Sex Abuse of Children - Myths I Have Heard - #1

Years ago, a grown woman who had not yet had children of her own, looked me square in the eye and declared with absolute certainty that 100% of adults who were molested as children grow up to be child molesters.  

I tried to explain to this woman that she had it backwards.  I explained to her that many or most - or maybe even all, but I doubt it  - child molesters might have been molested themselves - but this was a very different statement than the one she had just made.

She looked befuddled.  She then admitted that she did not see the difference between what she had said and what I had said.  So I tried a different approach.

"All or most child molesters drank milk when they were children," I told her.  "But that does not mean that all children who drank milk grew up to be child molesters."  

Still.  A blank stare.

Okay.  One more try.

Gather all of the adults who have ever molested children, put them into one big room, and ask them to raise their hands if they were molested as children.  Many, maybe most, will raise their hands.

Now gather all of the adults who were ever molested as children and put them into another room.  (It will obviously be a much bigger room.) Now ask them to raise their hands if they have ever molested a child.  Whereas I cannot tell you how many will raise their hands, I can tell you that it won’t be anything close to the percentage that raised their hands in the first room.  

Still, no lightbulb moment.

"Just because a person has been molested as a child, does not mean they will become a child molester when they grow up."  

The conversation continued for another few minutes until I saw that logic could not triumph over a long standing myth.  

Result: When that woman had children, she feared that the children’s grandmother - who herself had been molested as a child - was likely to molest her own grandchildren.  So she prevented the woman from ever seeing her grandchildren.    

Molestation of a child, when combined with the ignorance of other adults, can lead to horrific and unnecessary consequences that will have a ripple effect for generations.  



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