Friday, March 07, 2003

Moral Dilemma

The other night, while at the gym peddling away on the bikety-bike, I was perusing a copy of the magazine Jane (which is pretty much my favorite shallow-gal mag, if only because it's chock full of sarcasm and never takes itself too seriously...), when I came across an article about female sex offenders. Hmm---female sex offenders? How compelling. So, I read the article.

Some of the offenders in the court mandated "support group" the author of the article had written about were people who had molested their 5 and 7 year old neices and nephews, babysat for youngsters they forced to touch them before giving them dinner; things of that nature that just turned my stomach.

But then there were a few that fell into a kind of "grey area" to me. I was torn about whether or not they were true cases of "molestation" or not.

In one of those, a completely regretful woman confessed that, when she was 17, she had been involved in a yearlong sexual relationship with her 14-year old stepbrother. When her mother caught them putting their clothes back on after one such interlude, the boy cried "rape!".

Now, was it? I'm not so sure. If it were a 17-year old guy and a 14-year-old girl, would the same issue arise? Yes, I agree that it may have been "taking advantage" to some degree, and in general a not so good thing; but I'm not sure I'd classify it in the same way as someone getting his or her jollies from a 6-year-old.

In the same grey area I placed incidences of high school teachers sleeping with their students. Not exactly morally "Ok", but not as clearly "wrong" as other actions, either. I mean, a teacher should know better than to get involved with his or her students in that manner. But, when I was in high school, I was having sex. Not with teachers, mind you, but sex all the same. And yes, I was too young and inexperienced to really understand the implications of something like sleeping with a teacher; but I was of the age of "consent". Similarly, when I was 22 or 23 (as many teachers are), I made some bad choices in who I slept with. I never slept with a high school kid, but I made bad, inexperienced choices.

In some cases, they referenced high school teachers that slept with 18-year-olds. Ok, icky. But is it really "molestation"? Or just a bad choice? I personally sure as hell wouldn't sleep with a guy 4 or 5 years younger than me NOW, and I certainly wouldn't have then, but maybe that's just me....

Anyone have any opinions?

No comments: