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Originally posted by SKMDC1
Here's a great page full of newspaper stories about the Republican homosexual prostitution scandal over the years. It's a fascinating read and the more articles I read, the more I'm becoming convinced that as SO said, Foley is the "top" of the iceberg.
The Sexual Compromise at the Capitol Data Dump
Originally posted by soficrow
marg asked an interesting question earlier, something like
What are they really trying to hide, if they're letting this come out?
I'm stumped. Anyone have any ideas?
Originally posted by xmotex
Well I'd say there are a few things contributing to the current problem (which is not really anything new, but open discussion of it is).
1) The changing definition of "childhood" - up until about a hundred years ago or so, teens past puberty were not considered "children" but "young adults". The idea that teens are children is a relatively new phenomenon, triggered by the need for workers in a technological society to have an extended formal secondary education.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, once a person hit 13 or so, they were considered to be young adults, and expected to start working out in the fields in rural areas, or taking up an apprenticeship in urban ones. 16 all the way down to 12 or 13 was seen as a "marriagable age". That most people don't seem to remember this anymore is a function of:
2) The growth of the mass media. The media we know today is, again, a recent phenomenon. TV has been around since the 1950's, radio since the 1920's. Newspapers have been around for a while, but mass circulation of periodicals like we know today again only dates to the mid 1800's - before that they were a luxury enjoyed mainly by the elites. The mass media has shaped the public consciousness to such an extent that we have trouble understanding what life for most people was like beore it appeared on the scene. We imagine that social mores were something like the ones we have today, but in fact they were very, very different (see item 1).
Radio and television, the first true "mass" media, only came on the scene much more recently, and started changing the mental landscape of society. Before the mass media, there were in effect two moralities, one that people professed publicly, and one that they actually lived by. IE harmless variations like homosexuality were just as common as today, simply not discussed. A harmful variation: the sexual abuse of children (by which I mean prepubescents) was probably far more common than it is today, precisely because it was not publicly discussed, and the perpetrators could get away with it more easily - this was true probably up until the late 70's/early 80's.
The presence of a mass media, whose economic imperatives determine a need to continually shock, changed all this. Taboo subjects started coming out into the open, especially after the initial furor over:
3) The birth control pill. For the first time, a widespread, reliable method of contraception came on the scene. This triggered what we now call the Sexual Revolution (which had really been brewing since the 1890's, but exploded in the 1960's) - as heterosexual intercourse no longer necessarily led to pregnancy, a lot of the old social structures surrounding sexuality no longer served a useful purpose, and started falling apart. With the increasing frankness over sexuality, scientists began looking at sexual behavior more carefully and the public began discussing their findings including:
4) The recognition of pedophilia as a psychological disorder. Pedophilia, is defined by psychologists as a sexual interest in preadolescent children, has made it's way into the public discourse. Unfortunately the meaning of the term has become distorted as it's done so, due largely to point #1.
What was a very specific disorder with very specific traits has come to be defined as any sexual interest in perople regarded as "too young" - the definition of which depends entirely on where you are and who you talk to. Concurrently, people who in reality simply are irresponsible and looking for easy targets have come to see themselves as not people making ethically wrong choices, but as victims of a pathology who "cannot help themselves" - thus easing the guilt that might otherwise stop them from acting on their desires. And those desires are stoked by another trend:
5) The rise of the teen sex symbol. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, etc... It's noteworthy that both of these popular sex symbols rose to fame in their teens. There are male equivalents - Leonardo Dicaprio was one, Aaron Carter, the New Kids On The Block, etc etc... the emphasis on youthful beauty has become more prevalent in our society at the same time as we're redefining "childhood" later and later. Naturally leading to a very confused attitude towards teen sexuality - it's the thing everyone is trained to want, and the desire everyone is trained to despise at the same time.
It's a means of social control.
As for SO's original point, I dont think we're talking about anything new. The powerful have always sought to indulge in the very behaviors they publicly campaign against. And they've always used their power to get access to exotic and forbidden sexual acts. This kind of thing goes back to Emperor Tiberius and no doubt long before written history.
And it's no coincidence that Tom Foley publicly protrayed himself as a crusader against the sexual abuse of kids - it was to protect himself from public exposure. To point suspicion away from himself.
[edit on 10/3/06 by xmotex]
Concurrently, people who in reality simply are irresponsible and looking for easy targets have come to see themselves as not people making ethically wrong choices, but as victims of a pathology who "cannot help themselves" - thus easing the guilt that might otherwise stop them from acting on their desires.
Originally posted by xmotex
I'm curious how anything I said comes across as indicating "pedophilia is acceptable".