Sexual Predators on the Internet
April 4, 2006 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Sexual Predators on the Internet: Today we heard testimony about sexual exploitation of children on the Internet during a Congressional hearing. Tonight a Homeland Security official is held for soliciting for a child on Internet.
posted by ericb (85 comments total)


 
Background on Justin Berry who testified today in Congress about his descent into a life of online (and real-world) 'hustling.'
posted by ericb at 9:08 PM on April 4, 2006


How to spot a pedophile. (maddox)
posted by Kwantsar at 9:13 PM on April 4, 2006


republicans do funny things with duct tape, just like daddy does
posted by pyramid termite at 9:22 PM on April 4, 2006


What does this have to do with Republicans? So sad.
posted by stirfry at 9:31 PM on April 4, 2006


Another Bush Regime scumbag outed. That was quick after the Hammer fell yesterday. Maybe we'll start seeing one a day drop? That would be nice.
posted by fenriq at 9:32 PM on April 4, 2006


dammit, D- on Maddox's test.
posted by j-urb at 9:32 PM on April 4, 2006


What does this have to do with Republicans? So sad.

Agreed. One's political affiliation has no bearing on this trend.
posted by ericb at 9:34 PM on April 4, 2006


C+, suck it j-urb!
posted by Mach5 at 9:58 PM on April 4, 2006


D+ but that's because Maddox is dead wrong about John Bolton. Dude will bugger anything.
posted by fenriq at 10:07 PM on April 4, 2006


From Kwantsar's link:
On the left is Mark David Keller, wanted for paying young homeless boys for sex

This isn't criminal. This is called charity. The youths need the money, and likely the affection. In everyone's zeal to find new people to hate Hate HATE, they like to call youths 'boys' then paint their adult sex partners as pedophiles. Even liberals fall for this hate trap.

Why does hate feel so good? I love to hate neo-cons and child-killers. Men who pay teenagers are usually after either giving them a plochop or maybe just want to watch them wank. Hardly worth getting all upset about. Do remember, the youths are consenting humans, the johns are not usually in any position of authority over those youths.
posted by Goofyy at 10:17 PM on April 4, 2006


That's pretty deadpan there, goofyy :P
posted by delmoi at 10:36 PM on April 4, 2006


Also, what is it with all these people who think it's a good idea to solicit teenagers on the Internet? These people are easier to bust then a nut in an 11 year old's face.

(I think that's about the most offensive joke I've ever made. Sorry :P)
posted by delmoi at 10:38 PM on April 4, 2006


On the Internet, nobody knows you're a Florida undercover sheriff's deputy.
posted by Bixby23 at 10:53 PM on April 4, 2006


Actually, I'm not sure that Goofyy's all that far off, in some cases. I am personally acquainted with a man whose only sexual outlet (for reasons not germane to the plot) is with rentboys. He also has a deep need for affection, a desire for fathering, and a desperate wish to relive his youth as he wishes it could have been. He showers them with affection and, yes, cold hard cash... and of the boys I know who have been his, all but one of them are now better off, because of him.

But that's rare. Most hustlers--male or female--are driven to it by desperation and fear.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:58 PM on April 4, 2006


I think that's about the most offensive joke I've ever made

I can top it. But I'd get banned thatfast.
posted by frogan at 11:06 PM on April 4, 2006


During other online conversations, Doyle revealed his name, that he worked for the Homeland Security Department, and offered his office and government issued cell phone numbers... Doyle also sent [a] photo [that] shows Doyle in what appears to be homeland security headquarters. He is wearing a homeland security pin on his lapel and a lanyard that says “TSA.”

Ah, the self is the easiest person to deceive.
posted by dhartung at 2:57 AM on April 5, 2006


Recently, Justin has sought counseling, stayed off drugs and renewed his faith, including being rebaptized.

Oh no no no ! Don't tell me he changed customers to priests ? Noooo I can't believe that ! It is NOT like many priests are a cause of sexual disfunction and fear and are disfunctional themselves !

Or, as an adult who called himself DLW wrote: "Did a sexual predator MAKE them make a site? No. Did they decide to do it for themselves? Yes."

Bingo. Unlike common pseudochristian models suggest , some teenagers are excellent seducers with a natural talent of exploit adult weakness. Certainly that doesn't make adults innocent when they do the same, seduce a youngster and the force them or exploit their natural lack of experience inducing fears of revenge and sense of guilt (hint hint, priests)

Yet if so they both a distorted (which is not perversed) sexuality..the kid maybe out of curiosity , yet the adult ? What triggers attraction to kids, why and by which characteristics of teens are these adults attracted to ?
posted by elpapacito at 3:25 AM on April 5, 2006


Beware this sexual predator.
posted by schustafa at 6:53 AM on April 5, 2006


Bingo. Unlike common pseudochristian models suggest , some teenagers are excellent seducers with a natural talent of exploit adult weakness.

Well, I think it's ridiculous that someone gets charged with the same crime for sleeping with an 8 year old or 4 year old that they do with sleeping with a 14 or 15 year old, or even (in some states) a 17 year old.

I think in cases where the victim is a post-pubescent there should be some sort of counseling to see how messed up they are, or if it was consensual or what before charging someone.
posted by delmoi at 7:05 AM on April 5, 2006


elpapacito: Youth is attractive in its liveliness. Getting youths to open up and talk is attractive. Feeling you are helping a youth is pleasant. They also tend to have a scent that is more nose-worthy. I pull this from memory, as I've been a practicing cocksucker since I was 12.

Now I'll go with guess work (however educated that may be): The men who pay for sex with young hustlers (the traditional term for prostitutes to gay males), tend to have some insecurities of their own. Teens may be less threatening to them. For some, the opposite is true, they find teens more of a threat, therefore, a thrill (these weren't the kind that I went with, as I was the non-threatening sort, and I've always been a talker. The nurturing sort favored me). Some guys just plain have a need to pay for sex, and in the gay world, that has tended to be teenagers (often 'runaways').

Some of these men undoubtedly found it just plain easier to pay a hustler than to find someone the other way. This has all changed over the years since Stonewall, and changed again since AIDS. Also it differs by location. The men in my experience tended to be working class guys that didn't live a gay life style. Probably many had wives. They wanted to get their needs met as quickly as possible. Paying made this easier for them.

occasional one did run across a certain sort of gay person who liked to cruise the hustlers. Some of them enjoyed the challenge of trying to get 'professional' services for free. Some just liked the young guys and didn't like to pay. Some of these were happy to be a friend and supportive. Truth is, some of them just wanted some youthful companionship. Why not? Gay men generally don't have kids of their own. So they find a substitute.

When you consider the nature of life for a teenager without a home, as happens too often to gay youths (more in the past, but still not uncommon), you ought to consider such men as a goodness. Again, my views are based in the early 70s, very different times. The gay community was a very different place. My MO was to wander between citifies. Sometimes I'd hit a new town only to be quickly chatted up by a local gay man, and warned the cops were nasty in that city, or that there was a better place than the one I was hanging. It wasn't uncommon for such conversations to result in a free meal for myself, as I am talkative, and always had stories to share. Mind, I was unusual in that I didn't come to the gay world to hustle, I hustled because I was gay and in need (yea, I enjoyed myself, too).

If you really think about it, you'd more ask the question "Why wouldn't a gay man want to make it with a gay youth? (apart from legal issues, of course). Always horny, bright and alive, enthusiastic in their lack of experience. With the added bonus of, for some, feeling you're contributing to the younger generation? It was, and I suppose sometimes still is, a gay strategy for a specific gay problem (teens kicked out of their homes for being queer--The usual 'family value' bullshit).
posted by Goofyy at 7:13 AM on April 5, 2006


I give a lot of leeway to teenagers, as their age and inexperience gives them an uncanny ability to make awful choices. A teenager who wakes up and decides to put up a pornographic website is one thing; a teenager who gets a webcam and is slowly encouraged to do this--then that--then that by his online "friends" is quite another.

I'm close enough to that age that I remember what it's like to be young and feel lonely and insecure about how you look and wonder whether anyone will ever love you. It can feel very good when somebody praises you and shows affection, any kind of affection, and you're not aware enough to know when it's the right kind of affection and when they're exploiting you. When you're desperate for attention and love and someone's giving you what you crave, it's very difficult to say no to their requests, especially if it's just a small request--you're afraid they're not going to show that affection any more if you stop.

If someone had immediately solicited Justin for sex when he began, he would not have hopped out of his chair and started turning tricks. When we say children are easily manipulated, it doesn't mean they're stupid and will make a hugely bad choice right off the bat. It means you can get them to make a lot of little bad choices that lead up to making big ones.

The idea that a fourteen-year-old kid would somehow be responsible for being sexually molested by a 35-year-old adult is profoundly disturbing.
posted by schroedinger at 7:21 AM on April 5, 2006


you ought to consider such men as a goodness.

What the fuck.

I'm going to take a 12-year-old street girl from Thailand, give her food, housing, an education, but she's gotta bang me every night. I am a fucking saint.

People who are good take the teenagers in because they want to help the kids, not because they see an opportunity to use a vulnerable member of society. They provide things to help the kids get back on their feet, not to make them healthier for banging. The idea that sexually exploiting a homeless teen is a charitable act is so far beyond any sane ethical standards I've ever heard I wonder if you didn't come from another fucking planet.

If you really think about it, you'd more ask the question "Why wouldn't a gay man want to make it with a gay youth? (apart from legal issues, of course). Always horny, bright and alive, enthusiastic in their lack of experience. With the added bonus of, for some, feeling you're contributing to the younger generation?

Goofyy, you are doing a great thing for portraying gay relationships as normal and healthy for its participants and society. Can I please just state for the record that some gay people actually appreciate mature, balanced emotional relationships, and don't confuse sexual desire with parental instincts?
posted by schroedinger at 7:30 AM on April 5, 2006


I didn't think it was possible anymore for something I read in MeFi comments to surprise me. Um... yeah, Goofyy... thanks.
posted by VulcanMike at 7:37 AM on April 5, 2006


schroedinger >>> "I'm going to take a 12-year-old street girl from Thailand, give her food, housing, an education, but she's gotta bang me every night. I am a fucking saint."

Different context. Again, what Goofyy is saying is not something that applies in all cases, or even a majority. Perhaps it would be easier for you to understand if you viewed it through the lens of the Greek tradition of older men providing mentorship etc to younger ones. Yes, I know, it's not the same, it's a different cultural milieu, etc. But what Goofyy and I are saying falls somewhere in the same league.

schroedinger >>> "Goofyy, you are doing a great thing for portraying gay relationships as normal and healthy for its participants and society. Can I please just state for the record that some gay people actually appreciate mature, balanced emotional relationships, and don't confuse sexual desire with parental instincts?"

Thus very clearly insinuating that Goofyy doesn't appreciate 'mature, balanced emotional relationships.' Having spoken with him via email, I can say that he definitely does appreciate those things. It's just that he's aware of other relationship models, specifically those between a hustler and a john, that can be different, that in his experience have been different. Neither he nor I are saying that hustling is an unqualified good thing. I'd be willing to bet that he'd agree with me if I said that almost all hustlers, and certainly those under 18ish, would be much better out of the life.

It's just that in the gay community, sometimes, the hustler-john interaction isn't only about getting off, and isn't only about exploitation. Believe me, some of the hustlers I've known... well, let's just say it's not nearly so clear-cut as to who is exploiting whom. Let me paraphrase one (as I can't remember his precise words: "Why not? I have a hot ass, I'm cute, and I love love love sex. I'm careful with what I do, and I can make these guys do anything for me. They think they're using me. They're not--I'm getting off, AND they buy me shit and take me places and the whole time I'm laughing at them."
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:04 AM on April 5, 2006


ok. i'm going to respond quickly to the aforementioned arguements based on two persepctives - my legal and psychological education.

From the legal viewpoint, a person is not of the age of consent until a designated age (usually between 17-21). I agree with this fully, and I feel there is no real reason NOT to. Why? Because, by all rights and means, you CANNOT consider yourself an adult by that point. Not in the least. YOu are still at an influential age, and you still have a lot to learn about the world before you can make fully knowledgable decisions on your own.

I base these statements on Psychology, and I believe the courts do as well. From about 12-21 years of age, you are very easily influenced by the world around you. Your brain is still growing, forming new pathways and your mind is making new connections and understandings. Exploiting this weakness (as an adult who is fully formed and capable) in any fashion is unacceptable - unless, you know, you subscribe to ancient Roman standards of man-boy love like NAMBLA.


Sex is the greatest weak spot a child can have, because it is taboo, unexplored, new, and fascinating, and, as such, SHOULD NOT be exploited by ANYONE. I don't care if a younger boy or girl seems appealling because of their energy and open minded view of life. Would you rob them of that?!

This Doyle guy should be sent away for a good long while, and so should anyone else who follows in those lines.
posted by Doorstop at 8:11 AM on April 5, 2006


Another Bush Regime scumbag outed. That was quick after the Hammer fell yesterday. Maybe we'll start seeing one a day drop? That would be nice.
posted by fenriq at 12:32 AM EST on April 5 [!]


Yeah, because a deputy press secretary of a cabinet agency is really such an administration "insider."

The guy's 4th in command of a sub-branch of a cabinet agency. He's not necessarily a Republican, it's not like that is a political appointment direct from the West Wing like the director of FEMA position or something.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:11 AM on April 5, 2006


Google to subpoena government search records in their battle against porn.
posted by wyldeboi at 8:20 AM on April 5, 2006


Believe me, some of the hustlers I've known... well, let's just say it's not nearly so clear-cut as to who is exploiting whom. Let me paraphrase one (as I can't remember his precise words: "Why not? I have a hot ass, I'm cute, and I love love love sex. I'm careful with what I do, and I can make these guys do anything for me. They think they're using me. They're not--I'm getting off, AND they buy me shit and take me places and the whole time I'm laughing at them."

OK, but how did they develop those beliefs? A 23-year-old hustler is one thing--but a 15-year-old stating that? That implies the poor kid has had a pretty rocky childhood, and has developed a faux-cynicism towards relationships that's hardly going to be healthy for his future development. Do you really think a teen has is going to fully comprehend the emotional and physical effects of that kind of behavior? That the events that led to that view of life are happy, positive ones?

Just because a kid has had a life that's given him that kind of worldview doesn't mean it's OK for us to encourage and profit from the lifestyle that arises from it.

"But officer, he's been molested by so many other men in the past! I'm just one more!"
posted by schroedinger at 8:27 AM on April 5, 2006


thanks schroedinger. you filled in what i neglected to make clear.
posted by Doorstop at 8:40 AM on April 5, 2006


Actually, that one is basically just a lazy horny boy who figured he'd make better money on his back, and enjoy it more, than holding down a real job.

I'm not disagreeing with you... in most cases, hustlers are in the life because of past abuse, substance abuse issues, etc. But sometimes, it's not all about exploitation. Sometimes, that's all that Goofyy and I are saying.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:41 AM on April 5, 2006


Pollomacho, no he may not be an insider but he's almost certainly not a Democrat apppointee (since, you know, Bush started the DHS during his tenure as God's-Warrior). Have you been paying attention? This administration rewards its own and shuns anyone from the other side.

So yeah, he's a Bush Regime scumbag. Deal with it.
posted by fenriq at 8:42 AM on April 5, 2006


Pollomacho, no he may not be an insider but he's almost certainly not a Democrat appointee (since, you know, Bush started the DHS during his tenure as God's-Warrior). Have you been paying attention? This administration rewards its own and shuns anyone from the other side.

So yeah, he's a Bush Regime scumbag. Deal with it.
posted by fenriq at 11:42 AM EST on April 5 [!]


Yes, fenriq, I've been paying attention from my office at DHS, oh, and by the way I'm a bleeding heart, hippy, liberal Democrat too and everyone in my office including my Democrat bosses and coworkers know that and yet I still have a job. Shocking.

Washington, DC is 99% left-liberal and 75% of the workforce is government related. There were no sudden mass layoffs when Bush took office so how can it be that the administration excluded Democrats from positions like this? Sure, your cabinet secretaries and under-secretaries and department heads may be Bushies, but the 4th string deputy at DHS public relations is most likely a career civil servant. Judging from his age, I'd say he started in the Carter years and worked his way up the ladder.

He may be a Republican, he may not. If he's a civil servant in DC, chances are he's not, deal with it.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:14 AM on April 5, 2006


Oh, and one more thing, not to derail here, but "the Hammer" was elected to the legislative branch during the Reagan Administration, he's hardly part of the "Bush Regime."
posted by Pollomacho at 9:30 AM on April 5, 2006


Doorstop: Please explain what you mean by "usually between 17-21"? It's the 'usually' that puzzles me. Is that for American states? I've seen too many places where it is usually 16.

Yes, youths are impressionable. Why do you insist on calling them "children"? A boy is no longer a child once he sprouts hair. Or do you deny adolescence as a distinct phase? I know lots of folks are far more comfortable keeping the youths down in a docile, submissive state of fake 'childhood'. I consider that quite abusive. But some adults can't function well without such artificial categories. Youths are scary, kids are cute, kind of thing.

You know your comments about "exploitation" are a real hoot. I'm surprised you attempt to cloak them with claims about psychology (SCIENCE!). Perhaps your grasp of psychology is insufficient to understand a youth who can't trust any man that doesn't have sex with him? Or grasp that, once that initial sexual fling, a relationship may continue indefinitely without further sex?

Again, you also need to grasp how different things were in the early 70's to now. Maybe that is difficult for anyone under a certain age, if just because it was too recent. Or perhaps because it's not something you are likely to have heard about, unless you had a gay father.

Another issue is the simple matter of a youth who has grown beyond the ability to play the role of a 'child'. Happens from time to time. I am under the impression that there are more resources today. Back then, the whole concept that a gay youth could even exist was totally radical.
posted by Goofyy at 9:58 AM on April 5, 2006


Goofyy, I understand that things were different in the '70s. Things were different in the Greek and Roman times. But just because something was OK or necessary then doesn't mean it's OK now. Gay youths should have better resources for dealing with coming out and growing up than finding a john. If they don't, it is a failure of social policy that people need to work to remedy, not an excuse to continue practices of the past.

And I'm as liberal as the next dude--but can anyone honestly say there's never been a Democratic child molester? Seriously, scumbags are everywhere; just not all of them have been caught. I don't know if we can chalk this up to the Bush Administration so much as poor screening practices in general.
posted by schroedinger at 10:10 AM on April 5, 2006


I know lots of folks are far more comfortable keeping the youths down in a docile, submissive state of fake 'childhood'.

CNN interviewed PhD candidate and self-described "TV Personality" Sari Locker about this issue today. Locker offered helpful advice for parents who want to protect teenagers (not children). She said teenagers should be prohibited from using chatrooms. She said there's no reason for a teenager to IM with anyone except his best friend. She said parents should never allow teenagers to own webcams or to maintain personal web pages. And she said, with a straight face, that teenagers should be taught that strangers online can be more dangerous than strangers in real life.
posted by cribcage at 10:13 AM on April 5, 2006



I know lots of folks are far more comfortable keeping the youths down in a docile, submissive state of fake 'childhood'.


There is a huge difference between treating teenagers like three-year-olds and acknowledging that they are not adults.
posted by schroedinger at 10:18 AM on April 5, 2006


Washington, DC is 99% left-liberal and 75% of the workforce is government related.

And most of the federal workforce lives in the DC and Maryland suburbs, which are more conservative than DC.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:21 AM on April 5, 2006


Matter of time before everyone beyond the pale is a terrorist or a pedophile.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:29 AM on April 5, 2006


Goofyy - I think it's different for different people.

I was bangin' chicks when I was 14 - and using alchohol and smoking pot. Eventually I developed into a wonderful little womanizing asshole. It took me several years to crawl out of those habits.
When I look at my 14 year old cousin, Clayton, I think... "My God. If I saw that kid with a beer in his hand I'd die of shock." I mean, he collects pokemon dolls and plays soccer all day. I was breaking into houses.
So all this discussion of "14-18 year olds" is kind of moot in my book. Every kid is different - some of them are mature, some of them aren't - but you can't go around telling yourself that they ALL are or ALL aren't. And the fear that is in play here is that the sexual predators are out there specifically targeting the ones who AREN'T ready because they get their kicks messing with immature little kids.
If some 30-year old gay guy was hitting on me when I was 14 I would have:
A. Used him to buy beer
B. Kicked him in the nuts

There's no "C. Felt reassured that someone cared for me and developed a loving relationship."

Maybe that's kind of harsh, I don't mean it to be. I just get creeped out when older men talk about teenagers as though they're these cherubs who are looking for emotional support. And that support can be provided sexually. No way, man.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:52 AM on April 5, 2006


And most of the federal workforce lives in the DC and Maryland suburbs, which are more conservative than DC.

Yes, it is more conservative. Bush actually got over 10% of the vote in the MD and VA suburbs.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:34 AM on April 5, 2006


Baby Balrog is right. If your over 21 and your fucking a 15 year old - you are an asshole. If your over 30 and your fucking a 15 year old - you're an asshole, a user, and exploiter. I dont care WHAT the fifteen year old does that makes you think he/she can handle it. It is fucked up.

Dress it up anyway you want with what ever bullshit you want but 15 yearolds are CHILDREN. If you HAD a teenage child you'd know. Fifteen years on planet earth is a blink of time to try and gain all the expereince you need to understand about emotional and sexual relationships. Mentoring? Jesus. Give me a break.
posted by tkchrist at 11:55 AM on April 5, 2006


tkchrist, you and many other people are missing the point. A majority of 15 year olds can be considered children, but by no means can all of them, or even an overwhelming majority, be considered so. I certainly wasn't at 15; I was making sexual choices that you would decry as exploitive on the part of the older person involved. Let me tell you, they were not. I knew precisely what I wanted, and precisely what I was doing. When I was almost 21, I was dating a boy who had literally just turned 16. Was that exploitive? Am I an asshole for doing so? Or was it a caring, compassionate, and mutually beneficial relationship which ended on a happy note? Again, let me tell you, it was the latter.

For someone who is allegedly liberal in his tendencies, you have an awful tendency to see these issues as black and white.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:09 PM on April 5, 2006


Oh, and 'If you HAD a teenage child you'd know.'

There's a lot of bias there, which you really should recognize. You have a vested interest in seeing your offspring as children. All parents do; it's an attitude which never ocmpletely disappears.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:11 PM on April 5, 2006


Former Top DHS Child Porn Official A Sex Criminal?
"As I noted earlier, a senior Homeland Security Department law enforcement agent was busted last October for exposing himself to a girl in the food court of a mall.

Next to the recent arrest of DHS spokesman Brian Doyle on child sex charges, this was just one more reason to take Operation Predator away from DHS, I said. 'Predator' is the agency's program to bust child sex criminals.

Now we discover -- that law enforcement agent, Frank Figueroa, used to run Operation Predator.

The victim, a 16-year-old girl, said Figueroa pulled up a leg of his shorts, exposed himself and masturbated for about 10 minutes, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Figueroa was in court this morning; he pleaded no contest to charges of exposure of sexual organs and disorderly conduct He had formerly said he was not guilty. His trial is expected to begin tomorrow."
posted by ericb at 12:16 PM on April 5, 2006


Sex tourism thriving in Bible Belt
"In a sleazy hotel room, 'Brittany,' then aged 16 and drugged into oblivion, waited for the men to arrive. Her pimps sent as many as 17 clients an evening through the door.

A 'john' could even pre-book the pretty young blonde for $1,000 a night, sometimes flying in and then flying out from a nearby airport.

None of this happened in Bangkok or Costa Rica, places that have become synonymous with sex tourism and underage sex.

It took place in Atlanta, the buckle of the U.S. Bible Belt, where the world's busiest passenger airport provides a cheaper, more convenient and safer underage sex destination for men seeking girls as young as 10."

[Reuters | April 4, 2006]
posted by ericb at 12:21 PM on April 5, 2006


So this guy's in trouble with the law because he sent some dirty e-mails?

He's accused of "seducing" a non-existent person that he never even tried to meet? How does that work? Did the sheriff’s deputy think "Hmm, I'm not a 14-year-old girl, but if I were, I think I'd be ready to boink this old geezer, who I've never even met before. Time to arrest the geezer!"? Does the deputy rate prospects on a 10-point "debonair-ness" scale, and arrest everyone scoring 7 or higher?

Mind you, I don't think it's a good thing to have dirty old men sending dirty e-mails to teenagers. But there has to be a better way to spend the money and manpower on protecting kids than this. This is damn close to punishing a thought-crime. An attempted thought-crime.

How would this have gone down if the "predator" had turned out to be another (actual) 14-year-old?

The internet is probably the safest social space in all of human history. No one gets raped, murdered, robbed, or assaulted on the internet. It's got to be at least 1,000x safer than hitching a ride to the mall with a bunch of teen-aged friends. Why are we so terrified, now that our kids are safer than ever?
posted by Western Infidels at 12:22 PM on April 5, 2006


"On many occasions, Doyle instructed the victim, whom he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, to perform a sexual act while thinking of him, and described explicit and perverse sexual acts he wished to have with her, in addition to sending her numerous obscene .mpg files (digital movies). He also had sexually explicit telephone conversations with a detective posing as a child on his office line and cell phone. He attempted to seduce the girl during their online chats, encouraging her to purchase a web cam so that she could send graphic images of herself to him, and promised her that he would likewise send nude photos of himself. Many of the conversations he initiated with the victim are too extraordinary and graphic for public release." [source]
posted by ericb at 12:27 PM on April 5, 2006


There's a lot of bias there, which you really should recognize. You have a vested interest in seeing your offspring as children. All parents do; it's an attitude which never completely disappears.

No shit. And that's the point. You fuck a fifteen year old that fifteen year old has a parent responsible for them, right? Your not legally and morally responsible for this minor. The PARENT is. Unless your fucking an emancipated fifteen year old. It may all end roses and harps. I likely will not.

Look. I realize there was a time when most relationships started at about fifteen, that's when people were married off by thier families. Usually the male was far older. And guess what? It was fucking barabric and perpetualted an entire system of sexist exploitation and patriarchy that lasted centuries.

Nuh uh. I'm not going back to that for the Taliban nor for some idotic notion of progressive sex-positivity.

So what, you are maybe in the 1 or maybe 2% of fifteen year olds out there have the emotional where-with-all to navigate an adult sexual relationship? So it's ok?

Listen to yourself. This is what EVERY exploiter says. Your exceptions prove the rule.

For someone who is allegedly liberal in his tendencies, you have an awful tendency to see these issues as black and white.

I'm liberal until I don't want an adult man fucking my child? What do my politics have to do with it? That is some childish reasoning your using right there.

I don't think your as well adjusted and mature as you think my friend. In fact I think maybe you got a problem.
posted by tkchrist at 12:54 PM on April 5, 2006


I'm 26. When I was 14 we had the internet! And IRC! And I was super hot for older men. I chatted up grown men, I flirted with grown men. I gave grown men my phone number, my photo.

I wasn't lonely, I wasn't sweet, I wasn't pathetic, I was neither victim nor exploiter. I was horny.

There are real pedophiles. And not a one of them is going to get caught from some silly internet entrapment. And that's a shame. And a waste of resource.
posted by birdie birdington at 1:13 PM on April 5, 2006


ericb: Was that directed at me? That story doesn't seem to cover anything the posted one didn't. I still don't see anything indicating that he even tried to take things beyond some dirty pictures and talk.

Many, many women can tell much scarier stories about inappropriate/deranged advances from and encounters with older men, offline. Honestly, what percentage of rapes (statutory or otherwise) in the US are the result of teenagers hooking up with older guys in internet chat-rooms? Sting operations like this, and the media frenzy they seem to generate, are the result of some profoundly twisted priorities. Who exactly is being protected by such things?
posted by Western Infidels at 1:22 PM on April 5, 2006


I wasn't lonely, I wasn't sweet, I wasn't pathetic, I was neither victim nor exploiter. I was horny.

Irrelevant. You are not legally or morally responsible for yourself. Your parents were. The older men are not morally or legally responsible for you. But they ARE for themselves. See the issue?

So if you got knocked up? Got and STD? Got AIDS? You think those older guys are going to do shit for you?

Most 14 year olds have no idea of the consequences of thier actions. This is not an opinion. It's biological fact. A 14 yearolds brain is not an adult brain. Not by design not by content.

There are real pedophiles. And not a one of them is going to get caught from some silly internet entrapment. And that's a shame. And a waste of resource.

So what IS a real pedophile? Define it.

Gee. Can an eight year old "just be horny" like you were? I'm mean I'm sure there is one out there? Right?
posted by tkchrist at 1:24 PM on April 5, 2006


Teacher accused of having sex with boy, 13
"An elementary school teacher accused of having sex with a 13-year-old student has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of rape, authorities said.

The teacher allegedly had sex with the boy 28 times during the last week of March, and on at least one occasion allowed the boy’s 12-year-old friend to watch, authorities said. She also gave the students alcohol, according to New Castle County Police.

Rachel Holt, 34, a science teacher at Claymont Elementary School, was arrested early Tuesday and charged with rape, providing alcohol to a minor and unlawfully dealing with a child, authorities said.

[Associated Press | April 05, 2006]
posted by ericb at 1:30 PM on April 5, 2006


tkchrist, the crux of my statement is this:
1. I'm ethically opposed to entrapment.
2. I was giving an anecdote, which do not pass as legitimate research or science in my book, and I hope they don't in yours either. My anecdote was intended to illustrate my distaste for said intrapment.

Please do not ascribe slippery slope logic to my statements (re: 8 year olds), that's neither a conversation I'm interested in or willing to have.

I think you will find us at an impasse, as I am both unwilling to discuss moralism and unable to understand the great task of caring for another human life.
posted by birdie birdington at 1:38 PM on April 5, 2006


tkchrist, I was willing to discuss this with you until you started with the ad hominems. Learn how to have a rational discusison without resorting to calling me an exploiter, or saying I have issues, and perhaps I'll talk to you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:44 PM on April 5, 2006


“It took place in Atlanta, the buckle of the U.S. Bible Belt, where the world's busiest passenger airport provides a cheaper, more convenient and safer underage sex destination for men seeking girls as young as 10.”

Hmm...I have been looking to kill some folks and take their money as an alternative to investing. The downside has always been I don’t like spending a lot of time in a plane. This seems ideal.

“Why are we so terrified, now that our kids are safer than ever?” -posted by Western Infidels

Wuz I the paranoid type I’d say all the focus on internet entrapment and child predators online (apart from media sexiness) was to reduce the effectiveness of the internet as a medium of free communication.
Much like television is completely 1/2 ass as an honest medium.
I suspect things are being done to change the way things are freely done online.

“This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire, but it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends” - Murrow
posted by Smedleyman at 1:47 PM on April 5, 2006


See, here I was thinking that by entrapping pedophiles through the Internet you prevented them from actually hooking up with kids off-line. Dudes, the problem is not just from the adults hitting on the kids and sending them sexually explicit material, while demanding it back. It becomes a big problem when the adult starts pressuring for the kids to meet with them. Then you've got a kid manipulated into actual physical molestation.

Additionally--if you think damage can only be done if the child is making physical contact with the pedophile, you've clearly never been verbally sexually harassed.

For someone who is allegedly liberal in his tendencies, you have an awful tendency to see these issues as black and white.

I'm with tkchrist here. I don't know what world we stepped in where someone's a frothing conservative because they don't want a thirty-year-old man fucking their fifteen-year-old kid. You say the kid is ready; most people and psychologists would say vehemenently that children are not ready for that kind of relationship with an adult. I work with teens. I remember being a teen. These kids do not need that shit in their lives.

When I was almost 21, I was dating a boy who had literally just turned 16. Was that exploitive? Am I an asshole for doing so?

You know what? In my opinion, yes and yes. You should have fucking known better. I don't care how fucking hot or horny or mature that 16-year-old was, you don't fucking touch that until they're out of high school. The girls I knew who got into relationships with older men when they were in middle and high school never got anything good out them, unless you count pregnancies as a good thing.

I don't care how you guys parted or how wonderful it is. So you were an exception, fan-fucking-tastic for you! And there are people who cheat on their spouses and end up in happy long-term relationships with their mistresses, and there are people who abandon sacks of kittens and the kittens are all adopted to safe, happy homes, and there are people who drop out of high school their freshman year and become millionaires. That does not make it OK or a good idea for the rest of the population to do.

Laws are created to protect the majority. You cannot legislate based on outliers!
posted by schroedinger at 2:55 PM on April 5, 2006



Laws are created to protect the majority. You cannot legislate based on outliers!


In retrospect, that sounds really bad. What I mean is that if 1% of the population likes being set on fire, but 99% of the population doesn't, you can't make it OK to set people on fire because that 1% wouldn't mind.
posted by schroedinger at 2:58 PM on April 5, 2006


Schroedinger, I never said otherwise. As I have said, repeatedly, both Goofyy and I are talking about some cases. Some circumstances. Not all. Not even a majority. Not even close to a majority. Alright? There's no need for this frothing at the mouth vituperation.

What we're trying to say is that the issue, as with so many, isn't black and white. I seem to recall many occasions when you've tried to tell people that Issue X isn't cut-and-dried, it isn't black and white, and they should step back and think about the nuances. We're trying to say the same here to you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:09 PM on April 5, 2006


tkchrist, I was willing to discuss this with you until you started with the ad hominems.

I started. Oh. What was this: For someone who is allegedly liberal in his tendencies, you have an awful tendency to see these issues as black and white. If not an adhominem?

Look , as far the comments you made have detailed, you ARE an exploiter. So you got lucky once and found some kid who "wanted it" and seemed mature enough to handle it. So YOU say.

Maybe you weren't around to pick up the pieces. You miss entirely the point and that is, overwhelmingly, most kids CAN'T handle it. Do you want us to change laws because your horny for teen flesh? Or you just want a "it's not black and white" clause thrown in there? I don't understand.

So let me ask you - what if you would have given that kid AIDS or an STD? What would you say to a parent then? "Thems the breaks." or "Johnny knew what he was getting in to." Or do yu think of yourself as a parent figure yourself that would see him through his problem. Somehow I find that even sicker.

You want to have all the fun of an exploiter but don't want to be called an exploiter? Tough.

What you seem to want is to redefine "childhood" and "adulthood" for some secret select cabal that only you can see and only you know.

Essentiall you base this not a the consensus of parents, society, or law - but of people who want to FUCK teenagers because they are hot. All this "it's not black and white?" The fuck it is not. The LAW says it is. My responsibilities as a parent say it is.

What do you want? A new age of consent law? Some special test for children that qualify as stable enough for Adults to fuck?

What you want is for me to LIKE you while you argue FOR what is near universally recognized in the civilized world as quite possibly the most egregious and irresponsible thing an adult can do. And that is exploit to a child sexually.
posted by tkchrist at 3:42 PM on April 5, 2006


#1 -- Deputy Press Secretary Brian J. Doyle of the Department of Homeland Security.

#2 -- Homeland Security Department Law Enforcement Agent in charge of 'Operation Predator'

#3 -- 3rd. Homeland Security employee in trouble for child sex trolling
posted by ericb at 4:49 PM on April 5, 2006


tkchrist >>> "tkchrist, I was willing to discuss this with you until you started with the ad hominems.

"I started. Oh. What was this:
For someone who is allegedly liberal in his tendencies, you have an awful tendency to see these issues as black and white. If not an adhominem?


If you are seeing, as you have yourself admitted, the issue as black and white, then pointing that out isn't an ad hominem.



"Look , as far the comments you made have detailed, you ARE an exploiter. So you got lucky once and found some kid who 'wanted it' and seemed mature enough to handle it. So YOU say.

"Maybe you weren't around to pick up the pieces.


Actually he and I were in touch for a good two years or so afterwards, and only distance and other obligations have prevented us from continuing the friendship we had. We drifted apart. That happens to everyone.
You miss entirely the point and that is, overwhelmingly, most kids CAN'T handle it. Do you want us to change laws because your horny for teen flesh?

1) At what point did I say that the laws should be changed?
2) Where do you get off assuming who I am and am not attracted to?
3) Again, you have entirely missed what I have said several times. Let me make this as clear as fucking possible: I do not disagree that most teenagers cannot handle such a relationship, and to clarify further, laws preventing exploitation are by and large a good thing.

"So let me ask you - what if you would have given that kid AIDS or an STD? What would you say to a parent then? 'Thems the breaks.' or 'Johnny knew what he was getting in to.' Or do yu think of yourself as a parent figure yourself that would see him through his problem. Somehow I find that even sicker.

None of the above. I treated him as I would any sexual partner, which is to say respectfully, compassionately, and above all safely. You have no right whatsoever to judge my sexual behaviour, but let me tell you: I go for a full STD screening every six months, no matter what. The only time I participate in unsafe sexual activities is within the context of a long-term, monogamous, and multiply-tested relationship. So the chances of that happening are virtually nil.

(snip)
All this 'it's not black and white?' The fuck it is not. The LAW says it is.

Ah, appeal to the law? In your country, the LAW says that any drug use, no matter what, is illegal. The LAW says that any consumption of alcoholic beverages by those under the age of 21 is illegal. Shall I go on, or do you accede that if you're going to say issues are black and white because the LAW says so, then you must perforce agree with each and every single LAW enacted by your country?

"What do you want? A new age of consent law? Some special test for children that qualify as stable enough for Adults to fuck?

Again, I said that when? I will thank you to not put words in my mouth.

"What you want is for me to LIKE you while you argue FOR what is near universally recognized in the civilized world as quite possibly the most egregious and irresponsible thing an adult can do. And that is exploit to a child sexually."

No, what I want is for you to understand that this issue, like so many others, is not cut and dried. According to what you're saying, a nineteen-year-old cannot fuck a seventeen-year-old, because it's exploitation. Sure, in some cases it is... and in some cases two 30 year olds fucking is exploitation. What I am attempting to do is ask you to set your prejudices aside for a moment, and realize that despite the law, not all relationships between adults and teenagers are inherently exploitive. What you have is the diametrically opposite opinion to that of NAMBLA (who, it may surprise you to know, I view as an extremely dangerous group of pedophiles searching for justification). The fact is, as it is in so many cases, the truth of the matter is neither at one extreme nor the other, but falls somewhere in between. For the record, I think it falls closer to your position than to NAMBLA's, but your position and the truth are not wholly congruent.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:17 PM on April 5, 2006


tkchrist, the crux of my statement is this:
1. I'm ethically opposed to entrapment.
2. I was giving an anecdote, which do not pass as legitimate research or science in my book, and I hope they don't in yours either. My anecdote was intended to illustrate my distaste for said intrapment.


Ok. I failed to pick up that. Fair enough. But in either case your anecdote was not really building a good argument against entrapment. It was just that. An anecdote. In fact I think you built rather a good case for the opposite. IE: Children do not understand the consequences of "just being horny."

This kind of crime - luring minors via the internet - is new and has no precident.

I understand why LEO's are setting stings. Not that I agree with how they carry it out in such a shotgun sort of approach. But let's be clear. Setting up a server with pix of naked minors on it and then busting people for essentially just looking at them is one kind of entrapment. Setting a sting for people who are, actual or not, in active manipulative dialog with what they believe to be minors for the purpose of having sex is quite another. And, frankly, given the medium/technology and the potenetial for ireversable damage, I am unsure how, barring extremely intrusive parenting, we can stop people from harmfully engaging our children in this way.

IOW. Not all "entrapment" is equal.
posted by tkchrist at 5:40 PM on April 5, 2006


I treated him as I would any sexual partner
Oh god. You CAN'T treat fifteen year old like any other sexual partner. That's my point. A fifteen year old does not have - by biology and legality - the ability to perceive and judge consequences like you do. Don't you see? If it's a girl and she get's knocked up -guess what, no matter what your intentions it's her parents that are legally and morally responsible.

You have no right whatsoever to judge my sexual behavior

My man you just don't get it. I have EVERY right to judge your behavior IF IT INVOLVES MY CHILD.

Look. Granted I am creating a hypothetical. I am trying to get you to see that I, acting as your teen loves hypothetical parent, have obligations and responsibilities that supercede BOTH your desires to simply fuck eachother. Get it.

It doesn't matter HOW mature the two of you perceive your relationship. Until he is eighteen it doesn't matter. Get it? Damn. This is why parents get so crazy about this issue.

Ah, appeal to the law? In your country, the LAW says that any drug use, no matter what, is illegal.

Yes. And as an ADULT I can make that judgement for myself and deal financially and ethically with the consequences. My CHILD cannot. So I prefer they not engage in illegal activities until they reach adulthood.

Shall I go on, or do you accede that if you're going to say issues are black and white because the LAW says so, then you must perforce agree with each and every single LAW enacted by your country?

This is so obtuse. buddy. The difference is deciding for myself, as an adult, and having YOU decide it for MY child - who under the eyes of the law and necessitated by biology cannot decide for themselves.

Again, I said that when? I will thank you to not put words in my mouth.

I'm not. I am asking you. What is the point of saying "it's not always black and white?" Do you think a judge should twiegh this into a case involving a minor and an adult?

Let's say you got busted fucking this 16 year old.

Let's say on top of that you gave him an STD.

Let's say it's exactly like you say. Two "people" in love. Fine.

Yet your busted. Should a Judge in your case say "Ladies and gentlemen of the Jury these things are not always black and white."? I feel your point has no point. It's merely backhanded justification for fucking hot teens.

"Innocent by reason of the issue is not black and white."

Do you realize the types of president that would set? How many fucked up pedophiles would be fucking over kids lives through the courts with shit like that? Come on.

I was seriously asking you to consider what you actually MEAN.
posted by tkchrist at 6:05 PM on April 5, 2006


has anyone made the requisite "homeland security?" joke yet or can I go first?
posted by infini at 6:42 PM on April 5, 2006


Do you realize the types of president that would set?

bush.
posted by quonsar at 6:55 PM on April 5, 2006


Yo, tk, I feel ya man, but your grammar and spelling are bad to the point of undercutting your position. (i.e. your /= you're; president /= precedent).

Also, I think someone has to give props to Goof and angelboy for having the courage to advocate for a clearly unpopular position. And without getting crazy defensive and belligerent. Neocon Mefites take note: it's possible.
posted by squirrel at 7:13 PM on April 5, 2006


dirtynumbingangelboy, I understand what you're trying to say, but it's very difficult for me to accept a situation where even in some cases it might be OK for an adult to have a sexual relationship with a teenager. It could be hypothetically true--most things can be hypothetically true--but in this case the fallout from making a mistake is so disasterous that I see no reason to make assumptions and even try.

My question echoes tkchrist--if you do not think the laws should be changed, if you acknowledge many of these relationships are dangerously exploitative, then why argue a position based on hypotheticals and minorities? What is your goal? It feels like you're simply trying to justify a relationship you once had--and no, that doesn't mean you are, but it is the impression you're giving.

Going back to the original post--my feeling is there is no argument to defend a man in his fifties seeking sexual activity from a fourteen-year-old. Unless the fourteen-year-old has drugged the adult and raped them (or the adult is severely mentally disabled), the adult is in a position to make a choice about their sexual activities. They have a responsibility to stop that relationship from happening, to realize they are in a position of power and cannot abuse it, no matter how tantalizing the reward.
posted by schroedinger at 10:02 PM on April 5, 2006


Well said (again) schroedinger.

I've been following this thread from the start and was waiting to see if any other parent pounced on the naively self-serving bias in the following:

"Oh, and 'If you HAD a teenage child you'd know.'

There's a lot of bias there, which you really should recognize. You have a vested interest in seeing your offspring as children. All parents do; it's an attitude which never ocmpletely disappears
.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:11 PM PST on April 5 [!]"

This addresses only half a parent's protective instinct towards a teenager.
In fact, we see them as offspring crashing straight into adulthood and it's the "swan" stage we are urgently preparing them for during these crucial years.

Sure, our bias makes us see the child still flickering alongside the emerging adult; it's a complex picture.

The older exploitative male prefers to ignore those flickers; hell, if anything they are part of the charm of youth bait!

Most parents of older teenage boys (my situation) are sometimes completely startled when they first notice their kids as independent individuals. But we're not stupid, we don't try to drive them back into our arms.

We do, however, hope like mad that their youth is not viewed simply as a lip-smacking reward by older adults who focus self-servingly on how mature they otherwise seem.

Like schroedinger, I'm also picking up vibes about retrospective justification.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 5:28 AM on April 6, 2006


tkchrist >>> "I treated him as I would any sexual partner
"Oh god. You CAN'T treat fifteen year old like any other sexual partner.


Yes, you can. As I said: compassion, respect, safety. Respecting someone means treating them and dealing with them in the most appropriate manner. Please, start reading what I'm actually writing, ok? And for the record, I met his parents, and they were fine with the relationship. They were concerned, rightly, about whether he was being used or exploited. Since he wasn't, and since I very clearly respected and cared for him very much--and he for me--there was no problem.

(snip)

Shall I go on, or do you accede that if you're going to say issues are black and white because the LAW says so, then you must perforce agree with each and every single LAW enacted by your country?

"This is so obtuse. buddy. The difference is deciding for myself, as an adult, and having YOU decide it for MY child - who under the eyes of the law and necessitated by biology cannot decide for themselves."



And, yet again, you have completely missed my point. You're trying to argue that because something is legally wrong, it is perforce morally wrong as well. Is it morally wrong for an 18 year old to have a beer? No? You cannot appeal to the law for morality selectively when it suits you. Either everything that is illegal is by definition immoral--from jaywalking to murder--or you have to concede that particular argument holds no water.


And with that, I'm done. You have zero interest in actually discussing this issue. You merely want to rant and rave and scream at me until I say "Oh by golly yes, no matter what, anytime someone over 18 touches someone under 18, it's WRONG AND BAD AND THEY ARE GOING TO HELL." You've completely and conveniently ignored, for example, my question about a 19-year-old and a 17-year-old. By your lights, that's WRONG AND BAD BECAUSE THE LAW SAYS SO. It's clearly not; a two year age difference is practically nothing. But for you to admit that, you'd also have to admit that just maybe I'm right, that there are grey areas surrounding any age of consent laws.

Ah well. One day, perhaps, you'll stop seeing the world as black and white. It becomes a lot more interesting.

schroedinger >>> "dirtynumbingangelboy, I understand what you're trying to say, but it's very difficult for me to accept a situation where even in some cases it might be OK for an adult to have a sexual relationship with a teenager."

Define 'adult' and define 'teenager'. Again... a 19 year old is an adult, yes? And a 17 year old is a teenager? Where does the line get drawn of this age gap is wrong, but this age gap is okay?

schroedinger >>> "My question echoes tkchrist--if you do not think the laws should be changed, if you acknowledge many of these relationships are dangerously exploitative, then why argue a position based on hypotheticals and minorities? What is your goal? It feels like you're simply trying to justify a relationship you once had--and no, that doesn't mean you are, but it is the impression you're giving."

Well, the laws up here in Canada are perfectly fine, I think. They recognize that age gaps in relationships can and do exist, and protect from exploitation through more selective prohibition. I'm not trying to justify anything--even if I were, that relationship so many years ago was perfectly legal in any case. By tkchrist's logic, because it was legal, it was therefore morally acceptable, and thus I have no justification to make.

Either way, I'm not justifying anything. I'm trying to make you people think about the subtleties and nuances. People do not magically become able to consent at midnight of their 18th birthday, where they were completely unable to five minutes before.

I would also be willing to bet that if this discussion were not framed in terms of boy-boy sex, a lot of your responses would be very different indeed. There's an undercurrent of thought, even amongst a lot of ostensibly liberal and left-wing people that I know, that gay boys under a certain age are getting taken advantage of and need to be protected, while the sexual activity of girls the same age passes without a murmur. How about, say, a heterosexual 17 year old boy and a 23 year old girl? I bet when you were 17 you'd have jumped at the chance. And would it have been wrong? Almost certainly not.

I'm not one of those faggots who sees homophobia everywhere. But when issues like age of consent come up, there is often an undeniable undercurrent of homophobia tinging the discussion. In Canada, judges have ruled that differing ages of consent for heterosexual and homosexual sex are unconstitutional, and so it's the same across the board up here. In the patchwork legislation in the USA, there is often one constant: in states where homosexual sex isn't outright illegal, ages of consent for homosexual sex are almost always higher than those for heterosexual sex.

As for a 50 year old fucking a 14 year old, I would absolutely agree that it's essentially impossible to see a situation where that could possibly be mutually beneficial. But what about an 18 year old? They're legally an adult, by your rules, so all is good. What if the sex occurs the day before their 18th birthday?

And what about those boys and girls who are genuinely and only attracted to people older than they are? I've met a lot of people of both sexes who are only and have only ever been attracted to people several-to-many years older than they are. You're saying they shouldn't be allowed to date until they turn 18, even if they do have the emotional and mental wherewithal to handle a relationship.

When it comes to causing the death of another human being, for God's sake, the laws everywhere recognize that intent and circumstances are vitally important to not only defining the nature of the crime, but the punishment as well. Why is this not so for sex? And if you're all going to be such absolutists about the law, I really have to wonder what you think of murder laws specifically, and in fact the entire legal system in general.

Jody Tresidder >>> "I've been following this thread from the start and was waiting to see if any other parent pounced on the naively self-serving bias in the following:"

It's hardly naive, and it's hardly self-serving. Every parent has a duty and responsibility to protect their child. It's hardwired at a genetic level. That doesn't mean it's always right. Most parents are completely overprotective after a certain point--the individuality which I mentioned needs to be shoved in their faces before they'll back off. This is how growing up works. I'm not blaming any parent for their bias; I'm just asking you to look beyond it and see some nuance. How many times do I have to say that?

You're all trying to paint me, it seems, as some sort of apologist for every man or woman who wants to fuck, what was it that tkchrist said? Hot teenage flesh. I'm not. You're all very conveniently ignoring the fact that it many if not most cases I agree with you--as an age gap rises, the chances of a given relationship being exploitive also rise, on average. Why do you all ignore that? Is it that much easier to simply dismiss what I'm saying by using words such as 'self-serving,' and 'retroactive justification', and not-so-subtly implying that all I want is to fuck 15 year old boys? Any 'vibes' you're picking up about 'retrospective justification' are projection on your part. As I pointed out above, I feel no need to justify anything to any of you.

But it's so very much easier for all of you to attack and defame the messenger, because that lets you very conveniently ignore the message, which is this:

Age of consent laws are completely and entirely arbitrary. While it's true that for the greater good a line must be drawn somewhere, the fact of that line existing does not therefore mean that everything crossing that line is automatically and inherently morally wrong.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:30 AM on April 6, 2006


"Most parents are completely overprotective after a certain point--the individuality which I mentioned needs to be shoved in their faces before they'll back off".

That's a helluva crude generalization from someone who is not a parent.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:44 AM on April 6, 2006


Can you deny that it's accurate? Most parents need to be forced to a realization that Junior is all grown up before they'll let go. This is natural, this is normal, and all things considered, it's probably a good thing. Better, in many cases, to be slightly over protective than vastly underprotective.

You're also making a very untenable assumption as to my parental status. As it so happens, it's true. I'm not a parent, yet. I am an uncle to two incredible kids, and have been very much involved in raising them since I started changing my niece's diaper 14 years (oh Godmany of the comments in this thread.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:06 PM on April 6, 2006


dirtynumbingangelboy, I am a faggot (or dyke, I guess). Believe me, the boy-boy nature is not what's bothering me. And in fact, when arguing this point I was disturbed to find myself more sketched out by age differences in heterosexual relationships (especially when the female is younger) than in homosexual ones.

Defining "teenager" and "adult" is indeed a difficult thing to do. 18 (or 17, or 19, or whatever maximum age difference) is not a magic number--it's the a number picked because it represents a balance between an age high enough where the majority of humans are approaching adulthood, but low enough that you're not stifling them.

Frankly, a relationship between a 50-year-old and an 18-year-old would still sketch me out. A 25-year-old and a 50-year-old? There's only a seven year difference, but the sketch factor is much less because the 25-year-old has been through a range of experiences that the 18-year-old hasn't.

Believe me, I don't think kids under 18 should never, ever be having sex. It's who they're having sex with. I mean, that's why I favor age-of-consent laws that focus on age differences rather than an absolute. For instance, if a 19-year-old has sex with a 16-year-old it's OK, but if a 30-year-old is banging that 16-year-old, eyebrows get raised.

There is a gray area--and because there is that gray area, and because the consequences can be so tremendous, I prefer erring on the side of caution.
posted by schroedinger at 1:47 PM on April 6, 2006


wtf... someone actually listened to what I was saying?

Thank you, schroe :)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:04 PM on April 6, 2006


Well dirtynumbangelboy, assumptions are okay when they happen to be true (as in you not yet being a parent!).

Sure, actively involved parents probably have trouble determining exactly when to let go (though I bridle like mad at the insufferable way you expressed it).

But you probably STILL can't see my point.

The protective-about-sex-and-significant-relationships aspect of parenting is such a tiny part of launching junior. There's college and high school options, there's your older kid who has started driving and his younger brother who is aching to, there's the "crappy" secure vacation job versus the road trip friends are planning, there's boring them rigid about money sense and coming home at 2 am sense and the drugs everywhere at school problem and stormy arguments...yeah, I'm going on...

In the midst of all this as a parent you DO embrace those arbitrary consent laws as at least a sort of objective brake.

And your focus on proving them occasionally cruel or emotionally inhibiting comes across as annoyingly single track - and one-sided.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 2:20 PM on April 6, 2006


Jody Tresidder >>> "Well dirtynumbangelboy, assumptions are okay when they happen to be true (as in you not yet being a parent!)."

No, most assumptions are pretty stupid. Especially when one considers the motivations behind making them.

"Sure, actively involved parents probably have trouble determining exactly when to let go (though I bridle like mad at the insufferable way you expressed it).

"But you probably STILL can't see my point."


I do. It may surprise you, but I do. Yes, there are all sorts of other things involved in being a parent--but those things aren't under discussion here, and aren't particularly german to the plot. Straw man.

"And your focus on proving them occasionally cruel or emotionally inhibiting comes across as annoyingly single track - and one-sided."

And your focus on proving them unquestionably correct comes across as annoying single-track and one-sided. See how easy it is to do that?

Again. There are grey areas. Maybe you don't want to accept that. That's your problem, not mine. The tendency towards black or white, us or them, right or wrong thinking in the USA in recent years is a lot of what has landed your country in the political mess it's in right now. A failure to understand and appreciate subtlety, nuance, and grey areas is a failure to look at life reasonably and critically.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:50 PM on April 6, 2006


And your focus on proving them unquestionably correct comes across as annoying single-track and one-sided. See how easy it is to do that?

Jody is defining where a line is drawn and thus erring on the side of protecting her - or all of societies - children from what can likely be real harm.

Your erring (and no matter how you break it down) on the side of simply wanting to get laid.

We all know life is not "black and white." Enough. Ok. That's not any kind rational basis for this argument.
posted by tkchrist at 3:33 PM on April 6, 2006


tkchrist, let me make this as clear as possible. I'll even use little words, so you can understand.

FUCK OFF.

I have tried and tried to be reasonable, and the only response you can come up with is that I'm trying to retroactively justify something, or that I just want to get laid. You're making all sorts of unfounded assumptions about who I am, how I treat people, who I want to sleep with, who I actually sleep with--a point of subtlety which I suspect will be utterly lost on you--and telling me that I have issues.

FUCK OFF, YOU FUCKING ASSHAT.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:38 PM on April 6, 2006


Er...and I'm expected to be impressed with your even-handed maturity?

This argument was the wrong one to lose your temper about, babycakes...
posted by Jody Tresidder at 4:05 PM on April 6, 2006


Oh Jebus.

It's not the argument, Jody. Not the subject matter, at least. It's the fucking personal attacks and ad hominems from tkchrist.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:33 PM on April 6, 2006


Frank Figueroa: Agent 007
posted by kirkaracha at 7:06 AM on April 7, 2006


DHS Background Check Questioned
"The Department of Homeland Security official arrested Tuesday on charges of seducing a minor over the Internet faced disciplinary action at his previous workplace, Time magazine's Washington bureau, for misusing company equipment to download pornography, friends and former colleagues said....

Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), who has launched a congressional investigation into DHS hiring practices and security protocols, said Doyle's conduct should have been uncovered. King said the arrest revealed a threat to national security because it showed Doyle could be compromised by foreign agents.

'It's easy for me to stand on the sidelines and criticize . . . but if there was an incident at Time magazine, Homeland Security above all should have found it,' King said. 'Homeland Security is our last line of defense, and to be taken seriously, you have to have very, very strict security standards.'

[Washington Post | April 7, 2006]
posted by ericb at 9:41 AM on April 7, 2006




dirtynumbangelboy -

Your totally right. I took a day or two to think about it. And your right. I was extremely rude. . Though I doubt you'll read this I feel I must. You know. For the sake of balance the force and all that.

FWIW. I completely apologize.
posted by tkchrist at 2:26 PM on April 12, 2006


Apology accepted.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:25 AM on April 15, 2006


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