Dr. Susan Forward is said to be a principle authority on sexual abuse and incest. She and Craig Buck propose in their book, Betrayal of Innocence, that the aversion to speaking about, or hearing of incest, comes from a natural attraction to it.
In biological terms it would be a logical reaction for people who live in the same home, share in activities, and who are tied together by emotions… to also be sexually attracted to each other.
This can be true in many cases.
Forward and Buck write, “Incestuous desires are in us all, though we engage a variety of unconscious mechanisms to deny them.” 1
I am not certain if I agree with the authors here, but it is possible.
In many cultures, and in third world countries, incest is openly practiced. 2 In early historical times and in pre-literate groups, maternal incest and pederasty were common. Have humans really changed that much? We have amended and created laws in order to protect children, but this has not stopped people from committing the acts. In America, incest is almost always hidden behind the facade of a “good” family and most likely happening just as much as it is in other cultures. The only difference in America, is that it is a well kept secret within the family.
Pornography generates billions of dollars a year globally and the United States is the biggest distributor. The Internet provides a vast amount of positive things for freedom of speech and for information, but unfortunately the Internet has also brought child pornography out of hiding and allowed it to flourish.
There are bulletin boards on websites for sexual deviation which display messages from people who want to swap their children with like-minded parents for sexual purposes. These child pornography rings sexually abuse children of all ages, and are forced to have sex with their own parents. Internet users request sexual acts to be perpetrated on the children and the order is filled by the child’s parents. In some cases the parent arranges for their son or daughter to have sex with another adult. 3
Prior to the 1950’s when the FBI had little information on sex crimes, and many agents were turned on by child pornography. This aided in keeping important information out of law enforcement and away from the general public. Over-excited officers were stimulated by the material or were too eager to interview victims. Some agents even made copies of evidence for their personal use. The problem in the FBI was later reduced in the late 1970’s when Kenneth Lanning, Roy Hazelwood, and a few other agents cleaned up the FBI training course. 4
But what is most disturbing, is a survey conducted in order to study the pedophilic tendencies and sexual attraction to children in young male adults.
The study was done on 193 male undergraduate students. The results were that twenty-one percent of these young men reported that they were sexually aroused by small children. Nine percent admitted to having sexual fantasies about children, five percent have actually masturbated to these fantasies, and seven percent revealed that if they would not be caught or punished they would probably have sex with a child. 5
1. Betrayal of Innocence: Incest and its Devastation, Dr. Susan Forward and Craig Buck, Penguin Books, 1988, page 7
2. Speech given at the National Parenting Conference in Boulder, Colorado, on September 25, 1997 The History of Child Abuse by Lloyd deMause The Journal of Psychohistory 25 (3) Winter 1998
3. CNBC News August 9 2002
4. The Evil That Men Do: FBI Profiler Roy Hazelwood’s Journey into the Minds of Sexual Predators, Stephen G. Michaud with Roy Hazelwood, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1998, pages 16, 87-89
5. University males’ sexual interest in children: Predicting potential indices of “pedophilia” in a non-forensic sample. Briere J, Runtz M. Child Abuse Neglect 1989; 13(1):65-75.