We help people resolve negative emotions following sexual abuse.
We help people
solve relationship problems and build family harmony.
What is Child Sexual Abuse?
Child sexual abuse occurs when adults use children
for sexual gratification. Sexual abuse may begin with kissing or
fondling, and progress to intrusive sexual acts, such as oral sex, or vaginal or anal penetration.
may be combined with emotional abuse that destroys a childís self-respect,
for example repeated verbal abuse such as shouting, threats, and
degrading or humiliating criticism, emotional
incest and emotional blackmail.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault refers to sexual intercourse or attempted
intercourse carried out against a personís desire by the use or threat of
physical force. Definitions of sexual violence and
bullying often differ between countries.
Sexual Dysfunction .
Impotence and Frigidity
What causes Sexual Perversions?
Theories about Sexual Assault
- Psychoanalytic Models
- Victim Encouragement
- Family Dysfunction and Incest
- Psychological Models
- Societal Models
- Systemic Models
1. Psychoanalytic Models
In 1895, Sigmund Freud wrote about the consequences
of sexual abuse, claiming that boys are sexually attracted to their mothers,
and girls to their fathers. Freud tried to explain sex offences - "castration
anxiety is a failure to resolve an Oedipus Complex which causes feelings of sexual
inadequacy and a need to be sexually dominant". Hence sexual offences
would be parenting failures. A hundred years later, Freud's models still strongly
The psychoanalytic model places the blame of childhood sexual
abuse and incest on the child and the mother, (which may well represent Freud's
biography). Although widely used by psychiatrists, we find Freudian psychoanalytic
models to be limited:
- Mothers and children are blamed for childhood sexual
abuse, not the abusers.
- Does not explain father-son or mother-daughter sexual
abuse, incest by other family members nor sexual assaults by neighbors,
teachers, clergy or friends.
- Sex offenders or rapists are perceived as mentally sick, even
though the majority of sexual offenders show no symptoms of other
recognized mental illnesses.
2. Victim Encouragement
Victims are said to encourage rape through verbal and
non-verbal behavior (e.g. by walking alone). A woman who accepts a dinner
invitation or a lift home, or who visits a male friend at his home or who
invites a male friend into her own home may be perceived by a rapist as a sex
partner, and her actions rationalized as consent for sex. Verbal refusals of sex
may be perceived by a rapist as "sex games" and be ignored.
- Men may force women to participate in sexual
- The victim is blamed for the responsibility for
- Men may deceive women and hide their intention to
3. Family Dysfunction & Incest
Incest is seen as a symptom of a sick family, and all
family members are considered responsible for allowing it to occur.
In a dysfunctional family, incest may be covertly used to keep a family
together. Family dysfunction theory has been adopted by many government
Users of this model see the mother as a dysfunctional
wife who does not fulfill her husband's sexual needs, or protect her
children from him. She absents herself either emotionally or physically
from her children by absence through work or illness, or by being
emotionally aloof and/or sexually frigid.
Despite wide acceptance, the family dysfunction model:
- Does not explain other forms of sexual abuse
- Does not explain two thirds of child sexual abuse
- Minimizes or denies the
devastating effects of incest on a child
- Regards incest as a symptom that keeps a dysfunctional
- Argues that a father imposes sexual
demands on whoever does the housework
Mothers rarely ignore incest. In America, about 75% of
mothers react to disclosed incest and 60% take immediate action, in contrast
to the predictions of this model.
4. Psychological Models
Psychological models focus on identifying
the personality profile and motivations of sex offenders. Some
personality characteristics have been associated with sexual abusers.
- feelings of masculine inadequacy
- need to dominate and control family relationships
- introverted or withdrawn behavior (few or no friends)
- often adept at lies, evasions, excuses, justifications
Research shows that abusers come from all social
backgrounds; and do not suffer from known mental illnesses, nor do they
necessarily have other criminal tendencies. This model perceives sexual
abuse against women and children as normal male behavior.
5. Societal Models
Some say that social change can eliminate child abuse and
sexual assault, by changing:
- the balance of power between men and women
- the balance of power between adults and children
- the abusers' responsibility for sexual assaults
Societal models explain sexual assault in terms
of social structures. Abuse is considered to be a facet of a patriarchal
society, and sexual abuse and sexual assault are a result of legal, social,
economic and political systems which support or enforce male dominance over
women and children. These models predict that men ...
- express dependency through sex
- see wives and children as property
- use sex to reconfirm their sense of self
- are stimulated by the genitals of preferred sexual objects
- desire sexual partners who are younger and smaller than
This approach assigns responsibility to sexual abusers,
but argues that socialization contributes to sexual abuse, and that women and
children are passive, vulnerable and unable to resist.
6. Systemic Models
Our systemic psychology includes family dynamics about the
victim, the abuser and the family as well as social and cultural factors.
We provide a flexible framework which places responsibility with the abuser,
while recognizing the influences of the abuser's history, family and culture.
This allows us to offer solutions for the victims and for the
perpetrators of sexual abuse and sexual assault. We predict that:
- The abuser identified
with a family member who was perceived as a victim
- At least one adult caretaker of the abuser was
chronically sexually frustrated
- The abuser's family did not allow conversation or
discussion about sexual issues
- The abuser was abused, physically or emotionally,
by an opposite sex caretaker
- Most female sexual abusers will be bonded to
immature male caretakers
- Most male sexual abusers will be bonded to immature female caretakers
Sexual Abuse by Therapists & Health Professionals
Many of our clients are therapists, counselors, etc, and many
of our clients described their interactions with previous therapists,
I wanted my client
to express her feelings ... and she did so powerfully. At first I rejected her
advances because I knew that she was reacting to her father. I discouraged
this transference ... I knew I should avoid any personal relationship with her ...
was so young ... we made love anyway ... then her mother reported me.
Sexual contact between therapists and clients is regarded as unethical,
malpractice, and may be a criminal offense. Sexual contact between physicians,
lawyers, clergy, and professors and their patients/clients/students may be
considered unethical and grounds for a lawsuit.
My doctor referred me to a therapist for
depression. I quit when I saw that he was masturbating under his desk. I
wanted to report him but I couldn't work out how.
He is known to have
affairs with clients but he is still in business. Canada
A survey of
therapists showed that about 14% of male therapists and 3% of female therapists
reported erotic contact with at least one client. Another survey found
that 70% knew at least one client who had been sexually involved with a previous
I went to a therapist after my divorce. He
was obsessed with my sex life and details
of an affair I had while I was
married. He was obviously stimulated by what I told him.
I felt dirty and
soiled although he never touched me. Los Angeles
Around 90% of patients who had sexual contact
with therapists have consequences including sexual dysfunction, anxiety
disorders, psychiatric hospitalization, increased risk of suicide, depression,
dissociation, feelings of guilt, shame, anger, confusion, hatred feelings of
worthlessness and lost ability to trust people. Yet very few victims of
therapist abuse (under 10%) report the abuse
Some therapists argued that therapist-client sexual
intimacies rarely harm clients; rather that such actions are generally
inconsequential or beneficial; and that these intimacies do not constitute
exploitation, nor abuse trust, power, prerogative, responsibility in
Dr H. Greenwald (Shepard, 1971) wanted to
study therapist-patient sexual intimacies:
I raised the question ... intending, as a clinical
psychologist, that it be studied like any other phenomenon. And for
raising this question, some members circulated
a petition that I should be
expelled from the Psychological Association.
In a survey of 4,800 therapists, Borys and Pope (1989) found
that psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers engaged in sexual
intimacies with their patients at equivalent rates.
We can help you clean up the mess
We help people prevent, alleviate or control the unpleasant consequences of
sexual abuse and emotional incest. Contact us to change the emotional causes of sexual problems and
Contact us to resolve emotional and
Online Help: Relationship Counseling & Systemic Therapy
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