Premature Sexualization

Researcher Elizabeth Loftus and others have described how the hysteria over child sexual abuse resembles the witch hysteria in the sixteenth century. The accusation itself is considered sufficient proof of guilt, and questioning the accusation renders you a likely perpetrator yourself. The widespread panic over “stranger danger” and “bad touch” continues even though various absurdities relating to child sexual abuse have already been discredited: ritual satanic abuse, recovered memories and multiple personality disorder. The witch hysteria of the past came to an end only when the core belief behind it – Satan’s army of witches – fell out of favor. Although it isn’t certain what the core belief is behind the hysteria over child sexual abuse, a plausible candidate is the very old and mystical belief in “premature sexualization.”

Dangerous Strangers and Drama Queens

There is no doubt that child sexual abuse exists, may not be infrequent, and is sometimes seriously harmful to mental and/or physical health. But in describing the existence, frequency and effects of early sexual experience, scientific standards of evidence are swept aside in a rush to judgment that early sexual experience between different age groups is 1) always abusive, 2) widespread if not universal, and 3) seriously harmful if not worse than death. Despite the atmosphere of a Sexual Inquisition, some studies indicate that not all sexual experiences are abusive, are not usually seriously harmful (published in the Psychological Bulletin and subject of a Vote of Censure by the U.S. Congress), and even the most pessimistic guesstimates acknowledge that it’s impossible to confirm the frequency of occurrence.

Sex and Abuse

The  word “abuse” implies that there is legitimate use beyond which it is no longer use but “abuse.” But for 30 years inquisitors have been arguing that there is no such thing as legitimate sex before maturity. It’s all “abuse.” In an article for the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry “What’s Wrong with Sex Between Adults and Children?” David Finklehor claimed that children are never competent to consent to sexual experience with adults, and hence any sexual experience between different age groups is always morally wrong. He offered no experimental or other empirical data for that claim, as if it is true by definition. But in reality competence to consent is clearly an empirical question, not a matter of definition. Even if it isn’t permissible to experiment with children, e.g. instructing them about what informed consent means, the need to be aware of alternatives and consequences, etc., and then testing their understanding and comparing their scores to adult controls, we should at least be humble and reserve judgment. We simply don’t know how competent average children are to understand alternatives and consequences in general, or how competent an individual child is in a specific case.

Finklehor conceded that same-age peers are competent to consent to sex play with each other, but didn’t confront the difficulty of deciding how much older the playmate has to be before the child suddenly loses his or her competence to consent. According to some state laws, a young person is considered competent to understand the alternatives and consequences of undergoing an invasive surgical procedure (abortion), but incompetent to understand the alternatives and consequences of her breasts being massaged (now recognized as a way to improve lymph flow and prevent breast cancer). Competence to consent is traditionally decided by counting birthdays, but only for administrative convenience, not because counting birthdays is an expression of profound wisdom or an obvious moral precept. Some scholars recognize that competence to consent is a matter of degree, and varies depending on the individuals and circumstances, and some judges rule that a child is competent to make important legal or medical decisions in certain circumstances. Interestingly, Finklehor also warned the faithful not to rely on the claim that early sex is “always harmful,” because exceptions will be found.

The Rhetoric of Hysteria

A peculiar aspect of rants and ravings about “premature sexualization” is the lack of any definition of what it is exactly. Other than vague comments about “growing up too fast” and “excessive stimulation,” we are left to imagine how fast is too fast, and how much stimulation is too much. In a classic book on baby massage, Amelia Auckett suggested including the child’s genital area in the massage, neither emphasizing or ignoring it. A harmless and even reasonable suggestion, I think. But according to many state laws, any contact between any part of an adult’s body and a child’s “genitals” is considered a form of sexual assault if not sexual battery. Breast massage to improve the flow of lymph fluid also violates some laws if a parent massages a minor’s breasts. More enthusiastic crusaders against sexual abuse consider sexual talk in the presence of a minor a form of assault and battery.

The rhetoric of abuse hysteria relies on the misuse of simple language for dramatic effect. There is no distinction between violent coercion and slapstick play. Adolescents are called “children.” Inappropriate fondling is called “rape,” even though rape is usually defined as genital penetration, and it’s physically impossible for an adult male to penetrate a pre-pubescent girl. In popular culture the phrase “baby raper” is often heard, but isn’t that a contradiction of terms?

Another claim about the immorality of sexual experience in childhood is the ever-present reference to insensitivity and exploitation, as if they are inevitable aspects of sexual experience between different age groups. Discussions of sexual abuse typically begin with the claim that early sex is necessarily harmful, but then go on to describe the ill effects of insensitivity and exploitation, as if they haven’t changed the subject. There is no experimental or other empirical data to support the assumption that sex play between playmates of different ages is always and necessarily insensitive or exploitative, let alone injurious.

Perhaps most non-sexual interactions between adults and children are so often insensitive or exploitative that some people have difficulty imagining sensitivity might be possible in the context of sex play. But if sex play between same-age peers can be free of insensitivity and exploitation, then how do we determine how much of an age difference between playmates renders insensitivity and exploitation inevitable? Ironically, insensitivity and exploitation are often hallmarks of religious training which indoctrinates children to accept the parent’s beliefs in rejecting “the pleasures of the flesh.”

Pesky Statistics

Despite Finklehor’s warning, the most persistent and appealing aspect of campaigns against premature sexualization is the idea that we are protecting children from serious injury, but here the label of hysteria is most clearly justified. According to government statistics: out of 1,760 child fatalities caused by abuse and/or neglect in 2007, only 0.2% or 4 fatalities were due to sexual abuse. While that’s four fatalities too many, they pale in comparison to the following numbers:

– Over nine million children a year are treated in hospital emergency rooms

– Motor vehicles are the leading cause of death in childhood. Nearly half of children under five who died or were injured in motor vehicle crashes (9,000 deaths and 160,000 non-fatal injuries) were riding unrestrained.

– Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children aged 1-14, e.g. by falling in backyard pools with no fence.

– Falls are the leading cause of unintentional non-fatal injury in children, and account for nearly three million emergency room visits every year.

– Other common injuries are caused by: fire and burns, suffocation, firearms, choking and poisoning.

Although covered up as “accidents,” many deaths and crippling injuries are attributable to parental neglect. Most car crashes are considered accidents, but allowing a child to ride unrestrained is no accident; it’s negligence. Nonetheless, the inquisitors complain that some adults love children too much and premature sexualization is widespread and causes suicide, eating disorders, substance abuse, severe emotional distress, failed marriages, etc., just about everything except the common cold. The lack of any reliable evidence for such beliefs doesn’t deter the hysterics, such as studies that fail to find any connection between childhood sexual experience and bulimia. The effects of premature sexualization can be worse than death, we are told in a dramatic tone, as if any responsible parent would rather her daughter’s skull be crushed in a car crash than her immature private parts massaged by the village idiot. The good news is that “survivors” of premature sexualization can get better by giving their money to a local therapist who is all too eager to sell you services.

When negative effects occur they are casually attributed to the sexual aspect of the experience, but a meta-analysis of many studies by doctors at Columbia University Children’s Hospital published in the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry found that the worst effects weren’t related to such factors as the extent or duration of the sexual experience itself. The worst outcomes were related to prior terrorization against sex by the parents (i.e. the child is prepped to interpret sexual experience negatively), and being interrogated or compelled to participate in a criminal prosecution afterwards. While claiming to protect children from injury, parents, social workers and law enforcement personnel themselves set the stage for long term damage. Other studies have confirmed that finding, and the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect acknowledges it: “There is often as much harm done to the child by the system’s handling of the case, as the trauma associated with the abuse.” In reality most known victims of sexual abuse aren’t children but adolescents and young adults, and the meta-analysis found that the older the victim when the abuse begins the worse the outcome. But the phrase “child sexual abuse” sounds more compelling for political purposes, so forget that children are neither the most frequent nor the most seriously injured victims.

A case can be made that the most common mental disorder is hypochondria. Many people would be surprised to learn that one of a pediatrician’s most important and most frequent tasks isn’t to cure any childhood disease, but rather to simply reassure parents that their child’s condition isn’t life-threatening and in most cases not even unusual. If pediatricians abandon that function and instead tell parents that a widespread phenomenon like sex play is potentially life-threatening, it is not only false – it creates a nation of hysterics.

Sexualization?

So what is “premature sexualization” exactly, and when does it occur? In seeming support of the hysteria a 2007 report by an APA committee on the “Sexualization of Girls” complained that fashion designers, toy (doll) makers and advertising in the mass media promote the overvaluation of sexual attractiveness, which has negative effects on self-esteem, contributes to appearance anxiety and body discomfort, and may promote sexual violence and exploitation (“objectification”).  The report claims that children have difficulty understanding that advertising is intended to persuade people to buy things. But some adults have the same problem.

The report complains that “women and girls are portrayed in a sexualizing manner” and that media images “teach girls that women are sexual objects.”  The report cites several media studies, surveys and a few experiments, and concludes that children should be taught “media literacy,” to view media critically rather than be passive consumers of advertising. But the report also advocates comprehensive sex education,  and says we should promote competence in body function rather than consciousness of appearance. The report accepted the SIECUS.org position that “Healthy sexuality is an important component of both physical and mental health, fosters intimacy, bonding, and shared pleasure, and involves mutual respect between consenting partners.” The report cites evidence that comprehensive sex education is the best way to reduce risk behavior (early initiation of genital penetration). Evidence is cited that healthy sexuality is related to happiness, intimacy, less stress, higher self-esteem, etc. Undergraduates who are more media-obsessed have more negative attitudes toward breastfeeding and dissatisfaction with sexual experience. Body dissatisfaction is related to later onset of masturbation, and body discomfort is related to higher levels of risk-taking. Unfortunately, the hopeless complexity of intimate relationships necessitates vague phrases like “may be” and “can cause” and “potential connections” rather than clear expressions of statistical probability. Psychologists typically ignore such difficulties and instead go on to describe “mechanisms” of mental disorder and – fortunately for psychotherapists trying to make a living – even expensive “therapy” without the pesky clinical trials that limit claims for medical effectiveness.

The report acknowledges that the negative “effects” of sexual abuse are related to the severity (unspecified) of the abuse and if force was used, as well as the reactions of others and the girl’s own perceptions and attributions. The report also admits there are several indications that negative outcomes are neither inevitable nor universal. The report recommends positive depictions of sexuality, but avoids describing what that implies (buddy massage? self-masturbation? sex play between same-age peers without penetration?). By necessity, the report avoids defining where and when healthy sexuality ends and abuse begins, since the hysteria doesn’t allow funding more specific research or even open discussion of children’s sexual thoughts, feelings and experience.

Propaganda

Another study that addresses the topic of “premature sexualization” is cited enthusiastically by a web site promoting the Grace of God, even though the original study was merely a survey of 54 members of GirlGuiding UK, a kind of Girl Scouts, aged 10-14, and says little about what premature sexualization is supposed to be. The girls took part in “Focus Groups” which consisted in taking the participants through a series of “creative and projective exercises” to discuss what the girls felt were the questions that concerned them most. Visitors to the organization’s web site also had the opportunity to take an online survey of their attitudes toward emotional well-being.

Before the Focus Groups met the girls were asked to keep an emotions diary, in which they recorded the emotions they felt each day and the context. Then during the first session the participants were asked to distinguish which emotions were easy to manage, and they identified such things as love and friendship. In contrast, the girls said being unloved and excluded were among the difficult emotions to manage. The girls also complained about bullying and gratuitous aggression. During the second session the girls were asked about their understanding of mental health, and they identified ADD and autism as examples of inherited mental health problems. The group “facilitators” suggested environmentally caused behaviors that are considered mental health problems such as eating disorders, and the girls agreed that uncontrolled behavior is a mental health problem, but many girls said infrequent self-harm might be “normal” for their age group rather than a mental health problem.

The participants were then shown pictures and “story cards” to encourage the girls to think about what kind of situations could lead to mental health problems. Many girls (percentage not stated) said that feeling compelled to act older than their age can lead to unhappiness and “therefore” mental health problems. Many (percentage not stated) reported being under “sexual pressure” from boys at school, especially the girls who had reached sexual maturity before their peers. In contrast, some girls (percentage not stated) complained that lack of freedom left them feeling isolated, and boredom led to aggression and self-harm. Many also complained about family breakdown and competition between parents for the child’s loyalty. Scholastic worries were cited as among the greatest causes of anxiety and sleeplessness. In the online survey only little more than a third of the respondents said they liked spending some time without any boys around.

To what extent did the facilitators and their story cards suggest the idea that girls are “under pressure” to look and act older? The study was supported by the Mental Health Foundation, a charitable organization which nonetheless seems to be interested in publicizing the need for (and supposed value of) mental health services. Not surprisingly, the study concluded that girls should stay in GirlGuiding. Psychotherapist, heal thyself. So many people want to become psychologists but there isn’t enough work for all these people. Solution? Drum up more business by creating mass hysteria over the mysterious concept of premature sexualization.

The Conspiracy Theory

Feminist theory is that men sexually abuse little girls to “prepare” females for their future subordinate role. While that theory awaits empirical confirmation I think we may rightly condemn traditional male dominance and the primitive idea that females are “owned” by males, but we should distinguish most cases of sexual insensitivity from the probably rare cases of innocent massage and playful affection. Is it impossible to educate adults to respect a child’s choices and physical limits? Although most cases of insensitive or violent sex that come to public awareness are male-against-female, the proof that not all early sexual experience with adults is necessarily “political” is that women sometimes sexually abuse little boys or girls, and emotionally abuse their daughters in particular – which can be more destructive than sexual abuse, just as physical abuse and neglect is more often deadly. It is claimed that women who abuse were victims themselves and merely repeat the cycle, but how do we know that men aren’t in the same position? If early experience is so powerful as a model, then a sensitive adult who is tenderly affectionate and playfully sexual will create a future parent who is likewise sensitive, tender and playful.

So where is the evidence that premature sexualization exists, is frequent, and seriously harmful? As far as we know it’s merely a hypothetical danger awaiting confirmation from serious research that isn’t supported by special interests. Do hypothetical dangers justify anti-sex education, keeping children prisoners in their own homes, and reacting emotionally whenever a child reports any kind of sexual experience? Once we attempt to measure the slippery concept of “premature sexualization” with a yardstick or weigh it on a scale, we may be able to free ourselves from its power.

Mental Castration

Some people believe in the opposite hypothesis: sexual inhibition is a form of mental castration and a leading cause of sexual dysfunction. That sounds like heresy, but it should be no surprise. It’s known that in general brain synapses atrophy if the relative body organs aren’t stimulated during development. The paradigm case is vision: if an eye is covered during a crucial stage of brain development you become permanently blind in that eye; there is nothing wrong with the eye itself – but the relevant parts of the brain have atrophied due to lack of stimulation. Little girls experience clitoral erections while awake and while asleep, but most adult women only experience clitoral erections while they sleep. The analogous condition in men is called sexual dysfunction; why should it be called anything else in women? Self-harm is also a possible result of excessive inhibition. I certainly don’t know any uninhibited young people who would lacerate their own beautiful skin with a razor blade. Excessive inhibition may also be a cause of interpersonal aggression, as well as a possible factor in the current epidemic of relationship problems between men and women.

If I may permit myself the same liberty that psychological mystics do, maybe the outcry over “premature sexualization” is actually a cry for help from individuals who have been mentally castrated and are unable to enjoy thinking or talking about sex (let alone doing it) except in the context of outrage and demands for justice. There is definitely some confusion in the attitudes and behavior of inhibited people. A book by a victim of female genital mutilation revealed that despite the horror of the experience (someone cutting off her clitoris at age eight without anesthetics), the woman had most of her own daughters mutilated as well. How many women in the West who were mentally castrated when they were little are now mentally castrating their own daughters? I’ll bet the hysterics aren’t eager to study that question.

About sexhysteria

Author of "Real Child Safety," reviewed at: www.books4parents.org Contact: teachitaly@gmail.com
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20 Responses to Premature Sexualization

  1. RichD says:

    You’ve hit the nail on the head: Shame is big business. Shame is big politics.

    The big pharmaceutical companies have been pushing drugs like Ritalin and Adderol for decades. They even came up with a new “disease” for the therapists to diagnose, just so they could prescribe these ready-made “treatments” for it: ADD/ADHD These drugs are nothing more or less than commercial-grade methamphetamine. The only real difference between Ritalin and street meth is the quality of the manufacturing process.

    If you take a close look at the new “diseases” they’re putting in the DSM-V manual for psychotherapists, you’ll find several new diagnoses like “Oppositional Defiant Disorder”, the definition of which would apply to just about every 13-year-old I’ve ever known.

    They’re making a big business out of labeling ordinary, normal, expected childhood behaviour as shameful.

    Politicized religions like Islam and Catholicism have done the same thing over the millennia, demonizing and making shameful everything from nakedness to nocturnal emissions (an unconcious physiological reflex that every healthy human male experiences, and has absolutely no conscious control over) to healthy sexuality.

    It’s all about control. Fear and shame are two of the most powerful negative emotions that humans can experience, and those who lust for power over others have mastered the art of manipulating such emotions.

    Ayn Rand says it beautifully in her book “Atlas Shrugged”, when the villainous Dr. Ferris comes to extort Henry Rearden’s signature on a document ceding all rights to his own invention to the government:

    Dr. Ferris states: “Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed? We want them broken. … We’re after power and we mean it. … There is no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt.”

    He goes on to explain that if you teach someone that looking at a yellow flower is a sin, and he then looks at a yellow flower and feels guilty about it, you basically own his soul.

    That’s the strategy that runs throughout all social control mechanisms in history. It’s simple, effective, and frighteningly insidious.

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    • sexhysteria says:

      There’s no shortage of horror stories resulting from the hysteria. Here’s one that’s hard to top: A little girl discovered she could have orgasms by using a vibrating heating pad. So she naturally told all her friends in her Brownie Troop, and they began meeting at her house every day to take turns enjoying themselves. One day the mother came home early and went hysterical – calling her daughter a “whore,” and beating the child with the electrical cord. Now a grown woman, the victim says she has never had another orgasm since. (From a Playboy magazine interview of a famous novelist last summer.) Is that anybody’s idea of a sane parent?

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  2. Daniel says:

    It’s mind-boggling to see the state of the world today. It seems that common sense has been discarded, paternalistic and punitive state policy is the norm, and responsibility has been replaced by dependency. I grew up during a fairly liberated time, where I could walk to the local shop, ride my bike 3 or 4 suburbs from home and back (along busy roads!), and stay out until dark by myself… all aged ten. Now, people are scared of every eventuality – there are accidents, murderers, thieves, rapists and snipers around every corner. Combine this with their own sexual hang-ups, their inability to think much for themselves, and media scare-mongering, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

    Like you said, there are bigger problems like car accidents. What about parents smoking in the same vicinity as their children? Surely that’s more of a worry than a perceived, but probably massively overrated danger like rapists or snipers.

    As for sexuality, we are far too repressed. I think of myself as very liberal and open-minded, but still possess sexual baggage of my own, despite my attempts to be free of it. It’s even smaller things than your anecdote about the woman hitting her child because she discovered orgasms. When I was about 7 or so, I can remember an uncle taking a while in the shower and one of my family members remarking that he must have been “pulling his bean” in a disapproving kind of way. It seems trivial, but I think it’s situations like that which have impacted my own (now limited) body shame. I think until our society’s discourse about bodies, sexuality and enjoyment change, we’ll still have issues. I also think that religious doctrine about sex is holding us back. It wouldn’t be so bad if each religion kept their inhibitions to themselves, but because they all seem to think they alone possess some access to the “right” way to live life, a lot of these beliefs are forced on others. Examples come to mind here where state schools allow Christian religious preachers into school classrooms for compulsory religious education, even if you are atheist or of another religion, except if you explicitly opt-out in writing, and they are taught things like marriage is the right and only way to enjoy your body. Completely crazy!

    Add to this some stupid government policies we have here… books and movies must be approved by a censorship board (yes, in 2010, in modern Australia!), adult magazines and movies are regulated in some states (mine’s the worst), and silly enough, ADULT pornographic actresses with small breasts are soon to be banned here. I, as a reasonably intelligent, tax-paying citizen of a supposedly free, modern country, am unable to read books a few people think are too far from their own moral boundaries, or view pornographic movies with ladies whose breasts are too small. Will Tanner stage five be the new benchmark that pornographic actresses must meet? I am sad for the state of my country and of my liberty.

    It’s people like you that the world needs to balance the complete ignorance of reality, idiocy, and absurd overreaction to non-existent problems. Your post is excellent, and I would encourage you to write much, much more!

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  3. sexhysteria says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes I get discouraged and wonder if – despite my efforts to achieve a deep and thorough understanding of sex hysteria – maybe it’s simply a matter of random scapegoating; eventually people may spontaneously get tired of the subject of sex and look for some other real or imaginary menace to target and entertain themselves.

    In her book “Last Night in Paradise” Katie Roiphe dated the beginning of modern sex hysteria to about 1980, coincident with the beginning of the AIDS scare and the Manhattan Beach Daycare witch-hunt in California. But there were outbreaks of sex hysteria long before that. When I was 12, my mom and I moved to a new neighborhood where numerous kids 9-14 engaged in harmless sex play without penetration, coercion or any other kind of destructive behavior. It was the most exciting period of my childhood, until one day a parent found out and called the police, and a mass investigation followed.

    Dozens of kids were interrogated one by one like criminals in the principal’s offices in three elementary schools by three (???) burly detectives. For a while we were terrified that we might be confined in a “juvenile detention center” for our “crimes.” Although there was no trial, all the girls in the neighborhood became prisoners in their own homes.

    I think that voyeuristic adults aren’t doing kids a favor by keeping them under surveillance and interrogating them to find out all the “details” of their play activities. Sexual abuse by adults is a kind of invasion of privacy, but so is the sexual inquisition that is now terrorizing our nations’ children on a daily basis.

    If we deliberately keep children ignorant and dependent then they will be in danger, but if children receive accurate, balanced and comprehensive sex education they can be trusted to behave responsibly. It has long been known that contrary to pre-scientific thought, obsession is caused by deprivation – not satisfaction. In other words, people become obsessed with nudity and sex when they are deprived of it. Free access to nudity and sex leads to boredom – desensitization through repetition. For some research on the ill-effects of anti-sex “abstinence only” indoctrination, read Judith Levine’s courageous book “Harmful to Minors: the Perils of Protecting Children from Sex.”

    We live in a democracy where everyone is considered equally free to make political choices. If we want to claim moral superiority to fundamentalist dictatorships, we shouldn’t react hysterically when it comes to children’s innocent sex play.

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  4. Tony M says:

    I don’t have much to add in the way of researched opinions, but I just wanted to encourage you and let you know that I agree with your opinions and appreciate your courage in sharing what may be seen by many as unpopular.

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  5. Rouslan says:

    In the modern world just everything about the human body is taboo. This includes but not limited to, sexuality. Therefore the solution may only be global.

    The main problem is that the so called “civilized” society has in fact little changed since millenia, and it is still based on myths rather than facts, on taboos rather than thinking. It still teaches to be afraid of everybody, to be disgusted by every part of the human body etc.

    Thus the basis of “education” is lies and hypocrisy. Fear and ignorance always lead to hate (how can we love somebody we are afraid of?). The natural curiosity and desire of happiness lead to all kinds of obsessions.

    There is time to say: STOP!

    Naturism is the best example of what kind of humane society we humans can achieve.

    No need to hide yourself or to be afraid of your neighbor. No need to be obsessed. No need to be slave. Incredible feeling of freedom. Trust and love lead to happiness.

    Sexuality is just a natural part of the human being and all living world by the way. It is neither good or bad. It just is. What we make of it can be good or bad.

    I believe when sexuality translates Love, it is the best thing on Earth. When it translates hate and desire of submission, when people are treated as objects, then it is the worst thing on Earth.

    Make Love, not war!

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    • RedsRedMane says:

      Naturism: “No need to hide yourself or to be afraid of your neighbor. No need to be obsessed ( with sex OR the restriction of it ). No need to be a slave. ( There would indeed be ) an incredible feeling of freedom. Trust and love ( DO ) lead to happiness.” I had a childhood book called “The Little Leftover witch.” It was about a little witch ( I’d say about 7-8 years old ) who gets “leftover” from Halloween. That wonderful book has feint Christian undertones ( The kindly Doon family does attend church ), but also belays the way that society SHOULD behave! : Court legal services are “dirt cheap”, people are not harsh ( the mean kid and his rude mother next door being but one of the “rare exceptions” ), the citizens are fairly wise and have humility, BOTH George and Mary Doon were no doubt “reasonably” protective, but very understanding. Their only goal was to make sure that their children 1. Felt loved. 2. Had a good beneficial childhood ( The old Mr. Rogers Neighborhood T.V show ALSO demonstrated this way of life ) 3. That their children had “room” to freely experience life, without radical vigilante’s, insane sex laws that CLEARLY overstep their boundaries, racial injustices, etc.. and 4. They wanted only to make sure that their children knew how to live, love, enjoy life, avoid harmful drugs, believe in themselves, and yes “watch-out” for each other! Does anybody ANYWHERE remember “puppy-love!??” That would ALSO be part of the equation! Would such a family ever go to a nude beach!? Maybe. But probably more for “educational” purposes, than anything else. Yes, I’m sure they’d probably have some B.B.Q, soda pop and chips. But George Doon would no doubt sit down at a small park-bench with the kids and “explain” a few things to them… about general “anatomy.” That’s all. He would also tell them that they need not be “ashamed” of their natural bodies…that everything that they have is a “gift from God.” Now OFCOURSE Mr. Doon would quickly “stave-off” any REAL sickos!! That goes without saying. Felina ( the former little witch )and Lucinda BOTH would, no doubt, have been “disgusted” at the mere thought of some dirty, stringy-haired old BUM having the “hots” for kids THEIR age!! I mean…REALLY! ..Anyway, the “general society” portrayed in The Little leftover Witch was, I’d say about 70% Naturist, and about 30% Christian with deep Unitarian undertones. America portrayed as it was truely INTENDED to be! What’s more, in an all inclusive and embracing society like that, any REAL bad-guys, monsters and sickos would quickly stick out like SORE THUMBS, and would be harshly dealt with! … without the need of “inquisitions!” In a society like that, “witch-hunts” would TRUELY be a “thing of the past”, there would BE no need of “protest marches”, and everybody would be capable of “critical thinking” minus the prejudices! In Florence Laughlin’s book, everybody’s created EQUAL. Love and acceptance are the two “themes” contained therein. That is EXACTLY how this world SHOULD be! Well… so much for THAT!***

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      • RedsRedMane says:

        It really is “too bad ” that the coming brutal dictatorship ( New World Order?) is seemingly being at least 70% PAVED with bogus “CHILD SAFETY!” But for YEARS many pepple ( everything from ACLU / ACLJ members to people in the “Legal profession” from Libertarians, Democrats and Republicans to said “conspiracy cooks” ) have been warning us about THIS VERY THING ( that dictators usually “DO” use child protection as the justification for “police states!!”) The trouble is that, for years, the world’s psychiatric associations”, academia, and groups like The Centers for Skeptical Inquiry, C.S.I.C.O.P ( headed by a famous debunker, James “the amazing” Randi ) , etc.. have created a society of vicious skeptical ridicule and un-!belief! Even now, when people try to “expose” the Grand Conspiracy, they usually get RIDICULED!!!! There’s a book ( I forget the author’s name ) called “Global Straight Jacket!” It’s an older book, but it talks about how the global society has been conditioned to REJECT ( out of hand ) the revelation of the TRUTH in parteints many of the terrible things currently going on in this world today. It also touches on the insane “hysteria” that his now threatening to tear our society apart! Just Google “Global Straight Jacket!” It’s a must read.

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  6. Frank says:

    I agree that naturism is a great experience, and very educational for children. There is more blatant enticement, voyeurism and aggression on textile beaches than on nude beaches. Nudity eliminates the mystery and fantasy surrounding the body, and replaces such nonsense with realism.

    Freud said a fundamental problem in life is that children love their parents selfishly and jealously (the “Oedipus Complex”), and children must overcome their selfishness and jealousy to become healthy citizens. I think Freud was wrong. In fact, I would argue the exact opposite: it’s parents who monopolize their children selfishly and jealously, and parents must overcome their selfishness and jealousy to become healthy citizens.

    Freud made the same mistake with adolescence. He said the adolescent’s main task is to “cease to be a child,” and to “detach” himself from his parents. I would argue the opposite: the main task of the mother and father today is to cease being parents, and to detach themselves from their offspring.

    Stranger danger is nothing new – in the past it was “Don’t take candy from strangers,” and before that it was “Watch out for the Boogey Man.” If you’ve read my original post you’re aware of the statistics: the vast majority (>99%) of child deaths and serious injuries are caused by parents – not strangers. So why all the “protection” from the wrong group? Why is talking to strangers (even at a distance on the Web!) so dangerous? Parents try to deceive and manipulate their children by telling lies, omitting essential information, etc. so the parent wants to be sure kids don’t get a second opinion.

    A classic scenario is the teacher/student relationship. If a child hates the teacher, the parent feels fine. But if a child loves the teacher, the parent feels uncomfortable. Much worse, even unthinkable nowadays, is a teacher who loves the students! As Sarah Blaffer Hrdy described in her book “Mother Nature,” she got a new nanny every year when mom decided the child was getting too chummy with the hired help.

    The problem isn’t protecting children from “danger,” the problem is protecting parents from any competition. Being a parent traditionally means having a legally sanctioned monopoly on children’s affection, teaching children to be loyal to their family “no matter what,” rather than teaching children that love should be deserved on the basis of what a person does to merit being loved.

    The law assumes that since parents have the greatest “investment” in their child, they will likely be the most conscientious caregivers. That’s probably true in most cases, but it’s important to acknowledge that some parents take advantage of that assumption and become the worst caregivers – for their own convenience.

    Automatically assuming that every parent is an unquestionable hero, needs no training, and is a benevolent tyrant who rules only for the good of his subjects, translates into a living nightmare for many children and adolescents. Once we realize that most teen suicides are covered up as “accidents,” then suicide is the leading cause of death in adolescence. Nonetheless, some confused adults are doing their best to keep young people sexually frustrated.

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  7. Doug says:

    Firstly, Daniel said that adult film actresses with small breasts are soon to be banned. I’m guessing that someone feels that an interest in women with small breasts indicates an interest in young girls. Perhaps they’re not aware of the fact that a champagne glass is made from a mold of one breast of Marie Antoinette who was considered to have perfect breasts.

    I remember reading about Edgar Cayce doing a reading for a woman who was very distressed who’s health was suffering as a result. He determined that she had a case of severe guilt over masturbating and didn’t feel she could talk to anyone about it. She had gotten quite physically ill from worrying about it.

    People praise their children when they learn almost anything, the glaring exception to that being sexuality. The problem is worsened by the fact that the laws here forbid me or any other adult from talking about sex to any girl under the age of 18. If I did I’d be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

    Of course for anyone to disagree with the powers that be is to risk being suspected of being a child molester, and as has already been stated one is considered by most people to be guilty once the accusation is made. After that one had best keep his distance from any young people.

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  8. sexhysteria says:

    Here’s a more detailed description of the important sudy, Rind et al. (1998), I mentioned in my original post: This “Emperor has no clothes” meta-analysis led to the U.S. Congress “Vote of Censure” of the American Psychological Association for publishing the study in its journal Psychological Bulletin.

    The authors reviewed 59 studies deemed usable based on college samples (as opposed to previous reviews of biased samples of selected populations – patients and inmates) to examine the dogma that child sexual abuse (CSA) is usually seriously harmful. Publication bias was also avoided since some unpublished studies (PhD dissertations and Master’s theses) of college samples were included.

    Previous literature reviews have often confounded family environment (FE) with CSA, and have argued that the latter “causes” the effects seen. But some reviewers have acknowledged that negative outcomes are not inevitable and/or occur in only a minority of cases. In some studies the correlation between CSA and adjustment problems disappeared when physical abuse and emotional neglect were controlled for. A national study found family & school disruption existed both before and after CSA (retroactive causation?).

    One author of a previous study supporting the dogma of negative outcomes said her data was unavailable for examination by the present authors. (Isn’t that scientific misconduct? Why no Vote of Censure against her study?)

    Most studies have defined CSA in terms of the age difference between the partners, rather than strictly the type of contact or other factors, and most studies included 16- and 17-year-olds as “children.” Some studies included the mere invitation to do something sexual as CSA, even if the invitation was not accepted. Some studies considered an older person exhibiting or “exposing” their sexual organs as CSA. Some studies included non-genital touching as “fondling.”

    (I skimmed several pages of statistical analyses which were too technical for my knowledge and limited time available.) The frequency and severity of correlates (not “effects”) of CSA were similar among studies of college students and studies of national populations, hence no sampling bias in using college students as study subjects.

    Authors acknowledge that the most severely negative outcomes may be under-represented in college samples, but the difference between college and national samples is probably not great. (I think it’s possible that the most negative outcomes may be over-represented in college.)

    Twice as many females as males reported negative outcomes of CSA, and 3/8 of males but only 1/10 of females reported positive outcomes, possibly due to differences in gender-role education. Females also reported more close-family experiences (hence guilt-ridden betrayal of the other parent), only a minority are with siblings and rarely with parents. Females report coercion more frequently than males.

    Some studies found more harm correlated with physical, emotional and verbal abuse than CSA, ignored in other CSA studies. Two-thirds of males and >one-fourth of females reported positive or neutral outcomes of CSA.

    Authors make an analogy between current views on CSA and former views toward masturbation: religious and moral beliefs have become medicalized, despite the lack of empirical support for doing so. More neutral terms than “abuse” are called for in future research.

    Research that relies on moral or legal definitions that include both willing and unwilling participants, and children as well as adolescents, results in invalid interpretations of the data. Current laws may be misguided if they assume the harmfulness of all adult-child or adult-adolescent experiences.

    The authors don’t dispute religious, moral or philosophical objections to sex between different age groups, but simply state that claims of the inevitable “harmfulness” of such experiences are not supported by the body of empirical research.

    (Nonetheless, professional politicians running for election or re-election agreed that the study was scientifically invalid and publication of the study was scientifically irresponsible, and the APA eventually distanced itself from the study by contradicting its findings without specific reference to where – exactly – there was cause for disputing the data.)

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  9. Daniel says:

    Doug: I wasn’t aware of the origins of the champagne glass. Thanks – very interesting – although Wikipedia claims that the glass existed a century before her. Nevertheless, the idea is quite interesting.

    Sexhysteria: as for the medicalisation of religiofeminist beliefs, I couldn’t agree more. When I was a kid, I found a medical encyclopedia at my grandparents’ house, in which it was proclaimed that masturbation caused blindness and a range of other maladies – written by “scientists.”

    I agree about terminology requiring change. The academic articles that use the most inaccurate terms seem to come from psychology, where people are routinely called “offenders” and “perpetrators” despite the article having nothing to do with law, the term “child” is so ill-defined as to be meaningless, and the key ideas relied upon in that entire field come from a book, the DSM, which is now written in private, by authors who not only have suspicious relationships with manufacturers of drugs, but who, in the past, have themselves written about the silliest crap – namely: “homosexuality can be reversed with intervention,” and my favourite, “hebephiles are x% left handed, therefore hebephilia should be classified as a mental disorder.” I can’t remember the authors’ names nor their particular affiliation with the APA committees deciding on new mental disorders, but I do remember the uproar it caused.

    Isn’t it strange that an entire “scientific” field can operate with such ill-defined terms, classify diseases in private without peer review, and still be upheld by society (social discourse, the judicial system, and indeed, academia) to be of magnificent benefit?

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  10. Bill says:

    Hi Frank, since Dave’s sexhysteria.com seems to be getting closed,I came to your blog to tell you that I have read your blog and you make some very valid points.

    I also want to add that Sir Richard Phillip Feynman never really accepted things like social sciences,psychiatry and behavioral sciences as real science .He used to call them cargo-cult science.(But like he pointed out ,they do a very good job of intimidating people and promote evil politics)


    http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm
    http://electrotek.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/feynman-and-psychiatrist/

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  11. sexhysteria says:

    The Rind study isn’t the last word on the subject, of course. If I may make one small criticism, the authors of the studies analyzed failed to distinguish between two very different groups of children: those who had already been castrated (ABC) at the time of their sexual abuse, and those who were not yet castrated (NYC) by their parents and other teachers. I take up the subject of mental castration in more detail in my next post: Sexual Inhibition and Mental Castration

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  12. “Feminist theory is that men sexually abuse little girls to “prepare” females for their future subordinate role. While that theory awaits empirical confirmation I think we may rightly condemn traditional male dominance and the primitive idea that females are “owned” by males, but we should distinguish most cases of sexual insensitivity from the probably rare cases of innocent massage and playful affection.”

    For the life of me, I cannot possibly understand the naieve pro-feminist mentality of these anti-sex hysteria blogs.

    When the Titanic was sinking and men were shooting other men because they dared to take to the lifeboats before the last woman had been safely evacuated, who exactly owned who?

    When the Emily Pankhurst and her ‘White Feather brigade’ suffragettes were shaming the disabled and the vital workers for not giving their lives on the killing fields of the Somme, (most of whom didn’t have the vote themselves) who exactly was owning who?

    You’re like Jews in Nazi Germany believing that if only you can convince the concentration commander of your utter devotion to the idea of Arayan Supremecy and the awful truth of the Zionist plot to take over the world, then he’ll spare you from the gas chamber.

    At least die with some dignity.

    Feminism has always been about controlling male sexuality, from the 19th century social purity movement, to the present day hysterias over paedophiles and sex traffickers.

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  13. sexhysteria says:

    I think it’s important to distinguish between different kinds of feminism and different individual feminists. Radicals who are so bigoted they can’t stand to be in the same room with a man, aren’t representative of all feminists.

    I don’t have to agree with everything a certain brand of feminists believe, if we can agree on what is most important to me: children’s health and happiness. Some of the most fanatical witch hunters are traditional women, while some of the best recent contributions to combating sex hysteria have been published in books and blogs written by feminists.

    For example, see “Theorizing the Sexual Child in Modernity,” by R. Danielle Egan and Gail Hawkes (reviewed on Amazon). Who cares about “dignity” while children are suffering? Let’s get our priorities straight.

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