Being a predator is child's play

The father of a four-year-old boy, his face torn with anguish and tears, his voice so choked with emotion he can hardly whimper out his words for the TV interviewer, tells of the terrible fate that his befallen his child.
Kidnapped? Murdered? A sex predator’s victim?
No. The little boy is not the prey. He is the predator. Or at least, thanks to the lunacy that is America’s prevailing sexual culture, this is how a desperately unfortunate and clearly loving father was driven to describing his own child, after kindergarten incidents reported earlier this month in which the boy is said to have received oral sex from a five-year-old girl. The distraught dad said oral sex took place in the classroom, the bathroom and the playground. He said his boy had been given feelings “he doesn’t know how to process” but wanted to repeat.
“I can’t take him to another school and be that parent who let a predator loose,” he said.
Understandably, KABC-TV’s interviewer Elex Michaelson queried this:
“You think of your own son as a predator?”
“How else do you explain it?” he sobbed.
Clearly, it was not the boy, but his father, who was having trouble “processing” the incident.
This kid was just four. The mother of the girl, also interviewed, was just as agonised as the father of the boy. Far from accusing the boy of being a predator, she seemed to think her own child – a year older – had taken the initiative, and blamed herself. She said she had asked her daughter where she had got the idea to do such a thing. From another little girl at the school, said the child.  The pre-school in question, the First Lutheran Church of Carson School, California, was closed down soon after a teacher reported seeing one of the oral sex encounters taking place in a bathroom.
The girl’s mother told KABC-TV News, Los Angeles, she had learned from her daughter that sexual incidents appeared to have been “an everyday thing” at the school. Not oral sex, but the kids pulling each other’s pants down and exposing themselves.
The most shocking thing about all this is that anyone was shocked by kindergarten sexuality. It is shocking it was big TV news. Shocking anyone thought it necessary to close the school, or to inform the police, and bring civil legal actions, as is reportedly happening.
Don’t these people know anything about kids? And with apologies to sensible, well-informed Americans (the sort who read Heretic TOC!), don’t they ever bother to ask themselves how most of the world outside the USA manages to bring up its kids without this all this hysterical angst? The other predominantly Anglophone countries, especially Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, share this malaise thanks largely to American cultural influence, albeit mercifully to a lesser degree. That influence is reflected in writing and research about children’s sexuality, or rather the absence of such work. Not since Kinsey’s heyday, sixty years ago, has there been significant research in the field published in the English language. Larry Constantine and Floyd Martinson were doing fine work around thirty years ago, but not on a scale comparable to Kinsey’s: their contribution was too easily marginalised.
So to find out how they do things elsewhere, we need to turn to other countries, as did Constantine and Martinson themselves. Their book Children and Sex included a chapter by Gundersen et al. on the sexual behaviour of preschool children at kindergartens in Norway, based on teachers’ observations of the children, who were aged from six months to seven years. The results would astonish many Americans, not because Norwegian kids all have oral sex by age five – they don’t – but because the teachers calmly report observing the kids exploring each other’s genitals, masturbating and “coitus training” without intervening to stop it. Nakedness was also permitted, both indoors and out. Not all parents were relaxed about the nakedness but “The teachers solved this problem by seeing to it that the children were properly dressed when the parents arrived to pick them up.”
Swedish kindergartens would have scandalised the Americans in those days, too, and doubtless still would, despite the encroachments of anti-sexual feminist influences. The Swedish pre-school scene was extensively reviewed in The Lovelife of the Child by Gertrude Aigner and Erik Centerwall, published in Sweden in 1983. I remember it well. It has never to my knowledge been published in English but it did come out in Norwegian in 1984, at a time when I was an enthusiast of that beautiful language. The book impressed me so much as a valuable source that I read the whole volume very thoroughly and translated substantial chunks of it – a task for which I was equipped after studying Norwegian at Oslo University.
I have dug the hard-copy out of a dusty old filing cabinet. Once I have gone through it I suspect I will find several revelations and translated passages that are worth introducing here. In the meantime, if any heretics have good information on the present practice and ethos of the kindergartens in Scandinavia, plus the Netherlands, Germany and any other developed countries noted for their relatively liberal attitude towards child sexuality, Heretic TOC would be pleased to hear.

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[…] are said to be “perpetrated” by a child who is an “abuser”, as noted in an earlier blog, Being a predator is child’s play. There is no sex play for kids any more. The VPs react to this burgeoning new victim narrative with […]

ass to mouth stories

You’ve made some good points there. I checked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.

[…] in lesbian novelist Jeanette Winterson’s ironic question, has been snapped into focus for us by oral sex in the kindergarten and its shocking abnormality – or assumed abnormality. OK, most little kids don’t do it, but […]

willistina556

We see a clear, likely unstoppable, way forward with today’s ‘Generation Sex’ following well publicised Lurve Gen/Pied Piper non-victim adulto pioneers, like La Levine.
And when a critical mass of over-12s are asserting their humanity, then no one and nothing will stop them. While billions of under-12s look on, “curiouser and curiouser, and curiouser”.
Lurve.

adamjohn2

By the way, I think that the author of Genesis was onto something sensible. Adam and his companion (Eve) were unashamed of their nudity until they sinned. I think that the attitudes towards nudity in the US and other Anglophone countries are indicative of the state of their lack of morality.

adamjohn2

Joyce Grenfell, might be worth quoting. “George, don’t do that!”

willistina556

Surely for pride of place on Heretic-TOC’s – Blogroll of Honour:
Judith Levine b. 1952. A Lurve Generation 1960s prime non-victim, past proactive aMused Adultophile. Had a wonderful, all positive affair with a 27 yr.old. man when she was just 15 – OMG !
She is an American author, journalist, civil libertarian and co-founder of the National Writers Union, a trade union of contract and freelance writers, and No More Nice Girls, a group dedicated to promoting abortion rights through street theater. She is a board member of the National Center for Reason and Justice and the Vermont chapter of the ACLU.
La Levine is best known for her 2002 book ‘Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex’, in which she suggests liberalization of age-of-consent laws in the United States and the conception of minors as sexual beings, which Levine argues is extant in Western Europe. Levine argues for weakening most United States laws governing possession of child pornography, the access of abortions to minors, and conduct classified as statutory rape. Conservative commentators have heavily criticized her work; its publication by the University of Minnesota Press caused controversy in the Minnesota state legislature. The book was also widely praised by advocates of liberalization and educators. It won the 2002 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was named by SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, as one of history’s most influential books about sexuality.
[T.O’C.: Blogroll best reserved for reference sources, otherwise it would be endless. Levine is worth writing about though, and no doubt her work will feature in my blog comments from time to time, as it has in various of my other writings.]

jedson303

Thanks for the info on Curiouser. Looks very interesting. Expensive, but I can get it at my librarys. jedson

willistina556

Sans, or with, links how cum these two great books haven’t yet been aired here, or have they ?
1. “Harmful to Minors, The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex”, by Judith Levine, 2002, University of Minnesota Press. Foreword by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn M. Elders.
A radical, refreshing, and long overdue reassessment of how we think and act about children’s and teens’s sexuality. Sex is a wonderful, crucial part of growing up, and children and teens can enjoy the pleasures of the body and be safe, too. In this important and controversial book, Judith Levine makes this argument and goes further, asserting that America’s attempts to protect children from sex are worse than ineffectual. It is the assumption of danger and the exclusive focus on protection—what Levine terms “the sexual politics of fear”—that are themselves harmful to minors.
Wiki extract: ” Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex (ISBN 0-8166-4006-8 [hardcover], ISBN 1-56025-516-1 [paperback]). A 2002 book by Judith Levine. The foreword was written by former United States Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who amidst a furore, resigned after suggesting that masturbation be promoted as a means of preventing young people from engaging in riskier forms of sexual activity. The ‘Author’s Note’ states: “Most of the research for this book, including interviews, was conducted between 1996 and early 2000, and pertinent statistics were updated in 2001. The names of all nonprofessionals have been fictionalized, along with some identifying characteristics.” Levine lambastes US laws concerning child pornography, statutory rape, and abortion for minors using a variety of studies and interviews with teenagers and adults alike (see Acknowledgments). Levine also analyzes abstinence-only sex education, which Levine considers counter-productive and dangerous.
http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/harmful-to-minors
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmful_to_Minors
2. “Curiouser, On the Queerness of Children”, 2004, Steven Bruhm and Natasha Hurley, editors. Classic essays and new work on the issue of childhood sexuality and its “queer resonances”, explore the dominant narrative about children and what happens when it takes an unexpected, or queer, turn—when the stories of childhood must confront a child whose play does not conform to the ideal of child (a)sexuality. Contributors: Lauren Berlant, Andre Furlani, Judith Halberstam, Ellis Hanson, Paul Kelleher, Kathryn R. Kent, James R. Kincaid, Richard D. Mohr, Michael Moon, Kevin Ohi, Eric Savoy, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Kathryn Bond Stockton, Michael Warner.
An excellent range of pieces that set up inquiry into the tangled-up qualities of sexual, queer children. Rather than produce extreme novelty, then, what this collection accomplishes, by creating a home where these essays have been familiarly united, is the drawing of our attention to queer theory’s more important, and I’d say more dynamic, objects of inquiry.
http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/curiouser

Dave Riegel

And while we are at it, let’s toss in
Clancy, S. (2009). The Trauma Myth. New York: Basic Books
which I cite in both of the essays I referenced above, and which is discussed here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/health/26zuger.html?_r=0

willistina556

Nor-way to go dudes.
NON-Anglo is the only way to go.
Leaving on a jet plane, or just plain leaving !

denheterofilemaske

The translation is accurate.
I remember reading comments to this article somewhere. Angered parents everywhere claiming children have no sexuality at all.

adamjohn2

Any idea why people choose to believe things that are very clearly untrue?

Scholarbones

It was probably an advertising person who said “perception is everything”. In popular perception — and among people of limited intelligence — children ARE sexless. M T-W.

Gil Hardwick

I don’t think it is a question of people choosing to believe what is untrue, but of people being afraid to suspend disbelief in what is true.
It is a question of fear and ignorance in society, and of rule by propagation of fear and ignorance in society, by lazy fearful ignorant leaders of society who we rightly call upon to know better, and to think a lot better than they do about core issues of being human they know to be facing their constituency.

denheterofilemaske

Reminds me a bit about making horror movies with children as the main horror. We percieve them as scary because they behave differently from what is “expected” of them. Might it be the same with sexuality? Children that express it scares because we don’t expect that from them?

Dave Riegel

Here is a Norwegian article from 2007:
http://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/2007/10/15/515133.html
and an English translation of unknown accuracy:
Pre-school Teacher Pia Friis thinks it is okay for children to masturbate and explore sex-play in kindergarten.
– Many people think that sexuality is not part of children’s lives. But it is actually. Therefore children’s sexual play shouldn’t be stopped, even if it takes place in the kindergarten, says educator and manager of Bjerkealleen Kindergarten in Oslo.
The magazine for Private Kindergartens Association, PBL again took up the topic of sexuality kindergartens in its latest edition. Friis said there’s a lot of uncertainty among nursery staff about how to handle children’s sexuality.
Naked Dance and masturbation
– The only thing that is certain is that children, sooner or later, will play sexual games and examine each other in kindergarten. But when the staff are uncertain, this is transmitted to the children, and it may turn out negatively. We tend to forget that children like feeling, and that they can even have an orgasm, says Friis.
In Bjerkealleen kindergarten, one of the Kanvas-kindergartens in Oslo, there are swings and sandbox that [tempt?] most of the day. But if the kids want to go naked in it, they’re allowed to.
– Children can look at each other and examine each others bodies. They can play “doctor”, “mom and dad”, “naughty bits play”, “sex play”, they can dance naked and masturbate. This should not be stopped. But their sexuality must also be socialized, so it should not be allowed, for example, to grab one’s penis while sitting and eating, says Friis.
The staff at Bjerkealleen let children keep on with their playing, and say for example: “Hey, are you having a good time?” or “Are you enjoying yourself?” if they come across children who masturbate or in other sexual situations.
Taboo for adults
Friis travels around the nurseries and lectures on children’s sexuality, where she experiences that the adults are embarrassed to talk about the topic.
– During the lectures people often do not dare to ask questions in class, but they are likely to come up to me afterwards. For many it is difficult to use words like “masturbation” and “sex-play” But daycare staff must have a discussion about taking a professional and non-private stance toward sexual play in kindergarten. The same applies here as in other areas of life, says Friis, who also says that the issue must be included in pre-school teacher’s education.
– Where is the limit for what you will accept of sexual play in kindergarten?
– As long as they do not harm each other, it is mostly fine. But we say to them that they must not put things into each other. Hygiene, I think we should not be so afraid about. There is a lot of snot and [???] in kindergarten anyway, says Friis.
Must set their own limits
She believes it is important that children do not do things that they don’t want themselves.
– Children should not push each other, and day care staff must ensure that, for example, older children do not force young children. If Peter is crying because another child has forced himself to look at his penis, we must say to Peter that it is he who decides on his own body, and that the next time he can say “no,” she says.
This is, according to Friis, about setting boundaries.
– We spend a lifetime to test the other’s borders, but we make sexuality into something very special. It is exactly the same as applies here: Children must learn to set their own limits, says Pia Friis.
The preschool teacher understands that some will react against the open attitude of children’s sexuality, but believes it is due to ignorance.
Regarding abuse
– People may think that it is strange, and the reason I think is their belief that sexuality belongs to adulthood. But kindergarten is a place where children of different sexes and ages meet, and it is quite natural that they explore the sexual part of life, says Friis.
She is supported by a psychologist and sexologist Thore Langfeldt.
– Children need to learn about sexuality, otherwise things can go wrong. I can not understand why people react negatively to Bjerkealleens attitude to this, said Langfeldt.
He believes it is important that children have a conscious and healthy relationship with their own sexuality.
– Children can not tell what they will not be in if they do not know what sexuality is. Moreover, we know that children can easily tell about abuse if they have a relationship to sexuality before, he said.
[T.O’C.: Thanks, Dave. I may comment on this in a forthcoming blog post.]

Gil Hardwick

David, I do admire your work. I’d like to ask respectfully, however, that people think twice before using this word ‘masturbate’. It’s just another of those ugly generalised masking labels that does far more harm than good.
Please, can we start getting this message out, as a matter of urgency?
Better to speak of pleasure; if you like body pleasure, which gives as access to much finer nuancing and subtlety in dealing with children. In particular it allows us a clear knowing of when it’s no longer pleasant, when to say no, even because simply distracted by something else perhaps.
In that, I suggest, better to not use the word ‘sex’ either.
This is not adult, hormone-driven copulative behaviour, it is not coitus, it is not even courtship. It is childhood bonding intimacy.
I have just returned from lunch with an old friend and colleague who has supported my work for many years. He is not only my university chaplain, he is a member of Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia. These issues are being discussed right now at the highest levels and my opinion is being sought more and more often.
We agree fully on this matter of how to talk about children’s bodies, their sex play, their knowing and exploring themselves and each other, their bonding behaviour and intimacy, and whether it even needs to be supervised beyond, in my own long experience, having a trusted grown-up around as arbiter, and to keep an eye on things.
Tom, keep this up and we will go a long way very quickly.

Dave Riegel

This is a repost of my previous Guest Blog that has been somewhat updated and tries to address the distinction between adult, hormone-driven copulative behavior and childhood bonding intimacy:
http://www.shfri.net/mech/mech.cgi
This is a 2011 piece that tries the same thing to some extent:
http://www.boyandro.info/
I agree with you that Tom has something good going here – and I hope it continues indefinitely. It is SO far superior to http://www.boychat.org/

Gil Hardwick

I’m inclined to argue that the difference between the two is that in the latter most of the members sit there browsing the Internet and watching television, get their ‘news’ and ‘information via such media, while in the former most of the members actually read, and study these issues in depth, in some cases formally as part of their academic work.
It’s a good indication of the very real harm done by television and it’s Internet equivalent, a good indication of the damage needing to be repaired, and my approach to these issues.

jedson303

I think everybody here would agree that the whole scenario described above is appalling. Nevertheless, I suspect that, however misinformed and confused the father may have been, and no matter how damaging his reaction to his son almost certainly was, he probably did love his son, and believed he was doing what is right. I think we will make more progress in our dealings with others if we focus and attacking ideas and not people. I think there is both an ethical issue here (re: how we treat other human being we disagree with) and a strategic one. Telling people they are pieces of shit is generally not a good opener for productive dialogue.

Gil Hardwick

Love his son? Well, yes, and I love my sons. How is it that he gets such priority, over such mindbogglingly trivial shit like that? What about my sons, my family, who weeps for them?
You want constructive dialogue? Well, like, start any time you want. But don’t ask us to feel sympathy for them when they don’t give a shit about us, or consider that we even exist, much less as human beings.

Gil Hardwick

And no I don’t think it’s appalling, it’s complete bullshit.
You want appalling, go to Africa, or the Northern Territory.

denheterofilemaske

As a norwegian guy myself, and previous worker at various kindergardens, I would have to comment on this. The kindergarden mentioned is actually quite extraordinary. It is very avant garde in regards to how we look at child sexuality, and does not represent the overall view of how a kindergarden should be. Parents and persons working in other kindergardens have commented with the standard pedophobia when they learned about this particular kindergardens nudityacceptance; “Children don’t know about sex, they are too young,”

Gil Hardwick

Um, yes, I’ll believe that the day infants emerge from the womb clothed.

willistina556

For infantilised, so called ‘adults’ in Sex Fascist phoney-Anglophonia.
Traditional, educational, informal, preschool, ‘Doctors & Nurses’ is now ‘Draculas & Nightmares’.

faustfor11s

I went to kindergarten in 1941 Britain. Quite apart from sharing a bath with my sister, I had had knowledge of female anatomy before I could walk properly. Then, at school, this boy or that girl would often be delighted to join the fun behind the bike-shed. And it was not simply fun. It was both intense interest and warm affection that we felt in those dyads, trios and sometimes larger groups…
Gil reminded me, but I already knew as a six-year-old, that girls can pee standing up. One day, we boys had forbidden the girls from entering “our” bomb-shelter. So they greeted us as we left by wetting our heads — standing high on the flat concrete roof above the entrance. My gigling sister was in their number.
We would all go to prison for THINKING about such things, now? Or — God forbid — having a picture of such natural. happy events. M T-W.

Gail

I would love to read some of your comments or translation of the Norwegian book . Thank you so much for the posting. I have co-authored a book in 2010 looking at the history of the sexual child in the Anglophone west – Egan RD and Hawkes G. Theorising the Sexual Child in Modernity

Gil Hardwick

THIS, IS, interesting to me; ‘theorising’ the ‘sexual’ ‘child’ in ‘modernity’.
I came into this late. I grew up among very natural traditional people, and like them suffered extended culture shock in the encounter. Despite the simple fact of 80% + premodern paramodern human population on this planet it has taken me a supreme effort to query the this idea of the universal modern subject and its impact on us.
I mean, in this light, what’s theory, sex and the sexual, the child, in ‘modermity’ or anywhere else?
Given that blubbering ‘Dad’, greasy slimy lawyer in tow (I feel like I want to go out and puke, again), what, in this setting, is an ‘adult’?
Whatever happened to innocence, to play? I have said all the while that what the West is facing today is the very litmus test, expressing the core dilemma of what it is to be human, exposing finally the insane late-modern hysteria over the emergence of the modern person, the sovereign self, finally.
Gail, happy to comment but I’m not going to pay $90.00 for a book. No offense intended. See what you can arrange if you like, and when I can I’ll return the compliment.
And Tom, you’re good, you get us going.

Gil Hardwick

Sorry, unable to resist. My son, I’d be grinning and say, Walk Proudly!
Come shower with me son, tell me about it. Was she nice?
Fucking unbelievable . . . that miserable sobbing fucking excuse of a ‘Dad’ is definitely a character for my new novel. I’ll write him in, alongside Lou’s hysterical screaming mother. Lou just lost his virginity, you see, age 17, but was too nervous and came before he went.
More broadly, what they might well do to stem this dreadful epidemic, this American disease, is more nude kindies.
After that, nude prep schools . . .

Sugarboy

If those parents really believe that they have a 5 years old predator within the home, I think someone should pay them a visit and unleash a 5 years old lion in their dining room so that they can see the difference. This should be performed while the kids are not at home, of course, seeing as they are the only innocent ones out there…

willistina556

Ages Four & FIVE ?!
More late starters.

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