Thursday, January 25, 2007

Currently Grossing Us Out...

I've read this story about the fake seventh-grader/sex offender three times now, and I still can't make sense of it. He's...29? And he' to fool people into thinking he's 13? And he' with three other guys? And...having sex with them? posed as his grandfather? WTF?

That story, though, is just one small piece of the spectacle/example we've made of child molesters. We love to see them caught, whether on TV or via an internet story, and we love to shake our heads and think, "What depraved human beings." And they are, make no mistake about it.

But what I find interesting is how we've made child sex abuse the most horrible, horrific thing a person is capable of, hence all the media coverage. Rape doesn't register on quite as grand of a scale these days. Murder is still there, but not as...trendy, somehow. It's an interesting study in social and cultural norms.

I recently read this delightful nonfiction book, Dirt for Art's Sake, about banned and/or obscene books throughout history, and the author makes a fascinating point: Society has shifting social mores, so what a culture vilifies varies. One generation's pedophilia is another's adultery. One era's homosexuality is another's premarital sex. It's somewhat telling that pedophilia is the thing we most revile in this day and age. The other taboos seems like ancient history.

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