THE CHARACTERISTICS OF CONSENTING BOYS BY PARKER ROSSMAN, 1970S
The following is one of the sections of the eleventh chapter of Dr. Parker Rossman’s Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys (USA and London, 1976), which he entitled "The Consenting Boys" since, as he explained in the introduction to it, most of the three hundred boys he interviewed had taken the initiative and most of the rest had already imagined themselves ready and willing.
Characteristics of Consenting Boys
There are obvious differences between upper- or middle-class boys, and those from poor or neglectful families. But certain assumptions, held in both situations, are wrong:
1. The least vulnerable boys are those who are closely supervised by their parents? Not so, agree pederasts and boys. Boys are sexual creatures and will have sexual experiences of some sort, no matter how closely they are supervised. When boys feel imprisoned, they play deceptive games, often deliberately seeking out whatever their parents forbid, be it alcohol, drugs, or sex. “Boys from the strictest families, as far as sexual morality is concerned, have to be the most secretive and often are the sexiest,” one pederast says. Over-supervision, as one boy put it, is what makes lads rebel and sneak off. Since most adolescents have their crucial homosexual experiences with other adolescents, protective parents will find it difficult if not impossible to protect boys from sexual experience with other boys.
2. Is it true that boys whose sex education has been adequate and wholesome and whose parents provide good models are less likely to be involved in pederastic experiences? Perhaps that question is unanswerable, because so few boys have such a sex education. One boy came close, however, when he said: “Most guys figure that sex is something you learn only from experience. You’ve got to try out everything for yourself if you want to know the truth. You can’t believe anything adults say about sex.” It would seem that most boys are vulnerable to what they learn from their adolescent “tribe,” and that their only really effective sex education is what they learn there. For the most part the “tribe” is the place where sex play takes place, of a sort which paves the way for pederastic experiences or which may gradually fall into such sex play. A father’s warnings evidently fail, in many instances, to counterbalance a friend’s whisper of “It’s fun!”
3. High principled boys, who are committed to Establishment patterns of courtship and marriage, are surely the last to be involved with pederasts? Not so. The boy who wants to respect and protect girls, who accepts the view that masturbation is a sin and unmanly, may decide to be pragmatic. Since all sex is sinful, the best compromise, he may decide, is some male-male sex play that at least doesn’t run the risk of pregnancy or corrupting a nice girl.
4. Boys who are most heavily and emotionally involved with girls are the least likely to be engaging in man-boy sex play? The answer seems to be Yes by mid-adolescence, but the boys most often involved with pederasts are the younger adolescents. One says: “I’ve got a girl but she won’t do anything.” Another admits that he is still too shy or unsure of himself for coitus with a girl. Many boys whose sexual appetites are strongly awakened through heterosexual play have a need to discharge surplus sexual energy, as pointed out by one pederast: “Never underestimate the potency of many 15-year-olds. I knew one who would ejaculate with his girl twice in one evening and then would be at my house within an hour of taking her home, acting as if he were sex-starved. Most boys of that age, in any case, have sexual intercourse with a girl only rarely, just enough to arouse their appetites.” A boy said: “Where can I get enough money to take a girl out that often? I’m too young to drive a car.” Many such boys are involved with pederasts for sexual reassurance, tutoring, and for money to take girls out. The vast majority of boys sexually involved with pederasts grow up to marry and have families.
5. Boys who are athletic and well-adjusted socially are less likely to be involved with a pederast? The shy, withdrawn boy may never meet a pederast except if it be his teacher or librarian, and even then he may reject overtures because he is fearful; whereas the athletic, extroverted boy may in fact come closer to fitting the description of the typical boy we found to be involved with a pederast:
- He has more freedom than the average to take athletic trips or to go hunting or fishing with someone other than his father. He may come from a broken home.
- He is self-confident and willing to take risks for adventure. He has above-average intelligence.
- Or he is rebellious and “fun oriented,” frequently seeking kicks from drugs, alcohol, stealing-for-fun, and sex.
- He is bored with school and conventional activities. Some of this boredom is probably sexually based.
- He expects to marry and have children, but has accepted the “fun culture” notion of recreational sex. In this context he accepts a certain amount of homosexual horseplay as normal: “There’s nothing wrong with having some fun, with playing around a little.”
- He is sexually sophisticated and experienced, first with other boys. He probably developed earlier and has a surplus of sexual and other energies.
The lower-class boys involved grew up in an environment more conditioned by dirty talk and sex jokes, and they lived in an adolescent environment which was inevitably double-faced with adults. They tended to lie more to parents, teachers, and, indeed, to nearly all adults. Middle-class boys were also deceptive when it came to sex.