T Nation

Observations

T-Folk
I finally have a chance to post once again now that I have settled into my new job quite nicely. As some of you may know, I am a mental health therapist and eventual psychology Ph.D. candidate in Developmental Psychology. I specialize in working with and reseraching sexual offenders/offending. I am currently working with adolescent sexual offenders (previously I was researching adults). Let me just say that certain things have been eye opening working with this population. In every client, their childhood has been pathetic. But what I find most unsettling is the fact that these kids are immenslty affected by the way society portrays sex as a “toy” as something to have regularly on a daily basis with x’le partners. Music, shows, magazines, you really don’t realize how “detrimental” some of this stuff is. Perhaps its time we as a society take a look deeper. What happened to the twenties where long skirts were in and sex was valued. I understand the whole “women’s liberation” thing, but something has changed…of course thats obvious, but is it simply we are just more acting on the pleasure principle now?
Reason I ask is becuase these kids listen to music, hear things on TV, watch people…and sometimes we wonder why we have a sex offender problem? Lets think about what we are teaching our kids, eps. those who come from otherwise pathetic backgrounds where no one cares about them, they are abused, and they have access to all kinds of trash in the media.

Sorry for the tangent, but you don’t realize some things until you are working with a populations that may have SOME SMALL CHANCE to change, and they are constantly bombarded by media that says “sex” is more or less, without emotion.

I’m out
Vain

I agree with your basic point - but you don’t know much about the Roaring Twenties. :wink:

Yep, and its been this way for years now. I guess its a sign of the times or something. People in general don’t give a horses ass about anything. Morals, traditions, their fellow man and the environment are just some examples of what seems to be thrown to the side these days. If it isn’t happening to me why should I care?
Sorry about that. I went off on my own tangent there. Obviously the media just reflects how society feels about sex. I think blame should be placed firmly on the shoulders of the parents who should never have been allowed to produce offspring to begin with. Unfortunatly, there is a large amount of these people roaming the earth. These parents would rather have “uncle TV” watch the kids instead of actually spending time with them. As technology improves this will continue to happen.

Well said! It is extremely difficult to parent well in this age of sexual freedom. Despite what parents say, the media says something else, and the kids are caught in the middle. One can only hope that good parenting comes out on top in the end. And those kids that do not have the good parenting, they are really lost, because they have nobody to turn to for real support and guidance.

We need to establish an islamic republic to get rid of all this filth!!!

What the hell is an eventual Ph.D candidate??? Sounds like something from some sort of online doctoral program. Based on your grammar and spelling ability I think that sounds about right.

No Weezer, its not some online thing (I just have to wait a year while I finish some clincial experience), and sorry I don’t check my spelling and grammar for you partner…But you know what?..you’re really smart for adding something intelligent to the discussion. Thanks again.
Vain

Vain, I think the answer to your question is within your post, when you say that many of these kids have no one to care about them, are often abused and in general don’t have much of a structured life. I don’t subscribe to the view that the world is a more violent or deviant place then it was 80 years ago. In fact, the world is less violent than it has ever been throughout history. With the modern media however, every violent or deviant act of signifigance, anywhere in the world, is brought to us almost instantly. Yes I agree that children can be affected by seeing these things. But, if brought up in a supportive, nurturing environment that provides boundaries and structure, it probably is’nt much of an issue.

Vain, I agree with the previous posts that say that parenting should be the number one priority of parents. Seems sort of logical. Unfortunately, many people seem more concerned with parties and their own selfish interests. They have the gall to vote down millages for improved education. Then they show themselves to be hypocritical by saying things like, “Kids these days…” What a crock. If there are any parents online who think that a party or a concert is more important than teaching your children valuable lessons, please re-evaluate. Society will thank you for it.
Weezer, keep up the spelling offensive. Next time assign a letter grade to a post. You will find that people will eventually clean up their spelling. If you read my posts, you will see that I have been engaged in a campaign to clean up grammar. I have had some noticable successes. I appreciate any stalwart allies. I invite you to join the grammar army. It is dedicated to the betterment of society.

This world is certainly no less violent then before (“There is nothing new under the sun”). However evil has always existed and wrong-doers will always abound. However one thing is for certain. Kids (especially teens) are more rebellious than ever before. Not all obviously but generally. This is the age of “self” but parents are obviously the biggest factor here. Love, loving discipline, and caring are something in rather short supply. Don’t over-critisize but don’t spoil either. A sane balance is what’s required. As with everything in life.

Good discussion here and some good thoughts - bravo, Vain for beginning this thread.

VAIN69, after carefully re-reading your post, let me address your main point which seems to be that TV, music, and movies CAUSE people to become sexual offenders. If that were true, then wouldn’t you expect to see an incredible number of sexual offenders???

Given your background and your impending foray into higher education, I suggest you rethink your hypothesis. Blaming sexual offenses on the media is truly naive. Just because someone who has been caught says “the evil media made me do it” does not make it true.

Weezer,
I appreicate your critical analysis of my post. However, I realize correlation is NOT causation. Obviously listening to certain music or reading certain things doesn’t make these cats do what they do. What I am saying is that it contributes more to the etiology and maintaneance of this behavior than one might think…It’s a big part of the overall milieu that contributes. Obviously, poor parenting is the number 1 reason (actually disrupted attachment bonds–which is what I research) but the media, in the form of music, tabloid, and tv contributes in large part by giving these kids who have no attachment a message saying that certain behavior is either accepted or, far worse, to be expected. For example, somoene who has no family or has been abused turns to a certain type of music, or watches tv shows (for example wrestling) that suggest women are indeed to be used as sex toys…at any rate, the offender is provided with the basic raw material from which fantasy behavior germinates. As I am sure you are aware, deviant fantasizing is one of the major players in this population. Please overlook any spelling or grammatical techincalities in this post as I wrote like I do all others, with no intention of giving a tinkers damn if i spelled correctly…I’ll save that for the papers and paperwork i have at school and at work. Not to mention i better get in the shower NOW or i’ll be late for work.
Peace out
Vain

I agree with the poster who said the fact their family life is so messed up makes them susceptible to unrealistic outside influences. Just like i think asocial skilled men with no female friends are likely to be affected porn, and view women as objects as they don’t understand normal social interaction. By the way it is comforting to know that future therapists tag themselves with the name “Vain68”!

Okay, I’m going to take the other side of this just for arguments case. Are today’s youth more violent? Really? I talk to my mother and listen to all of the things that she and my uncles did back in the day and there is NO way that anyone I know would have been able to do it, yet alone get away with it. Back in the day it was “boys will be boys” but in the lawsuit world of today, ther is no room for fighting, sexual harrassment, or genearal anarachy that boys have done for centuries. So are kids doing more today, or have we just found more for them to get caught up doing.

As far as the rape issues, think about how our view of sexual assault has changed in even the last decade. On some college campuses today, a female with a .08 BAC can engage in what seems like consentual sex and later claim it as a sexual assault. Now, I absolutely do not take sexaul assault lightly, at all. But, it’s another issue of are we doing it more or do we have more things to be caught doing? Date rape today was just rough sex a decade ago. As for what causes it, I look at how much more violence and sexuality are on European televison. Hell, you can be beastiality porn at your local newspaper stand. But yet, women felt much safer there and didn’t fear rape. I asked a well-known psychologist there why this was and she said it was because the society allowed men to express themselves and not have to lash out violently. Sexual assault is not about sex, it is about violence in a sexual manner.

Will we ever go back to the way things were, back to long skirts and clean language? If you think yes, go read the story of Pandora’s Box. If you still still think so, go back and read it again. Repeat until you get it.

“Date rape today was just rough sex a decade ago.” No, consentual rough sex today is the the exact same as consentual rough sex was a decade ago, sorry. Date rape is the ‘new’ term that defines rape by a partner that you allowed into your house and possibly into your bed but decided not to have sex and he decided you WERE going to have sex. This term came up because for a while, even reported date rapes were not viewed as crimes because the woman had a relationship with the criminal. Husbands can and do rape wives, is the crime less of a crime because they are married?

*disclaimer - I wrote this in the perspective of the man being the aggressor, though there have been cases of women being the criminals in date rape.

If you are going to start by saying my handle has anything to do with how i conduct my job or academic affairs, you, my friend, are brain dead.
Get-A-Life
I am out
BTW, thanks for all those that did respond with something of intelligence, which was the majority…I appreciate that.

I just wanted to clarify something I said. When I said “Date rape today was just rough sex a decade ago,” I was refering to a line Katie Koestner was given after her date rape. That’s what the dean called it. Katie went on to have a television movie made of her story, appear on the front cover of Time, and now tours colleges and HS to talk about sexual assault. Find out more at www.campusoutreachservices.com

If a woman wakes up, after a night of partying and heavy drinking. Realizes she had sex the night before with a guy, she wouldn’t want if she was sober… it’s date rape.

If a man wakes up, after a night of partying and heavy drinking. Realizes he had sex the night before with a woman, who he wouldn't fuck with his worst enemies dick... it becomes a secret.

My childhood was pathetic as was that of my siblings. Absentee father, abusive step fathers, crack addict mother, homeless from time to time, etc. I CHOOSE to work and put myself through school rather than sell drugs, prostitute myself, steal, or rob, rape, or kill anyone. I have made no end of mistakes and bad choices along the way but never has it occurred to me that I should not or would not be held accountable for my actions because my childhood sucked. That arguement is just the latest incarnation of the old devil-made-me-do-it excuse and it is bullshit. I don’t lack compassion for anyone who has been raised in poverty, an abusive environment, an underprivledged environment, or a neglected environment, because I have experienced all of the above. It does not, however, excuse you from anything. Who ever said life was a fair game? The bottom line is that at every point you have a choice and you are responsible for that choice.

As for the twenties, well, I am sure we all long for the good old days, when the superior male could safely go about his business secure in the knowledge that if he forced his wife to service him sexually it was no more than her duty. If he forced someone else to service him sexually, well, really she probably asked for it in that ultra provacative knee length skirt. Scandalous. Ah yes, the golden years before women and blacks got so goddamn uppity. It’s as convenient to blame equality and civil rights for the breakdown of society as it is to blame porn.

And again, sex crimes are not about sex. Sex crimes are about control and violence. The uncensored violence in the media that bombards us on a daily basis is far more damaging that sex in the media. I think a 15 year old boy, for example is a hell of alot better off getting a subscription to Playboy for Christmas than the latest edition of Mortal Combat. Sex is normal. Sex is a biological function. Sex is a necessary function. Sex feels good. Violence on the other hand is none of the above and glorifying it has contributed far more to the breakdown of society than the mini skirt. Just my .02.