In a comment on “The Child Brothel“, commenter Goat writes:

The focus on sex is silly. Sex is not harmful when consented and safe. I don’t like when it is lumped in with drug use, abortion and other objectively harmful activities.

Well, for that matter, drug use is not harmful when it’s safe. That’s what safe means.

There is an inconsistency about attitudes to sex, which is part of the problem I was describing in “The Child Brothel”. Children’s home staff who are looking after teenagers are trying to keep them safe, and if a 15-year-old girl has a girlfriend and is probably having sex with him, they probably aren’t going to see that as a significant problem. However, because it’s technically not allowed, there will be some concealment and deception going on, meaning that if the “boyfriend” turns out to be part of a prostitution gang, that might not be noticed.

That is, I imagine, what lies behind the story I tweeted about shortly before that article: when people go missing from care homes it isn’t treated as a major crisis:

Children were reported missing from council care more than 100 times in a town dogged by child sex scandals.

There are two approaches to that problem: either you accept officially as well as unofficially that the children are going to be having sex, and hope that greater openness means the dangers are reduced, or you more effectively stop them.

My view is that casual, promiscuous, recreational sex is probably workable for an elite with a very solid social structure supporting them, it is damaging for a population as a whole. One of the best lives that a teenage girl from a broken family with no meaningful education or skills could aspire to would be a wife of a decent man with a good career, and an adolescence of casual sex is making her unsuitable for that role. (Yes, that is an unusual opinion, that’s why I call myself a reactionary). Also, by spending the next couple of decades making sex more easily available to men, she is reducing men’s interest in forming families, so making it harder for other women to achieve the role of wife.

As “infowarrior1” suggests in another comment, delaying assumption of adulthood to 18 or later is unnecessary, and I would add that also contributes to cutting that path off from all girls, including those in care. Suggesting to a 14-year-old girl that she save herself for a husband who she won’t marry until she is thirty is obviously preposterous.  Girls without conspicuous educational attainment should usually be married before they are 18. Also, boys should normally be working before they are 18 and so in a position to marry a nice 16 or 17-year old girl by the time they are 21 or 22. The massive bubble in worthless education is maybe the deepest root cause of all our social problems.




The Child Brothel

The child brothel that is liberal Britain is the title of an article by Jane Kelly in the Salisbury Review about the Aylesbury child abuse ring, making very similar points to those I made about Rotherham.

Effectively protecting young people from being sexually exploited requires restricting their freedom in ways which 21st-Century British society is not willing to do. This is true of children of all backgrounds, but is most significant for the marginalised children in care homes or foster homes.

The Daily Mirror reports of Rochdale: Town hit by child sex scandals sees 117 cases of care kids reported missing—but claiming that authorities “fail to understand the risks they face early on” only works if you can somehow explain how to stop teenage kids running away.

As The Children’s Society charity observes, since 16-17 year old children can legally have sex, the powers that the authorities have to protect them from predators are very limited. And while sexual activity with under-16s is prohibited, it is generally winked at among young people, which makes it harder to spot when 14-15 year olds are being exploited.

That Children’s Society link is very much worth reading to get a feel for what I am talking about. There are quotes from victims who go along with abusers because they feel worthless. This, as I wrote before, is the root problem. Controlling the behaviour of teenagers is difficult, but when they believe—probably accurately—that they have no future whatever they do, then the lure of parties, drink, drugs and people paying attention to them is likely to be pretty nearly irresistible. This is the position that a child in a care home, failing at or absent from school, probably never having known an adult with a career other than the staff who have been responsible for her, is in. The problem with making education the most important thing in life is that it leaves those who fail at education with nothing.

Arguably, the logic of harm reduction, as applied to drugs, prostitution, abortion, and so forth, suggests that given that many of these girls (and even boys) are going to spend their lives as de facto whores, they would be better off being kept by responsible adults as legitimate concubines or catamites than being left to make their own black-market arrangements. I’m not seriously advocating that, but it’s a perspective—either society finds a future for these children or it doesn’t. It’s hard to talk about future time orientation without a realistic better future to orient towards.

(I’d love to be proved wrong about this. Are there examples of people with successful careers who grew up in care in Britain? This article finds four, including one fictional character).