How do we provide therapy for teen sex offenders? Read More
Research into sexual assault and rape on college campuses indicates that youth sex offenders are usually multiple offenders and are highly calculating and predatory, with most of their crimes planned and pre-meditated (sometimes in packs). That doesn't indicate an 'illness' that needs to be 'treated'. It indicates a violent criminality that needs to be punished. Sex offenders are notoriously difficult to 'treat' in any case. Any treatment focus should be primarily on the victims who have to live with the trauma of being sexually assaulted or raped.
Here we have the first generation of young people to be fed a relentless diet of violence and sexualized violence in the form of film, media, video games and pornography. Step one might be to look into the impact that this media is having on the still developing minds and souls of our youth.
What makes you think this is in any way a recent phenomenon? Young men already raped in droves 50, 100 or 500 years ago. It's just that now their victims are reporting their crimes instead of suffering in silent shame. This is nothing new at all; we're just finally starting to properly look into it.
I have to agree with you. I have been an advocate for juvenile registrants for over 10 years. Although I live in the U.S., the problem is world wide with our youth. I too believe that we have opened the door to sexualize our children. We have allowed the media, government and general public to display sex on television, bill boards, magazines and other outlets our children are exposed to. We laugh at the Miley Cyrus's that "twerk" on stage. We turn our heads when young girls walk around half nude in public. We teach our children in elementary school about sex. We dress our young children up like grown adults with makeup and fancy clothes for beauty pageants. We hire the "good looking" people over the more qualified applicants. We allow half dressed women to sell hamburgers in television commercials. And finally, some of the worlds top leaders are known to have mistresses and no one says a word. WE have allowed our children to be subjected to promiscuous behaviors!
It's not just our boys acting out on sexual arousals produced by our social media, it's girls too. We have just given them an easy out to blame boys for their promiscuity and lack of moral conduct.
In countries where girls are dressed from head to toe, they still get raped at horrific rates.
In countries where there's no sexualised stuff to be seen in public anywhere, women still get raped and killed at horrific rates.
In countries where adultery is forbidden, little girls get married as child brides and legally raped by their adult husbands.
And so forth and so on.
Violence and sexual abuse against women are not the product of an overtly sexualised society. If it were, then countries like Afghanistan would be women's paradise.
I forgot to address one particular disturbing part of your comment.
"It's not just our boys acting out on sexual arousals produced by our social media, it's girls too. We have just given them an easy out to blame boys for their promiscuity and lack of moral conduct."
See, THIS is the kind of attitude that contributes to the problem.
Let's be clear:
1. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with fully free and consenting people having sex together. Full stop.
2. There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with someone enjoying sex and having lots of it with many different people, as long as they always do it with fully consenting partners, and they are honest with said partners about their sexual history, and they don't cheat on someone without telling them.
Condemning words such as "promiscuity" and "lack of moral conduct" to designate sex between fully free and consenting people have NO place in a reasonable society.
What is wrong, is to have sex with someone who doesn't or cannot consent, which includes but is in no way restricted to:
- a child;
- a teenager if you are an adult;
- anyone you have some kind of real power or influence over, and they feel you're making use of that influence;
- anyone who isn't psychologically or intellectually developed enough to understand what consenting to sex means;
- anyone (male or female) who is temporarily incapacitated from giving full and informed consent (too drunk, too distraught, whatever);
- and so on.
But having sex itself? Not wrong. Stop shaming people for doing something which is safe, sane, normal and enjoyable when done honestly and respectfully.
Also: reporting a case of sexual abuse is anything BUT "an easy way out" of anything. Most male-on-female cases of rape, violence and sexual abuse go unreported precisely because it's HARD to deal with the way you are treated if you do report them. So that myth that women just cry rape as the drop of a hat? Yeah, it's just that: a myth.
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Robert T. Muller, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at York University, and author of the therapy book, "Trauma and the Avoidant Client."
When and how should we open up to loved ones?