April 15, 2006

Curious George: Touchy Subject Sorry for the bad pun, but me and some friends were talking about Skrik's earlier post...

Mostly the discussion was about how people view sexual "interactions" (and I use that term hesitantly) between men v. girls and women v. boys.... The consensus was that men are predators v. the girls, and the boys were "lucky" v. older women. I found that to be interesting. Obviously, the parents of both victims are apalled equally, but society's response is quite different in each respective case. Also... I did try (about two years ago) dating a girl who was 19 (I was 27)... I found that we had zero in common, and it ended as pointlessly as it started... beyond the whole "youthful" thing... why the HELL would anyone want to consistently date or even try to interact with someone who is that much much their junior at that point in life. 48 to 38 is no big deal... Even 38 to 28 would be conceivable on some level to me, but 27 to 19 is now completely ridiculous to me, let alone any further forays into a more adolescent arena...

  • It depends not on the relative ages of the individuals, but their maturity, for which there's no objective scale of measurement. Hence the problems. Two examples, there were two hot adult female teachers reported in the US media who got involved with much younger boys, one of them was in the news again just recently. Both of them contacted their former 'victims' whereas a male pedo would repeat the behaviour with other targets. What this says to me is that in this case, these women are not sick child molestors, they are simply attracted to the younger individual, who are probably supple-bodied, lithe little adonai with huge penises. & in that case, we say 'lucky little bastard'. This is not to say that there are no women pedophiles, although I would suggest that they are a tiny number compared to males. It is indisputable that some boys mature earlier than others. OK. I don't care what anyone says, that is just a fact. In any case, rather than have different ages of consent for each gender, we have a standard age for both. Obvious reasons. The difference in attitude toward young men & young women in terms of sexual activity is because culturally we want to "keep our women pure" which is totally illogical, but probably based on evolutionary impulse. It is inarguable that the male is more sexually predatory than the female, & is biologically driven to impregnate as many females as possible. The female is not driven to promiscuity by nature, more to selecting for stability. This is fucking genetic, argue all you want, feminists, burn your bras if you have them. From a species standpoint, the evolutionary urge is to protect the female, as the more important child-bearing gender. It takes much longer to make a child than to make a sperm, dig? Interestingly, during one point about 18k years ago, there were many more women than men in our population, so the women probably had to compete a lot harder for males. But for a change in climate in Europe, we may have developed exactly the opposite kind of polarised gender attitudes, & you'd have Lursor and B'etor protecting their harem of Skrik, bees, quid & Chymie by locking our tockleys in chastity codpieces.
  • & mine would be XL.
  • Hey, Harold and Maude was one of my favorite movies when I was younger. Which is to say, if people with a big age gap hook up, who are we to judge?
  • from what i've gathered there are, not one, but at least two mating strategies at our disposal: quantity (fucking lots of sluts, crossing fingers) vs quality (fucking one slut beautiful soulmate repeatedly, hoping for the best). some girls like the bad boys, and some girls seem to like the bad boys. but why? is it pathology or just rare(?) taste for strapping, (very) young men? also, i've always assumed the female chastity dealie had its roots in puritanical religion. from what i understant, in places like afghanistan, the adolescent boys are often buggered by the older, horny bachelors. and it isn't regarded as homosexuality, and these bachelors don't particularly self-identify as 'gay'. but it's all kept on the DL. (of course, sexing an unmarried adolescent girl would be unthinkable, absolutely taboo. not to mention, if you thought BRAS were difficult to remove, try navigating through a sea of burqas, hijabs, and whatnot!)
  • why the HELL would anyone want to consistently date or even try to interact with someone who is that much much their junior at that point in life. Because they're emotionally stuck at the age where they either first scored with the ladies or struck out bad. Now they repeat or correct those experiences in an effort to stave off having to grow up. If they're smart, they rent. They are a massive percentage of the business for younger escorts, many of whom won't see men their own age because they want nothing to do with broke dumbasses who think porn is reality.
  • Some professor or other of of mine pointed out that it's hard to really define "human nature" - whatever "universal" moral stance one could point out, he had information on some tribe or other which thought/acted just the opposite. Margaret Mead seened to support his claim based on her studies of sexual activiy among young women/girls in the Pacific islands. Her work is now disputed, but the main dispute started after she died, so she didn't have the chance to refute it. And, weren't Romeo and Juliet just kids? Shakespeare portrayed them as tragically romantic, not too young for love and sex. I'm an old fogey, who thinks that immature sex, and the physical bonding it engenders, lead youngins to make really bad decisions. But that's based on my cultural mores regarding the place of a settled family in raising children. My nephews have several of out-of-wedlock children who are mostly being raised by my brother and sister-in-law. That puts a strain on the older generation, I know, but the kids are well taken care of. Maybe that's what the old idea of extended family really means. And, my grandfather was at least 15 years older than my grandmother when he married her in about 1915, when she was 16. They had some rough times, but were together for 60 years, and he really loved taking care of her. And, Wedge, fundamentalist Muslim men often contract marriages with very young girls, and "sex them up" at the beginning of puberty. So, is marriage the saving grace? (continued.)
  • This is a complicated issue. Is the difference that we live longer now, so early relationships seem more trivial? Or, is it the age differences in the initial post? Or the casual relationship thing? Enlightened consent? The willfulness of young kids? The predation of older partners? I'm not sure that any of those is the final answer.
  • It's a mix of them all I'd bet. There are twenty years between my parents. oO
  • Someone told me the formula for younger acceptability was half your age plus 7 years. I don't know if I buy it, especially as I get older. It seems to me that a 30 year old can make their own decisions, and the rest of the world can stick its opinions up its arse.
  • And, weren't Romeo and Juliet just kids? Shakespeare portrayed them as tragically romantic, not too young for love and sex. We never learn Romeo's age, nor that of Paris -- her would-be suitor. But peep this for age difference:
        But saying o'er what I have said before:
        My child is yet a stranger in the world;
        She hath not seen the change of fourteen years,
        Let two more summers wither in their pride,
        Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.
        Younger than she are happy mothers made.
    So Juliet's too young; dad wants to wait until she's 15 -- meantime Paris is reminding him that there are happy 12-year-old mothers. The times they have a-changed. My students are always amazed when we get to this bit. The interesting thing is that modern film versions (and all the stage versions I've seen) cast 16/17-year-olds for Juliet. I think R&J illustrates how differently we see sex and love now. For whatever reason, it all happened much earlier back in the day. Why is teenage pregnancy is such a problem now, when in the 16th century 12-year-olds were "happy mothers made"? With regard to teachers hooking up with their students, as a teacher I see this as simply pathological. There's a crucial line between us and them which -- you listening, Dan Savage? This goes for TAs and college profs too -- should not be crossed. We're not their parents, but as the senseis for the ages' wisdom, we're not their buddies either. Every time I hear about a teacher hooking up with a student, I feel profoundly sorry for the adult. Of course there's the moral repugnance -- but think about it: How pathetically miserable would your emotional life have to be for you, a 30-year-old, to seek companionship with a 15-year-old? I refuse to believe it's merely physical.. End of ramble.
  • It's a control issue, largely. It is to the benefit of the adults already established in society to delay adolescents from entering into competition with them in various arenas. When the population is significantly less than it is today, or when the population of a particular group wants to grow dramatically (see certain religious groups) these strictures relax considerably. They are not written in moral stone, and history shows every conceivable variation, none obviously more successful than any other. I think the fruitlessness of the conservative's War on Sex illustrates the futility of trying to legislate away basic instincts and drives.
  • Don't women still outnumber men by quite a bit?
  • I think it's a huge generalisation to say that you shouldn't date or interact (WTF?) with somebody 10 years younger. Having been in that situation (28 years vs. 18) I think it depends entirely about the individuals concerned. I was dating a girl 10 years younger that seemed more mature than myself at times just because what she had gone through in her life. And I do interact with lots of 18-year olds just like I interact with 50-year olds. Young people give interesting viewpoints to life as do old.
  • Don't women still outnumber men by quite a bit? Female birth rates typically run about 105 to every 100 male births, but have dropped radically in some parts of China and India -- there are, in parts of China now, as many as 130 boys born per 100 girls. Medical advances make pre-birth gender determination possible, and many families in these cultures still have a bias in favour of sons. One might assume, in a supply-and-demand sort of reasoning, that this would in the long run be beneficial for women's positions. But what seems to be happening is that young women are more liable to kidnapping, enslavement, etc, while some scholars/historians worry over the possiblity of warlike behaviour occurring among young men who can't find a girl to settle down with.
  • I dunno, having once been an 18 year old considered mature for her age, I can say I was still very much a kid figuring her shit out. I don't care about age and god knows there are plenty of 20 year old boys I like to admire from afar (hello new guy at my local Peet's!), but I'm not interested in dating someone who is, as space kitty would say, a puppy. I'd much rather date my equal. We care about reducing teen pregnancy for a number of reasons--the health of the mother being a really big big one. Having watched someone close to me get knocked up twice in her teens, that shit ain't easy.
  • I'm currently seeing someone ten years older than me, but then I'm all grown up now (or at least I manage a pretty good approximation of such). Right out of high school I dated someone significantly older, and realized that he just didn't want to grow up... and I didn't want to finish raising him. I think when adults date children (ie, younger than 18 or 19, and older than 30, maybe?), it can be an issue of pathology (pedophilia) or control and power (wanting to run the show, not in an agreed upon S&M sort of way but in a way where the other person just doesn't know any better). We've all known the equivalent of the creepy priest or uncle (uncle handsy) who has some pathology going on, but we also know the person who refuses to date someone their own age because then the other person might want some measure of control over the relationship. (This doesn't take into account people of widely different ages who are real partners, of course.) The issue that creeps me out the most about these teachers is the amount of power these teachers have over their students. These students' grades are at stake here, and even if they're not overachievers, they still understand that if they don't put out they maybe don't make it out of the tenth grade. I think the age difference only adds to this, because when you're young you often don't have a really strong sense of identity and when/where it's appropriate to stand up for yourself (at least I didn't). That's what grosses me out -- the betrayal of trust and misuse of power.
  • Female birth rates typically run about 105 to every 100 male births Dangit, there goes my last good reason for being single.
  • Ach, 'tis because we're the expendable gender, Monster, in terms of the survival of the species. Human males have evolved to see what happens if I push the red button, and anyway no one's looking -- whereas women incline to think, dear me, if anyone pushes that red button we could all be blown to smithereens! /bee-ology, grossly oversimplifed
  • The issue that creeps me out the most about these teachers is the amount of power these teachers have over their students. Tout à fait. Still can't get over how sweet that kid is? Then ask for sexual favours when the power differential is a bit more equal. And let us all know how it went on MoFi! We really are ultra-discreet.
  • *snicker*
  • Wolfo, I thought I told you already that I resolved that issue with a kind, yet firm, email.
  • Yours was kind. Mine was firm. Thank you, Miss Amanda!
  • one of the luxuries of post-industrial societies is an extended adolescence. therefore a disparity exists between the physical and emotional/psycological attainment of 'maturity' (a concept that is easy to define physically, and quite slippery to define emotionally). in pre-modern societies many many factors dictated that individuals take on the responsibilities of adulthood around the age of puberty, so the idea of a 14 or 15 year old as a mother was not shocking or immoral, even if the husband was older. I believe that even in (for example) Medieval European culture, there was an awareness that it was detrimental to the health of a girl to let her become a mother too young, say 12, and generally it was considered appropriate to wait until 14/15 to consumate a marriage, for those reasons alone. teenagers are physically, sexually viable mates, so on a certain level, being sexually attracted to a teenager is no 'different' than being attracted to an older person, except age. of course, psychologically, this is different. we can't expect a teenager to be fully able to tell the 'difference' between a manipulative power player and a genuinely caring romantic interest (indeed, many adults cannot tell either) so as a society we decide to protect them by creating certain blanket laws designed to minimize the opportunity to take advantage and be a slimy creep. this is a good thing. I believe there are slimy creeps and genuinely caring but interested in fine young booty people of both genders (it may be that women are creeps less often, but maybe they are just more overlooked, huh?) unfortunately, the law cannot differentiate, therefore if you are an adult and you are stupid enough to get sexually involved with an underage person, regardless of respective genders and/or purity of intent, you deserve to pay the socially dictated price. sorry, but there it is. as I have alluded to many times, I often harbor deep and abiding attractions to much younger men, but would I touch one who's underage? fuck no. nor would I date an 18 year old (for many finely stated above mentioned reasons of incompatibility etc) but I would have sex with an 18 year old, provided they understood that I was only interested in sex and not a relationship, and that they were ok with that. my point to all of this rambling? there are the squishy amorphous matters of the heart and there are the cut-n-dried matters o' law. if you really 'love' that 12 year old so much wait for him to grow up a couple of years, you cougar!
  • Monkeyfilter: The squishy amorphous matters of the heart