Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

MA Attorney General Seeks Myspace Changes 292

kaufmanmoore writes "Massachusetts' Attorney General Tom Reilly is saying that Myspace is not doing enough to protect children from sexual predators and is calling for action. The biggest proposal is to change the minimum age from 14 to 18 with an age verification system, but also to respond to all reports of inappropriate content within 24 hours and significantly raise the number of staff who review images and content." From the article: "The arrest Tuesday of a 27-year-old man in Connecticut on charges of illegal sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl he met through MySpace underlines the risks of the fast-growing Internet site that boasts about 60 million members."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

MA Attorney General Seeks Myspace Changes

Comments Filter:
  • by fragmentate ( 908035 ) * <[jdspilled] [at] []> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:03PM (#15266292) Journal

    I have two teenage daughters. Both of them have MySpace accounts. Neither of them is meeting mysterious men online.

    Those girls are my responsibility. I can't expect them to make sound judgements on their own. I also cannot expect the administrators of a site to take responsibility for others' actions. Here we have another case of putting the blame on the drug and not the user. Here's a tip for you parents that think a government agency should step in:

    • Stop watching T.V., and get to know your kids, and what they're into.
    • Stop relying on other people to raise your children.
    • Don't assume that everything is "okay" when your kids say it is.
    • Know what your kids up to. Ask questions.
    • Monitor what they do, and make them aware of it.

    MySpace is a harmless thing when exposed to smart people. It's the uneducated, unmonitored, and neglected that seem to be the victims. I know everything my girls do on MySpace, and they know it. You should know where your kids are going, and where they're at whether it's a physical location, or a cyber location. I'm not going to have freedoms sacrificed because a select few haven't a clue what their children are up to.

    It's easy to blame MySpace because it's hard to raise a child.

  • Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:03PM (#15266301)
    The biggest proposal is to change the minimum age from 14 to 18 with an age verification system,

    Oooh, that's scary. I bet kids will have a really hard moral dilemma lying to the "are you under 18? [YES] [NO]" page.
  • by Ritalin16 ( 867772 ) * on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:09PM (#15266346)
    I think the problem is most parents don't know anything about the internet or myspace, and think the internet is scary. The best thing for those parents to do is to learn about the internet and how to use it, that way they know what their kids are doing and understand how to keep their kids safe.
  • Parents (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tute666 ( 688551 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:10PM (#15266353)
    It's much easier to legislate, rather than tell parents there not doing their job right.
    Quite sad if you think about it.
  • by LordPhantom ( 763327 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:10PM (#15266355)
    ....anyone but parents being the responsible party. I'm not saying that they have total control over their kid's actions, but legislation like this implies that "some kids are just beyond good upbringing and good parenting". You see this garbage in schools all the time, and it's sickening.
    PARENTS - Other people are not responsible for your children. That's why they're your children. Spend time teaching them -why- this sort of thing is bad. If you don't trust them, limit their internet usage. Keep tabs on where they are and what they're doing. IF you don't like the commitment and responsiblity that comes along with it, don't have children.
  • OR.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eggoeater ( 704775 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:12PM (#15266373) Journal
    the state of Mass et. al. could do THEIR job and catch these pervs instead of off-loading the responsibility onto a company who's area of expertise is not law enforcement.

    When we start expecting private citizens/companies to be our law enforcement (e.g.RIAA,etc.) is when things tend to get COMPLETELY OUT OF HAND!
  • by jettoki ( 894493 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:12PM (#15266380)
    So, if everyone is 'officially' 18 on MySpace, sexual predators will just have a claim against accusations of pedophilia when girls lie about their age to get an account. "I didn't know she was underaged! Her profile says 18!"

    Great idea, guys.
  • by codeonezero ( 540302 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:14PM (#15266395)
    I agree with above poster. I'm no expert on parenting but I've seen enough from day to day to tell you that most of the time if a kid is meeting some creepy adult over the internet, or imitating a violent video game, etc it is not the (insert form of communication/entertainment here)'s fault. It's the parents' fault.
  • by Frogbert ( 589961 ) <[frogbert] [at] []> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:16PM (#15266403)
    Seriously what is so good about myspace? When did it become so popular... What does it offer over Livejournal?

    Also does anyone see a problem with "whatever the kids like" being an automatic scapegoat for pollies looking for a bit of attention.

    I suppose it isn't all bad, it might replace the "video games are evvilllll" argument. Like when video games replaced d&d, or when d&d replaced rock music or when rock music replaced jazz music...
  • by dietrollemdefender ( 970664 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:17PM (#15266411)
    some girls and their parents how dangerous it can be.

    A local cop in Middletown, CT posed as a 17 year old. He just struck up a conversation with one girl. He then ask to be her "friend" (a MySpace term to be added to a buddy list). After the first addition, he just kept sending emails to the initial contact's friends asking to be put on their buddy list. The cop also pointed out that there was enough information on the web sites to actually find these girls. When they finally met him, they were shocked to find out that he was this pounchy thirty something.

    Anyway, a lot of it is social engineering. Once you get into a circle, you're have access to a ton of stuff. It also happens to adults. ONe of the best ways to start a con game is to go to church! A con artist will get involved with the minister or someone else at the church and then others think that this guys is "alright". The con artist just starts reeling'em in! No tech required!

    BTW: I saw this on TV and I don't remeber the show.

  • by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:17PM (#15266414) Homepage
    How the hell is this insightful? My parents may not have known everything I did when I was a teenager, but I knew there was a chance they might know about something I did. Kept me out of trouble for the most part. And believe it or not, teenagers are people too, even with all their hormones and angst. If you respect them, they quite often will respect you, and speak to you relatively civilly. If you're expecting to keep your kids under lock and key, then you're dreaming. But you can still get a very good idea about what they're doing where and with whom by just paying attention.
    Perhaps you're the gullible one, believing that just because your kids hate you, you can't do anything about it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:19PM (#15266433)
    I'm sorry but these two sentences tell me you don't actually have teenage kids, or you're a very gullible parent (in which case would actually help protect your kids).

    I'm sorry, but this sentence tells me you have not actually tried fostering a respectful and fair relationship with your teenagers, or that you're an ignorant and incapable parent.

    But, back on topic, no, you won't know everything. This is about protecting children from stupid things and dangerous people. Any parent who has a child posting on myspace and does not check their child's and their child's friend's sites is being irresponsible. We aren't talking about hunting down your 17 year old who is drinking at parties - we are talking about protecting your 14 year old from a 34 year old predator. We are talking about stopping your 15 year old from posting sexually enticing pictures of themselves on myspace.
  • by cabraverde ( 648652 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:23PM (#15266465)
    "The arrest Tuesday of a 27-year-old man in Connecticut on charges of illegal sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl he met through MySpace underlines the risks of the fast-growing Internet site... "

    Well it also underlines that the police, FBI and MySpace admins are doing their jobs and keeping their eyes on the ball. This kind of predation is a risk in any kind of communal space, online or not. The answer is to be careful, and let your friends know where you're going & who you talk to.

    The answer is NOT to outlaw communal spaces, or ban younger people. The idea that under 18s should be banned from public parks would immediately be seen for the stupid overprotective reactionism that it is. But because this is about "the internet"... ooh, scary! Suddenly no amount of legislation is enough.
  • by crotherm ( 160925 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:24PM (#15266469) Journal

    - Know what your kids up to. Ask questions.
    - Monitor what they do, and make them aware of it.

    I'm sorry but these two sentences tell me you don't actually have teenage kids, or you're a very gullible parent

    If you think all teenagers are untrustworthy, then you might want to review your own parenting skills.

  • Re:Whatever (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swv3752 ( 187722 ) <swv3752&hotmail,com> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:27PM (#15266487) Homepage Journal
    Which then will kill the site. Anytime you have to provide a credit card, I never go any further, nor am I alone on this.
  • by spun ( 1352 ) <> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:28PM (#15266489) Journal
    I'm sorry, but that comment just proves you don't know shit about parenting. My parents never fucked with me, lied to me, or abused my trust and I never had any reason to hide things from them. You can, in fact, have good relations with teenage kids, you just have to start building that trust early.
  • by artifex2004 ( 766107 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:30PM (#15266512) Journal
    After doing some research, I found out that MySpace lives in a single Class C IP block, (This may change over time, but as of now this info is accurate.) Simply add this to your firewall rules to block and your set! MySpace IP Block: ------------------ - -Ponga

    Even better: teach them not to leave personally identifying information lying around in public view. That's a lot better than trying to play catch-up and block each new social site in turn.

    Oh, and it's "you're set," not "your set."
  • by pHatidic ( 163975 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:30PM (#15266517)
    I had a geocities webpage when I was 12 and I was never gang raped by strangers. What exactly has changed in the last nine years?
  • by Rix ( 54095 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:32PM (#15266527)
    How, exactly do you think you're going to enforce that? Maybe you'll be able to do so in your own house (a big maybe, if you've got far too much free time on your hands), but you certainly won't be able to monitor what they do at school or friends houses.
  • Redundant (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cyngus ( 753668 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:33PM (#15266531)
    This post is redundant, because even though I haven't read the discussion thread I'm sure over 50% say this as well. Raise your own f*cking kids, and don't blame others because you were too lazy to get off the couch and see what they were up to. It still really shocks me that in order to drive a car, I need the government to give me a slip of paper, an insurance company to give me another one, and both of these have to be renewed on a regular basis, but I"m completely unrestricted in my ability to screw and make children. Poorly raised children are a far bigger danger to society than an unlicensed, drunk, speed freak driving down the expressway.
  • Re:Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:33PM (#15266537) Homepage Journal
    What's funny is that right now, adults on MySpace lie about their age pretending to be minors. And not just the predatory ones.


    Only minors are allowed to make their profile information or posts private.

    So people who've decided they want to keep the MySpace social scene going but don't want prospective employers, or ex-girlfriends, or nosy relatives to see it just change their birthday, and they get the option to mark things as private.

    Stupid restriction --> Predictable results.
  • by RomulusNR ( 29439 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:35PM (#15266554) Homepage
    change the minimum age from 14 to 18 with an age verification system

    Tom, wouldn't it be easier just to put them out of business?
  • Re:MySpace (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shodai ( 970706 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:38PM (#15266581)
    They'll wait till they're in college, if they make it that far, and use Facebook.

  • OMG Parent More!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rydia ( 556444 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:42PM (#15266616)
    What I find funny about these stories and the obligatory "parents need to not suck!" argument is that it assumes that all parents have the same technical ability that we do. Or even the same language ability that we do. Or the TIME that we do. This seems to be the mother of all projections, as far as this site goes- "I could do it this way, it should be done this way, therefore EVERYONE should be fine doing it this way, and if they don't, it's their fault."

    Lots of parents work two jobs. Lots of parents don't understand computers. Lots of parents simply don't know enough about their teenager's life to check for some things (to those that do, or think your parents did, I'm sorry. You're lying. Everyone keeps things from everyone else, regardless of their relationship).

    And even so, how is this a raising thing? Kids are having sex, and parents can't stop them from that. How does it make any difference when it's some guy they met at school, planning over AIM and some guy on myspace who happens to be a sexual predator? Again, you don't know everything your child is up to (nor should you), and you never will.

    Even putting that aside, these arguments are ridiculous. We have a problem of kids being subjected to predators on a website. The state has a duty (not even just a right, a duty) to ensure that if there are unacceptable risks, safeguards are put in place to assure that we've done all we reasonably can to protect the children. This is bad how? Because it'll curb kids' ability to use a website to share things? While I think the child's ability to express himself online is important, I think making our best effort to ensure that kid isn't going to be assaulted by a predator is pretty darn important too.

    The "parent more" argument is a useful tool for people with agendas, but it has no logical stopping point. Why should the state have battery laws? Shouldn't parents teach their kids how to avoid fights? How about laws against gang activity? Shouldn't parents tell their kids to avoid gangs and vandalism? By this logic, simply "raising" your kid would solve the problem, but obviously it doesn't.
  • Re:Whatever (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brobock ( 226116 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:47PM (#15266649) Homepage
    The biggest proposal is to change the minimum age from 14 to 18 with an age verification system,

    Oooh, that's scary. I bet kids will have a really hard moral dilemma lying to the "are you under 18? [YES] [NO]" page.

    Not only will they lie and say they are 18 to enter the site, but they will look legal to people browsing the site.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:53PM (#15266691)
    Why, couldn't find any terrorists using MySpace?

    Quite seriously. If you can't take care of your kids, then you're unfit as a parent and CPS should step it. Case closed. It is NOT the responsibility of the country to raise anyone's children, except those children that don't have parents! It is not the governments responsibility to keep them out of trouble.

    It is YOURS, if you're a parent! Not mine. Not the country's. YOURS.

    Then again, why do I bother to ramble? It's just the usual excuse to cut into civil liberties with a petty excuse that nobody dares to stand up against.

    Ok. I do. To hell with children. I want freedom!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04, 2006 @07:04PM (#15266752)
    Some of these comments are utterly sickening. I'm a 16 year old, I have a myspace acount (this is sounding like a confession). I'm a good, smart, responsible person, my parent's havent disiplined or watched over me since I was 9, and they have no reason to. My dad smokes pot from time to time, my mum will have a couple of glasses of wine on the weekend, and as neither of them are hypocrytes, they have both stated that if I ever wanted to experiment with that sort of thing, I'd have the right to.

    Me, being, you know, a real live actual person, came to the conclusion that drugs and achohol were exepensive and would not contribute to my like, I'm pretty much straight edge.

    I have my own computer with my own password which none of my family members are allowed to touch. I've met up with people from various forums and myspace in real life, not being an idiot, I've always met at public places like tube stations, haven't been raped yet.

    Parents, your teenage girls are people who can make choices, and if left to their own devices with the knowledge that you trust them, they will make the right choices. Also, keeping your children from contact with the other sex, even if this contact was asablished online, is seriously fucked up. What the hell can be more natural than exploring sexuality when you're biologicaly ready and too young to be settling down in long term relationships?

    I fucking worry for the state of this generation.
  • by Incongruity ( 70416 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @07:06PM (#15266759)
    Assuming that you're referencing the above ages to the 17 y/o daughter, then here's my answer...

    In the first two cases (15 and 17 y/o male friends that (probably) want to sleep with her) the desires are socially normal and if the act actually happened consensually, it would perhaps not be the best choice, but it wouldn't be criminal (never mind that in some jurisdictions, 16 or 17 is the age of consent, many states use 18 years as the age of consent ), it wouldn't trample over as many social taboos (be relativist all you want but a 50 y/o sleeping with a 17 y/o is a general taboo and you know it) and it would be between peers (or much closer to peers in a developmental level sense).

    In the case of a 50 y/o male that probably wants to sleep with my 17 y/o daughter, it's not socially normal to actually /want/ to do that -- it's not abnormal for an older male to find a mature 17 y/o girl attractive but the want to actually act on that attraction is not socially normal or appropriate.

    If the 50 y/o male did actually sleep with my 17 y/o daughter, it'd be wrong for many reasons, it wouldn't be legal in many states, for one. But much more importantly, it wouldn't be between equals in any sort of sense -- developmentally, experientially, power, etc. all of those would be unequal between those two individuals and that makes it different than the other two cases you suggest and wrong for those very reasons. Healthy sexual experiences usually require there to be some sort of equality in power/experience, etc. for one person to not be victimized by the other. Moreover, it's that very inequity and power differential that draws many younger women to older men (and younger men to older women in some cases, to be sure) -- there's this false sense of acquiring added maturity by dating/sleeping with someone older for at least some younger individuals -- I know I saw it in my youth, amongst my friends and classmates. Therefore, the 50 y/o trying to act on his desires is a danger and he may well try to and be able to use his experience and power/charasima/implied wisdom/whatever you want to say to unfairly take advantage of the 17 year old.

  • by Ryz0r ( 849412 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @07:07PM (#15266766)
    I think it is quite a simple concept, although extremely difficult (now that i have tried) to explain.

    The 15 year old male friends will have more 15 year old female friends, and will have more of a chance with them; and also wont have much means to cause the 17 year old female any harm - the chance of a 15 year old being a sexual predator is very low, even though 15 year old males will sleep with anything..

    The 17 year old male friends who want to sleep with her are more often than not also socially/sexually active and will have other friends their own age, as well as sharing friends with the girl, so the chance of them wanting to cause the 17 year old girl harm is also quite low, and even if he does, the other friends will be easily able to make sure nothing will come of it.

    The 50 year old male who is supposedly friends with the girl, however, will have a job, his own place, money, possibly his own children, and therefore probably something mentally wrong with him if he wants to sleep with her - I believe this is why there will be more chance of a 50 year old being a sexual predator than a teenager, the guy wont share friends with the girl, and has much more means to cause her harm, as well as to entice her into whatever he wants. On top of this, the girl may feel embarrassed about a 'relationship' with such an older man, so may not disclose what's going on to her friends/family, leaving her in greater danger. Also, and this is just my opinion, but i think it's unnatural for a middle-aged adult to be attracted to a teenager in any way.

    To help clarify whether this post is BS or not, I'm an 18 year old male who hopes to raise a family in later life, who cannot really imagine what it is like for a father to have a daughter in her late teens, but i know i'm going to be damn protective of mine when the time comes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04, 2006 @07:14PM (#15266823)
    It says that rights which are not listed do not cease to be rights; it does not say that everything that is not listed is a right.

    And who are you to say what is and is not a right or freedom? What makes you able to say that "foo" is not a right, but something like "breathing" is? I don't see breathing listed anywhere in the constitution, should we be worried about the government outlawing breathing? They could plug us all in to blood filters/oxygenators, and sew our lungs shut. Wonder what it'd do for the lung cancer rates.

    There are better arguments here. For instance, the State government can take precedence via the 10th Amendment (as in this case), assuming it's constitution/laws permit it to do so, but in general, I shall retain my right to remain annoyed.
  • by 955301 ( 209856 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @07:23PM (#15266877) Journal
    I mean, this is one busy man! He seems to have decided all of this at the same time that he's jockeying for Governer of the state! []

    Would anyone have seen this coming? Wow....

  • by frankm_slashdot ( 614772 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @07:26PM (#15266905)
    it doesnt NEED to do a mother fucking thing. its a voluntary services that parents allow their children to use.

    myspace should randomly put huge/loud pornographic images on the pages of anyone who "says" they're above the age of 21/18 just so when parents come by they might actually take alert to what their children are actually doing.

    if they're lying about their age... fuck em. they're beating the system and are probably enjoying it... and maybe a little too much.
    if the parents have a problem with it... fuck em. they're the parents. they should be the decision makers. not myspace and not the motherfucking government.
    if you have a problem with my opinion and live in the US - fuck you and fuck movies (heh, unnecessary dane cook reference) . if you dont believe i have the right to say this get the fuck out of my country.
    if you dont live in my country - hahaha.. you can jib at me and say "at least bush isnt my president"... then i can chuckle and say.. damn. you got me.. :)
  • Right. Treat you're kids like dogs. Train them to be "obedient."

    No, you treat them like kids. What, are you one of those people who think kids should be able to run around and do anything they want to? That's exactly why we have so many screwed up kids these days. Kids are not adults. They need boundaries in which to grow.

    Do you treat your wife/husband/significant other the same way? How about your employees?

    Um, wives and employees are adults, and kids are not.

    Perhaps too many parents simply have more respect for their children than you.

    There are two kinds of screwed up children. Ones that come from abusive parents, and ones that come from permissive parents. You seem to think that opposite of abusive is permissive -- and that's dead wrong. The truth is that permissive is just another form of abuse: it's called neglect.

    Love and discipline in equal amounts. That's how you get healthy children. They need to feel loved, and they need to feel guided.

  • Web Hosts? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by racebit ( 959234 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @07:47PM (#15267003) Homepage
    What I find so amusing about all this is that all myspace essentially is is a web host. They grant you rights to a sub-domain, x #'s of pictures, a blog, and a beefed up guestbook (comments). So i suppose now we have to censure every Web Host to save our children. Shit, I suppose that means no more slashdot...becuase God knows we all have /. profiles...and any creep could send us a message and rape us!!!!! *sighs*
  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @07:49PM (#15267015)
    A local cop in Middletown, CT posed as a 17 year old. He just struck up a conversation with one girl. He then ask to be her "friend" (a MySpace term to be added to a buddy list).

    Note that being added as somebody's "friend" is not some huge statement that she 100% trusts him or believes he is who he says he is. But the media treats it like MySpaceFriend = RealFriend

    After the first addition, he just kept sending emails to the initial contact's friends asking to be put on their buddy list.

    Well, there is a "block user" option. Why didn't the girls just block him if they found is messaging annoying? These are questions nobody ever asks.

    The cop also pointed out that there was enough information on the web sites to actually find these girls.

    Information the girls had to post themselves. It's like blaming the maker of glass bottles when someone finds poison in one.

    When they finally met him, they were shocked to find out that he was this pounchy thirty something.

    AND? What happened then? Did the girls go back and have wild sex with him because, ya know, the shock that he wasn't a 17 year old studmuffin must have made them lose all judgement? Did they choose to meet him in a secuded area, or out in a public place where he couldn't exactly just grab them and shove them in his black van?

    That is the probelm with this MySpace hoopla. It's non-news. MySpace is no more or less dangerous than any other method of meeting new people. The dangers are simply different than a real life encounter.
  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @07:56PM (#15267048) Journal
    In many States, the law reads something like this:
    whenever a provision of law defining an offense depends upon a victim's being under a certain age, it is an affirmative defense that, at the time of the alleged offense, the defendant

    (1) reasonably believed the victim to be that age or older; and

    (2) undertook reasonable measures to verify that the victim was that age or older.
    Most (if not all) of these internet stings begin with the Police explicitly stating whatever age they're pretending to be, usually followed by the perv explicitly stating what he'd like to do with a minor.
  • by ridewinter ( 754545 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @08:08PM (#15267122)
    I was just at an educators conference where they had a seminar on MySpace. They showed how a predator can track down information from the bits and pieces on MySpace. Your child may be smart enough to omit personal information about herself, but her friends probably aren't. And enough information can be found out about your child through their associations on MySpace and google searches to be downright scary.

    MySpace is taking the K-12 world by storm, and these educators were badly shaken. Anything MySpace can do to make under-18 accounts only available to immediate friends is very much needed. Education of parents & children is also critical!

  • This is a sick, sick country people...

    I mean for the love of Ghu, does everyone working in United States politics have Mental Dysponexia? [] Everything in the news these days in about the '3\/1|_ Internet Pedofiles' does nothing else go in in this country? Are there no other big issues?

    This type of thing is little more than a distraction, a ruse to make people willingly abandon their rights one by one in order to fight a menace that doesn't even exist. Not to say that there aren't people meeting each other through myspace and things happen--but certainly there aren't enough people out there using myspace and internet chat rooms to seek out children to justify this kind of response. I believe in psychology they call this 'denial' and 'avoidance' so what exactly is it we so desperately wish to deny or ignore?

    We're trying to ignore that the problem isn't some stranger over the internet--it's Daddy!

    The numbers are clear: well over 50% of child abuse []cases are are ones where the perpetrator was a parent and of the percentage remaining, overwhelmingly the perpetrator was a person in authority or well known to the child and the family. This isn't about strangers over the internet, its about pretending that everything is alright at home--well its not!

    Where is this MAA (..a little inside humor there..Heh..) on the incest exemption laws is what I want to know! Why is it that legally a man who rapes his daughter can have state financed retrieval services, get less time in prison if caught, #### he can even get conjugal visits with the child if his wife is made the guardian...and yet if a guy and a girl meet online and eventually start a relationship and all that entails the law punishes him ten times the degree that it does Daddy? Oh wait, I forgot--Pay No Attention To Daddy! [] Silly me! I know, let's all forget about Daddy and watch Dateline pick up another group of gullible idiots! That'll take our mind off things!

    --I*Love*Green*Olives (sitting in a golf car with OJ looking for the 'real' killers...)

    PS: I type this using the wrong account name the first time! :blushes: But it was really me both times!

  • by NtroP ( 649992 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @08:22PM (#15267194)
    I absolutely see your point. I hope I can address it properly.

    I agree with the premise that any red-blooded male would want to sleep with my daughter (really, she's stunning). I, myself, as a happily married man (20 years), all things being equal and ignoring legal/ethical issues, would happy sleep with a beautiful teenage girl (shyah, when monkeys fly out of my butt). As a parent, I'm protective of my daughter - often, way more so than she'd like (oh the long, lovely discussions I've had with her on this issue).

    One thing to consider is that (I believe) sex is different for a man than it is for a woman on a fundamental level. Sex for a man is a very external act. We do it too a woman. Our equipment is external to our bodies and is intended to penetrate into the female's body. On the other hand, sex for a woman is very internal and very personal. I think this fact can have a great impact on the emotional response to sex that a young, inexperienced girl has, as opposed to a guy.

    That being said, I'd like to see my daughter date someone who is at a close enough stage in life so that they can reasonably find common ground emotionally. I'd like any relationship they have to able to be based on common interests, activities, peer interaction, etc., instead of sex. This is most likely to occur when her date is close to her age range and in her peer group. Strangely enough, at this stage in her life, I'd just as soon she not have sex at all.

    If she is just going out just to have sex for sex's sake, then you are correct; it doesn't matter how old the guy is, what his personality is like, etc. He's apparently just a self-powered dildo. If this is the case and we aren't worried about her emotional well-being and have no consideration for her future love-life then why don't I just have sex with her? After all, it would solve a lot of problems. I'm clean, I'm gentle, I'm caring, I'm skilled, I'm fixed! But we do care about her emotional well-being and her future. And now things like this start to matter.

    If a 50 year-old man wanted to "get together" with my daughter, I can be pretty confident that he's only after one thing. If a 17 year old kid wants to "get together" with my daughter then I can at least hope that he might actually want to get to know her, spend time with her, and "earn" his way into her pants (to be crude about it). Just like I earned my way into my wife's pants when I was in college. I wooed her. I dated her. I got to know her, and I made a commitment to her. In short, yes, I wanted to sleep with her, but I also was interested in doing a lot of other things with her. We were friends. Then we became lovers.

    Now, I happen to know for a fact that my daughter has had sex. She lost her virginity when she was invited to a college party, slipped a micky, and raped. It took us, as a family, a long time to come to grips with what happened. I think she's handled it quite well, but it goes to show that even people close to her own age can be dangerous to her.

    I know she's going to be curious about sex. That's healthy. It's my responsibility to give her the tools necessary to make the right descisions about sex and to provide an appropriate level of protection and structure for her while she's living under my roof. Sometimes, that means forbidding her to date someone who I think is inappropriate (too old, too bad a reputation, too pushy, too abusive, too disrespectful of her, etc.). Sometimes it's giving her enough freedom to make mistakes for herself.

    What it all boils down to, though, is that I am involved in her life. I have educated myself about what goes on on MySpace and am vigilant for signs of trouble. When I see cause for alarm, I must assert my authority as her father to do what I believe is in her best interest. And as you parents of teenagers know, this is a fine line we walk. We have to learn to pick our battles carefully or risk loosing our children.

    So, does age matter

  • Note that being added as somebody's "friend" is not some huge statement that she 100% trusts him or believes he is who he says he is. But the media treats it like MySpaceFriend = RealFriend

    Yeah. My cat [] has over 100 myspace friends. People will friend anyone on that site, and it's not like it means they want to have wild sex with every one.
  • by Incongruity ( 70416 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @09:35AM (#15269551)
    Wow. You didn't read my reply after the first few lines, did you? The major reason it's wrong is that there is a fundamental inequality between a 17 year old and a 50 year old and that pretty much guarantees that the 50 year old will be taking advantage of the 17 year old in some way, shape or form. The taboos and illegalities mentioned are neither arbitrary nor groundless, however they were not my major points of contention, they were only the window dressing and you missed the main point.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll