Thursday, January 6, 2011

Boy, 13, Arrested for Fondling Girl, 12

But, the kicker is that the groping was consensual. The boy was arrested because the girl is too young to consent, but isn't the boy also? A quick googling shows that the age of consent in Pennsylvania to be 16. If the girl cannot consent to being groped, how can the boy consent to groping?

This is an example of the horrible and disgusting double standard that exists in America. The view is that the boys are the predators, and the girls must be protected from them. Despite the view of some, not all men are predators. I will even go so far as to claim with absolutely no research whatsoever that the vast majority of men are not predators.

Children, like adults, are sexual beings. And, that includes girls. Parents, and society, may feel uncomfortable with this fact, but it is undeniable.  Puberty is the long, often painful process of turning children into adults, and a big part of that process is the awakening of sexual desires. Both girls and boys have these desires, and wanting to act on these desires is normal and natural.

In some ways, children should feel free to act on these desires, such as masturbation. Other acts should wait until the child is older, perhaps college age, perhaps married, according to some. But, kids do not always wait, and some start fooling around rather young. Criminalizing such play is not helpful, necessary, or right. And, arresting only the boy is frightfully sexist.

Before I am accused of denying my male privilege, let me state that I am well aware of the differences in social pressures on girls and boys. With slut-shaming, sexual harassment, abstinence only education, gender role expectations, and general stereotyping, pressures are tough on middle school kids. Sexism is still alive and well in our society.

Arresting this boy, though, will not help matters. It only reinforces our current problems.

[via Savage Love]

1 comment:

  1. Since when did statutory rape laws apply to anything other than straight up sex? Fondling, really? Crap, it reminds me of being on the school yard and being told 'no hand-holding' bullshit.

    Sometimes I think that if rape and sexual assault laws based on consent and enforcement of such laws were more effective, then an age of consent wouldn't even be necessary. No would mean no, no matter what your age or gender. But then I think of little kids who are trusting and adult-pleasing and it turns my stomach and I get confused on the subject all over again.

    At any rate though.. total agreement, this is over the top. What should have happened is each kid should have gotten a good 'talking-to' from their parents. Not everything about the 'bad old days' was so bad.