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).

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5 thoughts on “The Child Brothel

  1. Goat says:

    Children who have bleak presents and futures will be drawn to activities such as drug use, parties and reckless sex. The age of the partner matters little. Sex is a pleasurable act, and one that should be tempered with safety because of disease and unwanted pregnancy (if old enough), generally under the supervision of a guardian if the person is particularly young. 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. Sex is not innately harmful, but beneficial, pleasurable, a social bonding mechanism and all around fun.

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  2. I’m sympathetic to Epstein’s views (though I can’t claim any expertise in the area). I would encourage teens to take on adult responsibilities at a younger age, and, in most cases, to exit full-time education at a younger age.

    That’s pretty much a separate issue, however, as the people I am talking about in the article will mostly never become fully adult: they will spend their whole lives as wards of the state, parented by social workers and other government agencies. What leads them into self-destructiveness is not simply lack of independence, but lack of any prospect of future independence.

    That does leave the question of why I’m talking specifically about the 14 – 18-year-olds, since I am saying their situation is not significantly different when they’re 20 or 25. In part, it may simply be that they are more valuable to sexual exploiters when in their teens.

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