Oral sex should not be taken lightly

By Melissa Bushnick

While I agree with Lee Feder that Genarlow Wilson should not have been sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a minor, I believe that Feder’s dismissal of oral sex as a youthful indiscretion is fairly dangerous. I find it odd that the column refers to oral sex as somewhat trivial with the assumption that it is not as serious as having sexual intercourse. Perhaps to many people it is not. That aside, I think it is important to note that many teens, particularly girls, find themselves engaged in sexual acts that perhaps they don’t feel comfortable with or feel pressured to partake in, yet don’t report it to a parent, teacher, or policeman for fear of getting in trouble, losing a boyfriend, or being ostracized from their friends. These laws are in place to protect minors and though perhaps they may seem too severe, many times they can be helpful to victims reluctant to come forward. My point is that oral sex is not something to be taken lightly, nor is it something that is always consensual or safe. It is not only possible to be forced into performing oral sex, but it is also possible to contract diseases from doing so. While I believe Wilson did not deserve a 10-year prison sentence, I don’t necessarily think the courts are out of touch with reality. Instead, I think that Feder has too much faith in American preteens and teenagers to make safe choices about their sexual health and well-being.