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Comment on Finkelhor's Prevention Article

By Ipce Members

David Finkelhor
The Prevention of Childhood Sexual Abuse 
Preventing Child Maltreatment Volume 19 Number 2 Fall 2009

Value of the article

It undermines the pre-assumption of a stereotype image of all offenders, most of them being not 'pedophiles'. "The equation of sexual abuse with pedophilia is thus misleading." OK, true
"The belief that child sexual abusers are incorrigible recidivists is also an over-simplification." - OK, true. 
Finkelhor demonstrates that concentration on offenders and their supposed recidivism is not effective. OK, true
He pleads for more and better sex education in schools. OK. 



"I define child sexual abuse to include the entire spectrum of sexual crimes and offenses in which children up to age seventeen are victims." 

'Abuse' is a moral concept, as well as a (mental) health concept, dependent of the welfare of a child. 'Crime & offense' are juridical concepts, dependent of the laws, thus the law makers. Laws differ by state and by period, thus (here) 'abuse' differs by state and by period. The more laws, the more abuse. 
"The entire spectrum": from non-contact and relatively light onto rape, quite heavy acts. Also form force-free onto heavy force. And including consensual and non-consensual acts. This is a too large concept to really understand what happens. A more modern view is to distinguish between 'real sexual abuse, CSA' and 'sexual experience, CSE'. 
See e.g.:
Stanley, Jessica L., Bartholomew Kim, & Oram Doug
Gay and Bisexual Men's Age-Discrepant Childhood Sexual Experiences
The Journal of Sex Research
"up to age seventeen": there are too many essential differences between an two- or five-year-old child and a 17-years-old teenager, adolescent, young man or women. At least baby, toddler, pre-puberty-child, pubescent, adolescent and young adult should be distinguished. On the side of the offenders, there is a great difference between a child, pubescent, adolescent or (young) adult. Also, relatives and 'strangers' have to be distinguished. 


“compliant victims” ... "Such offenses involve teens who have quasi-voluntary sexual relationships with much older adults ..."

The existence of real consensuality is denied here. It still does exist. 

See e.g.
T. Rivas, Positive Memories, Cases of positive memories of erotic relationships and contacts of children with adults, as seen from the perspective of the former minor - Ipce 2013 (2nd Edition 2014)


The main aim of sex education seems here to reach that the children see the dangers of sex and that they learn to say "no". It is better to teach also the pleasures of sex and that they also have the possibility to say "yes". 

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