The Instigator
Freeman
Pro (for)
Losing
19 Points
The Contender
Ragnar_Rahl
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

These scenarios ought to be treated equally in the eyes of the law.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/25/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,847 times Debate No: 9555
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (48)
Votes (9)

 

Freeman

Pro

Over the past couple of years we have read many stories about male and female teachers that have had affairs with their underage students. Unfortunately not many people have ever sat down and had a serious philosophical discussion about this issue. More often than not discussions on this issue have been reduced to emotional reactions unguided by any sort of reason. It is my purpose in this debate to shed some light on this subject and see if we can't come to some kind of a consensus.

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Scenarios 1-4
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1. A 25-year-old male teacher has an affair with his 15-year-old female student.

2. A 25-year-old male teacher has an affair with his 15-year-old male student.

3. A 25-year-old female teacher has an affair with her 15-year-old male student.

4. A 25-year-old female teacher has an affair with her 15-year-old female student.

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Contention 1: Gender based discrimination of sexual relationships is unjust.
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All of my scenarios involve teachers abusing their power and status to get sex from their underage students and thus are all equally as wrong. For us to give special privileges to women out of deference to sexist views we may have about male and female sexuality is unjust. Therefore we cannot simply give female teachers a free ride because they may be "hot" or because we think that male students may enjoy these escapades. Male students may in fact enjoy these experiences and derive great bounties of happiness from them but the exact same argument can be made with relation to male teachers and female students therefore we can't draw a valid distinction.

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Guidelines
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----> My opponent will contend that all of these events should be treated differently in the eyes of the law, not because the law currently mandates this, but because there is some underlying principle that makes a valid moral distinction between them. With this in mind current laws about this issue will be entirely irrelevant to this debate. Appealing to current laws as the basis of an argument will not be accepted.

----> For the purpose of clarity an affair will refer to the physical act of sexual engagement between two people. Kisses and other forms of affection will not qualify as affairs.

----> For the purpose of clarity let us assume all four of these events are completely identical apart from the gender of the people involved.

-----> For the purpose of clarity the "law" in question will refer to legally enforced laws that govern a society.

----> Scenarios 1-4 were all consensual. In other words no one in scenarios 1-4 was raped or forced to engage in sex without their consent.

----> The resolution states that, "These scenarios ought to be treated equally in the eyes of the law." By this the resolution affirms that these teachers should all be prosecuted to the same extent with no differences in the way they are dealt with.

-----> The term "eyes of the law" is a widely accepted idiom and any attempts to mess around with its meaning will result in disqualification.

-----> Any violation of the guidelines or attempts to engage in semantics will result in a disqualification. If you are not clear about the resolution or the debate then leave me a comment in the comments section.

All the best,
Freeman

Thank you, and good luck to whoever accepts.

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Definitions:
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Affair- a usually secretive or illicit sexual relationship.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

Teachers employed by public high schools should be strictly prohibited by a law governing the contracts by which teachers may be signed from options 1 and 3, yet not options 2 and 4 (e.g. it should be illegal to sign a teacher without a clause that prohibits heterosexual student-teacher sex, and, naturally, illegal for them to violate this clause).

The reason for this is that they are creating a risk of pregnancy. Teachers impregnating students or being impregnated by students ensures that both ends of the system result in a highly precarious situation-- A pregnancy or an abortion are both rather bad for academic performance, and a teacher is paid to ensure high academic performance of his students. A mere afterglow is nothing compared to the distraction of either of these possibilities, especially when BOTH parties are distracted and so neither can help snap the other out of it.
Debate Round No. 1
Freeman

Pro

Let me begin by thanking Ragnar_Rahl for agreeing to debate with me.

Case Pro- Rebuttals

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Contention 1: Pregnancies in school
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This debate isn't concerned with what laws should be in place to prevent teachers from having sex with students in the future. You are arguing about what laws should be in place to prohibit this kind of behavior. We are debating how the teachers in my situations should be prosecuted after the fact. I made this absolutely clear when I wrote the following.

----> "The resolution states that, "These scenarios ought to be treated equally in the eyes of the law." By this the resolution affirms that these teachers should all be prosecuted to the same extent with no differences in the way they are dealt with." (Case Pro) Round 1

You can't prosecute someone for a crime they haven't committed therefore this contention must be dismissed. This debate clearly assumes that the crimes have already been committed. We are looking at the behavior of four different teachers and examining whether each of them should be punished to the same degree. If the word prosecuted had been replaced with the word prohibited in the guideline then maybe this contention could stand. Again, we are dealing with situations after they have occurred and we are looking at how they should be prosecuted from there.

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Contention 2: The addition of pregnancies violates the guidelines I set up.
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----> "For the purpose of clarity let us assume all four of these events are completely identical apart from the gender of the people involved." (Case Pro) Round 1

This guideline would necessarily entail the view that none of the situations I outlined resulted in a pregnancy because it would be impossible for all four situations to end up in a pregnancy. If one of the teachers in my scenarios got their student pregnant that would make for a very different legal scenario. As you have already pointed out scenarios 2 and 4 are incapable of producing pregnancies. In order for them to all be identical none of could end up in a pregnancy. I did this to avoid the addition of other variables that could be thrown in.

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Conclusion
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Since no valid arguments have been put forth defending the position that scenarios 1-4 should be prosecuted differently then I extend my original argument. Furthermore your argument, if I understand it correctly, has the absurd effect of allowing teachers to have sex with their students as long as they could ensure these relationships don't end up in pregnancies. What exactly are you saying; that lesbian teacher should be allowed to have sex with their female students because they can't get each other pregnant.

All the best,
Freeman
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"
This debate isn't concerned with what laws should be in place to prevent teachers from having sex with students in the future. You are arguing about what laws should be in place to prohibit this kind of behavior. We are debating how the teachers in my situations should be prosecuted after the fact."
Having a contract means you get prosecuted after the fact. Prior restraint was not my advocacy and is not possible without policemen in the bedrooms of both parties, which is absurd. It's after the fact prosecution of heterosexual student-teacher relations that I was advocating.

"
This guideline would necessarily entail the view that none of the situations I outlined resulted in a pregnancy because it would be impossible for all four situations to end up in a pregnancy."
The possibility of pregnancy is intrinsic to gender. If you exclude pregnancy as a consideration you are excluding a consideration that derives from the gender of the participants. The guideline is fulfilled merely by all parties being fertile (which is the norm at both age 15 and age 25). The possibility of pregnancy, among fertile parties, is nothing more than a question of whether the relations are heterosexual or homosexual (which is nothing more than a product of the genders of the participants), as far as the law can ascertain.

"Furthermore your argument, if I understand it correctly, has the absurd effect of allowing teachers to have sex with their students as long as they could ensure these relationships don't end up in pregnancies. What exactly are you saying; that lesbian teacher should be allowed to have sex with their female students because they can't get each other pregnant."
What's absurd about it? The distinction between homosexual and heterosexual relations, on the grounds of the fact that heterosexual relations have a risk of pregnancy, has a compelling educational purpose.
Debate Round No. 2
Freeman

Pro

Let me begin by thanking Ragnar_Rahl for his writing and for his time. This debate has gone in some areas that I hadn't quite expected it to go, but it has still been very interesting and certainly entertaining.

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Case Pro- Rebuttals
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Scenarios 1-4
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1. A 25-year-old male teacher has an affair with his 15-year-old female student.

2. A 25-year-old male teacher has an affair with his 15-year-old male student.

3. A 25-year-old female teacher has an affair with her 15-year-old male student.

4. A 25-year-old female teacher has an affair with her 15-year-old female student.

All of these scenarios refer to one teacher that now sits before a judge and is waiting to be prosecuted. You've misinterpreted this debate by assuming that these situations refer to future possibilities. Consequentially you have decided to construct an argument retroactively.

You're throwing in an additional variable, namely the potential for pregnancy, to draw a distinction between them. But none of these situations involved a pregnancy because they are all "identical". I'll just appeal to the fairness of the people voting.

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Contention 1: Heterosexual sex doesn't necessarily result in pregnancies.
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Even if I were to go along with your argument thus far it would still fail for the following reason. You have failed to realize that not all forms of heterosexual sex involve a risk of pregnancy.

Heterosexual couples can engage in forms of sex that involve zero risk of pregnancy even without the use of contraception. You assert that heterosexual relations carry the risk of pregnancy but we know this isn't true. Oral sex carries with it no risk of pregnancy whatsoever. The Bill Clinton line of defense will not be tolerated as a rebuttal because it's completely weak. It was pathetic when he tried to use it and it will be even more pathetic if you try to use it. Oral sex is a form of sexual engagement and given the definition I have used for an affair this point will stand.

" For the purpose of clarity an affair will refer to the physical act of sexual engagement between two people." (Case Pro) Round 1

Your entire argument is based on the false assertion that heterosexual relations intrinsically carry a risk of pregnancy. However, we know for a fact that oral sex between heterosexuals can't result in pregnancy.

Your argument could be surmised as follows, "Don't impregnate or get impregnated by your students. And don't engage in any behavior that carries the risk of this." Since this is what your argument essentially amounts to it doesn't logically draw a distinction between any of the scenarios I outlined, because not all heterosexual sex carries the risk of pregnancy. –(Vote Pro)

All the best,
Freeman

Good luck :)
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"
All of these scenarios refer to one teacher that now sits before a judge and is waiting to be prosecuted."
You've contradicted your own guidelines.

"> My opponent will contend that all of these events should be treated differently in the eyes of the law, not because the law currently mandates this, but because there is some underlying principle that makes a valid moral distinction between them. With this in mind current laws about this issue will be entirely irrelevant to this debate. Appealing to current laws as the basis of an argument will not be accepted.
"
It is obviousy nonsensical to bar current law in a case that NOW sits before a judge. Either you are discussing whether prosecution SHOULD happen, which means you are discussing how future laws on the matter should be, or you are discussing a present case in which case present law is relevant. The latter is more conclusively banned by the guidelines than the former, and so the only non-contradictory interpretation is to hold that the statements are time-of-the-case neutral.

"You're throwing in an additional variable, namely the potential for pregnancy, to draw a distinction between them. But none of these situations involved a pregnancy because they are all "identical"."
They are identical except for gender-- which means EVERYTHING GENDER ENTAILS is admissible into the exception. If the statement of excepting gender from the ban on differences were not to include the attributes of gender it would be a meaningless deception on your part-- and useless, since how you presented the guidelines in R1 governs what the guidelines are, not how you contradicted that representation in R2 or R3.

"
Even if I were to go along with your argument thus far it would still fail for the following reason. You have failed to realize that not all forms of heterosexual sex involve a risk of pregnancy.

Heterosexual couples can engage in forms of sex that involve zero risk of pregnancy even without the use of contraception. You assert that heterosexual relations carry the risk of pregnancy but we know this isn't true. Oral sex carries with it no risk of pregnancy whatsoever.
"
It is far easier to ascertain whether a sexual relationship exists between two people than what sort of sexual relationship exists between them. Court observers cannot effectively be dispersed to bedrooms and other sexual meeting locations to observe whether the sex is oral or otherwise. Additionally, once sex acts have been undertaken resolution to avoid specific types is significantly weakened. The difficulty of maintaining a resolution to limit oneself to oral sex as opposed to no sex, in addition to the enforcement costs of a ban on oral sex as opposed to a ban on sex as such, are quite sufficient to necessitate that the governing law on the matter bar all sex between student-teacher pairings capable of producing a child for the purposes of public schools.

"
Your argument could be surmised as follows, "Don't impregnate or get impregnated by your students. And don't engage in any behavior that carries the risk of this." Since this is what your argument essentially amounts to it doesn't logically draw a distinction between any of the scenarios I outlined, because not all heterosexual sex carries the risk of pregnancy."
In the vision of the law, it does. Remember, the resolution is about the eyes of the law. It is quite enough to have the law looking into whether an affair occurs, the law is not efficiently able to distinguish between sex in one orifice as opposed to another.
Debate Round No. 3
48 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
I agree with the thesis you wanted to present. Just not sure I agree with the thesis you actually did (Corollary to this, I'm not sure if I support the arguments I made in this debate-- a good change of pace once in a while :).
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
Ragnar_Rahl, does that mean you agree with my general thesis then?
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Never heard of the case. But since the present laws aren't based on pregnancy, I can guarantee I wouldn't have taken this debate if you'd made it about that case or any other specific present one :)
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
The point of the debate was to figure out whether two teachers who have committed the same crime should be prosecuted differently purely on the basis of their gender. Many such examples of asymmetrical and unbalanced sentencing of sex offenders can be found all over the place.

http://www.nydailynews.com...

If Helen Goddard were a man, that didn't get the student in question pregnant, should she have been prosecuted to the same extent? It is obvious to everyone observing this situation that if she had been a man he sentence would have been at least twice as long.

Is it fair that she got off relatively easy compared to a man?

Would it be fair to hold men and women up to different standards?

Unfortunately none of these questions were dealt with. =(
Posted by Kleptin 7 years ago
Kleptin
This is a really, REALLY tough decision. There's no denying that Ragnar's argument was great. For me, though, the vote hinges on whether or not Freeman constructed an impossible burden and whether or not Ragnar's argument was acceptable.

I'm still mulling that over.
Posted by Xer 7 years ago
Xer
As long as you put in a phone number, you can vote. Essentially, you can create an account, put in your phone number and just vote. That's what some people do, just make several accounts, and use their mom, dad, sister, brother, etc's phone number.
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
"I sense a potential vote-bomb..."

No........ I don't even vote at all.

I was just thinking about doing a debate on who should be allowed to vote.
Posted by studentathletechristian8 7 years ago
studentathletechristian8
"Nags, can anyone with an account on DDO cast a vote even if they have never participated in debate?"

I sense a potential vote-bomb...
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
The determining criteria is the phone number. I for one cannot cast votes.
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
I think I figured out a good topic for a new debate.

Nags, can anyone with an account on DDO cast a vote even if they have never participated in debate?
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
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Reasons for voting decision: "For the purpose of clarity let us assume all four of these events are completely identical apart from the gender of the people involved."
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
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