Dear Co-Worker: Joking About Dating a 16 Year Old Girl Is _Not_ Amusing

OK, so I was irritable yesterday. Nevertheless, this is what I would like to say to a 22 year old male co-worker. His continuous jokes about how hot he finds another co-worker’s 16 year old daughter and how much he’d like to date her are not cute, amusing, or funny, at least not to me, at least not the 50th time. To quote Robert Heinlein, it’s a “funny once.” Now, it’s getting to dirty-old-man levels, and not even cute, amusing dirty-old-man. It’s more like pervert in a raincoat.

The three of us have lunch together fairly often, and my co-worker’s daughter seems like a bright, pleasant, fun teenager from what her mother says of her. She seems to have a string of fellows after her, and they seem like pretty decent types. Still, if she knew about this (she doesn’t), I’d be tempted to advise her to give the guy one warning, then a knee to the crotch. As for me, I am getting tempted to call the guy on his behaviour. I suspect if I did he’d say he’s just joking around and say I have no sense of humor. I do, but I don’t find him amusing, and I’m harder to amused when I’m overworked and dealing with someone who’s allowing other people to become overworked (that’s a different rant). I swear, though, I’m also tempted to tell him if he doesn’t cease and desist, I’m telling his girlfriend!

What I’d like to say:
Look, you immature, lazy, twit! It’s not funny! You’re older; you have a job; you work with her mother. While I’ve little doubt the girl’s more mature than you mentally and emotionally, you’ve got no business even joking about hitting on her. Besides, I hope the girl’s got better taste. You’re an adult, at least in years; she’s not. I’d say pick on someone your own age, but I’d worry about the girl’s little sister. :rolleyes:

Thanks. That feels better.
Note to self: maybe I should eat lunch out today.

What’s the age of consent where you are?

I reckon it’s not as bad as if he were 32, for instance, but I’m in the UK where 16 is the age of consent. I still reckon 22 is too old for a 16 year old, mind you.

I’d say mock him. Mock him vigorously. Take the piss out of him. If you want to discourage him, cast doubt on his maturity and good sense - with humour, mind you, not with pursed lips. I think that’s be more appropriate and effective than getting seriously agitated with him.

I think this is the perfect solution. And is quite likely to work if you mock him often enough.

Depends on how old he is, IMO. Since he’s 22, it ain’t that far out of line to desire a 16 year old, as long as he understands that she’s off limits for the next two years and he doesn’t try anything with her. Mind you, it’s still wrong, but not as wrong as desiring sex with a 10 year old.

Have you considered talking to your supervisor about it? That might help. You’d need witnesses to affirm that this isn’t a “he said, she said” situation. Though, given what you’ve said here, that should be no problem. He is, in fact, creating a hostile work environment. I’m no lawyer, but that just might be actionable.

At my workplace, as a single male in his twenties, I was constantly bombarded by female coworkers offering me their 16 year old daughters (not for sex, for a relationship). I’d say “wouldn’t it be a little creepy for someone my age to be dating your daughter?” to which they’d reply “I don’t see why.”

Ah, Kenosha, Wisconsin. The only place in the U.S. where the teen pregnancy rate has increased over the last five years while the national rate has dropped.

A few years ago at work I was in charge of a team of girls from a local high school. They spent a day with me learning basic business analysis functions and were then expected over a week to investigate one of our office procedures with a view to improving it. Before they arrived I sent an email to all the staff telling them the names of the team members, what they would be doing as they wandered around the building and where there “office” was.

Within minutes I began receiving “you lucky dog. Fancy trusting you with a bunch of teenage girls” type replies. So I sent another email to all the staff saying basically “I don’t wish to receive any more lecherous replies to my first email because no matter how much some men wish it, we do not live in a world were teenage girls lust after middle aged officer workers.” I got no more lecherous emails.

The next week when the girls arrived I introduced them around, got gear for them, set them up on the network, settled them in their room and finally went to the toilet. When I reached down to unzip my fly I discovered it had been open the whole time.

Heh, perfect.

don’t ask - <snicker!>

As to the OP, I agree with Tansu. Tease him unmercifully.

And here’s an example of societal mores clashing with the mating instinct. In American society, we have made 18 the legal age of consent, and we jail anyadult who breaks that law by messing with the underaged. It’s a sensible rule to lock up molesters and other perverts, yet it also, as in this case, clashes with our natural instincts.

Our civilzation is only a few thousand years old, but our bodies’ hormonal surges are identical to those of our prehistoric ancestors. In the Ice Age, it made sense for a 22-year-old male in the prime of life to desire a 16-year-old girl who has achieved sexual maturity, because in that long ago world, life often ended in the late 20s or early 30s. If you have a life expectancy of 35, you want to get busy mating as early as possible. Even in relatively recent times, it was not unheard of for older men to marry much younger and presumably more fertile women.

Given our societal mores, it makes sense for the 22-year-old co-worker to shut the hell up, especially in the girl’s mother’s hearing. But we can’t really blame him for looking at a hot girl and feeling the call of his ancestors. I am NOT condoning getting it on with minors; I’m just saying it’s not unnatural to want to mate with a fertile adult (in biological terms, if a girl has achieved menarche, she’s an adult).

I just think we should have the sense to distinguish between a pervert trolling the elementary school playground and a young man lusting after a girl a mere 6 years his junior.

Your co-worker is going to keep on with this joke until someone, preferably the mother, says:

“You know, all joking aside, that might be a good idea!”

That’s what he really wants, but has the good sense not to come right out and say. Hence the frequent bringing up of the topic as a ‘joke’. Obviously it’s a delusion, but that won’t stop him trying.

My advice would be to get in there with the above killer line, then retract it with a deadpan “just joking” once he has gratefully fallen on it. That might be very amusing.

Many states’ age of consent is 16.

Two words: sexual harassment. This guy’s looking to get fired, or sued, or both. Screw teasing him. Tell him to knock it off or you’re going to the boss. And if he keeps going, do it.

Hey! I’d date 16 year old girls! What’s the problem with that?

Oh. Nevermind. :smiley:

If the OP lived in a state in which the age of consent for sex, and for marriage without parental permission, was sixteen, would he still believe the conversation was inappropriate?

IMHO, it shouldn’t make a difference. 16 is too young for a 22 year old. She’s just a kid. (I’m from the UK btw, and the age of consent is 16 here)

I’d have to agree with Gobear here. It’s only a six year difference and they are both physically mature.

If physical maturity were the sole criteria in our society, I would have to say the rant was out of line. But, thankfully, it isn’t So, perhaps the outrage should come from how harrassing he is towards the girl’s mom. His behavior is decidedly low class and somewhat worrisome.

While I wouldn’t brand him a pervert (or “prevert” as Telly Savalas’ character mutters in Capricorn One) yet, I would definitely come down on him as hard as I could based on his harrassing of the family.

In the long run, he may need to be watched. In the short run, maybe he’s just incredibly horny coupled with immature.

So, tell him. I know you don’t usually like confrontation, but this might be the right thing to do for all concerened. Remember, a wound covered over but not treated can get infected.

I’m not disagreeing with your rant, CJ, just qualifying it.

I’m not the OP, but I would consider it inappropriate if a coworker constantly made jokes about going after the adult daughter of another coworker. That the girl in question is a minor and possibly below the age of consent makes the whole thing even more distasteful, but it would be bad enough if she were the same age as the man.

To Siege, I sympathize with your irritation. I’ve often felt I’m one of the only people in the world who fails to see the hilarity in the thought of adults having sex with adolescents! I’m continually surprised by the kinds of horrible jokes people make about teachers “keeping the kids after class” and that kind of thing. It’s really, really not funny.

I wouldn’t condemn someone for merely finding a particular mature teen attractive, but this is the sort of thing that reasonable adults should be able to keep mostly to themselves…especially when there are other factors (like working with the girl’s mom!) making the whole thing socially inappropriate. To go on and on about it or to constantly bring up the subject as a big “joke” is not only rude and in poor taste, it’s plain ol’ creepy.

I know someone, who had a 16 year old girlfriend when he was 23. 5 years later, they got married and by now, they’ve been happily married for 26 years.
I’m talking about my father. I can say that, looking at so many other families, I am extremly lucky with my parents. I would reckon that had he just been some pervert who would seduce an innocent child, it wouldn’t have worked out quite so well.

Just saying…

Wouldn’t matter. The age of consent, the age of the guy, the age of the girl, and the fact that he is saying this to the girl’s mother only serve to exacerbate the situation.

The real problem is that he is discussing his sexual desires at length in a work environment.

Expressing a respectful interest one time to the mother (e.g. “I was wondering if your daughter is seeing someone and what you think about my asking her out?”) is fine. Repeatedly making crude comments about her “hotness” to the mother and other coworkers is gross and IMHO actionable.