Gay teen sex scandal shocks Ireland

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The Irish press are currently whipping up a soufflé of old fashioned homophobia, sensationalism and thoughtless scare mongering. It all started when a 14-year old boy was caught having sex with older men that he'd met through Gaydar. The boy hails from Swords, an unforgiving suburb on the northside of the city of Dublin. His mother went through his mobile phone messages and found saucy texts from a number of men whose numbers were saved in the phone. She went straight to the local police station and made a complaint. The police launched an investigation and interviewed the boy on a number of occasions. He told detectives that he was in contact with in excess of six men and admitted to sex with at least two but made it clear that it all the liaisons were consensual. [...]

Two men in their 40s - a language lecturer from north county Dublin and a truck driver from Rathfarnham - were arrested and have admitted having sexual relations with the boy but deny they were ever in his house. Unsurprisingly, the ugly scenario has left the boy traumatised, despite the fact that his family claim to be loving and supportive. The lurid headlines, and the ensuing embarrassment for the boy has ensured that he's refusing to co-operate with the police any further. [...]

It shouldn't be forgotten that this would be a non-story in Denmark, France, Greece or Poland, where the age of consent is 15. It would prove even less sensational in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Portugal or Iceland where the age of consent is 14. In Spain you can have gay sex at 13 and in Malta, the age of consent is 12. [...]

No teenager would want their mother reading flirty text messages, nor want to be marched to the police station to discuss their sex life. You wouldn't want to go through that as a confident adult, let alone as a twitching 14-yr-old. [...]

That boy from Sword will suffer long-term damage because anti-gay sentiments are rife in the playground and schools in the UK and Ireland have yet to teach children that it's okay to be gay.

source: Article 'Gay teen sex scandal shocks Ireland'; uk.gay.com/article/5379; GAY.COM UK & Ireland; 5 March 2007