Let’s be perfectly clear. Children don’t “have sex”.
I’m not talking teenagers. Teenagers have sex, though, when they’re underage, there’s no consent. That’s what makes it statutory rape. When a person through immaturity – via age or disability – has no right to consent to sex, and the law protects that right, the person sexually engaging them is committing rape by legal statute. But if adolescents are both over the age of consent, and there is no force or coercion or drugs or alcohol used to elicit or ignore consent, then, yes, have sex they do.
Nor am I talking adults. Grown-ups sometimes have sex. Sometimes it’s mutually consensual. Sometimes it’s not. When it’s not, as with teens, then it’s rape.
But children cannot have sex, meaning intercourse of any kind. Their bodies are immature. Their brains are immature.
If someone is “having sex” with a child, they’re not having sex. They’re raping and committing torture.
Newspaper and magazine writers (print and internet) haven’t caught on to this. You still read, shamefully, of a man “having sex” with a neighbor’s daughter.
No. He forced sex on her. He raped her. He used his penis as a weapon to torture her.
To “have sex” in those circumstances is to ignore the horrors of what really happened. It’s a mealy-mouth word, a euphemism to avoid calling it what it is.
The Indian woman who was captured and attacked over hours by a group of men on a Mumbai bus was, of course, raped. Since she died, she was also murdered. But in addition, she was tortured. How else explain the agony she must have endured as one man after another forced himself into her? As they bit her all over her skin? As they shoved an iron rod into her, tearing her inner organs and causing the severest infection?
That, people, is torture.
So is the insertion of a penis into a body too immature and unwilling to accommodate it.
We’re used to regarding torture as associated with war or the Spanish Inquisition, or Guantanamo. It’s a method used to extract information – not very efficiently, according to research. That’s not its only use. Many people have through the centuries inflicted repeated pain on their captured enemies, not to acquire information, but just for . . . I suppose they called it fun.
The noun torture, however, exists as a description of behavior, not of purpose. Here are dictionary definitions:
–The act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.
–A method of inflicting such pain.
–The pain or suffering caused or undergone.
–Extreme anguish of body or mind; agony.
–A cause of severe pain or anguish.
Where someone is subjected to pain through non-permitted insertion of anything (including an erect penis), that is torture. It doesn’t matter that information is not sought, or that they’re not at war. The purpose is not important. The behavior is criminal.
“Well, I didn’t mean to cause pain.”
You didn’t stop when the person you were hurting screamed, did you? You didn’t stop when they begged you to, you didn’t stop when you saw blood, you didn’t stop when they fainted from the agonies.
You knew they were in pain, and you went ahead.
“The act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.” Ignoring others’ pain and going ahead? That is sheer cruelty.
Which leaves a huge pain footprint.
Call it by its true name. It’s not having sex.