Setting The Record Straight – Male Sexual Child Abuse

On November 4, 2010, the first of a two day show, Oprah Winfrey brought 200 men together to reveal they were sexually abused as children. Such men as Tyler Perry talked frankly about their experience, the inherent stigma and misunderstanding of male sexual child abuse.

It is tragic to note that, although Oprah, herself, a sexual abuse survivor, put forth a plethora of misinformation within the interviews with both a professional and the survivors themselves. Dr. Howard Fradkin, who believes men’s sexual identity is unaffected by sexual abuse, is a tragic and unfortunate statement. There is a wealth of research confirming that sexual child abuse impacts both boys’ and girls’ sexual identity and sexual comfortableness.

To set the record straight, the fact, such as the highly publicized sex offender as Representative Mark Foley (R-FL) is a sexual abuse survivor is no surprise. All sex offenders–Pedophile, Ephebophiles and rapists are sexual and/or physical abuse survivors. While this does not condone their behavior, it explains what prompts them to act out sexually. However, not all sexual abuse survivors are sex offenders. It is a highly denied fact, that all sex offenders were either a sexual abuse and/or a physical survivor that transcended into a sexual abuse aftereffect or both a sexual and physical abuse survivor.

Foley’s reported email to pages, who, reportedly are 17-years-old suggests he is an ephebophile. These abusers are called “ephebophiles” because they have a sexual interest in children who are post-puberty–14 to 17 years of age. Pedophiles abuse children under age 14.

Recent research indicates that the ratio of male pedophiles, who, molest boys versus male ephebophiles, who, molest boys, is four to one. That means male pedophiles are four times more frequent than male ephebophiles.

However, male ephebophiles, who, molest boys frequently will target other children. A study of over 600 male ephebophiles found that slightly over 50% also had a history of molesting boys under age 14. In addition, over 28% had molested girls under age 14, and 20% had molested girls 14 to 17 years of age. From this information, it is clear that one can not assume that a male ephebophile who molests adolescent boys doesn’t also molest other categories of boys and girls.

Having worked twenty-six years specializing in sexual child abuse prevention and recovery and working with sex offenders in the recovery process, it is clear to me that society’s approach to stopping sexual child abuse isn’t working.

Society needs to take a hard look at the fact that laws can not prevent behavior. If laws and the threat of incarceration prevented behavior, then why are we constantly building more prisons? The laws such as: Megan’s Law and laws to prevent sex offenders from living closer than 2,000 feet of a school are giving families a false sense of security. This decision is fool-hardy because sex offender’s behavior is the result of a compulsion and not as a result of a poor decision. If sex offenders are unable to control their compulsions they will find access to children no matter where they live or no matter how many registries they are listed on. The compulsion is so strong they will risk anything to have access to children of their choice. Furthermore, national statistics reveal 80% of children, who are sexually abused are abused by family members.

Incarcerating sex offenders for life doesn’t stop sexual child abuse either. As a society we are ‘creating’ new sex offenders every day. Sex offenders are men or women, who are sexual or physical abuse survivors and they are using sex with children as a way to cope, to numb or distract themselves from the emotional pain. Frequently, the sex offender is seeking a similar experience to the pain they endured as a child. Unbeknownst to them, they are creating the moth to the flame scenario. In other words, the offender might believe she/he will never offend again, but when the compulsion to relieve the internal pain becomes too great they will offend. It is a compulsion that she/he can not stop. This compulsion solves the internal pain if only for a brief period albeit at the peril of going to jail. However, since the internal pain is beyond their ability to override its excruciating effect, they can not merely stop themselves.

Healing emotional issues for anyone who was sexually abused—no matter the reason—is possible. An innovative and highly effective process to achieve deeper and more total healing can be achieved through healing mind, body and spirit. This process is direct, focused, and combines healing the past while creating the future. People will make a subtle and effective transition to self-discovery and empowerment.

Healing emotional issues at the core addresses the all-important relationship to one’s true spiritual nature. Transforming the psychological conditional patterns and unconscious beliefs that arise from our personal histories and adaptations effectively transforms our mind, body and spirit. Thus, you transform how you feel, sense, and experience global political mass consciousness, as well as your individual consciousness, like never before. A Mind, Body, Spirit approach addresses the three critical aspects of one’s being, therefore opening the door to true balance and emotional healing.

Well-being comes from the understanding of the Self, the family, the local community in which we live, and the global community of which we are a part. We are each one heart of the Whole; each heart here to express its unique piece of the Whole. Knowing Self creates a sense of “I as a piece of this Whole,” different and one at the same time.

The real answer to stopping sexual child abuse is stopping what creates people to sexually abuse children and to heal those who are sex offenders. Contrary to popular belief, 99.44% of sex offenders can heal their compulsions. Once their sexual/physical abuse emotional trauma is healed the compulsions disappear. The final stage of healing is forgiving their abusers and forgiving themselves for abusing others.

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, author, “If I’d Only Known…Sexual Abuse in or Out of the Family: A Guide to Prevention, specializes in: Mind, Body, Spirit healing and Physical/Sexual Abuse Prevention and Recovery. As an inspirational leader, Dr. Neddermeyer empowers people to view life’s challenges as an opportunity for Personal/Professional Growth and Spiritual Awakening.

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