“Is My Son a Sex-Offender?”

Hi ksnsyyfkye
Readers — Last week I was on a radio show where the host wondered how I could endorse the idea of kids playing outside, now that we KNOW we are surrounded by “sexual predators.” I replied that Sex Offender Registry is confusing because some people on it really do (or at least did) prey on children, but many of them don’t or won’t, and we can’t always tell which is which.  I didn’t get a chance to say this, but  a study by the Georgia Sex Offender Registration Review Board — Georgia! Not a state wussy on crime — concluded that five percent of the people on its registry were “clearly dangerous.” It also determined that just over 100 of the 17,000 (1 in 170) were actual “predators” — people who feel compelled to commit sex crimes. (Read this Economist article for more info.) Here the story of one of the other 169:
Dear Free-Range Kids: I know in some ways this isn’t exactly Free-Range, but last Saturday night my 17-year-old son was interrupted by a Sheriff’s deputy while “parking” with a 15-year-old girl.  I hadn’t heard about her, but apparently they’d been bf/gf for a few weeks.
After I read about the cases of similar situations that resulted in the teenage boy ending up on the Sex Offender Registry, I immediately looked up the age of consent in my state, Oklahoma, which is 16.  Then I sat down with my son and explained the possible consequences of having sex with an under-age girl.  But I guess it didn’t carry much weight coming from mom.
Now, I think the deputy handled the situation perfectly (even in a somewhat old school way):  he made both kids call their parents and tell them what they had been doing.   The deputy also gave them a good, strong lecture that with a present-day twist: he included the possibility of sex offender registration.  My son drove, so when the situation was over he was sent home in his vehicle, but the girl’s mother had to come pick her up.
I have to admit that I was initially amused by it, once my son established that the phone call was pretty much the extent of the deputy’s actions.  He had been doing what teenagers do, and getting interrupted by the officer seemed almost like a scene from a ’60s movie.  I have done my best to prepare him for a safe and healthy sexuality, not only has he had comprehensive sex-ed from myself and our church (Unitarian, so it’s a different approach than many churches) about disease and pregnancy prevention, but I have also talked with him about maturity and emotional consequences for both himself and his partner.  I know from personal experience that teens are going to do what they’re going to do, so my approach has always been about sex being a healthy experience, physically and psychologically.  We’ve had open dialog since he was about 5 or 6 when he asked me, “What is sex?”  My response:  “Sex is a special kind of hugging and kissing that grown-ups do when they really love each other a whole lot.”
My first question when he got home was “Were you using/about to use/have ready to use a condom?”  He couldn’t have said “YES!!!” faster or more emphatically.  My second question was, “How old is she?” He said, “Two years younger than me,” which didn’t take a lot of math to figure out that there was potential for real trouble involved.  When I started to remind him of our prior talk, he told me about the deputy’s warning and it was obvious just how hard it hit my son then.  (He event commented that he was going to check ID in the future to make sure a girl was at least 16.)  But I still wasn’t concerned because there was every indication that the event was over and done.
Unfortunately, that may not be the case.
The young lady told my son that her mother wants to talk to me.  I understand that she’s upset and I said she was welcome to do so and my son sent the girl my number last night, so she could call me.  Her mother is mad — extremely so — and wants my son to be punished.  Harshly.  Possibly legally.  When he told me that, I started to get nervous and at that point sat down with my son and asked him exactly what happended that night — how far did they go?
Thankfully, due to our existing relationship on the subject, he was able to tell me honestly and clearly.  They were interrupted before they made it to intercourse, but had progressed to oral sex.
My son also told me that the girl and her mother have a somewhat contentious relationship and that the mother sometimes calls her daughter “slut” and “whore.”  I believe that the mom is really lashing out at my son out of anger, rather than honestly thinking he did something to hurt her daugher.
Now I’m concerned we should contact an attorney just to cover his butt for whatever may come from this.
Am I overreacting?  We barely get by as it is and have no money for legal fees.  And if I do need to consult an attorney, what kind?  Criminal/defense?  How do I find a good one, especially with my financial situation?  I’m scared for my son who was just being a normal teenager. What should I do? — Scared Mom
Dear Scared Mom: I’m scared, too, but I have no legal background. I don’t know if it makes sense to get an attorney just in case things escalate, or possibly wait for them to die down. Thus, I am asking the readers for their advice, and I am wishing you and your son every bit of good luck and fairness. — L.

Possible sex offenders?

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105 Responses to “Is My Son a Sex-Offender?”

  1. KLY May 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    For Oklahoma –
    “§21‑1112. Age limitation on conviction for rape.
    No person can be convicted of rape or rape by instrumentation on account of an act of sexual intercourse with anyone over the age of fourteen (14) years, with his or her consent, unless such person was over the age of eighteen (18) years at the time of such act.”

    A 17 year old cannot be charged for being with a 15 yr old, in other words, by Oklahoma law.

  2. Lynn Gilmore May 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    I would DEFINITELY seek legal advice from a lawyer. Law enforcement has a way of finding every possible loop hole to convict. If the lawyer says you don’t have anything to worry about, then consider it a good investment in peace of mind and hopefully the young man has learned his lesson. Best advice I can give to any teen: Wait until both you and your partner are over the legal age of consent.

  3. MikeS May 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    I wonder if this is an empty threat on the part of the sheriff. Wikipedia claims there is a close-in-age exemption in Oklahoma — if he’s under 18 and she’s over 14. But laws get weird about oral sex sometimes and, if the sheriff really wanted to, it’s possible he could find *something* to hang a label on.

    This is the biggest problem with the sex offender registries. They’ve given the state too much power to ruin people’s lives on a whim and allowed the state to pad their conviction stats by getting someone to plead down on crimes few juries would convict on.

    I wonder if there are organizations in Oklahoma that might be willing to provide some free legal advice on the phone. There are usually organizations looking to reform sex offender laws and they should know them inside out.

  4. Taylor Meacham May 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    My advice: In this situation I wouldn’t pay an attorney until the ball is truly in your court. As KLY mentioned, your state has a “Romeo and Juliet” statute (terribly named, as I’m sure your son and the girl will both live through this as, fortunately, will most couples saved by it). So there won’t be criminal charges, I don’t think there would be grounds for any civil charges since the girl did “consent.”

    Good luck to you and your boy. I’m sorry for the trouble.

    Perhaps I can add a less frequently addressed perspective here. It may come across as harsh, but I think it should be said. How did you talk to your child so much about sex but completely overlook some of the consequences? It seems clear that legal consequences were entirely overlooked!

    I am pretty sure that most children in the situation would be able to tell their parents what they did regardless of how much their parents had encouraged them to have sex. (It sounds like your son is either having sex a lot or planning on it.) So I wouldn’t pat yourself on the back for that.

    There is a significant amount of research that indicates that having sex earlier (and thus having more sex with more people) has bad consequences at least for women (I’m having trouble funding much about men or boys as the case may here). Their future marriages will be less likely to succeed and they are more likely to report being less-happy that women that slept with fewer men. Even supposing that the same does not hold for women, your son may be contributing to problems for these future women. She is more likely to become a single mother with all the difficulties that will bring to her and her children. I hope that came up while you were teaching about sex.

    It is truly a shame that the girl’s mother calls her a “slut” and a “whore”. As bad as that is, it’s probably worse if the girl actually is a slut – defined as a promiscuous female – at the well-seasoned age of 15.

    OK, I’m sure there are some folks who will consider me to premarital sex as Anthony Hernandez is to religion (see his comments to any post regarding religion even tangentially on this site). Perhaps you’re right, but I have more social science on my side.

    Again, I don’t mean to be overly harsh, but sex is far more complicated than I think you may have taught your son.

  5. pebblekeeper May 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    Although I don’t thing “The Registry” is the answer for consequences – I am saddened that you seem to have primed your son to be a sexual preditor. If he went out to find a girl – and has the place of a vehicle – and the means of condems – and then intent to have sex with her – she is his prey. You said that sex was for adults who love each other. This doesn’t seem to be the situation here. Looking after young girls to have in the back seat of a car – seems preditor to me. If he was older – we’d be talking about the guy that pulls up and asks girls for a ride. It only makes it right because they are teens? I am almost 40 and still have baggage from the freedom of sexuality in my younger teens – from boys who just wanted the back seat experience – although I was married at 18 – and sex at 18 – those younger years were aweful – of the “almosts” and “just got caughts”. Read your story again – as the mother of a 14 or 15 year old girl, and wonder what type of mom would send her son out freely to behave this way.

  6. Sara May 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    My mother taught at a school for pregnant teens in Ok for years.

    The fathers of the babies in those cases who were older rarely got charged with anything (even if there was a clear case of a 13 year old with a 25 year old) because in OK they require the parents to be charged with accessory if they knew about the relationship and did nothing. So if his girlfriends mom knew they had a possibly sexual relationship and didn’t do anything they can’t just out of the blue have him charged without being charged themselves (I think it’s brilliant myself). Regardless there’s a two year difference and that’s not an issue.

    Primed him to be a sexual predator because she gave him condoms? WTF? He’s a teenager dating a girl who is of logical age for him to be dating what they’re doing. Would it have been better if she didn’t give him condoms so he could have gotten the girl pregnant? The stupidity of people never fails to shock me.

  7. Mama Taney May 30, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    I applaud you for having such an open relationship with your son! According to what KLY replied about Oklahoma law it seems like y’all will be ok, but it might not hurt to consult an attorney for some free advice (most will do free consultations).
    My sons aren’t as old as your’s but I already see them being treated like they’re potential sexual predators. They’re ages 7 & 5 and because they like to hug friends (not all the the time, usually as a goodbye hug!) I’ve watched adults recoil and try to stop it. I worry for the future.
    Good luck, it sounds like you’re a very good mom with a very good relationship with your son, and that is about as good as it can get.

  8. Mama Taney May 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    @ Pebblekeeper -oh my gosh, are you kidding me?!?! What awful things to say!
    What if she WAS the mother of a daughter that age?!?! Should she not have made her just as aware, just as capable of making decisions, knowing the consequences, and capable of of being safe if she (the daughter) chose to do whatever anyways???
    You can’t stick your head in the sand about teens and sex.

  9. sconzey May 30, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    Here in the UK the legal situation is odd. It has been the custom for sometime now for parliament to pass a law that embodies the “spirit” of what they wish to achieve and leave it up to the courts to interpret the actual letter in a meaningful way.

    Thus we have the asinine situation where two underage persons hugging is technically illegal, but the Crown Prosecution Service has issued guidelines stating they don’t ever plan to charge anyone for committing such an offence.

    Anyway, we do have a so-called “romeo and juliet” caveat, but even so, the woman I am about to marry is two years and two months younger than me, and we met when I had just turned 17, do the math 😉

  10. Susan May 30, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    Predator is really strong term.

    If I recall correctly, the boys from my teen years who were taught to respect women, would still have sex given the opportunity. Respect for women should take care of him not pressuring her. And condoms at least start to take care of the problems sex can cause.

    I don’t know anything about OK laws but it looks like the commenters have it well in hand. Good luck to you and your son.

  11. pebblekeeper May 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    It is interesting to see that since they are teens – it is all ok. My child is safe at the park at the age of 10 but not safe in a car at the age of 15. I am awake enough to know what teens have the desire to do – I think I stated in my comment that I know far too well. I do not think a child is primed for sex by the distribution of a condum – but that a mother would expect his son to conduct himself this way, expect hsi son to have protection, and assume that her son is having sex with a 15 year old – and have it be a “good thing”. The idea that Teens Do What Teens Do – seems to be a part of the Free Range movement that I would do without. Training, Character, Protecting that young girl – with more than a piece of latex – would be what I would expect my son to be trained to do as he grows into manhood. Not to conquer every girl that climbs into the back seat.

  12. Nok May 30, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    Why is it always the boys responsible for locating girls? I have a news flash for you, females not really being into sex is a myth. We are not the innocent sex, we had that role thrust upon us. Unfairly.

    This country is getting out of hand with this sort of thing. It does not help that there are different rules in each state. But we do not live by Sharia law here, and we also need to stop infantalizing our teens.

    Her son is two years from the age to sign up for the draft (even though we don’t have one any more), being old enough for military service, being old enough to get married without parental consent… and the girl at best is a few months from the age of consent. This is purely a matter of the girl’s mother being embarrassed by her child being caught being “lewd in public”.

    And for Cripes sake, stop referring to females as sluts just because they have a NORMAL, HEALTHY interest in sex.

  13. Donna May 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    I am a criminal defense attorney and I weigh in, although I do not practice in Oklahoma and no little about its laws.

    First, don’t trust wikipedia for your legal research. While it does appear that 1st degree rape cannot be charged unless the boy is 18 and the girl is under 14, there is 2nd degree stat rape that may encompass your son’s behavior. Child molestation, indecent acts with a child, etc. all may also apply (although I don’t know for sure since, again, I don’t know OK law).

    It doesn’t appear that the police want to pursue anything so hopefully this will all die down. If not,

    (1) Your son should absolutely, positively NOT talk to the police. If they want to talk to him, no matter how informally or how nice they are being, the ONLY thing your son should say is “I want a lawyer” and keep repeating that without answering a single question. Too many of our stat rape clients end up in trouble because they admitted to the sex in a case that would have gone away because the girl’s (or her parents’) allegations couldn’t be confirmed otherwise (pregnancy, emails, etc).

    (2) If your son is still talking to this girl, make sure she knows that he could be in legal trouble. You don’t want to influence her statement or ask her not to talk to the police but there is nothing wrong with making sure she knows the problem. Hopefully, she will be smart enough to keep her mouth shut if the police ask her questions.

    There is no need to hire a lawyer unless the case proceeds further than the mother being mad. If you want to just get information, most lawyers will give an initial consultation for free so you can talk to them in general. You definitely would want someone who specializes in criminal law. You can talk to several different lawyers.

    As far as finding someone – Remember any idiot who graduated from law school can hang out a shingle. You want a decent attorney. Do you have a local public defender (an actual branch of the government and not just appointed attorneys)? If so, call them and ask for recommendations. I’m a public defender and we have certain attorneys who we know will do a good job to whom we refer people who do not qualify for us. Ask around your friends, family and associates. See what names appear in the local paper associated with criminal investigations, particularly with good outcomes. In a pinch, just talk to several and get various answers.

  14. Cara May 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    First of all, wow, people calling a responsible parent a predator-maker for teaching her son about safe sex? That’s crazy. Teaching kids about safe sex does not make them have sex! Kids who are taught abstinence only have sex in the exact same numbers except they don’t use condoms. Sheesh.

    As to your particular issue, there doesn’t seem to be a to get a lawyer yet. It sounds like your state does not allow prosecutions under these circumstances (I bet the deputy simp,y doesn’t know that e law has changed from when he first learned about it). If someone does try to press charges then you would need to get a good criminal defense lawyer. In the event you need to find one, see if your closes law school in Tulsa or Norman has a criminal defense clinic and find out what the standards are to be accepted as a client. If your son doesn’t qualify, ask the director of the clinic for a couple of names of well-respected criminal defense lawyers. Local lawyers know who is good.

  15. Uly May 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Pebblekeeper, unless this girl was pressured into having sex, which does not sound like the case, it’s not really a predator situation.

    Giving your child condoms (and we don’t know WHOSE condoms they are, nor how they were obtained!) is not “priming them to be a predator”, it’s teaching them to take responsibility for their actions.

  16. KLY May 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    You know… I am already confused by the responses here. Sometimes, I just get the feeling we’re all actually reading completely different stories or something, because of what other people seem to get from it.

    Firstly, the focus of this, and what makes it relevant here, is that “The Registry” is a big part of what fuels the culture of fear and paranoia that makes Free Ranging a struggle in our society.

    As for the rest, it is too easy for people to trip over their own moral bias and personal baggage when it has to do with sex, but we are talking about teenagers. I think that calling her his prey, just because he had a vehicle and condoms, is a little drastic, to say the least.

    “Scared Mom” clearly states that she did what so few other parents do: She spoke with her child from a young age, beginning with age-appropriate terminology, opened a real line of communication, and discussed not just the pregnancy and disease aspects of consequence, but the psychological aspects as well. To suggest she basically just told him about sex, said he should use protection and set him loose to use and devastate any female he could con into the back seat is really just… ludicrous. I think perhaps another reading is needed here, without pulling in your own personal issues.

    I don’t think this boy has been primed to be a sexual predator… I think it more likely he has been given a solid foundation to try to approach his sexuality as a mature person and make healthy decisions.

    They have been dating for a few weeks. He didn’t just pick her up somewhere, looking to score. And… you know… I was a teenage girl once. I would have been rather irritated at anyone who told me I was not completely “to blame” for my own part in the things I did, nor do I regret any of the choices I made, now. Also… promiscuity, according to the college I attended and by certain others, can be defined as having sex with one or more partners one or more times outside the bounds of marriage (and we could be expelled for it, which is why I had it memorized). Luckily, the actual definition is “having casual sexual relations frequently with different partners; indiscriminate in the choice of sexual partners.”
    But the term “slut” comes from something meaning “dirty and slovenly” and has never lost that connotation, even after the sexual aspect was cemented to it. It is most assuredly not right for a mother to refer to her daughter that way… And I think using it to say she might be, when we’re talking about a 15 year old girl, is being a wee bit harsh on the moral judgement end, there. The mother is wrong, period, if that’s how she’s talking to her daughter. “Slut” is never just a description. It is an insult, and always has been. Suggesting it might be *correct* is a little inappropriate here.

  17. North of 49 May 30, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    The Sex Offender Registry is supposed to be those convicted of multiple crimes or of severe crimes, not of teenage indiscretions. Unfortunately, kids who are sexting have been put on the registry.

    Lawyer up. Just to cover your son’s ass. If mommy dearest decides to press the issue, you could be in for a long one.

    At least you could always counter sue.

  18. KLY May 30, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Just to clarify…

    The reassurance I posted didn’t just come from wikipedia. I just used the most easily quoted (and least grammatically offensive) instance.


    This covers 2nd degree and lewd acts, as well. Oklahoma is apparently one of the states that has added “Romeo and Juliet” exceptions, for those under 18 or not more than 3 years older, depending on circumstance.

  19. Donna May 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Predator? Really? How insane! This wasn’t a boy who was riding around town looking a girl to screw whether she wanted to or not. His “prey” was a schoolmate a mere 2 years younger (possibly only a grade difference depending in birthdays) who he had been dating for a few weeks. There was no indication that said girl was not 100% willing or that he asserted any kind of pressure. I’m not in favor of 15 year olds having sex as a general rule, but if that constitutes a “predator” in your opinion, you have some serious sexual hang-ups.

  20. Emily May 30, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    I have no advice (legal or otherwise) but I hope this mother sees reason sooner rather than later. Your son has done nothing wrong and neither of you should be going through this at all. Good luck!

  21. Dave Higgs-Vis @ Folkabout Baby May 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    These sex offender registries do more harm than good, as far as I’m concerned.

    Sure, they might alert you to a dangerous sexual predator in your area. More often than not, though, they serve to ruin the lives of men who made a mistake when they were younger.

    Offenders who are convicted based on age of consent violations should be placed on a separate registry. If one of them is dating your daughter/son, you’ll know it’s probably a good idea to have “the talk” with her/him. If one of them is living in your neighbourhood, you don’t have much to worry about.

  22. Ray D. May 30, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    I agree that your son is not, or should not be, a “sexual predator” in the legal sense. He is just a normal heterosexual teenage boy.

    However, he is also a very selfish teenage boy.

    Condoms have about a 10% failure rate per year when used by mature adults. When used by kids in the back seat of a car, the rate is far worse.

    If he gets the girl pregnant, she will do most of the suffering, whether from being a teenage mom, or from the emotional and possibly physical consequences of abortion. Since they were only dating for a few weeks and you didn’t know about her (that makes me question the “closeness” of your relationship), his emotional attachment to her is almost certainly not enough for him to stand by her in case of pregnancy.

    I sincerely hope that the law doesn’t come down on him, but I also hope that he matures and becomes less selfish.

    If you do get a lawyer, I hope that he has to get a job to pay off the legal fees. That would teach him something about taking responsibility for his actions.

  23. LRH May 30, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    This is just outrageous to me. A 17 year old spending time, even intimately, with a 15 year old, could be construed as sex-offender registry material? Get out of here, that attitude is horse manure. It seems that, apparently, the laws DON’T interpret it that way, as well they shouldn’t.

    Now, to be clear, I am one that thinks people should wait until they’re married before any sexual intercourse occurs, not just because of the possibility of pregnancy & disease etc, but because long-term it harms you because you give away “pieces of yourself” to such persons you don’t fully give back. I fully believe that if you wait until you’re married to have sex, then it’s easier because you don’t have memories of past “conquests” or experiences etc that you keep having to put out of your mind and by which you judge your current mate if they come up lacking in anyway.

    But, that said, a sex offender registry response to a 17 year old male & a 15 year old female is nuts. 24 & 16 is one thing, or even 23 and 17, but 17 & 15? That is just ridiculous.

    This whole nonsense “cheapens the term” of REAL sex offenders–40 year old men making propositions to 14 year olds, the dirty uncles fondling their nieces etc. Just as calling harmless flirting “sexual harassment” waters down a term which should be reserved for REAL harassment, and calling it “rape” just because a woman later on regrets what she did cheapens the term for a woman who was drugged or physically restrained while the man forced himself on her as she screams for him to stop, so it is here. In like manner, calling a 17 year-old male with a very-willing only 2 years his junior 15 year old female a “sex offender” is just ridiculous.


  24. KyohakuKeisanki May 30, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    I am also from Oklahoma (and also 17 and male… heh) but this has nothing to do with that. In my opinion most problems would be solved if there was a SEPARATE sex offender registry for offenders age 21 or over who committed multiple sexual crimes (at least two of which occurred after the offender’s 21st birthday) with persons age 15 or under, at least one of which must be age 12 or under at the time of the crime. In addition, the current list should have many of the rules (like residency) taken off, and this “new list” should be the one with the extreme restrictions. If desired, a third “middle” list can be added for those age 18 or over who have committed at least one sexual crime with a person age 12 or under. This one would have many rules attached to it, but not as many as the multiple child sex offender registry.

  25. KyohakuKeisanki May 30, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

    “24 & 16 is one thing, or even 23 and 17”

    Both of which are perfectly legal in most states, including Oklahoma.

    In addition, even though I am against pre-marital sex, I am very much for “Romeo and Juliet clauses” due to the extremely harsh treatment that teens who don’t know better could get without them.

  26. crowjoy May 30, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

    Predatory teenagers: both sexes! Holy moly, a 15 year old girl could probably be thee most dangerous form of life on the planet! I have a friend with sublimely beautiful twin boys and the harassment started before they were even teens. My friend had to change their house number because the girls would. not. stop. calling.

    Sex Ed: A shout out to the UU sexuality program, Our Whole Lives:

    Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.

    The Registry: the erroneous numbers on that List are the List’s own justification. If the List cannot be dismantled, if its benefits outweigh the dangers of it FOR REAL then I like Dave Higg-Vis’ idea.

  27. Jim May 31, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    Just to second another post because it is so important do not let your son talk to the police without a lawyer without exception. Nothing good can come with this and all he can do is give statements that hurt him. I would suggest consulting with criminal attorneys right now that way you have an idea what to expect in your local area and can find one that you are comfortable with if the worst happens and your son is charged instead of rushing around when you have other things on your mind and not thinking as clearly most will give you a free consult and than tell you to call them when they are needed but by doing this first they already have a heads up.

  28. Stephanie Lynn May 31, 2011 at 12:41 am #

    To the mom, please don’t pay attention to Taylor Meacham and pebblekeeper. From your story it sounds like your son has done nothing wrong. Sleeping with a peer does not make him a sexual predator. Having condoms does not mean he is looking to take advantage of girls, if anything it puts him leaps and bounds ahead of many teenage boys who aren’t even that considerate or responsible. And I applaud you for having a good enough relationship with your son to talk to him about sex. Most teenage boys will NOT talk to their parents about this kind of thing and if you were preachy or judgemental of him, it would make him even less likely to talk about it. You are doing everything right and I just hope you and your son can put this behind you with no legal consequences.

  29. Anthony from CharismaticKid May 31, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    Why hasn’t anyone suggested that the son go over to the girls house, ring the doorbell, and apologize to the mother face to face?

    That is what I suggest.

    Her emotions are high, and she probably has a visual of the boy being some asshole. If she goes over and sees that he is a sweet young guy that didn’t know what he was doing, she will probably calm herself down.

    It seems like this mother has narcissistic tendencies. She calls her daughter a whore, she wants to put a 17 year old boy in jail. Like all narcissists, she needs her ego stroked.

    If he goes over there alone, tail between his legs, showing his respect towards the mother, I’m sure it will all be fine.

  30. Eris de Suzerain May 31, 2011 at 1:50 am #

    As the mother of a daughter, and a woman who was a teen once, I have to applaud this mom for making sure her teen knew about and had condoms. For, as a teen girl, had I had the chance I would have engaged in intercourse without them even though I knew better. It’s part of the heat of the moment/hormonal trials of being a teen. I know my daughter will face the same trials, and though I hope she waits until she is emotionally mature and better able to handle the responsibilities that come with sex, it can’t be guaranteed. We are mammals, after all.

    I am not a fan of underage sex, but I do support the Romeo and Juliet style laws as they at least make allowances that the underaged are in a similar peer group/emotional development state. It becomes predatory when it is a MUCH older person (male or female) seducing or pressing a much younger teen. There may be times when it is predatory within the age range, but much less likely.

  31. AudreyGS May 31, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    I don’t agree with “Anthony.” If the mom is that adversarial with her own daughter, she’s just as likely to dial “911” than forgive the kid.

    I have an acquaintance whose daughter told her mom that the oral sex was “forced” and non-consensual in order to get herself out of trouble (she’d invited the boy over when parents were not home). In the end, it turned out that she was lying, but in the meanwhile, charges WERE pressed against the boy (similar ages in that case). Yes, they were later dropped, but in the meanwhile, his reputation was ruined, his parents had to go into debt to afford the lawyer, etc.

    I really, really hope that your son understands that having oral sex after just a few weeks of knowing a girl is taking things WAY too far, especially at their age. It seems, in spite of your training about responsibility, that he is still being guided by libido rather than common sense. This isn’t said to negate what teaching you’ve done with him. My daughter is nearly 16, and had a class at her school called “Love, Choices, and Commitments” which really emphasized that ALL sex acts have consequences (including the transmission of herpes viruses, some of which cause cervical cancer down the road). One day, among a group of friends, she was saying something to the effect of “there aren’t any boys who would be willing to wait,” and a 16 year-old boy said, quietly, “I would”. He is her boyfriend and has been for a few months now. Have they kissed? Sure! But they both know that, at this age, their primary “job” and focus is school, and they seem pretty aware that anything more than holding hands, and some kissing, comes with consequences that they are in no way ready for.

    In the OP’s case, I sure hope it blows over and that the mom doesn’t decide to do something crazy, or that the girl doesn’t say something (like my friend’s daughter did) hoping to keep herself out of trouble.

    And I sure hope the OP’s son has learned a lesson. MAYBE 17 is old enough to understand consequences. A 15-year-old girl may well be a willing participant in the fun and games, but there is always a balance of power on the older person’s side — she may be “consenting” because she wants the attention, or because she’s flattered that an older boy “wants” her. But, I’m sorry, 15 years old is NOT old enough to know what she is doing and I really, really hope the boy understands that. And understands that oral sex, or any sort of sex involving a condom, should be coming in the context of a caring, committed relationship, not just someone he’s been dating for a “few weeks” and that he is keeping secret from a mom who he has an open, communicative relationship with.

  32. Sky May 31, 2011 at 2:03 am #

    ] “Training, Character, Protecting that young girl – with more than a piece of latex – would be what I would expect my son to be trained to do as he grows into manhood”

    How silly. Far more than latex was used – the word “healthy” was used at least three times as a charm. You can be sure there will be no psychological harm whatsoever to that 15 year old girl who is having (or just giving?) oral sex to a guy who has dated her less than three weeks and who didn’t even think her worth mentioning to his parents. And it’s not like the girl has any psychological baggage that might persuade her to seek fleeting acceptance from guys she’s briefly dated through the performance of sex acts – like a mother who doesn’t love, support, and encourage her. Besides, she’s almost old enough to go to an R rated movie without a legal guardian.

    No, this boy is NOT a predator. It’s quite possible he’s inconsiderate and doesn’t care about the emotional “health” of the girl, however.

  33. Jack Berkenstock Jr. May 31, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    I would like to weigh in on this from several angles. I am the Executive Director of a company focusing on the treatment of those impacted by sexual abuse. I have worked for the last ten years with adolescent and pre-adolescent victims and offenders. There is a lot going on here…

    1) The young man and young lady are NOT predators in any sense of the word. The behaviors here are normal for their experience and age. Granted the area of choice for sexual behavior is not the safest or perhaps most romantic, but thinking back onto the sexual development of most persons I know, most people have had youthful indiscretions with no large impact to their adult life. Look also at the societal pressure variance between young men sowing oats and young ladies supposing to stow their oats. It does seem that we are sliding into Victorian Era thinking when women cannot possibly be sexually active without pressure, it does make a statement of sexual inequality, whereas the true balance of any sexual relationship should be to establish that both partners are equal players with responsibility. The young girl is being taught here that she has no responsibility from the choices she made. Predators as many cited here are persons with a compulsion to engage in sexual activity. The motivation to commit sexual acts is rooted in many different reasons. Sex is the vehicle, rather than the destination. Additionally, a lot of comments driving the abstinence agenda should be given with perspective. Abstinence is a choice, not the only choice. One commenter stated that the young man is selfish. This is an example of this imbalance. It always goes without saying that the mother calling her daughter a slut has far more repercussions than getting caught in the car. This could give her a negative self-identity where sex is automatically seen as evil or dirty.

    2) Registries are ineffective. Period. The idea behind them is sound, but the way he overuse them in the United States is counter productive. We actually have used registries for the better part of the 20th Century. There is a wonderful book by a man named Phillip Jenkins called “Moral Panic” which describes this issue in great detail. Registries as one person posted are for use to track aggressive and repeat offenders. Having worked with over 500 young men, I have many experiences where the gentlemen had one or two experiences of sexually problematic behaviors and moved on to successful lives. There were of course some gentlemen who did not. The idea that this young man is predatory is simply not there from what was described. The typical treatment goal is to address sexuality and teach responsible attitudes and choices, not fear monger someone into thinking sex is bad. Sex in itself is part of our growth and maturing process. We always taught our staff to not allow their own mores to influence the decisions of the clients we served. People get so nervous about sex, and make the assumptions somewhere that if a person commits an act of sex, they have to have some kind of defect that is incurable.

    3) I do agree with the recommendation that if the angry mother brings some sort of a sanction of charges to have a lawyer present before the young man talks to the police. Many counties are looking to make examples and pressure confessions again trying to shock others into better choices. This never works. The worst case is that both of these young people will be more impacted by the overreaction to this situation, which will tarnish their view of sex, rather than allowing for better choice options. True scientific studies show no correlation between early sexual activity and later disturbance. Most studies citing the opposite are tied to a moral agenda. There is no perfect solution to teaching sex. All the lessons can be taught, but sexual interest is part mental, part physical.

    In general, the efforts most people put into keeping children safe actually tie up the system. This situation is a perfect example of how resources focused on these two persons would take focus away from people who are truthfully dangerous. The sad problem is that there will always be people who commit sexually harmful behaviors against others. Our solution should be helping educate people on healthy sexual choices with responsible sanctions that are germane to the situation rather than one size fits all imposed “we’ll show you” reactions. This young man and woman would benefit far more from a talk about better choices on where and when rather than a court visit. Parking at the spot has been a symbol of our culture since cars were invented (yes even back then). Lets make rational reactions in an effort to teach young people to make better reactions and choices. It rarely comes up to examine the way that we handle these situations to see the potential fallout of this onto the way young people think. This is another unseen form of sexual education.

    My wish is for all involved to come away with some perspective and no long term ill effects.

  34. KCB May 31, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    I think the point is that consenting teenagers are different from people (of any gender) who force others into sex. WHY is that a difficult concept??

    I was a teenage girl not so long ago, and I had sex. Because I wanted to. I really, really wanted to!!! So to all of you out there saying that poor Fabergé-egg, pink-garbed, girl-teens can’t desire/consent/be at ALL reasonable about sex – please.

    Taylor Meacham – It’s okay to call your child a slut if you think she is one??!!!! OMG. Bite your tongue.

  35. Helynna Brooke May 31, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    Scared Mom: My parents both told me about sex over time and age appropriately as you have done, as I was growing up. At fifteen my father added that although sex was a beautiful way to express feelings for someone and that during my teen years I would have lots of serious crushes, he suggested that anything beyond kissing and petting with clothes on could be emotionally confusing. He encouraged me to wait until I was at least 18 before going any further. He also added that the boys will actually appreciate my limits because they get scared and confused too by the emotions resulting from early sexual intercourse. And he gave me some helpful things to say to pushy boys that weren’t offensive but clearly set my limits. I remember one boy at 16 saying, “I am glad you stopped us. I am feeling pressure from friends to “go all the way”, but I am not ready yet either.”

    For seeking help with your situation, I would suggest two things. One would be seeking a free legal clinic if there is one in your town. The other would be to approach the Religious Education Director or Minister of your church. I grew up Unitarian and our church is more open than most in dealing with teenage issues realistically and educationally. Suggest a workshop for parents of teens and a second one for teens, age 12-18 to provide helpful sex and legal education. Also, because there are usually a larger than normal number of professionals who are part of the Unitarian Church, there may even be an attorney who has this specialty. And keep taking slow, deep breaths. This will pass.

  36. Taylor Meacham May 31, 2011 at 3:50 am #

    @KCB – Again, here is what I wrote. “It is truly a shame that the girl’s mother calls her a “slut” and a “whore”. As bad as that is, it’s probably worse if the girl actually is a slut – defined as a promiscuous female – at the well-seasoned age of 15.”

    I’m not sure how that came across as me thinking I said it was okay as long as the girl is one. I assure you that what you think I meant was not what I meant. What I was trying to say was that 1-it is terrible for a mother to call her daughter those things and 2-it is probably even more terrible to actually be a slut than to have your mother call you one. Whether this particular 15-year-old is or is not a slut as properly defined, I have no idea, but I certainly hope she isn’t. KCB, am I clearer this time around?

    To mention things said earlier, the connotation of slut is clearly a negative one, in large part because our society disapproves of women who have a lot of sexual partners. Are there any commenters here who want to clearly go on record that it is normal and healthy for 15-year-old girls in the US to have had multiple sexual partners

    Is it unfair that there is a double standard, that girls are branded “sluts” when boys are not. Absolutely! But rather than lower the standards of acceptable behavior for girls, I’m in the group that thinks they should be raised for boys.

  37. Dawn May 31, 2011 at 4:13 am #

    @Taylor Meacham: Hello. I was a slut. Back in the 1980s and 1990s (gasp, clutch pearls, slide onto fainting couch) I had sex with guys. Some I had just had 1-2 dates with. Some I had known for years. Guess what? I liked (and still do) sex. Do I regret the multiple partners? Only 1 of them (for reasons beyond the sex). The others were kind, considerate, we both enjoyed the sex, and we were normal, healthy teens (and all graduated from high school, most graduated from college). And, I have been monogamous and married for many years now. So, no longer a “slut” in those terms…although, occasionally, in the original version of the word, I still qualify.

    Humans are programmed to enjoy sex. Is it “normal and healthy” for a 15 year old girl to have multiple sex partners? We don’t know anymore. We have regulated sex out of all normal existence. But we also don’t know if this girl HAS had multiple sex partners, or if this young man is her first. Are you horrified that they performed oral sex on each other? Are you horrified that the young man, with all his hormones raging, had the thought and consideration for his partner to be putting on a condom? How abnormal for a young man to be that in control of himself at that time.

    However, your implication that a “slut” is a person who will grow up into something horrible is reprehensible. You can try to regulate the age that humans will begin to have sex, but you won’t succeed. How about encouraging adequate sex education, access to birth control, and lack of shaming instead?

  38. Dolly May 31, 2011 at 4:51 am #

    What an unfortunate situation. I fear that as my sons grow up I am going to have to put the fear of God in them about this situation happening to them. I probably will. It is just so sad that boyfriend and girlfriend can’t do what every other boyfriend and girlfriend is doing out there without one of them going to jail. Sure they shouldn’t be doing it in the first place but goodness its not a crime!!!

  39. Dolly May 31, 2011 at 4:56 am #

    Also I like to add I get SICK and tired of parents who have to blame everything on someone else-never on themselves or their kid. It drives me bonkers. So she does not want to take responsibility that she as the parent allowed her daughter to go out with this boy or even if she didn’t know she was going out with him, she allowed her daughter out unsupervised so at the end of the day- her responsibility.

    Then she puts no blame on her daughter for dating an older boy or willingly having oral sex with an older boy. It is ALL the older boy’s fault. I call bull!

    Her daughter is just at fault here.

  40. Uly May 31, 2011 at 5:08 am #

    Taylor, how about we stop judging people for having sex, huh? That’d solve all our problems a lot faster, because actions between consenting individuals that don’t hurt anybody aren’t really a moral concern.

  41. Uly May 31, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    Dolly, it MAY be a crime, depending on where you live. I agree that when two people are close in age, and there’s no coercion, the laws for statutory rape should be lifted, as in “Romeo and Juliet” clauses, but that’s not the case everywhere for every sex act.

  42. spacefall May 31, 2011 at 5:48 am #

    I would have been quite cross, as a 15 year old girl, at the implication that I had been taken advantage of by a “predator” or “selfish boy”, especially since under the circumstances it seems likely that said boy would have been unusually respectful and well informed. There is a great deal of sexism in the attitude that sweet, innocent little girls need to be protected from scary, sex-obsessed boys. It is true that women are at a much, much higher risk of sexual assault than men, but that doesn’t mean that all sexual situations between a teenaged girl and a teenaged guy are inherently bad.

    I’m sorry that I haven’t got anything useful to say, but I, for one, applaud this mother for talking to her son openly. In my experience, teenagers will have sex, or they won’t, regardless of background. This has been happening probably since before recorded history. But teenagers that have knowledge will have safer, more pleasurable sex, and (statistically) are much clearer on consent issues, etc.

  43. mollie May 31, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    “The motivation to commit sexual acts is rooted in many different reasons. Sex is the vehicle, rather than the destination.”

    Possible guesses about the life-sustaining values motivating each person’s behaviour and strategies in this situation (with a caveat to remember that you don’t have to condone the behaviours or agree with the strategies to see and value the motivation underneath them. If you can do this, you can move away from punitive force and move forward compassionately and constructively toward a positive solution that works for everyone):

    Policeman: competence, contribution, responsibility, safety, security, health, well-being, to be heard, to be seen, to matter, meaning, purpose, sustainability.

    15-year-old-girl: pleasure, fun, connection, learning, growth, to be seen, to matter, to belong, autonomy, choice, sexual expression, love, closeness, excitement, intimacy, privacy.

    17-year-old-boy: pleasure, fun, connection, learning, growth, health, well-being, autonomy, choice, to belong, to matter, sexual expression, love, closeness, excitement, intimacy, responsibility.

    Mother of 15-year-old-girl: peace, harmony, responsibility, contribution, influence / power, safety, health, well-being, to be heard, integrity.

    Mother of 17-year-old boy: safety, well-being, compassion, empathy, health, peace, security, sustainability, love, connection.

    Here is what I have come to understand as my own truth: There isn’t one thing any human being says or does that isn’t motivated by something universally valued by all human beings, and the use of punitive force (which would include everything from verbal threats and vehicle impoundment to registries of sex offenders, jail time, fines, and having a “criminal record”—among many other things) is a tragically ineffective way to try to bring about safety or peace.

    Ultimately, our human experience is an opportunity to develop compassion, and yet human society seems to be desperately fixed on fear-based behaviour modification and extrinsic rewards. As my 10-year-old would say, “Epic fail.”

    Namaste (The highest in me beholds the highest in you)

  44. JP Merzetti May 31, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    I think they need to change the name of the law.
    “Sex offender” is supposed to protect young people who know that they need and want protection…in the first place.
    If this kid winds up punished (legally/criminally) it’s not the girl he’s offended, but his elders. (Let them explain to him exactly how their moral outrage justifies their treatment of him.)

  45. Dolly May 31, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Taylor: I lost my virginity a month shy of 16 so I was 15. Guess what? I have never been close to being considered a slut by most standards. I only had sex in monogamous serious relationships. I ended up marrying a virgin and we are happily married for 6 years now and were happily monogamous for a total of 3 years before marriage. So about 9 years together now totally monogamous. So no, not all 15 year olds having sex turn out to be total sluts for the rest of their lives.

    Was it a little young to be having sex? Yes. I wish I had saved myself for my husband. But, it did not damage me for life. Probably because I knew I wanted to have sex. I was not pressured. I never let men make me do anything I don’t want to do. Every time I had sex I knew what I was getting into. Heck I lost my virginity to an 18 year old so even worse than this situation. But no crime was committed.

  46. Melanie May 31, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    There is absolutely no place in our society for the word ‘slut’. It has no value whatsoever and serves only to attack women (and girls) for their choices regardless of the deliberation or consequences of those choices. And I can tell you from experience, that it is women and girls who are ill-equipped or too afraid to make confident choices about sex that are most likely to be damaged by it.

    I was 19 years old when I first had sex. Consent was dubious and it was certainly a mistake. A few days later my mother found out and called me a slut. I NEVER got over it. It took five years of a committed relationship (with the man who is now my husband) to stop feeling embarrassed and ashamed by sex. Not because of a dodgy experience with a boy, but because my mother thought I was a slut.

    Nothing, nothing, nothing good ever comes from calling a young girl a slut.

    And Scared Mom – your boy sounds lovely and like he has all the tools and teachings he needs to grow into a fine man. I hope everything works out OK for him, you and the young woman.

  47. bmj2k May 31, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    “… now that we KNOW we are surrounded by “sexual predators.”

    Funny, but I don’t know any such thing.

  48. Jonathan hoch May 31, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Tell the mom that you are going to give extreme punishment, make up something awful to cool her heels realizing that this is not going to happen. She wants to see something of a consequence so just give her what she wants and you’ll see her in another life.

  49. B.S.H. May 31, 2011 at 9:42 am #


    It is a video by a lawyer who tells you EXACTLY why you should NEVER talk to the police- ESPECIALLY if you are innocent. As soon as my kids are 14 I am going to have them watch this film because I think it is AS important as sex education.

  50. 15 May 31, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    May I please say something, as a 15 year old girl?

    ” A 15-year-old girl may well be a willing participant in the fun and games, but there is always a balance of power on the older person’s side — she may be “consenting” because she wants the attention, or because she’s flattered that an older boy “wants” her. But, I’m sorry, 15 years old is NOT old enough to know what she is doing and I really, really hope the boy understands that.”

    With all due respect, I believe you are wrong. I have never had sex before, nor have I even progressed as far as kissing a boy. However, I understand that sex has multiple consequences, whether they are emotional or physical. If I would choose to engage in sexual intercourse, it would because I want too. It would have nothing to do with wanting attention or flattery. Teenage girls can desire sex as much as teenage boys. I realize you are probably going to consider me to be a naive child who does not know what is best for herself, and I have no doubt that I am rather naive when it comes to sex; but that doesn’t mean that if I do have sex, I was taken advantage of due to my age.

  51. Kristen May 31, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    It makes me sick how it’s always the male gender that gets the blame for being the leader and pushing the girl into sex. Believe it or not, all you prudes out there – women like sex too!

    I lost my virginity at the age of seventeen at within the space of about four months, I had sexual relations with five different men, classifying me, I suppose, as a “slut”. I regret having had those sexual relationships, but ONLY because I wish I had lost my virginity to my now common law husband of nine years, not because any of them pressured me into sex. I was an equally willing partner.

    It disgusts me to hear so many people condemn teenage boys because they have a sex drive, but of course the innocent little flower child that he’s sleeping with must not have wanted it in the least. I’m not downplaying the fact that there are boys that DO take advantage of girls sexually. However, I would bet that many cases where teenage girls have accused a boy of taking advantage of her were just embellishment- her way of digging herself out of a hole with her parents etc etc, and that she was a willing partner until she was found out.

    Most teenage boys are NOT inherently bad, they’re good kids that get caught up in the atmosphere of distrust concering the male gender.

    I have two boys of my own, one is two and one is seven months, and I WILL be educating my boys about all aspects of sex; STD’s, pregnancy, the emotional and legal aspects, because I expect teenagers to be engaging in this behaviour.

    Is it a wise decision? Probably not. So let’s all do our part to educate the children, when they reach they age where many will inevitably have intercourse, they will do so as safely as possible. Why do all adults seem to surpass the age of twenty five and forget how they behaved as teenagers?

  52. Kristen May 31, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    I also wanted to add that once a teen hits a certain age, regardless of gender, there isn’t an adult on this planet than can say one way or another whether that teen is capable of understanding consequences. I was planning the college I was going to attend at the age of fourteen, and I was QUITE capable of understanding such complicated issues.

    It’s pretty condescending that most adults believe as soon as they surpass a certain age they automatically “mature” within twenty four hours and can now understand consequences. Many fifteen year olds are quite capable of the same. The problem lies in the adults around them, who have a singular lack of confidence and understanding in said teens.

  53. enyawface May 31, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    Dear Scared Mom. this is the very reason I got out of law enforecment and helping prosecutors prosecute innocnet young men. I adimantly advise you to advise your son that he is NOT allowed to speak to the police or the girl or her mother without the presence of a lawyer, advise him not to speak about it to anyone without the advise of an attorney,. advise him that he has done nothing wrong except in the eyes of our extremely whacked out legal system,. In most states, from what you described here, your son can indeed be charged with a sex crime AND go to jail AND become a lifeteime registered sex offender. I am sorry, but that is the realilty of the situtaion.
    Since the mother has already made the threat and seems to wish legal actoin be taken, I’d would most definately find your son a lawyer,, get their advise, and only proceed if anything comes of it from the other party. This way you have an informed attorney, that has all the information from your son’s side, and who can act quickly if needed. But be prepared to spend some bucks for said attorney, even if this never goes to court.

  54. Kenny Felder May 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    I would strongly consider sitting down, mother-to-mother, face-to-face. Talk together about the difficulties you both face raising your children in the modern world. The goal is not to “have it out” confrontationally, nor is it to agree on everything; the goal is to see each other as human beings who are, after all, facing many of the same struggles. After that, I think it’s very unlikely that she will call the cops.

  55. sconzey May 31, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Imma post again to second something easily missed in this torrent of verbiage:


    With that said, I would do research into lawyers and have one in mind, make use of free consults etc., but wait and see before forking out any money.

    As to young girls and sexual predation, and the comments made by Taylor Meacham and pebblekeeper, some interesting issues are raised. As mammals, we’ve got some very potent low-level programming for certain sexual behaviours which kick in as soon as, or possibly even before, we are physically capable of enacting those behaviours.

    Young men are driven to spread their seed far and wide, young women are driven to seek find the highest quality genetic material they can and then carry that child to term. These behaviours may be useful for an individual’s genes, but they are not helpful for that individual, nor for civilised society as a whole.

    I write this because Taylor Meacham and pebblekeeper need to understand that what those kids were getting up to in that car is the default structure. No one was preying on anyone else, this is what their genes, hormones and natural impulses were compelling them to do.

    ScaredMom has clearly gone to great lengths to equip her son to understand his natural impulses and to have the will and knowledge to know how to discharge them in a minimally harmful way, in the context of her and her son’s shared moral code.

    I have no right to criticise the aims of another’s parenting, but it is reasonable for me to raise objections if another’s methods are not achieving their stated goals. If you object to the girl’s behaviour (and I, personally, would be uncomfortable were that my daughter) it is her parents you must blame for failing to impart to her the “correct” moral code, or the knowledge and will to exercise it.

    If you believe that a girl of fifteen is unable to properly consent to sexual activity, then why allow her to go out unaccompanied in a country where the legal system believes they can? You cannot reasonably expect the whole world to help you uphold your own moral code.

    After all it takes the proverbial two to tango.

  56. Dolly May 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    Just another point-at 16 I dated a 15 year old boy and we did some things. So the influencing can go both ways. I was older and more experienced than him slightly. It is stupid to always think its the guy with more experience or being the one doing the influencing.

  57. Selby May 31, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    If we do not educate girls on birth control and disease prevention…if we do not expound that a desire for sex is normal, natural and healthy yet comes with huge responsibilities…if we instill them with fear and terror that if they are “caught” having sex they will be punished by parents and “branded” as a slut forever, etc etc….then what is going to happen? Either they get pregnant or a disease because they didn’t have information. OR, as illustrated by this story, if they are caught in a sexual situation, out of fear and terror and ignorance, they will lie, say they were forced and potentially ruin someone else’s life. OR BOTH.

    It is truly sad and disgusting that teens must not only deal now with the usual physical and emotional consequences of sex, but now legal and criminal ones too?! It’s terrifying…

  58. N May 31, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    17 and 15 are way too close in age to consider anyone in this situation even vaguely a predator. This is ridiculous, and there is no valid reason to ever use the word “slut” to refer to a person.

  59. Uly May 31, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    Sconzey, your statement about what men and women are biologically driven to do is based upon… what, exactly?

  60. sconzey May 31, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    @Uly: a combination of evolutionary biology (particularly recent studies of the higher primates), rational thought and anecdotal observation.

  61. KLY May 31, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Uly, those observations, though simplified somewhat, are actually in step with evolutionary biology. Recent studies have not only upheld the past theories that women are programmed, on a very basic level, to seek out properly compatible genetics, but have revealed that they also share more of the same drives for diversity that has been found in studies of males than was shown before.

  62. sconzey May 31, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    It’s funny. We call them “Romeo and Juliet” laws in reference to the ages of the mid-teen protagonists in Shakespeare’s epic. The idea that a fourteen year old is emotionally unable to understand sex, or to consent to it, is a very new one.

    Arguments as to whether this is an improvement upon a barbaric past, or a further example of modern moral hyper-sensitivity is left as an exercise to the reader.

  63. Taylor Meacham May 31, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    @sconzey – I know it’s tough to keep up with the “torrent of verbiage”, but in the future if you want to single me out, I ask that you take the time to read what I have written. Is there anything I said that seemed to contradict your “default structure”. My point (again, for maybe the 3rd time now) is that for humans the “default” is not the golden rule of behavior. Since we’re referencing higher primates as guides for default human behaviors, let’s deal with murder, something observed in chimps and bonobos. Does that make murder in certain circumstances a default? Sure. Does that excuse murder or make it “healthy”? I know, it’s an absurd question. But so many of the replies here are that sex is “natural” (i.e. a default behavior) and therefore its fine as long as kids use condoms. The argument holds no water. Default behaviors are far too frequently terrible guides for humans in modern society.

    Sometimes it feels like no one else remembers the ending to “Romeo and Juliet.” The play isn’t a “rom-com.” Romeo and Juliet both kill themselves. Perhaps, just perhaps, 14-year-olds being a little teeny bit immature for the ramifications of sex isn’t entirely “a very new one.”

  64. JTW May 31, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    If the b*tch tries anything, countersue for entrapment.
    After all, teenage boy, hormones, supposedly willing girl, must be a setup to extort money from him and his parents.

    If a jury buys the case against him, they’ll also buy that.

    But best if it never makes it that far of course, though in a case like this with a highly irate other side, anything can happen.

  65. sconzey May 31, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    @Taylor Meacham: I definitely think we’re crossing wires as I very explicitly said that the “default structure” — while very good for genes — is not very good for the individuals, or for society.

    It’s the parents’ duty therefore to teach their youngsters how to control their sexuality — at the very least — in their interests. When those two youngsters “got up to no good” in the car, we know at least the boy was making a rational reasoned decision in accordance to him and his mother’s moral code. You may or may not agree with that code, but it seems unfair to blame the boy for allowing the girl to violate her mother’s moral code — as I read you to be implying.

    That’s a fair point about R&J though 😛

  66. sconzey May 31, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    his and his mother’s *

  67. Barb May 31, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    tbere is a wonderful document about teenage sex and the law here: http://www.crimevictimsinstitute.org/documents/Adolescent_Behavior_3.1.11.pdf

    It is very current Mar 2011 and I would give it a good read and if you still think you need legal advice I would get it. From what I could discern from the publication they could press charges, but it would only be a misdemeanor and no one would be placed on the sex offender lists.

  68. Library Diva May 31, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    I can’t believe what I’m reading from some of the commentors here. I’d really thought we’d come further as a society than the 1950s, when only bad girls wanted to have sex, and the certain wages of teenage sex were pregnancy, disease and the scarlet “S” (for slut). From the way this story was told, it sounds like the girl was a willing participant.

    And you know what? That’s much more natural and healthy than the days in which sex was another unpleasant duty of a wife, along with doing the laundry and making dinner, something to just get through because for some strange reason, your husband likes it, so just lie back, close your eyes and hope he’s quick so you can go to bed.

    Our society is so much more open about sex than any before. Boys and girls alike are more aware of what the act entails and its consequences than previous generations, who gleaned what they could from watching farm animals. Unless she’s been sheltered to the extreme, a 15-year-old girl would know what she’s getting into in that backseat.

  69. Taylor Meacham June 1, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    @sconzey – Sorry I missed that in your comment. I’m grateful for another voice of reason on the issue of default responses as guides for behavior.

    As for your last point, I may have implied that, but not intentionally. I would characterize the situation a bit differently: rather than “allowing” the girl to violate her mother’s moral code (or the seemingly less-than-angelic bit we’ve seen of it) I would say the boy “helped” the girl to violate her mother’s moral code. (Although who knows what he really knew about the girl’s mother.) If he knew how the mother would react, is it unfair to blame him for helping the girl get her mom so mad? I’m not sure. Would it have made his actions truly stupid? Yes. If the mom yells and screams at the police until they bring some kind of charges against him, the fact (supposing for the moment it is a fact) that it is unfair won’t be a great consolation to anyone.

    Subverting the moral positions of a minor’s parent(s) is a risky undertaking, as I’m sure all teenagers know.

  70. Rebecca Menes June 1, 2011 at 12:58 am #

    We are confusing two issues — teenage sex and pedophiles. Whatever parents, society, courts, teachers, sheriffs or whatever decide to do about two young teenagers, I DO NOT WANT THE FALLOUT CLOGGING UP THE SEX OFFENDER LIST. There is no indication that this boy is a threat to 6 year old girls.

    Using the LIST to threaten and/or punish a teenage boy is an abuse of ME, the mother of a small child. I am being roped into being part of the punishment for this kid. I do not appreciate this.

    Becky Menes

  71. Michele June 1, 2011 at 2:27 am #

    Everyone keeps saying that teenaged girls are able to decide if they want to have sex and that they are willing participants but I feel it must be said that this is not always the case. I was a young teen (almost 14) who was told by may parents that I was not to date until I was 16, period. This ignored the fact that I was interested in boys, NOT for sex but for silly little girl puppy love and romantic moments akin to a Disney Movie. This lead to sneaking around where I met a boy who was 17. He wooed me, sang love songs, treated me like a princess. Then he brought me to his home where no one was home and we had sex. I did not say no but I was terrified, and I did not say yes either, he did not ask, I know he did not care. Turns out later that he and his friends had a bet to see how many young girls they could sleep with and a year later in high school him and his friends teased many girls who had made their conquest list. After my first time I no longer felt worthy, and I had sex with my next boyfriend as well, and each boyfriend after that, often without knowing them for nearly long enough but when you are a young teen you feel in love in a week and sex makes you feel even more in love. It was never really something I wanted or enjoyed but I really felt like it was all boys cared about, it was required of me and it was what all teens did, I was not forced and a few times I was the initiator. I had good parents but they refused to see me as growing up and did not teach me about sex (school did that). I guess you could say old fashioned and prudish:)

    There are so many boys out there who follow their hormones and I also believe so many girls out there who just do what the boys want so the boys will like them. People need to understand that as educated as this boy was and some girls are, there are just as many who are not, and young teens are NOT mature enough to really understand what sex is, the consequences and the feeling that occur because of it. Does this boy know that the girl was 100% emotionally OK and ready for sex, was he or was it a hormonal thing. Was she just trying to get him to like her, having self esteem issues that make her make poor choices. That is a main issue for me, how do you know if she is OK with it really? I am not saying he should be considered a predator at all, just that he really has no way of knowing if she was emotionally ready, even if she says she is, so the best thing would be for him to wait until he has known her for MUCH longer than a few weeks, until they have dated, met each others parents, fallen in actual LOVE with each other with their clothes ON:)

    I find this thing so scary because I am now a mother of 3 girls and a boy, and in a good marriage but struggle with how to talk to my own kids about sex when my own parents couldn’t even tell me the real name of genitals, in fact I didn’t even know I had a vagina, what it was until sex ed! I look back on my teen years and know that most of my first sexual experiences I regret hugely. I wish I had been older at least, married would have been the best but in reality, older, more mature, in real relationships (not a few weeks), in real LOVE. The implications of sex are HUGE, and way more than any young teen can really comprehend (STD’s, babies, emotions, attachment to someone, heart break).

    Any suggestions for how to begin the sex talks with my kids would be helpful, they are 8, 6, and 1. we use proper body part names, and my kids know babies come from the vagina, but they don’t know how they get in there!

  72. Donna June 1, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    “just that he really has no way of knowing if she was emotionally ready, even if she says she is”

    Nobody can possibly know whether someone else is emotionally ready for sex regardless of age. And this comes up at all ages. You need to be emotionally ready to have sex any time you start a new sexual relationship. Anyone, whether 18 or 80, may consent to sex that they are not truly emotionally ready for, i.e. before the relationship has matured to the point of sex, for any number of reasons. If she says that she is ready and she is a willing participant, then there is nothing more that her partner can possibly know.

  73. Library Diva June 1, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    I agree that it’s not *always* the case that girls are capable of deciding whether or not they’re ready, but I think it often is. I take exception to the image of teenage girls as easily manipulated, naive creatures who must be defended by society and the law from the slobbering, uncontrollable teenage boy. That archetype does a grave disservice to both genders, teaching boys that society expects them to “think with their small heads” and denying the very real desires of girls.

    I’m sorry your first experiences with sex were not good ones. But do you really believe that they were criminal matters?

  74. Zozimus June 1, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    Man….I don’t visit the States that often, but when I do, I often feel very alien. There are SO MANY of the cultural norms that I take for granted and use in my everyday moral and practical decisions that just have no parallel in American society. I was in New York a couple of weeks ago and ate dinner at a fast food restaurant that had TV news on the whole time. I got my first look at ” Nancy Grace”. I just cannot wrap my head around a culture that produces such a show. Thank heavens there’s a lot more to U.S. culture than its media. As to these laws: I’m feeling like I’m reading Kafka. Seriously…Lenore, I love your blog and book, but reading about all these abnormal attitudes raises my stress level enormously. I keep having the same reaction: “What the hell is wrong with these screwy people?” Do Americans get a sense of what cultural ‘outliers’ they are? How completely out of whack with the rest of the world — despite superficial similarities that are largely the result of media influence? I see trends towards the same kind of paranoia (very early trends; I don’t think we’ll ever reach these kinds of levels) where I live…here’s hoping that the American influence on world culture doesn’t extend to child rearing! How did it ever come to this? It actually freaks me out that the bastion of independence and personal liberty (good things!) could have descended to such delusional, paranoid behaviour! Can a whole nation go nutso? (Actually, based on my own country’s recent election, maybe that’s a loaded question)….I love you, America, but please don’t stand too close to me! You weird me out sometimes.

  75. Catherine June 1, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    My cousin’s son was put on the registry in our state because he was 17 and his gf was 15 when her mother turned him in for stat rape. It’s difficult to figure out on our registry that it was a bf/gf incident instead of something horrible. I agree with the lawyer who said if the police do try to talk to him (or the girls’ mother calls – because she could be taping the call) he should never admit to anything and ask for a lawyer who can help him phrase what happened better.

    I would suggest that you include any future girlfriends or dates in your conversations with your son about sex and responsibilities. Let them both know the physical (STD, pregnancy), emotional, and legal ramifications of both intercourse and oral sex.

    One of my close friends has two sons (who are now in college) and she said she and her husband sat the boys and their dates down and explained their expectations of their behavior.

    They told the girls they have every right to say “no”, “not yet” or something similar if they felt uncomfortable. Then (in front of the girl) told their sons they that if the girl said anything or acted uncomfortable they were to stop what they were doing IMMEDIATELY. And, they told them the opposite was true too – that the girl needs to stop if what she’s doing make him uncomfortable.

    Her boys said it was uncomfortable to begin with, but that they and their gfs ended up liking the openness and the “permission” to say “not yet.”

    Good luck!

  76. Uly June 1, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Can you give a link, guys, to any study showing how they came to this conclusion? Was it by studying primates close to us? Because our closest relatives are Bonobos, and they don’t live like that at all. Was it by doing a comparison of various human cultures? Did they come up with a result that doesn’t just justify and rehash idealised 1950s USA? “Oh, some evolutionary biologist did a study somewhere” doesn’t help much. If I believed it just because you said it, I wouldn’t ask you where you got that information in the first place!

    Any suggestions for how to begin the sex talks with my kids would be helpful, they are 8, 6, and 1. we use proper body part names, and my kids know babies come from the vagina, but they don’t know how they get in there!

    Well, you can stop telling them babies come from the vagina and they “get in there” in the first place.

    Babies do not “get in” anywhere. They grow in the womb or uterus, and then come out* through the vagina (typically) or via a c-section. This is not nitpicking. The last thing you want to find out is that your kid things babies have to be cooked and eaten so that they can be born! (No, I’m not making that up, sadly.)

    After clarifying that, I’d suggest asking what they know about sex or how babies are made. Then, once you find out what they think they know, you can give a simple version of the details, clarifying any misconceptions they already have. (For example, when the older niece told us a friend had said that sex was kissing in bed, we explained that kissing can be PART of sex, but typically when people talk about sex they mean acts involving either a penis or a vulva and/or vagina (and often both) that grown-ups do because it’s enjoyable and fun, and if it involves a penis IN a vagina that can lead to pregnancy, although there are other things people can do with their private parts that are considered “sex” as well.)

  77. Violet June 1, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    As a former public defender, I echo the thought that neither you or your son should talk to the police. The laws are horrendous and do not protect anyone because, as you pointed out, we have no way to know who is truly dangerous.

  78. SKL June 1, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    I don’t know much about this, but I hope folks are right about the Romeo and Juliet loophole. I certainly don’t see how they could call this young man a “predator” based only on what I’ve read.

    That said, 15 is too young to be having sex – oral or otherwise. An individual over 16 needs to be instructed that under 16 is a no-no for many reasons. They used to call it “jail-bait” when I was a kid – and I was glad for it, as I was in no way ready to deal with sexual come-ons.

    I think it’s great that some parents have an open relationship with their kids – but I think you can have an open relationship and still encourage your son/daughter to exercise self-control and put the younger person’s interests first. I’m sorry, but I would NOT consider it amusing to find out my kid was involved in oral sex at 15 (or with a 15yo) – cop or no cop.

  79. mollie June 1, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    I thought I was ready for having babies. You know, emotionally ready. Really ready. I wasn’t 16, I was twice that age. And sex didn’t work, so we adopted a child. Let me tell you, adopting a child is not something that you do on impulse one night in the back of a car because you’re drunk and it feels good. It’s like getting a master’s degree while undergoing Freudian analysis. And it’s just as expensive, too.

    Anyway, so the baby comes. (Well, actually, we go and get him.) And nothing, let me tell you NOTHING could have prepared me, really, for what was to come. Was I emotionally ready for caring for that six-month-old infant? Hell no! I had all the stuff, I had read all the books, but when it came down to it, I was a mess, and he paid the price.

    He’s ten, so he’s survived me pretty well so far, and I have more kids now. I did a little better with those, i think, because there is NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE.

    Let me say that again: there just isn’t a substitute for experience. So even if you think you are ready, even if you have read all the books, even if you have talked to your friends, researched things on the internet, watched through a keyhole and thought you were an expert, you don’t know sh•t until you’ve done it yourself.

    That’s the real piss-off of the human experience. I wanted to skip over that messy principle of learning through experience, I wanted to skip a lot of “stupid” things I saw my buddies doing when I was in high school and college. I wasn’t attracted to losing consciousness or vomiting or having flu-like symptoms, so I just “skipped over” drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or doing drugs. In fact, I hardly ever drank at all. I guess because I didn’t want it, I didn’t have to go there. With sex, though, well, that was different!

    I thought I knew everything about marriage because I’d watched everyone else’s “mistakes,” and oh boy, I was going to get that one right for sure. Well, my marriage lasted 13 years and then it was done. I guess I didn’t really know how to pick a partner when I was 22. But I didn’t do anything that legions of other human beings haven’t done, which is to make your best guess and LIVE.

    Okay, calm down, I know there are serious consequences to things like drunk driving and doing hard drugs, and the laws are designed to save us from ourselves. Wear a helmet when you ride a motorcycle, the law says. Buckle your seat belt. You’re going to cost society too much if you end up with a head injury or killing someone. Laws against teen sex are attempting the same thing: to save us from ourselves, to save society from the fallout and grief of kids having kids of their own to raise.

    What some have failed to mention about the human evolutionary programming stuff, though, is the context in which human society and biology evolved. In a tribe, if a 14-or-15-year-old bears an infant, she’s not on her own raising it. I’m not saying that the daddy hung around. In fact, the male is a minor player; he’s out hunting for meat, and the ladies are huddled together, intergenerationally, babies strapped on backs, lots of support and community, interdependence and shared experience.

    Does it seem so utterly bizarre that a cat gets pregnant and has kittens when it becomes sexually mature? Not really. Do we exclaim about how wrong it is, imagine that it would have been better if the cat had waited to have sex until it was prepared for the consequences? For heaven’s sake, we humans used to procreate when we reached sexual maturity too—because we could, because we suddenly wanted to, it was easier on our bodies, and because we had a pretty great support system in which to raise up those new humans.

    Our current society, while perhaps more “civilized,” seems utterly counter-indicated by our biology and basic human needs. Even though I waited until I was 32 and married to start “having” kids, the isolation of the middle-class, North American way of life, raising kids in the 21st century, nearly killed me. What about community, interdependence, support, empathy, shared reality, connection? Nah, you’re supposed to make it all happen by yourself in your 3-bed, 2-bath rancher with your husband. Bah.

    My guess is that within the next decade or two, we’ll look back at the histrionics of this period and shake our heads about what got us all fussed, because we’re going to have some REAL problems on our hands.

  80. Erika Evans June 1, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    1. Yes, it’s ridiculous that teenagers fooling around are being discussed in terms of sex registries.

    2. Teenagers have no business having sex; sorry, apologists and permissives. There is not one single 15 year old whose life and development are improved by early sexual activity but pretty much every 15 year old’s life and development are improved by delayed sexual activity.

  81. sconzey June 1, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    @Uly: Not quite a scientific study, but here’s economist Robin Hanson reviewing “Sex at Dawn” which is a book on the subject, and references many other studies.

    Where “Sex at Dawn” and I disagree is that the author seems to imply “this is the natural state of humanity, therefore it’s good,” which I don’t think is true. The freedom and the responsibility of having higher reasoning faculties is understanding and rationally deciding when to indulge our primal urges, and when to suppress them.

    I’ll be honest: I’m not very au fait with much of the science behind it, but the Game/evbio explanation of human sexuality sits better with the behaviour I experience and witness amongst my friends: men high-fiving and congratulating eachother on each additional “notch,” women in otherwise happy and loving relationships fixating on some badboy or authority figure in their social sphere.

  82. K June 1, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    While I agree with Erika that no child’s life is improved by having sex before 16 (or 18, most likely)… it will continue to happen.

    But, vilifying willing participants (that are age-peers) is just hurting everyone more.

    I have three sons and, as they grow older, I am very frightened about them suffering their entire lives for actions that are, if not ideal, consistent with their ages. Do I want them to have sex as teens? No. Do I think they will? Probably.

    On sex education: I hope that they don’t start any house fires, but they know where our extinguisher is and what to do if something catches fire. I have a similar take on sex: They will have protection available and all the education that is pertinent about the physical, cultural, emotional, and social impacts of sexual contact. Hopefully they won’t need it, but I’d hate to burn the house down because I didn’t tell them about it.

  83. sconzey June 1, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    On the subject of sex education, “Mean Girls” magnificently satirises the fine line that parents have to walk:

    “Don’t have sex. If you DO have sex, you WILL get pregnant. And die. Okay, who wants some rubbers?”

  84. Donna June 2, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    I don’t think anyone here is saying that 15 year olds having sex is a good thing that should be encouraged. It’s probably always a bad idea. However, 15 year olds are perfectly capable of making what most adults would consider bad choices all on their own, without coercion or being the victim of some boy. They do it all the time in any manner of things.

  85. Dolly June 2, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I have a friend who lost her virginity at 14 to her older brother’s best friend. He was older than her. guess what? They are married today and have three kids and are very very happy. It doesn’t always end badly.

  86. Dolly June 2, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    Michele: Sorry you had a bad experience. That is you though. That is the fault of your parents for not instilling confidence and pride and self esteem in yourself. I knew I rocked and any guy would be lucky to have me. I did not feel I had to sleep with them or they would not want me. I slept with them if I wanted to. The main reason I lost my virginity was because all my friends had and were talking about it and just honestly was curious. I am the type of person that when bungee jumping jumps the first time they do the countdown. I don’t like anticipation. I just would rather do it and get it over with. So I was with a guy I loved and really liked. My first real love and I figured, why not? Just get it over with already.

    It was not so he would like me. He made it clear that while he wanted to, he would wait. He did wait for two months. He would have waited longer and if he didn’t, oh well his loss. I was not as confident back then as I am now, but I still knew that I was in control of my own life. No one was going to make me do anything I did not want to do.

    Just because you were weak willed and allowed yourself to be pressured, does not mean every girl is like that.

  87. sconzey June 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    Another success story: I met the woman I am about to marry when I was 15 and she was 13. We started dating when I was 17. Four years later I proposed.

    Corollary: we’re strong Christians so both of us were okay with getting married young and neither of us could plausibly be called promiscuous.

  88. Taylor Meacham June 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    @Dolly – “Just because you were weak willed and allowed yourself to be pressured, does not mean every girl is like that.” No doubt, not everyone succumbs to peer-pressure.

    So Michele says she felt pressured to have sex by some predatory high-schooler, while you on the other-hand said,”The main reason I lost my virginity was because all my friends had and were talking about it.” Seriously? Hmm…something about “weak-willed” and “allowing yourself to be pressured”. In my experience people with real “confidence and pride and self esteem” in themselves tend not to do things “mainly” because “all [their] friends [did]” Frankly it seems like you just bought the pressure hook-line-and-sinker to the point you internalized it and could pretend with a straight face you made your own decision like a big girl.

    Two clichés seem to come to mind. (1) If all your friends jumped off a bridge… (2) People in glass houses…

  89. Donna June 2, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    People with actual confidence and pride and self-esteem don’t have to constantly tell other people how much they rock either.

  90. K June 3, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    Ahem – I don’t think that anyone needs to be ugly here. So, lots of us made different choices and some of us feel as though we didn’nt freely choose. Ok.

    What do we do now? What is an appropriate response to teens having sex? Is that criminal by default or only by circumstance? I think that these are the pertinent questions right now.

  91. meinto June 3, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    I disagree, Donna.

    I was the girl who sat home, alone, on Saturday night because I didn’t “put out”.

    It bothered me the slutty girls got all the fun, and I DO regard them as slutty girls, thank you very much.

    I had the belief I WAS the best thing that was ever going to happen any man lucky enough to have me.

    I still feel that way today, and I’ve been HAPPILY married almost 40 years.

    I have no doubt those who took other paths are just as happy with their choices – those who complain of slut shaming didn’t hesitate to dish out virgin shaming.

    I wanted to be slutty – they WERE having all the fun! But I could never figure out how to be slutty and respect myself at the same time. Some girls do and I envy them.

    The thing is, we must ALL be taught to be responsible for our behavior, male or female. You mothers who think their daughter’s morality needs to be upheld and protected by every teenboy out in the world instead of your moral teachings need to have your ehad examined – your infantalized notions are being passed onto your daughters.

  92. K June 3, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    meinto – yes, about the responsibility. But, really? Let’s not degenerate into belittling each other. No one deserves to be called a slut. People are different and that is what makes the world go around. Fun is what you make of it. Happy is what you make of it.

    More to the point – should premarital sex in teens, by definition, be prosecutable? Or, should there be some judgment involved in who is prosecuted? Or, should there be some age guidelines (Romeo and Juliet clauses)?

  93. Dolly June 3, 2011 at 1:31 am #

    Taylor: There was no ” pressure”. None of my friends made fun of me for not having sex. None of them encouraged me to have sex. None of them cared whether or not I had sex yet or not. I just heard them talk about it and became curious about it. I am a curious person by nature. So no, there was no pressure and I did not cave to anything. It is possible for someone to decide something for themselves for their own reasons, you know?

  94. Dolly June 3, 2011 at 1:36 am #

    Donna: I am assuming you are directing that comment towards me. I don’t have to tell anyone I rock. I got told so often by people I know in real life, thanks.

  95. Helynna Brooke June 3, 2011 at 2:12 am #

    I think there have been more responses to the original post about “is my son a sex offender” than anything else I have seen on this blog. Responses seem to highlight the range of views, confused feelings, and personal experiences we have all had about sex.

    A few responses have been a personal attack against someone else. As an avid reader of this blog, I find all of your thoughts and experiences interesting about child rearing, But when I read the personal attacks it hurts that people are putting others down and criticizing them. We can disagree with each others opinions without direct attacks.

  96. SKL June 3, 2011 at 4:35 am #

    To answer the question of whether it should be prosecutable for a 17yo to have sex with a 15yo? I do not think so. But it is not OK either. I do think the 17yo is more at fault for the bad choice. We can and should teach them to abstain out of respect / caring for the younger person – even if the younger person is “coming on” to them. Younger people generally look up to their elders whether they are 17 or 19 or 40. The elder needs to be the responsible person and say “no” when it isn’t right. (Not “lucky me”!)

    If a tot decided to play in the street, would you want his older brother to guide him away, or come to you later and say “it was his idea / bad choice”?

    Would you be “amused” / blase if your 17yo let a 15yo illegally drive his/your car – even if it was the 15yo’s bright idea?

    I know some young girls/boys will find someone to have sex with them even though they know it’s wrong. But I don’t want my kid to be involved in that. If it happens, it won’t be because nobody taught my kid better.

  97. Dolly June 3, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    See I guess my brain doesn’t work right because barring someone having mental disabilities or something very wrong with them or just being very very young, I hold people responsible for their own actions. My parents always held me responsible for anything I did wrong so I don’t cut other people breaks either. It has always been that way in our household that unless there is an ACTUAL gun or knife to your head, you are the one responsible for your own actions. End of story, no exceptions.

    I am raising my kids the same way. We are in charge of our own destiny and the longer people blame stuff one someone else the longer they will continue to keep making the same mistakes.

  98. SKL June 3, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Dolly, ever heard the saying “it takes two to tango”? In the case of consensual sex between someone under 16 and someone older – it can’t happen unless they BOTH actively choose to engage in it. So while I would hold the 15yo accountable, I would hold the 17yo more accountable.

    Personal anecdotes aside, it’s understood in our society that most 15yo’s are not ready for sex. It’s also understood that an older person who chooses to have sex with a 15yo is doing it for his own gratification – choosing to benefit from the immaturity of a child. Awesome. You can point out examples where the couple ended up happily married, but you know that most of the time the outcome is unhappy for the 15yo. What’s wrong with parents teaching their kids to look out for the younger ones, instead of being opportunistic at their expense?

  99. Dolly June 3, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    I agree 15 year olds should not be having sex. Neither should 17 year olds really. However no, when a 17 year old and a 15 year old have been dating a long time and think they are in love, I doubt it is about the 17 year old taking advantage of the 15 year old. It is because they are in love and think that sex would enhance that. It is not always about taking advantage of someone.

  100. Abby June 7, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    I was very sexually active (within relationships) at 15. And you know what? It was AWESOME. My hormones were no different than the boys my age. From 15 till about 25, that was all I wanted to do.

    I turned out to be a solid professional in a stable, happy, faithful marriage. These kids are not DOOMED. Ai yi yi people.

  101. pentamom June 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    “when a 17 year old and a 15 year old have been dating a long time and think they are in love”

    I must assume this comment has nothing to do with the original post, where the couple knew each other “a few weeks” and the boy was so “in love” with the love of his life that he hadn’t bothered to mention her existence to his own mother.

  102. Jules June 10, 2011 at 12:51 am #

    I’m surprised no one has brought up the psychological abuse the mother is putting on her daughter by calling her “slut” and “whore”.

  103. Wib June 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    very late to the party, but I just wanted to say – it seems like so many of these anecdotes have law enforcement involvement because of the parents of the girl being antiquated puritans about their precious little daughter’s sexual experimentations. They create an environment of judgment and punishment and the girl ends up lying and saying she was forced into it to get out of trouble, and then the law gets brought in.

    again, anecdotal, but read through the stories and see how rarely the parents of the boy involved seem to bring in the law. Clearly many ‘modern’ parents are still raising their kids with ridiculous concepts of purity as befits men vs. women. This stresses me out for my future kids, especially if I have sons.

    this is frustrating because it means girls are being raised to think of sex as something shameful and improper, STILL, nearly 50 years after a cultural sexual revolution. I do feel bad for women, it’s 2011 and in many ways you’re still being forced to live in the 1800s.

  104. MissChievousRN September 12, 2011 at 11:45 am #


    he had consenting sex with his younger gf and altho the mother was supportive at the time, when the father came back from iraq, they both accused my son of rape…. he has been fighting the case for 2 years and refuses to take a plea…. we go to trial next week and we need all the help we can get!


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