Ann Althouse asked the question first. It didn't even occur to me. I just thought of it as more controversy and controversy is like oxygen for a guy like Milo. But I think this will be different.
Over the years a number of male friends —gay and heterosexual—have told me about having been teens initiated into sex by an adult. Maybe a dozen times I've been told such stories. The incident was typically described as a positive one and the attitude towards the adult responsible (and the bulk of the moral responsibility lies with the adult)* was one of gratitude. I'll be blunt and honest, some of these guys struck me as pretty messed up (others I didn't know well enough to say whether they were messed up or not). Was it the early sex that messed them up? Or were they going to be seriously messed up anyway and the early sex with an adult was just one of what was going to be a long string of bad decisions? I have no idea. But I'm pretty certain the early sex didn't help.
No woman has ever told me a story about being a teen having sex with an adult where the adult came off well. Never!
A woman I once dated told me how she had, at the age of 15, very deliberately set out to lose her virginity on a trip out west. She was utterly mercenary about it, describing her virginity as, "Something I had to get rid of." She met an older man on her trip and decided he was going to be the one and set about making it happen. She was absolutely clear that she enticed him into it, that she lied about her age and described the experience as a positive one that she has never regretted but when I asked her about the guy she angrily hissed that he was a bastard and a creep. And she picked him!
We tend not to talk about these things any more. People used to. One story in Alice Munro's masterpiece, Lives of Girls and Women, includes a series of furtive encounters between a teenage girl and an adult male that the girl deliberately sets out to provoke and yet the guy is still portrayed as a shit.
And times have changed. Lives of Girls and Women was written in 1971. There was a book describing sexual initiation from a boy's perspective called In Praise of Older Women written in 1966. I remember seeing a few arty films on the theme in the 1970s. But when In Praise of Older Women was made into a movie in 1978 the subject was starting to be deeply controversial. Since then social tolerance for adult-teen sex has vanished.
And rightly so if you ask me. It's a bad, bad idea. Milo correctly makes a distinction between true pedophilia which is sex with pre-pubescent children and sex with sexually developed teens who aren't emotionally mature but that doesn't get him very far. It's still a crime and rightly so; people below the age of consent shouldn't be having sex with anyone! Not even with other teens! I'll cheerfully admit that the lines are hard to draw clearly. What age exactly is too young? How much of a gap in age is too much? We can't say with any certainty. The law draws a line though and everybody has to abide by that**. And, yes, people do really stupid things and get away with it all the time but that doesn't make it okay. It's still a bad, bad idea.
And it's a bad idea that the current culture has no tolerance for. I don't mean that it should have any tolerance for it—I make the distinction because there are other really bad ideas that the current culture does tolerate. So, yes, it's all over for Milo. He handled radioactive material and there is a price for that. I don't think he realizes it yet but his career is over.
* This sentence was edited. The relevant section originally read "the adult responsible for this crime (and it is a crime)". Since then, I realized that many of the incidents weren't a crime in those days, the age of consent being 14 and there being no law governing adults in positions of authority at the time. Both criminal and moral attitudes on the matter have hardened considerably since the days when I was a teen.
** The law has changed in many jurisdictions. Up until 2008 when it was raised to 16, the age of consent was 14 in Canada. In addition, adults who are in a position of authority towards teens may not have sex with them even if they are over the age of consent (if I remember correctly that has been the case since the late 1980s). There were encounters I knew of in the 1970s and early 1980s, and lots of them, that would be crimes today. In most cases, I think some of the teens involved grew up well-adjusted but the line draw has to err on the side of being too careful.