Re: Sex Crimes

From: Francesca S. Alcorn (
Date: Wed 24 Mar 2004 - 21:51:12 GMT

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    Kenneth said:

    >Francesca, Chris, All,
    >That childhood and its discommodities plays a major role in why
    >kids turn later into murderers and rapists is ' obvious '...
    >Investigations done by the FBI, 1995 state that merely 35 % were
    >witness of sexual violence, within the home and outside ( 42 %)
    >71 % were Peeping Toms; 73 % were victims of stress- situations
    >concerned with sex; 81 % came into contact with pornography.
    >82 % masturbated compulsively, but 71 % were lonley, 67 % had
    >nightmares, 52 % had a low self- image, 29 % had headackes,
    >19 % did hurt themselves ( selfmutilation ).
    >What my concern is, is that sex in the general sense is attributed
    >as the leading part in this book of misery.

    I have a book which which I recommend for victims of sex crimes, called the Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Malz. One whole chapter is devoted to cognitive therapy (attitudes and beliefs). One point that she makes is that you *don't* have to be a victim of sexual abuse in order to have unhealthy attitudes and beliefs about sex. They permeate our culture. Malz has created a set of basic beliefs which she says underlie healthy and nurturing sexuality.

    This is where I see the overlap between psychology (cognitive therapy) and memetics. Therapists like this author really are memetic engineers - evaluating memes on the basis of the fulfillment they bring to a client's life, and whether or not these memes violate others - then trying to create new "healthy" memes to replace the old unhealthy ones.

    The problem is that therapy has historically been culture bound - so that people who didn't conform with a cultural norm were seen as sick
    (ie homosexuality). The evaluation of a belief in terms of some objective measure to determine it's "healthiness" *independent of cultural norms* is the real challenge. The difference between ethics and morality.

    >That being a victim of childabuse leads to extreme behavior in later
    >life is ' a fact',

    Now this is another common misapprehension. Only a small portion of those who are abused or molested do so themselves as adults. Many people seem to be able to overcome this and lead normal healthy adult lives. A new area of study, called "resilience" focuses on what factors allow some people to overcome trauma which cripples other people's lives.

    So far the results seem to suggest: 1) biological predisposition 2) locating outside sources of support - either in the form of other people or in the form of interests and activities - which allow them to "decouple" from their abusive/dysfunctional families 3) frequency and intensity of the abuse itself.

    >that they watch compulsively pornographic films is
    >no ' normal ' behavior by the least, but this is using the same argu-
    >ment as like violence seen on TV leads to real violence in the real

    Thousands of people watch porn and *don't* commit crimes. In fact studying the differences between porn users who do and don't commit crimes might be just as useful an area of study as that of resilience. Also there is a distinction between really sick porn and porn that is relatively benign. Possibly there is porn which portrays sex in a healthy way - although I would call it erotica just to make the distinction between it and regular porn. There is a blog along these lines written by a woman who worked as a porn clerk. It is pretty interesting:

    Theoretically, healthy erotica might be one of the most powerful ways to promote healthy sex memes.

    >What strikes me the most, and I defend an extreme liberal point
    >of view here, is that sex is again used as the scape- goat.
    >Sex is being part of life as has been eating, shelter and sleep.
    >But where the latter is taking as being obvious the former is
    >treated, now and then as being a taboo.
    >And I don 't understand why !
    >Sex has been always commoted with fear, as being ' dirty ',
    >as a taboo, as something surprising.
    >The notion, " kids are not allowed " is something what scares
    >kids, what is needed is that grown- ups talk about sex, talk
    >about sex with their kids open- minded, talk about the fact
    >that sex isn 't something that must be violent and humiliated.
    >And that has much to do with how our society is organised
    >than it has to do with the brutal naked facts, if I may express
    >myself in that matter....
    >We are far drifted away from our animals ancestory, we
    >' rationalised ' sex and IMO that is where we went wrong....

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