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When Sexual Abuse Happens to Boys Karen A. Duncan, M.A., LSW, LMFT The Right To Be Safe, Inc. www.theright2besafe.org www.healing4women.com.

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Presentation on theme: "When Sexual Abuse Happens to Boys Karen A. Duncan, M.A., LSW, LMFT The Right To Be Safe, Inc. www.theright2besafe.org www.healing4women.com."— Presentation transcript:

1 When Sexual Abuse Happens to Boys Karen A. Duncan, M.A., LSW, LMFT The Right To Be Safe, Inc.

2 Gender Series Karen A. Duncan What About Our Boys...

3 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Purpose of The Program To raise awareness of the sexual abuse of boys. To engage in a dialogue about the harm that is caused to boys who are sexually abused by females. To acknowledge the female sex offender’s role in the perpetuation of sexual abuse by males. Awareness of sexual offending in schools. To discuss gender-specific prevention and treatment programs for boys.

4 Sexual Abuse of Boys Prevalence

5 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Child Sexual Abuse Epidemic: CSA occurs to 1:4 girls and 1:6 boys. These statistics include children sexually abused by women and men. Adolescents, primarily males, account for 40% of reported sexual abuse cases. The majority of reported offenders are male.

6 Sexual Abuse of Boys Myths and Stereotypes

7 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Cultural Bias & Stereotypes Males are reluctant to report sexual abuse due to the shame associated with male victimization. Our culture emphasizes the stereotype that “males” cannot be victims...this stereotype extends to our boys.

8 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Cultural Bias & Stereotypes The sexual assault of boys is likely to go unreported because of social consequences regarding masculinity (Williams, 1995; Elliot & Briere, 1994).

9 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Cultural Bias & Stereotypes There is also the misconception that males cannot experience sexual abuse. This is due to a lack of information about the human sexual response (Sarrel & Masters,2003).

10 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Human Sexual Response When there has been a physical response to sexual abuse that is mislabeled as “pleasurable” rather than as a manipulated response to the sexual abuse by an offender then children, teens and adults will discount or minimize the sexual abuse offense (Duncan, 2004).

11 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Male Sexual Victimization Myths Male-to-male child sexual abuse may cause boys to mislabel themselves as “gay”. Cultural stereotype that “boys want sex” or that “boys are proud” when the offender is a female.

12 Sexual Abuse by Women A pathway to offending...

13 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Female Offending of Boys When a woman sexually abuses a boy our culture tends to view this abuse as “harmless”. There is also the attitude that “she is teaching him about sex” – when in fact she is teaching him about sexual abuse.

14 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Response to male victims: Often male victims are “congratulated” and made to feel as though they are a “freak” if they report. Young male victims are forced to perpetuate the distorted societal belief that “sex with an older woman is the ultimate teen male fantasy” or so the fairytale is told.

15 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Misuse of Language in the Media Journalists will often refer to sexual abuse by women on boys as: “an illegal relationship” “a teacher-student sex affair” “a blonde bomb shell” “ an affair with his teacher.” “having sex with a student”.

16 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Female Sex Offenders When we add the view that if the female sex offender is also thoughts to be “young and attractive” then the male victim is even encouraged to feel “special” that he was chosen by the offender to be her “sexual partner”.

17 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Sandra “Beth” Geisel

18 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Sandra “Beth” Geisel She was photographed in an “attractive manner” when compared to photographs of men who are arrested on suspicions of sexual abuse. Photo appeared August 13, New York State. 42 years old, mother of 4. 3 rd degree rape of a 16 year old boy. 4 other male teenage students.

19 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Sandra “Beth” Geisel Her attorney presents her as the victim: “There are some factors here where a reasonable person might think she was taken advantage of…when Geisel had sex with the boy at her home, she was too drunk to give her consent, so she couldn’t have raped him.”

20 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Tennessee Pamela Rogers being escorted to jail (notice the pose). Pleaded no contest to four counts of sexual battery with a 13 year old boy.

21 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Mary Kay Letourneau In 1996 in Seattle, Washington Mary Kay Letourneau was convicted of second degree rape of her sixth grade student who was twelve years old at the time.

22 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Letourneau’s Victim Photo of victim at age 12. She first met her victim when he was 8 years old and she was his second grade teacher.

23 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Debra Lafave Photos follow her progression as she was exposed for sexual abuse. Sexual crimes against a 14 year old boy. Planned and intentional: Had his 15 year old cousin drive her vehicle to Ocala, Florida while she sexually abused the boy in the back seat.

24 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Pamela Diehl-Moore Judge Gaeta stated that: “I really don’t see the harm that was done here and certainly society doesn’t need to be worried,” Gaeta explained. “I do not believe she is a sexual predator. It’s just something between two people that clicked beyond the teacher-student relationship.” Question: What makes Judge Gaeta think he is an expert on female sexual offenders?

25 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Pamela Diehl-Moore The judge also noted that “he had seen no evidence that the boy suffered any psychological damage from the ‘liaisons’ and that “maybe it was a way for him, once this happened, to satisfy his sexual needs,” Gaeta said.

26 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Media Coverage of Case According to the journalist: The ‘affair’ occurred in the summer of 1999, just after the boy completed the seventh grade. Diehl-Moore took him back to her home, to commit the sexual abuse.

27 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Pamela Diehl-Moore Diehl-Moore’s response: “I would never hurt anybody. I will never do this again. It was a lapse in judgment. I tried to help this boy in a way that he professed to me his family didn’t.” Question: Does this sound like a rational person? How does sexual abuse help a boy?

28 What Men Tell Us A pathway to offending...

29 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Denov (2004) (Journal of Interpersonal Violence) Male Victims of Females: “As a man, I’m suppose to be the powerful one and the actions of women are not supposed to affect me. I’m always supposed to have the upper hand.” “I took pride in the fact that I could turn on these young girls. I was already fully sexualized and there was a sense of pride.”

30 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Denov (2004) ( Journal of Interpersonal Violence) One of the men: Trouble at school for touching girls. Sexually abused his 9 year old sister. Sexually assaulted two of his nieces. Sexually assaulted two girls outside the family.

31 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan A 2004 Study by Denov (Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(10)) Another man made this connection: “I escalated into exposing myself to young girls. I wanted to feel some kind of control, some kind of power…I wanted to hurt or shock the girls…That would fulfill a desire to want them to feel the same pain that I felt when I was sexually abused.”

32 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Men Report: “…for a man to be a victim is an embarrassment.” “A real man is not a victim.” “A real man is always in charge.” “A man who is a victim is a failure.” “Because I am a male, I should be able to control women.”

33 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Denov 2004 Study These interviews indicate boys hold long- term beliefs about what the sexual abuse did to their sense of masculinity and male identity when a victim by a woman. Supports the theory that female offenders contribute to male offending attitudes, behaviors and beliefs.

34 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Male Sex Offenders Relationship of male sexual abuse and victimization by women shows: 59% (1984,Petrovich and Templer) 66% (1979, Groth) 80% (1993, Briere and Smiljanich) A 1989 study by O’Brien of male adolescent offenders abused by “females only” chose female victims almost exclusively.

35 Sexual Abuse in Schools What Are Schools Doing?

36 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Sex Offenders in Schools Carol Shakeshaft from Hofstra University stated that “the number of abuse cases--- which range from unwanted sexual comments to rape--- could be much higher.”

37 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Sex Offenders in Schools Her study estimates that 290,000 students experienced some type of sexual abuse by a school employee between 1991 and She estimates that “the sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”

38 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Sex Offenders in Schools 2002 U.S. Department of Education report in compliance with “No Child Left Behind”: Between 6 percent and 10 percent of public school children across the country have been sexually abused or harassed by school employees and teachers.

39 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Sex Offenders in Indiana Schools March 2004: A 20 year old Anderson, Indiana choir aide is charged with the rape of a 16 year old female student. March 2004: IPS substitute teacher was caught “having sex” with a 15 year old student in a vacant classroom. October 2005: IPS substitute teacher accused of ing explicit photo of himself to a sophomore at Warren Central.

40 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Sex Offenders in Schools Exploit and manipulate their position of power--- in particular may use charm, provide a child with attention and affection, or special privileges. Majority of sex offenders are seducers of children and teens. Sex offenders manipulate parents and others adults to gain their trust.

41 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan School Responses to Sexual Abuse Rely on statutory rape laws – very weak in prosecution. Some states have specific laws banning sex between teachers and students. An occasional in-service is provided. No systematic response is enforced by schools.

42 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan What children need... Safe and caring Schools!! “I’m important!”

43 The Sexual Abuse of Boys Recommendations

44 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan Recommendations: Become aware of our own biases and myths regarding child sexual abuse. Ask and talk about sexual abuse committed by females. Report cases that we suspect and are disclosed to us. Develop gender-based assessment, treatment and prevention for our boys. Prevention programs in schools

45 Gender SeriesKaren A. Duncan What children deserve... The Right To Be Safe! Adults who care...

46 Thank You! Send your questions to:


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