How can you tell if he is really in love? Girls, tweens, teenagers, and even adult women often have different ideas from men about what sex means.
Young girls, sometimes as young as eleven and twelve, often are sought by older boys and men.
The girls may have little education or experience in how to figure out whether these older males are trying to take advantage of them so they can “score” of if they really want to have a relationship.
Young girls can be swept away by the attention, the sweet talk, and the gifts that older boys and men may shower on them. If the older males are sharp dressers, have money in their pockets, and have fancy cars, this makes them that more attractive to young girls.
The girls may think they are in love, that the love is mutual, and sex means that the men are committed to them, will have no other girlfriends, and will stay with them in case of pregnancy.
Many think that if they have sex with these men or older boys, the sex is a sign that the males love them, are committed to them, and want to be with them exclusively.
Girls may not know that many boys and men think that “real men” have as much sex as they can and that they will say or do whatever it takes to persuade girls to have sex with them, including making false promises of love and commitment.
Young girls and older males, then, think about sex in different ways. Young girls have romantic ideas about sex as love while many older boys and men think sex is about having as much of it as they can. They more sex they have, the more of a man they are.
Girls have no idea how to negotiate the sexual parts of relationship so that the men cannot take advantage of them and use them. A favorite “line” is, “If you love me, you will have sex with me.” Girls do not have the education to know that if the men loved them, they would not try to talk them into having sex or into anything else that they do not want to do.
Girls require explicit education about what love between women and men is. While love can mean many different things, a core idea is that love is the active commitment to the welfare of another. Love is gentle. Love is kind. Love means wanting to understand and know what is important to the other.
Girls do not know that they must judge their relationships with men who want sex with them by these ideas. They jump into the arms of older boys and men with the assumption that these males have the same beliefs about love and sex that they do.
In these cases of young girls under sixteen and males who are from three to ten or more years older, sexual contact is a form of child sexual abuse. The girls are unable to give informed consent and the older age of the males represents an imbalance of power in favor of the males.
Just as girls typically have little education about how to know when older males and adults really do love them, so males have little education about love and the unfairness of lying to girls about their intentions. More education about what love is could counteract beliefs and assumptions about frequent sexual activity as the mark of masculinity and manhood.