Beware The Double Standard

Some interesting reading in the Tennessean yesterday. We’re all familiar with the story of local hottie(?) Pamela Rogers Turner, who got flung into jail for a sexual affair with a 14 year old last year. When she was sentenced to 270 days in jail, there was a pretty serious outcry about double standards. She was just recently released, and is already back into trouble.

Now, it seems that the reason the local DA made that deal with her was fear of the double standard. He had a jury with men on it, and was concerned that the men on the jury just wouldn’t think the boy was harmed by having sex with a hot 28 year old woman. The DA then goes on to state that he would have thrown the book at her if he had gotten a jury of only women (that’s my paraphrase at any rate). There were a couple of other factors, but that is the most interesting one mentioned in the article.

I have to admit, I’m conflicted about it. On the one hand, she definitely manipulated him. On the other hand, he got to have sex. I have no idea who it was, but some wit came up with a very true saying. “Even bad sex is good.”

I suppose my conflict makes me part of the double standard. If the genders were reversed, I’d have no trouble throwing the book at a guy that did that to a 14 year old girl. So is it just that I’ve internalized the idea that men are bad as Aunt B likes to theorize? No, I don’t think so. I think it’s just that I was once a 14 year old boy, so I can put myself in his place and have a pretty good idea how he feels about the whole situation. That’s not to say I think a 14 year old girl in that situation would have to be a victim. I have no doubt that a 14 year old girl can have the raging hormones and be curious about sex. But that’s merely on an intellectual level. The boy I can relate to on a much more visceral level.

Having thought about it as I type this, I’ve decided I’d probably vote to convict her. Of course the boy was consenting, he’s a teenage boy. But she took advantage of his raging hormones to fulfill her need to feel special. Aunt B (geeze, I site her a lot) has a pretty good discussion of why an adult would want a sexual relationship with a teen. I think for either gender it comes down to a certain amount of hero worship. A teen will generally see an older sex partner in a much better light than a partner of the same general age would.

I suppose I haven’t added much to all the wind in the blogosphere on this topic, but it certainly helped me to lay it all out in my mind and on the screen. And in the end, I suppose that’s what blogging is all about for me.


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