This odd bit of news links to something I've been discussing with a few people recently:
A man who tried to hire a prostitute to take his 14-year-old son's virginity as a present was spared jail by a court on Friday.
The Polish national took the boy out in his car and allowed him to pick out the prostitute, who was standing at the side of the road in the red-light district of Nottingham.
But the 42-year-old father was arrested because the teenager had chosen an undercover police officer, Nottingham Crown Court heard.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was handed a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, after he admitted a charge of trying to solicit a woman to have sex with a child, the Press Association reported.
The court heard that the father, who came to Britain eight years ago, was arrested last July during an undercover operation by the city's vice squad.
Prosecutor Adrian Harris said the man and his son had approached the undercover officer whose code name was Sarah and beckoned her over .
He asked "Sarah" how much it would cost for her to have sex with his son and they agreed on a 20 pound fee. However, when the car pulled over, the man was arrested by plainclothes police officers.
"The boy said that they had driven past the girl and his dad pointed to her and said 'will she do?'" Harris said.
"He said 'yes' and they had turned round. He said his dad did this because he was still a virgin and he was taking care of that for him."
Judge Jonathan Teare said he would spare the father jail because of his excellent character and that he believed he did not mean any harm to his son.
There's so much in this short quote to chew on! The father is spared jail because he didn't mean any harm to his son. But the prostitute he picked for his son could have been a fourteen-year old girl, you know. Or a woman who was a victim of sexual trafficking.
Then consider the juxtaposition of this custom of teaching your young sons how to have sex (not completely rare, based on my reading) with the traditional insistence of virginity for teenage girls. There's an adding-up problem in that juxtaposition, and its solution is to introduce the market for paid sex. But then not all women can remain chaste and pure! Rats!
So we get this double standard of sexuality for women: Good girls don't do it, except with their husbands. Bad girls take care of the rest of the needs for sexual release. And the latter must be stigmatized, because otherwise the good girls might prefer to be bad girls themselves! Sexual control of women is more complicated than some simple form of mate-guarding, say.
All that is of course mostly in the past in this country, but those old ideas whisper through our culture and our pretenses, and they often nudge our understanding the way they nudged the judge's comments in the above quote.