Not Every Sexual Assault Starts With A Man And A GunMegan Carpentier12/26/08 1:00pmFiled to: Not in your headSexual assault epidemicRape34EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkLatoya Peterson has a harrowing account of her first (and one hopes only) first-hand experience with sexual assault as well as her second-hand experiences with older boys (and men) sleeping with much-younger girls.AdvertisementI'm not going to try to do justice to Latoya's account of her experience of being sexually assaulted by a much-older friend-of-a-friend who (not very much) later gang-raped another girl about her age. Go, read it. Then come back.Latoya's piece stands as an interesting counterpoint to my contention that statutory rape laws, which criminalize consensual sexual behavior when one participant (usually the woman) is deemed too young to know better, are more or less part of the culture that fetishizes virginity and seeks to "protect" women from their own desires. She makes an interesting, albeit anecdotal, case that many women are coerced physically and/or emotionally into sex with older men that ought to not be attracted to such younger women (or only are because of the coercive nature of the relationship). Those men are — obviously — gross, but is having sex with an emotionally ill-prepared girl (or woman) cause for criminal complaint? Or jail time? I remain unconvinced, though far more grossed out and offended by the men that do it than I was before I read Latoya's piece.