By Alexis Taylor
Special to the AFRO
Louisiana rapper Torrence “Lil Boosie” Hatch Jr. has set the internet ablaze, leading Black America into a much needed discussion on female sexual predators and the innocence of Black boys.
In what some consider an admission of guilt to crimes against his own children, Hatch used Instagram’s live stream feature to brag about arranging sexual encounters between a “super grown woman” and minors as young as twelve.
“Ask any one of my nephews or my sons,” Hatch states in the video, now trending on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. “That’s how it’s supposed to be.”
Alarmed fans, critics and members of the mental health community disagree.
“It is sexual abuse for a child to have sex with an adult,” said psychotherapist Jocelyn Spriggs Malone of JSM Therapeutic Options. “Sometimes, generational trauma and sexual abuse have been passed down for so long that it can begin to look normal.”
Malone said male victims of sexual assault often don’t realize they’ve been assaulted. The abuse was considered a rite of passage.
A 2018 study from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal states that Black boys are “uniquely at risk for sexual impropriety and statutory rape, primarily via older women and teenage girl female-perpetrators.”
In the study, author Tommy J. Curry says it’s hard to view Black males as sexual assault victims, but the task becomes even harder when the perpetrator is female.
“Male victimization, even when suffered by a child, is often overlooked or rationalized as something different and less violent than what would happen to a young girl.”
A 2016 analysis in the journal of Criminal Justice and Behavior found that a little over two percent of the nation’s reported sex offender population are women. However, victim surveys in the same study put that statistic “six times higher than official data.”
Boys were more apt to report female sex offenders, and they report about 35 percent more than girls who are abused by women.
Curry believes shining a light on the childhood sexual trauma of Black men might better inform society’s theories on the deviant behaviors and “toxic Black masculinity” often assigned to them.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one out of every six boys has experienced sexual abuse. Roughly 25 percent of all adult men affected say the abuse occurred before age ten.
Male sexual abuse includes but is not limited to exposure to pornography, inappropriate touching, rape and forced or coerced penetration.
Dr. Jonathan Schettino, a Baltimore-based psychologist, believes maturity should ultimately decide the age of consent because there are adults with diminished capacity and minors who can be rightly deemed “mature.”
He also noted that children having sex with adults is drastically different from sexual activity among high school teens- especially “at the urging of someone much older.”
“There is a power imbalance and the potential for exploitation. Age is the secondary issue, the power differential is what makes it abusive and dangerous.”
To cope, Schettino told the AFRO that survivors might “create their own narrative.”
“They will say ‘I was in control’ or ‘this was pleasurable.’ That narrative makes them feel better about what happened.”
This can lead to a host of issues later in life.
“Difficulty in romantic and sexual relationships, post traumatic stress disorder, and personality disorders can all be long term outcomes of sexual activity at that age.”
Malone said these difficulties often take her clients over a year of therapy to resolve.
In order to reverse the trend, she told the AFRO we must purposely orchestrate a shift in society- not just Black culture. We must learn to identify and report abuse. We must also begin a healthier conversation with younger generations about sex, boundaries and intimacy.
For more information on how to support male victims of sexual assault, please visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network at RAINN.ORG.