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  • Writer's pictureDr. Tyffani Dent

Boosie Bad Azz and Black Boy Trauma

I am a psychologist who works in the field of sexual violence. In my work with both juveniles who have caused sexual harm and those who have been victims of such (note: these are not always mutually exclusive), I have been on the frontlines of addressing sexual abuse, including the beliefs and practices that keep it going.

As a black psychologist who also centers Black folx in my work, I have been in spaces where Black communal beliefs about sex, who can be victimized, who can be a perpetrator, and body autonomy intersect. Therefore, when I saw the story about Boosie and his hiring people to perform sexual acts on his 12 year-old male CHILD, I was not surprised.

Such behavior is not uncommon in our community or in society

We know that research tells us 1 in 6 men will be sexually assaulted

We also know that this is likely underreported in part because of the normalization of sexual contact between boys and older female teens and women within communities such as my own

In the 2011 Psychology Today article “Talking About Sexually Abused Boys and the Men They Become,” author and psychologist Richard B. Gartner, PhD, reported that “masculine gender expectations” tend to “teach boys they can’t be victims” as one of the main reasons the sexual assault of boys goes unreported.

Just as exists the adultification of Black girls, there is the push for toxic hypersexuality in our black boys.

Both are harmful and abusive

Yet, we fall into this belief that it is acceptable to expose young boys to sexual acts and unwelcomed sexual behaviors as some twisted Rites of Passage

The horror that should exist at the thought of male CHILDREN being encouraged to have sexual contact with older teenage girls or in many cases, adult women, is often lost in the dismissive and (false) comments that

“All boys want oral sex”


“All boys prove their manhood in this way”

Such beliefs imply that our community does not view our male children as

Deserving of being protected

Living in the innocence of childhood crushes or platonic friendships

Or simply being children in all areas of their lives during their childhood

Instead, we sexualize them before they truly know what sex is

We tell them they do not have body agency as we place them in rooms with people they do not know who then sexually abuse them

And we insist that they should like it

In these moments, we are passing on messages that

Your discomfort at sexual contact is something to keep silent

Control over when and with whom you have sexual contact is not your own

Relationships with the opposite sex are inherently sexual

Your body is not sacred

Many will dismiss the experiences of black boys being coerced into sexual contact by their brothers, male cousins, male mentors, fathers, etc , claiming that they “wanted it”

Even when their minds were not developed enough to truly understand the implications

And we will state that “no boys complain”---even though we make it clear that there is no place within our community for their complaints---their perceptions of this as the trauma it is---to be heard or valued

There will be this insistence that putting a 12 year-old girl in a room with an adult male who then performs oral sex on her is abusive, but that it is “different” when the genders are reversed

It is only “different” because we want to make it so

It is only “different” because our community does not deem the innocence of our sons as needing of the “hymen checking” (sigh, thanks TI) of our daughters

Yet we say we love them

This is not the way to show it

Dr. Tyffani is a licensed psychologist. Although her hardest job is being a Black Woman who centers the experiences of Black women and girls, in her clinical work, she has assisted black boys in addressing the trauma of “rites of passage sexual abuse”.

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