How the Mrs. Robinson Sex Fantasy Hurts Teen Boys

In last Friday’s 10 at 10, we featured this link to a story about a mother and daughter who were both sexually abusing a teenage boy over the course of three years. The mother, Susan Brock, was arrested back in October; her daughter, Rachel Katherine Brock, was brought into custody last week—both on a smorgasbord of sexual misconduct charges. Their baffled husband/father reported his mental state as “appalled and crushed.” (No kidding.)

But what’s really interesting is the public reaction to this story. As blogger Dr. Helen Smith points out, many of the commenters on the article don’t seem to see the harm in what happened, claiming that the act was “a privilege that a teen male had two women showing him the ways of the world.”

As if the sexual fantasy of a mother-daughter double team—a la Lindsay Lohan and her mom in Machete—excuses the fact that this boy was victimized and likely traumatized.

One particular commenter, Bill L., summarizes it well:

Why should the consequences for a woman who violates a 14-year-old boy be any different? I wonder how most of these macho, “he wanted it” posters would feel if their 14-year-old daughter had relations with a 48-year-old man and his 18-year-old son? Would they crow “she wanted it”? Not likely.

What strikes me as the most interesting part of it all is that if the victim had been a boy of maybe 10 or 11, the reaction would have been drastically different. But because he was 14—an age when we assume male brains start turning into American Pie—the reaction shifts.

It’s not surprising. Our rising obsession with MILFs and “cougars” is a socially sanctioned phenomenon reinforced by media everywhere. (Nightline even ran a piece covering a so-called “Cougar convention.”) For an already sexually confused boy going through puberty, coming forward about sexual abuse can be a near-impossible feat. Add on this pressure from media (not to mention boys’ peers) and reporting assault gets that much harder.

Sexual fantasy can be a healthy part of life and culture. But perhaps, in this case, more reflection is needed. What do you think, readers?

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About Lu Fong

Lu Fong was a staff writer and blog editor for the Good Men Project in its formative years. As the requisite woman on staff, her hobbies included cleaning, cooking, knitting, fainting, and childbearing. Follow her on Twitter @lufong.

Comments

  1. I have never understood the cougar/milf/Mrs Robinson “thing” guys obsess over. I was a teenager in the 1980s and I saw my friends moms as old ladies even though they were in their 30s and 40s. I write a lot about how my generation (i’m 40) doesn’t act/behave the same way my parents generation did. We tend to act “younger”. We talk younger, listen to music and watch movies younger, and stay sexualized in ways that I can’t explain.

    When I was 14 I was giggling at the word boobies and I thought the movie Porkys was porn that I needed to sneak to see. There is nothing attractive about an older woman sexualizing a teenage boy, nothing. I wish I had never seen the movie American Pie or used the word milf. To see the number of teachers, mothers, and authority figues abusing kids, it turns my stomach.

    I laugh when my teenage daughter make fun of me for being 40. She thinks anyone over the age of 20 is old. That’s how my innocence was, many years ago.

    Thanks for the column.

  2. I am the same age as Lance, posting above. I understand his post completely. There is not a singe one of my friends moms (or teachers) for that matter than I was ever sexually attracted to. I don’t know where all this female sexual abuse (and let’s not kid ourselves that is exactly what is is, abuse) has come from. I don’t recall young female teachers chasing after 14 year old boys and all the other despicable acts we see in the news today.
    It is disgusting the glorification of the word MILF and the “Cougar” references made on televisions today. I can think of a popular beer commercial that has a cougar reference in it, that plays while I am trying to watch football games with my sons.
    I agree with the author when she says the a little sexual fantasy is a healthy part of life. The problem with the media that kids have access to today is that it leave very little to the imagination. The young men and women today are told what is hip, cool and sexy. There really isn’t too much for them to fantasize about it is all out in front of them. The days of stealing the JC Penny Catalog and hiding in your room or a poster of a famous singer/actress are over. A young child today simply has to turn on popular music, a television or hit the internet and their fantasies are played out in graphic details through pictures or lyrics. It’s actually quite sad and I wander sometimes how perverted our culture can actually become before it’s completely out of control, if it isn’t already when it comes to sex.

    • The thing is that it is not really about sexual fantasy. It is about the predatory nature of such “relationships” and how social perceptions do not typically match a person’s actual response. For instance, in high school a number of boys were interested in a female English teacher. She was also one of the soccer coaches. Some of the boys ended up on her team. At one point she came into the locker room while they were changing. These same boys who talked constantly about “doing” her immediately complained to the dean about her coming into the locker room while they were naked. So what they said they wanted to do and what they actually wanted to do were two different things. They felt violated, especially because when they asked her to wait outside until they got dressed she refused.

      As a society we think boys and men always want to have sex with women. We think teen boys are so wrought with hormones that sex is always on their mind. We think teen boys are more than capable of protecting themselves from predators. We think a lot of things that do not pan out. Just because a boy fantasizes about being with an older woman does not mean he actually wants to do that.

      • “Just because a boy fantasizes about being with an older woman does not mean he actually wants to do that.”

        That’s a really great point that could be applied to boys and girls. But especially for boys since, like you said, the perception is that boys and men “always want it”.

  3. Mr Robinson says:

    “MILFs” and “cougars” are just convenient words to avoid having to refer to women as sex offenders. They are the words of societal denial of the female sexual predator nothing more.

    • I think in some cases you are right. Some of these “cougar” types are after 25-year-old men, but quite a few of them (from what I’ve seen and heard) don’t hesitate to go after the younger (17 and younger) ones because they know they stand a good change of not getting caught due to mainstream attitudes that make sexually abused boys out to be the “lucky ones.”

  4. Don’t believe for one moment that you know everything about anything because you don’t. No Sea Collapse here..

    • I would rather believe in the cops who help protect our children and teenagers from sexual exploiation by sexual predators any day. Think you know more than the cops Luke?

      Child Exploitation & Online Protection Center (CEOP) Cop Talks About Social Stigma Faced By Boys Who Are Sexually Abused By Women

      http://www.twitvid.com/56361

  5. Just because a teenage boy (or girl) might fantasize about sex with an older person doesn’t mean they would actually want to do it in real life. Feelings of attraction on the part of the teen don’t free the adult from their responsibility not to take advantage of an younger person with less autonomy.

    • You hit the key point: nothing excuses an adult (male or female) from their responsibility to avoid exercising power over someone less powerful for sexual purposes. Thanks for this post also because it points to an example of how some stereotyped socio-cultural norms about becoming a man can excuse (and even condone, encourage, and glorify) victimization of males as well as females. The Good Men Project is doing us all a service by providing an open and civil forum to discuss and debate what norms we (men and women) invididually want to embrace (or change) to help become, raise, love, support, etc. “good” men.

      More about child sexual abuse and preventing it at http://www/StopItNow.org.

      More about males who have experience sexual abuse in childhood at http://www.MaleSurvivor.org

    • Anonymous Male says:

      Not only that, but even IF you could show that a 14-year old boy “wanted it” every time, he still can’t CONSENT to it if he’s 14. Wanting something and being able to legally consent to it are not the same thing. If I’m running the risk of “infantilising” teenagers, I’ll take that risk.

      • I don’t think our “infantlizing” them at all Anonymous Male. Teenagers can’t consent because biologically, their minds and bodies aren’t done completely growing. They are stuck in an inbetween of childhood and adulthood. There are parts of the brain that aren’t fully grown yet that make teenagers take more risks because they haven’t yet fully developed all facets of their biology that gives them equal footing in making sound adult choices. They might be more adult then their 10 year old selves, but that’s a far cry from being able to make the same aware and balanced choices a full grown adult can.

      • Interestingly, here in Canada 14 IS the age of consent. I wonder how this would be reported here.

        • Fortunately, switchintoglide, there are laws that supercede the age of consent as far as those people who are in authority or trust are concerned. Even though a child may LEGALLY be able to consent to a sexual relationship with a teacher or coach, the mere fact that the person holds that position of authority is coercion (per se) that is understand. Therefore, that person in that position of authority is held to a higher standard of responsibility in ensuring that child is safe. They have a responsibility for that child’s well-being. Using their position to sexually abuse a child who is of the age of consent is still legally wrong…no matter how much that kid wanted to be with that adult in a sexual manner. The adult abused that privilege.

          I just do not see what an adult would see in a 14-year-old. My son is 14…16 is the age of consent in the state where I reside. It is appalling to me as well to see child sexual abuse cases popping up every now and then. As if priests in the Catholic church was not enough, the female teachers are now emotionally/mentally regressing and going on the cougar prowl. Unfortunately, they are not getting equal prison time as their male counterparts who commit THE EXACT SAME CRIME!!! THAT really aggravates me! We fought for equal rights for so long; now, we should get the same sentencing as a man in similar cases… I just don’t get it.

        • A Canadian says:

          Actually….”It is now illegal for adults in Canada to have sex with a partner under the age of 16, one of the new provisions of the Tories’ violent crime law that came into effect on Thursday.”

          That’s from a CBC article dated May 1, 2008.

  6. Ya know, I really don’t agree with much of what you post here at GMP, Lu – but you’re right on this one :)

    It saddens me to no end that people hear about a young boy getting molested and think, “WOW, He’s so lucky!!!”

    How did it come to this? Feminism has convinced us that women can do no wrong. So when they commit disgusting sex crimes (with their own daughters) we should just brush it off and chalk it up to a “good” time for the boy. Pathetic. I hope these 2 have the book thrown at them.

  7. Ugh, this is so sad and disgusting. Sex crimes are sex crimes. The fact that society treats female sexuality as nonthreatening instead of taking it seriously shouldn’t change the fact that it IS serious when an adult has sex with a child.

    • Let me lay a little truth on you.

      1. Sex is positive. It’s great. It does not inflict trauma unless you teach people to be traumatized by it, as any number of sociological and anthropological studies has concluded by studying other cultures in which marriage and/or sexuality in teenagers is considered normal. The solution to the double standard is not “Let’s demonize male and female sexuality equally”, it’s “Let’s stop demonizing sexuality”.

      The one area where feminists and misogynists are on the same page is that they’re anti-sex. And they’re wrong.

      2. There is no magical threshold of adulthood.

      “But your brain is still developing at 14!”.

      And? Your brain develops and changes your entire life. 60 year olds think differently than 30 year olds on a measurable, electro-chemical level. Every single neurological study in the past 10 years has concluded the same thing: the divide between “developing” and “fully-developed” is a construction. There are differences, but the emphasis placed on them is rooted in social customs, not facts.

      The idea that a 14 year old is not an adult is brand new. Every society in the past 10,000 years prior to the 20th century considered teenagers to be sexual adults. Living in the wild, in foraging tribal groups, humans spent the 2 million or so years prior to recorded history having sex with teenagers. Fact.

      When does the idea that teenagers are children originate? Around the time that industrial societies developed a need for more specialized labor, creating a need for longer periods of schooling and specialty training. We’re talking about a change in cultural taboos based on economic needs, not biology or psychology. Hmm….clearly a good basis for claiming that they are non-persons incapable of self-determination and establishing their chastity as a moral absolute. Clearly.

      If one of the things you’re trying to do with this site is question assumptions about gender and sex, a good start would be to not make so many freakin assumptions about gender and sex. You know?

      • I LOVE YOU! The first time I have ever heard a truly sex positive comment on this site. I never thought a 42 year old man having sex with a 14 year old girl was wrong and I don’t think there is anything wrong with the reverse either.

        I also never understood this idea that teenagers are immature and undeveloped. For that matter I don’t understand the other strange words people use like “professionalism” and “maturity”.

        I kind of hate this society. I would like to live in bullshit free world where meaningless bullshit terms are bandied about as if they make sense and I am supposed to defer to them.

      • A Canadian says:

        Sorry your argument doesn’t hold up for everyone. I was used sexually by my father when I was about 13. I was turned on and enjoyed it at the time. Now I realize it was wrong for him to be using me like that and I find it almost impossible to trust or love anybody.
        I learned at an early age that lying to other people (and myself) was the easiest thing to do.
        At that age I really had no idea that it wasn’t normal.

  8. When I was going up in Nevada 50+ years ago, some of the high school boys I knew were being taken to brothels by their fathers in the nearby county where it was legal. According to the rumors the fathers thought they were preventing their sons from being gay by introducing straight sex early. Some of the kids bragged about it but it was scary and disgusting to me because, as your writers above have stated the idea of having sex with a woman 10 or more years older, particularly a prostitute did not seem attractive to me. I was trying to get dates with girls my own age and that was enough of a challenge.

  9. The problem is with the power differential between old women and young men.
    There may be the impression that these boys are lucky but they are being unfairly manipulated into a sexual lifestyle by a dominant adult.

    The cougar phenomenon is very interesting in that it has exactly the opposite stereotype as old men / young women. IMO, the cougar phenomenon and media portrayal is just an attempt to gain acceptance of female pedophilia / unhealthy power imbalance.

  10. Can only speak of my own personal experience, but as a boy of 14 i was totally ready mentally for that. yeah it would have been considered ‘lucky’ by many, and it would not have caused any damage to me.

    That being said, there needs to be a rule otherwise things turns to shit.
    But the sanction needs to be appreciated to the extent there was some harm done. If there was no harm, then only a minor sanction should prevail.

    this is really the kind of case thats useless and done for journalists. people talk about fantasy, unequal treatment based on gender etc… people should just get a life, there are many things to do out there…

  11. FemaleMolesters says:

    nicolas- “Can only speak of my own personal experience, but as a boy of 14 i was totally ready mentally for that.”

    Are you absolutely sure you were totally “mentally ready” at the age of 14 to have a sexual relationship with an older woman without suffering any psychological harm nicolas? Lots of other men who have sexually aggressive behavioral problems towards women (rapists) may disagree with you:-

    The harm female perpetrators can inflict has been found in at least three pieces of research undertaken with male rapists identifying that a significant number record being sexually abused by older women when they were children. For example, Groth’s (31) study suggested that 66% of his sample had been victimized by a female perpetrator. Petrovich and Templar’s study (32) on male rapists showed that over 50% of their respondents disclosed sexual abuse by an older female. Briere & Smiljanich’s self-report study (33) found that:

    … among the sexually abused men who reported sexual aggression against women, 80% had been sexually abused during childhood by a female perpetrator. In other words, sexual activity during childhood with an older female strongly predicted later sexual aggression against adult women and childhood sexual victimization by females is a particular risk factor for later assault directed at adult female victims. (34)

    31) N. Groth, Men Who Rape (New York: Plenum, 1978).
    32) M. Petrovich and D. Templar, ‘Heterosexual Molestation of Children Who Later Become Rapists’, (1984) Psychological Reports 54, p.810.
    33) J. Briere and K. Smilijanich, ‘Childhood Sexual Abuse and Subsequent Sexual Aggression against Adult Women’ [Paper presented at the 101st Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada, August, 1993.]
    34) Summarised in Mendel, The Male Survivor, p.62. See fn.27.

    • sylent1 says:

      I think if they’d have surveyed non-rapists they might very well have found the same thing. There is a difference between abuse and sexual relations. Applying the stigma abuse PROBABLY doesn’t make it easier to process. I had a sexual relationship with an older woman (teacher) at the age of 15. While I’ll admit that at first it was overwhelming I think it had much to do with my future maturity. The sex was not manipulative and was consensual. I harbor no misogynistic tendencies nor is rape attractive to me. I was living a man’s life, working farms and ranches in the summer and evenings after school. While I was aware of the age difference I saw nothing wrong in our relationship and never felt that something had been taken from me. The woman in question was loving and our relationship became friendship before I moved to a different part of the country several years later. We shared interests and shared an attraction. I would have hated for anything to have happened to her or for someone to try and make something terrible of it. I think ESPECIALLY in urban societies that we tend to try and keep children from maturing and that has a much more debilitating effect on teens that a mature sexual relationship. There ARE people that victimize their sexual partners and this is not healthy but I think your assumptions about teen sex are just that. I am 50+ years old now and have never regretted our relationship and often wonder if she is still teaching. I think the forced masturbatory seclusion and the stigmatizing of what their bodies feel that we impose upon children has a much more traumatizing effect on teens than a gentle relationship. It’s NOT their fault that they are reaching sexual maturity it happens to all of us; some later than others.

  12. Interesting Read..!!

  13. More like how feminism’s sexual entitlement mentality for WOMEN, ruined boys:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plkeKMTDM9g

  14. Sam Parrotto says:

    I just think the entire thing is sad. I do wonder if the need to possess “youth” and the experience of feeling powerless in relationship with men has somehow gotten distorted in these women’s minds. We need to have very clear boundaries to prevent these kinds of abuses from happening to other teenage boys if women are going to “lose track” of responsible use of power.

    The human mind collapses so many events and experiences that can “gray” the line of what’s right and wrong – again, I am so sorry for the young boy…

  15. It takes a brave person to admit to being assaulted/exploited/abused. This young man is an incredible example, in spite of what happened to him.

  16. First, I come clean saying that I’ve been the older woman in a number of cases. I’m close to turning 50 and I dated a man in his early 30’s, so a lot younger than me, and believe me, under no circumstance I consider myself a predator. As far as I’m concerned, whether I choose to go with a younger man or not, is based on consent, that is his and mine. Having said that, I realize that teenagers may not always have the necessary wisdom to make consent viable, and this goes for both boys and girls. In my opinion, an older person has the required experience to manipulate a teenager into doing something they may not be sure they want to do, and this is the problem with age-gap relationships where one of the parties is very young, say under 25.

    I’d say that rather than portraying women, who are in any type of relationship with a younger man as predatory (just consider the notion of a cougar for a moment here), people should try to dig a little deeper to find out the reasons why things like this happen. Could it be the ready-to-use and packaged “fantasies” offered by porn that is so widely available on the Internet? Yes, there’s a type that caters to men who like mature women (MILFs and cougars), and I realize that audience might be a bit younger and maybe too much.

    By the same token, there’s the packaged “teen fantasy” for older men. I always wondered why so many are labelled that way. The porn industry must really scramble to keep those 18 and 19 year olds going through the revolving door to keep up with the demand.

    • Thank you for your comment Citrus and in light of the following research into how society views women as sexual offenders, particularly when the victim is an underage teen boy, I believe you have raised some very valid points & concerns regarding the porn industry :-

      THE FEMALE FIGURE AS A SEXUAL OFFENDER

      Standards of acceptable behavior have been created by a patriarchal society on the basis of masculine behavior and thus it is difficult to categorize female offenders accordingly. As such, patriarchal discourses and structures inadvertently protect female sexual offenders by not allowing them to exist within academic, scientific and public space. More importantly, when they are allowed to exist, female sexual perpetrators are often represented in a pornographic light so that they become sexualized and in this way they are maintained as the object of the male‟s gaze and their perpetrations are thus made harmless (Bourke, 2007). As Higgs et al. (1992) maintain, society is more able to accept a woman who acts out her sexual aggression through promiscuity than one who does so through assault or abuse. This has obvious implications for the male victim who, like the female perpetrator, is made invisible despite the fact that the consequences of sexual assault transcend gendered roles.

  17. When I was 15 I had a relationship with a woman in her 20s. It was fantastic. She was a rapist, under the law.

    Yes, this does make me think about the double standard, that a man in her position would be viewed much less harshly. But it doesn’t make me think that she should be viewed MORE harshly. It makes me think that a man in her position should be viewed LESS harshly.

    The whole “sex is traumatizing” line of BS is a product of a culture that is fundamentally anti-sex, and it’s endorsed by feminists AND misogynists. It’s the one thing they agree on…too bad it’s nonsense. The trauma in question is a product of our society, not the act itself, as any number of sociological/anthropological studies have demonstrated. Young adults raised in societies in which sex acts by young people are taboo report trauma and distress associated with early sexual experiences, young adults in other cultures don’t. At all.

    But god forbid we question our sacred assumption, hmmm?

  18. Ronald Ramie says:

    This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. When I was growing up I had an aunt who had a sweet tooth for young boys. This obsession was so overwhelming it caused her to pray on her sons friends. Her
    behavior was embarassing and traumatic to her sons to say the least. For me this is where my dislike for these so called Cougars and Milfs originated. In this present time this type of behavior seem to be in fashion. While I am not totally against relationships with an age difference, some of these women need to
    let reason and a sense of sanity prevail. They need to ask themselves how is this relationship going to affect their kids and family, how is it going to affect the young male child they choose to get involved with. In the cases that I know of personally these women are just focus on self and are totally insensative to the
    need and welfare of the young man involved. Rather than get involved with a youth 20 to 25 years their junior why not go for an age difference of 5 to 10. I guess this woud take away from the psychological need, as one cougar put it ” I like young men who havn’t started to shave”. I Shudder to think of my young
    son on top of some old wrinkled sick cougar or visa versa. Lastly some of these pervets are not satisfied with granting these young men a sexual eperience to start them out in life but want to marry them. I guess
    in the case of the cougar who like those who havn’t started shaving when they do start shaving she is going to find another to prey upon.

  19. I’ll add my two cents worth on this. Ever since my kids were in high school their friends flirted with me. Almost every time we had the boys over pool parties turned into “skinny dipping” shows of exhibition. No way I was ever going to risk getting in trouble with a juvenile, so I waited until the day after they turned 18 and would call their bluff. Of 8 young men, only 5 took the bait. Three of them were so nervous it would not even get close to working. They loved to kiss “the older woman” but NONE of them dared to move on me on their own. I gave one his first experience at oral sex to completion with my mouth. He was so cute when he asked me, “Mrs. O, did you really swallow that?”

    Only one of the eight summed up the courage to actually bed me. I made him promise that it would never happen again if he told anyone, especially my son. The first time we finally made it to actual intercourse, no surprise to anyone, it was over in about 2 minutes. He was so nervous my husband would catch us and he begged me to never tell him. I’m not an idiot. I just love making love to young guys!

    We ended up doing it about 20 times before he went to college up north. When he came home for Christmas break he was all excited and thought he had a guarantee of sex whenever he wanted. I invited him over but there was no spark. The thrill was truly gone. I gave him a blow job only because I enjoy doing it. He was also the last one. I’ve wondered about him over the last 20 or so years and I’ve kept the secret from my husband and son. I think it was a positive thing for him. I’m neutral on it. Great sex with my husband is all I need. Being Mrs. Robinson is fun, but not all there is. If you are a woman with that curiosity you have to do it, otherwise you’ll always have that wondering regret. Young guys, be careful what you ask for! Just sharing the truth.

Trackbacks

  1. […] 7 page report on women who sexually abuse children here and this article tackling the notion that it’s ok for women to have sex with underage boys in the wake of a case of a mother and daughter abusing a teenage family member in the […]

  2. […] 7 page report on women who sexually abuse children here and this article tackling the notion that it’s ok for women to have sex with underage boys in the wake of a case of a mother and daughter abusing a teenage family member in the […]

  3. […] 7 page report on women who sexually abuse children here and this article tackling the notion that it’s ok for women to have sex with underage boys in the wake of a case of a mother and daughter abusing a teenage family member in the […]

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