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Old 31st December 2018, 01:39 PM   #1
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Sexual Abuse - Impact

I ponder about this issue. Why is it that children who have been abused apparently suffer so much trauma? Trauma and mental health issues that extend into their adult life? Never having experienced sexual abuse myself, although I had a couple of near misses, I wonder why the effect is so severe.

Children have been abused for centuries and it's been suggested, that paedophilia is not even abnormal or a disorder. A highly undesirable kind of sexual attraction but there it is. We know it's been around for a long time if we study history.

I wonder if the effect of being abused is exacerbated by societies and institutions attitudes. If a boy is abused by a Catholic priest for example, and given the Catholic Churches obsessive preoccupation with matters sexual, how much does this contribute to the trauma that follows?
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Old 31st December 2018, 01:53 PM   #2
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Because if severely screws up our concept of intimacy. Human beings are social creatures, even the most shut off among us need physical and emotional connections with other people. It's one of our most base needs. Having your concept of what this is and how to do it "right" royally FUBARed is gonna have some pretty drastic consequences.
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Old 31st December 2018, 02:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I ponder about this issue. Why is it that children who have been abused apparently suffer so much trauma? Trauma and mental health issues that extend into their adult life? Never having experienced sexual abuse myself, although I had a couple of near misses, I wonder why the effect is so severe.

Children have been abused for centuries and it's been suggested, that paedophilia is not even abnormal or a disorder. A highly undesirable kind of sexual attraction but there it is. We know it's been around for a long time if we study history.

I wonder if the effect of being abused is exacerbated by societies and institutions attitudes. If a boy is abused by a Catholic priest for example, and given the Catholic Churches obsessive preoccupation with matters sexual, how much does this contribute to the trauma that follows?
Congratulations on having never had the trauma of a child who has been sexually abused, to never have experienced the pain, confusion, violation, guilt, shattering of innocence.

I believe the abuse is traumatic enough that it never fully heals and many things exacerbate that trauma for the rest of their lives.
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Old 31st December 2018, 11:46 PM   #4
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I've often wondered if it is made much, much worse, by everything that happens afterwards.

You don't have to look hard to find accounts of children being beaten, ostracized or worse because the child has reported being abused.

Similar treatment (or worse) for women who report that they have been raped.

Being consistently told that they are liars, while the perpetrators swan around in the community.

Even when the victim is being supported by their community, having to relive the events over and over and over again, being the constant centre of attention.

That alone would have me considering suicide.
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Old 1st January 2019, 12:59 AM   #5
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There are several factors.
- the inability to say no to abuse
- learning that they cannot trust people they should be able to trust
- not knowing the difference between right and wrong
- learning that so many people, who are not involved in the abuse, refuse to help

The above is only a tiny fraction of the whole answer.
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Old 1st January 2019, 01:10 AM   #6
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All the above and I think also people under estimate the power of the trust relationship between a child and adults and how when it is broken it can severely affect other relationships that involve trust (any intimate one for a start), in the future for the child
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Old 1st January 2019, 01:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
There are several factors.
- the inability to say no to abuse
- learning that they cannot trust people they should be able to trust
- not knowing the difference between right and wrong
- learning that so many people, who are not involved in the abuse, refuse to help

The above is only a tiny fraction of the whole answer.
Actually sorry rjh01

Was your second point
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Old 1st January 2019, 09:19 AM   #8
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Children are very different to adults.
Their brains are still developing and during this window of brain plasticity abuse can have a physical impact that could leave permanent damage that cannot be undone.
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Old 1st January 2019, 09:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
I've often wondered if it is made much, much worse, by everything that happens afterwards.

You don't have to look hard to find accounts of children being beaten, ostracized or worse because the child has reported being abused.

Similar treatment (or worse) for women who report that they have been raped.

Being consistently told that they are liars, while the perpetrators swan around in the community.

Even when the victim is being supported by their community, having to relive the events over and over and over again, being the constant centre of attention.



That alone would have me considering suicide.
In addition, children are often told by the abuser that if they tell, something bad will happened to a parent or pet. They are trapped in confusion and fear.
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Old 1st January 2019, 10:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I ponder about this issue. Why is it that children who have been abused apparently suffer so much trauma? Trauma and mental health issues that extend into their adult life? Never having experienced sexual abuse myself, although I had a couple of near misses, I wonder why the effect is so severe.

Children have been abused for centuries and it's been suggested, that paedophilia is not even abnormal or a disorder. A highly undesirable kind of sexual attraction but there it is. We know it's been around for a long time if we study history.

I wonder if the effect of being abused is exacerbated by societies and institutions attitudes. If a boy is abused by a Catholic priest for example, and given the Catholic Churches obsessive preoccupation with matters sexual, how much does this contribute to the trauma that follows?
Sure, its almost certain that institutions and societies attitudes towards things will effect the impact on the sufferer. Compare Viet Nam Vets with PTSD to modern vets with PTSD, I'd suspect there is a profound difference in their suffering.

Regarding the past, there is a non-zero chance that pretty much everyone on earth suffered from ptsd prior to 2 or 3 hundred years ago or atleast most people and most societies were even more screwed up than modern societies.
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Old 1st January 2019, 01:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
I've often wondered if it is made much, much worse, by everything that happens afterwards.

You don't have to look hard to find accounts of children being beaten, ostracized or worse because the child has reported being abused.

Similar treatment (or worse) for women who report that they have been raped.

Being consistently told that they are liars, while the perpetrators swan around in the community.

Even when the victim is being supported by their community, having to relive the events over and over and over again, being the constant centre of attention.

That alone would have me considering suicide.

I fell there is much truth in what you have said novaphile. Might I also add that sometimes the child is made to believe that he or she is to blame, for tempting the perpetrator.

What I am wondering is if sexual activity in all its shapes, were not regarded in such bad, sinful, light. How much less impact this may have on the victim. I am certainly not condoning the use of children for sexual gratification mind you, but just wonder how much more abused the victim may feel, because of the taboo nature of the abuse.

I wonder how this has played out, and perhaps is still being played out, in societies where pedophilia is accepted.
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Old 1st January 2019, 01:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
There are several factors.
- the inability to say no to abuse
- learning that they cannot trust people they should be able to trust
- not knowing the difference between right and wrong
- learning that so many people, who are not involved in the abuse, refuse to help

The above is only a tiny fraction of the whole answer.

Yes I think so rjh01 and thanks for the thoughtful response. Somewhat different to the salvo I received from one.
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Old 1st January 2019, 04:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I fell there is much truth in what you have said novaphile. Might I also add that sometimes the child is made to believe that he or she is to blame, for tempting the perpetrator.

What I am wondering is if sexual activity in all its shapes, were not regarded in such bad, sinful, light. How much less impact this may have on the victim. I am certainly not condoning the use of children for sexual gratification mind you, but just wonder how much more abused the victim may feel, because of the taboo nature of the abuse.

I wonder how this has played out, and perhaps is still being played out, in societies where pedophilia is accepted.
Yes, have to wonder about that too.

I can't personally understand someone being sexually attracted to children, or even minors, but I can't help but wonder if things could be better if attitudes towards sex in general were different.
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Old 1st January 2019, 05:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post

I wonder how this has played out, and perhaps is still being played out, in societies where pedophilia is accepted.
Thanks for your words of support. There are two issues with this
1. Do the children have the right to say 'no'?
2. In what other ways are the children abused?

I just wonder what those societies are like. Is it accepted or just not acknowledged?
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Old 1st January 2019, 06:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Yes, have to wonder about that too.

I can't personally understand someone being sexually attracted to children, or even minors, but I can't help but wonder if things could be better if attitudes towards sex in general were different.

Yes me either. Kids can be cute but sexually alluring no. There are all kinds of weirdos out there though.
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Old 1st January 2019, 07:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Thanks for your words of support. There are two issues with this
1. Do the children have the right to say 'no'?
2. In what other ways are the children abused?

I just wonder what those societies are like. Is it accepted or just not acknowledged?

I think that most would agree that children should not have the right to say yes.

If children are abused in some other way that causes physical harm that is another story. It would seem however that the main harm done to the abused is mental. How much this is intensified due to feelings of guilt is what I wonder.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 12:58 AM   #17
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It is rape.

Rape results in prolonged trauma to the victim.

The inability of children to cope with mental trauma as “readily” as an adult shouldn’t really need much thinking about.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 06:42 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
...
1. Do the children have the right to say 'no'? ...

Taken in isolation, that's a great question actually. Do children have the right to say No? In what areas are we to respect their opinion, in terms of taking it seriously, and in what areas not?



(Of course, when it comes to sex per se, obviously children should not have the "right" to say Yes -- or at least, others, especially adults, should not have the right to act on that acquiescence, even if such acquiescence were freely forthcoming.

I was just thinking more generally. Children object to a great many things, and we often don't take their objections very seriously, or even if we do, we often end up overriding their objections about things that actually affect their life in small and big ways. That's the part I was generally thinking about.)
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Old 2nd January 2019, 08:20 AM   #19
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It's something I've vaguely wondered about - Did the men of ancient Greece spend their whole lives traumatised?
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Old 2nd January 2019, 10:51 AM   #20
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Probably a question of what one is accustomed to?

I'm sure a great many practices in ancient and medieval times would leave most modern men and women traumatized, if we had to endure those practices in our lives.

But does that mean most people in ancient and medieval ages spent their days traumatized and miserable? I suppose the answer to that question presupposes a level of physical and mental health, an ideal or a standard, that we take for granted today, but which would probably have been impossible to actually reach (or reac for) in those past, unhappy ages.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 11:15 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Probably a question of what one is accustomed to?

I'm sure a great many practices in ancient and medieval times would leave most modern men and women traumatized, if we had to endure those practices in our lives.

But does that mean most people in ancient and medieval ages spent their days traumatized and miserable? I suppose the answer to that question presupposes a level of physical and mental health, an ideal or a standard, that we take for granted today, but which would probably have been impossible to actually reach (or reac for) in those past, unhappy ages.


My sense is that 'traumatic' is just that which is far outside the norm. Because then the victim is different, not the same as his or her peers.

The boys of ancient Greece were probably able to sit around the fire of an evening and compare notes on their experiences, just like kids today sit around and complain about PE if they doin't like it, or any of the other myriad of unpleasant experiences that kids have to endure.

I think it's far more the isolation than the act. I have a side order of suspecting that the "OH MY GOD YOU POOR CHILD, YOU'RE SO ABUSED, YOU ARE TRAUMATISED" doesn't help. I may be a million miles out with both my pet theories.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 12:59 PM   #22
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When a society exposes its members to experiences that are considered to be not only acceptable but also necessary, it tends to be in denial about the traumatizing effects that they may have: Recurring Final Exam Dream (Psychology Today, Sep. 7, 2009)
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Old 2nd January 2019, 02:15 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
My sense is that 'traumatic' is just that which is far outside the norm. Because then the victim is different, not the same as his or her peers.

The boys of ancient Greece were probably able to sit around the fire of an evening and compare notes on their experiences, just like kids today sit around and complain about PE if they doin't like it, or any of the other myriad of unpleasant experiences that kids have to endure.

I think it's far more the isolation than the act. I have a side order of suspecting that the "OH MY GOD YOU POOR CHILD, YOU'RE SO ABUSED, YOU ARE TRAUMATISED" doesn't help. I may be a million miles out with both my pet theories.

You may be a million miles out but you have company as this is just what I am thinking.

An interesting and recent article by one Katie Serena, on the subject of sexual use of boys by the Greeks, Romans, and Japanese Samurai.

https://allthatsinteresting.com/pederasty

Quote:
Ancient civilizations such as the Romans, the Greeks, and the Samurai warriors all embraced pedophilia, viewing it as a way to enlighten young children in the ways of love, and teach them how to be a better, more respectful lover later in life.

And a bit more detail about the Samurai.

Quote:
The Samurai referred to the ritualistic practice of taking a young boy as a lover as “Shudō,” or, “The Way of the Young.”
The purpose of the union was to allow young men to form an apprentice-like bond with a warrior and learn from him everything there was to know about becoming a warrior. The Samurai would teach the young boy about martial arts, warrior etiquette, and the code of honor shared amongst the Samurai. The union would often continue past adulthood, and turn into a form of friendship inspired by loyalty.
Until the boy came of age, the bond was sexual in nature. The warriors believed that sexual relations with women weakened the mind, body, and spirit, and thus turned to men instead, seeing the union as sharing each other’s battle spirits.

One has to wonder how traumatised these boys were, when subjected to sexual use, in this cultural context?

Now just to offset the shrlll cries of protest that may be welling up in some. I am not suggesting the trauma experienced by modern day victims is less than reported. How could we say that knowing many have been driven to suicide. Just consider what 3point14;12550471 said above.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 03:08 PM   #24
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I am asexual, I have never been in love or had a sexual relationship. I was sexually abused by my father when I was a child. Yes, I think those two facts are related. No, I do not feel guilty about what happened to me.

Hope that helps.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 03:36 PM   #25
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you can't possibly know/understand what a person feels. and when, why and where. and why children only? are adults better equipped in some way? to deal with this?
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Old 2nd January 2019, 07:03 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by kayle View Post
you can't possibly know/understand what a person feels. and when, why and where. and why children only? are adults better equipped in some way? to deal with this?


OP, what is it you are really getting at? This thread has some disturbing undertones.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 10:14 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You may be a million miles out but you have company as this is just what I am thinking.

An interesting and recent article by one Katie Serena, on the subject of sexual use of boys by the Greeks, Romans, and Japanese Samurai.

https://allthatsinteresting.com/pederasty




And a bit more detail about the Samurai.




One has to wonder how traumatised these boys were, when subjected to sexual use, in this cultural context?
In the cultural context of institutional child rape and child sex slaves you mean?

At least in most,current western cultures a child who is raped has a small chance of being removed from that environment if they are able to get noticed by that culture’s authorities. Whereas those in environments mentioned in your post have no escape from prolonged slavery and sexual abuse. Perpetual trauma.
Quote:
Now just to offset the shrlll cries of protest that may be welling up in some. I am not suggesting the trauma experienced by modern day victims is less than reported. How could we say that knowing many have been driven to suicide. Just consider what 3point14;12550471 said above.
Child 1, sitting around a fire : How was your day today?
Child 2 : Awful, I had multiple men rape me multiple times all day. You?
Child 1 : The same. At least you and I can share a hot cocoa and a laugh about it after, eh?
Child 2 : Yeah, it takes my mind off it for a few hours and then I’ll be ready for another rape-packed day of abuse tomorrow.
Child 1 : What a life, eh?
Child 2 : Ah well, can’t complain.
Child 1 : Nope. Who would listen anyway?

Sorry, I just don’t see why anyone would think that institutionalised child rape could be less traumatic, just because it is a common occurrence.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 11:48 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
In the cultural context of institutional child rape and child sex slaves you mean?

At least in most,current western cultures a child who is raped has a small chance of being removed from that environment if they are able to get noticed by that culture’s authorities. Whereas those in environments mentioned in your post have no escape from prolonged slavery and sexual abuse. Perpetual trauma.Child 1, sitting around a fire : How was your day today?
Child 2 : Awful, I had multiple men rape me multiple times all day. You?
Child 1 : The same. At least you and I can share a hot cocoa and a laugh about it after, eh?
Child 2 : Yeah, it takes my mind off it for a few hours and then I’ll be ready for another rape-packed day of abuse tomorrow.
Child 1 : What a life, eh?
Child 2 : Ah well, can’t complain.
Child 1 : Nope. Who would listen anyway?

Sorry, I just don’t see why anyone would think that institutionalised child rape could be less traumatic, just because it is a common occurrence.
A similar sort of thing happened in western society until a few decades ago. Only it was wives instead of children. A man could rape and bash his wife (and bash his children) as much as he liked. Even if it was reported then no-one would do anything to stop it as it was legal.

When society said the above was wrong and made it illegal, then society could go to the next level and say that sexual abuse of children should be stopped as well. That is partly why past sexual abuse (by celebrities and church) is being exposed now. In the past it was being ignored.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 01:59 AM   #29
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You may be a million miles out but you have company as this is just what I am thinking.

An interesting and recent article by one Katie Serena, on the subject of sexual use of boys by the Greeks, Romans, and Japanese Samurai.

https://allthatsinteresting.com/pederasty
Quote:
Ancient civilizations such as the Romans, the Greeks, and the Samurai warriors all embraced pedophilia, viewing it as a way to enlighten young children in the ways of love, and teach them how to be a better, more respectful lover later in life.
Umm...no? Well yes, the ancient Greeks were fine with it (pederasty was actually institutionalized in Sparta) and I can't say anything about the Samurai; but the classical Romans viewed pedophilia as absolutely exploitative and dominative in nature toward the target. It's the reason pederasty was only allowed on targets who were slaves or foreign captives; citizen children were legally protected from sexual predation because it was considered a violation of dignitas. Definitely nothing to do with "enlightening young children in the ways of love".
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Old 3rd January 2019, 02:56 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
And a bit more detail about the Samurai.

One has to wonder how traumatised these boys were, when subjected to sexual use, in this cultural context?

The history of pederasty was probably written by the perpetrators rather than the victims - in both ancient Greece and Japan.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 03:26 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
The history of pederasty was probably written by the perpetrators rather than the victims - in both ancient Greece and Japan.

They're the same people.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 08:18 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
They're the same people.
In the same way that folks who advocate beating sense and discipline into kids because their fathers did it to them and they grew up into good red blooded men, are the same people who got beaten by their fathers as kids.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 08:27 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
In the same way that folks who advocate beating sense and discipline into kids because their fathers did it to them and they grew up into good red blooded men, are the same people who got beaten by their fathers as kids.

Maybe. Maybe not. You just don't know. And your comment has absolutely no bearing on mine as a response to:

Originally Posted by dann View Post
The history of pederasty was probably written by the perpetrators rather than the victims - in both ancient Greece and Japan.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 12:29 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
They're the same people.
At some point they weren't. There came a time when both of these cultures grew increasing disdain for pedophilia and eventually criminalized it. And it wasn't some modernization or cross-cultural imposition thing either; Greece was still in the Classical period when pedophilia was outlawed.

Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
In the same way that folks who advocate beating sense and discipline into kids because their fathers did it to them and they grew up into good red blooded men, are the same people who got beaten by their fathers as kids.
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Maybe. Maybe not. You just don't know.
You can't have it both ways.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 01:38 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post


OP, what is it you are really getting at? This thread has some disturbing undertones.

I think I have been quite open and frank about this. I am certainly not advocating a more lenient approach towards paedophiliac offenders - but of course you would know that if you read the thread from the beginning. What I am suggesting is that maybe the severity of the impact on the victims is multiplied, because of societies and or religious institutions attitudes.

Those abused by priests gat a double whammy here. They get the teaching that sex is evil and then get abused by the teacher, often with the guilt being put on them as having tempted the abuser.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 01:43 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
The history of pederasty was probably written by the perpetrators rather than the victims - in both ancient Greece and Japan.

Perhaps you should write to Katie Serena and lay this on her. I'm sure she would welcome your in-depth knowledge on the subject.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 01:48 PM   #37
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I got involved with a group of men when i was 14,
typical grooming things like access to alcohol,drugs,glue and cigarettes etc.

In 2003 after police interviewing me, I ended up being the main witness in a court case that found them guilty, sentences varied from 12 years to 3 years. It was in the media at the time. It was called operation something or other, the police took me all around the county and they paid for me to stay in a hotel, which was nice.

I know the OP is about children so it's not exactly relevant,

but that stuff comes into my mind every day.

EDIT: The only time I cried and felt really sad though, was the Video interview by the police in a secure house, as they were drumming it in to me that I was a victim, that actually made me feel worse.

So maybe the OP has a point?

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Old 3rd January 2019, 01:58 PM   #38
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As I have mentioned before in other threads, I lived in Thailand for many years and learned that almost all boys are required to serve time as a monk. These boys can be quite young and are put under the control of older monks. One would have to be extremely naive to think no abuse takes place.

Never heard any talk about kids being abused or suffering any trauma as a result of this. Could be because a lid is kept on it, but maybe the ill effects resulting from abuse are not so great, because of the free and easy attitude Thais have towards sexuality.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 04:51 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
As I have mentioned before in other threads, I lived in Thailand for many years and learned that almost all boys are required to serve time as a monk. These boys can be quite young and are put under the control of older monks. One would have to be extremely naive to think no abuse takes place.

Never heard any talk about kids being abused or suffering any trauma as a result of this. Could be because a lid is kept on it, but maybe the ill effects resulting from abuse are not so great, because of the free and easy attitude Thais have towards sexuality.
For starters, the trauma can take years to surface. Then you may not relate the trauma to the abuse. An adult starts behaving strangely? Must be mentally ill. Had fantasies of having sex while a child. How silly. Yet they were reality.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 04:55 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Never heard any talk about kids being abused or suffering any trauma as a result of this. Could be because a lid is kept on it, but maybe the ill effects resulting from abuse are not so great, because of the free and easy attitude Thais have towards sexuality.
Or it could be because of denial, instilled shame, or a combination of these - just like in America. Despite the "free and easy attitude toward sexuality" you assert, violence and discrimination, and attitudes supportive of these, against LGBT individuals is widespread in Thailand. In the US, where anti-gay attitudes are likewise prolific and often vicious, children who are victims of same-sex abusers often keep silent due to feeling intense shame and fear of being judged as "gay" because of what happened to them; and this is very much despite the consistent and persistent messaging against sexual abuse that emphasizes children that are victims aren't responsible for what has been done to them by abusers. I see no reason why this same effect could not exist in Thailand when it comes to victims of abuse.

Just because a problem isn't talked about, doesn't mean it doesn't exist or isn't as bad. Particularly among much older people in the US who disclosed childhood sexual abuse only later in life, a common theme is lamentation that "nobody talked about it back then", although the survivors themselves will tell you they were suffering just as much despite this silence.
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