Sexual Morality and Ethics Catch-All

Well, true. There are occasional hops completely off the scale (asexuality as Garion mentioned) on all three factors of sexual identity (gender, orientation, identity). I admit though that I don't know how to accurately set up a graph to account for those blips, beyond saying "This line is the supermajority of humans, but points of data do exist off of it on this plane."

Rubb Ed wrote:

I admit though that I don't know how to accurately set up a graph to account for those blips,

Just stop thinking of it as a graph with a single axis, maybe it has 2 or 3 or more.

DanB wrote:
Rubb Ed wrote:

I admit though that I don't know how to accurately set up a graph to account for those blips,

Just stop thinking of it as a graph with a single axis, maybe it has 2 or 3 or more.

Too.... many.... jokes..... /asplode

DanB wrote:
Rubb Ed wrote:

I admit though that I don't know how to accurately set up a graph to account for those blips,

Just stop thinking of it as a graph with a single axis, maybe it has 2 or 3 or more.

Kinsey's solution isn't even as complicated as a graph, it's a line. People who have never heard of Kinsey's scale can chart their own sexuality on it within seconds of hearing about it. Once you try to hold a two or three dimensional model in your head, it just becomes too complex to be worth it.

(relevant: this is also why racial descriptors have and forever will persist!)

GioClark wrote:
DanB wrote:
Rubb Ed wrote:

I admit though that I don't know how to accurately set up a graph to account for those blips,

Just stop thinking of it as a graph with a single axis, maybe it has 2 or 3 or more.

Too.... many.... jokes..... /asplode

We are running a geometric train on that axis!

LobsterMobster wrote:
Rallick wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:
Rallick wrote:

I agree with pretty much everything LobsterMobster said.

Don't encourage him!

Shh! I'm just trying to get at his mom!

I don't think you need to try that hard. :D

I know you don't.

Seth wrote:

Kinsey's solution isn't even as complicated as a graph, it's a line.

Wait, if it's all just a straight line, then it's obviously missing some data!

Seth wrote:
DanB wrote:
Rubb Ed wrote:

I admit though that I don't know how to accurately set up a graph to account for those blips,

Just stop thinking of it as a graph with a single axis, maybe it has 2 or 3 or more.

Kinsey's solution isn't even as complicated as a graph, it's a line. People who have never heard of Kinsey's scale can chart their own sexuality on it within seconds of hearing about it. Once you try to hold a two or three dimensional model in your head, it just becomes too complex to be worth it.

(relevant: this is also why racial descriptors have and forever will persist!)

Sure Kinsey's thing has a degree of simple elegance. Lots of incorrect representations of systems have that too. But just because most people won't or can't be arsed to get it doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to work towards a more nuanced and inclusive representation of sexuality, or race or whatever.

The Nolan Chart/Political Compass is a better representation of how political ideas actually break down, and isn't all that hard to teach people for instance

IMAGE(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9c/Political_chart.svg/543px-Political_chart.svg.png)

Maybe in certain circles. Too much data bogs down conversation, though. I know a few people who actually use newtons to measure weight, for example, but the rest of us get along just as easily incorrectly using units of mass to describe weight.

Edit: see, even that graph on political preference is really too complex for general conversation, and it's only two dimensional.

Kier wrote:

Krev82, I do think that person B has the right to take the risk, and that it is not immoral for person A to participate. Provided the relationship is free of pressure.

I am however comfortable with it being against the law, on the basis that practically it would be too difficult to prove one way or the other in a court.

I'm either confused by your stance or just misunderstanding what you're trying to say so I'm asking for clarification. Are you saying it's perfectly ethical for the disclosing HIV+ person and HIV- person to have unprotected sex, but the act should be illegal regardless of ethics?

RoughneckGeek wrote:
Kier wrote:

Krev82, I do think that person B has the right to take the risk, and that it is not immoral for person A to participate. Provided the relationship is free of pressure.

I am however comfortable with it being against the law, on the basis that practically it would be too difficult to prove one way or the other in a court.

I'm either confused by your stance or just misunderstanding what you're trying to say so I'm asking for clarification. Are you saying it's perfectly ethical for the disclosing HIV+ person and HIV- person to have unprotected sex, but the act should be illegal regardless of ethics?

Based on that wording, it sounds more like "No preference either way, since if it were illegal, it would be unenforceable".

Garden Ninja wrote:
RoughneckGeek wrote:
Kier wrote:

Krev82, I do think that person B has the right to take the risk, and that it is not immoral for person A to participate. Provided the relationship is free of pressure.

I am however comfortable with it being against the law, on the basis that practically it would be too difficult to prove one way or the other in a court.

I'm either confused by your stance or just misunderstanding what you're trying to say so I'm asking for clarification. Are you saying it's perfectly ethical for the disclosing HIV+ person and HIV- person to have unprotected sex, but the act should be illegal regardless of ethics?

Based on that wording, it sounds more like "No preference either way, since if it were illegal, it would be unenforceable".

I find that stance just as disturbing... namely because it can and has been enforced even in cases where there testimony that HIV status was disclosed. HIV criminalization laws frankly scare the f*ck out of me. The stigma attached to the disease is still out of control and willful ignorance regarding transmission is being codified into law as recently as this year (Nebraska LB266). Making it illegal for an HIV+ person to sneeze, puke, spit, ect towards an officer ignores years of research about how the disease is transmitted.

Jeez... that's scary stuff there, RNG. Police state level, not to mention as you said incredibly ignorant.

I never said I was comfortable with an HIV positive person sneezing and being incarcerated, I think that is deplorable. I am even sympathetic to your argument that it might be used in cases where it does not belong.

However I think drawing a line at informed unprotected sex is not orders of magnitude away from a reasonable prohibition. I am not advocating for it, just that a line drawn there would not offend my sensibilities. Somewhat pertinent to the discussion is this: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-court-declares-hiv-positive-killer-a-dangerous-offender/article2117088/

In short, a man slept with many women and infected them all with HIV. He was declared a dangerous offender. Which in Canada, means that there is the possibility that he may never get parole.

That was uninformed consensual sex though, and I can see some slight justification in that (I disagree that it was murder or even a matter for criminal courts). What you're advocating (or at least are willing to allow) is essentially forbidding HIV+ people from having sex, and that truly boggles my mind. I mean, you really think that's a reasonable position?

I think it's entirely reasonable to criminalize having sex as an HIV+ person, with partners that don't know you have HIV. I regard that as assault with a deadly weapon. The fact that we can stave off death with an expensive cocktail of drugs that have other serious health impacts is nice, but it doesn't change the fact that the disease is both fatal and incurable for about 98% of the population.

At best, it puts the victim in the position of never being able to be without healthcare again, not even for a few days. At worst, it kills them, after years of suffering.

Criminal behavior? You bet your ass. I'd lock the cell door myself.

Malor wrote:

I think it's entirely reasonable to criminalize having sex as an HIV+ person, with partners that don't know you have HIV. I regard that as assault with a deadly weapon. The fact that we can stave off death with an expensive cocktail of drugs that have other serious health impacts is nice, but it doesn't change the fact that the disease is both fatal and incurable for about 98% of the population.

At best, it puts the victim in the position of never being able to be without healthcare again, not even for a few days. At worst, it kills them, after years of suffering.

Criminal behavior? You bet your ass. I'd lock the cell door myself.

I'd need to know more about Lofchik's case before I'd say it was criminal. At absolute worst I think criminal negligence could be appropriate

If you know have HIV, and you have sex with someone without telling them, I believe that's morally equivalent to shooting them. The fact that we can stop them from dying for a couple of decades is not really any different from the fact that we can treat gunshot wounds.

Malor wrote:

If you know have HIV, and you have sex with someone without telling them, I believe that's morally equivalent to shooting them. The fact that we can stop them from dying for a couple of decades is not really any different from the fact that we can treat gunshot wounds.

For someone with a good understanding of what HIV is, yes, but Lofchik was an Ugandan immigrant. It wouldn't surprise me if he didn't fully understand what HIV is or how it spreads. That's why I say I'd need to know more of the specifics of his case. If he did have decent knowledge of HIV, then I could see a charge like negligent homicide being applicable (though I'd still think criminal negligence would be a more fitting charge). Certainly not first degree murder, unless they can prove that he had sex with them with the intent to kill them.

No, that's why I think assault with a deadly weapon captures the essence of the crime pretty well.

I dunno what to do in cases of ignorance. I just don't know.

Malor wrote:

If you know have HIV, and you have sex with someone without telling them, I believe that's morally equivalent to shooting them. The fact that we can stop them from dying for a couple of decades is not really any different from the fact that we can treat gunshot wounds.

And where do you stand on having children when you know you carry the genes for a disorder that is fatal in child or young adulthood?

I can just about understand codifying it as a crime of criminal negligence although I find that quite distasteful and I can see how one might then additionally be negligent to the point of manslaughter. But without deliberate, premeditated intent I can't see how you can get to either murder or assault with a deadly weapon. To say nothing of the fact that deadly weapon is usually defined as a physical object and not an infectious disease.

Regarding HIV - and I'll preemptively apologize to anyone here who may have the virus or know someone who does, or may simply be offended by my stance on it - it is a deadly, incurable, transmissible virus.

I'm not saying people with HIV are no longer people or that they don't deserve rights, but I don't think having HIV is on par with eye color, religion, or sexual orientation. It can kill. It can only kill in very specific ways that typically don't come up in day-to-day interaction, but it can kill. HIV+ people have my greatest sympathies and support, but they also have something that could kill me. I'm the sort of person who wouldn't let a little thing like a lack of gloves stop me were a friend or co-worker on the ground bleeding, so I admit that some aspects of the disclosure debate make me a bit nervous in certain situations.

I know that there are steps one can take to avoid transmitting the disease and that people with HIV have every right to deep and meaningful relationships. I just don't think it helps anyone to forget that it is a disease, much like any other STD or blood-borne pathogen.

You're right, DanB, and I'd have no problem being friends with someone with HIV. Just the same, all things being equal and regardless of available therapies, I'd rather not have HIV and I am generally against the disease itself (but not against its victims, who again have my sympathy). I think it's a bad thing. I'm not going to run screaming from someone who is HIV+ and they might even get a hug should the occasion call for it, but as you said, it's something to be mindful of.

DanB wrote:

Hell, even if you have the disease you're living in a country where modern therapeutic methods are keeping people alive for 30+ years.

My uncle is one of those people. Contracted in the early 80s and still kickin today.

Last time I checked the local law here was that knowingly transferring any STI (even the fairly harmless ones) without informed consent constitutes assault. The problem of course is that unless you whip out the legal contracts as part of your foreplay proving informed consent gets pretty murky and as such I don't think I've seen any of the lesser cases formally charged.

Ethically speaking as far as HIV goes I think person A would also have to be reasonably sure that person B will never turn around and have unprotected and uninformed sex with other people. How sure is "reasonably sure"?, could you ever be certain enough? I have no idea.

This is why I am not certain that informed consent is a sufficient condition to make every sexual act they might participate in ethical. It does not have to be HIV in this experiment, if we can conjure even one case in which sober informed consent between two adults is not sufficient then we're stuck with the long winded task of determining where exactly that line is drawn.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Regarding HIV - and I'll preemptively apologize to anyone here who may have the virus or know someone who does, or may simply be offended by my stance on it - it is a deadly, incurable, transmissible virus.

I'm not saying people with HIV are no longer people or that they don't deserve rights, but I don't think having HIV is on par with eye color, religion, or sexual orientation. It can kill. It can only kill in very specific ways that typically don't come up in day-to-day interaction, but it can kill. HIV+ people have my greatest sympathies and support, but they also have something that could kill me. I'm the sort of person who wouldn't let a little thing like a lack of gloves stop me were a friend or co-worker on the ground bleeding, so I admit that some aspects of the disclosure debate make me a bit nervous in certain situations.

I know that there are steps one can take to avoid transmitting the disease and that people with HIV have every right to deep and meaningful relationships. I just don't think it helps anyone to forget that it is a disease, much like any other STD or blood-borne pathogen.

But we equally shouldn't headlessly run around assuming having sex with an HIV+ person is an automatic death sentence. HIV is a surprisingly non-infectious virus, every 10,000 exposures to the virus only leads to about 20 new infections (although transmission rates differ for givers or receivers and for differing sex acts). It's really only "something that could kill me" if you're regularly having unprotected sex within a community where infection rates are high. Beyond that as long as you are using protection and you & your partners are getting regular STI testing then it's something you should be mindful of but not overly worried about.

Hell, even if you have the disease you're living in a country where modern therapeutic methods are keeping people alive for 30+ years.

The wikipedia article has a really nice table of the actual infection rates:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV#Tra...

edited: to clarify that transmission rates are low, the infection rate is pretty high (worldwide people have a lot of sex!).

But without deliberate, premeditated intent I can't see how you can get to either murder or assault with a deadly weapon. To say nothing of the fact that deadly weapon is usually defined as a physical object and not an infectious disease.

Because HIV is deadly, and if you're depriving a sex partner of the knowledge that you have it, you're intentionally assaulting them. It can have much worse consequences than a mere gunshot wound. Hell, you don't even have to HURT someone for an assault charge, you just have to try. And I'd say failing to inform about HIV qualifies.

From Wikipedia:

In common law, criminal assault often accompanied battery. See common assault. The elements of battery are (1) a volitional act[6] (2) done for the purpose of causing a harmful or offensive contact with another person or under circumstances that make such contact substantially certain to occur and (3) which causes such contact.[7] Thus throwing a rock at someone for the purpose of hitting him is a battery if the rock in fact strikes the person and is an assault if the rock misses. The fact that the person may have been unaware that the rock had been thrown at him is irrelevant under this definition of assault.

So the person doesn't need to know they were attacked to have been assaulted; I'd say the hidden nature of HIV qualifies pretty well there. And you don't even have to HURT someone to be guilty of assault, so having sex with a partner that does not catch your HIV infection fits that part of the charge as well.

By the common definition, having sex with someone without informing them of your HIV+ status sure looks to qualify as an assault. If you actually infect them, it's probably a battery as well.

Malor wrote:
But without deliberate, premeditated intent I can't see how you can get to either murder or assault with a deadly weapon. To say nothing of the fact that deadly weapon is usually defined as a physical object and not an infectious disease.

Because HIV is deadly, and if you're depriving a sex partner of the knowledge that you have it, you're intentionally assaulting them. It can have much worse consequences than a mere gunshot wound. Hell, you don't even have to HURT someone for an assault charge, you just have to try. And I'd say failing to inform about HIV qualifies.

That's no less true of having the flu or an almost endless list of other infections though. Annual worldwide flu deaths are around 250,000-500,000 (and have been significantly more), annual aids deaths have averaged about 850,000, that's still within the same order of magnitude*. There are nearly 36,000 flu deaths per year in the US and around 17,000 AIDs deaths. When was the last time you informed everyone around you that you had flu and quarantined yourself? Ever gone in to work when you know you were getting a bit ill or gone back to work before you absolutely recovered? If you're going to make knowingly passing on infections a crime where does it stop?

As I say, wilfully non-disclosing your HIV status with the intent of causing harm I can get behind as a crime, I remain reasonably skeptical about how you'd prove the intent in just about all cases. And maybe even just wilful non-disclosure of HIV status could be a crime, although I'm less convinced given really we should all regard sexual activity as risky activity and protect ourselves accordingly.

Malor wrote:

By the common definition, having sex with someone without informing them of your HIV+ status sure looks to qualify as an assault. If you actually infect them, it's probably a battery as well.

But assault and battery both require intent, wilfully non-disclosure is not the same as intent to cause harm, probably is negligent mind

DanB wrote:

That's no less true of having the flu or an almost endless list of other infections though. Annual worldwide flu deaths are around 250,000-500,000 (and have been significantly more), annual aids deaths have averaged about 850,000, that's still within the same order of magnitude*. There are nearly 36,000 flu deaths per year in the US and around 17,000 AIDs deaths. When was the last time you informed everyone around you that you had flu and quarantined yourself? Ever gone in to work when you know you were getting a bit ill or gone back to work before you absolutely recovered? If you're going to make knowingly passing on infections a crime where does it stop?

Though I agree with your sentiment, if the assumption is that the infected person is having sex in one situation, and going in to work in the other, I don't think that's a very balanced comparison despite the different infection vectors. You're also talking about a life long debilitating and ultimately deadly illness vs. what to most is a temporary sickness. When I have a cold or the flu, I make sure that my friends know before they come over (in case they want to change their mind) and don't go to social functions if it's the flu. If I'm sick I also won't shake people's hands and I won't kiss my wife and kids. There are many people who do the same. Differing measures are appropriate for different types of illness.

DanB, there's a difference between death rate and mortality rate. Many more people catch the flu than HIV annually, and you need to look at the percentage of people who will eventually die from each. The mortality rate of HIV approaches 100%, even if some people can live with it for a very long time. Though I suppose if you want to get technical, HIV doesn't directly kill anyone; it just makes it way, way easier for the flu to come in and finish the job.

It's important that we as a society understand how HIV is transmitted and allow those people to continue living normal lives to the absolute highest degree that it is safe, but we also must respect that threshold, because crossing it can get people infected.

For the record, you can sue someone for infecting you with an STD. It is considered personal injury. However it's very difficult to litigate and determine intent; how can you prove someone knew they were sick? That said, people have successfully sued for damages due to exposure to the virus, even if they didn't actually get sick.