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Thursday, December 6, 2007

No One Could Have Predicted…

posted by on December 6 at 17:25 PM

…that housing a bunch of teenagers in one big dorm could lead to oral sex. The Washington Post wets itself:

So much for reform of the House page program in the wake of the Mark Foley scandal. House teenage pages are so wild and unsupervised that two GOP members of Congress have resigned from the House Page Board, protesting that they were not informed of two pages caught shoplifting and two others busted for engaging in public oral sex….

One of the incidents that bothered Brown-Waite involved what she called “inappropriate sexual indiscretions” between two teenaged pages. She would not elaborate, though she said other pages served as “enablers.” A source familiar with the incident—which resulted in the expulsions of two pages—said one female page performed oral sex on a male page in the page dorm room as the other teenagers watched. “The enablers provided cover for them, the other pages were watching,” the source said.

According to Brown-Waite, the alleged public sexual indiscretions were “not an isolated incident.”

Uh… gee. Can I jump in here? The Mark Foley scandal was about an adult member of Congress preying on teenage pages. Why are we scandalized by the news that horny teenagers are getting it on in their dorms? You have to be 16 to be a congressional page and guess what? The age of consent in Washington D.C. is 16. So these teenagers are old enough to blow each other if they like—with or without “enablers.”

Or do congressional pages take a vow of chastity when they arrive in Washington?

I wouldn’t expect teenage sexual indiscretions to be an “isolated incident” at the congressional page dorm for the same reason I wouldn’t expect them to be “isolated incidents” anywhere else teenagers gather—hell, you would hard-pressed to find a American mall that isn’t the site of teenage “sexual indiscretions.”

Teenagers are horny. Teenagers experiment. Teenagers have sex—oral, manual, vaginal, anal—and have always had sex. Again, the Mark Foley scandal wasn’t about the horror of sexually active teenagers, it was about powerful adults preying on teenagers. It was about the abuse of power. Speaking as a parent, I would expect members of Congress to keep their filthy hands off my teenager if he were a congressional page. I wouldn’t expect other teenagers to keep their filthy hands—or mouths—off of him. Please.

RSS icon Comments


I can't even crack a joke about it.

Well written. Bravo, good sir.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 6, 2007 5:32 PM

so, if 16 is legal in d.c. what's the big whoop?

Posted by ellarosa | December 6, 2007 6:00 PM

We just want to hear about horny teenagers.

Posted by Gloria | December 6, 2007 6:00 PM

I expect that what this is REALLY about is liability -- legal as well as political.

It sounds like the government is acting in loco parentis -- that is, they're legally responsible for what happens to the kids, especially when in the dorms. And if one of them gets pregnant or herpes or whatever, the REAL parents would probably want to sue everyone within a 100 mile radius.

Not to mention, what politician wants to be known as the one who let 16-year-olds into their house to fuck? If those kids had had the good sense to do it at a movie theater instead, I bet nobody would have had to pretend to be outraged.

Posted by mbaume | December 6, 2007 6:01 PM

It's not sex if it's oral sex.

Just ask any born again Christian teen.

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 6, 2007 6:17 PM

Dan, you missed the story.

It seems the pages are now organizing under the name, Anti Chastity League of DC, and you know some parents and some R's are going crazy.

Dan, you might be a good national spokes voice, esp. when you have offered your son to the effort when he is 16.

If all the sex play among teenagers and younger were public in this day and age, they would all go to hard detention. In the old days we just did it and promised not to tell ... and we didn't.

And a dorm room watching and only one couple...jeez. Not my red blooded generation.

Posted by Karla | December 6, 2007 6:29 PM

I think, aside from general prudery, the problem is that the pages probably had to sign a contract saying they would behave in certain manners. Oral sex while a crowd watches probably goes against said contract.

I'm not sure why they feel the need to police people's behavior while they're not on the clock, but then again I go to the University that just extended its Code of Conduct off campus. *eye roll*

Posted by Phelix | December 6, 2007 7:16 PM

I think the problem is "public oral sex." If it's something you need a lookout for...because you could get arrested for looks pretty bad. I think it's just a case of those who would be our best and brightest not being that bright.

Posted by Joshua | December 6, 2007 9:08 PM

This is what happens when you have a Democratic Congress!!!!

Posted by Good Christian | December 6, 2007 10:09 PM

Nothing against anal sex, but when I was a teenager (80's) there wasn't a whole lot of anal experimentation going on in my peer group. It seems like things are different for teenagers now. Oh, what a wonderful world...

Posted by Hal | December 7, 2007 1:13 AM

The puritanical spirit lives on.

Also, age of consent in DC is 16?!?!?! Dude, WTF? Even I think that's a little creepy...

Posted by Mike in MO | December 7, 2007 5:43 AM

it wasn't public, it was in a dorm room.

No one who didn't want to see was present.

On the rudery issue, a few years ago at a hetero dinner party with a bunch of 40 year olds one of the women was very upset that teens today have oral sex all the time. The idea was somehow this hurts the teenaged girl.

The guys were all pretty silent and contemplative........

Posted by UnPC | December 7, 2007 6:50 AM


In Ohio, it's 13.

Posted by pain | December 7, 2007 7:29 AM

@ 13: yikes!

Posted by Mike in MO | December 7, 2007 8:01 AM

Well of course, Dan, it's not as bad as people in positions of power abusing students. But I think the point of the article was that there STILL isn't good oversight of the congressional page program even after the earlier problems.

When my daughter is a junior or senior in High School she's going to do what she's going to do. But I'm not going to condone group sex parties- I don't know any parents who would- and if my daughter were a congressional page I would expect the people running the program to have the same standards.

Posted by Big Sven | December 7, 2007 8:36 AM

Dan, I have to agree with Big Sven here. Even though lots 16-year-olds are having sex, drinking, and getting into fights (among many other things), that doesn't imply that they should be doing these things, even though this is "normal" teen behavior.

I just finished reading the book A Tribe Apart. If you haven't read it already, you should take a look. It has very interesting case studies of about eight teenagers from Reston, Virginia.

Posted by Greg | December 7, 2007 8:58 AM

@11: Are you saying that a 16 year old is incapable of giving valid consent to sex, and that sex with a 16 year old it is automatically rape? Cos that's what 'age of consent' means, not the age at which you're comfortable thinking about them having sex.
(First time poster here, and I'm not trolling or looking for an argument, I'm genuinely interested in your opinion... The rules are different in my part of the world, and 16 always struck me as a little too HIGH)

Posted by Nat | December 7, 2007 10:20 AM

So what if you're in Washington State and you're a 16 yo boy and 14 yo girls want to have sex with you?

Is that illegal too?

(not admitting a thing, but I lived in BC at that age ... and I never said it was me)

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 7, 2007 10:38 AM

@14 - Indiana also has a low initial age of consent, but it's two-tiered. Basically, it's considered consent for a 14-year-old to have sex with up to an 18-year-old. I think at 16, you can have sex on up the line legally. The idea is to keep people of basically the same age group/maturity level from getting hauled into court over having sex.

Posted by wench | December 7, 2007 11:11 AM


Ohio's laws also have more specific provisions about the range of ages. (ie, 47 yr old w/ 13 yr old = not okay).

I think 13 is probably a reasonable age (a reasonable law about sex in OHIO?!). The kids I hung out with at 13 were criminals, but not because they were boinking each other.

Posted by pain | December 7, 2007 11:45 AM

So, once again, the issue isn't consent and legality, but in loco parentis responsibility of the people running the congressional page program.


since this has turned into an age-of-consent discussion, let me add that the job of a parent is to help their children make the transition from childhood to adulthood, and that part of that help is trying to make sure your child isn't making horribly bad/inappropriate decisions. In that context, my attitude towards my childrens' (10yoF, 7yoM) impending emotional and physical activities will be TOTALLY governed by how mature and responsible they are. If my daughter at 15 or 16 is smart about the world and how some people are minipulative and dishonest, and if I think I can trust her to take precautions to avoid disease and pregnancy, then my wife and I will let her date and stay out fairly late and go on mixed-gender vacations and so forth. But if she is fragile and overly trusting and/or irresponsible I'm going to do everything I can to delay her venturing into the dating pool. Ditto my son.

I guess what I'm saying is that I hope people recognize in this discussion of what is right and wrong that it's really all about the particular, unique characteristics of each child.

Posted by Big Sven | December 7, 2007 12:35 PM

I was a U.S. Senate Page a zillion years ago, at which time it was guys-only, and you were entirely on your own unsupervised. Unfortunately the only misbehavior I witnessed was a tremendous amount of underage drinking; the liquor stores there deliver, and they got to know the address by the familiar sound of the voices of the "regulars" calling in their order. At that time most of the pages were upper-middle-class white Southerners, which was interesting for someone from eastern Washington.

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