US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Please don't say "Boys will be boys"

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Perhaps you’ve been thinking that our teenagers are marching confidently into a new era of mutual respect and maturity where sexuality is concerned. Maureen Dowd’s hair-raising article in the New York Times this week will have you thinking otherwise. Incoming freshman boys at Landon, a wealthy grammar and high school in a DC suburb, devised a “draft” for unwitting local girls, noting their height and weight, with bonus points for a “cougar” mom. Before they got caught, they had planned a party inviting the “drafted” girls (who were unaware of the whole situation), awarding one another points for the most sexual encounters.  The girls and their parents were horrified.  Porn culture continues making inroads.

How many high school boys do you know who are clueless and have never been asked to do a responsible thing by their parents?” says one commenter. Another wonders why “the much larger problem of mistreatment of young girls in inner city schools” is ignored.

As parents we have our work cut out for us. I’m reminded of what Donna Freitas said in her U.S. Catholic interview about hook-up culture on college campuses (the next stop for many of these students): "The most helpful thing the church has to say about sex is about human dignity and respect and mercy. That’s what’s absent on campus. We should be asking, 'Where is the dignity on campus Friday night? Do you have dignity at a party on Friday night?' That’s a really powerful question to students…”

While we’re at it, let’s give Boston College professor Kerry Cronin some credit for teaching BC students what an actual date looks like. They know the script for hook-up culture, she says, but not for dating. Wonder if anyone is doing anything similar at the high school level?