This is no doubt true in some cases. Thinking back to my childhood, I encountered what would have been called 'inadequates' (sad word), but also good looking young men of 18 or so and dirty old men generally.
This was between the ages of 8 to ten and during the 50s at a time when I was on my own a lot so more vulnerable.
ETA Just to be clear, the young men - one came and sat by me in the cinema and tried to feel me up but I moved and another followed me through a wood, hiding behind a tree watching me at one point and then chased me but I escaped. Very frightening. There are other incidents I could recount but have to go out just now.
I only just read this now but that reminded me of one time when I was a teen walking along a narrow path next to the canal near where I live. I had a feeling someone was following me, although I don't think I ever saw them but I just suddenly got a strong feeling someone was there and I ended up walking a much longer route back home, to go through housing estates rather than the quicker way where there would have been very few people about. It was really weird because I don't think I ever saw anyone but it was one of those times where I had a really strong feeling something wasn't right, I could feel someone was watching me even though I couldn't see them... I don't think im a nutter?! its the only time thats ever happened, maybe if it happened all the time I'd worry(?) lol. It certainly felt quite unnerving at the time... ETA:- I just remembered, recently there was a story about a girl who was walking along another stretch of the canal in a different town and someone tried to attack her but she jumped into the canal and swam off, escaping thankfully! that was clever thinking, although I wouldn't really be able to do that as I can't swim(!).
There was also one time I remember when I took the shortcut alot of kids took to the academy/high school, which means going through a secluded woody area and a boy had a lighter he flicked on and 'kidded' he was going to set my skirt on fire - that was very creepy, I didn't hang around...you don't always know when people are kidding. I feel ive been very lucky to have not had worse happen to me when I think about it. I'm sorry to hear of other peoples experiences