Several weeks ago I found myself devestated by the events occuring in my homeland. I saw Joe Pa coach as a girl when my father and I watched games as a girl, and later when I was a grown woman. I couldn’t believe that Jerry Sandusky has done something so horrible on campus, less than a mile away from where I was.
Then, a few weeks later, Jerry Sandusky allowed himself to be interviewed in an attempt to clear his name. He was asked if he was attracted to children. I would think the answer would be “No! Fuck no! Absolutely not! That’s gross!!! Fuck you for even asking! Only a sick bastard would be attracted to a child!!!!” That, of course, is not what Jerry Sandusky said. He said these things…
That left me feeling sad. Now I realize that, maybe, Jerry Sandusky couldn’t help it. Maybe Jerry Sandusky is perfectly normal – a consequence of evolution. After all, you write to this “reader” in response to his admonition that he is attracted to young girls:
That’s not to say that the majority of men wouldn’t exhibit some measurable penile response to sexualized depictions of very young teenagers in these studies (they often do), just that they get more intensely aroused by older targets.
Still, hebephilia certainly isn’t rare, either, and as I’ve argued previously, there’s some reason to believe that a hebephilic orientation would have been biologically adaptive in the ancestral past (at least at the upper end of this age continuum, since there’s a period of relative infertility for some time after menarche). The global age-of-consent laws reveal deep cultural disagreements over when, exactly, teenagers have the mental fortitude to make their own sexual decisions. In most of the US and the UK, a person under 16 cannot legally consent to have sex with an adult. In most of Europe, 14-year-olds are of legal age; and having consensual sex with a 12-year-old in Chile probably isn’t wise, but it’s legal, and the government would consider it your personal business.
My initial response to that “reader” would have been, “Fuck you, you sick fuck! Keep your cock away from little girls!” Now I know that it’s totally normal for men to be attracted to children. Teens give dudes boners. “Old enough to bleed, old enough to breed”, and all that. Forget that the age of consent was once 12 and 14 because people only lived to be 30. It’s just part of dude biology. It’s evolution!!! Whew!!!! The thing that I am most comforted by, though, is your statement that its good for teh kidZ. You write:
Rind finds that many adults, especially men, have positive, meaningful memories of their “technically illegal” relationships with non-exploitative adults during their adolescent years. Although too many minors are hideously abused, raped, and exploited sexually—a fact to be met with merciless fury and disdain—Rind points out that it’s foolish and manipulative to demand that all teens frame their consensual trysts with all adults as inherently negative. He tells of a 14-year-old Jewish boy who lost his virginity to a prostitute in her 20s on the eve of the Holocaust only to soon perish at a concentration camp. On learning after the war from his son’s friend that the boy died a “man,” the boy’s father smiled and wept with pride. The irony, of course, is that today’s moral panic dictates that this teenager should be called a “survivor” of sex abuse had he actually escaped Auschwitz.
You’ve certainly made me reconsider the feminist part of me. After all, I would have contended that older men have sex with young girls do so in a tremendous postition of power. That young people are not emotionally mature to engage in meaningful relationships with older adults. I might have made the point that this line between manipulation and acceptable relationship is arbitrary, at best. I might have argued that any adult who has sex with a minor child is abusing them, regardless of what the minor child thinks. I might have argued that some teens who have sex with older men as teens have different feelings about those relationships when they are older. That would have been silly. Evolution!
I suggest you call Jerry Sandusky’s legal team right now. You should be an expert witness, no doubt. Perhaps you could make the case that if those kids had been sent to concentration camps, at least their fathers would have been proud they didn’t die virgins. Your testimony could get Jerry Sandusky cannonized instead of imprisoned.
They might even put him back on the mural. And we could all feel better about the terrible, horrible things that went down because, after all, it’s all evolution. And science.
Isis the Scientist
***Of couse, it would be irresponsible of me to not point out that evolutionary psychology is a pretty cocked up “science”. I put science in scare quotes because I find the whole field to be the primest example of bullshittery. Nothing more than a way for d00ds to justify all the fucked up shit they do in order to maintain their power over women and children. I’d point you to this for further review. Of course, pointing this out would make me a dirty, dirty feminist. And probably a bitch.
I’ll also note that I am extremely skeptical that Bering’s letter came from an actual reader and isn’t just some made up inflammatory bullshit. Who the hell in their right mind writes to someone on the internet to tell them they are attracted to kids? I have no evidence of this. Simply the notion that pedophiles generally try to not get caught. What’s an easy way to get caught? To email some fuckknuckle on the internet.