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When Sexual Abuse Happens to Boys

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  1. When Sexual Abuse Happens to Boys Karen A. Duncan, M.A., LSW, LMFT The Right To Be Safe, Inc. www.theright2besafe.org www.healing4women.com

  2. What About Our Boys... Karen A. Duncan 2006

  3. Purpose of The Program • To raise awareness of the sexual abuse of boys. • To engage in a dialogue about the harm that is caused to boys who are sexually abused by females. • To acknowledge the female sex offender’s role in the perpetuation of sexual abuse by males. • Awareness of sexual offending in schools. • To discuss gender-specific prevention and treatment programs for boys. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  4. Sexual Abuse of Boys Prevalence

  5. Child Sexual Abuse • Epidemic: • CSA occurs to 1:4 girls and 1:6 boys. • These statistics include children sexually abused by women and men. • Adolescents, primarily males, account for 40% of reported sexual abuse cases. • The majority of reported offenders are male. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  6. Sexual Abuse of Boys Myths and Stereotypes

  7. Cultural Bias & Stereotypes • Males are reluctant to report sexual abuse due to the shame associated with male victimization. • Our culture emphasizes the stereotype that “males” cannot be victims...this stereotype extends to our boys. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  8. Cultural Bias & Stereotypes • The sexual assault of boys is likely to go unreported because of social consequences regarding masculinity(Williams, 1995; Elliot & Briere, 1994). Karen A. Duncan 2006

  9. Cultural Bias & Stereotypes • There is also the misconception that males cannot experience sexual abuse. • This is due to a lack of information about the human sexual response(Sarrel & Masters,2003). Karen A. Duncan 2006

  10. Human Sexual Response • When there has been a physical response to sexual abuse that is mislabeled as “pleasurable” rather than as a manipulated response to the sexual abuse by anoffender then children, teens and adults will discount or minimize the sexual abuse offense (Duncan, 2004). Karen A. Duncan 2006

  11. Male Sexual Victimization Myths • Male-to-male child sexual abuse may cause boys to mislabel themselves as “gay”. • Cultural stereotype that “boys want sex” or that “boys are proud” when the offender is a female. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  12. Sexual Abuse by Women A pathway to offending...

  13. Female Offending of Boys • When a woman sexually abuses a boy our culture tends to view this abuse as “harmless”. • There is also the attitude that “she is teaching him about sex” – when in fact she is teaching him about sexual abuse. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  14. Response to male victims: • Often male victims are “congratulated” and made to feel as though they are a “freak” if they report. • Young male victims are forced to perpetuate the distorted societalbelief that “sex with an older woman is the ultimate teen male fantasy” or so the fairytale is told. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  15. Misuse of Language in the Media • Journalists will often refer to sexual abuse by women on boys as: • “an illegal relationship” • “a teacher-student sex affair” • “a blonde bomb shell” • “an affair with his teacher.” • “having sex with a student”. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  16. Female Sex Offenders • When we add the view that if the female sex offender is also thoughts to be “young and attractive” then the male victim is even encouraged to feel “special” that he was chosen by the offender to be her “sexual partner”. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  17. Sandra “Beth” Geisel Karen A. Duncan 2006

  18. Sandra “Beth” Geisel • She was photographed in an “attractive manner” when compared to photographs of men who are arrested on suspicions of sexual abuse. • Photo appeared August 13, 2005. • New York State. • 42 years old, mother of 4. • 3rd degree rape of a 16 year old boy. • 4 other male teenage students. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  19. Sandra “Beth” Geisel • Her attorney presents her as the victim: • “There are some factors here where a reasonable person might think she was taken advantage of…when Geisel had sex with the boy at her home, she was too drunk to give her consent, so she couldn’t have raped him.” Karen A. Duncan 2006

  20. Tennessee • Pamela Rogers being escorted to jail (notice the pose). • Pleaded no contest to four counts of sexual battery with a 13 year old boy. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  21. Mary Kay Letourneau • In 1996 in Seattle, Washington Mary Kay Letourneau was convicted of second degree rape of her sixth grade student who was twelve yearsold at the time. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  22. Letourneau’s Victim • Photo of victim at age 12 . She first met her victim when he was 8 years old and she was his second grade teacher. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  23. Debra Lafave • Photos follow her progression as she was exposed for sexual abuse. • Sexual crimes against a 14 year old boy. • Planned and intentional: Had his 15 year old cousin drive her vehicle to Ocala, Florida while she sexually abused the boy in the back seat. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  24. Pamela Diehl-Moore • Judge Gaeta stated that: • “I really don’t see the harm that was done here and certainly society doesn’t need to be worried,” Gaeta explained. “I do not believe she is a sexual predator. It’s just something between two people that clicked beyond the teacher-student relationship.” • Question: What makes Judge Gaeta think he is an expert on female sexual offenders? Karen A. Duncan 2006

  25. Pamela Diehl-Moore • The judge also noted that “he had seen no evidence that the boy suffered any psychological damage from the ‘liaisons’ and that “maybe it was a way for him, once this happened, to satisfy his sexual needs,” Gaeta said. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  26. Media Coverage of Case • According to the journalist: • The ‘affair’ occurred in the summer of 1999, just after the boy completed the seventh grade. • Diehl-Moore took him back to her home, to commit the sexual abuse. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  27. Pamela Diehl-Moore • Diehl-Moore’s response: “I would never hurt anybody. I will never do this again. It was a lapse in judgment. I tried to help this boy in a way that he professed to me his family didn’t.” • Question: Does this sound like a rational person? How does sexual abuse help a boy? Karen A. Duncan 2006

  28. What Men Tell Us A pathway to offending...

  29. Denov (2004) (Journal of Interpersonal Violence) • Male Victims of Females: • “As a man, I’m suppose to be the powerful one and the actions of women are not supposed to affect me. I’m always supposed to have the upper hand.” • “I took pride in the fact that I could turn on these young girls. I was already fully sexualized and there was a sense of pride.” Karen A. Duncan 2006

  30. Denov(2004)(Journal of Interpersonal Violence) • One of the men: • Trouble at school for touching girls. • Sexually abused his 9 year old sister. • Sexually assaulted two of his nieces. • Sexually assaulted two girls outside the family. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  31. A 2004 Study by Denov(Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(10)) • Another man made this connection: • “I escalated into exposing myself to young girls. I wanted to feel some kind of control, some kind of power…I wanted to hurt or shock the girls…That would fulfill a desire to want them to feel the same pain that I felt when I was sexually abused.” Karen A. Duncan 2006

  32. Men Report: • “…for a man to be a victim is an embarrassment.” • “A real man is not a victim.” • “A real man is always in charge.” • “A man who is a victim is a failure.” • “Because I am a male, I should be able to control women.” Karen A. Duncan 2006

  33. Denov 2004 Study • These interviews indicate boys hold long-term beliefs about what the sexual abuse did to their sense of masculinity and male identity when a victim by a woman. • Supports the theory that female offenders contribute to male offending attitudes, behaviors and beliefs. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  34. Male Sex Offenders • Relationship of male sexual abuse and victimization by women shows: • 59% (1984,Petrovich and Templer) • 66% (1979, Groth) • 80% (1993, Briere and Smiljanich) • A 1989 study by O’Brien of male adolescent offenders abused by “females only” chose female victims almost exclusively. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  35. Sexual Abuse in Schools What Are Schools Doing?

  36. Sex Offenders in Schools • Carol Shakeshaft from Hofstra University stated that “the number of abuse cases--- which range from unwanted sexual comments to rape--- could be much higher.” Karen A. Duncan 2006

  37. Sex Offenders in Schools • Her study estimates that 290,000 students experienced some type of sexual abuse by a school employee between 1991 and 2000. • She estimates that “the sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.” Karen A. Duncan 2006

  38. Sex Offenders in Schools • 2002 U.S. Department of Education report in compliance with “No Child Left Behind”: • Between 6 percent and 10 percent of public school children across the country have been sexually abused or harassed by school employees and teachers. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  39. Sex Offenders in Indiana Schools • March 2004:A 20 year old Anderson, Indiana choir aide is charged with the rape of a 16 year old female student. • March 2004: IPS substitute teacher was caught “having sex” with a 15 year old student in a vacant classroom. • October 2005: IPS substitute teacher accused of e-mailing explicit photo of himself to a sophomore at Warren Central. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  40. Sex Offenders in Schools • Exploit and manipulate their position of power--- in particular may use charm, provide a child with attention and affection, or special privileges. • Majority of sex offenders are seducers of children and teens. • Sex offenders manipulate parents and others adults to gain their trust. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  41. School Responses to Sexual Abuse • Rely on statutory rape laws – very weak in prosecution. • Some states have specific laws banning sex between teachers and students. • An occasional in-service is provided. • No systematic response is enforced by schools. Karen A. Duncan 2006

  42. Safe and caring Schools!! “I’m important!” What children need... Karen A. Duncan 2006

  43. The Sexual Abuse of Boys Recommendations

  44. Recommendations: • Become aware of our own biases and myths regarding child sexual abuse. • Ask and talk about sexual abuse committed by females. • Report cases that we suspect and are disclosed to us. • Develop gender-based assessment, treatment and prevention for our boys. • Prevention programs in schools Karen A. Duncan 2006

  45. The Right To Be Safe! Adults who care... What children deserve... Karen A. Duncan 2006

  46. Thank You! Send your questions to: www.theright2besafe.org www.healing4women.com