Letter: The sex of the older seducer is not the issue

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Chris Maume's article on the difference between male and female seducers of young people proves that it's a heterosexual world ("Why it's different for boys", Real Life, 3 August). With all the certainty of a heterosexual, he elevates his private experience to universal law. Woman good(ish): man bad. Even when he consults experts he doesn't ask the crucial question: what effect has an approach by a man on a younger man? And perhaps more interestingly, what part do expectations and prejudices play in "screwing up" unsuspecting boys so approached?

If he had, he might have been answered with another question: is this young man already struggling to find his place in society, as a young gay person? Many of us who feel we wasted half our potentially sexual and fun-filled years look back and wish we had been sent a bread man of our own to offer an alternative view of the world.

The woman who tried to seduce Mr Maume knew him and had built up trust before pouncing was on the cards. And if 90 per cent of the population is straight and a general indulgence for such behaviour already exists, how could she go wrong?

Let's indulge the bread man for a minute. At best he had a 10 per cent chance of identifying a gay youth and even then what chance did he have? Of overcoming prejudice and a sick stomach, not to mention a propensity elsewhere.

Brutalising experiences are to be regretted, but maybe it's not to the bread man that Mr Maume should look for the causes of the bad bits in his psyche. Then he might accept, as the "experts" to whom he put his heterosexual scenarios said: "It all depends on the circumstances."

Eamon Somers

London W2

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