Hillary Clinton and Child Sex Hysteria

 

The modern hysteria over child sex abuse is odd in that although feminists played a major role in raising awareness of sex crimes in the 1970s, there is clearly an anti-feminist element in the mass hysteria that terrorizes little girls against sex. This anti-feminist aspect could easily be blamed on the movement being co-opted by the religious right later (in the 1980s), but sadly there is evidence that a key assumption underlying the early activism against child sex abuse was clearly consistent with patriarchic ideals from the very beginning. Everybody makes mistakes, even feminists, but if we are mentally balanced and mature we learn from our mistakes and try to correct them. Hillary Clinton says she wants to expand rights and opportunities for women and girls, so does that include the right and opportunity for girls to grow up sexually functional? How can she do that unless we all confront and reverse the mass hysteria over child sex abuse?

The most thorough account of the movement against child sex abuse is Nancy Whittier’s detailed description of the rebirth of “child protection” after its original popularity in Victorian times (1). Along with the rediscovery of the sexual exploitation of children in the 1970s there were repeated if not constant references to women’s own feeling of guilt over their early victimization and hence the need to reassure survivors that early abuse was not their fault. But why is such propensity to feel guilty so prominent, if not because women never let go of the traditional ideal of the innocent (i.e. asexual) girl and woman? Worse, far from liberating women from patriarchy, Whittier notes the grassroots activist movement melded with the traditional state agenda to control citizens, with the result of increased law enforcement, expansion of the prison system, and now even post-sentence confinement or registration of sex offenders, and increased surveillance of suspects and anti-sex indoctrination of children – especially girls.

The pre-feminist, traditional view of professional psychologists and the broader society was that child sex abuse (CSA) is rare and not usually catastrophic. But feminist activists in the 1970s decided it was neither rare nor mild in effect. The simplicity and convenience of attributing all your complex problems to a single cause (and a single bad guy) were irresistible. That viewpoint was also attractive to some individual bigots who wanted to demonize men, since in the beginning amateur theorists thought CSA was exclusively men against girls and hence a sinister conspiracy of males to make females submissive. Even when feminists discovered that both women and men sexually abuse boys as well as girls, they believed the majority of cases were men against girls and hence good PR for the broader movement against patriarchy.

One of the many obstacles to logical reflection and rational political activism on CSA was that some “survivors” in the movement tended to have serious personal problems. Early self-help groups declared themselves experts on CSA and prescribed treatment, even though their numbers included some individuals who “seemed overwhelmed and out of control.” They were necessarily more focused on healing themselves than changing the world. Early theorists on CSA repeated the traditional assumption that good little girls are not interested in sex, so men abuse girls to “prepare” and “socialize” them for future submission to unwanted contact.

So there had to be some sinister explanation for so many girls not saying “No!” or “I don’t like this,” or at least “Let’s go to the amusement park instead.” While traditional psychologists claimed little girls naturally try out their seductive skills on older men, some feminists were unwilling to concede any ground on the supposed innocence of girlhood. Particularly thorny was that some women confided having experienced arousal and pleasure during their childhood victimization. How could something so wrong feel so right? Some women felt they needed to defend themselves from the “shameful” suspicion that they wanted to be touched and cooperated in the sexual contact for basic hedonistic motives. So they settled on the excuse: “that was your body, not you.”

Why did some women need to hide or deny that sexual experiences may be pleasurable under certain circumstances, even during childhood? At that time in America it was unthinkable for feminists just like everybody else: a little girl with a dirty mind? Certainly, victims wanted to avoid blame. But as Whittier points out, CSA was seen from an “often lesbian feminist perspective” and responses utilized a “lesbian feminist approach,” so at least some individuals may have had an additional need to justify their personal rejection of men. Some of those individual activists were so – shall we say – selective they couldn’t stand to be in the same room with a man. When self-help groups of former victims met and hugged each other, some individuals preferred that only females were present and hugging. Nobody denies that other political opportunists and profiteers brought their own priorities to the crusade against sexual desire and sexual pleasure in childhood.

Regardless of gender, the crusaders taught that each child’s body is her own, so she has a right not to be touched if she doesn’t want to. Ok, no problem with that. But it follows that each child also has a right to be touched if she wants to, otherwise what does your body being your own have to do with anything? Was it merely a coincidence that denying female sexual desire and pleasure in childhood was wholly consistent with the traditional patriarchic ideal of the asexual female? The traditional ideal of the “innocent” young girl uninterested in sex was hard to reject entirely. The result was surely the same: millions of little girls are being mentally castrated today no less than before they were rescued from the risk of early sex abuse. Mary E. Odem has documented that early laws against statutory rape were often exploited by parents in the courts to control rather than protect “wayward” daughters (2).

In 1970 the Australian Germaine Greer suggested the crux of the problem in the title of her bestseller “The Female Eunuch” (3), but in reality Greer’s book said very little about female sexual dysfunction and even blamed it on the absurd traditional explanation: women’s lack of desire or pleasure results from a failure to achieve true romance. Despite the title of her book and oddly consistent with patriarchy, Greer didn’t identify mental castration in childhood as the likely cause of female sexual dysfunction after puberty (discussed below).

The PR value of violence against women was exploited by Women Against Rape, which identified sex with assault, making no distinction between sex play and violent assault. A father who touches his daughter’s genital area is merely greasing the wheels of patriarchy. WAR declared that no adult should touch a child in an uncomfortable “or” sexual way. Huh? In other words, being touched in a sexual way is unacceptable no matter how comfortable that touch may feel.

Conveniently, the early feminist activists didn’t define sexual “abuse” specifically, let alone define it carefully, so sex abuse was construed so broadly that eventually any and all sexual contact in childhood was demonized, or at least any contact between individuals ≥5 years apart in age, a magic number similar to the sacred contemporary dictum that every female becomes competent to consent on midnight of her 18th birthday. The belief in magic numbers was wholly consistent with the original Victorian crusade to raise the age of consent in Britain from 12 to 16. For a comprehensive review of the 19th Century “purity” and “social hygiene” movements see R. Danielle Egan and Gail Hawkes (4).

There was clearly method in the madness. Rather than specifically acknowledging insensitivity and exploitation as the true crimes against children regardless of the age or gender of those involved, inconveniently widespread even in non-sexual interactions between different age groups, feminists promoted the traditional idea that sexual desire and sexual pleasure are evil in themselves, especially – by coincidence – when fathers and daughters or any other men and girls are involved.

When the movement against CSA was embraced by mainstream society in the 1980s, the original focus on incest and gender changed. Instead of reporting rampant incest within families the mass media focused on more palatable “stranger danger.” At one point the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect stopped reporting pesky data on the relationship of abuser to victim. The politically correct mass media advised “parents” on how to protect “children” from “ adult abusers,” instead of feminists advising women how to protect girls from men.

Was it hysteria? Eventually some people suspected that satanic cults were secretly organizing widespread CSA in order to destroy the civilized Christian world. The threat of Satanism became popular and was even given credence by an article published in Ms. Magazine, so a counter-movement began to defend the falsely accused (collateral damage). Greedy therapists tried to expand the market for treatment (never proven safe or effective by medical standards) by encouraging confused patients to “recover” forgotten memories of childhood abuse, but scientific research promoted by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation soon demonstrated the unreliability of memory and the suggestibility of children, resulting in retractions of accusations and even successful lawsuits against overeager therapists. But few questioned the traditional denial of children’s sexual desire and sexual pleasure.

Recently one activist against CSA, Sharon Lamb, had the courage to question the traditional myth that girls are naturally asexual – especially in childhood (5). She interviewed over 100 girls and women in over 20 states who described their early sexual experiences, mostly in neutral or positive terms. Typically the circumstances were far from ideal, since kids rarely have the benefit of accurate, balanced and comprehensive sex education from the earliest age, let alone models of healthy, sexually functional adults to imitate and be monitored by. But they clearly experienced desire and arousal, and somehow survived to report it.

What about all those pedophiles? Hysteria is a failure to carefully evaluate or even see the many aspects of something and instead focus on only one aspect: usually the worst aspect, what Lenore Skenazy calls worst-first thinking (6). One of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject states that true pedophiles are probably rare, and dangerous pedophiles are probably even rarer (7). Most adults who victimize children (sexually or otherwise) are more accurately classified as psychopaths.

Even without actual sexual contact, a child may feel attracted to a particular adult such as a teacher. Some children are fatherless (or motherless) and suffer greatly because of it. One of my students recently suffered the tragedy of a parent who committed suicide. Every class has at least one student with serious problems at home. Some individuals naturally feel a need to replace a missing parent. It’s shortsighted to say a child should only love her own parents, or that adults should only love their own children. What about a parent who has lost her child, or an adult who has no children, or a grandparent whose own children are grown? Tough luck?

We may commonly observe non-parental care of offspring even across species. Adults of some species of animals sometimes show affectionate care of the young of a completely different species. Humans show affectionate care for the young of other species and nobody marvels at that. Isn’t it clearly hysterical to question and suspect human adults who exhibit affectionate care for someone else’s children? The current paranoia over supposedly widespread “pedophilia” probably hurts innocent children as much as innocent adults.

More concrete evidence of hysteria was the reception of the Rind Study (8), a meta-analysis of 59 unbiased studies that did not support the dogma that CSA is usually seriously harmful. Previous studies of CSA suffered from selection bias by focusing on women who were already in psychotherapy, but Rind et al. avoided such bias by analyzing studies of a group more representative of the general population: college students. Since by the 1990s the belief that CSA is usually seriously harmful had become a dogma, Rind et al. also avoided publication bias by including unpublished doctoral dissertations in their meta-analysis. Rind’s findings and conclusions were not really radical, and should have been welcomed as a relief. But they provoked a firestorm of popular criticism that led to an extraordinary Congressional Vote of Censure of the publisher (the American Psychological Association). More rationally, another study found that child cancer patients are remarkably well-adjusted, but nobody claimed that study should be censured as insensitive to child cancer victims.

The ultimate measure of hysteria is that so many people invest their time, effort and expense in preventing, investigating, or treating CSA while ignoring the causes of the vast majority of child deaths and serious injuries that have nothing to do with sex (9). By the 1980s state governments were targeting child sex abuse more than any other form of child abuse or neglect, and more funding was given to investigators of invisible kiddy porn and child sex abuse law enforcement than to prevention of the most deadly dangers facing children in everyday life. Perceptive observers are confronted almost daily with the spectacle of extremely cautious, supposedly protective adults keeping a sharp lookout for flashers while themselves exposing children to potentially fatal behavior: driving while sleep-deprived (just as deadly as drunk driving), allowing children to ride in vehicles without restraint, swimming in pools without supervision, etc.

There is still a strong incentive for feminists NOT to admit that sex play in childhood is normal (both statistically normative and healthy) rather than necessarily harmful. That admission would not only mean feminists have been wrong about denying and demonizing children’s sexual desire and sexual pleasure for over 30 years. Worse, the belief in a male conspiracy to shame girls and women was clearly paranoid. Was it a conscious conspiracy with fathers instructing their sons: “You have to molest girls so they’ll know their place,” or a compelling, unconscious instinct: it’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it?

There is also good reason to believe that the traditional taboo against sexual contact outside marriage (in this case in childhood) contributes to some girls becoming sexually dysfunctional (10). The evidence for widespread female sexual dysfunction is abundant. In addition to at least two separate surveys in which the majority of women reported some form of sexual dysfunction, Deborah Tolman’s study (11) makes sexual problems among young girls painfully clear, although Tolman prefers the euphemism that some girls today have “silent bodies.”

Rather than stating the obvious, that little girls are not at fault for insensitive and exploitative treatment by adults, we should say that young girls who rebel against sex taboos must be praised for their courage in participating in their own liberation from the traditional taboo against expressing female sexual desire and pleasure even outside patriarchic marriage – especially in childhood when the growing brain needs stimulation to develop healthy clitoral function.

To be perfectly clear: I’m not saying that children should be sexually abused, and I’m not saying that women really want to be raped. I’m not defending pedophiles or sex offenders, and I’m not trying to legitimize or normalize any kind of abuse whatsoever. It’s wrong for anybody to use coercion or threats or otherwise manipulate children to cooperate in sex, just as it’s wrong for the government to control citizens by “persuading” us to obey and support laws and policies that only serve special interest groups. We need to separate “sex” from the true crimes of coercion, deception, insensitivity and exploitation.

Many women today are unnecessarily defensive about female sexual dysfunction. I say “unnecessarily” because sexual dysfunction is not a woman’s fault. Such defensiveness is not going to solve the problem of dysfunction, nor prevent it from occurring again and again in future generations of growing girls. As illustrated beautifully in the classic story of Peter Pan and Wendy Darling, the boy says he doesn’t want to grow up and claims he doesn’t have feelings, but he is actually afraid to grow up and is afraid of his own feelings. Peter obviously does have feelings but he doesn’t understand his own feelings, and ignorance breeds fear.

Hillary Clinton advocates increasing the years of schooling that girls and women complete in order to earn higher incomes, but income inequality is not the reason why the majority of women in America today are sexually dysfunctional.  Feminists recognize internalized oppression, but anti-sex indoctrination goes farther than that in making girls feel that their natural desires are unacceptable and justification for thinking they are bad or sick and should probably hate their body. Instead of terrorizing children against politically incorrect sexual desire and sexual pleasure, what is needed is more comprehensive early education to help children accurately identify what they feel, rather than what adults claim kids are supposed to feel or not supposed to feel, to help kids not feel afraid or guilty.

References

  1. Whittier, Nancy. The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse: Emotion, Social Movements, and the State. Oxford University Press, 2009.
  2. Odem, Mary E. Delinquent Daughters: Protecting and Policing Adolescent Female Sexuality in the United States 1885-1920. University of North Carolina Press, 1995.
  3. Greer, Germaine. The Female Eunuch. Harper Perennial, 2008 (1970).
  4. Egan, Danielle R. and Hawkes, Gail. Theorizing the Sexual Child in Modernity. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
  5. Lamb, Sharon. The Secret Lives of Girls: What Good Girls Really Do – Sex Play, Aggression, and Their Guilt. The Free Press, 2001.
  6. Skenazy, Lenore. Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children. Jossey-Bass, 2009.
  7. Seto, Michael J. Pedophilia and Sexual Offending Against Children: Theory, Assessment, and Intervention. American Psychological Association, 2007.
  8. Rind, Bruce, et al.  A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples (Psychological Bulletin 1998, Vol. 124, No. 1, 22-53). See also Rind et al. The Validity and Appropriateness of Methods, Analyses, and Conclusions in Rind et al. (1998): A Rebuttal of Victimological Critique From Ondersma et al. (2001) and Dallam et al. (2001) (Psychological Bulletin 2001. Vol. 127. No. 6. 734-758). See also: Science versus orthodoxy: Anatomy of the congressional condemnation of a scientific article and reflections on remedies for future ideological attacks. Applied & Preventive Psychology 9:211-225 (2000). Cambridge University Press. https://www.ipce.info/library_2/rbt/science_frame.htm
  9. Adamo, Frank. Real Child Safety (2nd ed.) Foundation for Research and Education on Child Safety, 2014.
  10. Adamo, Frank. Clitoral Erection and Healthy Sexual Function. https://sexhysteria.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/clitoral-erection-and-healthy-sexual-function/
  11. Tolman, Deborah L. Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk About Sexuality. Harvard University Press, 2002.

 

 

 

Posted in child sexual abuse, children, Family, feminism, sex, Uncategorized, women | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bernie Sanders and Democratic Socialism

Senator Sanders is saying some interesting things about the U.S. government that other political candidates would rather not talk about. Wealthy corporations pay little or no taxes, while the poor and middle classes have to finance the cost of government, including foreign wars. Our tax money eventually ends up in the pockets of wealthy corporations that produce arms.

Conservative opponents are justified in objecting that the wealthy corporations are creating wealth as well as creating jobs for some more humble citizens, so the corporations should be entitled to keep and enjoy the wealth they create. That’s perfectly acceptable when we’re talking about adults, but what about the children of the poor? The government has a responsibility to help children obtain essential resources, not just by taxing poor and middle class citizens, but by taxing wealthy corporations as well.

One defender of the establishment recently claimed that the trillions of dollars spent to help the poor over the past 50 years have not reduced the number of people living below the poverty level. But despite those discouraging statistics money provided to poor families contributes to improving their quality of life. When you are poor, even a little help may have a great effect. Crime rates have declined significantly over the past decades, despite the increase in numbers of poor young people who commit the most crimes.

We must acknowledge that the private Rockefeller Foundation financed the research of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, which started the post-war sexual revolution (although that foundation eventually stopped contributing after public opinion turned against Kinsey). The wealthy can do a lot to improve society for everyone. The essential components of a nation are families, which are essentially “socialist.” The question is to what degree should the socialist policies of the family be extended to distant citizens you will probably never meet. As long as every citizen may contribute something to the nation, he should have access to essential resources.

Sen. Sanders says he was against the war in Iraq, but he should be consistent and also oppose any future wars in Syria or Iran, unless our allies in the region are threatened with imminent invasion. Despite the relatively isolated (i.e. safe) geographical position of North America, the U.S. federal government spends more money on defense than education, and gives more financial aid to some tiny allies than all the other countries of the world combined – including our major allies and international trading partners who are already being invaded by millions of single young men claiming to be refugees.

It’s true that government programs are often inefficient and wasteful, even in education. The Bush Administration spent US$6 billion on the misdirected “Reading First” program, which was a failure according to a 2008 study that concluded the program had no measurable effect on reading comprehension. It’s also possible that the Bush program actually had a negative effect on children’s internal motivation to learn, by spending excessive time drilling very young children on boring decoding skills, and maintaining the simplistic traditional concept of learning as merely content delivery: the Franken-School monster.

Socialism has a bad reputation because of the tragic communist experiments that failed in Russia, China, and other countries. But those countries continue to behave like totalitarian police states today despite embracing the free market economy, and the example of contemporary Western Europe indicates that some “socialist” economic policies (e.g. free health care and free education) were not the cause of such past failures. I think that if Sen. Sanders wants to appeal to as many voters as possible, he should emphasize how his administration would protect traditional American freedom and avoid making the same mistakes as the U.S.S.R. and the People’s Republic of Albania.

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Emotional Incest

“She was very controlling, very manipulative. She ruled like a dictator…When I got to high school and learned about [Hitler], I thought, Oh my God, he must be related to my mother.” (1)

Sexual abuse of children is a popular and entertaining topic for many people, but physical abuse is more deadly and emotional abuse is much more frequent. Daughters are particularly vulnerable to emotional abuse by their mothers, and some victims report that the effects of their mother’s emotional abuse were worse than the sexual abuse they also suffered. An old saying in some cultures is: You only have one mother, thank God!

Although sexual abuse is commonly called a “violation” of boundaries, that choice of words is a rhetorical attempt to justify moral blame and legal punishment. In sexual or emotional incest, a more accurate label is confusion of boundaries since the parent doesn’t recognize that the child has a separate mind and may normally have different preferences that contradict the parent’s preferences. The emotionally abusive parent reacts to a child’s different preference as if it is a self-contradiction within the parent’s own mind.

Respecting boundaries means knowing where your territory ends and another person’s territory begins. Ethically, you need the other person’s permission to cross into her territory, and the other person needs your permission to cross into your territory. Some abusive parents don’t merely ignore a child’s boundaries, they deny that the child’s boundaries exist at all.

Ideally, every individual should be free to choose her own boundaries as long as they don’t impinge on another person’s boundaries. Other people may offer suggestions on boundary choice, and may suggest that some boundaries may be rigid while other boundaries may be fluid; but if another person says: “You must choose this boundary for yourself” or “Certain boundaries must be rigid or must be fluid,” we may strongly suspect that the other person dictating such rules has some selfish political, economic, or ideological motive for saying that. Each individual should be free to choose her own boundaries, as well as being free to choose if her chosen boundaries are rigid or fluid.

Abusive parents mistakenly see the child’s dependency as a negation of the child’s unique and independent identity. The dependent child is seen as no more separate from the parent than the parent’s hand or foot. Such parents confuse descendance or resemblance with identity. In reality, even in very close proximity or with the umbilical cord still attached, a child has a separate brain and a unique genetic program. An emotionally abusive parent acts as if the child is a reincarnation of her own youth, conveniently ignoring that this new child has different genes and the new child’s brain is developing in a different environment. Or the parent denies that such differences are significant or relevant.

The classic expression of emotional incest is the jealousy parents feel for their child and their consequent attempt to have exclusive power over a child’s every choice, thought, word and deed. I have argued that the classic problem of jealousy is not inevitable but rather a result of the relatively modern, monogamous “nuclear” family. In an ideal polyamorous family children never learn to be jealous because they don’t see models of jealousy in their home, and they aren’t isolated from other children and adults. Unfortunately, jealousy is clearly rampant today in the tiny nuclear family.

The belief that jealousy is supposedly inevitable has become ingrained in modern Western culture. An elementary lesson every young teacher must learn is to keep proper “distance” between himself and his pupils. Nowadays we think of the risk of accusations of sex abuse, but the policy of proper distance existed long before the contemporary mass hysteria over child sex abuse. One thing a modern parent can’t stand is a child coming home and going on and on about how great her teacher is and how she can’t wait to be with her beloved teacher again tomorrow.

In fairness the average parent hasn’t studied child development and isn’t dedicating her life full-time to making children’s lives richer and happier. Most parents spend the majority of their time earning a living and trying to deal with many other immediate problems they have inherited or created or stumbled into. So unfavorable comparisons between a mediocre parent and a good teacher are quite unwelcome at home. Parents are much happier if a child has no special feelings for her teacher, or even better if a child wishes her teacher could be more like dear old mom.

Grandparents and other relatives are in the same position as teachers. From a parent’s point of view, it’s not fair that the parent has to pay all the boring expenses like rent, utilities, groceries, and medicine, and then some free-wheeling aunt or uncle or idle grandparent comes along and offers to buy the kids toys or take the kids to the circus. One generous grandparent who offered to buy a gift for a child was told by the frustrated parent: Give me the money and I’ll buy it.

I was teaching in a girls’ school in 1990 when the mass hysteria over child sex abuse spread from the U.S. to continental Europe. In the beginning I thought it was funny that any parent would suspect a teacher of wanting to molest his students. In my case I was more likely to strangle the teenage girls in my class than make love to them. But the abstract threat of sexual “stranger danger” is convenient for parents. Any threats that exist outside the home are a perfect excuse to keep kids inside the home and away from any competitors for a child’s admiration and affection. Abusive parents conveniently ignore the statistics that clearly show the vast majority of child deaths and serious injuries are caused by parents rather than strangers. The mass hysteria over stranger danger is merely an excuse to justify isolating children and cover-up a parent’s real, selfish fear: losing exclusive authority and control over her little captive audience.

Isolating children to indulge a parent’s jealousy is a form of emotional abuse that is common and widely accepted nowadays, but it is no less damaging or reprehensible than sexual abuse or neglect. Under the guise of “protecting” children from the risk of spoiling or bad influences, such parents are themselves a bad influence on children. In the U.S. the exaggerated risk of stranger danger has become so popular that parents themselves are being arrested for letting children outdoors unsupervised, and a movement has arisen – Free Range Kids to combat the hysteria.

Human beings are social animals, so isolation is extremely painful for a growing child and is usually just the tip of the iceberg.  Parents most likely to emotionally abuse their child are the ones who have no adult partner and need a child’s company and “loyalty” to ward-off the parent’s own loneliness. Such parents either have low self-esteem and feel insecure and dread rejection, or they have an unrealistic opinion of their own expertise in supervising the child’s education, character development and social skills. The emotionally abusive parent thinks she is a jack-of-all-trades who doesn’t need any “outside interference” in her child’s life. In other words, a child is typically isolated by the worst possible parent.

In some cases a single parent isolates the child and then neglects her. I have witnessed a child make a comment and her parent simply doesn’t respond. After a reasonable pause the child makes a follow-up comment, and the parent doesn’t respond again. It may be that a parent is so incompetent she doesn’t know how to respond and doesn’t have enough self-esteem to say “I don’t know” or “I’m too exhausted to talk right now.” Or it may be that the parent doesn’t really want to be with the child, so by not responding in effect the parent isn’t there. The child is left wondering if she is hopelessly boring or completely worthless. That is a kind of emotional abuse just as bad as helicopter parenting.

Jealousy, forced isolation and neglect are certainly the most common expressions of emotional abuse today, but there are other ways that parents emotionally abuse children. A parent may actively shame a child’s sexual curiosity and natural lack of inhibition, or a parent may passively neglect to answer a child’s sexual questions and thereby model the parent’s own toxic shame. Regardless of the parent’s motivations, the effect in both cases is likely to be the child’s mental castration and eventual sexual dysfunction. A division of labor is useful in parenting as in most other kinds of work, and a parent should be competent in the kind of work she has to do. If a mother was mentally castrated by her parents when she was a little girl and is now sexually dysfunctional, she should not be supervising her own children’s sex education or anybody else’s.

Before a parent appoints herself supervisor of her child’s sex education the parent should ask herself: When she was a child did she enjoy the benefit of accurate, balanced, and comprehensive sex education, or was her sexual development neglected? Was she allowed to fondle herself whenever she wanted or was she made to feel guilty about her natural genital sensations? Does she still experience normal and healthy clitoral erections as every little girl does, or is her body now silent? A responsible parent feels overjoyed by her child’s healthy genital function, not jealous and resentful.

In reality child development is not an exact science, so in theory parents should be free to raise children as they see fit and vary from current fashions of political correctness if they prefer. However, ideally all children should learn that they too are free and may communicate with anyone about anything, including and especially if they disagree with their parent’s opinions and wish to protest their parents’ behavior. Not as an opportunity for government authorities to impose politically correct preferences on parents, but as an opportunity for parents to dialogue with other adults in the community and receive constructive feedback.

Traditionally, women play the role of the weak, innocent, childlike saint who can do no wrong and is always above suspicion. So whenever a mother does something clearly wrong it’s easier to blame the husband, father, brother or some other male. Some victims of child sex abuse confide to their therapists that they initially accused their father of being the perpetrator, when in reality it was the mother.

Some emotionally abusive mothers are not blameworthy, because they are deeply disturbed. Another daughter/victim described her mother this way: “She would call me from phone booths when I was a child to say that she had slit her wrist and that she was at a phone booth, that she was about to bleed to death.” (Ibid). In such cases serious psychiatric intervention is called for. I focus responsibility on the mothers who are otherwise fairly normal, not basket cases, although there may be many more deeply disturbed mothers out there who avoid detection because of the traditional parental privilege of isolating children and terrorizing their children into silence.

Selling treatment for sexual or emotional abuse is a big business, even though there is no evidence that any such treatment method is safe or effective by medical standards. Some therapists exploit confused victims of abuse by hiding the lack of evidence, while claiming that just as the child is helpless and not responsible for the abuse, so is the therapist helpless and not responsible for the cure. The victim/patient must “take responsibility for her own recovery.” Nonetheless, if any abuse victim refuses to experiment by trying unproven treatment, it’s a sign of weakness and lack of courage!

Rather than waste time and money on ineffective and possibly dangerous quacks and charlatans treating abuse after-the-fact, I suggest that parents and especially mothers should try to prevent emotional incest by allowing children their own identity and providing even very young children with the freedom to develop their own personality and preferences. Children today have to face a world of information that is very different from the world parents grew up in.

Reference

  1. Quoted in Beverly A. Ogilvie’s “Mother-Daughter Incest.” (Haworth Press, 2004.) Although I don’t doubt that some mothers do sexually abuse their daughters, and this book is purportedly about sexual abuse, almost all of the abuse described in the book is clearly emotional, not sexual.
Posted in child sexual abuse, children, parenting, sex, sex education, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sally Mann’s Heroic Family

Every parent experiences her child’s naked body exposed sometimes, but few parents photograph the experience, and rarely does a parent exhibit such photographs publicly. One courageous mother who did, Sally Mann, became famous and earned the respect and admiration of many other parents and photographers. Her three children are now grown, having survived the silly controversy over their mother’s work, and we now have the precious benefit of hindsight in their mother’s fascinating memoir: “Hold Still” (1).

There is much bad news for Sally Mann’s enthusiastic critics. It turns out that Mrs. Mann isn’t merely a serious photographer, she’s a good writer and a profound thinker as well. On top of that, she comes from a rather distinguished family whose history would be worth reading in itself even if she had never picked up a camera. I wonder how many of her superficial critics can say that much about themselves. Sally Mann’s real “crime” was not that she exploited her children (the reason most normal people become parents), but that unlike most parents she had the courage to challenge religious tradition by “uncovering her children’s nakedness.”

In 1998 I was browsing in the Barnes and Noble’s bookstore on 18th Street and Broadway in Manhattan, when I came across Sally’s book “Immediate Family” (2), which featured photographs of her three small children posing nude in everyday life around the family farm in Virginia. The book on display also featured some pages torn by (apparently) some confused and disgruntled crusader for body shame.

The petty vandalism in a New York bookshop surprised me, because I had been living in Europe for the previous nine years so I had only briefly heard about Sally’s work and the ensuing controversy. In Europe an image of a top-free 11-year-old girl was used as an album cover (3), and books by British photographer David Hamilton (4), and the Swiss sex education book “Show Me!” (5) also featured images of nude children, but they never suffered any such attacks as far as I knew. Hamilton’s books included romanticized images of young girls that were closer to what might be called erotic art, and “Show Me!” included images of little boys with genital erections and little girls reaching out to touch them. None of these images seemed inappropriate to me, and if some Europeans thought they were inappropriate they didn’t feel their belief gave them the right to damage somebody else’s property or attempt to censor everybody who disagrees with their opinions.

“Hold Still” is the story behind the story, describing Sally Mann’s life from her own childhood to the present (she’s now over 60), as well as offering some fascinating stories about her own parents and ancestors. There is a wealth of information about her experiences but I was disappointed that the book doesn’t say much about the kids’ lives. The book doesn’t say anything about her children’s sexual development and their early sexual education, if any. That’s none of anybody’s business? Neither is anything about her children or her relationships with them. So a report or at least mention of what kind of sex education little Emmett, Jessie and Virginia had – if any – is conspicuous by its absence.

In the BBC series “The Genius of Photography” (6) Sally said photographing her children deepened, complicated and strengthened her interactions with her children. But we aren’t told the details of how their interactions changed or improved. Most of “Hold Sill” is about Sally Mann’s own life and the possible hereditary influences from her forbears. She says her father (a country doctor) and mother didn’t lavish a lot of attention on her or her older brothers. Sally says when she was growing up hers was not a family that touched. “There was no kissing” and even verbal expressions of love were largely absent. “I never heard the words ‘I love you.'” Her father was a dog lover, and as with many pet lovers he did express great love for his animals. One of his beloved dogs slept in the same bed with him, but little Sally was banished to her own bed. Little Sally was cared for primarily by her black nanny Gee Gee, who did take good care of the child, but probably couldn’t and didn’t satisfy little Sally’s need for physical affection.

At a time when doctors were awakened during the night to go out on house calls, little Sally’s father probably didn’t have much free time for his children. But Sally does mention that her dad used to read her the comics regularly before she learned to read herself, took her for rides in his expensive cars, and he carefully recorded the dates on her childhood artwork. Sally was a beautiful child herself, and her dad took pictures of her with his old Leica. A letter he wrote to little Sally was signed “Lots of love to you, Daddy.” I wonder if one reason Sally’s dad often appeared somewhat cold is because Sally’s mom – whose relationship with her daughter was strained and sometimes infuriating – might have demanded “proper distance” between dad and daughter, as is common in modern families.

The author describes a letter she once wrote to her father praising his exceptionally kind treatment of black people, but after mailing it she realized that what she had written was essentially a “love letter” to her father. She tried to get the letter back before it was delivered but she was unsuccessful. When her father receives the letter his reaction is described in some detail.

What about Sally’s famous children? They were the subjects of the controversial photographs, but they are minor characters in this memoir. There are no such intimate glimpses of the emotional lives of her own children and their interaction with each other or with Sally and their father. That focus on herself rather than the kids sounds like a primary purpose of this memoir is self-defense. The reader is being reassured that Sally is  a clear-headed and responsible person, not a sex maniac, pedophile, or merely confused and reckless like her critics. But unfortunately the avoidance of discussing intimacy and sex education has the effect of implicitly validating the traditional belief that sex is bad, dirty, etc. so kids need to be protected from it.

Interest in photography is normal but I wonder if Sally’s intense passion for photography was partly influenced by the crisis many women experienced growing up in the 1960s and 1970s. Feminists were saying that being a mother and housewife is boring. In order to feel truly fulfilled a woman needs to do more, such as attend university, work outside the home, or be an artist. The pedophobic tone of that viewpoint is deeply disturbing to me. What could be more fulfilling than being a good parent? But like many women of her time (and after), Sally apparently needed to be more than “merely” a good parent. A mystery is why Sally chose photography to satisfy the feminist ideal of the politically correct modern woman.

Hopefully someday Sally’s kids will write a much more important memoir about their own experience of growing up in the modern, liberal Mann household, and their relationships with their controversial mother. Being photographed nude was probably not the center of their lives, and even becoming famous and controversial was probably not some overwhelming influence on their lives. Theirs was an unusual family, with a very courageous and creative mother. That’s the most interesting part of the story to me, but it might not be the most significant thing to the children. No parent is perfect, but I hope the kids now realize that their mother’s family photographs have broad cultural significance and possibly continuing value in combating the Western tradition of promoting body shame.

Although nudists commonly deny that nudity has anything to do with sex or the sexual revolution, it’s hard to deny that by “nudity” what everyone really means is exposure of the sexual organs. Since the vagina is internal and the tip of the clitoris protruding erect is only visible when a girl’s legs are spread apart, in effect images of Sally daughters were never taken (or exhibited) with their genital organs exposed. Nonetheless, even photographs of her unclothed little daughters with their legs together upset a lot of confused people. None of the published images even center on the children’s genital area. Although the children’s nudity around their home was common, there is no indication that the Manns might have been social nudists who visited naturist/nudist resorts where other families are nude as is more common in Europe.

A 1950s photography book that influenced Sally was “The Family of Man” (7), which included an image of an unclothed child seen from behind. The follow-up volume “The Family of Woman” (8) included an image of an unclothed young girl posing in “full frontal” nudity, but Sally doesn’t mention that second volume. Neither of those books were highly controversial, in part because their subjects weren’t primarily nude children, and in part due to the different period of their publication – before the hysteria surrounding daycare centers in the 1980s. In contrast, Sally’s family work was published when the mass hysteria over child sex abuse was well-established around 1990. Although Sally says she was only vaguely aware of the hysteria and was taken by surprise when her work was attacked on supposedly moral grounds, her publisher must have known and expected it. Didn’t Sally’s publisher inform her in advance? Ironically, by denying any suggestion that she deliberately risked notoriety she detracts from the heroic quality of her work.

Sally’s individual photographs of her children are not extraordinary works of beautiful art. They are documentary-style glimpses of everyday life. The technical quality of the images is great – much higher than the average photographer – and each image can stand on its own, but the priceless value of her family work is the portrait of her family that the whole group of images together offer. Do the published images provide an accurate, balanced, and comprehensive portrait of the Mann family? Probably not. Hence, it’s safer to call Sally’s work “art” rather than documentary.

Like her controversial contemporary, Jock Sturges (9), Sally used a large format camera, which is slow and cumbersome for such fast and furious subjects as children. I love large format film myself, and used it for some of the images in my own photo-documentary Girl Becomes Woman but a smaller and more portable 35mm camera with autofocus is more practical for photographing children. If Sally’s kids ever resented being photographed, it’s probably not because they were photographed nude, but because they were photographed at all using such slow and cumbersome methods.

All in all, “Hold Still” is a good book, much more satisfying than the previous film “What Remains: the Life and Work of Sally Mann” (10). But the story is still incomplete. We need to hear the voices of Sally’s children. One of her daughters, Jessie, was interviewed by the photography journal, Aperture, when she was 18, but the interview was too brief. I’m sure there is much more to be told about this fascinating and heroic family, especially from the children’s point of view.

References

  1. Mann, Sally. Hold Sill: a Memoir with Photographs. Little, Brown, 2015.
  2. Mann, Sally. Immediate Family. Aperture Foundation, 1992.
  3. Blind Faith. Polydor Records, 1969.
  4. Hamilton, David. The Age of Innocence. Aurum Press, 1992.
  5. Fleischhauer-Hardt, Helga (text), McBride, Will (photography). Show Me! A Picture Book of Sex for Children and Adults. St. Martin’s Press, 1975.
  6. Kirby, Tim (Director). The Genius of Photography: How Photography has Changed our Lives. BBC, 2009.
  7. Museum of Modern Art. The Family of Man. 1955.
  8. Mason, Jerry Ed. The Family of Woman. Penguin, 1979.
  9. Sturges, Jock. Radiant Identities. Aperture, 1994.
  10. Cantor, Steven (Director). What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann. Zeitgeist Video, 2006.
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Why Some Parents are Afraid of Bare-Chestedness

Good analysis and great advice.

Nudie News

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I have spent a lot of time studying fear and anxiety, generally and how it relates to normalizing female bare-chestedness. I traveled to New Hamphire this week to attend the trial of the women who asked to be cited after police officers asked them to cover their breasts at a Gilford town beach. Two witnesses testified […]

from https://breastsarehealthy.wordpress.com/2016/01/01/why-some-parents-are-afraid-of-bare-chestedness/

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2015 in review

Statistics for 2015 seem to show a slight decrease in visitors, despite the slight increase in quality of my recent posts! The most-viewed posts were still those from previous years.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Clitoral Erection and Healthy Sexual Function

Introduction

Female sexual dysfunction is commonly considered a psychogenic condition and is commonly believed to be temporary and potentially treatable by psychodynamic therapy. However, Goldstien and Berman (1) have written about what they call clitoral erectile insufficiency, referring to a local vascular condition in some women that is potentially treatable through pharmacological intervention. “There is a growing body of evidence that women with sexual dysfunction will commonly have physiologic abnormalities, such as vasculogenic female sexual dysfunction, contributing to their overall sexual health problems.” In 2012 I proposed a neurological aspect of the absence of clitoral erection in some women that is probably permanent and untreatable. However, such neurological impairment may be easily preventable during early brain development, through adequate genital self-stimulation long before the massive neural pruning of puberty. I also proposed the label Clitoral Erectile Dysfunction as more specifically descriptive of the most obvious functional effect of that neurological impairment (2). In the present paper I clarify my hypothesis and confront some possible criticism.

Background

In some cultures physical mutilation of the tip of the clitoris by cutting or burning have been widely practiced, and in view of the history of religious hostility against sexual desire and sexual pleasure in the West, we may say that mental castration of girls and women is also widespread here and now. It’s not surprising that many Western women report some form of sexual dysfunction. In various surveys in the U.S.A (3), a majority of women who were surveyed self-reported sexual dysfunction, e.g. they never or almost never experience orgasm during normal genital intercourse. Due to the unfortunate tendency to blame oneself and feel ashamed, equally unsurprising is that many women deny the existence of clitoral erection, or claim that clitoral erection is unnecessary or unimportant, or admit faking orgasm only for convenience rather than to hide any inability to reach orgasm without the aid of a medical device popularly called a “vibrator.”

Genital Erection

Many parents know that normal little boys experience frequent genital erections, either spontaneously or due to manual self-stimulation. My own observations of children at naturist (nudist) resorts in several countries have revealed that genital erections are just as common in little girls as in little boys. Long before puberty the tip of the immature clitoris often protrudes erect up to 5cm (2in), with the hood suspended from it like a curtain. Even when fully clothed and not visible, if a little girl straddles my knee I can sometimes feel the erect tip of the clitoris protrude and press against my knee like a very firm fingertip.

But clitoral erections seem to disappear after puberty and are rare in adult women, at least nowadays in the West. Most women and men I speak to about clitoral erections seem baffled. Despite Masters and Johnson’s reports of clitoral erections they detected (4), many women and men today are unaware that clitoral erections exist or are possible. Although both boys and girls are subject to “inhibition” by parents, it’s possible that such shame-training is more severe for girls, or simply more effective due to the cultural double standard. My hypothesis is that in some cases healthy clitoral erectile function atrophies during the massive neural pruning around puberty due to parental prohibition of childhood masturbation and sex play, and this is not merely a psychogenic problem but a neurological injury. There is some evidence of brain differences that develop in boys and girls: Between age four and puberty the interstitial nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus become larger in males compared to females, probably due to apoptosis (neuronal cell death) in females (5). Although the cause and functional significance of that finding is unclear, it is consistent with my hypothesis that girls who suffer a lack of stimulation during development have in effect suffered brain injury.

Physiology of Clitoral Erectile Dysfunction

Neural atrophy due to lack of stimulation during development is a well-accepted mechanism in brain development. The classic case is vision: if an eye is covered during development the animal becomes blind in that eye. There is not much wrong with the eye itself, but the relative brain areas that process signals from that eye atrophy due to lack of stimulation. “The fine-tuning of circuits in sensory cortex requires sensory experience during an early critical period. Visual deprivation during the critical period has catastrophic effects on visual function, including loss of visual responsiveness to the deprived eye1,2,3 reduced visual acuity4, and loss of tuning to many stimulus characteristics2,5” (6).

That is why newborns are examined for cataracts: if cataracts in an eye aren’t diagnosed and removed early the baby won’t develop binocular vision. Removing the cataracts later will be too late for normal brain development. The same principle is recognized for hearing and language, and these functions are all processed by the same part of the brain responsible for genital erection: the cerebral cortex (7). Although experimental evidence for this mechanism is with laboratory animals, I know of no dispute over the assumption that such a mechanism probably also exists in humans. I doubt that any responsible adult would suggest it’s Ok to prevent a child from exercising her legs until puberty, because the child will probably become a good walker anyway if she begins exercising her legs only at age 12 or 13. This is not a question of developing muscle tone, but rather early development of the respective brain areas that control the functions of each organ of the body.

Even a federal government website acknowledges this mechanism, although not specifically regarding sexual function: “The more babies are exposed to people speaking, the stronger their related synapses become. If the appropriate exposure does not happen, the pathways developed in anticipation may be discarded. This is sometimes referred to as the concept of ‘use it or lose it.’ It is through these processes of creating, strengthening, and discarding synapses that our brains adapt to our unique environment… Researchers believe that there are sensitive periods for development of certain capabilities. These refer to windows of time in the developmental process when certain parts of the brain may be most susceptible to particular experiences. Animal studies have shed light on sensitive periods… It is more difficult to study human sensitive periods. But we know that, if certain synapses and neuronal pathways are not repeatedly activated, they may be discarded, and the capabilities they promised may be diminished.” (8).

It’s also possible that early neglect may result in some local tissue damage, such as reduced vascularization and blood flow to clitoral cells, local ischemia, and stunted growth of the clitoris. There are some reports of genital erection occurring even after the spinal cord is severed (9), but only in patients whose erectile function was previously normal. Neural plasticity offers hope for regaining organ function lost due to disease or sudden injury to the brain, but again only in patients whose organ function was previously intact. I know of no women whose erectile dysfunction early in life eventually developed in adulthood. For these reasons I suspect that in some cases clitoral erectile dysfunction is probably permanent and untreatable.

Prevention

I experienced repeated genital stimulation during early childhood (10), and I’ve continued to experience frequent erections (spontaneous and not) beyond puberty and into adulthood and old age. Contrary to popular fears, my early genital stimulation did not interfere with my otherwise normal development in other respects (11). In my younger years I was able to throb my penis to erection voluntarily. Much of human behavior that is apparently reflexive or involuntary in infancy, such as sucking, becomes voluntary later. Why shouldn’t genital erection also become voluntary in healthy individuals? In individuals with less developed genital function, erection seems to require considerable arousal, and according to my hypothesis they were probably insufficiently stimulated during early brain development before puberty.

What does penile erection have to do with clitoral erection? Some critics may object that genital erection is necessary for reproductive success in males but not in females. However, erection facilitates orgasm, and the anticipation of orgasm certainly contributes to sexual motivation or “desire,” as well as facilitating conception and contributing to a female’s quality of life. Researchers have found that females experience orgasm in other species of primates, so there is apparently evolutionary value to female orgasm.

Obstacles to Research

The cultural taboo against questioning the traditional sexual “inhibition” of children, especially any suggestion that childhood masturbation and sex play should be allowed or encouraged for any reason, leads to some alternative and bizarre attempts to explain female sexual dysfunction. One author has claimed that the reason many women have difficulty achieving orgasm during normal intercourse is because the clitoris is in the “wrong place” (12). Another author has claimed that since women don’t always have orgasm during intercourse, this “…must be seen as a design flaw” (13). I’m afraid the latter author is claiming a design flaw in anatomy or physiology, not a flaw in culture or education that leads to neural atrophy. There has also been well-intentioned criticism of attempts to medicalize all sexual problems in women (14), but in the case of clitoral erectile dysfunction I’m afraid such criticism would be misplaced. If my hypothesis is correct, we certainly don’t want to condone the continuing mental castration of millions of girls generation after generation.

In the past it was believed that “overstimulation” is a danger in early life, so children have been overprotected from self-masturbation and sex play with other children. Even premature babies used to be isolated to protect them from “stress,” but research has now demonstrated the contrary: the intense stimulation of touch and massage or “kangaroo care” of premature infants results in earlier discharge from intensive care. There are many things about the development of the child’s brain that we don’t understand. For example, although very young children usually love a gentle massage, they seem to go through a stage when they prefer to have their skin gently tickled. They are fascinated by the sensation of gentle tickling and like to feel it over and over again. It’s reasonable to guess that such stimulation serves some purpose in the development of the relative brain areas that control skin sensation. I certainly don’t like that sensation when anybody does it to me, but my relative brain areas that control skin sensation stopped developing a long time ago. The very concept of genital “overstimulation” of children lacks clarity and should require experimental validation rather than taking that supposed danger for granted (15).

An earlier version of this paper was published on my blog in 2012, and despite about 4,500 views so far it is interesting that the reaction of male and female readers up to now has been virtually complete silence. Although nobody wants to publicly acknowledge that my hypothesis is plausible, nor is anybody criticizing it. That should make us all wonder.

Testing the Hypothesis

This hypothesis could be disconfirmed by surveying women who report the presence or absence of clitoral erection in adulthood, and inquiring how permissive their parents were about childhood masturbation and sex play before puberty, to look for a correlation. Recognizing the limitations of retrospective self-report and correlation, preliminary studies should serve to at least draw attention to the question. It’s also possible that future researchers may detect differences in measurable genital vibratory perception thresholds in women who experienced more or less inhibition during their early development.

References:

1. Goldstien, I, and Berman, JR. Vasculogenic female sexual dysfunction: vaginal engorgement and clitoral erectile insufficiency syndromes. Int J Impot Res. 1998 May;10 Suppl 2:S84-90; discussion S98-101. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9647967

  1. https://sexhysteria.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/clitoral-erectile-dysfunction/

  2. Sammy Elsamra, Michael Nazmy, David Shin, Harry Fisch, Ihor Sawczuk, Debra Fromer. Female sexual dysfunction in urological patients: findings from a major metropolitan area in the USA. BJU International, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2009.09091.x. Another survey: 60% of women never or almost never experience orgasm during intercourse. Cited in: Kamisaruk, Barry R. et al. 2006. The Science of Orgasm. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, p. 17.  See also: Laumann E,  Paik A,  Rosen R . Sexual dysfunction in the United States: prevalence and predictors. JAMA 1999;281: 537–544

  3. Masters, WH and Johnson, VE. Human Sexual Response. ISHI, 2010.

  4. Swaab, D.F., & Fliers, E. 1985. A sexually dimorphic nucleus in the human brain. Science228:1112-1115.

  5. Arianna Maffei1, Kiran Nataraj1, Sacha B. Nelson1 & Gina G. Turrigiano1. Potentiation of cortical inhibition by visual deprivation. Nature 443, 81-84 (7 September 2006).

  6. Jack Ende. Organic Impotence. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Boston: Butterworths; Chapter 187. 1990. See also: Yasin Temel1,*, Sepehr Hafizi2, Sonny Tan1, Veerle Visser-Vandewalle1  2006. Asian Journal of Andrology. “Evidence suggests that the most important structures [in penile erection] are the frontal lobe [of the cerebral cortex] , cingulate gyrus, amygdala, thalamus and hypothalamus.” Another author has written that sacral (pelvic) parasympathetic (involuntary) nerves that produce erection “originate in the brain – in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus…”  Komisaruk, et al. op cit. p. 36

  7. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/issue_briefs/brain_development/

  8. Guyton, Arthur C. and Hall, John E. Textbook of Medical Physiology, 11th ed. Saunders, 2005.

  9. https://sexhysteria.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/learning-about-love/

  10. https://sexhysteria.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/sex-in-school/

  11.  Maines, Rachel P. 2001. The Technology of Orgasm: Hysteria, the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

  12.  Lloyd, E.A. 2005. The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  13.  Moynihan, R. The making of a disease: female sexual dysfunction. BMJ 2003; 326 doi: 10.1136/bmj.326.7379.45 (Published 4 January 2003)

  14. https://sexhysteria.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/overstimulation-the-devil-in-disguise/

Posted in child sexual abuse, children, sex, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments