Sex and Love 100

Musings on the most basic life skill . . .

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sandusky, Fine and Sexual Coercion: Pedophilia

      Recently the public has been stunned by the alllegations of a coach molesting young men.  No me.  In the Late 1990's I had a student in my class who endured sexual molestation at the hands of his coach. Two hundred people signed a petition defending the teacher and coach.  Why?  Pedophiles are very clever in hiding their behavior.  Pedophilia is insidious and more so when it involves young men. Why?  Young men rarely talk about it. 
    Male on male molestation involves tactics that are designed to confuse, camouflage and deter possible reporting.  Pedophiles can be anyone. They can be your neighbor, clergy member, teacher, coach or relative. Most victims of sexual abuse do not ‘tell’ until they are older but males have a more difficult time revealing because they often feel complicit or responsible for the act. With only a short time to engage your thinking let’s review some signs.
1. The prep (pedophilia perpetrator) will like to spend time with young people. Most pedophiles are males and people you know rather than strangers.  They might place themselves in situations to bring them in contact with victims.  They might have hobbies that young people like; video games, movie collections, sports interests.  They like to spend times with kids and tend to describe children or teens in a positive manner.  Anyone who likes to spend more time with your kids than you do should be suspect.
2. The perp needs to have a pool of children so as to gauge who they can victimize. Often the ‘party’ comes to them and they use the family gathering or their ability to attract groups of children to their league, homes or parties as a means to find a victim. They may also look to date women with children who they can prey upon.  They might be playing games with the young children while the adults are off on their own.  They set  themselves up to attract children to them
3. Setting up the stage might involve many activities that go unnoticed.  The coach, the music teacher, the guy on the corner who has the treasure trove of video games, allows kids more freedoms, or keeps an open door policy.
4. On many occasions they have a female present who either accepts this behavior, encourages or turns a blind eye.  Having a woman around appears to give him legitimacy and disarm parental concerns. He may also choose to describe the target child as ‘particularly mature, gifted or worthy to disarm parents. 
5. The perp chooses his victims(s) carefully.  He’s not stupid.  He might have a group of patriots at his home but he will set his sights on only one or two.  Should he be charged he will have a group of kids or young men that will vouch that his behavior was ‘fatherly’.
6.  He will pick carefully looking for a child who satisfies his sexual needs; usually it involves a fetishistic attraction for a certain type.  But his best victims have lower self-esteem, few supports at home and parents who turn a blind eye.  What better hatching ground that boys from disadvantage homes?
7.  He will groom his targets.  Pedophiles often share information on how to accomplish their molestation. Grooming involves placing himself at the center of their lives.  He is special, he can provide something for them no one else can, he has resources; money, opportunity, drugs, and most of all he accepts them. 
8.  He moves slowly and deliberately to sexually disarm his prey.  The pedophile slowly approaches sex but in a way to breech defensive walls.  He may show the young person pornography that is highly sexually charged. Offer alcohol or drugs. 
9.  He opens the door by testing. A hand on the knee, a wrestling match.  Or he may wait until the victim is relaxed or stimulated enough to proceed. 
10.  He uses sexual excitement as his friend.  The abuser knows that he needs to place the victim in a position of feeling responsible.  Often they will use drugs, alcohol or potent pornography to arouse the victim first, thereby encouraging the victim to feel responsible for the act.  Often the victim feels attached to their abuser.  
11.  Because the victim may have a physical reaction (arousal or orgasm) they feel culpable.  This adds to the guilt, embarrassment and the need to keep the incidents hidden. 

The following story was about a young man I knew who suffered repeated molestation at the hands of his coach-

9 comments:

  1. Sexual molestation could be the worst thing that could happen to someone. It causes psychological and emotional damage for the rest of the victims life. Just how far do the effects of molestation go? Do you believe the emotional effects are passed on to the children of the victim? I ask this as a child of a victim.

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  2. I always thought of pedophiles as the worst kind of evil. I'm not particularly fond of children, but every one has the right to be a child. Sexual molestation is terrible at any age, but it is especially so for a child because it so ruinous for someone who is still developing, mentally and physically. It strips them of the right to a normal, carefree childhood.

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  3. I know the damage that molestation can cause a person. I am very close to 2 sisters who were molested as children by the same offender. Their step-father. Neither girl knew it was happening to the other. One day one of them went to the police and finally told. The mother however did not believe her at first cuz she was known as the trouble child with behvior issues. The sister denied it ever happened to her until the guilt got so bad that her sister was going through this alone knowing that the only way to put this person away where he belonged she had to come forward and tell their family that it to had happened to her. She did and he went to prison for not nearly enough time. The sister who originally told has lived a very difficult life drugs,prostitution and gave her kids away to foster families and has been in an out of jail several times. The other sister I guess was stronger and has had an ok life but has real trust issues. I recieved a phone call about a week ago to tell me that their offender is now back in jail again for doing it again to two more kids. My response was I can't say I am surprised my only surprise is that it took so long for him to get caught again. I hope he rotts. Molesters should never see freedom ever again they take away something from these children that they can never get back,"their innocense".

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  4. This situation is absolutely disgusting and one I have never given much thought to before now. I am amazed at your story and especially the personal story your student told. How offensive that someone we hold in high regard ( a teacher and a coach)! I cannot imagine being in such a horrible situation. I played sports throughout high school and always held my coaches in high regard. I know I would never have stood for indecent behavior such as this. I can only imagine how difficult it would be for guys. The embarrassment of having this happen in the first place would be horrible in itself but the fact that it is happening to a “jock” might give the impression that you asked for it. I know this is ridiculous but I am trying to understand. Why would anyone keep this quiet? Wouldn’t you at least tell a friend to see if they had had a similar experience?

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  5. Sexual molestation is disgusting, pedophiles are equally disgusting and they deserve to be punished to the full extent of the law. How you enjoy and get off on taking control over little boys and sexually abusing them i will never understand. I hope that Jerry Sandusky is punished for everyones life he ruined. But as of right now the former assistant basketball coach of Syracuse University, Bernie Fine, will not face any charges for the children he abused because his statute of limitations has passed. Why does this even exist? If you have obviously abused children and ruined their lives why shouldn't you have to pay for what you've done?

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  6. My oldest brother was sexually abused at the age of 14 and it caused a great deal of turmoil in our family. We were not aware of the abuse until many years later, but we were forced to deal with the aftermath- drug and alcohol abuse, constant rebellion, violent outbursts aimed at parents, teachers, siblings, and friends alike etc.
    I appreciate you posting the signs to look for in a predator. As someone entering the field of physical education who enjoys working with children and as a parent of three teens let me say it is important to have personal and professional policies to adhere to in order to prevent abuse and to tell the pedophiles from good teachers, coaches, and friends. Here are two good ones to start with:
    1. Encounters between non-parental adults and children should be public and visible at all times.
    2. Non-parental adults should not be "friends" with children. This protects both child and adult. Coaches and others shouldn't be offering rides or activities to individual children nor should they have online social networking contact unless there is a family tie and parents are aware.

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  7. Pedophilia has to be the single most disgusting thing a person can do. how can someone even live with themselves after committing such acts? In my opinion these creeps should just be sent away to an island like they did with lepers, for pedophiles will always be pedophiles there is no changing that. once pedophiles go to jail they generally do re-offend, and almost always it seems that whenever a pedophile molests one child another child stands up with the same allegations against the person. in conclusion pedophiles should be done away with in any way possible.

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  8. Its disgusting to think that the thought to sexually molest a child could even come into ones head. I cant imagine how a child must feel especially when the offender is their coach, someone they look up to and respect. I am i coach and it is one of my favorite things to do. Having the kids look up to me and want to be like me is one of the greatest feelings in the world and i cant imagine anyone willing to risk that for something so disgusting.

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  9. Your point is so accurate that "pedophilia is insidious and more so when it involves young men, because men rarely talk about it". I tell my friends and family to please remember that we need to educate/protect our boys just as much as our girls on this subject. for reasons i don't understand, this continues to be a very real problem in that too many people assume that girls are more susceptible to this danger. Sadly in the case of Sandusky, this story serves as a very needed wake up call.
    E.L.

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