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Jessica Wakeman Headshot

Attention, New York Daily News: 7-Year-Olds Don't "Have Sex"

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Caught this New York Daily News headline in my RSS feed over the weekend about the Nixzmary Brown case (a little girl in NYC who died at the hands of her parents' torture) and immediately felt physically ill:


Uh, excuse me? Seven-year-old girls don't "have sex" with grown-ups. They're sexually abused by grownups. They're raped by grownups. But "have sex"? No.

You don't have to be the loved one of a little tyke to be sick to your stomach about news stories that are worded like this. Let's call a rape a rape.

One might say it was the News' source -- the jailhouse snitch -- who phrased it "having sex," but then why doesn't the Daily News' story have quotes in the headline? (At least in this other story, they call it "sex abuse.")

For more information on how sexual assault is covered in the media, Take Back the News does some excellent work on the subject.