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Thursday, August 05, 2004

No little sin 

Eugene Volokh is a great thinker (and law professor). I have read his work with interest. However, his recent article on Mary Kay LeTourneau misses the mark.

He speaks of the damage done to the 12-year-old boy. Commendable. But he first dismisses the initial wrong. In his article, he points to Letourneau's conceiving a child (and later a second child) as the actual harm done to the boy. By having children, the boy is harmed in Volokh's view. What 12-year-old is ready to be a father? The all-too-common caveat of gender reversal is played. If it were a 35-year-old MAN and 12-year-old GIRL, then it would be bad.

WRONG!!! A 35-year-old having sex with a 12-year-old is never right. Gender does not matter. For arguments sake, say a child was not conceived (and later a second child was not conceived). Is there a problem with a 35-year-old woman having sexual intercourse with a willing 12-year-old boy? Do you want your 12-year-old son to have sexual intercourse with a 35-year-old woman who then goes on to publicly express her love for your son and then later stalks him in violation of a court order and probation agreement? Remove all the emotional baggage. Do you want your 12-year-old son to have 'recreational' or 'casual' sex with a 35-year-old woman?

NO!!! As much as we can make sly remarks about no boy ever complaining about having sexual intercourse with a lovely older woman, it is still wrong and there is still harm done. The boy will carry his experience into his future relationships. He will have a warped sense of sexual relations. Like many of today's youths turned young adults, after years of chasing empty sexual experiences, he will hopefully waken one day to realize that he has squandered years of his life. Hopefully, at that point he does not have children or a sexually transmitted disease. Do you have a daughter? Do you want her husband/partner/whatever to have been sexually active since he was 12-years-old? Is sexual intercourse part of a healthy, adult, committed relationship? What does it say then that we as a society are willing to allow a 35-year-old woman to have sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old boy as long as no child is conceived, diseases are transmitted, and the boy understands that the relationship is meaningless?

To believe that a 35-year-old woman having sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old boy is not harmful, we would have to accept some fantastical proposals. #1 That a 35-year-old woman is just hypothetically wandering around with no emotional baggage looking for a 12-year-old to engage in meaningless sexual intercourse. #2 That a 12-year-old boy understands that he has just won the sexual fantasy lottery and that the experience he is about to have has no bearing on reality or his future relationships. #3 That no one else is harmed by #1 and #2 (Her family and children, his family and his children).

Conceiving children is just another damning part of this mess. But as rational adults, we have to step up and say that adults having sexual relationships with children is ALWAYS WRONG because the best of all likely outcomes is still DAMAGING to the child.
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