I've had something similar kicking around in my head for the word "murder" in the context of the abortion debate. Is it murder to cut off a leaf of a lettuce plant and eat it without killing the plant? Is it murder to walk into a mall and behead a random child? Is it murder to eat a carrot, killing the plant? Is it murder to destroy the upper brain functions of a human adult even though the brain stem and life support machine keep the body alive? Is it murder to pull the plug of the life support machine? Is it murder to cut off one head of a conjoined twin? Is it murder to cut off a (headless) parasitic twin? To kill a kitten? A chimp? A space alien that can hold a normal conversation in English? An AI that can hold a normal conversation in English? An anencephalic human fetus? A human blastocyst that failed to implant in the uterus? etc. etc.

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I tried to be consistent and answer all the deception-based-consent questions as 45%, including the one about stealing money back from a prostitute. Also tried to be consistent about social pressure < deception < drugs < violence. Except for the one where the person was enthusiastic pre-alcohol so the alcohol didn't change anything, I gave that like 5. The one where the 16yo was enthusiastic the power dynamics or inexperience didn't change anything so I gave that a 0. I'd also argue that being 16 is much less mentally impairing than having down syndrome, and I'd already given the enthusiastic-down-syndrome scenario a really low score.

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My immediate thought is that the one consistent factor is that the people you asked are from communities you're a participant in or that they are followers of yours. I'm curious whether the results would be different if the sample set was completely random? I'm guessing it would be.

My secondary thought is around the objective versus the subjective definitions of rape (and it is clear to me that you're testing for subjective definitions), but how would the results vary if you asked the same sample set after ensuring they understood the objective definition of rape as defined by an accepted authoritative text such as the Oxford English Dictionary.

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To quantify mental impairment, Down Syndrome costs 50 IQ points, while being 16 instead 26 costs only 8 points on Weschler, (and so does being 40 instead of 26, or being sleep-deprived) Not everyone knows this, so that might explain a lot of people rating enthusiastic-down-syndrome less rapey than enthusiastic-16. Or maybe they're just representing the law as-is and not ethics.



https://study.com/academy/lesson/adult-creativity-and-intelligence-changes-with-age.html (the tiny graph near the bottom of the page).

Related SSC post: https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/07/social-justice-and-words-words-words/

Which I would summarize based on my memory of reading it a long time ago as: "argue over substance instead of arguing over which stigmatized words you are allowed to apply to things"

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