What Is It About Those Who Have Sexual Addiction That Should Concern You About Your Child’s Safety? Part IV

Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin1 a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”        1 Corinthians 6:18  
Somewhere the child victim meets the sexual offender. It has become a limited but a professionally necessary study of mine to understand why children are sexually assaulted at a young age, somewhere between 5-12 years old, than develop into sexual addicts and then into sexual offenders. It is simply not right and society should protect the young, weak and those seen as vulnerable.

One of many hypotheses could be that at some point in a sexual offender’s life the sexual offender could have been a sexual addict. Further, a multitude of sexual offenders are sexual addicts. Simply there are millions of sexual addicts in the United States. The estimation is 5-8% of the population. It is my professional opinion that the number reaches into the double digits. To what degree is unknown and will remain in this state of limbo until legitimate studies are conducted to understand the problems surrounding sexual addiction and how many individuals have this problem.

Currently, the sexual addiction problem is not considered a psychological problem. Some professionals don’t approve of calling it sexual addiction. They would rather use the words “sexual behavioral” issues. Further, the words sexual compulsion appears to be another set of words that professionals agree on. Researcher and author Patrick Carnes supports and developed the word sexual addiction in his work in his book “Out of the Shadows.” This book was one of the first of its kind. Originally called “Sexual Addiction” the book using this title was not accepted. However, when changing the name to “Out of the Shadows” society seemed to accept Carnes theory and basis for the research and this book.

Since then many books have been written on sexual addiction and sexual molester’s i.e. sexual offenders, pedophiles and so forth. The historical aspects of sexual addiction are a well-kept societal secret. There is little information about sexual addiction prior to Sigmund Freud’s work. Between Freud and Carnes there are only a couple published treatises on the subject.

Understanding why there has been limited information on sexual addiction is important as it is seen as having a sexual problem which generally does not create criminal situations. Ted Bundy attributed his later behavior to being able to view pornography. Viewing pornography on a consistent basis is considered being sexually addicted. Further, masturbating is considered being sexual addicted.

The sexual offenders have their own characteristics which are complex and diverse to understand. The studies have demonstrated that 55% of sexual offenders were or are sexual addicts. This is a very concerning statistics. The theory could be that the sexual addict who at a young age was sexually assaulted or participated in some sexual ritual with other children and during these escapades became sexually addicted.

The idea that sexually addicts don’t sexually act out because they don’t enjoy the actual act of sex seems far-fetched. Allegedly sexual addicts sexually act out because of the neurotransmitter (endogenous chemicals) known as dopamine provides the addict with a rush they receive from viewing pornography and masturbating. Some researchers believe there is some validity to the theory that the sexual act itself is not what they are seeking with their partner. The more a sexual addict acts out the more the sexual addict wants to feel the dopamine rush through their system.

The desensitization which occurs over an unknown period of time places the sexual addict in a situation where the addict must find sexual alternatives to finding that dopamaniac feeling. The choices are limited in what a sexual addict can do to move to one level to the next level.
1.      The sexual addict may be sexually assaulted at the introduction level by an older individual i.e. sibling, baby-sitter, peer and/or adult.
2.      The sexual addict can move from the introduction level to the basic level i.e. viewing pornography by themselves and masturbating. The initial viewing may occur between the ages of 5-12 years.
3.      The sexual addict can move from the basic level to the experimental level i.e. viewing pornography and masturbating with siblings or peers. In this experimental level the sexual addict may reach a level where the children begin touching other children, generally moving from masturbation to oral sex.
4.      The sexual addict can move from the experimental level to the videogame level. According to Judith Coche, “Pornography is so often tied to the videogame culture and insinuates itself even into non-pornographic areas of the web. It is very hard for a 12-year old boy to avoid.”
5.      The sexual addict can move from the videogame level to the criminal level i.e. voyeurism, exhibitionism or sexually assaulting children of their age or younger.
6.      The sexual addict can move from the criminal level as an addict to the level of being a sexual offender. The sexual offender may stay a sexual addict, but generally pursues sexually assaulting children, raping children or adults or murderer.

These six levels are transient in nature as the more exposure to the sexual world, the changing in sexual behavior occurs. The compulsive and obsessive nature of the sexual addict and sexual offender takes a hold of their daily lives and has them doing things a normal man and woman would not do.

The exposure to sexual themes at an early age appears to be the foundation for individuals to become a sexual addict or sexual offender or both. It is difficult to call a child a sexual addict or sexual offender but this is the real world and in the real world things happen that are not explainable.

Along the way many individuals are hurt, harmed, injured, and killed. There is no rhyme or reason why a sexual addict or sexual offender must act out violently to the point where a child is raped and/or killed. Anyone who goes to this extent needs to be incarcerated for life. Taking them off the streets so they do not harm anyone else is the most intelligent move the criminal justice system can do for society.

Tomorrow, the series continues and as you have seen, I am not pulling any punches. Trying to understand why bad things happen to young children makes no sense. However it happens and when it happens the acts are so traumatic they will change the individual for life. Over the next couple weeks we will continue to track down additional information on sexual addicts and sexual offenders.

Lawrence W. Daly
253-852-6702 B/P
253-852-6704 Fax
Kent, WA

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