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Thread: What Causes Child Sex Abuse?

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    Little Old Lady Madeline's Avatar
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    What Causes Child Sex Abuse?



    10, 15 years ago, I discussed with other interested persons what defect unique to the Catholic Church led to the epidemic of child sex abuse uncovered among its clergy, worldwide. Today, that convo seems absurd to me, as we have sadly discovered the very same pattern in other religious groups, the Boy Scouts, sports programs, juvenile justice programs, etc.

    But I did still think some children were at lower risk, because they were members of wealthy, powerful families. Turns out, this is likewise untrue.

    An elite Connecticut boarding school failed to report years of sexual misconduct between teachers and students to the Department of Children and Families despite a legal obligation to do so a new report says.

    Choate Rosemary Hall, which boasts alumni such as Ivanka Trump, John F. Kennedy, and Michael Douglas, released the report following an internal investigation, publicly revealing allegations of sexual misconduct as far back as the early 1960s before The Choate School, and Rosemary Hall merged.

    No current teachers or students are implicated in the report.

    However, the 48-page document names at least 12 former instructors who allegedly engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior with students. Many of these teachers were allowed to remain on campus to complete the school year or longer tenures as Choate Rosemary Hall kept the allegations of misconduct quiet, according to the report.
    Choate Failed to Report Sexual Misconduct to Authorities for Decades: Report - NBC News

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/13/n...ut-school.html

    Choate is probably the premier, elite boarding school in the country, including among its alumni such luminaries as JFK. But the Boston Globe has previously reported child sex abuse was rampant -- and unreported, unprosecuted, unacknowledged -- at virtually every New England boarding school, which includes most of the traditional education routes for children of the 0.01% in this country.

    Spotlight: Sexual abuse at New England boarding schools - The Boston Globe

    So, I have revised my opinion once again, and now I think only two factors are necessary for child sex abuse to occur on a massive scale, across many victims and long periods of time.

    First, a sense of shame that rapists can rely on to manipulate others into covering up their crimes. The most potentially lethal form of this shame is a flawed belief that if the crime is reported to police and the offender brought to trial, the child will be harmed. But equally damaging is a sense of shame that the public prosecution of a crime occurring in the program, etc. will cause the adults involved to lose face, or the program to fall into disrepute, or the moral authority of the clergy, etc., to be weakened.

    The second factor that predicts child sex abuse is access. These crimes are never committed in front of witnesses who could reasonably be expected to stop the attack. Leaving aside the important topic of incest for the moment, the perpetrator's ability to be alone with the child, usually for hours at a time, is a feature of almost all such cases of massive, long-term abuse involving more than one offender and more than one victim.

    Experts still say, pedophilia and pederasty occur in only about 1% of men (they struggle to even acknowledge women are likewise offenders). Personally, I think this is too low. I think there is a significant percent of men -- more than 10%, maybe more than 25% -- who have enough interest in child sex abuse that they will offend IF the situation seems to them to be very low risk. If not, they won't. These men will never attack a family member, or kidnap a stranger's child, or even collect child porn. But if left alone with a child who will not be believed if that child reports the crime, these men will offend.

    Women probably do offend at lower rates than men on such crimes, because all research to date indicates they offend less often on any crimes against persons. They probably do avoid high-risk crimes to an even greater degree than men, and they probably do offend using different approaches to child victims than men tend to use.

    But as a society, and as parents, grandparents, aunts uncles, etc. we need to open our eyes and think clearly. Where are children isolated from parents in this community? (School, for starters, everywhere in the US.) We have to acknowledge that every such setting is a high risk for child sex abuse UNLESS we openly admit it could happen, and reassure the children that if it is reported, they will be believed and their attackers will be prosecuted.

    Sleepover camp. Little League softball. Boy scouts. "Hanging out" with an older, nonrelative neighbor. Residential treatment programs. Juvenile justice centers. Runaway shelters.

    Etc.

    Every child is at risk, because it turns out, every group of 10 or more adults of either gender almost certainly includes at least one potential offender. This is absolutely not related to class (except that poor children might reasonably be expected to be at higher risk of violent crimes of all types), ethnicity, education, etc. No adult can be presumed to be beyond suspicion. Not even old people -- they rarely commit child sex abuse, but it's not altogether unheard of.

    This thought makes me sick to my stomach. It's as if I turned over a rock to see the real cruelty and depravity of the human race. We're just not a very nice species.

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Experts still say, pedophilia and pederasty occur in only about 1% of men (they struggle to even acknowledge women are likewise offenders). Personally, I think this is too low. I think there is a significant percent of men -- more than 10%, maybe more than 25% -- who have enough interest in child sex abuse that they will offend IF the situation seems to them to be very low risk. If not, they won't. These men will never attack a family member, or kidnap a stranger's child, or even collect child porn. But if left alone with a child who will not be believed if that child reports the crime, these men will offend.
    ...
    Your thoughts?
    Respectfully, I think your percentage estimate is wildly out of line with reality. How did you come to such a range? I would think that if the numbers of child abusers were this high, virtually everyone would have at some time been a victim, many being victim to multiple abusers. There are many more adults than there are children.

    It's an awful tragedy when it happens, but I think you are seeing it bigger that it really is.
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  3. #3
    Little Old Lady Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    Respectfully, I think your percentage estimate is wildly out of line with reality. How did you come to such a range? I would think that if the numbers of child abusers were this high, virtually everyone would have at some time been a victim, many being victim to multiple abusers. There are many more adults than there are children.

    It's an awful tragedy when it happens, but I think you are seeing it bigger that it really is.
    Of the 25% who MIGHT offend, if the circumstances were just right, I don't think more than 2 - 5% actually ever do. I'm not sure of much, as this topic continues to unfold, but I am sure you cannot hire 100 men to teach young children and rely ONLY on background checks, to prevent child sex abuse.

    Or 100 women.

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    Veteran Member Spookycolt's Avatar
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    A couple of thoughts that you are free to disagree with.

    1. This is why many conservatives are against these bathroom laws being passed. It goes directly to your second point of access. It has nothing to do with the LBGT community but the fact that a pedophile will use this law to their advantage.

    2. A second thought is that this is why a woman is more suited to be a stay at home mother then a man of the house. A man being alone with say his daughter, even if he never abuses her, will have a large amount of access to her young friends possibly opening up that opportunity for a man who otherwise would never do this.

    3. I also agree that the human race, and individuals especially, will revert to a lower self of being if not held in check by society. Most people are evil, selfish, and tend to the lowest common denominator if given the chance.
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    Moderator libertariat720's Avatar
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    I think it's a power thing more than being attracted to children. It's a total abuse of power and children are vulnerable prey.

    It's definitely not 25% of men of would do something like that. That is completey wrong in my opinion, but the people who are capable of that will seek out positions where they can exploit their prey.

    1/4 of men are not attracted to children, not even 10%. But, it's not about that. It's about attaining power.
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    Veteran Member Spookycolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by libertariat720 View Post
    I think it's a power thing more than being attracted to children. It's a total abuse of power and children are vulnerable prey.

    It's definitely not 25% of men of would do something like that. That is completey wrong in my opinion, but the people who are capable of that will seek out positions where they can exploit their prey.

    1/4 of men are not attracted to children, not even 10%. But, it's not about that. It's about attaining power.
    I am sure there are many reasons why people do this. Some or all of them could apply.

    It's like why do people steal, different reasons for different folks.
    Thanks from libertariat720

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    Veteran Member cpicturetaker12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post


    10, 15 years ago, I discussed with other interested persons what defect unique to the Catholic Church led to the epidemic of child sex abuse uncovered among its clergy, worldwide. Today, that convo seems absurd to me, as we have sadly discovered the very same pattern in other religious groups, the Boy Scouts, sports programs, juvenile justice programs, etc.

    But I did still think some children were at lower risk, because they were members of wealthy, powerful families. Turns out, this is likewise untrue.



    Choate Failed to Report Sexual Misconduct to Authorities for Decades: Report - NBC News

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/13/n...ut-school.html

    Choate is probably the premier, elite boarding school in the country, including among its alumni such luminaries as JFK. But the Boston Globe has previously reported child sex abuse was rampant -- and unreported, unprosecuted, unacknowledged -- at virtually every New England boarding school, which includes most of the traditional education routes for children of the 0.01% in this country.

    Spotlight: Sexual abuse at New England boarding schools - The Boston Globe

    So, I have revised my opinion once again, and now I think only two factors are necessary for child sex abuse to occur on a massive scale, across many victims and long periods of time.

    First, a sense of shame that rapists can rely on to manipulate others into covering up their crimes. The most potentially lethal form of this shame is a flawed belief that if the crime is reported to police and the offender brought to trial, the child will be harmed. But equally damaging is a sense of shame that the public prosecution of a crime occurring in the program, etc. will cause the adults involved to lose face, or the program to fall into disrepute, or the moral authority of the clergy, etc., to be weakened.

    The second factor that predicts child sex abuse is access. These crimes are never committed in front of witnesses who could reasonably be expected to stop the attack. Leaving aside the important topic of incest for the moment, the perpetrator's ability to be alone with the child, usually for hours at a time, is a feature of almost all such cases of massive, long-term abuse involving more than one offender and more than one victim.

    Experts still say, pedophilia and pederasty occur in only about 1% of men (they struggle to even acknowledge women are likewise offenders). Personally, I think this is too low. I think there is a significant percent of men -- more than 10%, maybe more than 25% -- who have enough interest in child sex abuse that they will offend IF the situation seems to them to be very low risk. If not, they won't. These men will never attack a family member, or kidnap a stranger's child, or even collect child porn. But if left alone with a child who will not be believed if that child reports the crime, these men will offend.

    Women probably do offend at lower rates than men on such crimes, because all research to date indicates they offend less often on any crimes against persons. They probably do avoid high-risk crimes to an even greater degree than men, and they probably do offend using different approaches to child victims than men tend to use.

    But as a society, and as parents, grandparents, aunts uncles, etc. we need to open our eyes and think clearly. Where are children isolated from parents in this community? (School, for starters, everywhere in the US.) We have to acknowledge that every such setting is a high risk for child sex abuse UNLESS we openly admit it could happen, and reassure the children that if it is reported, they will be believed and their attackers will be prosecuted.

    Sleepover camp. Little League softball. Boy scouts. "Hanging out" with an older, nonrelative neighbor. Residential treatment programs. Juvenile justice centers. Runaway shelters.

    Etc.

    Every child is at risk, because it turns out, every group of 10 or more adults of either gender almost certainly includes at least one potential offender. This is absolutely not related to class (except that poor children might reasonably be expected to be at higher risk of violent crimes of all types), ethnicity, education, etc. No adult can be presumed to be beyond suspicion. Not even old people -- they rarely commit child sex abuse, but it's not altogether unheard of.

    This thought makes me sick to my stomach. It's as if I turned over a rock to see the real cruelty and depravity of the human race. We're just not a very nice species.

    Your thoughts?
    I'm not trying to diminish your 2 assertions as they are dead, the obvious, access. There is the obvious manipulation by using shame--that of the child. And FEAR by the way. Not only does the psyche of a child lend itself to being coerced using SHAME, PREDATORS actually tell children that they will kill their mother or their father or a pet or even tell police, I'll tell them you wanted 'this' and they won't believe you or they will take YOU away.

    The dynamic you are missing is CONTROL. The predator gets a rush being able to control the child not to mention keeping himself from being found out. But for some (many?) men, the SHEER CONTROL over this smaller accessible person who can't fight back--IS the turn on.

    As for the 1%, it is ENTIRELY TOO LOW. Actually we know that from KNOWN statistics.
    Last edited by cpicturetaker12; 19th April 2017 at 06:06 PM.
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    Veteran Member Isalexi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    A couple of thoughts that you are free to disagree with.

    1. This is why many conservatives are against these bathroom laws being passed. It goes directly to your second point of access. It has nothing to do with the LBGT community but the fact that a pedophile will use this law to their advantage.

    2. A second thought is that this is why a woman is more suited to be a stay at home mother then a man of the house. A man being alone with say his daughter, even if he never abuses her, will have a large amount of access to her young friends possibly opening up that opportunity for a man who otherwise would never do this.

    3. I also agree that the human race, and individuals especially, will revert to a lower self of being if not held in check by society. Most people are evil, selfish, and tend to the lowest common denominator if given the chance.
    1-Why is a female transgender woman a threat to little girls in bathrooms? It is striaght men who they should be concerned about.
    2- wow...that is an example of keeping a woman "in her place" you really see men as prowling pedophiles
    3- sounds like projection. I don't believe most people are evil
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  9. #9
    Veteran Member Isalexi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by libertariat720 View Post
    I think it's a power thing more than being attracted to children. It's a total abuse of power and children are vulnerable prey.

    It's definitely not 25% of men of would do something like that. That is completey wrong in my opinion, but the people who are capable of that will seek out positions where they can exploit their prey.

    1/4 of men are not attracted to children, not even 10%. But, it's not about that. It's about attaining power.
    That's what rape is....
    Thanks from Friday13

  10. #10
    Moderator libertariat720's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isalexi View Post
    That's what rape is....
    Yep, and this is just my personal theory but I would say that a lot of the child abusers are not in fact pedophiles or particularly physically attracted to their victims. They get off on the power they have over them. It's like a drug to them.

    And a lot of rapes are because of that too.
    Thanks from Madeline

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