Abuja - When you hear about sexual abuse, you may think of some sly, furtive person wearing a semen-stained tracksuit or even the eponymous flush-faced mall Santa, but sometimes a sexual predator can be the person you (and your kids) least suspect.
The bonking BFF
Take this case, for example: One US mom woke up in the night to hear a knocking noise coming from her 15-year-old son’s room. On entering the room, she saw a woman crouching on the floor. The woman then leapt out of the second storey window, broke her ankle and limped off. According to the New York Daily News, it was the woman’s best friend, Keri Gonzalez, 34, and the boy later admitted that the pair had had sex twice that night. The livid mother went to the police, and Keri has been charged with sexual misconduct with a minor…
She has since denied the charges, claiming she'd just been pushed and fallen onto the 15-year-old boy, and that she'd then fallen asleep in his room and woke up with her pants around her ankles according to Huffington Post. The mom alleges that Gonzales brought alcohol and Xanax along for the illicit party.
There’s a sly misogyny when it comes to teens and minors having sex. Teen boys are surrounded by an environment that suggests it’s cool to get laid, and even an older woman is a score. Girls, on the other hand, are generally shielded from being encouraged to be promiscuous.
Had this been a 15-year-old girl with a 34-year-old man, there would have been even more outrage.
There have been many stories in the media lately of teens being caught having sex with much older teachers, neighbours, family friends or religious leaders (among other adults likely to come into contact with teens).
Obviously any adult who has access to a minor is obligated to avoid a sexual relationship at all costs. The adult is the one who understands the consequences of the word “consent”.
There’s an element of trust involved for parents of teens, too. Your teen may think he or she is ready for a sexual relationship, but there’s a certain naïveté which could allow your teen to be in a vulnerable position.
Teen boys should be taught boundaries and appropriate behaviour in the same measures as teen girls. Of course girls and boys alike can enjoy the thrills of a physical encounter, but the “honour” that comes with sexual conquest should be dismantled. Being exploited by an older adult can damage a teen’s ability to form healthy relationships later on, especially with regards to sex.
Many parents treat teen boys having sex as normal, and merely offer the advice to use condoms and not get the girl pregnant, but there’s more to sex than bonking in the back of a car.
In addition to keeping the conversations about sex open with your teens, it’s a good idea to review with whom you are keeping company. To a lonely adult, a teen boy or girl who seems almost grown up in appearance can present a misguided opportunity. Do you trust your neighbours, friends and others with whom your teens are in contact? Do you take steps to ensure that, when this happens, there is no room for a compromising situation to arise?