Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Vampire or Pinocchio syndrome?

I will keep it short. The latest news from Mark Foley's lawyer seems to be that he was abused as a teen, and that he's entered rehab for alcoholism. My first thought was that it was an excuse to deal with the situation which seems to be a common reaction from sex offenders. It's part of the 'Pinochio' syndrome. Now Mark Foley has denied having done anything improper with a minor and whether that's true or not, I am not going to go into that. I wanted to use this story for drawing your attention to this article: Sexual victimization and sexual delinquency: Vampire or Pinocchio syndrome? Excerpt:
Were you molested when you were a child? This is the unavoidable question faced by all offenders who are accused or convicted of a sex crime. A retrospective analysis of sexual victimization among offenders showed that from 30% to 60% of them with pedophiles predominant said yes. But what is the true story?

Sexual offending is often explained as being the consequence of previous sexual victimization. This perception of “cause and effect” is supported by various writers who believe that the presence of unresolved sexual trauma (deviant sexual experience in early childhood) plays an important role in the development and persistence of deviant sexual behaviour. Some even emphasize that sex crimes are often a reproduction of previously experienced sexual abuse. They call this the “vampire” syndrome. Other researchers question the assumption of a cycle of abuse that is, the theory of the abused abuser. Some even doubt the accuracy of the reported rate of sexual victimization among sex offenders, and talk about “pseudo-victimization” or “overvictimization”. It would appear that some sex offenders falsely claim that they were victimized as a way of explaining or excusing their own sex crimes. We do not know how widespread this practice is, but an American study of sex offenders showed that after they were told that they would be subject to a polygraph test, the percentage of those claiming sexual victimization dropped from 67% to 29%.
The authors Michel St-Yves and Bruno Pellerin go into the various studies and conclude with the following:
The results of these studies therefore lead us to question the importance that is placed on the role of sexual victimization in the development of sex-related criminality. Moreover, as previously mentioned, these studies are usually based only on self-reporting. It is therefore possible that some subjects invent sexual victimization scenarios (Pinocchio syndrome) or that they magnify or transform traumatic events in their lives to excuse or justify their crimes. Regardless of whether the sexual abuse did or did not occur, sexual victimization is not the only factor that may have a negative influence on a person’s emotional, social and sexual development. The vampire syndrome does not explain the high percentage (about 50%) of individuals who reported that they had not been molested in childhood but who still committed sex crimes. Conversely, many people were molested in childhood or adolescence but never became molesters themselves. It is clear that several other factors may influence the display of deviant sexual behaviour hence the need for carrying out further comparative studies.

Sex offenders who are out to molest children are for the most part people that you know. People who are married with children of their own. A trusted person even.
Check out How To Protect Your Children. Just remember, the bad guy doesn't wear black.


Anonymous Robster said...

I've got a take on the three-ring circus. My latest post is up, sans comments.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Jeremiah Bullfrog said...

Well well well... Y'all is jez making up facts now...We COnservatives can see through y'all librals...Y'all hate Foley so much jez cause he is a gay! And a alcoholic...I thought y'all jez luved them!...I bet them gays will jez a' come running ta the COnservative party now, where we unnerstands them and accept them fer thar abominations cuz we is the party of compassion and acceptance! Jez so long as they dont try ta git no rights dangit! They is 2nd class citizens, like the blacks...Gotta go nunchuck Will and Grace now...

10:46 AM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

Ingrid, thanks for the very informative post. Its a very difficult subject and the politics surrounding it may actually have a long term negative effect. I think people in the media and the politicians are trivializing Foley's behavior for political reasons and as a parent that seriously bothers me.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

ok, whats up with comments on Robbie's page?!? I thought the Hannity post was brilliant.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Robbie said...

I disabled comments on my blog because I don't have the time to put up with trolls. I'm certain to get some attention from them in the coming weeks leading up to the midterm elections.

In the past, when I wrote for some progressive websites, I learned the hard way that dealing with them is a waste of time. Not to mention, I've noticed on other sites how trolls leave libelous information about innocent people. I refuse to be a party to that kind of behavior, so I took away the means to do so.

You can always send me an email, though. :-)

10:30 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Hey guys, this is the story 'du jour' so I figured for one thing, that I needed to provide a different angle to it. Plus, as a parent (which Mash referred to), it is important to deal with these issues and know and understand the child predators are not 'gays' who are out to pervert young boys, but all kinds of men, and often men who are in important (?) positions, from politics to law enforcement to doctors and all kinds of considered respectable professions. I'll have to check out your post Robster and I can understand that you are being proactive re. the comment section. I guess it's a compliment of sorts that you're considered worthwhile enough to be 'trolled'!
Jeremiah, you gotta expand my vocabulary and explain what nunchuck means (it sounds kinda painful actually!!)
Mash, it's not an easy subject for sure and anything sexual in this country becomes a political issue somehow..it does diminish and take away from the underlying issues and the personal aspects of it. Apparently, on the local morning news show here in Austin, some of the 'pages' here in Austin they were concerned that now their program might get canceled! How's that for an idiotic reaction if it were to be/come true? What a weird thing to even think about. We'll see. Thanks for coming by too, I miss your frequency of posting but, there's only so many hours in the day and 'we' do enjoy the posts so much more when they're up!

11:25 AM  

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