Sunday, October 23, 2005

Teen Threesome Sex At Brookline High School


''BROOKLINE HIGH teens face charges of statutory rape," read the headline in Wednesday's Boston Globe. The story below reported that two 17-year-old boys at Brookline High School -- a celebrated institution whose graduates include former Governor Michael Dukakis, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, and CBS newsman Mike Wallace -- have been charged with statutory rape for having sex with a 15-year-old girl, a classmate who said the sex was consensual. This is the third time since February that students at the school have been accused of having sex with a minor.

The Globe story ran about 1,000 words -- roughly the length of the Page 1 report the same day on former Defense Secretary Melvin Laird's call for a gradual troop pullout from Iraq. But unlike the Vietnam-era Pentagon chief, who is almost never in the news, sex scandals involving students erupt so often they could almost justify a beat of their own.

''Scandals" is probably not the right word for them. Are you actually scandalized by news of high school kids having sex? Is anybody? Last month the National Center for Health Statistics reported that more than half of American teenagers 15 and older engage in oral sex; the story got a ton of coverage, but no one seemed terribly dismayed by the information. ''At 50 percent, we're talking about a major social norm," Claire Brindis, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, told The Washington Post. ''It's part of kids' lives."

Oral or otherwise, sex among the young is clearly a ''major social norm" in Brookline. ''People weren't shocked," one Brookline High student told the Globe. ''We've heard it before." Another student agreed: ''It's like, 'Oh, my God' -- but it's also like, 'Oh, this again.' " School administrators called an assembly ''to remind teenagers about the criminal ramifications of underage sexual activity" -- a theme, students said, that has ''been drummed into them in recent months." If the girl had been 16 inste

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