“Sex” with boys isn’t sex

It’s physically impossible to have sex with a child. If you’re an adult and you are “having sex” with a child, that’s rape. Even if you insist that the child consented. The Huffington Post recently reported about a woman who was jailed for “having sex with an eight-year old.” When the story was reprinted in one of Ghana’s newspapers, The Daily Graphic, It was filed under “odd news.”

This indicates a lot that is wrong with how societies in general view male sexuality. A grown woman raping a boy is not odd, it’s criminal. The paper reported that “Loren Morris, 21, was 16 when she first slept with the schoolboy and continued until he was ten years old. Morris… would have regular intercourse with the boy, now 14, and was only found out after he was overheard bragging about it at school.” [emphasis mine]

The judge gave her a two-year sentence, giving the reason that “due to the concern and embarrassment caused to both you and your family that you will not be offending again, let alone committing sexual offences.”

In 2008, Kelsey Peterson, a 26-year old math teacher, pled guilty to raping her 12-year old student. Her defense? “I resent the term ‘child.’ You’re baby-fying this kid. This kid is a Latino machismo teenager.” Aside from the fact that “babyfying” isn’t a word, “machismo” isn’t an adjective, and a 12-year old isn’t a teenager, her defense places the blame on the victim of her predation, throwing in all kinds of gendered and racial ideas about sexuality, and who can and cannot be a victim.

In 2009, Lil’ Wayne disclosed that he had been a victim of sexual assault at age 11. In his documentary, he brags about how he “loved” it, even though when he later appeared on Jimmy Kimmel, he didn’t speak about the experience as though it was a positive one. Because it isn’t.

There is something wrong with what society is teaching both men and women about male sexuality when boys who are victims of a crime find that it’s something to brag about. I don’t believe that it’s their fault- the idea of a man being the victim of this type of crime is seen as a joke. How often do you hear jokes, especially in American media, about “dropping the soap” in prison, like in the Boondocks episode?

We are bombarded all the time with images about men being hypersexual, always wanting it and it being impossible for a man to be a victim of rape, because men always want to have sex with anything and everything. We have not created a world where a boy can come forward and admit to having been a victim; they are supposed to have enjoyed it. As Cara at the Curvature put it, “In cases where a man is the victim of a woman’s violence, rape apologism is strongly rooted in the denial that women’s actions can count as violence at all — and especially that their actions can count as sexual violence against men, who are routinely construed as incapable of being victims.”

When you add racialized stereotypes and expectations of how men are supposed to behave, it makes people that much more resistant to acknowledging that boys (and men) can be victims of this kind of predation.

It’s only when men and women are acknowledged as full human beings with individual desires, agency, and libidos, that survivors will be able to come forward without shame.

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