Times are hard. The economy is bad. Gas prices are high ($4 a gallon?!), many are out of work, the housing market is down and depressing, and people are doing anything they can to raise money. And as of today, that officially includes selling virginity.

Felicia Rae McClure, 32, of Salt Lake City was charged Monday with attempting to sell her 13-year-old daughter's virginity for $10,000. She is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.

The man who was going to deflower the girl was presumably an adult, a man named "Don" who had taken her to Victoria's Secret to model lingerie for him. McClure also sent sexy photos of her daughter to another man named Will.

The daughter was initially into the idea (as if a 13-year-old can even consent) and then she changed her mind.

Ordinarily, I would say this is a million levels of wrong because, well, it IS. But under the circumstances, the economy being what it is, I will assume this mother was without job skills. She had her daughter at 19, maybe she never finished school because she had to work to support her.

In these trying times, some turn to extreme couponing while others turn to ... selling their daughter's virginity. Seriously, the whole thing has a rather Les Miserables vibe to it. Except for the part where it's the SICKEST idea ever.

People do a lot of things in bad economies who are desperate. They turn to stealing or selling drugs. Or they become innovative and they figure out a way to make money. JK Rowling was a single mom on welfare when she came up with the idea for Harry Potter, which has made her a billionaire. Desperate times bring out the worst in some and the best in others, but usually they don't make us sell our own children's future happiness.

Seriously, if this woman was so desperate, maybe she could have devised a scheme auctioning her own "virginity." Why her poor daughter? I can think of a few other options I might try for money before I would resort to selling my child's virginity.

I guess I'm a puritan like that. 

The economy is bad, but not that bad. Even the saddest woman in Les Mis knew enough to take care of her child, prostituting herself and selling her necklace and hair before allowing her daughter to go hungry. This woman had a whole lot of other options that could have come before putting a price on her daughter's virginity.

Do you think the economy is to blame for these kinds of bad decisions?

 

Image via futureatlas.com/Flickr