13 de julho de 2018

Annotations on “Gay and Bisexual Adolescent Boys’ Sexual Experiences With Men,” by Bruce Rind.

“Gay and Bisexual Adolescent Boys’ Sexual Experiences With Men: An Empirical Examination of Psychological Correlates in a Nonclinical Sample” was written by Bruce Rind. Below, some notes I made about his text. They do not necessarely reflect my views on a given subject.

  1. People only began to see relationships between adults and minors as always abusive and traumatic around thirty years ago.
  2. In fact, even today, even relationships in which there is no evidence of psychological or physical harm are viewed from an always negative point of view, even when both parties show an interest in continuing the relationship.
  3. The purpose of the study is to verify if this change in the way these relationships are viewed , a recent change, is justified, at least in the case of homosexual relationships between generations.
  4. The study uses mostly non-clinical, university samples .
  5. Among the one hundred and twenty nine men who participated in the study, twenty-six reported having had sexual experiences in adolescence with an adult male.
  6. These twenty-six do not differ from others in terms of mental adjustment.
  7. Most of these relationships were voluntary: the minor was not forced to participate.
  8. Also, most interviewees who have had these relationships consider them positive.
  9. The study did not identify age difference in degrees of consent (the younger does not necessarily oppose more resistance than the older one).
  10. Negative attention to relationships between adults and minors began to appear because of the women’s rights movement, which was interested in eradicating rape and soon turned its attention to incest.
  11. Rape became the standard model through which society understood incest.
  12. Over time, incest and, therefore, rape became the standard model through which society understood relationships between adults and girls (whether children or adolescents).
  13. Now, if relationships between adults and girls “are” rape, by logic they must be extremely damaging to the person.
  14. It follows that the idea that “relationships between adults and minors is never consensual” is a feminist idea : there is no equality between adult men and women, how could there be between men and girls?
  15. Thus, in feminist reasoning, inequality of force (which can be physical, mental or social) makes these relationships abusive by definition.
  16. Over time, in the early eighties, the relationship between man and boy began to enter into this model, and finally, relationships between boy and adult woman.
  17. The incest model, which did not serve to interpret all intergenerational relationships, became the lens through which even science saw these relationships, so that science could no longer be impartial in relation to such relationships: the damage was taken for granted, it was only a matter of measuring such damage.
  18. Even if the alleged victim denied that there was harm or coercion, she was considered to be harmed anyway.
  19. For some researchers, the child who claims that there was no harm or coercion or that the experience was positive is lying (if I am not mistaken, assuming the child is lying without proof is illegal ).
  20. Of course, this would be reflected in the media , which would say that all adult-minor relationships involve abuse of power and exploitation, despite the minor’s testimony (when such testimony is included in the news).
  21. The presence of informed consent does not guarantee that the relationship is safe, and it’s absence does not guarantee that the relationship is unsafe.
  22. Voluntary and innocuous sexual experiences are irrelevant in terms of psychological damage .
  23. At least in the case of boys, most early sexual experiences are voluntary .
  24. The fact that most sexual experiences between adult and girl are forced and therefore harmful does not guarantee that the same proportion of forced sexual contact occurs with boys.
  25. Sexual contact between boy and woman usually ends well, especially if the boy is a teenager .
  26. The homosexual boy who is the victim of forced or harmful sexual contact will obviously suffer from it and, moreover, may even become homophobic.
  27. But the use of force does not always occur.
  28. There is homosexual incest as well.
  29. If the contact is forced, it is almost certain that the experience will be negative and perhaps traumatic.
  30. If the contact is voluntary and pleasurable, it will probably be repeated.
  31. However, if a boy is homosexual, he is not gay because of the experience.
  32. It seems that it is common for a homosexual boy to be attracted to older men or adolescents.
  33. A homosexual boy can initiate sexual contact with the adult, so the adult may not need to seduce him.
  34. It is unlikely, in a male sample of the general population, that voluntary sexual contact between man and boy would end in any harm, with some boys, after they grow up, reporting that the experience was beneficial.
  35. In such cases, the person would question the “victim” label.
  36. In some indigenous tribes , this kind of contact begins before puberty.
  37. In other cultures, parents allow that, as long as the child is not injured, disrespected or humiliated.
  38. Part of the damage comes from the social reaction and the family structure.
  39. Non-clinical data and cross-cultural references do not conform to the feminist model.
  40. For purposes of study, any genital contacts are considered to be sexual, that is, the act does not have to be penetrative to be included.
  41. The researchers obtained the data from another, who interviewed men about their early sexual experiences, asking them to tell how it felt.
  42. A person who is between twelve and seventeen is considered a “teenager” for the purposes of the study, so only interviews with people who had sexual contacts around that age will be taken into account in the test group (the other interviewees go the control group).
  43. For young homosexuals or bisexuals, acceptance of sexuality is the most important factor in developing normal mental functioning: to repudiate a sexuality that can not be changed will have a negative effect on your mental life.
  44. The base study, from which the samples were obtained, classified sexual experiences into five outcome levels (where 1 would be “very negative experience” and 5 would be “very positive experience”) and five levels of consent (where 1 would be “forced” on the other and 5 would be “asked for the contact to the other”).
  45. The base study also classified the experiences into three levels of familiarity (where 1 would be “with stranger” and 3 would be “with friend”), in two types of repetition (where 1 would be “happened only once” and 2 would be “happened several times “), four types of duration (where 1 would be “relationship lasted less than one month”and 4 would be “relationship lasted more than one year”) and three types of contact (where 1 would be “masturbation” and 3 would be “intercourse”).
  46. No differences were found between test group and control group in regards to self-esteem.
  47. At least in the homosexual and bisexual male population, adolescent relationships, even if with adults, do not result in harm if the act is not forced or physically negative (painful, for example).
  48. Strangely, some of these individuals had a positive sexual identity earlier than the individuals in the control group.
  49. This contradicts the father-daughter incest model that started to base all relationships between adult and minor.
  50. Of these twenty-six individuals, the age of the first experience is, on average, fifteen years, with the partner having, on average, twenty-eight years, with an average age disparity of thirteen years.
  51. Of these twenty-six individuals, 42% had their first time with strangers, 35% with acquaintances and 23% with friends (a guy did with his older brother).
  52. 68% repeated the act.
  53. 42% maintained the relationship for less than a month, but only 25% maintained the relationship for another year.
  54. Nineteen of these individuals reported their sexual contact with the adult, of which 21% practiced only masturbation, 42% practiced oral and 37% practiced intercourse.
  55. 96% of the adolescents had already noticed that they are homosexuals before the experience.
  56. In these twenty-six cases, this discovery occurred, on average, at the age of seven, with the youngest realizing that he liked boys at age three and the oldest only at seventeen.
  57. Those men reached puberty, on average, at age eleven.
  58. If the discovery of homosexuality occurs early, labelling yourself as gay happens later (average age among participants was twelve years).
  59. It follows that early sexual experiences do not turn you gay: homosexuality is not learned.
  60. Among these twenty-six individuals, 92% were voluntary participants during the relationship, with 38.5% claiming that the experience was “very positive”, 38.5% claiming that the experience was “positive”, 7.7% claiming that it was “neutral” or “both positive and negative”, 3.8% claiming that the experience was “negative” and 11.7% claiming that the experience was “very negative” (remembering that the base study interviewed adults who were speaking out about their sexual experiences in adolescence with adults).
  61. Thus, 77% of these experiments were positive, 8% were neutral and 15% were negative.
  62. Of the twenty-six individuals, none was forced.
  63. 23.1% asked for sexual contact with the adult, 69.2% were of “mutually consenting” (both wanted) and 7.7% were not doing it because they wanted to, but only because the adult had asked for it.
  64. It follows that “total consent” (mutual or encouraging, excluding the ones who did it by request without really wanting to) occurred in 92% of cases.
  65. The level of outcome was not affected by the age difference or the age of the younger participant.
  66. But consent did: consent was closer to 5 if the adult participant was older, so that respondents were more willing to engage with adults much older than themselves when they were adolescents.
  67. The level of outcome increases as the level of familiarity increases.
  68. For some of these boys, that early sexual experience was the best they had.
  69. But this contradicts feminist activists, contradicts practitioners who work using the child abuse paradigm and contradicts the media.
  70. Incest is not always traumatic (to remember: incest is not a crime in Brazil, if both individuals are at least fourteen).
  71. The “mark of abuse”, the age disparity, had no negative effect either on the level of consent or on the level of harm or benefit, but on the contrary: the greater the age disparity, the more those precocious boys were interested (similar thing happens with girls).
  72. The fact that the adolescent is very young, at least in the sample studied, had no impact on his level of consent or negative effect on his level of achievement.
  73. If “innocence” is “asexuality,” then none of the subjects studied were innocent, since they were already aware of their sexual feelings before puberty.
  74. At least in the sample studied, boys rarely nurtured fantasies about same-age peers, usually having fantasies about older adults or adolescents.
  75. Their fantasy was inhabited by actors, singers, icons of popular culture, both real and fictional.
  76. Some tykes are addicted to underwear catalogs.
  77. Again, the earliest fantasies occur before puberty, although the first experience occurred in adolescence.
  78. The subjects studied, when telling their early fantasies, did not see adult men as possible abusers.
  79. Probably, this early curiosity explains why the boys did not offer opposition to the act and why some actively sought contact.
  80. If an adult can positively recall early sexual experiences, then the child or adolescent who denies that the contact was abusive can not be taken as an automatic liar.
  81. The model of incest between father and daughter can only be used to explain incest between father and daughter and should not be extrapolated to the other types of relationship between adult and minor.
  82. Many scholars, in coming in contact with such data, would still conclude that the experience was harmful.
  83. The boy who is not forced does not feel like a victim and will deny this label.
  84. The media can hear the denial of abuse coming from the child’s mouth and still document abuse .
  85. This can cause secondary damage .
  86. The media can also lie deliberately to turn a small occurrence into something of great proportions in order to generate great revenue.
  87. It should not be assumed that all relationships between adult and minor are forced.
  88. When a psychologist is disturbed by the boy who says that the experience was positive and that he is not a victim, the psychologist will give sincere effort into changing the boy’s opinion, so that he sees himself as a victim.
  89. The adult does not have to bribe or threaten the child or adolescent to consent to the relationship, but authorities may threaten or bribe him or her to admit the harm, even when it has not happened.
  90. Authorities may pressure the teenager to “admit” that he has been victimized.
  91. This is humiliating and also traumatic .
  92. Thus, the boy who has to go through this is a victim of the state, not a victim of the adult, insofar as he was not victimized by the adult (absence of damage and force).
  93. The social reaction against juvenile homosexual experiences may very well be a manifestation of homophobia, an attempt to teach these boys to “man up.”
  94. The application of the incest model (between father and daughter), a model that is so dear to feminism, to all relations between adults and minors, is unjust and unhappy, since it ignores the fact that incest between father and daughter is a very peculiar situation that occurs in completely different circumstances than those observed in other relationships between generations.
  95. The study sample can not be extended to all economic or ethnic groups, because the majority of the subjects studied were middle class, attended to university and were white.
  96. In addition, the findings of the study concern adolescents, not children (under 12).
  97. In addition, most of the cases studied involve voluntary relationships, so the findings do not extend to cases of rape (here defined as forced sexual intercourse, which are almost always harmful and frequently traumatic).
  98. Finally, all the subjects studied were either homosexual or bisexual, so that the research findings do not (obviously) extend to heterosexual boys who, for some reason, became involved with men.
  99. Rape and incest models have been developed since the 1970s to describe unwanted experiences between women and girls, that’s why those models describe other types of involvement so poorly.
  100. The study concludes that victim models should not be used to interpret voluntary relationships between adults and minors with compatible sexual orientations.
  101. One of the subjects did it with the teacher when he was twelve.
  102. Another man admitted that the age difference had aroused his curiosity, and that he had had his first orgasm when he was twelve with a man who was thirty-five.
  103. Yes, there are teenagers who lie about their age to get involved in such adventures (like the boy who walked into a gay movie theater using a fake ID card).
  104. One of the boys did it with his father’s best friend to take revenge on his father.
  105. One of the boys disliked the experience because the partner was a stranger, there being no emotional attraction between the two.

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