Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The New Puberty?

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A good portion of the Sex Offender Registry are young men who had to misfortune to be 18 with a 16 year old girlfriend. Some are even younger, with correspondingly younger girlfriends. Curiously, only the males in these "Romeo and Juliet" relationships are punished.

"It has been established that girls who enter puberty earlier are more likely to have symptoms of anxiety, higher levels of depression, initiate sex earlier and sexual behaviors earlier," Julianna Deardorff tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Think about that for a moment. Young men, full of raging hormones, are being approached by young women, also full of raging hormones, who then initiating the sexual contact. And, as it turns out, it's happening earlier and earlier, when the emotional and intellectual development of these girls are not fully mature. And yet, the boy is at fault, locked away and subject to registration and restrictions.

Victim blaming? No. There are two victims here: the young woman who isn't equipped to deal with the changes and hormonal urges her body is experiencing, and the young man who is all too willing to help satisfy those urges with urges of his own.

These types of "crimes" need to be seen for what they are, and dealt with fairly. Ether both are convicted and put on the registry, or (more preferably), both are educated on the consequences of their actions and taught to deal with the changes their bodies are going through.