated a deeply inappropriate relationship with her, and exhibited significant hallmarks of an adult grooming a child. His conduct was quite a ways beyond "unbecoming", as even he expressly says. To even have those feelings for a girl that young is creepy enough, frankly, but you add in the fact that he is actively seeking her to appreciate how much he loved her....Tres...this was never going anywhere good and it's just plain disturbing.
I can only go off what's verifiable about the situation (as much as anything based on two people's mutual seven-years-old recollection can be). Any particularly heinous perception of intent beyond that I can't (or won't) factor in, colored as it inevitably must be by six or more years of lingering negative sentiment and potential misunderstanding.

When one party freely dispenses with the categorically incorrect use of a serious accusation like "pedophilic behavior" within their own detailing of events, I especially must defer to what is verifiable (i.e. mutually agreed upon as accurate recollection).

For me, this particular situation still seems oddly out of place among the (sadly) multitudinous other revelations currently sweeping the FGC -- but if it has brought any closure or healing to the wounded parties involved, I'm glad it's occurred.
 

Spanky

[13] Hero
@Rusted Blade
This is gonna sound like a trolling shit post but I'm actually 100% serious. I really enjoy your posts because you sound very intelligent and you're very good at articulating your knowledge and discussing it in a diplomatic fashion.
Tbh everyone's been behaving themselves real nice while discussing something very significant here, and I find it oddly wholesome as a result.
 

Rusted Blade

[13] Hero
I can only go off what's verifiable about the situation (as much as anything based on two people's mutual seven-years-old recollection can be). Any particularly heinous perception of intent beyond that I can't (or won't) factor in, colored as it inevitably must be by six or more years of lingering negative sentiment and potential misunderstanding.
Sure, but the situation in question is not characterized by a he said/she said divergence in perspective: he pretty much owned up to it immediately: there's no reason to doubt her account.

When one party freely dispenses with the categorically incorrect use of a serious accusation like "pedophilic behavior" within their own detailing of events, I especially must defer to what is verifiable (i.e. mutually agreed upon as accurate recollection).
He expressed attraction for a 15-year-old girl, directly to the girl in question: that is per se pedophilic. It is in fact categorically correct as characterization. It may not be worst presentation of such feelings in terms of how far things progressed, but it's still an adult looking at a underage girl as an object of sexual/romantic attraction.

For me, this particular situation still seems oddly out of place among the (sadly) multitudinous other revelations currently sweeping the FGC -- but if it has brought any closure or healing to the wounded parties involved, I'm glad it's occurred.
All of our back and forth over this not withstanding, at the end of the day, I can still understand what you mean by this. I agree in the current crop of revelations, his conduct does not stand out as the worst case scenario. However, is that really the curve we want to grade on? Anyway, at the end of the day, this is something that happened to her, a part of her life--not a part she is likely to celebrate but a part she is entitled to discuss openly however she chooses, and whenever she chooses. (I know nothing you've said was meant to disagree with this sentiment, I'm just ending on this note because I think it's an important point that hasn't received as much emphasis as it should: whatever we think about his conduct and whether it deserves to be shoved into the light of day, by virtue of the fact that he involved her in that interaction, it became a part of her story to tell whenever she likes.)

@Rusted Blade
This is gonna sound like a trolling shit post but I'm actually 100% serious. I really enjoy your posts because you sound very intelligent and you're very good at articulating your knowledge and discussing it in a diplomatic fashion.
Tbh everyone's been behaving themselves real nice while discussing something very significant here, and I find it oddly wholesome as a result.
Thank you Spanky--what a very kind thing to say! :) And I share your sentiment about how reflective of open-minded engagement the discussion has been all around. In fact, I've kind of marvelled at how the community as a whole has been engaging in that respect. If I had been asked a couple of weeks ago how well i thought the average FGC die-hard would react to said community becomign ground zero for the next wave of the MeToo movement, I do not think i would have predicted how introspective and open to coming to grips with this topic so many people would end up being. I hate to say it, but I think I would have assumed the response would be overwhelmingly toxic. It's a bit of a shot in the arm to see that people by and large are recognizing there's a big problem here and being willing to stretch their minds in how they view the situation.

What's more, I am beyond impressed with some of the young women and men sharing their stories: these kids have grown up in the social media era, so it is perhaps not at all surprising that they often come armed with a small corpus of evidence chronicling the grooming and/or abuse, but beyond that they are often markedly eloquent for their ages, and smart regarding going about deflecting the normal doubt and confirmation bias that would often shelter their abusers and turn antagonism against them. Many of them marshal their facts well and have dug deep to bear their souls about what happened to them.

So, yeah, this is obviously not a good couple of weeks for us, as a community. But on some levels, it kind of has been!? At least the ugliness is being brought to the surface and recognized. It just kind of gives me a bit of hope at a time when I'm really happy to have some: through the haze of division and polarization, there's a bottom line level of conduct that most people of the millenial generation seem willing to agree should be met and isn't being met--and that standard is so much more stringent than what would have been required a few years ago. I hope it's somewhat reflective of greater trends. Then again, I'm not really at any level enmeshed n the Smassh side of the FGC, where a lot of these revelations are coming out of: the the denialism and obfuscation may very well still be potent there, for all I know--I don't know if the age of that group makes it more or less capable of recognizing the problems here, honestly. Which is ironic because the median age of that community and the nature of the content obviously has fed into why it was a bit of a hunting ground for abusers. Regardless, I've seen more evidence for support for victims than anything else, looking from afar.
 
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TresDias

[07] Duelist
In a brief statement, I’m going to out myself as an apparent exception to the rule. Barring experience, of course, I do not honestly feel that my cognitive processing has changed since I was a child until now as an adult. I didn’t experience changes from 15 to 20 or even 20 to 25 or now even 25 to 30. I believe that I am now, at 30, the same, mentally, as I was at 15, in the general sense. So in that regard, as I’m certain that I’m not the only person who is that way, and Tres may also be this way, I believe in his side of this current debate having a rationale, though it certainly doesn’t apply to everyone.
I'll go ahead and "out" myself as well. At 33 (34 next month), I can definitely relate to feeling this way and -- without going into anything more self-indulgent -- have put a lot of effort into trying to understand its possible origin and relevance for myself, how pervasive it is in others, and why. I won't claim to have definitive answers for everyone, though.

I could be wrong, but I believe Tres is saying that a 20 year old and a 15 year old who are mentally synchronized could have a legitimate and non-creepy relationship, despite social mores. Which I do somewhat agree with, but it is a walking-on-eggshells situation, to be sure.
That summary is slightly outside where I was aiming for the present discussion, though I'll go ahead and acknowledge that I'd like to believe it's possible. In fact, I know it is.

Back in 1996, I actually witnessed a very similar situation between my older brother and his girlfriend/later wife. They met while working together in retail when he was 16 and she was 20, moved in together soon after, got married a couple of years after that, and had a son in 2001. They were together for seven years, and though no longer married, still consider one another their best friend.

Now, to be absolutely clear, I'm not at all suggesting that this should be assumed to be the way such things should always be expected to go. Certainly it would in general be a minefield of potential disaster for all involved, where situation-specific context is going to matter a lot in how appropriate/inappropriate the situation is, and a scenario in which I would hope there are vigilant friends/family around both to alert them to blindspots and potential pitfalls.

My genetic relations mostly suck, but thankfully she had a very open, attentive, and considerate family.

Sure, but the situation in question is not characterized by a he said/she said divergence in perspective: he pretty much owned up to it immediately: there's no reason to doubt her account.
The "She Said" includes grooming and deliberate emotional manipulation. The "He Said" does not. Intent is pertinent to a question of morality.

He expressed attraction for a 15-year-old girl, directly to the girl in question: that is per se pedophilic. It is in fact categorically correct as characterization.
"Pedophilic" denotes prepubescence. This distinction is extremely relevant.
 

Thylacine492

[07] Duelist
"Pedophilic" denotes prepubescence. This distinction is extremely relevant.
I believe the proper term is ephebophilic, though people have a tendency to not differentiate between the two words.

As for everything else, I doubt I’d have too much to contribute. Partially because I haven’t read over the situation in question and partially because I lack much experience with interpersonal relationships (specifically social interaction in general). So far it seems as though I am one of the younger users on 8wayrun (recently turned 21) and, despite being told repeatedly that I’m mature for my age, I can safely say I was extremely naive for the majority of my teenage years. From my experience, it seems like what was viewed as ‘maturity’ was actually just me being disinterested in social interactions with others of my age group and thus a lack of stereotypical teenage behavior.

I can say that I probably did show more maturity than a majority of my peers over the past few years, though that likely developed during my late teens as opposed to age fifteen.