Imagining the Worst: Just What Was That "Assault" Precisely?

The next time you read in the papers or, more likely, hear on television, of an adult male being arrested for the sexual assault of a juvenile male, take a moment to ponder what could possibly be meant by the term "sexual assault'' or one of several other terms, such as "rape'' or "molest".

If you're like most people, you probably imagine the worst, or something close to it, such as forcible penetration (of the youth) or forcible fellatio (of the man). In other words, a non-consensual act with a goal of sexual satisfaction for the man but with wanton disregard for the pleasure or welfare of the youth.

If these are the first possibilities that come to mind, then the government agencies responsible for investigating and prosecuting these cases are perfectly happy to have you believe so.

And, for that matter, those who pass for journalists today clearly take personal satisfaction in injecting additional scandal into any story involving "sexual assault" of a child. They are loathe to report any detail which either mitigates the circumstances or humanizes the adult "perpetrator". Getting public approval very much depends upon the level of outrage expressed by the reporter in any case involving children and sex.

But the reality is that simple "touching" of the youth of any part of his body-shoulders, arms, back, legs, hair- can and frequently do qualify as "sexual assault" or "molestation". Both parties can be fully clothed with all touching occurring over the clothes. It can still be charged as "sexual assault".

In their own assault on civil liberties, the grand alliance of sex-hating religious conservatives and sex-hating gender feminists have been wildly successful in defining "sexual assault" ever more widely. Indeed, they are still doing so. What was once considered to be affectionate became "inappropriate" and finally, "abusive" and "assaultive" and can now be prosecuted as a crime.

In addition to being distinctly inconvenient for the authorities to release those details constituting a "sexual assault", there is also a long-standing social taboo against openly discussing specific sexual acts in detail, especially when they involve children. This cultural prudishness further serves to obfuscate the true nature of a "sexual assault".

It should be obvious that any detail shedding light on the true nature of an alleged "assault" is necessary in forming an opinion upon its veracity. The media-consuming public seems unaware and unconcerned that they are being robbed of this opportunity.

So, the next time you read or hear of a case where an adult has been charged with "molesting" a child (or adolescent), ponder for a moment how little was actually communicated about the alleged "crime".

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