Often their sons were 24 or 31 years chronologically with the brain age of 12 to 15. The brain age or age of maturity, or some measure of their social age is the best predictor which age they will choose for sex partners. I wrote the paper for these specific parents. And, perhaps, complete brained teenagers and their complete brained parents may learn something as I learned much giving this paper first as a workshop in the past years for grade 11 and grade 12 students. I gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the brave high school principals and teachers who saw value in this session and allowed me to speak to their students. The students were universally receptive and asked excellent questions. Clearly the kids are starved for accurate information.
Here I want to thank the schools in Squamish, Lillooet, Powell River, and the Wasaga Reserve outside Blind River in Ontario.
This paper was also given as a talk to social workers in Halton, Hamilton, and Mississauga. The positive response was heartwarming and encouraging. I will never forget the social worker in Mississauga who said I did not have to be so careful and use so many trigger warnings about the material being difficult. She said: “just say it”. And speaking of famous women there is Meg Hickling. Meg Hickling R. N. received the Order of Canada in 2002 for her pioneering work in body science (sex education for those who want it plain). I cold called her one morning and after lunch she replied bubbling with encouragement.
I have learned you can phone famous people, ask for help and most do. Lorraine Beagan, a now retired Ontario lawyer (I went to high school with her) read several drafts and made many trenchant comments.
I learned most young men, and most boys in high school do not understand the law of consent in sex.
I learned most young women and young girls in high school prefer sex partners who were 2, or 3 years or more older than them. The young women had a clear understanding of consent and their position wavered depending on how much alcohol they consumed and how much social pressure they experienced at their parties.
I learned young women often had sex to be a member of an acceptable social group and were very inclined to jettison their own self - interests to belong to this social “status “ group.
I learned teachers and parents are concerned about this topic and were unsure how to speak about the topic.
There are no easy answers and we must start talking about sex assault….now.
To view and/or download the paper click here.