December 26, 2011

Undersage Sex? It's Not a Big Problem | Guardian {featured read}

In response to new research on the number of youth who have sex in England comes this refreshing commentary about the situation of sex among youth there, presenting an uplifting contrast to the negative situation of underage sex in the US as portrayed in Dirty Little Secrets.


It is true that underage sexual activity in girls is rising at a higher rate than in boys, but I don't believe underage sex is an inherent problem; the age of consent is largely arbitrary. If a girl has safe consensual sex with another girl or boy at 15, both are happy and there are no significant power-imbalances – that's fine. [...]

Like [shadow health minister Diane] Abbott, I am concerned about pornification, the way in which much mainstream porn presents women. I'm concerned that young women believe there is one right way to look during sex, and about the persistent tendency of mainstream media to present sexual activity between women as titillation for male viewers.

However, girls don't just have sex because they view themselves as "sex objects": teenage and even pre-teenage girls have sexual desires of their own. Sex isn't necessarily something that is done to girls, because they view themselves as sexual objects; it can be initiated and enjoyed by them. Indeed, the reason underage sex among girls is rising could be due to female sexuality becoming less taboo.
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