Monday, November 22, 2010

Adolescent Boys, Sex...Just Some Thoughts....

I ran across this book, Something Happened by Greg Logsted in the library and decided to pick it up and read it. It's the second book I've read about sex abuse by a teacher. The first is Boy Toy by Barry Lyga (see 9/27/09 post). Something Happened is fairly tame compared to Boy Toy which was fairly graphic and didn't hold back on the description of the sexual activity. It was not a gratuitous description and made sense in the context of the story, but the author informed me that he received a lot of complaints about it.

As I read both stories, I found myself really pissed at the perpetrators of the crimes: two female teachers, both very attractive and relatively young. When the abusers of sex crimes are women, there seems to be less outrage by the public at large; the media often focuses on the attractiveness of the perpetrator. In one such case, pictures were aired that showed the teacher wearing skimpy attire and posing for some modeling shots she had done in the past.

There's a kind of "boys will be boys" attitude by many and an assumption that this is a boy's dream come true...Well.  Not.  So.  Fast. As a therapist working with children, on more than one occasion, I've had boys come to me to complain about the sexual aggressiveness of girls. The boys complained about girls touching them inappropriately and they didn't like it. They sought help in trying to get the girl to cut it out. What age am I referring to? The boys ranged in age from about 13 to 15.

In my experience, boys entering adolescence are curious and intrigued with sex, but they're often afraid of it as well! They may talk and brag about it, but the thought of actually doing something scares a lot of them. That's why premature sexual activity with an adult is so damaging to their psyche and leads to emotional problems.

Now, you may wonder how an adult woman gets herself into a situation like this? Once again, based on my experience as a counselor, working with adolescent boys and being a keen observer of human interaction, let me offer my humble opinion. This by no means applies to every situation, but is just one possible scenario...

Let's look at a school setting. I've observed teen boys become very flirtatious with staff members. Some of them develop crushes. I've heard teachers complain and have indeed heard students ask teachers if they're married, do they have a boyfriend etc. I've observed boys invade the teacher's personal space. A teacher was becoming concerned and complained to me that one of her students was asking her too many personal questions.  The principal happened to come by when the student was standing way too close to this teacher despite her attempts to get him to back off. The principal had to literally get in between the two of them and give the student a dressing down! In another case, a boy literally scooped a teacher up in his arms and picked her up off the ground! He had to be commanded to put her down. These are just a few examples that I was personally privy to. There are more.

If a woman is at a vulnerable point in her life: problems in her marriage, lonely and unattached etc,  she may be prone to the attention a young, often attractive boy is offering. The student has a kind of "hero" worship of the teacher and he's not coming with the baggage of an adult male who is her peer. He's paying her the attention she's not getting from a more appropriate source. The kid adores her and just wants to have fun. If she doesn't watch out, she'll find herself in a situation she never expected. You'd be surprised at the stories I hear that never make the papers or come to the attention of the media!

Anyhoo...just some of the thoughts that Something Happened brought to mind. Watch it! You know what they say about a pound of prevention...

Oh. And don't think I'm putting the blame on the boy either. I'm not. The adult has to bear the responsibility for making sure situations don't get out of hand. The boy is still a kid and the adult has to be vigilant and not allow herself to get in an inappropriate and indeed criminal situation.



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  2. Great post, June. I haven't read either of these books but am putting them on my list. I worked in a school for at risk teens for many years and intervened in some pretty intense and complicated situations.

  3. Thanks Paul! I'm sure you know all about what I'm talking about. Most folks have no idea of what goes on in a lot of schools.

  4. This is a great post! I don't think I'd read either books, as they sound like they would scare me... and make me mad at the same time! Also, I didn't feel like you were blaming anyone, just laying out the facts and personal experiences. It's scary to think that this goes on :(

    I like your cat by the way.

  5. Thanks Peep. You're too sweet! I appreciate you stopping in and leaving your thoughts :-)

  6. What a great post. I think this is an issue that doesn't get as much attention because we assume the relationship is female student / male teacher. Sounds like a book that really makes you think.

    I linked this in my Friday Five this week.

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Thanks so much Kate for your thoughts and kind words. I'm on my way to check out your site right now!


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