A headline in the Star News dated December 16th blared “Buggery attack at boys’ home – Youngster accused of molesting younger wards” which again brought into sharp focus for me the issue of situational homosexuality and or substitutional sex in places of safety, prisons and other same gender populated areas and buildings where in our highly sexualized context contact is made every now and again be they forced or unforced, control maybe the motivator in some instances as previous cases have shown us that the perpetrators of such forced sexual contacts are not homosexual although the assault or play is same sexed. Of course the way the story is presented is with a sensationalistic twist by the Star News typically to sell papers which leaves far more questions than answers for the active mind who wants to examine these issues more profoundly and fairly. Situational, or “emergency” homosexuality is commonly defined as sexual activity with partners of the same sex that occurs not as part of a gay life style, but because the participants happen to find themselves in a single-sex environment for a prolonged period.
Some single-sex environments that frequently become venues for situational homosexuality include prisons, military bases, ships at sea, convents and monasteries, athletic teams on tour, and boarding schools and colleges. Situational homosexual behavior is so common in these venues that in some cases nicknames have been created for those who indulge in it; for example “rugger-buggers” on rugby teams, “jailhouse turnouts” in prisons, and “lugs” for “lesbians until (college) graduation.”
The idea of situational same-sex sexual activity is not a modern one. An essay by Josiah Flynt, published in 1899, told of situational sex among the male American hobos with whom he traveled. From the armies of Alexander the Great to the trenches of World War I to Desert Storm, male soldiers have taken comfort in each other’s arms; and from harems to convents to boarding schools, women who were forcibly separated from men have been finding each other for centuries.
Situational homosexual experience can range from the frightening, such as prison rape and sexual domination, to the comfortable, such as the lesbian experimentation that occurs within the relative safety of a college campus.
The Relationship of Situational Homosexuality to Homophobia
In many cultures, situational homosexuality is tolerated, while homosexuality as a life style is not.
Some social analysts believe that the concept of situational homosexuality is used to reinforce homophobia and biphobia by allowing those who perform homosexual acts in same-sex environments to continue to define themselves as heterosexual.
Often participants in same-sex activity in single-sex environments are differentiated between “true homosexuals” and those who retain the assumption of heterosexuality. In such cases, it is usually the “true homosexuals” who are stigmatized, while their partners are not. In making such a distinction, homophobia is reinforced even as same-sex sexual activity may be tolerated.
Although situational homosexuality is often both tacitly expected and to some degree tolerated, it is also expected to remain clandestine. When such homosexual activity is made public, even in venues where virtually everyone knows it is happening, punishment is usually swift and severe, though often the brunt of punishment is borne by the participant who is considered the “true homosexual” rather than the presumably heterosexual partner who ostensibly participates in same-sex activity only because of his or her situation.
First here is the very short article as with recent gay tinged articles from the former respected evening version of the Gleaner turned trashy tabloid but which unfortunately has a large following both online and in traditional hard copy.
A ward of the state at a boys’ home in St Elizabeth has been charged with buggery.
Information reaching THE WEEKEND STAR is that the boy was taken to the Junction Police Station in the parish earlier this month where he was questioned and later charged.
On Wednesday, the matter was brought before the Black River Resident Magistrate’s Court where it was transferred.
The accused is scheduled to appear in the St Elizabeth Children’s Court today.
Allegations are that on Friday December 9, the accused forced other wards of the state into the act.
The court heard that about 9:45 p.m., an assistant manager at the home saw the accused and the other boys in compromising positions.
However, the boys allegedly ran when they realised they had been caught.
Furthermore, the court heard that one of the boys was held and he reported that he was forced into the act by the accused.
The boy also alleged that when he refused to participate, he was forcefully dragged by the accused to bushes behind one of the dorms and assaulted.
Now the questions:
What is the age of the accused?
Did the other party run as or cry fowl as he wanted not to be viewed as complicit in the act as well?
Why was there any monitoring of the grounds so much so that shrubbery is available for hiding?
Is this a case of substitutional sex given the boys are in those years of heightened sexual awareness?
Could this be a case of experimentation given the same reasons above?
Are the rules and or guidelines of that facility so rigid that conditions become ripe for this kind of activity?
What aren’t there any policies to deal with same sex attracted teens and their issues?
Why didn’t the Star News give us more relevant information such as the next court mention date and if there was any evidence available such as a doctor’s report that is used for cases such as this that involve penile penetration?
As per usual our advocacy structure has not been responding to these repeated stories that come in tabloids such as this or the now defunct XNews, EXcess or the older Enquirer which painted some same sex crimes as the perpetrators being sex hungry freaks who will stop at nothing for some booty, thus steadily stoking the homophobic pysche the many years and keeping anti gay support well fed on a diet of paedophile typed articles hence our castigation permanently marked on the men who have sex with men populations. These issues are not raised when we defend our positions on decriminalization of buggery and or fending off the notions from the Christian right community that homosexuals will basically spread our gayness to boys in particular. A fear expressed over and over again by their leading spokespersons.
see a recent symposium report as hosted by some anti gay leading voices:
We have seen problems with early initiation before and with some strange consequences such as this one as carried on this blog:
and this one: Teen accused of molesting 11-y-o - in the case of the latter where the accused was set upon and beaten until the police arrived to rescue him it was surmised that Both are minors in the eyes of the law. More pertinent to the case, what was the nature of the alleged molestation? It may have been simple experimentation, or it may have been an act of aggression. In either case the reaction of the residents is simply WRONG. Mob violence cannot be condoned, not against an adult and especially not against a child. Were any of the adults involved in the attack on the 15 year old taken into police custody? Had the police not arrived and taken the adolescent into custody, what would his fate have been? I think as Jamaicans we are so mortified by issues of sex and sexuality, that we fail to see the real moral issues at stake in the society… and in this case, it is the mob attack on a minor which needs to be urgently addressed (Or have we all become so barbaric and ignorant that we fail to see this as the crime?)
More to think about readers.
Peace and tolerance