Am I “Making It Easier for Pedo Abductors”?

A reader’s note:

I can’t believe you are a reporter. Sounds more like you are trying to sway public opinion about protecting your children to make it easier for pedo abductors.

Actually, I am trying to sway public opinion. But rather than making it easier for predators (not the goal of many reporters), I am trying to make it harder by helping parents focus on actual abuse prevention, rather than on stranger danger, or the names on the Sex Offender Registry.

The vast majority of crimes against children are committed by people they know. So to really help keep kids safe, teach them the three R’s:

Recognize that no one can touch where their bathing suit covers.

Resist anyone trying to do that — run, kick, scream.

Report — tell your kids that they can and should tell you about anything upsetting that they were asked to do (or even did) and you won’t be mad at them. Tell them this applies, even (perhaps especially!) if they promised to keep it  “secret.” Keeping the lines of communication open takes away the predators best friend: silence.

Now compare that advice to “stranger danger” — telling kids not to trust any adults they don’t know. This is confusing: Is the checkout lady a stranger? But mom just chatted with her!

So also teach kids they can TALK to anyone, not go OFF with anyone.

And on the subject of people on the Sex Offender Registry. These dots seem scary on a map. But once again, they pose far less danger to your kids than people they know well. And while the rap on people convicted of sex crimes is that they are insatiable and “can’t be cured,” the rate of them committing a new sex offense is very low. Far lower than drug dealers dealing again, or robbers robbing, or car thieves stealing another car. In fact, a study of streets in DC with and without registered sex offenders on them found no difference in the number of sex crimes. So once again, the best advice is the Three R’s, rather than keeping children inside all day for fear of strangers.

Is this information making it easier for pedo abductors? I don’t think so.

But I guess some people do. – L

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51 Responses to Am I “Making It Easier for Pedo Abductors”?

  1. M July 31, 2017 at 9:43 am #

    This is all very good advice. I add one more thing to what I tell my kids. I tell them that they should always listen to the adult in charge (teacher, counselor…) and do what they are told to do, UNLESS, they are being told to do something that makes them uncomfortable or that seems wrong. If that happens they should find another trusted adult and tell them what is going on.

  2. Workshop July 31, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    Fear is the strongest motivating emotion.

    If you doubt me, watch the movie “Jaws” and then try to go swimming in the ocean.

    Statistically, you’re more likely to die in a car accident getting to the beach (by several orders of magnitude). But the fear of a shark attack is what you’ll think of, not the fact that millions of people enjoy the water daily without so much as seeing a shark.

    The best part of the whole thing is that if you bring up “fear” to someone at the point he’s about to forego getting into the water, he’ll claim he’s being logical.

    Humans aren’t quite as smart as we think we are.

  3. Beth July 31, 2017 at 10:14 am #

    Lenore, didn’t you get accused of this with Take Your Child to the Park and Leave Them There Day? Something like promoting open season for kidnappers and pedos, if I recall.

  4. Claudia July 31, 2017 at 10:36 am #

    Yes, I tell my kids that they can talk to other adults, but not go with them, not even adults they know unless we have told them beforehand that they should be going with them. I think the ‘never talk to strangers’ thing is alienating and confusing. I quite like the idea I heard of about teaching kids about ‘tricky people’, meaning noticing the kind of talk that might be a red flag, such as a person asking a kid for help with something that they could as easily as an adult for help with, or one who asks them to keep a secret or do something without a parent’s permission.

  5. Joel July 31, 2017 at 10:37 am #

    Since society’s views are that all males are pedophiles and a danger to children it has become my policy to avoid all children, even if they were injured.

  6. Troutwaxer July 31, 2017 at 11:15 am #

    Since society’s views are that all males are pedophiles and a danger to children it has become my policy to avoid all children, even if they were injured.

    Sadly, this is not unlikely. After 30 years of “stranger danger” and “if it bleeds it leads” and “white vans” there is a decently likelihood that any male could be accused of causing the injury, sexually abusing the child and possibly of being a Satanist.

    The really screwed up thing is that the moral requirement to help an injured child does not change.

  7. AmyO July 31, 2017 at 11:58 am #

    I love the “talk to strangers but don’t leave with them”. I use this mantra with my daughter, who talks to EVERYONE. We repeat it when we are about to go to the park where I know we won’t be together the whole time, or a place like the bookstore where chances are we’ll end up browsing in different areas. It’s an easy rule to remember and makes actual sense.

  8. Dean Whinery July 31, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

    The whole idea of stranger danger seems to be cultural thing. I notice that Mexicans and other Hispanics generally encourage their children to respond to a wave or a smile from people they don’t know, but certainly not go with them.

  9. Jay Pierson July 31, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

    Thanks for your common sense ideas and not the main stream media hype.

  10. Ann in L.A. July 31, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

    I know a parent who taught her son that he had to tell her anything an adult told him was “secret” or just between the two of them. If an adult told her son not to tell her, she had already instilled in him that that was *exactly* what he needed tell her.

  11. Kenny Felder July 31, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

    It is very very hard to fight fear and superstition with facts and figures. You do an amazingly good job, Lenore.

  12. Wilbur Post July 31, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

    “The Pedo Abductors” is my new band name.

  13. sexhysteria July 31, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    Hysterics who focus on sex crimes make it easier for everybody (including parents) to kill children in car crashes.

  14. James July 31, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

    The whole thing is nonsense because the commenter focuses on the wrong question. The real question is, does this actually increase the risk to an unacceptable level? We all drive kids around, so we can use that as our standard for acceptable risks. So, would allowing children the freedom you advocate for result in a risk greater than the risk inherent in driving our children?

    The answer is pretty obviously and emphatic “No”. For two reasons. First, attacks against children by strangers are incredibly rare, and even a 100% increase in the number of attacks would not rise to the level of risk associated with driving; I doubt it would be within two orders of magnitude of that risk. Second, merely making something easier does not mean people will engage in that behavior. Retirement funds are proof that even if you make it hard NOT to do something, people will still find ways to not do it. People can choose not to do something that’s relatively easy–and given that all sane people view harming children as particularly abhorrent, merely demonstrating that doing so is easy is certainly not enough to say it necessarily will happen!

    The commenter is fallaciously equating ease of doing some action with the actual action itself. The commenter is also fallaciously only looking at one side of the equation. I mean, we could keep children in full-body casts within hermetically sealed rooms–it would keep them as safe as possible! It would also be brutal torture, physically and mentally. Safety comes at a price, and refusing to examine that price is not rational. There’s also the weak man fallacy (the commenter isn’t making up stuff about what you’re saying; he’s just twisting it and focusing only on the easiest parts to attack, rather than your reasoning as a whole). Then there’s the ad hom and Argument from Intimidation.

    Frankly, I’m impressed. Five fallacies in two sentences. I haven’t seen such an impressive lack of logic since I stopped grading freshman lab homework!

  15. Resident Iconoclast July 31, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

    Don’t worry about it Lenore. In life I’ve found that guys who rant and rave about the gays usually turn up on the news with Ted Haggard’s male crack-escort. In a similar way, people who write that stuff to you sometimes end up on the news for being charged with raping the boy scout troop or some 12 year-old student.

    It’s a lot like Trump bitching about Mexican rapists to distract us from his velcro fingers on the national treasury.

    I was born when Joe McCarthy was ruining people simply by calling them communists. This sex offender hysteria is the same. All our rights are disappearing in the name of “the children.” The very first person to be exonerated by DNA was Gary Dotson, who was exonerated in 1988 after being imprisoned on a fake rape charge (of an adult; his “victim” recanted, but that wasn’t enough to get him out–only the DNA worked). The fake accusation shysters basically changed the law to make the crimes DNA-free, so that you have to “prove a negative” to be “exonerated.” Driving a white van is a “crime.” With this child abuse shit, it’s the same thing as McCarthy, or the KKK rounding up blacks. You probably noticed that, basically, the troll-woman accused you of being a child rapist, by essentially calling you an accomplice. Welcome to Joe McCarthy 2.0.

    If it’s a choice between the child molesters and my constitutional rights, then I have to stand with the child molesters. And the hysterics can kiss my ass. They can have their precious children, but they can’t have my 4th and 6th Amendments. This isn’t the goddamned Soviet Union.

  16. Derek Logue of OnceFallen.com July 31, 2017 at 5:55 pm #

    At least the tin foil hat commenter didn’t show off her stupidity by spelling the word PEDIFILE. When I see people type that I think of those those bunyon and callous removers.

  17. David N. Brown July 31, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

    A big part of the problem here is the misuse of psychological terminology, which by now must be considered willful. I suspect that there’s some further bias in how differing types of mental disorder are perceived, that efforts at advocacy may have contributed to: It’s easy and even comfortable to fear people who have abnormal urges but are otherwise rational, intelligent and socially functional. It’s a lot harder to admit there could be just as much threat from a disheveled, hallucinating wait who doesn’t what he’ll be doing an hour from now or even remember what he did an hour ago.

  18. Theresa Hall July 31, 2017 at 6:10 pm #

    That registry might be useful if it didn’t have every Tom dick and Harry. Sorry but horny teens figuratively speaking should be killed by their parents over sex not the law. The only ones who should be on the list are real rapists. The real criminals not the people who got put on so others can look good.

  19. lollipoplover July 31, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

    This isn’t *pedo abductors* but falls under the *never leave kids alone* and was shared with me on Facebook:

    “Parents: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! Your children are your responsibility solely and are under your care. Do NOT leave them alone with anyone, including doctors, dentists and nurses!
    If a doctor, nurse or other medical professional tells you to stay in the waiting room, while they take your child away for an exam: say NO! Then find a new doctor that will respect your rights as a parent. There are plenty of them out there.
    This is from an office in West Virginia claiming that new federal regulations restrict parents from staying with their children. It is NOT TRUE!
    While this sign is from a dentist’s office, stories are coming out that doctors are also pushing to see children, especially teenagers, alone. And sometimes then pressuring children into unnecessary and dangerous drugs and vaccines, such as the HPV and flu, on children without parental consent while the children are alone with the doctor and/or nurses. Some states have laws making this legal, like California. Don’t fall for it, and never leave your child alone with ANY medical professional.
    Did you know that doctors have NO LIABILITY when the vaccine damages the child’s health?!! But they do get insurance bonuses based on how many kids they vaccinate.
    Do not trust them with your child’s health! This is UNACCEPTABLE!”

    Seriously. My 16 year-old DOES NOT want me i the exam room. He’d die of humiliation.
    And dentists?
    I have to watch their teeth being cleaned?!

  20. Gina July 31, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

    Try this:
    Nobody can touch you ANYWHERE without your permission. Grandma can’t hug you, Uncle Joe can’t kiss you, your sister can’t hold your hand unless it’s ok with you!
    Informed consent from the day they are born (with young babies, this means explaining where and why you are touching them “I am changing your diaper because it’s so poopy! I am wiping the poop off you now”).

    Consent from the beginning teaches kids that it’s ok to say NO to anyone who touches them anywhere! It makes them confident to tell parents “X touched me and I didn’t like it” .

    Also, always use anatomically correct body part names. A molester is less likely to touch a child who says “don’t touch me on my vulva” than one who says “that’s my private area”.

    Now, carry on Lenore. The rest of this is perfect! 🙂

  21. Crazy Cat Lady July 31, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

    My son is 12. He plays at the park with his friends ages 5 to 15. The parents sit together and talk and ignore the kids. We ask that the kids get along as best as possible, that they don’t let young ones go off alone, and they don’t go down to the river unless one of us is with them. It works well.

    One mom cannot sit with us. Her daughter is 12, she is taller than I am. She sticks with the group, but she is an only child and her mother is so worried that she would be abducted from the park, while with a group of boys with nerf guns and large sticks, that she has to follow them all around the park. Which is embarrassing for all of the kids, though they don’t say anything. Some of those boys are bigger than the mother (who is not a very big lady) and could seriously whoop anyone who tried to drag one of their friends away.

    They don’t come very often. The daughter doesn’t want to come. I can’t really blame her. And no, none of the boys have designs on her either. They mostly are mock fighting with the sticks and nerf guns, boys and girls, and right now for pretty much all of them who are coming, the idea of doing anything other than what they are doing with boy or girl is very icky. They are all homeschoolers…and long time kids (that is, late bloomers in the best sense of the word as kids should stay kids as long as they want.)

  22. Suzanne July 31, 2017 at 7:58 pm #

    “Pedo” means dart in some languages.

  23. K July 31, 2017 at 9:10 pm #

    Gina, I frequently see people advocate full-fledged informed consent starting in infancy, but how does this work in practice with young children? When your 2-yo refuses to consent to a diaper change and fights it tooth and nail, do you just say OK and let him sit in poop until he has a festering rash? If your sister can’t hold your hand without consent, does the same apply to Mom and Dad, even if you’re crossing a busy street when you won’t consent to holding hands?

  24. James Pollock July 31, 2017 at 9:13 pm #

    “Seriously. My 16 year-old DOES NOT want me i the exam room. He’d die of humiliation.
    And dentists?
    I have to watch their teeth being cleaned?!”

    Locally, there’s been a dentist in the news for touching up the young women while they were under the effects of anaesthesia.

    Doctors of teenagers often want to talk to them without the parent present because sometimes the kids won’t talk about issues of sexual health with parents present. In terms of vaccination, this is important for HPV vaccine, because A) the risk of transmission is pretty low if the person isn’t sexually active, the vaccine is ideally given before becoming sexually active, and the vaccine is only good for, I think, ten years.

  25. Anna July 31, 2017 at 10:43 pm #

    “When your 2-yo refuses to consent to a diaper change and fights it tooth and nail, do you just say OK and let him sit in poop until he has a festering rash? If your sister can’t hold your hand without consent, does the same apply to Mom and Dad, even if you’re crossing a busy street when you won’t consent to holding hands?”

    I’ve wondered about this one too. Once I was visiting some friends over Thanksgiving weekend who subscribed to the strong version of this theory. During the chaos of turkey dinner food prep, the grandma was crossing the kitchen to the sink with a giant vat of boiling water and potatoes, to drain them, and called out to make sure the way was clear. The 18-month-old was in her path, so I picked him up to make sure he was safe – with no objections or distress on his part, I can assure you. But for the next ten or fifteen minutes I was treated to overhearing anxious and angry whispering from the kid’s dad to his mom about whether I’d “gotten his permission” to pick him up. To be fair, the mom seemed to realize how absurd this was, and tried her best to talk dad down. Also in the interest of full disclosure: by age 5, this kid had turned into the most neurotic child I’ve ever met.

  26. Theresa Hall July 31, 2017 at 11:08 pm #

    In the diaper scenario only parents or people who they trust will be doing any changing of diapers. As the HPV vaccine I heard that in a lot of places outside of America they say it is bad news. Doctors in this country don’t want to know about vaccine side effects despite the fact they know they exist but that one takes the Cake. Teens should be encouraged to talk about anything that bothers them with their parents unless their parents are abusing them. I not sure if secret meeting with teens is always a good idea.

  27. David N. Brown July 31, 2017 at 11:30 pm #

    @K: Ironically, the negligible self-identifying advocates for p@edophiles will say they the right of a teen or child to give or deny “consent”. Most seem to need such rationalizations to act on their urges ( if at all), which would seem to leave them LESS capable of open violence than the general public. As I pointed out above ( in a comment that got a bit garbled), the “random abduction” scenarios make more sense (If any) for a disorganized psychotic whose actions are completely unpredictable.

  28. James Pollock July 31, 2017 at 11:32 pm #

    “Teens should be encouraged to talk about anything that bothers them with their parents unless their parents are abusing them. I not sure if secret meeting with teens is always a good idea.”

    I’m not sure much of anything is ALWAYS a good idea. But it’s an unfortunate truth that some parents are not yet ready to accept that their offspring is sexually active, or even just curious; yet it is important that people who ARE sexually active (or just sexually curious) have access to medical care and accurate information. Many young people have inaccurate or incomplete information because they can’t or won’t talk with parents, and they get information “on the street”, which is full of misinformation, and many of them got the woefully-ineffective “abstinence-only” sex-ed from the public schools.
    The potential disconnect between what the children want, and what the parents want for their children, is a minefield. Should minors be able to pursue, and obtain, sexual heath information without their parents consent? Without the parents’ knowledge? Some parts of America have some pretty restrictive ideas in these areas, and others support the rights of the children to choose for themselves. (I’m sure you can guess which side I come down on.)

  29. Travis July 31, 2017 at 11:36 pm #

    @Ann in L.A.
    I imagine that makes it awkward for surprises and such. “Hey, Timmy, we’re going to buy your mom cake for her party! Can you decorate the balloons meanwhile? Remember, though, it’s a secret so don’t tell her you know until after!” And Timmy proceeds to ruin everything by spilling the beans.

    Aside from that joke, it’s actually not bad advice, honestly.

  30. James Pollock August 1, 2017 at 12:18 am #

    ” As I pointed out above ( in a comment that got a bit garbled), the “random abduction” scenarios make more sense (If any) for a disorganized psychotic whose actions are completely unpredictable.”

    They do happen. When they do happen, they’re so far outside of normal, expected events that they get lots and lots of news coverage. The lots and lots of news coverage, in turn, convinces people that it’s happening “all the time”. In the old days, it took time for news to travel. Famously, the Battle of New Orleans happened several weeks after the War of 1812 had ended, because news that the war had ended hadn’t reached the combatants yet. When people got their news from newspapers, something that happened in, say, St. Louis might make the newspaper in St. Louis the next morning, but not make a New York paper until the morning after that, and might not be in a Denver newspaper at all.
    When we switched over to television news with satellite service, it became possible for everybody in the world to see news with no delay. People of my generation saw images of the Challenger exploding in flight by the evening of the day it happened. People of the following generation saw the second plane hit the WTC as it happened. This changed things in a fundamental way. There have always been deranged people who do spectacularly criminal things. It used to be, though, that you wouldn’t hear about it unless you were fairly close to where it happened. In the cable news era, though, you can expect to hear about a stranger abduction, or a school shooting, or a terrorist attack no matter where it happens. There aren’t more of these things than there used to be, but people hear about more of them, which makes them feel as if the rate is trending up. It isn’t just child sex abuse, either; the same factor applied to terrorist attacks in the U.S. such as the D.C. sniper. And it isn’t even just the news to blame, either. A good number of American television programs revolve around murder (usually, but not always, about solving them and bringing the murderer to justice, but still… someone has to get dead by the first commercial break in order for the Main Characters to have something to do.) But wait! We need to get those ratings numbers up! We already catch murderers every week on our show… we need a bad guy who’s extra special bad, so it feels like there are actual consequences to catching (or not catching) the bad guy. So the bad guy during ratings sweeps will be not just a killer, but a serial killer. Then, having a serial killer during sweeps wasn’t enough, and we got shows where the serial killer was there right from the beginning… The Following, The Mentalist, Dexter, Hannibal. A person whose view of the world was shaped in the shadow of a flickering cathode-ray tube might be forgiven for believing that serial killers are everywhere.
    And, of course, politicians who want you looking over there, instead of over here where they’d rather not have to explain what they’re doing, are only too happy to stoke the fires, if it keeps people distracted. The previous Republican President got us into a disastrous war because some friends of the Vice President could make a few bucks helping the war effort… to keep us “safe” from “terrorists”. The last guy tried to wind that down, although there’s still BUNCH of lingering effects that still need our attention, and now the new guy… well, they’re planning on re-writing the tax system because rich guys just aren’t getting a fair deal, in their eyes. Keep your eye on the (LO)OK! OVER THERE! Transgenders in the military!) ball, or the results could be (Hey, everybody, I’m firing somebody else today!) very bad for us.
    Maybe I’m wrong to be so cynical. But… I wouldn’t count on it. Maybe things will get better in 2018. Specifically, in November of 2018. But nobody ever went broke underestimating the American public. There appear to be people who actually buy into the idea that Hillary set up Don Jr., got him to take the bait, then didn’t use it in the election. This actually makes sense to someone. Sigh.

  31. Garfield Pennington August 1, 2017 at 12:48 am #

    Again, sound advice based on actual statistics. Keep up the good work. Gary Pennington, EdD

  32. David N. Brown August 1, 2017 at 2:19 am #

    @James: One thing that HAS changed is that misguided liberals virtually shut down the traditional mental instititions, leaving a lot of people who would previously have been placed in controlled environments floundering on the streets.

    Speaking of media, a major byproduct is the myth of the serial killer as super genius. I don’t know when that started, but I notice a contrast with older portrayals, like Scorpio in the original Dirty Harry. First saw that movie on TV as a kid, and it was chilling.

  33. James Pollock August 1, 2017 at 3:13 am #

    “One thing that HAS changed is that misguided liberals virtually shut down the traditional mental instititions”

    Reagan was a misguided liberal?

    “Speaking of media, a major byproduct is the myth of the serial killer as super genius. I don’t know when that started,”

    Moriarty?
    Dramatic (as opposed to real) serial killers exist to be the foil of the hero of the story. I mean, it takes some combination of luck and brains to get away with murder, and you have to get away with the first one to become a serial murderer.
    Murder stories are the realm of mystery stories, and mystery stories are like puzzles… they appeal to smart people, for the most part. Traditional mysteries straight up ARE puzzles, while procedurals are presented like puzzles… you the audience know who the murderer is, here’s how the police figure out whodunnit. In real life, it’s often as not luck… we stop a car for bad license tags, and it turns out to have the Oklahoma City bombers in it. The way to bring luck onto your side is by dogged perseverence… chase down every lead until you get lucky and find what you need. In the real world, most cases are either solved right away, or because someone kept at it and kept at it and kept at it. In between are a lot of cases that just sit there.

  34. Donald August 1, 2017 at 4:27 am #

    This sounds like a time that you need to re-read the thousands of letters of praise for what you’re doing. Does this pencil neck know how vaccination works? Vaccines are like a training course for the immune system. They prepare the body to fight disease without exposing it to disease symptoms.

    Children need to be exposed to the small life problems of childhood in order to prepare them for adult problems. THEY WILL FACE THESE AT THE ADULT AGE! Only a moron believes it to be helpful to children to keep them from this training. When they are forced to face these problems without the training, anxiety and depression can become overwhelming!

    This jerk is amazingly stupid!

  35. Katie G August 1, 2017 at 6:26 am #

    @Dean Whinery, my kids (uincluding the 2 year old) adore greeting everyone who passes by the house when we’re outdoors.. Everyone smiles except people wearing headphones who don’t hear them.

  36. Katie G August 1, 2017 at 7:14 am #

    PArents can emphasize that surprises are the good secrets, that at a certain time the person/people the surprise is for will find out. There’s a definite end point to keeping the secret, whereas bad secrets have no endpoint. I know the littlest ones don’t have a great concept of time, but you can say, “Not yet!” For example,”It’s for Mom’s birthday” means that in two weeks, Mom and everyone else can know about the new scarf you’ve bought. “We’ll tell everyone about the new baby next month”. So when we’re planning surprise, we should emphasize when they’ll be revealed and encourage other people we know to do the same, to make a disctinction between bad secrets and good surprise plans.

  37. Theresa Hall August 1, 2017 at 10:02 am #

    It may be awkward James but I think the parents would prefer the kids come to them then John down the street. If for some reason the parents fail then ask a doctor about all the birds and the bees stuff including the laws that would say if you are too young to be interested in that stuff. If someone was raped then get the kit then get details on the incident including if they knew the bad guy.

  38. SteveS August 1, 2017 at 10:22 am #

    I think this is excellent advice and it is great that someone is trying to educate the public. It is easy to jump all over someone when they embrace some irrational belief, but I suspect that most of us do it, though probably in other areas if we are regulars to this site. I know more than a few educated and otherwise rational people that have some fear their kids will be molested/kidnapped by a stranger.

    These fears aren’t anything new. Just look at hitchhiking. When was the last time you saw anyone doing this? When I was growing up, we were told that if you hitchhiked, you would probably be raped or murdered. Turns out that subsequent research has shown that hitchhiking wasn’t really all that dangerous. I can think of dozens of other things (e.g. guns, swimming) that people have some kind of irrational belief.

  39. SteveS August 1, 2017 at 10:27 am #

    As for shutting down the mental institutions, this wasn’t an entirely bad thing. The conditions in many were barbaric. The problem is that the pendulum swung too far the other way, in that there are people that need to be in a restrictive environment. Misguided liberals can be blamed for plenty of things, but not the lack of quality mental health care.

  40. Eric S August 1, 2017 at 11:22 am #

    @Workshop. I agree, fear is huge motivator. It makes people do the darnedest things. Same with insecurity, which is just another form of fear.

    But I also believe humans ARE smart. Some just don’t allow themselves to be smart, because of fear. We all have the same brains, and the human brain is the human brain. Unless one has some sort of brain defect. ie. mentally ill, dementia, autism. We all process things the same way. It’s the upbringing and conditioning that separates the smart thinkers from the worse case first thinkers. As children we all saw things logically. A blue sky with the sun out, and birds singing was just that. A blue sky with the sun out, and birds singing. But as we get older, we get conditioned by our parents, then our experiences based on what our parents teach us. To the point where “a blue sky with the sun out, and birds singing”, becomes “a sky, and annoying birds” for some people.

    The beautiful thing about the human brain, is that it CAN be reprogrammed to think differently. But it’s up to the individual to do so. So closed minded, fearful people will never see anything but what they want to. While the open minded, and mentally and emotionally strong individuals will be able to learn and recondition themselves to be better smarter people. They are much less insecure and fearful.

  41. Gina August 1, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    RE CONSENT:
    Yes, it’s tricky. I always gave my kids warning and we did have a point where “the parent has to make the choice”….That was when it was a safety issue and of course I would grab a toddler walking under a pot of boiling water or hold a hand crossing the street.
    But the idea is that the child’s body is their (not grammatical, pc) own. No unwanted tickling, kissing, patting heads, etc…
    The point is to make the child confident to say NO in a loud voice and to know that the parent will support that.

    No theory is perfect, all rules have exceptions; it’s the message overall that matters.

  42. Gina August 1, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    MORE ON CONSENT:
    In addition, nobody ever touched my child without explanation…
    “the doctor needs to look inside your ears now”
    “I am going to take your hand so that we can cross safely”
    “I need you to be safe in the supermarket, so I am putting you in the cart”

    NEVER:
    “You need to kiss grandma”
    “It’s not nice not to hold hands when your friend wants to”

    Respect

  43. James August 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

    “Gina, I frequently see people advocate full-fledged informed consent starting in infancy, but how does this work in practice with young children?”

    Yeah, explaining to an infant (who doesn’t understand English anyway) what I’m doing seems rather….silly. If that’s how you interact with your child because it works for you, hey, it works for you! I sing a silly song when I change my baby girl’s diaper. But the idea that we’re “teaching informed consent” is nonsense. We’re performing a biologically necessary action. The alternative is diaper rash, which is not only extremely uncomfortable but can lead to serious problems if left long enough (it’s POOP; it’s a biohazard).

    Key issue in my mind is that no one advocating such extreme forms of informed consent has ever 1) explained how the baby would refuse to grant consent, or 2) that there is any affect from performing such an action. If the baby can’t refuse to grant consent, the concept of consent is nonsense by definition; if there’s no affect, the action is worthless by definition.

    I’m all for teaching kids that their body belongs to them. I’m also all for keeping them safe. If the two issues clash, I’d rather have a child who’s alive and healthy, but who is upset because someone grabbed their hand, than to have a child who is crushed by a vehicle, scalded to death by hot water, or otherwise injured or killed because, seriously, kids don’t understand the world around them. If an adult can’t differentiate between abuse and saving the child’s life, that indicates that the person isn’t someone I want my kids around to begin with.

  44. Tim August 1, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

    People who use the term “pedo abductors” without quotes or irony are probably too obsessed to look at the issue rationally.

  45. David N. Brown August 1, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

    @James: It’s my observation that the concept of a serial killer for whom murder was an end in itself didn’t really exist in the early 20th century. At any rate, the killers and supervillains of period melodrama usually have a comprehensible motive, even if it’s feeding the god-demon Tsathoggua.

  46. Papilio August 1, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

    “Am I “Making It Easier for Pedo Abductors”?”

    *eye roll* Of course not. Why help the competition? Imagine if all the kids got abducted – there’d be no one left to give poisoned Halloween candy to! :-O

    Also, who would abduct a pedo?

  47. Neva August 1, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

    Well said!

  48. RW August 2, 2017 at 8:35 am #

    Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say the rate of them being CAUGHT committing another sex crime is low?

  49. Gina August 2, 2017 at 11:54 pm #

    JAMES:I’m all for teaching kids that their body belongs to them. I’m also all for keeping them safe. If the two issues clash, I’d rather have a child who’s alive and healthy, but who is upset because someone grabbed their hand, than to have a child who is crushed by a vehicle, scalded to death by hot water, or otherwise injured or killed because, seriously, kids don’t understand the world around them. If an adult can’t differentiate between abuse and saving the child’s life, that indicates that the person isn’t someone I want my kids around to begin with.

    GINA: and we did have a point where “the parent has to make the choice”….That was when it was a safety issue and of course I would grab a toddler walking under a pot of boiling water or hold a hand crossing the street.

    So there’s that we agree upon.

    As for telling a baby what you are doing, I do that with everything…narrate the day…so it doesn’t feel weird to me to tell them I’m changing a diaper and where I’m touching them. At that age, it’s more about learning to be in the habit of getting consent. But don’t tell me an 18-month-old doesn’t know if they want to kiss grandma or be tickled…they do and the choice should be theirs. That’s the beginning of consent.

  50. Gina August 3, 2017 at 11:54 am #

    tfwqtp2tlgf;3 : I see where you’re coming from, but I don’t think a child can consent to sex with an adult because I don’t think a child understands the ramifications of sexual activity…And because it is an imbalance of power when an adult asks a child to do something they don’t understand. That is not FREE and REAL consent. If you are 25 and your girl/boyfriend is 17, that is a balance and s/he can consent freely. If you are talking about a 6-year-old, that is NOT a balance of power.

    That said, I do believe the age of consent should be lower….as long as the consent is REAL. I don’t believe that a teacher should have sex with a student of any age or that a guard should have sex with a prisoner, because that consent cannot be given freely without an imbalance of power.

  51. James August 8, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

    “As for telling a baby what you are doing, I do that with everything…narrate the day…”

    Well, you do you. That seems exhausting to me, but that’s me.

    “At that age, it’s more about learning to be in the habit of getting consent.”

    I’m simply not convinced that that’s the lesson the child is learning. I have a very strong feeling that the only person learning anything is you. I’ve seen no data to indicate that “getting consent” from a baby has any effect on their behavior later in life.

    “But don’t tell me an 18-month-old doesn’t know if they want to kiss grandma or be tickled…”

    At a certain point sure, they can make their preferences known and any self-respecting person should abide by them as much as possible. It happens far earlier than 18 months. That said, kids also need to learn that sometimes they have to do things that make them uncomfortable. We need to train children in a myriad of different social behaviors; these often come in conflict. Children aren’t fully rational at 18 months, and can’t be expected to make fully rational choices. They need us (in a very real biological sense) to teach them how to navigate the world, and that includes social interactions.