Trying it on, we used to say. This could mean anything from summoning the courage to speak to someone of the opposite sex, to stealing our first kiss. For the adolescents of this life, these are precious and unnerving episodes.
The one thing that is common about the pairing of boys and girls is sexual attraction. In our early years, the emergence of our awareness of our hormonal development is common to us all, but varies in intensity both conditioned by nature and nurture.
We now learn that there are many many, too many, sexual assaults in our schools system, public or private. This saddens us for a number of reasons, that include fear, sexism, and the loss of the romantic ideal. It might be worth examining whether this surge in assaults is a real contemporary difference, or is it a modern and differing view from our evolutionary norm? Who of an older generation, can forget the cartoons of our cave man ancestors, club in hand dragging a female of the species to her fate? Since those times attitudes have changed , and rightly so. Nevertheless these perceptions of male and female were and are real, exemplified by the male heirs to thrones, to the idea of female homemakers.
Going back to the ordinary boy girl connection, then the cartoon ‘club’ still exists albeit metaphorically, namely that males make the first move. Make the first approach, whether its to speak first, to have the courage to ask for a first date, to kiss, to feel the different anatomy of the opposite sex. It is inevitably the agreement, sometimes hesitant, between the parties that defines the permissive bond.
Some would argue that the permissive society, where pornography and violence are perceived as ordinary day to day happenings, has emboldened the male of the species to be less tentative and more self-centered about his sexual gratification, and in so doing is devaluing the bond of the sexes.
There is truth in that the more permissive the society the more the selfish will flourish. If we are males we should still admire the beauty of the opposite sex, it is in our nature. Let us hope that in our nurture, we are brought up to know that affection, love and the physical aspects of our difference, are treasured and respected.