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

Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

“Where the mind is past hope, the heart is past shame.”
John Lyly

Why do people have difficulty talking about being a sexual addict or sexual offender? If the consensus is these two types of individuals may suffer from mental disorders which generate the obsessive and compulsive behavior then shouldn’t society forgive them for what they do? The jury is still out on this serious issue.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is having difficulty in trying to be responsible for labeling what an individual is suffering from mentally when it comes to sexual addicts and offenders. If APA were to take a giant leap and state that sexual addicts and offenders suffer from mental diseases what impact would this have on the criminal justice system?

Let us deal with why sexual addicts and sexual offenders don’t talk about their sexual problems. If you are a diabetic and you are asked how your health is, don’t you tell that person that you have diabetes or do you keep it a secret.

Some sexual addicts have no problem in telling others that they are a sexual addict. They convey that being a sexual addict is a desirable thing. Dr. Mark Laaser stated in a recent article with the National Association for Christian Recovery (NACR) when asked about this mentality by specific individuals:

addiction (Photo credit: Alan Cleaver)
That’s kind of an old and not very funny joke. The idea that sexual addicts are somehow having a lot of fun is just not the case. Repetitive sexual activity that loses all of its meaning and spontaneity is very, very destructive. I suspect that comments like this are just a reflection of feeling kind of left out of the sexual circus in our culture – but if you’ve been to this particular circus you would know how much pain is involved. Sexual addiction offers no pleasure – only loneliness, emptiness, hopelessness and despair. Not the kinds of things anyone would want.

Dr. Laaser states the obvious about why most sexual addicts and offenders do not want to disclose to others their illness.

The other reasons which supports the fact that sexual addicts and offenders are embarrassed, concerned about their image and reputation are factors that need to be considered by each individual.

Sexual shame is a possibility why individuals do not disclose to others that they are possibly a sexual addict. In examining and evaluating exactly what sexual shame is, let us look at some definitions in the professional sexual addiction mental health community.

Author Karen McClintock in her book Sexual Shame states:

Finding a consistent definition of shame is difficult, partly because in the English language we have only one word that describes the feeling of shame in one’s own eyes and shame in the eyes of others. Shame can be our own internal disappointment at not achieving our ego ideal, or it can be absorbed from family and community values. Shame takes place within the individual and also within the community.

Psychologist Mark Zaslav has described the ways in which shameful states of mind that take over a person’s healthy sense of self. In the shameful state of mind the individual feels him or herself to be “an exposed, vulnerable, devalued self being scrutinized and found wanting in the eyes of a devaluing other.” Along with the states of discomfort and extreme self-consciousness come to states of feeling “filthy or unworthy, accompanied by urges to hide or disappear.” (McClintock, 2001)

A child studying
A child studying (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Apparently the sexual shame a person feels is serious in the image they feel they are portraying. These sexual shame feelings may have begun at an early age. Imagine a young adult who is in his bedroom masturbating and his mother catches him masturbating. The embarrassment and guilt this young adult will feel until he resolves the situation may have him withdrawing from others. He may feel so dirty that it makes him respond in an obsessive and compulsive fashion, instead of ceasing his sexual behavior.

Being sexually assaulted as a young child can be such a traumatizing incident that the sex in the child victim’s life becomes distorted. It isn’t enough that a child is sexually assaulted. The problem is the child victim has to move forward without help and try to understand the feelings they are having.

Some of the young children found the sexual assault to be sexually exciting. However, these biological factors take over the mental facets of the sexual assault. The problem the child victim has to overcome is why is it that sex makes him feel good.  They have never experienced someone touching their body where they should not have.

Part of the healing process besides depression, guilt, embarrassment is sexual shame. The innocent child victim now becomes the sexual addict and probably becomes a sexual offender. Although there needs to be research in this area, there are studies which hint that there are some conversions from sexual addicts to offenders.
The sexual levels I have described in my early articles detail just how a sexual offender went from an innocent child to a sexual offender. The process is not that unimaginable, but there is little that one can do for a child victim if they do not disclose the information before they grow older.

Their shattered world is full of fear and shame and in most cases the person who sexually assaulted them was a relative or a friend. So who does the child victim turn to? The answer is living in a world of introversion or being explorative, hiding or searching from the realities of this world.

Tomorrow, the continuing sexual shame that children to adults live with is at times complex and reality can be blurred which makes it difficult to function.  The definition of sexual addiction i.e. hypersexuality is obsessive and compulsive behavior which disrupts the normalcy of daily events. The simple definition is a narrow, but explosive, complex, yet not explained or misunderstood human maladies which there are little to no answers to.

I will continue to write about child sexual assaults, sexual addiction, sexual offenders, and law enforcements roles in child molestation, child rapes, rapes, and so forth as long as you are willing to walk through a valley of storms with me, which continue to reign worldwide.

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

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