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Old 04-19-2002, 02:16 PM   #1
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Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex

Has everybody heard the uproar over this book? The big hoopla seems to be over the statement by the author that not all sex between adults and children is necessarily bad. Comments?

Here's a quote from the book: "Teens often seek out sex with older people,and they do so for understandable reasons: an older person makes them feel sexy and grown up, protected and special; often the sex is better than it would be with a peer who has as little skill as they do. For some teens, a romance with an older person can feel more like salvation than victimization."

Here's an article on the book and the controversy: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...causes_a_storm
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Old 04-19-2002, 02:24 PM   #2
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Since this book is being published by the University of Minnesota press, it has been in the local news quite a bit. I must say, I can appreciate the author's use of the titillating and shocking to generate sales. However, as someone who has had friends deal personally with child sex abuse, I'm not overly fond of making the subject more "PC".
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Old 04-19-2002, 02:26 PM   #3
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well this may come out as being off the wall but i see nothing that i would disagree with in that statement.

Teens often seek out sex with older people,and they do so for understandable reasons: an older person makes them feel sexy and grown up, protected and special; often the sex is better than it would be with a peer who has as little skill as they do. For some teens, a romance with an older person can feel more like salvation than victimization.

but a teen acting in the best interest of a teen isn't actually a teen who is on the right course, erm, you know what i mean. she didn't say that a romance with an older person is salvation for a teen, she said that is what it *felt* like for the teen.

she should have a qualifying statement there saying what the teen thinks is best isn't neccessarily so and maybe she does, i have only seen that article.

does that make any sense to anyone else?
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Old 04-19-2002, 04:51 PM   #4
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"Teens often seek out sex with older people,and they do so for understandable reasons: an older person makes them feel sexy and grown up, protected and special; often the sex is better than it would be with a peer who has as little skill as they do. For some teens, a romance with an older person can feel more like salvation than victimization."

Uhm....as a "teen" (oh how I resent that label), I want to post on this. Yeah, being involved with someone older than you is pretty common with girls my age (17-18). But the guys are usually between 19-21. I don't know exactly how I feel about it. Most of my friends are not sexually active, so I suppose it's a different story. I do, however, feel that most people my age are not ready for the implications that come with being sexually active, so it's flat out not the best idea on earth to do it in the first place. But any kind of sexual relations between someone over 18 and someone under 16 is just wrong.
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Old 04-19-2002, 05:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl:
In times past, in different cultures, 13 year old girls were considered of an age to marry. They can procreate, so the body is ready to be sexual. But I think we live in such a different time today...it's all tricky territory.
In the village where I grew up in Indonesia, many of my friends were married around age 13 or 14. However, they also were treated as adults, had to manage their own households, and were no longer children. In our present culture, I would hardly say that the same expectations are placed on 13 year olds. So, perhaps the question is not one of physical readiness for sexual activity but emotional and mental readiness to take on the baggage that it implies.

Tricky territory indeed.
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Old 04-19-2002, 06:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
In the village where I grew up in Indonesia, many of my friends were married around age 13 or 14. However, they also were treated as adults, had to manage their own households, and were no longer children. In our present culture, I would hardly say that the same expectations are placed on 13 year olds. So, perhaps the question is not one of physical readiness for sexual activity but emotional and mental readiness to take on the baggage that it implies.

Tricky territory indeed.

I totally agree.
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Old 04-19-2002, 07:09 PM   #7
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Have any of you actually read the book? I've not yet myself, but I think the author's larger point is that overprotecting teenagers from healthy sexual expression can do more damage than good.

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Old 04-19-2002, 07:17 PM   #8
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I think that Mohammed's wife was nine when they got married. He was 54 at the time.

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Old 04-19-2002, 08:04 PM   #9
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Just because it "happens" or some book justifies it doesn't mean it is a good thing. A thirteen year old should be off limits for any adult. There is a difference between that and a 17 year old girl having a 19 year old boyfriend.

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Old 04-19-2002, 08:46 PM   #10
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Trust me. I don't think it is a good thing. Just wanted to state that it was fairly commonplace until probably the last century.

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Old 04-19-2002, 09:27 PM   #11
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Oh, I didn't mean to imply that you thought it a good thing; my comments were to the topic in general.

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Old 04-19-2002, 09:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
"Teens often seek out sex with older people,and they do so for understandable reasons: an older person makes them feel sexy and grown up, protected and special; often the sex is better than it would be with a peer who has as little skill as they do. For some teens, a romance with an older person can feel more like salvation than victimization."
No, this is so wrong. It happened to me, with my consent, at 14. He was 23. It was not romantic, it was not good, and I felt exploited and used like a piece of garbage. I had no business making that type of decision at that age and he should have been arrested. I was in way over my head without the maturity and life experience to deal with it. Adults should not have sex with minors, period. I think if this would have happened with someone my own age, I would have felt completely different about it now. The balance of power between a 14 year old girl (or guy for that matter) and an adult is not even close to being equal and the adult will always hold the upper hand.

I do think that by the age of 16 or 17, a person is capable of making the decision to have sex, with someone their own age, if they have been given the proper information to protect themselves. I am the mother of a 17 year old son and I know he is having sex with girls his own age but I would be really, really pissed if I found he was sleeping with someone over the age of 18.
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Old 04-19-2002, 10:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bono's American Wife:
I had no business making that type of decision at that age and he should have been arrested.
understandably so but as a few people have stated, we do not know how the author continues. there is a controversy regarding this passage but the author may very well, and should, go on to discuss how this decision should not be left up to the teen in whole. there should be other brakes on the process in society.

in the end, as with your situation, it is the persons prerogative. but the more deterrant resources available within society the better so that unfortunate and regretful situations don't occur as often.

[This message has been edited by kobayashi (edited 04-19-2002).]
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Old 04-19-2002, 10:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by kobayashi:
understandably so but as a few people have stated, we do not know how the author continues. there is a controversy regarding this passage but the author may very well, and should, go on to discuss how this decision should not be left up to the teen in whole. there should be other brakes on the process in society.

in the end, as with your situation, it is the persons prerogative. but the more deterrant resources available within society the better so that unfortunate and regretful situations don't occur as often.

[This message has been edited by kobayashi (edited 04-19-2002).]

True enough and I can only comment on that particular passage, not having read the book. I am really interested in knowing the full context because by itself, its pretty controversial. And I think Sula was right about the titilation factor being used to generate sales.
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Old 04-20-2002, 01:22 AM   #15
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I don't think sexual relations are okay between a young teen and a much older person, but what sula said is so true. It really depends on the social context. If the teens are treated like adults (like in Nepal for instance), it sounds fine.

I'm not really interested in the sexual side of it, though. I just wanted to say that I do think a romantic or very close relationship between a young teen and an older person is legitimate. At the age of 15-19, I had at least 2 soulmates who were over 30. But this is all just my humble opinion.

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