Thursday, 11 October 2012

The "Vampire Syndrome" myth, part 2

After writing my post on the "Vampire Syndrome" myth, another paper and even more powerful proof of its untruth have come my way.

This paper highlights several more problems with existing studies that claim to "prove" the existence of the so-called abuse-cycle.

From a 1979 study by A. Nicholas Groth:

He studied 348 convicted sexual offenders, with a control group of 62 male police officers, and claimed to have established that convicted sexual offenders have a significantly higher chance of having been sexually traumatised as children. However:

  • The offenders were questioned in person, while the police officers were given an anonymous questionnaire. This makes for a completely inappropriate comparison.
  • His definition of "sexual trauma", included things like:
    • "a sex-stress situation where the anxiety resulted from family reaction to the discovery of the subject's involvement in sexual activity" 
    • having been punished for masturbating, 
    • Even a man who was fitted with a penile prosthesis after a motorcycle accident.
    If these preposterous cases are subtracted, the incidence falls from 30% to 13%.
  • "sexual trauma" by a same-aged or younger "assailant" occurred in 30% of the "traumatized" rapists and 16% of the "traumatized child molesters". No statistical analyses were conducted in this study. That is - 30% and 16% respectively claimed to have been sexually assaulted by children, and the author did not explore this at all.
The paper also cites a study by Fedoroff & Pinkus, 1996, which found no correlation between
  • The age at which offenders were abused, and the age of their victims
  • The type of sexual offence they committed, and that they were subjected to as children.
  • The sex of their chosen victims and their own sex, and that of their assailants.
The paper goes on to dispel various myths and misconceptions about sex offenders. I encourage every one to read this paper, to consider its contents and to stop judging abuse survivors on the basis of popular myths that in reality, are fundamentally flawed.

The paper can be found here.

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