Dear Jesse, please don’t give up your day job
Jesse Bering, the evolutionary psychologist, has decided to play Agony Aunt and has penned a collection of suggestions to reader questions. The gorge rises; one struggles to avoid flinging the laptop across the room. Take his answer to a “Deep-thinking Hebephile” who thinks we ought to reconsider age of consent laws, to make it easier for him to have sex with the objects of his desire.
Whenever society screams about some demon or another, it’s probably just caught an especially alarming sight of itself in the mirror. Given the historical flux in age-of-consent laws, there are few among us who aren’t the direct descendents of those who’d be incarcerated as sex offenders today.
This is true. We probably all have rapists in our pedigrees, too, and thieves and murderers, and even priests. That does not imply that we should accept these behaviors because they just are; even if you are doing your best to be the dispassionate observer of an evolving group of animals, you should also wonder whether rapists/pedophiles, even the ones who manage to reproduce, are actually selectively better at reproducing than individuals who favor consenting, willing, cooperative partners. This is not part of Bering’s perspective, strangely enough.