To Prevent Future Penn States, We Need to Celebrate the Good in Male Sexuality

Hugo Schwyzer agrees we should be talking more. But let it be about what healthy, joy-filled, life-enhancing male sexuality looks like.

It’s always risky for a writer to disagree with a magazine’s founder, but I want to take slight issue with Tom Matlack’s Look in the Mirror: the Hypocrisy of PSU Rage. As we start to gain at least a little more information and perspective on the Happy Valley cover-up, it’s understandable that we’re all eager to talk about the lessons this disturbing episode has taught. And I think that Tom paints far too dismal a picture of what those lessons ought to be.

For Tom, the lesson is our hypocrisy. As he sees it, we’re spending all our time talking about JoePa and the Old Boy Network in college sports rather than our collective culpability. Tom writes:

We thought we knew what it meant to be male and good, and we have now found out the exact opposite is true.

What really fucking pisses us off isn’t the badness itself; as part of the great wave of men buying pornography and sex overtakes our country, we have been perfectly willing to look the other way as sex crimes accelerate.

The truth is that sex crimes are dramatically decreasing. In his sensational new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Steven Pinker makes the compelling, data-driven case that we live in a less bloody – and less brutally transgressive – world than ever before. As the Huffington Post reported in their review of his book, rapes in the USA have declined by a staggering 80% since 1973. Though we are far more aware of the danger of sex crimes against children than we were when Tom and I were boys, there is no clear evidence that molestations are on the rise.

It’s easy to confuse a greater awareness of sexual abuse with an assumption that the cases of such abuse are on the rise. The widespread belief that internet pornography has led to an increase in sexual violence simply isn’t supported by the evidence. While I’m not prepared to go to the opposite extreme, and declare that cybererotica is making the world safer, there’s a growing body of research that suggests just that. (See The Sunny Side of Smut from this past summer’s Scientific American.) If there is a “great wave” of men buying sex and pornography, it’s just not clear that this sexual tsunami constitutes the social disaster that many fear.

My take-away from the Penn State tragedy is one of wonder and optimism. I marvel that the university’s trustees were willing to fire an octogenarian living legend for the grave lapse of not having done more to protect children and to do so by phone. I expected far more voices to be raised in defense of those whose commitment to the reputation of an institution trumped their moral obligation to kids. That Paterno’s firing has proved so popular nationwide (the stupid antics of a handful of PSU students notwithstanding) is indicative that we’re more willing than ever to confront the atrocity that is child sexual abuse. There have always been Jerry Sanduskys, and there have always been Joe Paternos to cover for them. Though we might wish that each faced a stiffer penalty still, what’s been done so far is more than would have been done just a few decades ago.

But progress is not perfection. And when it comes to rape and molestation, we can’t settle for the comforting reassurance that these crimes are becoming slowly rarer. Far too many women are still raped, and far too many boys and girls abused for us to be self-congratulatory. We need to continue to push for more protection for children, and we need to do more to teach men to end their own complicity in the culture of silence and tacit approval that makes rape still so common.

Tom concludes his piece with a reminder: The real problem is that until now we haven’t wanted to look at sexual misconduct in our own communities. And it’s about time we did.

That’s absolutely true. But we also need to remember that while pedophilia and related disorders are genuine mental illnesses, they are aided and abetted by sexual shame. In a world where the hefty majority of rapists and abusers are men, that means that helping men–all men–overcome that shame is a critical part of the “solution.” What Tom calls “misconduct” flourishes where frank talk about sex and desire is off-limits. Ignorance, silence, and the distrust of pleasure facilitate that misconduct.

We end what Tom rightly calls our hypocrisy not by asking men to give up porn, but by asking for more examples of men who don’t compartmentalize their sexuality, hiding it away in fear and embarrassment.  We need reminders that male lust can be exuberant, intense, and still safe. To identify the genuine pedophiles in our midst, we need to be better able to distinguish them from the mass of good men whose sexual attraction is only to their fellow adults. That doesn’t require that every man give detailed public explanations of his private practices and masturbatory fantasies. But it does require that we start talking and sharing about what healthy, joy-filled, life-enhancing male sexuality looks like. That’s a job for each and every one of us.

The more of that happy and challenging work we do, the better equipped we’ll be to discern the predators who still lurk among us.

Read Tom Matlack’s Post– Look in the Mirror: The Hypocrisy of PSU Rage

photo: marypaulose / flickr

NOW TRENDING ON GMP TV

Flight or Fight
Forever Boogies
Are You A Narcissist?

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Hugo Schwyzer

Hugo Schwyzer has taught history and gender studies at Pasadena City College since 1993, where he developed the college's first courses on Men and Masculinity and Beauty and Body Image. He serves as co-director of the Perfectly Unperfected Project, a campaign to transform young people's attitudes around body image and fashion. Hugo lives with his wife, daughter, and six chinchillas in Los Angeles. Hugo blogs at his website

Comments

  1. Whew. I’m glad you didn’t agree with Matlack. That guy is obsessed with porn and prostitution. /bittersnark

    But seriously, when people conflate consenting adults engaging in sexual activity of whatever form with the sexual coercion and rape of children it only makes it that much more difficult to target the real problem.

  2. Tom Matlack says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful response Hugo.

    Calling me the publisher is inaccurate, LIsa is. I am just the dumb guy with the idea for this whole thing (with James Houghton who was smart enough to bow out).

    In general we violently agree. My whole point in the male lust article for which I got so much grief was exactly yours–that men need to be able to express their sexuality without shame to get anywhere.

    I’m interested in your data about sex crimes going down. I hope that is true but not sure it is or really whether it matters in a world were rape and pedophilia are stil so prevalent.

    I do agree that PSU firing Paterno was astonishing and courageous and correct. It shows that we have come a long way in terms us understanding the level of this crime. My point, however, is just how narrow we still are in thinking that its somewhere “out there” rather than looking close to home where it generally occurs.

    I’m okay with healthy sexuality really no matter how that gets expressed as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Not sure that arguing that we don’t do enough to stop pedophilia or rape is in any way an argument against male sexuality.

  3. Do you honestly believe that if Joe Paterno were open about his sexual interests that we would have caught Jerry Sandusky sooner? Talking about male sexuality will not address this kind of problem, although you are ironically doing one of the things that perpetuates child abuse: changing the subject.

    The issue here is that people — women and men — do not want to deal with child abuse. We do not like to hear about it, we do not want to talk about it, and we certainly do not want to hear from the victims, especially if they are male. The faster we can set it aside and move on, the happier we will be.

    Far too many boys and men are raped, but no one wants to talk about that. Currently, 1 in 6 men report being sexually abused as children, nearly half of which is committed by women. We need to address that. We need to address how our society turns a blind eye to violence as long as it does not happen to us on a personal level. We need to address how our society will talk about violence against women, but will not mention violence against men. We need to address how our society tells boys and men to shut up and deal with it on their own. And we need to address how feminists, who consider themselves authorities on sexual violence, are complicit in the culture of silence and tacit approval that makes sexual violence against males so common and so accepted.

    Making this about men’s sexuality will not help because the vast majority of men, contrary to what feminists appear to think, do not commit sexual violence nor are they sexually interested in children. However, I do understand the feminist desire to make this about men rather than talk about the boys who were victimized.

    • Julie Gillis says:

      I think everyone winds up complicit in abuse. No one wants to navigate and manage the deep deep shame and cognitive dissonance when faced with examples of male on female or female on male (kids or adults alike).
      We all have to accept the mantle of that discomfort and face it and stop it no matter how it happens. If 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused, we need to stop that. We need to prosecute women who are found to be engaging in the behavior.

      • And yet, when Julie Green of Astoria, Oregon, a 38 year old woman who got a 14 year old boy drunk and then raped him plead guilty and was sentenced to 30 days for her crime, not a single major media outlet started a drumbeat. Nothing on MSNBC, nothing on CNN, nothing on Fox, nothing in the NYT. Nothing even in TGMP when it was brought to the attention of TGMP before her 30 day sentence was up.

        And posters on other threads on TGMP go on and on about how men cannot be raped. And that is really cool by the moderators.

        And “IF,” Ms. Gillis? “IF”? Are you, too a denier? Please visit http://www.1in6.org or Jim Hopper’s website and learn more.

        • Mr. Justaman, nope. Not a denier of anything. Simply seeing cites, which I always appreciate reading. I’m a huge fan of data, and am more than willing to take in new information, change my mind and incorporate that into the work I do. It’s not my fault that the mainstream media is fracked. And it’s not my fault that only missing little white girls get attention on CNN instead of all little missing kids. I think that is untenable and horrible. So I write and work and strive for yes, equality, though every time I say that you’d think I said I believed in eating baby kittens for dinner covered in the blood of innocents.
          I said, if, because I didn’t know and I don’t want to state information without cites and stats, not because I was somehow personally attacking Jacob. I don’t know Jacob, why would I attack him?
          But I’ve been learning that putting measured comments up in a sure way to get folks irritated with me.

          • Julie – being measured will always get people irritated! P^)

            Stats and cites are great and hyper valuable – but they also fail to address much of reality.

            I remember a report into domestic abuse against Disabled Women. It had both stats and cites – as well as heart rending first hand accounts of what it is like. Some criticized the report for taking a small group of statistics and making it into a national figure. Other’s criticized it for taking personal accounts and supposedly extrapolating them to apparently be the reality for all.

            A few praised the report – and noted it was the Tip Of The Iceberg! Being cool and measured is seen through the eye of the beholder.

          • Thank you Ms. Gillis. Any reaction on your part to the 30 day (yes, day) sentence given to the 38-year-old Ms. Green in the USA in March, 2011, for drugging and raping a boy?

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Sadness? Horror? A desire to read the case file? A desire to drink away the sadness that human beings seem determined to ruin each other mostly.

  4. “But it does require that we start talking and sharing about what healthy, joy-filled, life-enhancing male sexuality looks like.”

    Oh I agree on that one, but it fails to address that the issue is two sided. I have good lust says person one and my lust is aimed at person two. Person two says thank you, but I’ll give it a pass. Very simple, as along as the relationship is that simple.

    I hear male Bravado and Cock stories all the time – I gave her one and she squealed – and the I’ll show her what a real man is like. That is Lust where the boundaries are blurred and stray beyond lust into power and control.

    Most women I know, including die hard feminists, have not problem with Lust. Mainly because they are themselves sexual beings and have Lust too. If there was no such thing as Female Lust there would not be a Sex toy industry turning over $15 billion per year. If Just it’s all about lust, why would there be so many folks wanting Power and Control in their lives at the flick of a switch?

    Lust is Great – It’s the Salt Of The Earth – But, it comes in a box marked “Handle With Care”.

  5. Julie Gillis says:

    “We end what Tom rightly calls our hypocrisy not by asking men to give up porn, but by asking for more examples of men who don’t compartmentalize their sexuality, hiding it away in fear and embarrassment. We need reminders that male lust can be exuberant, intense, and still safe. To identify the genuine pedophiles in our midst, we need to be better able to distinguish them from the mass of good men whose sexual attraction is only to their fellow adults.”

    This. For women too.

  6. Thanks for this, Hugo. I’ve been increasingly worried by what to me comes across as a decidedly Victorian attitude in many of the posts to GMP. I believe that a healthy (male) sexuality has many faces, and that trying to limit consensual expressions of sexuality that are not harmful to others only leads to shaming (and worse). Heck, we’ve seen posts that argue that masturbation is wrong and that the only proper sexual release is intercourse (and probably with a woman).

    It saddens me to see Tom arguing essentially that there’s a slippery slope from using porn to being a child molester. That reminds me of (some) first-gen feminists arguing that BDSM is male agression and violence against women, or even the persistent myth that gay men are pedophiles. In my experience such demonizing does real damage. I make especially young people ashamed of their sexuality and afraid to express it or to even face it, and I fear it is pushing some towards finding release for their sexuality in unhealthy ways.

    I’m all for expressing and sharing out sexuality, for showing that we are comfortable with ourselves as sexual creatures and that our sexuality is a source of joy in our lives. But for that to happen, we have to face up to the reality of what our sexuality looks like. We must be honest and not pretend that our sexuality is only expressed with our longterm, monogamous partners, or whatever the current cultural ideal is. We have to admit that (male) sexuality is not always romantic, and the things we lust for not even pretty.

    Note how many of the cases of widely-published cases of child abuse involve outwardly highly respectable and respected people. To move forward we must stop trying to please others or live up to social norms, and instead celebrate real sexuality of real men.

    • “I make especially young people ashamed of their sexuality and afraid to express it or to even face it, and I fear it is pushing some towards finding release for their sexuality in unhealthy ways.”

      I find that comment rather false in the face of real life. Go on Facebook, key in all the sexual..vulgar, even curse words…key in the “C” word and forms of rape joke expressions – you’ll discover hundreds of these pages exists publicly, some with over 200,000 likes. This is proof young people are not anywhere ashamed of their sexuality…they mock it and flaunt it with no reservations about how their vile rape jokes/pages have repercussions. Whole social communities on FB band together and think these “jokes” are funny. FB allows them the public forum for these types of hate speech because it considers it “freedom of speech”. But FB probably cares more about profits from advertisements than about moral/social corporate responsiblity.

      Seriously, I see no where, where men and boys have an issue with sexual expression. There are appropriate ways and there are non-appropriate behaviiours – but in this day and age the lines are blurred. Boys and young men today do not know the difference; FB rape jokes are evidence of this.

      • There is a problem with society when a 13 year old rapes a 5 year old at a McDonald’s playground.

        Should a 13 year old be sexually active at that age, and where does he get the idea to rape a 5 year old? Why does he carry such uncontrollable lust and anger at his age to do harm to a toddler?

        • I don’t know, MichelleG.

          Where did the 15 year old girl in Lousiana get the idea to rape several 10 and 11 year old boys?

          And why wouldn’t the mainstream media talk about that?

        • martrevion says:

          As I learned how the use of the “N” word loosely started in the home with the parents shouting all day long to their little boy in my company. It starts there and picked up by the company of other ignorant, uneducated people and not getting the attention, affections there, No Love!

    • “To move forward we must stop trying to please others or live up to social norms, and instead celebrate real sexuality of real men.”

      We actually need social norms real badly. The lack of this and structure is why some men on here have asked to have “goodness” defined. A moral compass some are lacking; some people need hard and fast rules to abide by – boundaries, like the ones we set for our own children.

      Porn is a dichotomy. While it provides a release for men, it also does harm to women when in the wrong hands. We should stop being in denial of this. Porn is not harmless. The Internet age – you got children with access to porn…on computers, iPod Touches, cellphones, iPads so on. They’re making penis and rape jokes and spending their “social” time finding and liking these FB pages. They’re SEXting and probably on their webcams doing sexual stuff…what not. Should we be encouraging this type of behavior and deem it as sexual self-expression and harmless?

      We’re a hyper sexual society. Children’s role models are sexy slutty singers (who put on a performance but not inviting sex) and look up to rappers who swear and call females bitches and hos in their lyrics. They all make sex look soooo much fun and you’re missing out on something if you’re not doing it.

  7. A question, for the author and the commenters: what makes male sex “safe”?

    Young men in Sweden are now regularly advised by family members to always video their sexual encounters with women due to the high incidence there of later claims of harassment or violence or refusal to stop.

    In all seriousness, should we allow/require men to video all sexual encounters under a presumption that if the man cannot provde the woman’s participation in sex was at least consensual, or even enthusiastic, at all times then he has raped?

    • Well, I suppose since I”m hearing mothers and women are also raping and harassing men and kids, everyone should film everything. Surely no one would ever doctor video, or manipulate film.

      Panopticon!

      • As a man who actually was raped, repeatedly, by his mother, and who was told “go ahead and call the police, honey, they will believe me” I thank you for your pathetic attempt at humor.

    • Wow. videotaping sex…you can build your own porn library and make money off it!

      • No, MichelleG, you can just make sure you don’t go to jail for a crime you didn’t commit.

        Both the FBI (1998, under the Clintons and Reno) and the UK Home Office (2007, under Labour) found that 8% of the rape accusations were provably false. That’s right, absolutely, totally, 100%, provable in a criminal courtroom, BS.

        But of course the laws in the US have now been written to deny that is even a possibility. Not to mention Sweden, the “Saudi Arabia of Feminism.”

        So, snark on. How many men have you falsely sent to prison or caused to be expelled from school, MichelleG?

  8. Why didn’t I ever hear of this, 36 male coaches molesting dozens of girls (possibly some boys, but no info given)? Apr. 9, 2010 – In a sex abuse scandal that some victims compare to what happened in the Catholic Church, at least 36 swimming coaches have been banned for life by the USA Swimming organization over the last 10 years because of sexual misconduct. The coaches have molested, fondled and abused dozens of swimmers.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/usa-swimming-releases-list-coaches-banned-sexual-misconduct/story?id=10749613

  9. We have to target ALL the covering up of sexual abuse, isn’t that right Hugo

    * 2.1% of men reported forced vaginal sex compared to 1.6% of women in a relationship in the previous year. From: Predictors of Sexual Coersion. ht tp://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID45-PR45.pdf

    *94% of sexually abused youth in correctional facilities reported being abused by female staff. From: Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities, 2008-09. ht tp://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/svjfry09.pdf

    * Among inmates reporting staff sexual misconduct, ~ 65% reported a female aggressor. From: Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2008-09. ht tp://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/svpjri0809.pdf

    * 50% of homeless youth reported being sexually abused by a female. From: It’s Not What You Think: Sexually Exploited Youth in British Columbia. h ttp://www.nursing.ubc.ca/PDFs/ItsNotWhatYouThink.pdf

    • I think one thing I take from your post is that all human beings are pretty well doomed. Men, women, kids. We seem to truly enjoy damaging each other, via person to person abuse or internet drive bys.
      A lovely bunch of stats for me to look at while I pour myself a stiff drink. That’s a bunch of sadness there.
      I’m all for celebrating the good in male sexuality. I’m a fan of it myself. I always have been, and of sexuality all together. I’m not a fan of violence. Funny how that works.

  10. Let’s keep it in perspective, people.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHN6Sfj5MMQ&feature=share
    We don’t have to be in denial of the acceptance of violence against women in order to help all children and men, too.

  11. Sex is not abuse, it is abuse and rape. It would be hard to tell what the difference is between rape as men see it and rape as women see it. As Cathine MacKinnon aptly said, all the rape laws, and legal ideas of consent were written by males, and males have been the judiciary and legal scholars for hundreds of years, so we have yet to have consent defined by women. Pornography is not only a crime against women, and has been used in war to create genocidal rape (Bosnian Serb and Croation men with porn plastered on their tanks), porn is also about women being filmed as they are actually being raped and sexually tortured.
    So men are watching women who aren’t consenting on film. It is the damage porn does to the actresses themselves that is the attrocity, and men who watch this think it is sex.
    Men should question PIV sexuality, and the fact that is should only happen if women want to get pregnant. Men coerse women into sex all the time, and don’t know that women might be giving in because they fear it will turn into rape anyway. All male institutions like football, the vatican, and the military create abusive male rape culture, and cover it up. So you don’t want men policing themselves, and you don’t want men defining what rape is under the law, or even what consent is. We all know men who are incapable of listening to women who are clearly saying NO to a variety of things, including sexual jokes that men subject women to.
    Rape is a vastly undereported crime, because of how the victims are treated. And incidently, the mothers of a couple of Sandusky’s victims tried vigorously to put a stop to him, and their testimony is a part of the grand jury report. Women and mothers tried to stop catholic priests by going to bishops for redress, and we all know how that turned out.
    So if you are a man, don’t view women getting raped (in porn), don’t coerse women into PIV sex which will subject the woman to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy, and stop all woman hating attacks of feminists on the Internet who are trying to defend themselves against rape (commonly called what men believe to be sex).

  12. “Sex is not abuse, it is abuse and rape. It would be hard to tell what the difference is between rape as men see it and rape as women see it….so we have yet to have consent defined by women…So if you are a man, don’t view women getting raped (in porn), don’t coerse women into PIV sex ”

    Consent defined by women….you mean consent defined by feminists. Most women and men understand the difference between sex and rape. Nobody thinks sex is rape or that porn is rape. The women having sex themselves don’t view it as rape. Only you do.

    “We all know men who are incapable of listening to women who are clearly saying NO to a variety of things, including sexual jokes that men subject women to.”

    And women are incapable of listening to men saying NO to a variety of rules you subject us to. Its strange we never asked you to come into workplaces or any of the other male dominated environments. Women chose to come. How can you complain about what we subject you to….we never asked you to come there in the first place!

    If you can’t stand a few sexually charged jokes than please get the fuck away from men…we don’t need you.

  13. Why does this article confuse pedophilia with “male sexuality”? The two are unrelated.

  14. The answer to all societal ills is to be in relationship with the Creator of the Universe. NOT religion, but relationship with the Living God. What’s wrong with porn, and those who seek to justify it, any way they can, and there are many twisted logic arguments in support of it, is that it is feeding the flesh, not the Spirit. When a person is spiritually whole, they don’t even WANT to view porn…they are not even thinking that they “can’t” view it, because they have been made whole by the supernatural God. Do men pray and ask God, YHVH, whether He would have them use and excuse porn? The discussion about its merits are inane. Of course, most of the discussion comes from FALLEN mankind, not redeemed mankind. Fallen mankind is trying to justify what he, in his fallen state, thinks he would like to do. Look, the natural man cannot understand the things of God, because they are spiritually discerned. That does not negate the judgment of God on a fallen society! They can claim that they don’t know, but Scripture says that they “are without excuse”…because they foolishly choose to deny the Truth of God. And porn is devastating to all, especially to the perp, the viewer, because ” the person who sins, wrongs his own soul”. It is hateful to withhold the truth that will set people free from those who need to hear it! It is NOT free to do their own thing, but free to do what is righteous! Ask yourselves if you can even be free from licentiousness, or from being a sexual libertine. You can’t, can you? Because you are NOT FREE…spiritually! You are in bondage to sin and self…a slave to self-deception. You love slavery! Satan took all of humanity captive in the Garden, he kidnapped mankind, and would it not be strange if someone were kidnapped and had the opportunity to be set free, and they said, “no thanks, I would rather stay with my captor and be tortured and defeated and deceived”?

    Relationships are supposed to be built on trust, not lust.. Porn, and particularly men’s fascination with it, is a perfect example of wanting no relationship, because they go from viewing, voyeurism, one lewd fantasy to another, with no thought of connection or relationship, except sexual. And someone much smarter than I has said that men who have lewd behavior “live emotionally barren lives”. And yes, masturbation is a sign of stress in one’s life, it is a tension revealer, not a tension reliever. It is a struggle to overcome, but you men who say that you want to be victorious overcomers in life, really are not up to the battle of a lifetime! The mark of a real man is to see the temptation, and totally be repulsed by it, as a trick of Satan, the devil! God, the tester, wants men to pass the test, Satan the tempter, wants men, and women, to fail! God is calling all people into right relationship with Himself. Hear the Call, Heed the Call and Obey the Call! Then you will be engaged in the most powerful and awesome struggle of the ages! It is a challenge that too few are willing to respond to! Too many don’t know that they can “make it in this world system without Messiah”, but they cannot make it in the world to come without Him”. They think they are okay according to this fallen world’s standards. What they don’t understand is that they are just marking time, just taking up space. Don’t shoot me because of the message. I’m just the messenger. Gnash your teeth at the Creator, shake your fist at God…He loves you and wants you to be in relationship with Him, in spite of what you are. If you reject me, you have lost nothing, but if you reject Him, you have lost everything. Peace.

  15. Jennifer, are you the same Jennifer who e-mails John Rothmann at KGO with laments about this country’s state of moral decay and who thinks it’s super sad that the American people can’t learn to admire a truly moral man like Herman Cain? Are you the one who, yesterday night, opined that it’s “maudlin” to replay the Gettysburg Address in 2011 b/c we in America today lack the moral fiber to properly appreciate it? (I hate to admit it but I kind of agree, though I got to that place by far different route than the one I imagine you followed.)

    I’m not trying to expose anybody and I’m not trying to be obnoxious. I’m just fascinated, since I’ve never heard one person express herself so much like another before. It’s said that everyone on earth has got a double, so maybe that’s what’s at work here. You may not be KGO Jennifer but man, do you ever sound like her.

  16. wellokaythen says:

    Dang it, I hate it when I agree with Hugo, but it’s happening more and more. (I’m going to assume it’s because he’s becoming more reasonable, not that he’s winning me over…. ; – ) )

    Very good point that increasing awareness of something does not mean there’s an epidemic. I was gratified to see Hugo question the idea that there is a massive epidemic of porn and prostitution that is creating a surge in sex crimes against children. In the Sandusky case, I’m curious to see if there is a specific relationship between porn and child molesting. I wonder how much and what kind of porn he actually consumed, if any, during his alleged life of crime. I’m not sure how increasing porn consumption (if it is increasing) leads to more sexual abuse of children.

    I would also question Tom’s argument that there has not been enough examination of sexual misconduct in our communities. Okay, maybe not enough of the right kind, but Americans have been obsessed with rooting out “inappropriate” sexuality for centuries, though how that is defined changes over time. (Scarlet Letter, anyone?)

    There is a bit of a blind spot here in talking about being good men and fighting bad men. In the Penn State case, the alleged victims were male. This should be a discussion as much about males as victims/survivors as it is about males as perpetrators. In this case, the victims actually far outnumber the perpetrators. (Dang it, I fell for the hysteria myself. I mean “alleged” perpetrators.)

Trackbacks

  1. […] I finally said something about the Penn State tragedy. Here’s To Prevent Future Penn States, We Need to Celebrate the Good in Male Sexuality […]

  2. […] Read Hugo Schwyzer’s response to Tom Matlack’s post here. Filed Under: Featured Content, Good Is Good, On Penn State, Recent and Recommended Tagged With: anger, denial, hypocrisy, Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, Mike McQueary, pedophilia, Penn State, rage, Tom Matlack About Tom MatlackTom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 17-year-old daughter and 15- and 6-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. […]

Speak Your Mind

*