Friday, October 21, 2016

Startling Reading

As part of my research on a book I am writing about the Consequences of Sexual Abuse of Children (yes, I am trying to get out ahead of an emerging scholarly defense of adults having sex with children, and I don't mean teens), I read this article from Child Abuse and Neglect explaining why psychiatry for most of the 20th century believed child sexual abuse was rare and usually the child seducing an adult:
Among those discredited by this expanding professionalism were the late Victorian churchmen, feminists, and sex reformers who had criticized male sexual behavior and exposed the extent of child sexual abuse. These nonprofessional and uncredentialed women (and some“feminized”men) had presumed to act as subjects who see and describe, rather than functioning as part of the objective field “gazed” upon and defined by the professional experts (Foucault, 1977; Sartre, 1943; Showalter, 1990). In the powerful reaction they inspired, they were redefined (and effectively silenced) as man-hating, frigid, and possibly lesbian“ ‘prudes” who threatened to “desex” society (Jeffreys, 1985;Rush, 1980; Summit, 1988)....
The most ambitious redefinitions involved sexuality itself and were linked to sexual modernism (Robinson, 1976).  Baldly stated, the argument ran that male sexual violence is normal and that its victims secretly invite and enjoy it. Jeffreys has argued that in response to feminist demands that men give up the double standard and subscribe to a single standard of sexual behavior respectful of female needs and preferences, sexual modernists countered with a single standard of behavior that catered to male desires and needs (Jeffreys, 1985)
Of course this is a quote from the Patron Saint of Sexual Liberation, Kinsey, that it is difficult to understand why a child would be upset about "having its genitalia touched... or disturbed at even more specific sexual contacts..." [Erna Olafson and David L. Corwin, "MODERN HISTORY OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AWARENESS: CYCLES OF DISCOVERY AND SUPPRESSION." Child Abuse & Neglect, 17[1993], 7-24.]

3 comments:

Richard said...

One clear need in any research and in legal drafting is to define "child". Is it anyone under 26 (Obamacare), under 23 and in college (some taxes) under 21 (drinking, buying a gun) 18 (smoking, voting, enlisting in the military, owning a gun,other taxes), 14-18 (driving depending on the state and whether you live on a farm). Sexual matters-age of consent- is probably the biggest mess of all. First of all it varies by state. Consensual sex with a 16yo is a crime in Wendover, UT. Move 100 yards to West Wendover, NV and it is completely legal. Second, consent in some states depends not only on the age of the younger party but on the age of the older party and in some cases the age differential between the parties or both. This can lead to some very bizarre legal situations. If the ages and birthdays align the same act by the same people can be legal on Friday, a crime on Saturday and legal again on Sunday.

Richard said...

I forgot about access to abortion and birth control (w/o parental consent) where no one is considered a child.

mollo said...

Thank you so much! Gosh, that's a hard topic to research. Many prayers for you as you dive into this evil.