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10-year-old boys have been charged with raping an 8 years old girl

  1. Dec 17, 2009 #1

    I found it bit surprising but not much when I read about the similar incidents in the past:


    There was also another story from Britain where young kids assaulted a young girl because she had some issues with one of boy's girlfriend.

    But aren't 10 years old bit too young even to think of these things? I believe their motives for carrying out these crimes are not similar to those of adults.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2009 #2
    Wow. This is quite astonishing. I remember in elementary school (beginning in kindergarden) kissing girls and such, sometimes against their will (ahhhh weird games you play when you're young.) but it never escalated to something I would consider 'rape'. I wonder what exactly had occured... that seems slightly weird for me to say but it's merely for me to understand why exactly 10 year olds are being charged with rape. The second article you posted clearly indicates that a form of sexual assault had taken place since they allude to medical and physical evidence.

    One thing that I find weird is that yes, the girl was a child, but so are the suspects. I do not think that it should be forgotten when these boys are put on trial.

    Something I find more bizarre about children breaking the law are those 'serial-killer' children. They just creep me right out.
  4. Dec 17, 2009 #3
    The information provided is not enough to conclude that it was a rape so I am also having hard time believing that they actually committed rape.

    I wonder if the victim was a male, it would also be classified as a rape.
  5. Dec 17, 2009 #4
    Ah this is true, I never thought about that at first but the article does say '8 year old girl' so.

    EDIT: I noticed in the article it says they are charged with counts of 'attacking a female under the age of 13'; is this what they just call 'statutory rape' in Britain, I don't know..
  6. Dec 17, 2009 #5


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    My friend liked a girl and tried to take her clothes off (not by force) in kindergarten, and he's a pretty typical guy. These boys are not typical.
  7. Dec 17, 2009 #6
    Many children who are sexually abused will preform the same sorts of abuse on other children.
  8. Dec 17, 2009 #7
    Given the age difference, probably yes. (Notwithstanding the fact that it's technically more difficult for a female to rape a male than vice versa.) In the United States, some states have laws that restrict statutory rape to occurrences where the attacker is at least 3 years older than the victim. But with children as young as that, 2 years should provide enough difference in size & physical strength for the victim to be unable to resist the assault.
  9. Dec 17, 2009 #8
    On the second link:
    I usually respect cultures, no matter how weird they are, but this is just the opposite of logical behavior.
  10. Dec 17, 2009 #9


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    It's not the culture at fault; it's the parents' interpretation of their culture.

    Philosophies don't commit crimes; people commit crimes.
  11. Dec 17, 2009 #10
    Hmm Dave, I have to disagree. Culture is not something that is 'interpreted' it just is what it is at the time.

    Culture is just a term used to describe the main ideas, knowledge, and values of a particular society. A lot of African societies view women, girls, as needing to be 'pure'(in a religious sense) and to maintain the ability to grow up to bear many children with their spouse. When a girl is raped many of these peoples view them as spoiled. It really is tragic but it really is part of their culture.

    However if it wasn't a main idea followed by the society and they said 'well it's part of my culture' then it's just wrong; it's not part of their culture. So if the parents did this yet back in their African homeland (I'm pretty sure the report said Liberia?) it wasn't what society that they came from normally did then it is not even part of their culture, it's just what they decided to do. In this case however it is part of their culture and it is wide spread all throughout Africa. A problem with this however is that Liberian culture since their wars has involved rape as almost a normal event. Many Liberians refuse to talk about the problem of rape though, even the community that this girl comes from did not accept the boys confessions, or the medical findings. Instead they say that the American culture is to be blamed for portraying sex all over the place. (They just don't like to admit what happened back in their homeland):
    Many things that are part of African culture when brought to our countries will be viewed as illegal. For instance punishment of children, it is not uncommon for them to beat their children with hard objects such as large sticks, rattan switches, or just plain old belts. Another popular punishment for children is putting hot pepper on to sensitive areas of the childs body... eyes, genitals... anywhere pain will be inflicted.

    It should be noted this isn't only a problem from Liberia but from many African nations. Zambia comes to mind considering the adults there believe that if you have HIV and you have intercourse with a child you will be cured. They also have sex with children who were relatives of a deceased person. The widow has sex with a child relative to 'appease the spirits' of the deceased.
  12. Dec 17, 2009 #11
    Cultures aren't infallible. Some cultures really are that bad. Simply blaming her for getting raped isn't so bad compared to honor killing, where they kill the girl for getting raped and "shaming the family".
    Of course the culture doesn't anthropomorphize and physically kill someone, but that doesn't mean the culture is free from criticism.
    The people are the ones you blame, but the people and the culture both suck.
  13. Dec 18, 2009 #12


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    It's not Nazism that was at fault in WWII; it was Hitler's interpretation of it. It isn't racism that was responsible for the Jim Crow laws; it was people's interpretation of racism.

    Some cultures are abhorrent, period. Some promote human sacrifice, rape, murder, torture, and persecution. There's nothing to "interpret"; a culture IS the sum of a population's "interpretation".
  14. Dec 18, 2009 #13
    And it's not something specific to African societies, either. Try reading the Old Testament. There are all sorts of gems hidden inside, such as one to the effect that if a husband were to find that his wife is not a virgin, he should have her stoned to death.

    Our modern Western society is very unique. It allows some things that most cultures throughout the history found abhorrent (such as premarital sex, atheism, or interracial marriages), and disapproves of many things that most cultures, including our own not too long ago, found natural (such as slavery or corporal punishment). It does not mean that our culture or theirs are abhorrent, it's just that we have different worldviews.

    And who knows, maybe it won't even last. The fertility rate of the western civilization as a whole is well below replacement, and people in Liberia and Zambia still have 6 or more children per marriage. The only reason countries like France and Spain experience population growth is because of the influx from third-world countries. There's a good chance that, 50 years from now, our weird worldview that it's okay to for the kids to be "experimenting sexually", and it's okay for 35-year old women to be single and childless, and it's okay for gays to marry, will be pushed out of existence because all carriers of the worldview will die out, and their lands will be taken over by Liberian immigrants.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  15. Dec 18, 2009 #14
    When someone here says that another culture is abhorrent, I think it can be assumed that they mean that it is seen as abhorrent by their own culture. If you say something like "That doesn't mean they're abhorrent, just different." Then the whole concept of morality and related ideas lose all meaning, as there is obviously no a priori, universal morality.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  16. Dec 18, 2009 #15


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    Morals, like science and mathematics, have progressed over time. People once thought absolute government was desirable. A rational investigation concluded otherwise, and liberty is now one of our core values. People once thought torture was OK. Then it was realized that not only were false confessions being extracted, information blurted out during torture was highly unreliable, and torture came under condemnation. People once had religiousness as their number one moral value. Then came the Renaissance, when they realized the secular Greeks and Romans had scaled heights far beyond those of their immediate Medieval predecessors, and secularism took over.

    It scares the hell out of me that today, so many people think that everything that's part of a "culture" is OK. What happened to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Enlightenment ideas that every Western country adopted with pride?

    There's also a chance of our "weird worldview" that criminals be punished being moved aside in favor of "pour acid on the girl who dishonored our family by being raped". Anyhow, are the Islamic people you know as radical as the people in Iran, Saudi Arabia, or wherever they came from? Emigrants usually have some level of respect for the country they're entering.
  17. Dec 18, 2009 #16
    don't be so judgmental on past societies for their views on sexual purity. they did not have the luxury of modern medicine to prevent the transmission of disease.
  18. Dec 18, 2009 #17
    I would say that a majority of people following these cultural views are African. In which case people who are from 'developed' nations simply do not understand how Africa works. It is not like our societies. We can see this more clearly when we look at it's history along with British rule as well as trying to help those countries become democratic. It is simply not the way they operate over there.

    You think that your culture is better? That's good for you... they think their culture is better.
  19. Dec 18, 2009 #18
    Unless you want to adopt some utilitarian scale on which different cultural takes on morality can be graded, the idea of one culture being "better" than another does not even make any sense unless it is done from the viewpoint of a particular culture. If you attack the ability of people to say that a foreign culture is bad because it permits actions that we see as immoral, then you attack the ability of people to make any moral judgements about anything and then this whole area falls apart. A serial killer has a different mini-cultural sphere built up around himself, so he is not subject to my morality, so I cannot judge him?
  20. Dec 18, 2009 #19
    It's not so much the realization of superiority of modern morals, as a shift from collectivism to individualism. Most traditional societies are collectivist - people have to work together in big groups to survive. In the last couple of centuries we've been moving away from that. Consequently, we're adopting more and more moral perspectives which conform to the idea of "individual freedoms", even if they are questionable or outright bad for the society as a whole. Things such as widespread acceptance of homosexuality, or a shift from extended families, to nuclear families, to single people stuck in a casual-dating loop into their 30's.

    By the way, ancient Greeks weren't that secular. Many advances in science were made by Muslim scientists during the Islamic Golden Age.

    That depends a lot on the circumstances. When emigrants come to the country where their culture is poorly represented, they tend to assimilate quickly. When they come to the country with big pre-existing enclaves of their people, assimilation can stop completely. Los Angeles was a quintessential Western city just a few decades ago. Today, almost a third of all residents don't even speak English.
  21. Dec 18, 2009 #20
    In the District of Columbia a few summers ago, a girl was reported to have been raped in a crowded public swimming pool.
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