• carolrhill814

    I admit these children should have known better but to make them out worse than a rapist is so far out of line is so stupid I don’t have the words.

    I guess these law makers never were young or they are afraid of what their children might do but to do this to these young children is so wrong I don’t have the proper words.

    All of this is so scarey to think anyone would think of these kind of laws it literally takes my breath away.

  • cmarie

    While I’m glad to hear that your own under 16 sexual experience isn’t something that you regret or consider to be assault, it is exactly that… YOUR own personal experience and by no means does it mean that the children you mention in the first paragraph were not exploited by the adults they were sexually intimate with.   Generally speaking girls who are sexually active before they reach the age of 18 are at much higher risk of pregnancy and and both boys and girls under 18 are at a much higher risk of contracting STD’s than those who wait until they are at least 18.  According to the Illinois Department of Public Health:

    -only 35% of males and females ages 15 to 17 use a condom during every act of sexual intercourse

    -compared to the general population, adolescents have one of the fastest increasing rates of HIV infection with an average of two young people infected with HIV every hour of every day

    -adolescents 15 to 19 years old have some of the highest reported rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia among sexually active people

    You may provide condoms until they are falling out the front door of the highschool but, unfortunately the very young often are not generally the most consciencious of people.   Encouraging them to hold off on sexual activity until they at least have the maturity to protect themselves from STD’s and pregnancy would be much more helpful than turning a blind eye to adult predators. 

     Also, I’m troubled that your concern seems to be strictly with the young (or not so young) men in question.  Maybe you just have sons and no daughters, so your natural inclination is to identify with the families of the boys,  but please consider the girls (and yes fifteen is a girl) in question.  Look some of these young women up in ten years and see how many of them are still saying “But I love him! and “Oh my God he was not creepy at all!” … “I was perfectly prepared to engage in sexual activity with an adult the minute I turned 14!”    A little maturity will make all the difference with them. 

    Again, I’m glad your situation worked out well and you do not consider yourself to have been a victim of exploitation but you remind me very much of a 98 year old who has smoked a pack of cigaretts a day since she was twelve and never even coughed.  Good for you but please don’t go around telling the young that they will be as fortunate as you were.

  • ljean8080

    with the 12 year old.unless she had a gun to head,he should have passed

  • ljean8080

    does somethng seem off in the story of the 12 year old and the 17 year old?

  • anonymous99

    Thank you so much Martha for this excellent post.  You’ve made many, many great points here I couldn’t even think about commenting on each one.

     

    Most importantly, to me, you’ve recognized the humanity of boys and young men.  Young men DO NOT just have one thing on their minds.  They are not predators.  They care about the young women in their lives and they want to do right by them.  They love, they care, they feel pain, they cry.  And almost all of them are not criminals – we should not be treating them like they are.

     

    What you’ve written here is very important.  I’m sure it’s not lost on you how important it is for women to lead on this issue.  Sadly, it is too easy to dismiss men who bring this up. 

     

    I’m sure you’re getting some pushback on this BTW.  Your courage is duly noted.

     

    I’ve trashed feminism countless times for advancing the cause of girls and women at the expense of boys and men.  Feminism has become a bad word for me.  Here, you’re advancing the cause of both young women and men.  You’re breaking down the stereotypes and biases of both genders AND MOVING ALL OF US FORWARD.  If this is feminism sign me up.

  • ljean8080

    was my daughter he would be in jail.12 is too young.

  • crowepps

    I used search to go through this article twice, and I didn’t find any instance where the author was talking about it being okay for 12 year olds to have sex.  In fact, she specificially said 12 years old was too young to have sex.

    It’s interesting that so many of the commenters totally ignored what was actually being discussed, 14 and 15 year old girls having sex with 17 and 18 year old boys, and reverted to discussing “adult men” and “children”.  Most people do not consider a boy still in high school to be an “adult man”, and most people do not consider a girl of 15 to be a “child”.

    I agree with people who think their 12 year old daughter is “too young”, because mine certainly was, but would assert that their 12 year old daughter is also too young to have a ‘boyfriend’ or to date, which my daughter was not allowed to do.  IMO, letting a 12 year old girl have a ‘boyfriend’ and go out on ‘dates’ while believing she’s ‘too young for sex’ is like letting your 12-year old go to an R rated movie because you told her to keep her eyes shut.

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