Savage Love

The Liked Boys



While the distinction between a man attracted to 10-year-olds and one attracted to 16-year-olds is sociologically and psychologically important, I'm not sure it's relevant to the advice BFD needs.


@1 - Dr. Jonnybones: They've actually started doing this thing where they print Dan's advice in the paper and run it on the web so that other people can read it, too. He'll often include information that might not be directly relevant to the letter he's responding to, but that could have educational or entertainment value for other readers. It's definitely different from when Savage Love was just him having private one-on-one conversations with people and addressing only their most specific concerns, but personally, I feel like the format has potential.

Anyway, great comment, thanks for the thoughtful contribution.


@2 Indeed, let us pursue the bottom together.


There could be hard evidence being kept in reserve, or this could just be a pile of inferences carefully invited out of a desire not to overstep truth. I think I should recuse myself from this case, though I suppose I can mention in passing that it reminds me a little of the reaction to bronies.


LW starts by worrying that everyone will see the guy's all-too-public posts, but ends by fretting whether to reveal their existence.

If you're connected with your friend's dad on Instagram, you are presumably connected through the friend. LW may want to express sympathy over dad's online behavior, but it's silly to imagine that LW is in on this secret and the guy's actual family isn't.


Gosh, that acronym is going to be confusing.

Difficult position to be in. If BFD knows Dad personally, they could bring it up with Dad themself. This has echoes of the "teen porn" question -- how does BFD know the boys are underage? There's no way to know, without talking to Friend, whether Friend hasn't mentioned any inappropriate behaviour because there wasn't any or because it's so rare for people to talk about it.

One thing I noticed was this: "We also have a hint from how so many fashion models begin working in their teens." That's not a hint of anything but the fact that fashion models are preferred to be a certain shape, and most adults are not that shape but many teenagers are. An indictment of unrealistic standards in the fashion industry, but not evidence of societal ephebophilia.


Seto estimates that just 1 percent of men are in fact attracted to prepubescent children

Where does this magic "1 percent" figure come from? Sounds like he just pulled it out. It's a figure that basically means "it's rare but visible". I bet the real figure is much higher than that.



"That's not a hint of anything but the fact that fashion models are preferred to be a certain shape, and most adults are not that shape but many teenagers are. An indictment of unrealistic standards in the fashion industry, but not evidence of societal ephebophilia."

No, it's because the slim teenage body is found the most attractive for evolutionary reasons.


This sounds troublesome, and what to do about it is tricky. Unfollow this man on instagram is what I’d do. Whatever he’s up to, he’s outing himself to all his followers, someone closer in is going to pick up on it. Not your business, LW.


@Norman99: Invoking evolution as an explanation for cultural preferences is a lot like using "1%" to mean "a small number." If there were an actual evolutionary reason for finding slim teenage bodies attractive, then you'd expect this to be universal across human cultures; it isn't.


The 'most likely very remote' possibility that BFD's friend's father will abuse? Could we have a figure for that? Dr Seto has said that 1% of men are pedophiliac in their patterns of attraction; how many offend?

Many pedophiles-by-inclination are drawn to work with children, or to seek their company as stepparents, godfathers, elders or mentors. This isn't by itself cause to believe they have graduated, or will graduate, to abusing. Pedos sublimate their desires, like everyone else (or more so); their desires run into and cross over with their ideas of friendship, of decent moral conduct, of mentoring and education, and of what's beautiful and true. The optimal situation is one in which pedos-by-inclination are under the loose supervisory oversight of a network or community of people who know their orientation and the degree of their contact with children. This is usually the case, as I understand, at boarding-schools of the kind I went to. Unfortunately, the aversive horror in which attraction-to-children is held by many militates against pedos-by-inclination finding themselves in a context where they have those 'rails'.


On the 'how is it that the guy's family aren't following him on Insta?' question... I don't know. Could it be that the LW and the friend's father are in some more closed, gay-themed chatgroup? Is that possible?


Agree on all counts with Harriet @11.

I'm gonna have to look deeper into Dr Seto's research, as he (and Dan) have made some pretty "out there" claims, IMO. "The best available research tells us [that] most pedophiles never sexually abuse children"? Really? Last time I looked into this (which, granted, was about 5-6 years ago), this was a great unknown, as most extensive research into paedophilia has been done with incarcerated populations, seeing as non-offending paedophiles were disinclined to come forward (for obvious reasons). In light of this, I'm I'm dubious of the 1% statistic as well. And then there's this:

"One thing we know is that people who are low in self-control are more likely to act on sexual as well as nonsexual impulses," said Dr. Seto. "That low self-control shows up in other ways, including addictions, problems holding down a job, problems in adult relationships, unreliability, and criminal behavior. My hypothesis is that someone who doesn't show these signs is unlikely to offend against a child"

Problem with this hypothesis is that it can so easily fall prey to confirmation bias. Evidence of "low self-control" can be found in just about anyone, if you look hard enough. Especially if we count such common-garden occurrences as "problems holding down a job", "problems in adult relationships", and just vague-ass "unreliability". Hell, I can think of about a million things I could be doing right now, instead of procrastinating in this comment section. So, with the benefit of hindsight, it would be easy to look at convicted child molesters and find enough evidence of low impulse control across the board. But we've all heard plenty of stories about serial child abusers who were priests, teachers, celebrities, and other "pillars of the community", who presumably held it together enough to achieve high social and professional status. I don't buy it.


Dan's answer here implies that attraction to children as long as they are no longer prepubescent--but are still children--is okay.

I understand the technical distinction--"ephebophilia" is the term for attraction to postpubescent minors, as opposed to "pedophilia"--but being the father of a postpubescent person, I see great danger in normalizing such behavior and traits.

If one has ever seen the effect on a young person of, say, a teacher having sex with or sexually pursuing that person, one would never seek to establish that pedophilia is worse than ephebophilia. It's cruel and traumatic and leads to lifelong issues for the young person.

When does a young person cross the line from a child to adult? Hard to say--it would be different for everyone. But that line is definitely NOT puberty.


@14 - prflack: Yep, here's hoping it doesn't become normal for our culture to sexualize teenagers!

Great comment, thanks for the thoughtful contribution.


It's already the norm in our culture to sexualize teenagers and has been for a really long time. When I was a little girl, we all wanted to look like Brooke Shields in her sexy blue jeans ads. She couldn't have been even high school age. If we freaked out about every old man who looked at pics of attractive teens we'd have to get rid of basically the entire advertising industry and half the pop music too.

But the LW did say "very young boys" not "underage teens". That could be toddlers or elementary aged children or preteens or teens or 17 year olds- we really don't know what the LW is referring to. So Dan's diversion into these differences is relevant IMO.

As for advice- I have none. It's a tricky situation and I feel like we lack all the relevant details.


Dan didn't say sexual activity with minors is okay. He said sexual attraction for post pubescent teenagers is common and not troublesome outside of actions. Dan has spoken out both here and on his podcast against pursuing such sexual relationships as well as actions such as hitting on or leering at teenagers.


Oh and I think it's worth at least considering the possibility that "outing" him to his son could destroy his marriage and relationship with his family, leading him to be more likely to offend because of the increased instability in his life. That's assuming that the research is correct, though if I recall correctly it does match up with information about which sex offenders are most likely and least likely to reoffend. Essentially, ostracism seems to be really good at causing people to offend.


As for BFD's question, if it was my best friend's father, I'd mention it to the friend in a low-stakes kinda way, and break it down into two separate topics - the homoerotic stuff, and the underage stuff (from context, I'm guessing we're talking teenagers rather than pre-pubescent children). Go gently, and refrain from making too many assumptions at this point.

Say something along the lines of "so I was a bit surprised at your Dad's insta, I noticed he follows a lot of young male models there". See how the friend reacts. It's possible that his Dad is not in the closet, and is finally embracing who he truly is, as many people of retirement age seem to do these days. If the friend seems disconcerted by this information, you can play it down as a technological faux-pas, and leave it at that. Let the friend investigate for himself and deal with the information as he sees fit - unless he asks for your opinion, it's family business.

If, on the other hand, the friend just shrugs and says "yeah, I know, he came out a few years ago", you can say something like "I don't know if he realises how young some of these boys are - lots of instagram models are underage. Do you think I should tell him?". This way it's framed more as a concern for the friend's Dad and what his feed may look like to an outside observer. You're not going in there guns blazing, calling his Dad a paedophile. For all you know, he was just caught up in loving pictures of hot twinks, and didn't give much thought to their age.

But I would definitely have this conversation with the friend before contacting his Dad (if you decide to contact him at all). ~If~ the Dad is indeed a paedophile/ephebophile, and a danger to underage boys, you don't want him deleting his Instagram account to cover his tracks.


While “child pornography” remains the legal term for this material, the subject matter is one of the most violent, horrific forms of child abuse possible. For this reason, those working to combat this type of abuse have begun using the term “child sexual abuse material” (CSAM), which more accurately conveys the content and is explicitly tied to the source of the problem.
(Source: Thorn)
I work for a foundation trying to prevent child sexual abuse and in our field we are constantly emphasizing that this is not a form of pornography. It's horrific sexual abuse of children.
Thank you Dan for taking this term into consideration.



"It's horrific sexual abuse of children."

Most of it isn't like that. This is hysteria.


LW- I’m not sure what the situation is, what are friend’s father acts in regards to underage people or not, yet I would still tell him that his likes are easily viewed by anyone.
He should know that not only he is likely already being watched, but also that once you dive into those sites you are potentially one click away from being arrested regardless if you meant to get there or not. Police will do their best to prosecute you.
Your conversation with this person may also make them look into the issue and seek professional help, which he should. It may also prevent friend’s father from escalating his attraction and actually meet with someone whose life is likely to be forever scarred as a result.

I was very fortunate to sit in rooms with people who had attraction issues to underage teens as well as children. Most of them were men, but not only. Some got caught and convicted, some acknowledge their attraction and take preventive measures.
The assertion made here that only 1% of them actually engage with underagers does not surprise me. Those who get caught get a lot of publicity. Police departments get appreciation and money if they arrest someone for online underage porn, let alone if real rapes take place. TV stations increase their ratings, print papers struggle to survive, social media buzzing…

This is not to condone this behavior. I’m grateful this is not an issue for me and am still challenged listening to others discuss it. Yet the struggles and experiences they share are often telling.


CMD@22: "The assertion made here that only 1% of them actually engage with underagers does not surprise me."

That's not what was asserted, though.

Dan: "Dr. Seto estimates that just 1 percent of men are in fact attracted to prepubescent children."


Again, lacking enough info to really give advice, but if I were to make it personal... If it were my best friend's dad and the pics were public, not pornographic pics of post-pubescent teen boys, I'd probably just send the dad an anonymous note that his activity is public.

If it were young children, I'd contact my friend and talk about it.

But then that's because I think it's pretty common for men to find older teenagers attractive and if the pictures are not sexual and the kids are not in his real life, then I'd file it under none of my business.

If the kids were small though, that's different. Grandpa doesn't need to be bouncing kids on his knee if he's into looking at stuff like that, pornographic or not, and yes I would err on the side of protecting children and make sure people in his life knows he's into that as hard on everyone as that might be. Most childhood sexual abuse happens in the home from trusted people.


I'll throw out the possibility that BFD could be making a mountain out of a molehill here. BFD is probably right the dad does not know how Instagram is one of the easiest social network sites to see what else your connections follow, like, and comment on. From that, I read that the dad's habits of following and interacting with pictures of gay models is probably genuine and highly unlikely to be cover for also following underage boys on Instagram, seeing as why try to create plausible deniability if you think what you're doing as private.
Next, the age range of what is described by BFD could be anything, but I read "very young boy models" as actual models, not pictures taken by friends and family of a boys in speedos at a swim meet or creepy jailbait pics. It is still a red flag, but assuming I'm right about the age range of the models mentioned, a mild one. Paraphrasing Roger Ebert "As every person knows, we are born with wiring that goes directly from our eyes to our genitals, bypassing the higher centers of thought." If the dad thinks that his Instagram actions are private and the pictures legal, it may be part of his closeted, illicit thrill to not abstain from from following teenage models that are around the same age he was when he realized he was attracted to men (and since he might be bi) in addition to women.
What to do? Come at this from a "I'm pretending to not read into this" alert to the dad that his Instagram viewing habits are public and easy to see, followed with "just because they are a model on Instagram does not mean they are over 18."


Norman @8: You couldn't be more wrong. A curvaceous body is "most attractive for evolutionary reasons" -- full breasts and hips are better for reproduction. A slim, curveless body is most attractive for serving the function of human clothes hanger.

Norman @21: Most images of children being sexualised nonconsensually (by definition) isn't horrific? That's "hysteria"?
I think we've found our 1 percenter.


Daddy fuck off with that. Women are at their most fertile and healthiest for child bearing in their early 20s, and teenage girls are less likely to have healthy pregnancies and they have riskier deliveries as well and have less successful time nursing, etc.

17 year old girls don't look much different than 20 year olds so sure, I think it's perfectly natural to be attracted to older teens. But there's no evolutionary advantage for attraction to older teens than for women in their 20s. And when we start talking about younger teens, it's actually a disadvantage. And all these reductive evolutionary explanations for complex behavior are mostly bullshit- it wouldn't explain why gay men find teen boys attractive as well. In fact, if it's so simple as all that, there wouldn't be homosexulality at all, men don't usually have ample tittles.

The truth is simply that most men find older teens attractive some of this is biological and some of it is cultural, like everything else having to do with sexuality.

Also the LW doesn't say "teens", they says "very young boys" - we honestly have no fucking idea what they're talking about so we have no idea if it is a huge leap or not. He might be looking at pictures of 7 year olds, we don't know.


BFD: I don't think men ever check the 'activity feed' or look where their follows are commenting elsewhere. I've never heard a man express knowledge of this ability and I've heard several women talk about the same phenomenon.

Regarding BFD - he's wanking it to pictures he likes that other people post for the purposes of sexually exciting other people (even if they are jailbait. Thankfully masturbating in the privacy of your own home is not a crime). Maybe he's outing himself, but It's probably best that LW leave it alone, it's not his family, it's not his business.


@BDF (re Norman) I assumed he was saying that most of the images that people who are attracted to minors view are not pornographic?? I believe this is true. A few years ago, I read about the popularity of images that are seemingly innocent but made for a pedo audience. So for example there was a youtube channel where a dad would play games with his daughter that involved them looking up at the camera while he squirted whipped cream on their faces. The children probably don't even know what was going on, just a fun game, but the images were mimicking scenes adults would recognize instantly. Youtube eventually removed this family's channel and they were investigated by CPS though found to not be harming their kids. Same with dancing videos, pregnancy play, lots of weird stuff with kids and adults dressing up as cartoon characters, etc. It sounds like the man the LW refers to is looking at things even less overtly sexual- just underaged models not pornographic images. So this is what I assume Norm means, though I think it's wrong to dismiss concern as hysteria especially when we don't know what this man is viewing.


LM @ 23


EmmaLiz @31: If it weren't pornographic it wouldn't be called "child pornography," though, would it?
Sure, lots of us find non-pornographic images arousing. A photo of a shirtless Jason Momoa comes to mind, or a woman in a slinky dress. But that's not called "adult pornography" and for good reason. If pedos are aroused by completely innocent photos of children doing child things, that's their business. Literally no children were harmed. But photos of children playing in a sprinkler are not called "child pornography." So when Norman talks about child pornography not being abuse, I can only presume he is talking about, at minimum, photos of nude children and claiming that they are not harmful. Pair that with his comment @7 that he suspects the true number of men who are attracted to children is far higher than 1 percent and it sounds to me like he is attempting to justify his own preferences. Norman, please feel free to clarify what you mean by "child pornography" in the context of your post.


@13. Lost Margarita. I'm not calling Dr Seto's knowledge into question.

I agree with you that 'respectable' men, men evidently exercising great self-control professionally, can be abusers. But probably very few abusers fall into this category, rather than fathers and other male relatives characterised by poor impulse control.

For the last US Census year, 2010, there were 151.8 million adult males in the US, and about 84,000 substantiated instances of child sexual abuse. At the absolute maximum, on these figures just over 1 in 20 pedophiles/ephebophiles-by-inclination abused that year. (Some will abuse on multiple occasions; some abusers will be women, and some non-pedophiliac men). Meanwhile, estimates for the incidence of childhood sexual abuse come in at between 8% and 81% of women suffering abuse (according to Wikipedia). It's clear the figures are hopelessly sketchy. We do not know how common childhood sexual abuse is. There's a gulf between different prevalence estimates. Even when they claim to measure the same thing.

It's the sort of thing we should know about--and which I sort-of think we would, if it disproportionately affected boys, not girls.


Instagram and the other social media platforms try every way imaginable to prevent the publishing of Child Pornography, for both legal and ethical reasons. Hell, Tumblr even killed adult porn out of an abundance of concern. So... I'd say the "young models" should be referred to as "young adult models".
That said, don't most people have "side" email and social media accounts? Sheesh. Itsthe 21st Century...


Sorry BDF. I didn't see his earlier comment, just the one where he is responding to Susan. And while I think Susan's comment raises a good point generally, it is different than what the LW is referencing. Regardless of the ages of the models in question, this man is not viewing pornography. That doesn't mean it's not intentionally created for people attracted to children however (as I tried to explain) but it does mean that it's unlikely any of the minors involved were harmed. Also I'm not sure that this is a defense, especially in the sorts of images I mentioned which are in fact deliberately made for pedos (not random innocent pics of kids that pedos use but rather something manufactured for them). I don't know what we can do about that, but I think it's a good thing to be aware of. Again though, we have no idea if this is relevant to the LW which is what I thought Norman was calling hysterical- the idea that the LW was viewing something horrific, etc.

I have no basis at all for an opinion on any side of the conversation around percentages


For clarity I want to highlight something here that most people seem to be overlooking. Here is what the LW says concerns them:

"Not only has he been liking pictures of younger looking men, he's also been liking and following accounts of very young boy models."

I don't know why most of the posters here seem to assume this means he's looking at older teens or even post-pubescent teens. We don't know.

And then the LW says they are "feeling morally obligated to tell my friend that his dad is into dudes and might be a pedophile".

Again, I don't know why most people are assuming that the LW doesn't know what the word "pedophile" means and is using it incorrectly to describe someone with an interest in older teens.

That might all be likely. But it's equally as likely that the LW knows exactly what pedophile means and is using that word to describe the behavior of a man with a sexual interest in "very young boys".


@37 Are there really little kid models with professional Instagram accounts? The fact that LW called them models made me think they must be teens.


Yes Hexprone. There are kid models on Instagram with huge numbers of followers- kid celebrities. Loads are likely innocent, just fashion or the cute factor or whatever though I'd still not want an adult in my life who had a habit of following the social media of children he doesn't know. It's like the internet version of kid beauty pageants- lots of very small children really dolled up to look older. It's creepy and weird. I don't know what you mean about "professional"- what is professional on Instagram and what makes you think the LW is talking about professional pages? Loads of people make money off their Instagram accounts. Dogs have Instagram accounts.


@10 Thank you. Evolution is one of the science terms that is most frequently misused. Evolution applies to changes in the genome over hundreds of thousands and millions of years due to preference/survival. People use it all the time for things that are better described as cultural preferences. Humans haven't really been around long enough to evolve in the sense that people use. We haven't evolved to be taller - we just eat better and reach our potential.


@14 Attraction to teenagers is okay. Acting on that attraction is decidedly not. Much as wanting to smash my car into the guy who cut me off on the highway is okay. Actually doing so would be problematic.


EmmaLiz @36: I don't consider clothed photos of young people such as Dad is looking at "child pornography," even if pedophiles find them arousing. So we are on the same page. I thank you for enlightening me about innocent-yet-not images, like with the whipped cream, where the child involved has no idea of the sexual meaning. Still ew but as long as the child does not find out the purpose... but then again, wouldn't most adults, after having seen some porn, look back and realise what was meant by the whipped-cream photo shoots? So these could still be damaging. I think anyone would be, at minimum, severely squicked if they discovered that even an innocent image of themself was used as wank fodder for a pedophile. I admit that I am squicked just thinking about it, which is making it difficult to discuss objectively.

As for the models, yes, there are child models on Instagram. There are professional child models and there are parents who think their kids are so cute they post photos by the truckful. So I don't know whether these are six- or sixteen-year-old boys and yes, there's a difference. All BFD said was "underage" and that could be anything under 18, or, as the "teen porn" thread taught us, 18- or 22-year-olds posing as barely-illegals.

Perhaps BFD should screen-shot Dad's likes, send them to his wife, and unfollow Dad with haste?


@27 Super inappropriate BiDanFan. That's name calling and you're taking the low road. Maybe ask what he means. I'm not sure I agree with him but it seems like something worth hearing. My guess is that he's trying to differentiate between different levels in child sex abuse material - which I know exists. I have a friend who is a DA and he deals with these cases. There are wide ranges within the genre (not sure how he does his job, it would break me).


As I get older — and I’m only 51 — it’s gets harder to figure out comparative ages. Is it not possible that Grandpa assumed that 16 year old model was actually a college- or post-college kid?


Unless there is better evidence than indicated in the letter, the conclusion both the writer and Mr Savage reach is offensive. To jump from someone liking or following a performer on social media to concluding that he wants to have sex with that performer is ridiculous. I know a number of grandmothers who followed an underage Justin Biber on Youtube. Does that indicate they're perverted? I've liked and followed James Charles, the first male Cover Girl spokesperson, and Andrej Pejic, the trans fashion model who worked men's and women's fashion shows. (I even had an interesting conversation on Facebook with Pejic, on chess oddly enough) I simply admired their courage and wished I had had as much when I was their age. If someone accused me of my father on such scanty evidence, I would get rid of that friend.


@40: Lactose tolerance is an evolutionary adaptation. Darker or lighter skin tones are evolutionary adaptations. In parts of the world where HIV is still seeing rapid growth, we're seeing genes for resistance being strongly selected for. We've absolutely had time for evolution to affect us, even in the relative eyeblink of time that is recorded history.

I'm not going back any specific evpsych claim here, because it gets used to support a lot of ideas that are too localized to be properly evolved. But we're nowhere near free of evolutionary pressures and influences either.


What about the Greeks? They openly loved young men. Admiring their beauty is not a crime. Given that it’s public it could be, and this is the only area the LW need be concerned with.
Then is it a crime if he’s just openly admitting liking body shapes. My near ten year old grandddaughter has a gorgeous alive little body with a bum I just want to pinch. Of course I don’t, she has very firm boundaries.
Instagram is another place people overshare, the little bit I’ve looked at, this man is probably one amongst millions liking
‘ inappropriate’ images. Long as he knows not to cross any boundaries, and the LW has no way to know this.
Same conclusion, stay out of it LW, it’s not your business.


I agree with Mizz Liz that the information provided could indicate practically any age. Perhaps the general hunch that the ages of the boys involved aren't generally that far from 18 stems from a sense that LW thinks she has discovered something about which everyone else is clueless.

I've no idea how "likely" it is that random people such as this LW use the P-word correctly. It's certainly quite popular on both sides of the Culture War, and is frequently applied even in cases of long-legal relationships.


@37 EmmaLiz - as far as trying to figure out the age of the pics I focused on the same passage:

"...he's also been liking and following accounts of very young boy models."

He says "very young boy", not "teen". I interpreted this to mean under teenage (tween or younger).

The dad liking the pictures and following the boys is also a bit worrying to me. Even if he doesn't realize just how public his likes and follows are, it seems impulsive (not very smart bc it gives a greater chance of someone noticing what he's doing but he does it anyways bc he gets something out of it). Maybe it gives him some feeling of connection to these boys or is more enjoyable bc it's more interactive than just looking. Or maybe I'm reading into it too much. He is already doing more than just looking at pics of "very young boy"s, though. Has he contacted any of the boys? Does he intend to? Were the likes/follows a segue into doing that?

@19 LostMargarita - your idea or something similar is probably the way I would approach the friend.

Further action would depend on the age of the pictures and dad's access to boys in that age range. If it is young boys and the dad has access I might see how the convo goes with the friend/dad, and if I was at all concerned the dad might do something, alert the parents to the dad's activity (perhaps email info about his likes/follows, then they can make their own decision). I don't know if there is a way to contact the website, but maybe ask them to make sure he isn't contacting young boys? I'm sure this seems like an overreaction to many, but I'd hate to see a kid get hurt when I could have stopped it. It's a hard position bc you don't want an innocent guy to get ostracized, but kids are so vulnerable and people tend to miss other, subtle signs bc it's hard to believe someone they know would hurt a child.


@49 I mean, I kind of love that you're feeling your fantasy, but....


@49 So Jason Momoa isn't beautiful? Arnold, back in the Pumping Iron days, not beautiful? Muhammed Ali?? If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, dude, you're stone blind.

Re the LW's problem --- I forget, did he mention what else the dad is liking on Instagram? Is the kiddie stuff disproportionate, or just happens to be among what's there?


Larry @43, there aren't many roads that are lower than objectifying children. Name calling? Where was your white knightery when Sportlandia called me a "fucking doofus"? What sort of "name" is "1 percenter"? The point was that Norman has revealed himself to be one of the small number of men who is attracted to children, I don't think his own words contradict that. But I'm trying my best to keep an open mind and I do hope Norman explains himself.

Hunter @49: Mmmm, ropy limbs.

I also want to challenge the idea that people are posting (non-pornographic) pics on Instagram for the express purpose of other people masturbating. I can't speak for everyone but most of the women I know would be grossed out to learn someone (whom they weren't sleeping with) had masturbated to their pics. They post pics for vanity purposes, to get compliments. Not because they want to be wanked at.


If someone has photos or videos of actual rape or sexual torture, the media and the legal system do not refer to that material as pornography. But when someone has photos or videos of children being raped and sexually tortured (so no, I'm not referring to someone's vacation photos with little children on the beach) the media and the legal system refers to it as child pornography. And that is wrong in so many ways.
Additionally, if someone under the age of consent produces material which by many would be considered pornographic - it still isn't because it is considered nonconsensual. If we look at an image where one person did not give consent to the sexual activity and/or the documenting of it - then we are looking at abuse.
This is why we who are trying to prevent child sexual abuse refer to the material as child sexual abuse material. And therefore I wish Dan wouldn't refer to"child porn".


EmmaLiz @37

"I don't know why most of the posters here seem to assume this means he's looking at older teens or even post-pubescent teens."

For me, it was definitely the word "underage", as well as the word "models". While technically "underage" in this context means any minor under the age of consent, I think in practice it's much more commonly used to refer to teenagers (Urban Dictionary provides "UK 16 is OK to have sex, 15 is underage" and "don't even think it, dude, she's underage" as examples of colloquial usage). It specifically invokes a legal boundary, not necessarily a moral one.

You're right - we don't know for sure. But why use such a vague/ potentially misleading term if you're talking about 6-year-olds, not 15-year-olds? Surely, for most people, them being under the legal age of consent is not the main issue here? If I was writing Dan a concerned letter about someone who follows a bunch of 6-year-olds on instagram, I'd want to be crystal clear about that. I might call them "children", "child models", maybe even "minors", but not "underage boys".


@53 I think calling someone a doofus is a bit less of a big deal than calling someone a pedophile. You are shutting down discourse by calling into question his attraction based on him not agreeing with you. Listen to what he has to say, disagreeing with you doesn't make him a pedophile.


Lost Margarita, LW didn't only say "underage boys". They also said "very young boys". That's the part everyone seems to be overlooking. It seems LW referenced a range of ages "gay men, young men, underage boys, very young boys". Taken by itself, fine I'd assume older teens. But coupled with "pedophile" and I'm not so sure. I agree though that if it were elementary aged or prepubescent children they'd probably be more specific, but my mind interpreted it as young teenagers. I don't think you'd describe a 16 or 17 year old as a 'very young boy' but you would a 13 year old. On the other hand, I hate to speculate because people use all sorts of words to describe people younger than them. A 16 year old is very young to me, so.... My point is just that there is no way we can know at all what age range we are talking about - any is as likely as the next- and since the LW did say they are concerned about the man being a pedophile, we shouldn't dismiss that possibility just because most people aren't. Also not to be hysterical and go on a witch hunt, etc.

Also it seems like some folks here aren't aware that people- not professionals with agents or official paying gigs but just regular people- make money modeling on Instagram. And yes, there are plenty of Instagram pages that deliberately post wank content, get followers, make money off both advertising and patrons that like to see their stuff. Instagram is like Youtube that way. You can't post explicitly pornographic stuff but absolutely there are people who make money off it and absolutely a lot of it is deliberately sexual (though within the restrictions of the format).


@56 Yeah, but I got the same impression from that poster. I was editing Wikipedia at a time when there was … kind of a quiet push by a small group of editors to shift the Overton window in an abuse-aint-all-that-bad-actually direction. And I recognize the tone.

Sometimes "shutting down discourse" is an appropriate thing to do.


Daddy, even people who are experts and professionals can only guess about the mating norms of diverse peoples around the world for hundreds of thousands of years- they have no idea and neither do you. One thing we do know is that loads of women died in childbirth because their hips were too narrow. Women have a better chance of surviving childbirth if their hips are wider- the best indicator that a woman will survive child birth and have lots of children is if she's already given birth successfully. Even in prehistoric times this was true. There's no evolutionary reason for an interest in younger teenage girls. They are less fertile in the first couple years after starting their periods and their hips have not yet finished spreading and their breasts are not fully developed. On a skeletal and hormonal level, they are not yet developed. This was not different in prehistoric times- a 14 year old was less likely to get pregnant and more likely to die in childbirth if she did just like now for the same biological reasons.

As I said, older teens, sure, because they are indistinguishable physically from women in their early twenties. But if they are physically indistinguishable, then it's not their physical features you are attracted to- it's the markers of youth, and those things are cultural. There is no biological/evolutionary reason to be MORE attracted to a 17 year old than to a 20 year old. You could make the argument that men naturally prefer to take the 17 year old woman as a mate because she could have one more pregnancies than the 20 year old. But I could just as easily make the argument that men might naturally prefer to take nursing women with stretch marks as a mate because she demonstrates that she can successfully deliver and nurse children. And there's evidence for this as well, especially when you look at the actual prehistoric depictions of fertility goddesses. The truth is, you can make an argument about absolutely anything you want and say that it's because prehistoric people did or didn't do it- not because there's some deeper truth to the argument but simply because it's a canvass on which you can paint whatever you want.


Why does Dan post these difficult questions.
I agree with you Dadddy, fertile girls are ready for sex biologically so of course they attract male energy. It’s appreciating their blossoming, which not only men see the beauty of, without needing to appropriate it. Respecting the beauty of youth and fertility and not trying to grasp it.
Rules of tribal life would have had different ways to sort their young people and not let sex go random. Yes, the girls would become mothers young.
So what does this LW do? It’s very difficult to imagine how I’d deal with something like this. Only way out I can imagine, would be to front the guy directly. No point in disturbing the friend or others, if a gentle and enquiring discussion might find some resolve here.


Also my bigger argument was that the sex drive exists because a species needs to procreate, that doesn't mean they necessarily translate into a desire to fuck people that appear fertile. From an evolutionary point of view, a species that literally fucks every hole it can find every chance it gets will be more likely to procreate than one that is particular and only wants to fuck certain holes at certain times.

The thing about humans is that women don't have a period in which they are in heat- I think this explains far more about human sexuality than anything else. We are just hardwired to fuck all the time, but for women this requires huge risk and physical dependence. So for men, what do you do? You fuck whatever you can. Throughout time, men fuck children, the elderly, each other, animals, they fuck in ritual, they fuck slaves or people they conquer, etc.

So it's disingenuous, in my opinion, to talk about men being hardwired with an interest in youth. Best I can tell, men are hardwired with an interest in fucking- and when pederasty is the norm, most men are pederasts. When it's not, most are not. When heterosexuality is the norm, most men are het. When bisexuality is the norm, most men are bi. I don't know of a culture in which homosexuality has ever been the majority, but in plenty of cultures throughout time it's been the norm to fuck women for babies and boys (or gender nonconforming men) for fun. Humans they live in families and communities and they can form complex societies and regulate their behavior and act with responsibility and kindness so that also affects our drives- those norms are as diverse as people. There are cultures where it's the norm for men to literally fuck the mouths of boys for years as a rite of passage for those boys- they believe that's how you become a man, swallowing loads of cum. You can't explain this in any evolutionary way or talk about how it relates to fertility. It's arrogant to think we could generalize about human sexuality over the centuries all over the word, etc.

What's fascinating about our current moment is that for the first time ever- in those hundreds of thousands of yeras- for the first time ever we have (IN LIVING MEMORY) moved into a time in which female sexuality is somewhat liberated from reproduction as well. What will that look like? How does it affect human sexuality as a whole? We have no idea, we are just starting to see the beginnings of it. Women are hardwired to fuck too. What's it going to look like when they can do so without being knocked up? Really sometimes I'm astounded how little people seem to realize what a radical time we are living in. And it's brand new- my grandparents did not have birth control. What will human sexuality look liked unleashed from reproduction and those risks/responsibilities?

I'm not setting up a straw man. I'm saying that "men are hardwired to want to fuck teenage girls because they want to make lots of babies" isn't just reductive to the point of being meaningless, it's also just so fucking boring and unimaginative.


We can already see what the outcomes are EmmaLiz, the Pill has been around for decades now. We haven’t eradicated STI’s, so nature still puts breaks on total sexual abandon.
God, what culture has men jacking off into young boys mouths.
Are women hard wired to fuck all the time? No we’re not like cats, we don’t need locking in the bathroom till the moment passes. We do have times of heightened arousal related to our fertile times. Even at my fertile peak, I didn’t want to have sex all the time. Experience of period pain sure didn’t feel like sexy times to me.


You discount the forces of biological pull, EmmaLiz. The blossoming young woman is the cultural prize, because nature’s purpose for her now is to procreate.
Young people are the ones who have the most vitality in the culture, and appreciating their beauty and energy and life force is part of enjoying life.
One can acknowledge that, without giving in to it. Appreciate not appropriate.


I'm not discounting biology Lava. Clearly reproduction is the main force behind sex drive. That accounts for our general sense that youth is beautiful and yes a big component of sexual interest in young women at their peek fertile years as well as an interest in curves, breasts, etc. Likewise, I think there's something behind the female attraction to male strength as a sign of virility, etc.

What I'm trying to clarify here is that this does not explain an interest in younger teen girls as they are neither more fertile nor more likely to produce more children (since they are more likely to die giving birth to their first one if they are not fully developed). And it's stupid and unnecessary to try to explain it with bullshit about evolution, just like it would be stupid to try to explain any other myriad aspects of human sexuality- for example why we keep fucking when we are old, why homosexuality exists, etc.

Finally, I'm pointing out that evolution includes things like cooperation- humans evolved in communities. There is no nature vs nurture- they evolved together. Reproduction and the need to raise children and care for the elderly all put limits on human expression of sexuality and we honestly have no idea what either male or female sexuality would look like if it weren't all mixed up in it.

And being hardwired to want to fuck a lot (ok not literally all the time, but no one would deny it's a primary driving force for most humans) doesn't mean it's not complicated or that you act on it. But most of us think about sex and feel desire most of our days.


Well, I read most of the comments. And the points made are interesting, but I think everyone is missing the main issue, to my mind: Social media in general--and Instagram in particular--is horrible. Why are we still using all this crap? Haven't we figured out already that they just make everyone unhappy? Why are parents of "very young boys" allowing them to have Instagram accounts to begin with? I'd use an exclamation point and a question mark together here if it weren't against my principles.

It's enough to make a girl drop everything and go live in the woods. Oh, wait...


Don't go stirring up trouble BFD, it's just a quirk and nothing nefarious or remotely illegal. The son probably knows, so if he's not bothered by it you should't be. Otherwise you'd be out-of-place and annoying.



"You could make the argument that men naturally prefer to take the 17 year old woman as a mate because she could have one more pregnancies than the 20 year old. But I could just as easily make the argument that men might naturally prefer to take nursing women with stretch marks as a mate because she demonstrates that she can successfully deliver and nurse children. "

The small problem with this argument is that we know men prefer women who haven't started reproducing yet and dislike the physical signs of prior reproduction such as stretch marks and boobs that have lost their teen pertness due to breast-feeding.

There's evidence that men have an instinctive preference for girls about 14 and this makes complete biological sense because in ancestral times girls this age would have been just prior the start of their reproductive lifespan. Get a girl at this age and you can monopolise her reproductive lifespan and she'll start giving you offspring soon.


@68 @Norman99: I have heard and read about older/other cultures in which it was considered desirable to marry a woman who already had a child, since it proved she was fertile and able to bear children. Your statement about what "men like" seems to me pretty culturally biased.



In the Bongo-Bongo tribe the women do most the hunting so that proves men haven't evolved to be hunters, right?


And Dadddy @58, I often enjoy your posts, but can we please stop with the inaccurate statement that lifespans used to be half as long. It's true--so far as I know--that the mean lifespan pre-agriculture was close to 30. But that's the mean, which should not be interpreted as what we would normally call "average." It's misleading terminology. What it means is that infant and youth mortality was far higher (as you say). And sure, more people died of infections (and in childbirth). But most people who made it to adulthood lived into their 60s and 70s. There wasn't a whole shitload of people dying at 28.

(For those that care and don't already know: when you calculate a mean--you add all the items up and divide by the total number of items--a lot of very small numbers drags the resulting value down, even if many/most of the values were large. You can end up with a middle-size value like 30, but the set-up is distinctly different than adding up a bunch of numbers which were near 30 to begin with.)

Archeological evidence suggests hunter/gatherer types were, in general, longer-living and in better health than post-agriculture folks (until just recently). They had an ideal varied diet, they walked around a lot, they didn't live in nasty cities (which are perfect breeding grounds for diseases), they didn't keep domestic animals (ditto). And much of the infant mortality was likely intentional infanticide, meant to keep the resources of the mother and group concentrated on a smaller set.

For what it's worth, I think it's perfectly natural for men to be attracted to 17-year-olds. In lots of historical periods even post-agriculture that would be a totally reasonable age to be married. I just get touchy over "people didn't live as long" arguments.


@Norman @70, if you're trying to say that one particular culture's preferences don't say much about how humans "evolved" or what is "natural," then, um, thanks for helping prove my point?


@69 ciods: Congratulations on scoring this week's Lucky @69 Award! May decadent riches come your way soon.


Oh yes, EmmaLiz. The evolutionary aspect. My guess it’s always been there, admiring the young fertile girl.
Agree ciods. Instragram is especially sad, millions plus of look at me photos, and yes, where are the parents. Fb is good for news and special interest info.


Anyways, we live now, and we have age of consent Laws.
Anyone getting off on small and pre puberty children are not responding to fertility signals, they are sickos.
What evidence Norman, that men have a
‘ instinctive’ preference, for a 14 yr old girl? Throwing in that word instinctive won’t help your case, whatever it is. Where’s our biologist when you need them?


Most fourteen year olds are gangly creatures still.
What is the issue here. That adults respond to youth or that the response is inappropriate? Which brings us back to the LW. He thinks this man’s likes are inappropriate, and I still don’t know how he should proceed. I’d unfollow him
because I’m a coward and have had more than my share of confrontations in life.
This LW has got to follow his conscience. Is that still a thing?


Public service announcement:

Likes to look at people below the legal age of consent where I live =/= wants to fuck those people =/= would fuck those people even though it is legal =/= is a pedophile (sexual attraction to prepubescent people) =/= is an incestuous pedophile (is a danger to his son).

Chill out, LW. The distinction between someone who is prepubescent and someone who has gone through puberty is biological and fucking prepubescent people is not a common feature of human society through the ages. The distinction between people who are below the local age of consent and those above it is a legal one, and while it may be a great policy and prevent a lot of abusive and icky behavior, the conduct it prohibits (having sex with teens under 16 or 18) has been extremely common throughout human history. It's not exactly unnatural.

I'm cool with it being illegal for very much older people to have sex with such teens and I have literally never once had sex with any person under 18 (other than my own hand) and never will, but the attraction to teens under that age is perfectly normal and should not be pathologized by inaccurately describing it as pedophilia.

It also doesn't sound like anything involved was even close to child pornography, so - yeah - you might want to lighten up a smidge.

If there's something else out there that makes you worry that maybe your friend has been abused then, by all means, steer a few conversations in directions to give him an opportunity to tell you if everything is OK at home. But, otherwise, it doesn't sound like you have much basis to worry about your friend.


BDF @6, You propose the reason for the large number of teenage fashion models is that "fashion models are preferred to be a certain shape, and most adults are not that shape but many teenagers are"

I won't claim to have researched the issue or to know the answer with certainty, but it seems pretty likely that a HUGE part of the reason "fashion models are preferred to be a certain shape, and most adults are not that shape but many teenagers are" is that a large proportion of people are attracted to teens. I remember some research done among men in relatively primitive societies (pre-agricultural, I think) where they had these man assess the attractiveness of various girls and women. Attractiveness peaked at age 15.

Law prohibiting significantly older men from having sex with these girls may serve a valuable societal purpose, but that doesn't mean that the attraction, as opposed to the inability to comply with the societal rule against actually having sex with them, is abnormal or a threat to family members.


EmmaLiz @29,

I think I agree that it is a huge oversimplification and inaccurate to explain high levels of attraction for women and girls under 20 by claiming that they're most fertile then. I suspect that in the 200,000 or so years that anatomically modern humans have existed and in the millions of years that our hominid ancestors existed, males focused attraction on females that were likely to be quite fertile (younger, but also traits like full lips and large eyes that are apparently associated with high levels of estrogen) and also relatively unlikely to already have a mate. We are a fairly monogamous species (obviously not completely) and history would seem to indicate that for most of that time most females were being married off to or becoming the mate of somewhat older males before they turned 18. With no birth control, monogamy was probably reinforced by pregnancy often following not long after becoming sexually active. So, I'm totally with Dadddy that it isn't actually abnormal for men to be attracted to teens (without actually pursuing sex with them), but agree with you that his evolutionary explanation isn't right because 15-19 year-olds are not at their peak fertility, let alone their peak years for producing healthy offspring without harming themselves.


BDF @33, I'm straight, but I can tell that a shirtless Jason Momoa is pretty fucking hot. What I think makes me straight not bi is that I don't actually want to fuck him. What makes me maybe a little trans-curious is that, if I woke up in a woman's body, I'm pretty sure I would want to.

Does that make sense? Anyway, if I were a woman, I'd totally want to fuck that guy.


Me @78,

*even though it is ILlegal

I swear, I used to know how to type.


Wow, it seems to be the consensus that this friend's dad is jacking off to those pics, and is clueless about social media.

In fact, he may just like the photos, and not realize that any appreciation of underage people who are not your own relatives (and sometimes then, too) flags you as a pedophile these days, and any appreciation of young men's bodies flags you automatically as gay or bi.

If he's following young models, apparently ad agencies and the general public like those pictures too, or they would not be modeling. Do we know he's jacking off to those pics? No, we don't.

I'd advise the LW to talk with the dad, point him at this set of comments, and tell him that whatever he finds interesting about those pics, people are assuming he's a pedo and a closet gay man, so the dad needs to stop following anyone who doesn't look 18 or over, just to protect himself from the huge number of people who'll make assumptions about his fantasy life and behavior.

The dad's son probably already knows about this stuff, and doesn't need the LW's input as much as the dad does.


Good way to go E Carpenter, re telling the dad about other people’s assumptions. Showing him this thread? He may get off instagram altogether, which would be a positive outcome. One less person lost to Narcissism Land.


Pity Sportlandia hasn’t jumped on here, because if you reverse the genders who would give a damn what a woman likes? She could like young female models and others would think she was looking at the fashion.


@86 LavaGirl: I'm surprised Sportlandia hasn't commented here.


Hex @59: Thanks for your support.
Also, my repeated calls for Norman to explain himself is not "shutting down discourse," it is encouraging it.

Dadddy @58: "Older teens" means 16+, legal. Consensual sex with someone over the legal age of consent will not land you in jail.

Emma @57: If you meant me, sure, I'm aware that there are professional models on Instagram. My post was in response to Sporty's "he's wanking it to pictures he likes that other people post for the purposes of sexually exciting other people" -- we don't know, well, first of all, whether Dad actually is "wanking it" to these pictures, and second of all, whether that was the intention of the posters in question.

DCP @79: You are missing the word "fashion." FASHION models. Not plain old ordinary models. The fashion industry favours a certain shape. There are models out there of every shape, but FASHION models are tall and slender, so that viewers will focus on the clothes rather than any curves beneath. Which is the opposite of what all these studies show men like. (And at any rate, reproduction is surely not influencing the motives of a man looking at other men.) As Lava says, "most 14 year olds are gangly creatures still," and that makes them ideal for a career on the runway.

DCP @81: Thank you. We can appreciate beauty and not want to have sex with it in every one of its forms.

Lava @86/Griz @87: Sporty did comment @30, to assume the LW's gender based on their Instagram behaviour, which at any rate is completely irrelevant to this letter.


Hi Dadddy! Please excuse my previous post's tone. I was randomly grumpy, apparently.

You're certainly right that the current moment is the best moment for living long--let's say the last 70-100 years, yes? which we might as well just toss out as being, essentially, a statistical anomaly in human lifespans. What I feel unclear about is whether far-past mortality rates were noticeable worse than recent-past mortality rates. (Of course you're right they are worse than now, wars and bears are a bitch, although at least they avoided car crashes and accidental gun shots, right?)

But as for this:
"For early humans living prior to 30,000 BC (when most of human evolution occurred), the MAXIMUM age was 30 to 40, about half our current expected lifespan."

Well, I could be talking out of my's been known to happen. So I'm checking my work on Wikipedia (because there are NEVER errors on Wikipedia!) and they claim that the life expectancy at birth for the entire Paleolithic was 33. But again, that's a mean, and they put chances at reaching 15 only 60%, so 40% of your folks were dying as children. To average that out and end up with 33 over all folks, you need plenty of people living past 48; in fact, Wikipedia nicely includes the life expectancy at 15 as "not exceeding 34 [more] years," in the Neolithic and Bronze age, and 39 [more] years for modern hunter-gatherers--meaning the average/mean for people who made it to 15 at all was around 50-54. And even that is a mean, not a maximum. So plenty of folks made it longer.

And note that due to war, diseases, bears, etc., those numbers don't really change all that dramatically until about the 50s.

So, I dunno, yes, lifespans were shorter then than now. But I maintain that if you're willing to exclude people dying as children (on the grounds that they don't affect our evolution, having no chance to reproduce), then we're talking lifespans, on average, in the 50s, even way way way back in the day, all the way up til maybe 100 years ago. And even now, when our expectancy is 70-something, that's not twice 50.

And now I can't remember what my point in all this was to begin with. >.< I suspect, actually, this point or set of points doesn't matter much at all, as anything past 40 isn't reliable for reproduction anyway, now or then (for women). So why would it matter? Starting to breed earlier would have the same advantage now as then (well, sort of), right? Since you don't gain anything on the old end anyway, at least, for women. I suppose if you were a guy back in the day, it would make sense to start right away, in case you got killed in war or eaten by a bear, but it wouldn't matter if you started with a girl who was 17 or 27, so that doesn't make an argument for an attraction to extreme youth.

Ah, bother, I'm confusing myself. Never mind.


As an aside: how the hell do we have enough reliable data to even make assertions about the Paleolithic period, anyway?


@92 We don't, but it's fun to imagine our contemporary stereotypes dressed up in cave-man clothing.


Anybody pick up on my Lost Boys reference in the column's title?


@94 Not I, Dan.

Possibly ... The Friends-List Boys?

Nope, can't get there.


@94: I did.


No Dan, I didn’t. Who are the Lost Boys in this letter? The writer or the dad.
EL is right, men have forever not been too fussed where they engage their sexual appetites and with whom, human or animal.
This man is liking a few photos of good looking young men and already he’s been tried and is in jail. Yes, there are many sick fucks out there caught sexually by children. Doesn’t mean this guy is one of them, not on the evidence given.


Dan @94, afraid not, Liked is not close enough to Lost. "The Lust Boys" would have been far more obvious! Glad you are a fan of the movie though. If you are ever in London, I'll treat you to a Lost Boys Pizza!


Norman @68: "There's evidence that men have an instinctive preference for girls about 14 and this makes complete biological sense because in ancestral times girls this age would have been just prior the start of their reproductive lifespan. Get a girl at this age and you can monopolise her reproductive lifespan and she'll start giving you offspring soon."

Except that would imply men are naturally monogamous and mate for life, which we all know is biologically untrue. Evolutionarily, men are not looking for one partner to bear them many children over a couple of decades. Evolutionarily, men are looking to spread their DNA far and wide with many partners, so Emma's theory that women who appear capable of having children -- young women with full breasts and round hips, not pre-teens who may not even be menstruating yet -- would make more sense, if you're arguing that biology is the only influence on attraction, which it clearly is not.


@Dadddy @99: "Not sure how exactly they determine a skeleton's age of death, but I imagine it involves rifling through the skeleton's pockets to see if it has some sort of ID on it."

You tempt me to use some sort of late-90s acronym like rofl. Good thing I'm too mature for that.

Thanks for the study link. Fascinating stuff! Apparently I was talking out of my ass after all. Sorry 'bout that. Interesting to see (near the start) a mention of the role of menopause in developing human society (I'm paraphrasing a lot); I always wondered about that, given (I think?) that humans are the only mammals that go through menopause.


Congratulations Fan. May the Hunsky bring you joy and fun.
Yes, it’s not only biology which determines attraction. The culture in which we live does as well. Also the damage done in that culture on individual levels. People who are sexually aroused by and who physically abuse children, are very damaged humans. The culture encourages these people by sexualising children.


I’ve mentioned this before to you mob, that at five years of age, I walked around my neighbourhood. Alone and with friends. Walking the block to school, crossing the road to my friends’ houses. Exploring the local tip and canals. Never once did I get attacked or even think about such a thing.
Now, with my beautiful ten year old golden haired grand daughter, I want to put a guard on her 24/7.


BiDanFan @100

Most reproduction in our species takes place within long-term relationships and marriages. In all societies around the world men keep wives that they guard from other men. In primitive foraging societies like we evolved in people don't run around screwing each other like dogs, they form couples (or sometimes harems) who raise children together. This is the mating system for our species and it's been this way for a long time, back to archaic humans hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Of course people often split up and try relationships with someone else. The strategy is TRYING to have long-term relationships. Men who try to have a long-term relationship with a girl and get as many offspring from her as possible are more likely to successfully achieve that than men who don't try.

The function of the male desire for lots of sexual partners more about motivating men to try and get as many females as possible and build a harem. Not every man can achieve this but, again, men who TRY to build a harem are more likely to do it than men who don't.


@100 BiDanFan: Congrats on scoring the mighty Hunsky (@100) Award!! May vast riches flow your way soon. I have a hunch that LavaGirl is particularly envious.

Sorry, Dan, I did not catch the Lost Boys connection in this week's Savage Love installation. Of all the '80's movie, I sadly missed that one.


Tribe and small group cultures developed many ways of organising sexual order Norman, there is no one way it has been achieved thru out humanity. The only consistency is the incest taboo. Take the Classical Greeks. Their idea of pure love was homosexual love, that between an older man and a younger one.
Culture is involved here, so any claim to absolute imperatives around human sexuality is contrary to the truth. Not all men desire women, so how does your theory fit them?


Nature has no morals, the sperm enters the egg and a baby is conceived. Make the act pleasurable and the suckers will fall for it.
How humans set up camp, was/ is up to them/ us. Human children don’t stand up a couple of hours after birth, they take years to reach maturity. We stretch it out for ourselves, in earlier times the boys were taken off for their initiations into manhood and the girls started to bleed. Childhood ended a lot sooner for people in the past, no time for layabout teenagers.
Long time since I’ve read any anthropology, what I can remember is life was set up around the stages of growth. They co ordinated their energies, to survive. The sexual rules were not uniform across groups, though there were rules. Ordered sexual behaviour like ordered all other behaviour, to survive.
How the male sexual drive differs from the female one, we make generalisations, we see patterns etc, yet within those, many variations occur.
To say a man, heterosexual man, has some innate drive to gain a harem, is pure male fantasy. There’s nothing innate about it.
It implies though, the expectation that women will be servient.


I dunno, I read Sex at Dawn when Dan was pushing it hard and I found parts of it sufficiently convincing. I know evo-psych is dangerous stuff to fiddle with, but given that a lot of our current axiomatic story about sex seems to be evo-psych as well, just based on chimps rather than bonobos, I'm happy to consider how "primitive" humans behaved, sexually, as an open question. Plus, the bonobo version is just so much friendlier (and sexier), I'd rather believe that.

The advent of agriculture changed so much else so dramatically, I have no problems believing it changed sexual patterns as well.


Speaking of evolution, while a middle school student back in the mid 70’s I remember reading in the paper some scientist predicting that in order to cope with too many of us on the planet humans are going to adopt and be more tolerant of same sex relationships.

Hard to tell if this is “evolutionary” or cultural, and likely impossible to measure. Not to mention that same sex couples do have children nowadays.