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4. Theme: research & ideology - 4.2:

Research, models and ideology

For example: eleven authors, and ten recommendations. 

Frans E.J. Gieles, PhD

Lecture, Ipce Meeting July 2008. 


[The introduction is  a second version of the text as given under "Statement & question" in Ipce's Newsletter E25, July 2008.]

During the Ipce Meeting in 2007, we spoke about research as the main theme of the meeting. We heard that 
Michael Baurmann found in his 1.058 cases that more than 50% of the ‘victims’ declared themselves as not ‘a victim’. None of the boys felt himselve a victim. 
Rudiger Lautmann found that his 60 respondents who felt attraction to children had developed their own ethical rules and styles of living, especially with the help of self-help groups and such contacts. 
Michael Griesemer criticized the usual research on intergenerational contacts as being flawed due to its bad or absent definitions, poor reasoning and other methodological faults. 
Horst Vogt found that the half of his respondents functioned well in society and were psychologically healthy, unless they felt under stress in society. 

During this meeting, and earlier, we heard about

Richard Yuill, who concluded that negative experiences do exist, but that positive experiences also do exist. 

From earlier research, we have 

Theo Sandfort [click and scroll to "Sandfort"], who demonstrated that positive sexual relationships, in his project between boys and men, do exist. 
Rind et al., who found 4% lasting harm from early sexual contacts. Forced father-daughter incest was principally responsible for that 4%. He also found positive and neutral feelings afterwards. 
James Prescott, who found that societies that repress body pleasure in childhood are the most aggressive societies …
And so on and on. 

My recent research showed 

how bad the diagnostics are of people alleged for pedosexual acts, and 
how full of force their treatment is, a treatment based on ideology more than on logical thinking. 

But those who think that children may have body pleasure, nudeness, hugs and intimacy with adults, are not merely regarded as  wrong in Western society nowadays. Excuse me, they not wrong, they are pronounced to be evil, perverts, sick, creeps, demonized and criminalized, if not exiled from society

In the USA, a teacher is sentenced to 200 years in prison for the possession of twenty child porn pictures. 
Another got a thousand years for 32 such counts. 
Child nudeness on a photo is seen as a great problem, as you can read in the former Ipce's Newsletter, here and here
And in the UK one has to have a license for hugging a child or even to drive a child to school, sports or church. 

Fear rules the world. It leads to absurdities. 

Is the answer: do more and better research? Yes, but this is nowadays nearly impossible, as you can read here in our former Newsletter. 

In addition

Naudé, Jonelle, Reconstructing Paedophilia - An analysis of current discourses and the construct of close relationships. Thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at the University of Stellenbosch 
 - December 2005. 

"Tentative conclusions include the suggestion that, since there was strong evidence that the participants constructed their relationships with children in terms of the constructs of close relationships, the framework of close relationships is useful for separating the psychological needs of paedophiles from 'deviant sexual behaviour'. 

Furthermore, it appears that the framework opens a discursive space in which the psychological dimensions of paedophilia may be problematised in ways that are less susceptible to implicit prejudice and bias, and therefore empirically more sound." 

Leahy, Terry, Negotiating Stigma: Approaches to Intergenerational Sex - Thesis presented to the University of New South Wales, 1991, Published in January 2002 by Books Reborn. [Abstract*]    [Conclusions**] 
 * Negotiating Stigma: Approaches to Intergenerational Sex deals with the experience of younger parties involved in intergenerational sexual relationships with adults. The study is based upon a set of interviews (nineteen in all) with people who, while they were under sixteen, were voluntarily involved in such relationships. They all described relationships that they regarded as positive experiences. Frank and intriguing verbatim material from the interviews provides the background and the basis for the analysis.

** Part 1 has been concerned with the strategies the interviewees adopted to negotiate the dominant discourse on intergenerational sex—the prohibition of intergenerational sex. This discourse creates the subject position “victim of abuse” as the appropriate subject position for the younger party in an intergenerational sexual contact. In negotiating this prohibition, all the interviewees begin from the point at which they refuse this subject position and instead define their own experiences positively. At the same time, however, I have indicated that all the interviewees also took up subject positions in reference to this dominant discourse.

An overview - or models of research

I have mentioned now eleven researchers and authors (Rind c.s. counted as one). What did they do? Which kinds of research did they perform? Which model did they choose? 

The qualitative, especially the narrative model
The researcher asks the respondents to speak out, orally or on paper, about their own experiences, feelings, vision, thus presenting their own narratives.  
The author does not start with a hypothesis, but only with an open question
Lautmann, Naude and Yuill  spoke with the adult partner, 
Baurmann and Leahy interviewed the younger partner,  
Sandfort has interviewed both partners, and 
Gieles read what the 'experts' in diagnostics and treatment have written, and listened to the narratives of their distorted patients, who told quite another story. 
The qualitative, especially the historical model 
Here, the researcher wants to prove a statement or hypothesis with historical data. 
Prescott and Griesemer - whilst the latter also asked adult respondents. 
The quantitative model of the meta-analysis
Here, the researcher researches the research already published, he 'studies the studies'. The researcher especially wants to dtermine correlations and working factors in a statistically established way, i.e. with as much data from as many respondents in as many countries as possible. 
Here we find Rind et al. .
The mostly quantitative method of rejecting the zero-hypothesis
This means: the researcher wants to reject his zero-hypothesis 'there is no correlation between ...' or 'there is no influence from these factors.'or 'there is no difference between ...'.
Here we find Vogt. He measures his factors and creates variables, and then studies the correlation between them. 

Models of interpretation & vision

Each researcher and author has a vision underlying his research or text, a vision within which he poses his or her question or hypothesis, and within which he or she interprets the data and the findings. It concerns a vision of the subject studied, and an underlying vision of the human being, society and human knowledge. One might even say: each author has an underlying vision, and each vision has, or is, an underlying ideology. So, every scientific work has an underlying ideology.

For the subject of intimate intergenerational relationships, I have, in earlier research, drawn up a scheme of nine used models, and two wanted models. Here below are my eleven models, which are further explained, following Dennis Howitt, 1995, chapter 5 & 8. Howitt has pointed to the simplicity that characterizes some models and their conclusions. It is not difficult to differentiate between ...

Three groups of models

Models that know already:
there is no question, only a direct answer, which is characterized by narrowness of vision and range

Models that search for an answer from a limited angle, and thus give a limited answer

Models that ask questions and try to find a honest answer, that search the answer in a broad context

#3. Wrong thinking 
Clearly, this model ask no questions; it already knows the answers: politically correct thinking is good. Whoever thinks otherwise is wrong and does wrong things. Thus, whoever does wrong things, has a cognitive distortion.

#5. The feminists' model 
Here also, one knows the answers before asking any questions. If needed, reality is changed a bit. Here we see a split in thinking: a woman is always good, a man is always bad.

#9. The demonology 
Here is no thinking at all, let alone critical. One is blindly led by one's own shadow without knowing it.

#1. Behavior can be learned 
Here, the explanation is not illogical, but there is more to a human  than only behavior.

#2. Search for the conditions 
To search the prior conditions is not illogical, but one may not directly label these as causes. Moreover, by doing so, a lot of possible causes appear.

#6. The biological model 
Searching for biological components always makes sense, but a human is more than a biological being; humans are also psychical and spiritual beings.

#4. The dynamics of the human soul 
Here, at least, one seriously searches on the basis of respect for the human soul and its forces, the male's as well as the female's.


#7. The historical approach 
Here one at least leaves aside the narcissistic vision that only our culture should have seen the light and that former humans and humans with other cultures were only unintelligent.

#8. A social construction 
Here, the phenomena to explain is at least viewed in a broader context. Events that occur in a society happen in a particular time era and should be viewed in that context.

Models worth investigating

#10. An evolutionary model

#11. A spiritual model.


Taking this in at a glance, one might state that 

the authors who accept the existence of consensual loving intimate intergenerational relationships might have used the models in the right  column and in model # 6 in the middle column, and that 

the authors who do not accept the existence of those relationships may have used other other models. 

Thus, the questions, the hypotheses, the findings and the conclusions are highly influenced by the underlying ideology. Ideology rules the world. 'It is ideology, stupid!'

Those who think that children may have body pleasure, nudeness, hugs and intimacy with adults, are not merely regarded as  wrong in Western society nowadays. Excuse me, they not wrong, they are pronounced to be evil, perverts, sick, creeps, demonized and criminalized, if not exiled from society. Why? 'It is ideology, stupid!' 


Can science give the answer? No, regrettably not, because all those fears, absurd laws, imprisonment, flawed studies and behavior-changing ‘therapies’ are not founded in good science. It is – and this my statementideology - I mean a false ideology. 


And here is my question for the Ipce Meeting and the reader: How to combat false  ideology? Yes, first by revealing that it is ideology – but then? What more? How to go further? What to refrain from? What to do? Let's first see what ideology is and does, how it operates. 

What is ideology?

Ideology is a strong undoubted belief, sometimes open to questions within the chosen model, but mostly closed, without any question to the model itself. It is like a castle, defended against information that questions the strong belief. In the left column here above, we see models that ask no real questions. All research within these models will confirm and strengthen the belief. It works like a pair of glasses: if they are green, the world will be green. 

How does ideology operate? 

Now put the pair of glasses of our opponents upon your mental nose and look at the mentioned researchers. 

Baurmann asks the poor victims and accepts their thinking error: they don't feel themselves  victims, for serious. The victims we have in our therapy learn that they really are victims. 

Lautmann listens to those distorted people and takes their narratives seriously, so he does a good job by reporting all their thinking errors.

Griesemer reports from a dark time in history, before we have seen the light, the very truth. 

Vogt beliefs what the adults have said and does not pay any attention to the poor victims at all. He says that his respondents are mostly quite normal people, but this is impossible. He refuses to see their distortion, whilst having pedophile feelings is a distortion by definition. 

Yuill notably listens to prisoners, criminals with pedophilic feelings and acts, hence to distorted people, and takes their narratives, their thinking errors, seriously. This condones the crime of pedosexuality, thus the public shalt not know his immoral data and conclusions. 

Sandfort believes his adult respondents who speak about 'love' but he is blind to the fact that their 'love' is only lust. And the poor boys must be influenced, if not forced by their adult 'friends' to give a positive narrative instead of the truth. His conclusions may not be true, thus can not be true. 

Rind et al.'s conclusions are so immoral that their research must be flawed. 

Prescott bases his conclusions on the culture of strange undeveloped cultures, far from the West and our era, so he must be wrong in his conclusions. 

Gieles correctly reads the literature of the experts, but if he believes the narratives of the distorted patients, he believes in their thinking errors. And the fact that they don't like their therapy, does not say that they can't be cured by the therapy, or at least can be better controlled. Discomfort and control is an essential part of our therapy. 

Naude is worse: he listens to convicted people, criminals, and takes their narrative, their thinking errors, seriously. 

Leahy actually reports how the young victims (unjustly labeled as 'partners') hide and re-label their 'friendship' with their adult 'friends'. What the poor youngsters do is reasoning away their actual status as a victim. 

And, by the way, all these authors must be pedophiles themselves. Their sole aim is to pave the way for the abusers. But having that distortion, they can neither do any unflawed research, nor draw any right conclusion, just because they have prejudices. We have none, surely not. 

That's ideology, that's how it works. 

We see that morality here interferes with science. (See 'Science and morality ...' by Gieles in Ipce's Newsletter # E7.) Certain facts or ideas may not exist, may not be true, thus the can not be true. 

Well, what is your answer? Here is mine. 

How to combat false ideology? 

Here I present ten recommendations. The meeting called them "the Ten Commandmends of Frans" - actually ten recommendations. 

  1. Say and prove that it is ideology. 

  2. Keep publishing information, for example about the real recidivism rates, which are always said to be 'very high', but actually are quite low, and the rates about harm, always said to be 100%, but Rind actually has found a rate of 4%. 

  3. Be balanced in your presentation. Ipce's website aims to be balanced, thus it also mentions Finkelhor, Dallas and others, and will give voice to real victims. 

  4. Do not try to reach 'the public', restrict yourself to the elite - who are able to think. 

  5. Appeal to the feelings, speak by means of a poem, a story, film, roman, novel, images, music, cultural action. One good song can have more influence than five theses. However, take care to not romanticize. That is what the hetero- and homo-stories, films, songs etcetera do. 

  6. Avoid the word and concept 'pedophile' as an identity. Make always a differentiation between feelings and behavior. Accept the law and advise following it. The group JON explicitly does this. 

  7. Accept that some people does not allow themselves, psychologically, to have any doubts and to question their beliefs (for example Judith Reisman). 

  8. Do not be radical. Radicals cannot build bridges, they build castles, maybe castles in the air. Radicals can only be active for a limited period, than they disappear. 

  9. Try to be a bridge between belief A and belief B. A bridge is not a belief, its is like a ferryman who goes back and forth. Thus: 

    Use diplomacy. 

    Seek a common ground. 

    Speak in terms of a related discourse: 

    human rights, 

    respect for the law, 

    gay & lesbian rights, 

    loving care, 

    children's rights. 

    Speak the language of your opponents, so they at least can understand you. Thus, speak about 

    treatment ('absolutely necessary'), 

    distortion ('surely, but only partly'), 

    abuse ('surely, but not always') and 

    harm ('yes, but not always'). 

    Writers such as Fred Berlin, Dennis Mirkin and Bruce Rind ("CSA") do it. 

  10. Search for a partner, make friends, or at least have a dog or a cat. Several of the Ipce members here present are or have partners or are friends. By living thus, you are better rain- and fireproof against stress. So you are better able to keep courage and keep up. "Je maintiendrai" - "Und dein Hertz versaget nicht." - .

I want to be such a bridge. I have friends and a dog and a cat. I hope to keep courage and to keep up. Je maintiendrai, j'espère.


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