Look at the headlines; underage boys apparently ‘have sex’ with their teachers
By Janis McMath, Editor-in-Chief
“Had sex with” is very soft and forgiving language for a fully grown adult who took advantage of a minor who is incapable of properly consenting.
Examples of the trivialization of female-on-male rape are everywhere. The 2012 film That’s My Boy tells the story of an underage boy who has sex with his adult teacher. When it is revealed to his friends that he had sex with an older woman, both of his friends high-five him. South Park highlights this cultural phenomenon in the episode “Miss Teacher Bangs A Boy”; when Kyle goes to the police to report that a teacher is sexually assaulting his brother, all the police have to say is “nice” in response. This South Park satire is spot-on, and this ideology is easily seen when looking at the comments on news outlets reporting on female teachers raping their underage male students. Thankfully, there are many comments that are outraged—but there are just as many comments that say “nice,” “you know this is the dream,” “why weren’t my teachers like this,” and finally “you’re all just jealous of the boy.”
The media isn’t doing us any favours either; newspaper headlines show their bias for females when reporting on the sexual assault of underage students. There are a disturbing number of articles that state that the female teacher “had sex with” her student, and this is very soft and forgiving language for a fully grown adult who took advantage of a minor who is incapable of consenting. CBS even has an article that calls many instances of females raping minors as “sex scandals”—but scandal is a term usually used when something is morally questionable (like cheating)… not illegal like sexual assault. A more apt term for these rapes would be “sex crimes.”
Through using such softened language, these articles imply that these young boys were capable of consenting to having sex with these women. No one would call it “sex” if the victim were an infant, and minors should be considered just as mature as a literal infant when it comes to consenting to sexual acts. A minor cannot “have sex” with an adult—so why does society keep using that phrase when it comes to cases of women raping young boys? (Note that there are many articles that do call the woman the rapist, thankfully, but there are substantially fewer articles that give male rapists the softened “had sex with” terminology that women are often granted.)
Studies are finding that men are being sexually assaulted much more than was previously touted as well—so society’s ideals surrounding male sexuality need to change at a similar pace. A pressing issue related to toxic masculinity (that doesn’t receive as much attention) is that many view men as “sex-crazed animals” who always want sex. Because of this perspective, some think that men can never be raped since they “always” consent (unless the girl is “ugly”). Trivializing the seriousness of the woman’s crime forces male victims into silence when they’re sexually assaulted. If men admit to being raped, it makes them look weak or unmasculine. If we are to accomplish true equality, we need to destroy these less obvious biases that harm society.