The first time it happened I thought it was a fluke. How could I not? I was 17, in France for the first time. I was staying with a family. They had friends over who had a twelve year old boy. It was late, I took a bath before going bed. As I stood up to get out of the bathtub, the twelve year old opened the door. He didn't look shocked or even curious. He sighed, I kid you not, and said, "Ah, quelle beauté." I had no particular illusions about his judgement, I think he would've said the same about anyone with breasts and pubic hair. But his statement did surprise me. What aplomb! What nonchalance. At 12, sex and beauty and love (because, of course, the next day he swore he would love me forever) were already high on his list of priorities.
I've seen it over and over again. These guys just come up with this stuff naturally. Half of it, mind you, would be classified as harassement or sexism or political incorrectness in the US, but that's a whole other issue. I personally believe that political correctness has done much more harm than good. But anyway. At work this morning a student made a comment to me, which I'm not even going to post because it doesn't matter and some of you would be shocked and really, that's not the point. The point is, he made it in the most natural and inoffensive way.
I'm friends with French women and men. I swear they don't teach it to their boys. Which leads me to believe it's just a French genetic thing. Which I realize, as a theory, would not hold up under any scientific scrutiny. But it is what it is. The ability to see sex and beauty everywhere. Maybe it's the naked woman on the yogurt commercials, I don't know.