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Author Topic: Consequences For Minors?
Cesario
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A few days ago, a big part of my worldview was challenged, and I didn't take it as well as I would have liked.

I've viewed sexual activities between an adult and a minor, even when all parties are mutually, enthusiastically consenting with full knowledge of the situation, as unacceptably risky for the minor in this culture.

Stories like the satanic ritual abuse incidents of the 1980s has been strongly present in my mind about what can happen when there is a vested interest in a particular narrative. The narrative that minors who have sex with adults are always victims, ruined for life by the experience, is one I see often enough that I can't help but see parallels. How far fetched would it be for someone with the best of intentions to take a positive, consensual encounter and retroactively turn the minor into a victim, and even convince said minor that was the case?

Severe social censure also seems like a major risk. As much pressure as is put on people over relatively accepted things like homosexuality, how could the sexually active minor, especially an enthusiastic participant with an adult, not suffer badly as a result of the social stigma?

I've never been entirely comfortable with this reasoning, since it seems patronizing to take the choice away "for their own good". Indeed, on reflection, it's more about rationalizing the conclusion I was already operating under (don't have sex with minors) than constructing an internally consistent philosophy.

The other day, when it was suggested that the consequences to the younger party were actually minor or nonexistent, I lashed out instead of facing the possibility that I was wrong.

I don't want to be the sort of person who ignores evidence that conflicts with his worldview, and refuses to hear facts that disagree with what he'd already concluded, so I'm starting this thread to ask a simple question.

What are the actual external consequences that a minor who has become sexually involved with an adult might be likely to face?

[ 11-19-2010, 09:58 PM: Message edited by: Cesario ]

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Heather
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After this post, I desperately need to take the day off (not because of this post), so just FYI, I won't be checking in again until tomorrow.

I think you ask some really good, important questions here, but before I can pitch in, I need to sort out a couple things and then ask some additional questions.

For starters, in some ways, I don't think the satanic ritual abuse incidents (which involved no such thing at all, in any of them) are apt in one critical way in this conversation: and that's that, from everything we know now, no one had any kind of sex with anyone. There were not adults and minors having sex. As well, unless I'm spacing out a case, the ages of the minors involved in most were pre-schoolers, kindergartners and early elementary. Children that age having "enthusiastic", fully (though not legally) consensual (as in, they understand what they are actually consenting to, including possible risks and outcomes) genital sex with adults is PROFOUNDLY rare, if it happens at all.

I do think that those cases are apt to talk about in terms of what was learned -- and not really understood before, in part due to ignorance, but also because even discussing and addressing sexual abuse was so culturally new -- about leading questions, about how to make disclosing possible for children without forcing disclosures or manufacturing trauma IS apt here, though. And certainly, it is one good arena to look at when thinking and talking about how cultural attitudes and agendas can influence how people look at and treat things. For instance, underneath all of that, there was a lot of cultural backlash about mothers using daycare -- thought to be improper or neglectful by some -- weird as that may seem.

I also am going to take a major issue with the idea that homosexuality is relatively accepted in the world. People are still being executed and stoned in some places because of being homosexual, having same-sex partners or even being suspected to be anything but heterosexual. In the states, there are STILL not the most basic equal civil rights for people who aren't straight. I'd not call that "relatively accepted."

All that said, here are my questions:

- What do you mean by "external" consequences? As in, not psychological or emotional? As in, legal consequences? Consequences per availability of places to work and live, acceptance to higher education? Something else?
- What age minor are we talking about? Children, pre-teens, adolescents? What age adult? Are we talking about scenarios where the minor is over or under the age of consent? Where the adult is within the range of what's lawful or outside of it?
- Additionally, this is SO individual some of the time, so what definition of consent are we using here? Something like the one here: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/boyfriend/drivers_ed_for_the_sexual_superhighway_navigating_consent

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Cesario
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When I brought up SRA, it was in terms of the manufactured trauma aspect. It's just a set of events that really stick in my mind when I think about social consequences.

quote:
Originally posted by Heather:

- What do you mean by "external" consequences?

Caused by things other than the relationship itself. Family rejection, unwanted attention from others, the effects that may be had on future privacy and autonomy, jail time, stonings, bad hair days.
quote:
Originally posted by Heather:

As in, not psychological or emotional?

Psychological and emotional issues would qualify if they were caused by outside reaction rather than the mere fact of the sexual relationship.

For example, feelings of being used that stem from the behavior of one or more participants in the relationship would not qualify, while feelings of being used due to the social expectations surrounding the age gap would.
quote:
Originally posted by Heather:

As in, legal consequences? Consequences per availability of places to work and live, acceptance to higher education? Something else?

All of those, yes. Also, I don't know, things like the effect on relationships with friends and family members, future romantic interests.
quote:
Originally posted by Heather:

- What age minor are we talking about? Children, pre-teens, adolescents? What age adult? Are we talking about scenarios where the minor is over or under the age of consent? Where the adult is within the range of what's lawful or outside of it?

I'm speaking pretty much exclusively about a sexual relationship that is explicitly illegal due to the ages involved. As for the child, pre-teen, adolescent divide, I don't clearly understand the differences in the potential consequences each group would face, so I'm curious what those differences are.
quote:
Originally posted by Heather:

- Additionally, this is SO individual some of the time, so what definition of consent are we using here? Something like the one here: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/boyfriend/drivers_ed_for_the_sexual_superhighway_navigating_consent

Yes, that's exactly the sort of consent I'm working off here.

If we expand this, however, I wonder are the external consequences for the minor different when we have an actual nonconsensual encounter? Certainly the internal consequences caused by the relationship itself would change, but would the external consequences?

[ 11-21-2010, 12:19 AM: Message edited by: Cesario ]

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Heather
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(Cesario, sorry to be delayed again. I'm waylaid today with a painful migraine, so pretty much incapable of anything but laying on the sofa with my dog and whining at her.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Cesario
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I can't believe I quoted myself instead of editing the message without noticing.

I'm sorry to hear about your migraine. Get well soon.

[ 11-21-2010, 07:22 PM: Message edited by: Cesario ]

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Heather
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Thanks, feeling a lot better today.

So, next up, given your answers, I think we're going to need to limit this to one nation. Because the kinds of consequences you're asking about vary incredibly wildly around the world, and in most parts of the world tend to hinge on whether sexual actively was premarital or extramarital or within marriage. In a whole lot of the world, so long as this happens within marriage, there's no issue at all for partners of either age, even more so for the minor.

Want to stick to the US and Canada?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Cesario
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
Thanks, feeling a lot better today.

So, next up, given your answers, I think we're going to need to limit this to one nation. Because the kinds of consequences you're asking about vary incredibly wildly around the world, and in most parts of the world tend to hinge on whether sexual actively was premarital or extramarital or within marriage. In a whole lot of the world, so long as this happens within marriage, there's no issue at all for partners of either age, even more so for the minor.

Want to stick to the US and Canada?

I'm fine with limiting this discussion to the US and Canada, if they are similar enough to be spoken of as a group.
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Heather
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I'd say that they are. When it comes to the legal consequences, I'm personally more familiar with the US system than Canada, but I still have a fairly good handle on Canada's, where the policies are almost identical.

Legally, in both areas, there are usually no consequences for a minor at all, since it's not unlawful for a minor to have sex with an adult: depending on the age of consent policies in a given area, it instead may be unlawful only for the adult.

Additionally, a minor who had a sexual relationship with an adult is not likely to find it difficult to get employment or housing, since they won't have a crime on their records.

Socially, it kind of depends. More times than not, my impression is that the reaction of peers is either neutral (as in, who care really) or a status boost. In other words, sometimes there is a social status given for minors who have adult partners. I'd say it's rare for there to be a status decline unless the adult that person was with is not someone viewed positively by peers, in which case it's be about the same treatment a minor may get for dating anyone who peers feel negatively about.

With older adults, I'd say it depends. It's fairly typical for parents or guardians to restrict freedoms in this case or to restrict a young person's contact with that person and potentially with dating or socializing, period.

I would say that when you ask about unwanted attention from others that what can happen with a minor who had a relationship with an adult is that by both peers and adults they can be perceived as more sexually available, so may get additional unwanted sexual attention because of this.

One other set of issues that are kind of external but in another way very much not are that the pregnancy and STI rates for minors who have sexual relationships with adults are higher than they are for minors who have those relationships with peers.

I really can't speak to the impact on future romantic relationships because I don't know how to sort out the impact of this particular kind of relationship from others.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Cesario
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That is interesting, and certainly not what I expected. It seems I have had a lot of misconceptions.

You covered peers and parents, what about the reactions of other adults?

Do minors in consensual relationships with adults tend to escape most of the victim blaming that adult rape victims suffer?

Does the situation for the minor change significantly if the adult is imprisoned?

What can the minor expect from mental health professionals?

You asked earlier about the age of the minor. Does the minor being particularly old or young have any impact on the external consequences (asside from the obvious differences in pregnancy risk resulting from differing levels of physical development)?

Does the response tend to vary significantly between different genders?

I don't mean to monopolize your time, and I want to thank you for all the effort you've already put in here.

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Heather
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What other adults?

quote:
Do minors in consensual relationships with adults tend to escape most of the victim blaming that adult rape victims suffer?
I'd say yes, absolutely. But I'm not sure why we're comparing this to rape victims, unless you're figuring that's because in some cases this is statutory rape. If that's why, I'd say that statutory rape is treated VERY differently in our culture than all other rape.

quote:
Does the situation for the minor change significantly if the adult is imprisoned?
I think this has to be an "it depends." It depends on how much media that got, for starters, if any.

quote:
What can the minor expect from mental health professionals?
I'd say this is another "it depends," because mental health professionals vary a lot in their care and their approach to adolescents, period. But with a mental health pro whose practice is with adolescents should expect pretty sensitive treatment, I'd say. A mental health pro in this day and age who deals with these issues tends to be acutely aware -- more than most, I'd say -- of how you can create trauma and always wants to avoid that.

Per age diffs, I don't even know that we can discuss that well because again, the idea that a pre-schooler, for instance, is giving enthusiastic agreement to adult sexual activities with an adult (early childhood sexuality tends to be very different than adult sexuality) without manipulation or coercion is rare to impossible so far as I know.

Per the response differing between genders, I'd say yes, most particularly if the activity was same-sex, in which case homophobia tends to come into play, amplifying the consequences for everyone.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Cesario
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
What other adults?

Teachers, other adult relatives, other adult authority figures, lawiers and police if they're getting involved.
quote:

quote:
Do minors in consensual relationships with adults tend to escape most of the victim blaming that adult rape victims suffer?
I'd say yes, absolutely. But I'm not sure why we're comparing this to rape victims, unless you're figuring that's because in some cases this is statutory rape. If that's why, I'd say that statutory rape is treated VERY differently in our culture than all other rape.

That would be why.
quote:

quote:
Does the situation for the minor change significantly if the adult is imprisoned?
I think this has to be an "it depends." It depends on how much media that got, for starters, if any.

Best and worst case?
quote:

quote:
What can the minor expect from mental health professionals?
I'd say this is another "it depends," because mental health professionals vary a lot in their care and their approach to adolescents, period. But with a mental health pro whose practice is with adolescents should expect pretty sensitive treatment, I'd say. A mental health pro in this day and age who deals with these issues tends to be acutely aware -- more than most, I'd say -- of how you can create trauma and always wants to avoid that.

That's good to hear, given the past incidents that I mentioned in the OP.
quote:

Per age diffs, I don't even know that we can discuss that well because again, the idea that a pre-schooler, for instance, is giving enthusiastic agreement to adult sexual activities with an adult (early childhood sexuality tends to be very different than adult sexuality) without manipulation or coercion is rare to impossible so far as I know.

Why does it need to be only "adult" sexual activities under discussion? What in particular characterizes an "adult" sexual activity from any other kind of sexual activity?
quote:

Per the response differing between genders, I'd say yes, most particularly if the activity was same-sex, in which case homophobia tends to come into play, amplifying the consequences for everyone. [/QB]

That would make sense.
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Heather
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Per the other adults, I don't think I can answer something that broad, since we know full well that not all adults treat young people the same ways, not by a long shot. Mind, the same can be said of parents, I know. With lawyers who are advocates for young people, we can expect them to be advocates: I've met a handful of youth legal advocates in my day, and my impression has been they're incredible fighters FOR youth, really impressive people, in my book, as someone who is also an advocate and strongly supports youth rights.

Best and worst case with an adult being imprisoned per "external> consequences for young people? Best, it's a non-issue. Worst, they get their private lives splashed all over the place and likely have to deal with the same kind of treatment they'd get for being exposed as someone who is young having sex, period. perhaps obviously, if certain sexual practices were exposed, and any were what peers or communities felt were "abnormal," that treatment could be worse. But I'd expect the same regardless of the age of the partner.

However, I have to say that I'm not actually familiar with a legal case in which an adult has been imprisoned for a sexual relationship with a minor whom they did not clearly groom, so where we can't say there was real consent.

quote:
Why does it need to be only "adult" sexual activities under discussion? What in particular characterizes an "adult" sexual activity from any other kind of sexual activity?
Because on the whole, the sexuality of legal adults does not tend to resemble the sexuality of children certain ages, usually, most particularly, those who have not entered puberty or who aren't even close. Early childhood and early juvenile sexuality tends to involve things that stick to one's own masturbation, genital "showing," playing doctor, rubbing on objects, maybe kissing. These are activities most adults do not even class as sexual.

There's perhaps obviously a spectrum here that isn't clearly deliniated because everyone's development is not the same, no matter one's age, but on the whole, when very young children engage in sexual activity most adults consider sexual activity, it is usually either due to previous abuse or in the context of current abuse.

I'm pretty well-appraised in a lot of cases of adults and sexual exchanges with very young children, and I have yet to see a case where I would describe what went on as anything resembling a situation where there was full, informed consent or where there could be when there has been any kind of genital sex or ongoing sexual relationship. There may be cases I have not seen where it really looks like there was, but since I haven't seen them, I'm not going to talk about pre-adolescents in this arena.

Additionally, particularly as someone who started her teaching work in early child development and has a lot of training in that area, but is also -- one hopes this is clear -- very intellectually flexible about sexuality, I have a very hard time envisioning this as possible with all I know about early childhood general development and sexuality, so I confess, I'm just not cozy going down that path per talking about scenarios I don't know to exist and have a hard time figuring even could. Please also understand that I've heard older adults clearly abusing young children sexually rationalize their abuse and talk a very good game about how the child was "enthusiastically consenting" when the child was showing about every sign of abuse there was. So, I'm also just personally not comfortable discussing this arena on an emotional level.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Cesario
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:

However, I have to say that I'm not actually familiar with a legal case in which an adult has been imprisoned for a sexual relationship with a minor whom they did not clearly groom, so where we can't say there was real consent.

Can you recommend a good article on grooming? It's a difficult term for me to understand, since I get the impression it is used by a lot of different people to mean a lot of different things, and it seems like it is somewhat outside the context of this discussion.
quote:

quote:
Why does it need to be only "adult" sexual activities under discussion? What in particular characterizes an "adult" sexual activity from any other kind of sexual activity?
Because on the whole, the sexuality of legal adults does not tend to resemble the sexuality of children certain ages, usually, most particularly, those who have not entered puberty or who aren't even close. Early childhood and early juvenile sexuality tends to involve things that stick to one's own masturbation, genital "showing," playing doctor, rubbing on objects, maybe kissing. These are activities most adults do not even class as sexual.

Ah, that makes more sense. I've been having a lot of trouble understanding what you've meant by "adult" sexuality, but I think I finally understand your meaning.
quote:

Additionally, particularly as someone who started her teaching work in early child development and has a lot of training in that area, but is also -- one hopes this is clear -- very intellectually flexible about sexuality, I have a very hard time envisioning this as possible with all I know about early childhood general development and sexuality, so I confess, I'm just not cozy going down that path per talking about scenarios I don't know to exist and have a hard time figuring even could. Please also understand that I've heard older adults clearly abusing young children sexually rationalize their abuse and talk a very good game about how the child was "enthusiastically consenting" when the child was showing about every sign of abuse there was. So, I'm also just personally not comfortable discussing this arena on an emotional level.

I sincerely hope I haven't made you too uncomfortable with these questions, and that you aren't inclined to think less of me for asking them.

[ 11-22-2010, 09:33 PM: Message edited by: Cesario ]

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Karybu
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(Hey Cesario, Heather's in the Pacific Northwest and has lost power due to the pretty serious weather they're having there, so she won't be around anymore tonight. I don't feel like I'm the best person to continue this discussion with you, but she'll hopefully be back sometime tomorrow to keep going with this. Just wanted you to know you are not being ignored in any way.)

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Jill2000Plus
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
quote:
Why does it need to be only "adult" sexual activities under discussion? What in particular characterizes an "adult" sexual activity from any other kind of sexual activity?
Because on the whole, the sexuality of legal adults does not tend to resemble the sexuality of children certain ages, usually, most particularly, those who have not entered puberty or who aren't even close. Early childhood and early juvenile sexuality tends to involve things that stick to one's own masturbation, genital "showing," playing doctor, rubbing on objects, maybe kissing. These are activities most adults do not even class as sexual.
I do class those activities as sexual (though some of them only under certain circumstances as they have multiple meanings, some of which are nonsexual), but I still understand what you're saying.

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Heather
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Cesario: per grooming, Andrew Vachss' site has a fairly decent piece: http://www.vachss.com/guest_dispatches/grooming.html

That piece also talks about Gavin deBecker's work, which is another good touchpoint.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Jill: I hear you on that.

But another piece is to understand that motivations tend to differ with children and those activities. Young children tend to be seeking comfort or acting out of intellectual curiosity. Obviously, those can be parts of adult sexuality, too, but there's a big piece missing for young children, which is the sexual desire and the mutual desire for bonding people tend to feel in adulthood, in some of puberty (depending on the individual), and tend to start to feel right around puberty.

To a young child, as far as we can tell and understand, masturbating is pretty much the same as thumb-sucking, which you'd find few adults would experience the desire for, or act of, masturbation as.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Cesario
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The link didn't help as much as I'd hoped, but I recognize that this is a sensitive subject, so I'll let the matter drop.
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Heather
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I'm okay talking more about it/that if you like. Want to fill me in on where you felt lacking in info?

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Cesario
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Mostly I'm having trouble distinguishing grooming as defined by that link and others from ordinary social behavior. It seems that the only thing that distinguishes it from ordinary, positive behavior is the presence of an ulterior motive and an eventual betrayal.

If I'm understanding it right, the process of grooming, in and of itself, is nothing more than developing a relationship and building trust. That doesn't seem like a negative thing at all. Actually sounds like the underlying basis for most affectionate relationships humans have with one another.

I must be missing something, since grooming is brought up as a problem in and of itself. For example, your mention in this thread that its presence makes genuine consent impossible (or impossible to determine).

(Should we move this discussion to a separate thread?)

[ 11-26-2010, 10:43 PM: Message edited by: Cesario ]

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Heather
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I can try and be a bit more finessed with what I know about this, though I'd say it's one of those things where reading a good deal of material on childhood abuse from childhood development experts AND perp experts would be a good idea. Alice Miller, for one example, is a child psychologist/sociologist who works mostly around abuse (not just sexual), and I think it pretty amazing. Dense, but packed with really thoughtful, useful information.

By all means, the motivation with grooming is a biggie, not just that an abuser has it -- and know they have it -- but that a child or younger person will usually NOT know they have it because they don't share it and tend to purposefully obscure it. It is also usually obscured all by itself because the adult has knowledge about the kind of relationship they want that the child doesn't have about those kinds of relationships in general.

Too, grooming is about a longtime pattern of trying to convince someone to want something you want -- or, more commonly, to do something you want -- through manipulation. Acting like we want to be someone's mentor when we really want to be their lover is exploitive no matter what someone's age is, but it's all the more so when we are in multiple positions of power over them. This isn't about building trust, it's about making someone think that's what they're doing or you're doing when it is the literal opposite of what you're doing. A bribe and a gift are different: being someone's support and isolating someone are different.

As well, the "niceness" involved in grooming usually turns and changes over time: basically, the abuse escalates, just like it does in any kind of abusive relationship, and also has the same kind of abuse cycle as other kinds do.

I think it also stands to mention that "building a relationship" is really vague language. Sure, it involves building a relationship, but not a healthy one, an abusive one, and exploitive one, and one that is very much about serving one person's needs without care for the other's, or at the expense of the other's.

This is such a big topic, and I confess, I'm a bit under the weather today, so not as organized in my thinking as I like to be, but does any of that help at all?

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Cesario
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I realize this is kind of a big topic. That's why I asked if we would be better off splitting this off to a different topic.

If I'm understanding you correctly, then, grooming can be distinguished from positive social behavior by the presence of deception. The individual lying about their motivation and attempting to unilatterally alter the other individual's way of approaching the relationship is the significant factor.

If I have the right of it (and leaving children out of it for the moment for the sake of eliminating variables), the behavior of entering into a friendship with someone when you harbor romantic feelings for the person, and then using that position of trust to try to move towards the romantic relationship is grooming.

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Heather
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I think "romantic relationship" is a phrase that's not very useful here, because romantic relationships are not always sexual and sexual relationships are not always romantic.

Grooming as a term tends to refer expressly to sexual behavior, or behavior done with sexual motives on the part of an adult who wants to engage in sexual actions. We also really can't leave children or young people out of it because that's who this is really about.

For sure, deception is the biggie, but again, I'd not say that every behavior in grooming is part of positive social behavior. Seeking to isolate someone from others, for instance,or bribing and/or threatening are not at all what I'd call positive social behavior.

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Cesario
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We can replace the term "romantic" with "sexual" in my previous post.

If it's impossible to separate the term "grooming" from children and young people, does that mean that the term itself is only applicable to young people? What would we call it if the exact same behavior when directed towards an adult? Is this behavior not harmful or problematic if young people are not the subject?

As to bribing/threatening, are those necessary components to grooming? Is it not grooming if those sorts of explicitly negative behaviors are not present?

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Heather
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I've never heard it used outside of discussions about child and youth sexual abuse.

I'd certainly say the same kind of behavior is problematic with and between people of all ages, but I also think we have to recognize that we're not talking about the same thing when we're talking about pairings of people where one doesn't have a lot of power over the other both interpersonally and in the world as a whole. There are some other scenarios where the power imbalance is that extreme, but I'd say they're fairly rare, particularly since there is no other group I know of in the world with as few rights compared to everyone else as children/youth.

Bribing -- giving of gifts to cull favor -- is something I'd say is part and parcel of grooming, and threats tend to be part and parcel of abuse.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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missy35
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Maybe this definition will help with defining of grooming.

Grooming: the use of manipulation, through bribes, special treatment, threats, mental games, the use of power or authority, and the exploitation of the others fears or desires or weaknesses, to extract something of value from the groomed for the groomer.

The term grooming has been used in discussions about getting a person to help commit a crime, accept all types of abuse, or to preform some sort of specific task.

Someone who is being groomed is not someone who is loved or cared for, they are an object used to get something the groomer thinks is of value.

Someone who grooms someone else knows that they are not just being nice to the other person. They have a set goal in mind.

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Kawani3792
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I know this is an odd way to think of it, but I was brought up with fairy tales and parodies of fairy tales, and one of the parodies used the term "grooming" in a version of rapunzel's story, where the witch was going to raise her, then possess her.

So my way of thinking of grooming is in that way, where the witch raised her as a daughter, cared for her, taught her everything that *the witch* felt she needed to know (she wasn't taught about the true nature of the witch, which in the context of this board I'd see as the adult not explaining consent and the overall unhealthiness of the relationship), and didn't feel anything for her at all. She acted entirely differently around the girl, versus the rest of the world, and even when the witch had been cruel the girl was still convinced that she was good and kind, yet the witch saw her as nothing more than a means to an end.
In an interesting parallel, actually (after tracking down my copy of this book) the situation was that the witch couldn't possess someone without their consent. As long as they didn't trust her or wouldn't let her, she couldn't take them over, and most people knew she was horrible, which was why in every generation she found a young girl, taught her to depend and trust the witch, then possessed her and went to find the next girl.

(This book is called Golem in the Gears, by Piers Anthony...it's full of horrible puns and brave knights and noble steeds, and the Adult Conspiracy to Keep Interesting Things From Children guards children from seeing things they shouldn't.)

[ 12-22-2010, 04:22 AM: Message edited by: Kawani3792 ]

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