The assumption that all men and boys are sexual beings–that they crave sex, require it even, and are always at the ready to have it–not only removes an individual’s agency and right to affirm or deny consent. It also invalidates the specific emotional experience one has connected to sexual experience. Believing that the conquest associated with a sexual encounter trumps the emotions that accompany sex–and abuse–has created a horrible double standard in the way we view and discuss sexual violence perpetrated against boys by adult women. Pop culture tells us that there is no greater achievement for a teenage boy than their first sexual experience to be with an older woman, whether they be in a higher grade, a teacher, or a friend’s parent or adult-aged sibling. The narrative is rarely if ever seen in such a popular light when the genders are reversed. Our rape culture idolizes the virginity of girls, seeing it as something that must be paternalistically protected. But for boys, virginity is to be disposed of as quickly as possible, and to “lose it” to an older woman is seen as a great victory. This narrative is incredibly damaging to both individuals and our culture. These themes are explored in the recent case of a 24-year old Texas teacher, a woman, who had an ongoing relationship with a teenaged student, by which she became pregnant. But to be fair, it was not a relationship. He was a minor. It was sexual violence.
– Brett Goldberg
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