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Thank god the parents were straight though. Could you imagine what Fox News would have said if it was a gay couple???

Posted by Andrew | March 20, 2007 10:10 AM

What do you expect in the town of Woonsocket?

Posted by elswinger | March 20, 2007 10:16 AM

Mandatory Monty Python reference (NSFW, must login):

Posted by tsm | March 20, 2007 10:19 AM

This ruling seems extreme, but I honestly can't decide where the line was crossed. I was raised by hippies in Eugene in the '70s and there was a lot of semi-public sex in that environment. I and a lot of other kids in that social scene saw people having sex, but we didn't really notice it. Things changed in the '80s and, as I got older, I definitely started to get more grossed out by the idea of grown-ups having sex. But I'm not sure the principle involved (that sex is natural and that it's okay for kids to see it) was a mistake.

Posted by Joshua | March 20, 2007 10:27 AM

Historically speaking, most families have lived in one-room dwellings and the kids watching their non-abstaining parents copulate was normal behavior, and undoubtably educational. The combination of increased wealth, affording separate bedrooms, along with the bipolar American prurience and neopuritanism with regards to sexual behaviors have combined to turn a simple historical truism into an American hysterical judicialism. How this child would be damaged by observing mom and boyfriend in sexual congress - especially considering she wasn't forced to watch - when so much of the rest of the world isn't/wouldn't remains unanswered and unaddressed.

Posted by Laurence Ballard | March 20, 2007 10:38 AM

it would have been better if it was her biological father rather than her mom's boyfriend.

it does add a creepy dimension to it.

Posted by Max Solomon | March 20, 2007 11:01 AM

"My eyes, the goggles do nooooooooothing."

Posted by The_Pope_Of_Chili_Town | March 20, 2007 11:23 AM

I was about to make the points that Laurence made in 5.

With all the prurient violence and warnography offered up by this devolving culture as "entertainment," we're upset about THIS?

Posted by andy niable | March 20, 2007 11:31 AM

#5 may have a point. How many people accidentally walked in on their parents having sex when they were kids? A show of hands, please. Now then - how many were genuinely, seriously traumatized by it (and not just in the "ewww, eye bleach please!" sense)?

Posted by tsm | March 20, 2007 11:40 AM

I was going to read the point that Laurence made in 5, until I saw that he actually wrote "undoubtably" instead of "undoubtedly" and I had to go beat myself about the head and shoulders with an Oxford dictionary until I was cleansed.

Posted by switzerblog | March 20, 2007 11:42 AM

Thank god the parents were straight though. Could you imagine what Fox News would have said if it was a gay couple???

If FOX can't spin this -- a direct quote from the article -- then they are losing their, er, touch:

"...Prata, 33, said he and Arnold, 36, had sex "all the time" in front of the child..."

Posted by infrequent | March 20, 2007 11:55 AM

@10 oops; from WSU:

Doubtless the spelling of “presumably” influences the misspelling “undoubtably.” The word is “undoubtedly.” When something is undoubtedly true, it is undoubted.

Posted by Laurence Ballard | March 20, 2007 12:41 PM

I read another article about this incident a few weeks ago, in which the mother said that she did it because when she got married, she didn't know how sex worked and she was embarrassed and she didn't want her [9-year-old] daughter to have to go through that. It also said the boyfriend masturbated in front of the kid.

Posted by Sarah | March 20, 2007 1:11 PM

The article I referenced above is at (but registration/bugmenot may be necessary to view it).

Posted by Sarah | March 20, 2007 1:18 PM

How could she not know how sex worked and have a 9 year old daughter. Is she retarded or is her daughter the new Jesus?

Posted by elswinger | March 20, 2007 3:03 PM

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