It’s strangely fascinating to see how the American puritan and contractualist cultural heritage seems to interact with well-meaning (mostly feminist) „consent activism“ and Christian/social conservatism. Here’s a great article from the NY Times outlining the extent and current legal status of prospective regulation.

Given the tendencies outlined in the NY Times article, I supppose it’s not entirely absurd to imagine how the – I think – generally well-meaning activists will wake up one day and wonder how they managed to accidentally contribute to ending the „age of acquarius“ – the generally permissive socio-
sexual climate resulting from the „sexual revolution“.

And when they wonder how that happened, one of the answers may be found in a recent poll published in the Washington Post, question 32 of which inquires whether it’s worse if an innocent person gets punished for sexual assault, or a guilty person gets away with it.

While I thought „in dubio pro reo“ would be a no-brainer, a principle deeply rooted in all but very few people’s intuitive understanding of justice, that is apparently not the case for current US students and recent graduates, which were surveyed. Half of the respondents think that it’s worse if a guilty person gets away than if an innocent person is punished. I suppose that also explains a lot more about the US judicial system than merely bizarre attempts to legally regulate sexual activity.

There’s a number of really interesting items in the survey, although many reply ratios make me wonder if people were either lying to give what they assumed to be socially acceptable answers or simply did not understand the question as such.

originally appeared on facebook:

PS – if you ever need one, here’s how you get your consent contract: