Is Childhood The Foundation For Sexual Addiction? Part V

By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

"Our children give us the opportunity to become the parents we always wished we'd had."
Louise Hart

In 2002 I took time off from my many endeavors and wrote a book on sexual addiction, called “Battle of the Flesh; The Road To Recovery From Sexual Addiction.” The reason I bring this aspect of this article up is one of the chapters specifically deals with children who become sex addicts. Nothing has really changed since the book was published, except the Internet. The proportion of U.S. households with computers reached 61.8 percent from 1998 to 2003. The number of computers in households in 2009 was somewhere near 80%.

The more tricky question is how many homes had Internet services in 2003 and that would have been 59.2% and today is 77.3%. The increasing amount of access to computers and Internet is growing every day. In the eight year period between 2003 and 2011, there was an 18.1% increase. If computers in American homes increases at this rate, and, the use of the Internet continues to be viable, the problems children have now with using the Internet to explore possible pornography will double over the next ten years.

The outcome is gloomy for the future children in America. The exposure of sexual abuse and sexual themes may double in the near future if parents and educators do not take progressive and aggressive steps to curtail the sexualized environment that children live in. The consequences are unforeseeable at this time, because most of the information in the scientific research is still underway. These scientific researchers have only begun to utilize data which has come from minimal scientific projects.

So what should parents do to curtail the sexualized world that children live in and will live in until the authorities begin making a dent in the sexual exposure? Here are some ideas and steps parents can take to stop children from being sexually abused and being exposed to specific sexual themes: 

·         Raising awareness of the unacceptability of child sexual abuse, and promoting the notion that stopping child sexual abuse is everyone’s responsibility.
·         Educating the public, especially policymakers, about the true nature of child sexual abuse.
·         Rigorously evaluating and strengthening existing child sexual abuse prevention programs.
·         Shifting the prevention of child sexual abuse from children to adults.
·         Exploring, evaluating, and strengthening new approaches to child sexual abuse.
·         Minimize the opportunity for the child to be exposed to individuals who the child does not know.
·         Talk about what sexual abuse is and if someone tries to sexually abuse the child what steps the child should take to tell the non-abusing authority figure.
·         Stay alert at all times. The child is the parents responsibility and if the parent does not protect and/or safeguard the child from harm who will?
·         Make a plan on how to protect the child from being sexually assaulted.
·         Parents need to be involved in their community and household to try and prevent the child from being sexually abused (Preventing Child Abuse and Darkness To Light).

The preventive program like the one above can minimize the amount of sexualized situations a child will become involved in. However, the concern here is what transpires after the exposure? If a child is sexually abused or introduced to sexual themes, it is the aftermath where the child may adventure out, exploring the opportunities available to them.  This may include sexually abusing a sibling, viewing provocative magazines, and if the Internet is accessible, using the Internet to find pornographic websites.

In the early 1980’s many professionals used to ask an important question when interviewing alleged child sexual abuse victims, “How would the child know adult terms, if they had not been sexually abused?” This is still a great question, but the answer may not be what the professionals are looking for. Imagine a home where there are no boundaries for nudity and/or sexual talk. A child who is four years old will quickly adapt to the environment and the sexualized language used by the older siblings and adults. Let us take this to another level. This family decides to split up and the adults are mad at one another. The father being vindictive decides to coach the child into saying mommy touched her. They rehearse the alleged touching incident and now you have a child who can describe body parts and use sexualized words.

If you don’t believe the above exists you need to rethink your belief system. False allegations are an everyday occurrence and most law enforcement officials are not properly educated and/or trained in how to identify them and then deal with them. Law enforcement’s attitude has always been if the child said it happened, then it happened.

There are no easy answers why children become sexual addicts. Maybe the child was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe the family isn’t preventive in the way they deal with sexual issues. Maybe the parents pay little attention to what the child is doing, especially when using the Internet. Maybe the child becomes curious and explores his/her environment and accidentally locates pornographic material.

Whatever the reasons for the sexualized environment, the children of today have never been as sexualized as what is occurring to them today. If you listen to children talk to one another it may include sex, music, dancing, singing and so forth. It is a world of make believe and fantasy and children are looking for a place to act out.

This is


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