Girls are raped; boys “lose their virginity” (unless it is to a man)

When women reveal that they first “had sex” at the age of 11, we call it rape, even if it was consensual, and rightly so. Often, these same women will go on to detail a life plagued by self-loathing, substance abuse, reckless behavior, and failed relationships. It may not be absolutely right to blame every single problem on these early sexual experiences (surely verbal abuse, physical abuse, and other factors play a role), but most of us agree that this is not the best way to become a healthy and satisfied sexual being. Having sex as a child is absolutely to be avoided.

Unless you are a boy and the person having sex with you is female. The latest in a long line of men bragging about their early sexual experiences is Josh Brolin, who says he “lost his virginity” when he was eleven to a girl named Greta. There is no mention of how old Greta was at the time. Men’s Journal also says that he stole cars and smoked heroin as a teen. His life follows a pattern we might associate with victims of child rape. He was most recently arrested on New Year’s Eve for public intoxication.

I certainly don’t know the facts regarding Brolin’s early experiences, and I don’t claim to know anything about him beyond what I’ve read in these reports, but I can’t understand why journalists can blithely report that a boy “lost his virginity” at the age of eleven. I can’t imagine anyone saying the same of a woman without at least mentioning the age of the person who had sex with the child or the possibility of child rape.

It is time to view sex with young boys in the same way we view sex with young girls.

About ethicsbeyondcompliance

I hold a PhD in medical humanities with an major emphasis in ethics. I began teaching college-level ethics in 2000.
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