In defining manhood, one issue which came to the fore in a research finding was the idea of male sexuality. "Manhood is defined by sexual prowess. It is usually measured by the number of serial or concurrent female sexual partners. A secondary proof of manhood is the number of children which results from this prowess, whether in or outside of the steady relationshops. The sooner manhood is established, the better for a young male's self-image and the sooner parents can stop worrying about this aspect of their sons' maturation.. Therefore,sexual activity for boys begins early, with the discreet knowledge of parents, and sometimes the encouragement of fathers."
"Men generally defended their right to and need for multiple partners;men found it unacceptable for women to have multiple partners for any reason, and punishable. One man said, The woman is not to do everything he does. Some men defend outside sexual liasisons only if they do not substantially interfere with the maintenance of their children. "
Source: "Why man stay so" Tie the Heifer, Lose the Bull
Too often the views expressed in the extract are shared by the males of our society. It is not only an age for which these behaviours carry potentially deadly consequences but these attitudes have bearings on Rape, Incest and Sexual Abuse. In the interest of self, family and society, we can not afford further increases in the HIV/AIDS statistics, the resulting mortality or the disintegration of families, the base of our societies. Manhood need not be defined by phallic manipulation but by the effective maintenance and care for family, love and respect for elders, women and children. This view of women as sexual objects not only robs them of their fundamental rights as individuals but is a disrespect to our mothers, sisters and wives. Furthermore, the pressure of teenagers and parents results in this precoce sexual initiation and the continued view of women as objects.
In a study carried out by the ILO, it was found that in the majority of cases, women's bodies are compared to automobiles and their parts. This is also true of underage persons and young bodies where they are viewed in the same light, as objects that can be appropriated or purchased. This is true both within the context of commercial sexual exploitation or outside of it.
"Those interviewed professed that sex with virgins is higly valued since it combines the pleasure derived from genital contact with an unused woman and the prestige this holds in the eyes of others, which could be described as the eroticization of power. It is regrettably, this line of thinking that justifies and leads men into abuse and the commercial sexual exploitation of underage persons. Men cited the desire to act quickly, avoid wasting time, being in control because they are paying for sex, doing what they would no do with their or girl or having sex with other women as a sign of masculinity as their reason for involvement in the marketing of sexuality.
IN regard to commercial sexual exploitation, despite the fact that these acts are a gross violation of huiman rights, the research showed that there is a high level of telernace towards sex with underage- especially post- pubescent- persons since this is considered intrinsic to man and his rights, regardless of the fact that it invlolves violating those of the boys, girls and adolescents.
The expression "There is no minimum age, just bodies.." is a clear example of the widespread view held by the majority of these men. Added to this belief is the notion of sexual age which is used to argue the case that it is phsical development as opposed to age that makes a young person 'apt' for sex, thereby disregarding their right to be protectedfrom sexual abuse.