Re: SK-L: Child Sexual Abuse Article (fwd)

Leslie Schentag (
Thu, 25 Mar 1999 17:16:11 -0800 (PST)

  Leslie Schentag
  Gremlin Research Consultants
  Web Site:


  "When Freedom Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Be Free"
					-F.T.W. Productions, 1992.

 "It is better to die on your feet than live a lifetime on your knees"
					-Emiliano Zapata

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 02:58:16 -0800
From: Jason <>
Subject: Re: SK-L: Child Sexual Abuse Article

Streetkid-L: Promoting awareness of the plight of street children
and other children at risk worldwide. Your participation is welcome.
In response to your and Suephil's comments, I believe you are either
misreading the article. This is not an advocacy article and ought not be
read as such. If anything, it is one that will strengthen the position of
those that would not like to see a loosening of the laws. As I read it, the
article says that the scientific evidence that shows that the long term
effects of early sex with adults is not as devastating as common believed
is probably not very accurate because it is based on the lumping together
of two very different young populations, those that were non-willing forced
or coerced and those that were quite willing participants. What this
article is saying is that if the groups are studies separately, the results
for the first group regarding long term effects would probably be that
there were dire consequences to such activity. This would justify societal
caution regarding youth-adults sex.

As for the second population, I can report as a therapist who has worked
with high risk adolescents for the last 30 years, including having raised
14 foster kids, and who currently works with street hustlers, that many
teenagers, after puberty and full of raging hormones, are more than willing
participants with anyone who will have sex with them and much of the time
are the aggressors in those relationships. On many occasions I have had to
deal with very hostile kids because I refused to have sex with them. For
this group of kids, I would have to agree with the article that their
having sex, per se, with adults would probably have no residual negative

I have lots of problems with these totally conceptual acts, but they are
not about the sex. AIthough, I don't think it is accurate to label them as
sexual abuse, I would definitely label them as social abuse. I believe what
will screw up these adolescents is that after having sex with an adult,
there will be a negation of the normal roles that adult would play
vis-a-vis the kid. By roles, I mean father, mother, counselor, teacher,
role model, uncle, minister etc. These roles can only exist if they are
"more of something" in relation to the youth, ie: more authority, more
knowledge, more successful, more responsible, etc. After having had sex
with such an adult, that adult in the eyes of the youth is now at best, an
equal and at worst, just another sex partner, which either destroys the
previous relationship roles or confuses the roles to such a point that it
messes with the kids emotions.

When I am confronted by indignant teens who can't understand why I would
reject them as a sex partner, I explain the it has nothing to do with them
and everything to do with my rules for myself that I will never have sex
with anyone, client or not, under the age of 26 because "I choose to be
part of the solution and not part of the problem!"   

I have many more reasons why teens and young adults ought to be having
relationships, including sexual ones, with people close to their own age,
but your patience reading all this and my need to get to sleep so I can
have the energy for another 16+ hour day tomarrow dictates my continuing
some other time.

Jason Wittman

At 09:01 PM 3/24/99 +0000, Joe F. Walenciak wrote:
>The following was just passed on to me.  Am I just strange, or are 
>there some alarming statements here????!!
>For the entire paper; please see the American Psychological
>AssociationAEs Psychological Bulletin 1998, Vol.124, No.1, 22-53 
>copyright 1998 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.
>The following is the Summary and Conclusion 
>Beliefs about Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) in American culture center on
>the viewpoint that CSA by nature is such a powerfully negative force
>that (a) it is likely to cause harm, (b) most children or adolescents
>who experience it will be affected, (c) this harm will typically be
>severe or intense, and (d) CSA will have an equivalently negative
>impact on both boys and girls. Despite this widespread belief, the
>empirical evidence from college and national samples suggests a more
>cautious opinion. Results of the present review do not support these

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