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Voorkant De Graaf e.a. 'Father-daughter incest - With a new afterword' Judith Lewis HERMAN
Father-daughter incest - With a new afterword
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981, 2000/2; 242 blzn.; ISBN: 06 7400 2708

(vii) Preface

"Since we began our collaboration, incest has been rediscovered as a major social problem. In the past two or three years, feature articles on the topic have appeared in leading publications and special documentary reports have been aired on national network television. Confessional accounts of incest have begun to appear, and more speakouts can be expected. This growing awareness is largely a result of the women's liberation movement. In the past decade, women have directed public attention to the problems of rape, wife-beating, and child abuse, all previously forbidden subjects. Incest, the most extreme form of sexual abuse, has until recently remained within the domain of pornography and scandal, but we believe the time has finally arrived for serious discussion." [mijn nadruk] (vii-viii)

[Opnieuw een eindeloze lijst van dankbetuigingen. Vreselijk.]

(1) Introduction - Cinderella or Saint Dympna

"Dympna was sanctified by the people because she represents the real experience of numberless women. Like so many female martyrs, she resisted rape, forced marriage, or incest, even at the cost of her life. Women who have endured centuries of sexual victimization honor Dympna for her heroism and recognize her authenticity, whether or not it is documented to the satisfaction of the authorities." [mijn nadruk] (3)

[Worden vrouwen nu weer de hele tijd beschreven als slachtoffers? Die verhalen over Cinderella en Dymphna zijn nogal geschreven vanuit een bepaald waarden-en-normen-kader, zeg maar: de christelijke visie op het huwelijk en de rollen daarbinnen.]

"It is not possible to write dispassionately about incest. The subject is entirely enmeshed not only in myth and folklore, but also in ideology. We have found that a frankly feminist perspective offers the best explanation of the existing data. Without an understanding of male supremacy and female oppression, it is impossible to explain why the vast majority of incest perpetrators (uncles, older brothers, stepfathers, and fathers) are male, and why the majority of victims (nieces, younger sisters, and daughters) are female. Without a feminist analysis, one is at a loss to explain why the reality of incest was for so long suppressed by supposedly responsible professional investigators, why public discussion of the subject awaited the women's liberation movement, or why the recent apologists for incest have been popular men's magazines and the closely allied, all-male Institute for Sex Research.
An understanding of incest also rests on certain basic assumptions about the power of parents and the needs of children. It is regarded as axiomatic that parents have more power than children. This is an inescapable biological fact; young children are completely dependent on their parents or other caring adults for survival. It is further assumed that children need the unconditional protection and nurturance of their parents for healthy development; they cannot provide care in return. Parents may find many rewards in the raising of children, but they cannot expect their own needs for food, clothing, shelter, or sex to be fulfilled by their children. When a parent compels a child to work to support the family, that is the exploitation of child labor. When a parent compels a child to fulfill his sexual needs, that is incest.
For this reason, incest must be considered a crime, one for which the adult is fully responsible. The terms "offender" and "victim" describe the situation accurately, even though many people find this language objectionable." [mijn nadruk] (3-4)

[Natuurlijk is het wel mogelijk om zo objectief mogelijk onderzoek te doen naar incest en er over te rapporteren. Op die manier kun je het fenomeen juist losweken uit al die ideologische vooroordelen die er bestaan, ook in het feminisme. Dan kun je ook zien hoe die mannelijke suprematie is ontstaan en in stand gehouden wordt, ook door vrouwen zelf.
Hoe kan ik iemand wetenschappelijk en therapeutische gezien nog serieus nemen die als auteur meteen roept dat ze vanuit de feministische ideologie schrijft? Al dat suggestieve taalgebruik hier is inderdaad 'objectionable'. Die termen als 'offender', 'agressor' en 'victim' hebben gevoelswaardes. Zo ook de term 'sexual assault' die bij elk ding dat er tussen vaders en dochters gebeurt gebruikt wordt. In feite ben je dan bezig met een retorische strategie, met propaganda.]

"The relationship between father and daughter, adult male and female child, is one of the most unequal relationships imaginable. It is no accident that incest occurs most often precisely in the relationship where the female is most powerless. The actual sexual encounter may be brutal or tender, painful or pleasurable; but it is always, inevitably, destructive to the child. The father, in effect, forces the daughter to pay with her body for affection and care which should be freely given. In so doing, he destroys the protective bond between parent and child and initiates his daughter into prostitution. This is the reality of incest from the point of view of the victim. Measures can and must be taken to change that reality. (...)
The horror of incest is not in the sexual act, but in the exploitation of children and the corruption of parental love." [mijn nadruk] (4)

[Herman deelt dus die feministische ideologie. Mannen zijn de boosdoeners, vrouwen hun slachtoffers, zo simpel is dat. Het gaat hier om machtsverhoudingen waarbinnen mannen kwetsbare jonge vrouwen exploiteren. Weer dat containerwoord 'macht'. Vaders horen te beschermen en te voeden en er niets voor terug te verwachten, ze moeten zich richten op de behoeften van de kinderen en niet die van zichzelf.
Wat nu als dat de seksuele behoeften van de dochter zijn? Ook al zou het voorkomen en zou de seksuele relatie tussen vader en dochter lief en plezierig zijn, dan nog is de ouder-kind-relatie in die omstandigheden destructief voor het kind. Het is altijd exploitatie en corruptie van ouderlijke liefde, het kan en mag niet gewoon gezellig en normaal zijn, het kan niet opvoedend of leerzaam zijn. Aldus Herman. En dat vind ik veel te gemakkelijk en dogmatisch.]

(5) One - The incest secret

(7) 1 - A Common Occurrence

Ze geeft er wat voorbeelden van en schrijft dan:

"The histories that these women reported had all the vividness, the accuracy of detail, and the internal coherence characteristic of real memories. Moreover, in each case, the incest trauma was directly implicated in the patient's presenting problem. Nevertheless, in every case the veracity of the patient's history was officially questioned. We were reminded by our supervisors, as if this were something everyone knew, that women often fantasize or lie about childhood sexual encounters with adults, especially their fathers."(8-9)

[Dit idee van 'real memories' is helemaal niet zo simpel gebleken en er zijn inmiddels vele prakijkvoorbeelden van 'slachtoffers' die logen over wat er vroeger gebeurde. Die supervisoren hadden gewoon gelijk. Hier zie je wat zo'n vooropgezette ideologie doet: het moet gewoon waar zijn als een vrouw vertelt over hoe ze door een man / een vader seksueel is lastig gevallen. Alsof vrouwen er géén belang bij kunnen hebben om dingen op een bepaalde manier voor te stellen of te liegen. Alsof vrouwen niet verantwoordelijk kunnen zijn voor dat soort dingen. Over de vrouwen die hun zoons / jongens misbruiken geen woord. Over de moeders die meedoen met het misbruik van de vader of die hardnekkig blijven doen alsof het niet gebeurt of die hun dochters zelfs de schuld geven als het gebeurt geen woord. Zijn die vrouwen ook allemaal slachtoffer? Dat het meestal mannen zijn die misbruiken en vrouwen zijn die het slachtoffer zijn doet niets af aan het belang van die vragen. Geef me de cijfers over die andere situaties, geef me de onderzoeken daarnaar.]

Rond 1900 constateerde Sigmund Freud al dat incest erg vaak voorkwam, maar hij vond dat gegeven zo stuitend dat hij de feiten uit zijn praktijk omzette naar verlangens naar incens van de kant van de dochters. Daarmee beschermde hij het patriarchaat / de mannen en liet hij zijn vrouwelijke patiënten in de steek door ze als leugenaars neer te zetten.

"Scrupulously honest and courageous in other respects, Freud falsified his incest cases. (...)
Freud concluded that his patients' reports of sexual abuse were fantasies, based upon their own incestuous wishes. To incriminate daughters rather than fathers was an immense relief to him, even though it entailed a public admission that he had been mistaken.(...)
Since much of psychoanalytic theory originated in the refusal to validate a common and central female experience, it is not surprising that Freud and his followers were never able to develop a satisfactory psychology of women."(10)

[Er is veel te doen geweest over die kwestie tijdens de 'Freud Wars' in de 80-er jaren, zoals dat wel genoemd wordt, met Masson en zijn kritiek op de verleidingstheorie. Hadden we met zijn allen toegang tot het Freud Archief, dan konden we hier misschien meer over zeggen, tenminste als Freud al zijn notities uit die tijd niet - zoals hij zo vaak deed - vernietigd heeft. Maar helaas. Masson is niet overtuigend gebleken, vind ik zelf, het hele idee dat Freud zeker wist van die incest en die informatie onder het tapijt veegde is aanvechtbaar. Vanuit een bepaalde ideologie willen dat het waar was dat hij dat deed, maakt het feitelijk nog niet waar. We weten gewoon niet echt wat er gebeurd is omdat onderzoekers buiten de deur / het Archief gehouden worden. Hier wordt echter gedaan alsof we het wel weten.]

"The legacy of Freud's inquiry into the subject of incest was a tenacious prejudice, still shared by professionals and laymen alike, that children lie about sexual abuse. This belief is by now so deeply ingrained in the culture that children who dare to report sexual assaults are more than likely to have their complaints dismissed as fantasy. Within the medical profession, denial persists even in the presence of incontrovertible physical evidence, such as venereal disease in children. Rather than acknowledge the possibility of sexual abuse, physicians have been known to assert that children can contract venereal disease from clothing, towels, or toilet seats, an idea that transcends the limits of biological possibility and which would be considered laughable if applied to adults.
Prejudice against the child victim within the medical profession bolsters a similar prejudice within the legal profession." [mijn nadruk] (11)

En dan Alfred Kinsey. Die constateerde ook veel incest, maar praatte het volgens Herman eveneens weg. Kinsey vond dat mensen zich over incest alleen maar druk maakten door culturele conditionering en dat incest alleen maar een probleem was omdat ouders / politie / rechters etc. er een probleem van maakten. Aldus Herman. Zij vindt dat Kinsey weinig op heeft met de behoefte van kinderen aan autonomie en privacy, ze vindt dat hij alleen maar bezig is de vrijheid van mannen te verdedigen.

[Kinsey krijgt er vanaf het begin van langs en ook het Institute for Sex Research dat door hem werd opgezet.]

"The largest of the studies, by Alfred Kinsey and his associates in 1953, was based on over 4000 personal interviews with young, white, predominantly middle-class, urban, educated women. A second study, by John Gagnon in 1965, was based on more extensive data gathered from 1200 women in Kinsey's group. Two other surveys, by Judson Landis 1956 and David Finkelhor in 1978, recorded information from questionnaires given to approximately 2000 college students. These four studies were restricted to women in good health. The fifth study, by Carney Landis in 1940, surveyed 142 psychiatric patients and 153 "normal controls." No significant differences were recorded in the early sexual experiences of these two groups of women. In general, the poor, blacks and other minorities, rural people, and the mentally ill — those groups that are stereotypically suspected of deviant sexual activities — were conspicuous by their absence from these studies.
The results of these five surveys were remarkably consistent. One fifth to one third of all women reported that they had had some sort of childhood sexual encounter with an adult male. Between four and twelve percent of all women reported a sexual experience with a relative, and one woman in one hundred reported a sexual experience with her father or stepfather." [mijn nadruk] (12)

"There is some reason to suspect that these estimates may actually be low when applied to the entire population, because they are based almost entirely on reports from white middle-class women. Since poor and minority women are subjected to all types of violence and abuse more frequently than the population at large, it is reasonable to suppose that these groups also suffer a higher incidence of sexual assault in childhood. There are no valid data, however, to confirm or disprove these speculations." [mijn nadruk] (14)

"The Kinsey studies became a household word in America and brought their authors international fame. Many of their findings on previously taboo subjects, such as masturbation, extramarital sex, and homosexual contacts among men, received an enormous amount of attention and became part of common knowledge and folklore. By contrast, the finding that grown men frequently permit themselves sexual liberties with children, while grown women do not, made virtually no impact upon the public consciousness, even though this finding was repeatedly confirmed by other investigators."(16)

[Je zou zeggen dat Herman wat positiever zou zijn over de Kinsey-rapporten, aangezien die bevrijdend hebben gewerkt voor massa's mensen, mannen en vrouwen, ouderen en jongeren. Maar nee, ze wilden geen probleem maken van incest. En hoe ze dat brengt. Volwassen mannen die zich seksuele vrijheden veroorloven met kinderen, terwijl volwassen vrouwen dat niet doen? Nogmaals: hoe verantwoordelijk zijn vrouwen bij incest, zijn daar cijfers en onderzoeken over? Maar ook: vrouwen veroorloven zich weer andere vrijheden bij kinderen. Soms vrijheden met meisjes die misschien niet direct seksueel zijn, maar wel indirect zoals: ze opgemaakt en sexy aangekleed meeslepen naar schoonheidswedstrijden. Of anders wel: kinderen slaan, ze opsluiten, ze beroerd opvoeden, ze geen aandacht geven, te veel aandacht van ze vragen, en zo verder en zo meer. Is dat nu minder erg omdat het niet seksueel is? Maakt dat kinderen niet ongelukkig? Waarom zo de nadruk op seksuele zaken en niet op alle andere manieren waarop ouders hun kinderen mishandelen? Valt dat misschien minder positief uit voor vrouwen? Herman is werkelijk kritiekloos over vrouwen en dat is een slechte zaak. Je bewijst vrouwen geen dienst als je ze de hele tijd als slachtoffer neerzet. Ook de vrouwen die werkelijk slachtoffer zijn bewijs je er geen dienst mee.]

"Kinsey himself, though he never denied the reality of child sexual abuse, did as much as he could to minimize its importance. Some 80 percent of the women who had experienced a childhood sexual approach by an adult reported to Kinsey's investigative team that they had been frightened and upset by the incident. Kinsey cavalierly belittled these reports. He hastened to assure the public that children should not be upset by these experiences. If they were, this was the fault not of the sexual aggressor, but of prudish parents and teachers who caused the child to become "hysterical": "It is difficult to understand why a child, except for cultural conditioning, should be disturbed at having its genitalia touched, or disturbed at seeing the genitalia of other persons, or disturbed at even more specific sexual contacts ... Some of the more experienced students of juvenile problems have come to believe that the emotional reactions of the parents, police officers, and other adults who discover that the child has had such a contact, may disturb the child more seriously than the sexual contacts themselves." [mijn nadruk] (16)

[Tja, dat is tegen het zere been van Herman, uiteraard.]

En toen kwam in de 70er jaren de vrouwenbeweging op.

"Incest was rediscovered for a third time in the 1970s by the women's liberation movement. As feminists brought the reality of sexual oppression to public consciousness, many previously forbidden or ignored subjects, such as rape, wife-beating, and sexual abuse of children, became legitimate topics for serious research. And this time, the information could not be suppressed once it was uncovered, for it began to reach the awareness of those who stood in the greatest need of knowledge, namely, the victims themselves."(18)

"A review of the five largest studies of parentchild incest, documenting a total of 424 cases, indicates that the father was the offender in 97 percent of the cases, while the mother was the offender in only three percent.
Incest between mother and son is so extraordinary that a single case is considered worthy of publication, and we have been able to find a grand total of only twenty-two documented cases in the entire literature." [mijn nadruk] (19)

"The enormous difference in the behavior of mothers and fathers toward their children, by now amply documented, would seem to call for some commentary. Very few investigators, however, have made any attempt to explain why fathers quite commonly molest their children while mothers hardly ever do so. Most authors simply accept this as part of the natural order of things." [mijn nadruk] (20)

[Pardon? Definieer 'lastig vallen', wat valt daar nu ineens allemaal onder? Als moeder niet boos is maar verdrietig en haar kinderen op die manier chanteert, valt dat er dan ook onder? ]

(22) 2 The Question of Harm

[Incest is volgens Herman een machtsmisbruik dat goedgepraat wordt vanuit de ideologie van mannelijke suprematie en dominantie. Op die manier zijn vrouwen in zijn algemeenheid meteen het slachtoffer, al hebben die lijdzaam toegezien en al kwam het initiatief van de dochters. En waar ze het ook nooit over heeft: juist omdat het een machtskwestie is zul je zien dat vrouwen hun kinderen ook vaker gaan 'lastig vallen' wanneer ze meer macht krijgen in het gezin, meer dominant zijn in hun relaties met mannen, en zo verder. Macht is het probleem, niet sekse, niet seks.]

"But the exposure of so large-scale an abuse of power on the part of fathers represents a serious challenge to the ideology of male dominance, and inevitably provokes a defensive reaction. Hence the marshaling of new arguments that tend to exonerate the incestuous father. As the public debate over incest intensifies, one can expect to hear these arguments reiterated with increasing frequency. Boiled down to their essentials, the excuses of the father are these: first, he did no harm, and second, he is not to blame. With monotonous regularity, these arguments appear in every sort of literature on the subject, from the scholarly to the pornographic, showing how widespread is the tendency to defend male sexual prerogatives." [mijn nadruk] (22)

"The new apologists for incest are found in positions of influence both in the popular culture and in academia. They have become sufficiently noticeable to generate commentary and social analysis in their own right. Culture critic Benjamin DeMott has dubbed this group "the proincest lobby." Members of the lobby tend to cast themselves in the role of crusaders for sexual liberation."(23)

"Most incest victims, by implication, would be untroubled by their experiences if they were not manipulated by the media. Women's courage in daring for the first time to complain about sexual abuse is thus dismissed as an artifact of female suggestibility." [mijn nadruk] (24)

[Dat zou wel eens kunnen kloppen, ja.]

"It is repeatedly stressed that children are sexual beings, and that their range of sexual expression has long been severely curtailed. From these unimpeachable premises, advocates of incest abruptly conclude that sexual relations with adults are among the "rights" which children should no longer be denied. The available data on the effects of such relations on children are selectively interpreted in support of the notion that children suffer no lasting harm and may even benefit from their sexual encounters with adults. The concept of harm is often limited to a simplistic notion of physical damage, acknowledged only if the encounter is violent or if intercourse is involved. In the case of intercourse, the only damage recognized is the loss of the child's virginity, which does decrease her market value. Psychological harm, if acknowledged at all, is generally attributed to social intervention rather than the sexual relationship itself." [mijn nadruk] (26)

"This argument ignores the question of power. It avoids coming to grips with the reality that, in relations with adults, there is no way that a child can be in control or exercise free choice. Power, according to Constantine, is "a subtle element of interpersonal relations." On the contrary, there is nothing subtle about the power relations between adults and children. Adults have more power than children. This is an immutable biological fact. Children are essentially a captive population, totally dependent upon their parents or other adults for their basic needs. Thus they will do whatever they perceive to be necessary to preserve a relationship with their caretakers. If an adult insists upon a sexual relationship with a dependent child, the child will comply.
Given this reality, it makes no sense to invoke the idea of consent. Consent and choice are concepts that apply to the relationships of peers. They have no meaning in the relations of adults and children, any more than in the relations of freemen and slaves. Instances in which an unusually assertive child was able to discourage an adult's sexual advances do exist. Similarly, in the days of slavery, some exceptional slaves were doubtless able to talk their masters out of beating them, or selling their children, or copulating with their wives, or doing whatever it was that they intended. But just as, in those cases, the final decision rested with the master, the final choice in the matter of sexual relations between adults and children rests with the adult.
Because a child is powerless in relation to an adult, she is not free to refuse a sexual advance. Therefore, any sexual relationship between the two must necessarily take on some of the coercive characteristics of a rape, even if, as is usually the case, the adult uses positive enticements rather than force to establish the relationship. This is particularly true of incest between parent and child: it is a rape in the sense that it is a coerced sexual relationship. The question of whether force is involved is largely irrelevant, since force is rarely necessary to obtain compliance. The parent's authority over the child is usually sufficient to compel obedience. Similarly, the question of the child's "consent" is irrelevant. Because the child does not have the power to withhold consent, she does not have the power to grant it."(27)

[Zwartwit-denken. Zo simplistisch dat het een belediging is voor veel kinderen, vrees ik. Zoals gewoonlijk in een protectionistische benadering worden de kinderen weer klein gehouden. Wie ontkent nu de autonomie van kinderen, een verwijt dat ze Kinsey maakt? Ze zet kinderen neer als totaal afhankelijk en machteloos. Ze zegt: als een volwassene een seksuele relatie wil met een afhankelijk kind, dan zal dat kind meewerken. Nou, kinderen werken heel vaak niet mee aan wat dan ook van wat hun ouders willen. Er moeten dus andere redenen zijn. Als er geen sprake is van geweld of duidelijke dwang moeten er dus andere redenen zijn: behoefte aan intimiteit en aandacht, nieuwsgierig zijn, iets spannend of stout vinden, lust en lekker vinden. Het hangt er van af welke leeftijd, van hoe een en ander verloopt, zoals onderzoek van later datum laat zien. Het probleem is geweld of dwang, niet seks. En nee, er is niet altijd sprake van geweld en dwang zoals Herman gewoon als uitgangspunt neemt.]

"Although the great majority of children find sexual contacts with adults disagreeable, many do not perceive themselves to be permanently harmed by the experience. " [mijn nadruk] (28)

"Thus, it would be an exaggeration to state that victims of sexual abuse inevitably sustain permanent damage. There is nevertheless considerable evidence to suggest that child victims, as a group, are more vulnerable to the number of pathological developments in later life, and that a considerable number of victims suffer lasting harm. This seems to be particularly true where the sexual relationship involved the use of force, was of long duration, or where the offender was a relative or family member." [mijn nadruk] (29)

[Het zou helpen als de beweringen hier onderbouwd werden met wetenschappelijk onderzoek. Ik denk namelijk dat we gewoon niet weten hoe kinderen seks met volwassenen ervaren als er geen geweld en dwang aan te pas komen, niet positief en niet negatief. Het is gewoon niet onderzocht op een neutrale manier, het is alleen maar onderzocht vanuit vooroordelen. 'Schade' is in zichzelf al een normatief begrip: fysieke schade is zichtbaar, maar emotionele schade is niet zichtbaar en wordt dus al gauw ingekaderd in normatieve opvattingen. Herman zegt hier voor mijn gevoel twee dingen tegelijk: de 'slachtoffers' ervaren vaak niet de schade, en toch zijn ze beschadigd. Wat is het nu?]

"To summarize the question of harm: the preponderance of evidence suggests that for any child, sexual contact with an adult, especially a trusted relative, is a significant trauma which may have long-lasting deleterious effects. The sexual trauma does not necessarily lead to the development of a major mental illness; in fact, it does not necessarily lead to any permanent emotional damage. Many circumstances determine the course of a child's development, and the effect of a single trauma such as sexual abuse may be exacerbated or offset by other aspects of the child's environment. Nevertheless, sexual abuse does increase the risk that the victim will experience a variety of difficulties in later life. Most victims recall their experiences as upsetting and unpleasant, and a significant number feel themselves to be permanently scarred. Women who have been initiated into sex prematurely by an act of exploitation appear particularly vulnerable to a wide range of traditional female misfortunes. They have more than their share of difficulty developing a positive, selfrespecting sexual identity and a rewarding sexual life. For too many, childhood sexual abuse is an introduction to a life of repeated victimization, an early and indelible lesson in woman's degraded condition." [mijn nadruk] (33-34)

[Heel dat idee van schade is vaag. Bovendien wordt de ervaring van schade sterk gekleurd door wat de media - zeker in de VS met zijn christelijke ideologie - er van maken: het mag alleen maar slecht zijn en schade berokkenen.]

(36) 3 The Question of Blame

"If it must be conceded, first, that father-daughter incest occurs commonly, and second, that it is not a harmless pastime, then apologists for the incestuous father are thrown back upon their third and final excuse: he is not responsible for his actions. Most commonly, they blame his daughter, his wife, or both. Thus we make the acquaintance of the two major culprits in the incest romance, the Seductive Daughter and the Collusive Mother. Ensnared by the charms of a small temptress, or driven to her arms by a frigid, unloving wife, Poor Father can hardly help himself, or so his defenders would have us believe. Often he believes it himself." [mijn nadruk] (36)

[Heel onaangenaam, die ideologische gedrevenheid die geen enkele nuance ziet en generaliseert bij het leven. Het idee dat een jong meisje verleidelijk zou kunnen zijn ... het zou echt niet bij haar op kunnen komen.]

".. Lolita is a brilliant apologia for an incestuous father."(37)

"Children do have sexual feelings, and children do seek out affection and attention from adults. Out of these undeniable realities, the male fantasy of the Seductive Daughter is created. But as the testimony of these women makes clear, it is the adult, not the child, who determines the sexual nature of the encounter, and who bears the responsibility for it."(42)

"It has frequently been observed that the mother in incestuous families is ill, incapacitated, or for some reason emotionally unavailable to her husband and children. The families adapt to this stressful situation by reassigning many of the mother's traditional obligations to the oldest daughter. The family may come to rely on this daughter for a large part of the housework and child care and for emotional support and comfort. For the daughter, the duty to fulfill her father's sexual demands may evolve almost as an extension of her role as "little mother" in the family."(45)

[Ja en waarom is dat dan verkeerd? Met andere woorden: de oudste dochter mag werkelijk alle taken op zich nemen van de vrouw des huizes, zelfs de zorg voor de jongere kinderen, maar wat ze niet mag is de 'seksuele zorg' voor de man des huizes. Maar waarom mag al dat andere wel en dat niet? Waarom is seks zo'n uitzonderlijke activiteit? Waarom wordt seks zo belangrijk gemaakt, belangrijker zelfs dan de zorg voor de jongere kinderen?]

"The argument that all mothers are complicit in father-daughter incest is refuted by numerous examples of mothers who, upon discovering the incest, react with shock, outrage, and prompt action in defense of their daughters." [mijn nadruk] (46)

"On the other hand, it is clear that not all mothers are entirely ignorant of the situation, and some mothers do knowingly tolerate incest."(47)

[Te vaag. Geef me cijfers: om hoeveel vrouwen gaat het in beide gevallen?]

"These cases represent an extreme failure of maternal protectiveness. How is one to account for them? The answer lies in an analysis of the mother's position in the family. Mothers who are strong, healthy, and competent do not tolerate incest. But mothers who have been rendered unusually powerless within their families, for whatever reason, often tolerate many forms of abuse, including sexual abuse of their children." [mijn nadruk] (47)

"In short, even by patriarchal standards, the mother in the incestuous family is unusually oppressed. More than the average wife and mother, she is extremely dependent upon and subservient to her husband. She may have a physical or emotional disability which makes the prospect of independent survival quite impractical. Rather than provoke her husband's anger or risk his desertion, she will capitulate. If the price of maintaining the marriage includes the sexual sacrifice of her daughter, she will raise no effective objections. Her first loyalty is to her husband, regardless of his behavior. She sees no other choice. Maternal collusion in incest, when it occurs, is a measure of maternal powerlessness." [mijn nadruk] (49)

"[En zo rechtvaardigen we weer slap vrouwengedrag door ze als slachtoffers neer te zetten van een patriarchale maatschappij. Zo gemakkelijk.]

(50) 4 - The Rule of the Father

Over het incesttaboe. Dat zou volgens Herman universeel zijn, maar ze geeft zelf al aan dat biologische verklaringen ervan aanvechtbaar zijn. Dan maar psychologische:

"A patriarchal family structure secures to fathers immense powers over their wives and children. Traditionally, these powers include an unrestricted right of physical control, unrestricted sexual rights to wives (hence rape has no legal meaning within marriage), and extensive sexual rights in children. Fathers have the right to limit the sexual activity of their children, and to determine their choice of sexual and marriage partners (hence fathers "give away" daughters in marriage). In modern Western society, these rights are legally abrogated when children reach majority. In many other societies, fathers' rights, particularly in their daughters, are terminated only by marriage, and sometimes, as in ancient Greece, not even then. The only sexual right in their children that fathers do not have in any society is that of personal use. But given all his other powers, a father may easily choose to extend his prerogatives to include the sexual initiation of his children." [mijn nadruk] (54)

[Ja, echt een gezinsstructuur die we overal ter wereld zien ... En in alle lagen van de bevolking ... Nee, dus. Ze lijkt nog te leven in de Victoriaanse tijd en daar in de hogere klasse.]

"It is the sexual division of labor, with its resultant profound differences in male and female socialization, which determines in mothers a greater capacity for self-restraint, and in fathers a greater propensity for sexually exploitative behavior."(55)

"The common product of this developmental process is an adult male whose capacity to nurture is severely impaired, whose ability to form affectionate relationships is restricted, and whose masculine identity, since it rests upon a repudiation of his identification with the person who first cared for him, is forever in doubt. Sexual contact with a woman of inferior status affords to this psychologically rather fragile and constricted person the only permissible outlet for expression of a wide range of emotional needs: the need for intimacy, for comfort, for reassurance. The right to initiate and consummate sexual relations with subordinate women becomes, therefore, a jealously guarded male prerogative, guaranteed by the explicit or tacit consent of all men." [mijn nadruk] (56)

"The common product of female socialization under patriarchy is an adult woman who may deeply resent her feminine identity but does not doubt it, and who seeks confirmation of her importance in sexual relations with men who are more powerful than herself and in the care of others who are younger, smaller, and weaker than herself. Her capacity for full erotic expression may be considerably blunted, but her ability to nurture, to sympathize with others, and to express affection is highly developed. Hence the fact that women rarely molest children, in spite of the extensive opportunity provided by daily intimacy." [mijn nadruk] (58)

[O, dus mannen hebben door die patriarchale verhoudingen een beperkt vermogen om affectieve relaties aan te gaan. En vrouwen hebben dat vermogen wel? Ik zou het bijna geloven ... Bladzijden vol met aanvechtbare psychoanalytische beweringen om te bewijzen wat al de hele tijd het dogma is: mannen zijn de slechterikken en vrouwen kunnen het allemaal niet helpen, och gossie.]

Er volgen ook nog sociologische verklaringen voor het incesttaboe.

"The more democratic the family and the less rigid the sexual division of labor, the less likely that fathers will abuse their daughters.
This hypothesis cannot be confirmed or disproved by cross-cultural studies of the prevalence of incest, since no reliable data are available for comparison. But it can be validated by the study of incestuous families themselves, which show father-daughter incest to be but one manifestation of a despotic paternal rule."(63)

(64) Two - Daughters' lives

(67) 5 - Incestuous Fathers and Their Families

Dit deel is gebaseerd op interviews tussen 1975 en 1980 met veertig witte katholieke middenklasse vrouwen tussen de 20 en 35 die in therapie waren geweest.

"To all appearances, they were an ordinary group of women."(67)

[Nou, het is natuurlijk erg normaal om katholiek te zijn of om in therapie geweest te zijn. En de selectie van die vrouwen ... lees en huiver. Geen enkele diversiteit in de doelgroep. En aangezien al die vrouwen uit dezelfde milieus komen beschrijven ze allemaal dezelfde situatie en gebeurtenissen, gek, hè? En hoe denk je dat dan te generaliseren naar andere vrouwen, Herman?]

Er werd voor blanke vrouwen gekozen om racistische suggesties te voorkomen.

"White people have indulged for too long in discussion about the sexual capacities, behaviors, and misbehaviors of black people."(67)

[Wat een belachelijk argument. Alle keuzes die ze maakt zijn normatief gekleurd. Dit is werkelijk een schoolvoorbeeld van een eenzijdige groep vrouwen die samengesteld is om te zeggen wat de interviewer wil horen.]

"Incest was defined to mean any sexual relationship between a child and an adult in a position of paternal authority. (...)
We further defined a sexual relationship to mean any physical contact that had to be kept a secret. From a biological or social point of view, only contact which might lead to defloration or pregnancy, that is vaginal intercourse, is dignified with the name of incest. This narrow definition is reflected both in the criminal codes of most states and in the popular thinking on the subject. From the point of view of the adult male, sexual activity that stops short of penile penetration is often described as "unconsummated," as though somehow it does not "count." But from a psychological point of view, especially from the child's point of view, the sexual motivation of the contact, and the fact that it must be kept secret, are far more significant than the exact nature of the act itself. From the moment that the father initiates the child into activities which serve the father's sexual needs, and which must be hidden from others, the bond between parent and child is corrupted."(70)

[De bekende vooronderstellingen zoals in eerdere hoofdstukken beschreven. Alles wat hier naar voren gebracht wordt is gebaseerd op herinneringen die de geïnterviewden zeggen te hebben. Ik denk niet dat Herman daar ooit vraagtekens bij zou zetten ... Kijk maar:]

"Second, it is a portrait drawn from the perspective of the victim alone. Nevertheless, as the investigation progressed, we gained increasing confidence in the accuracy of the informants' accounts. Each individual's testimony had the vividness and integrity of well-preserved memory, and the accounts of many informants were so similar that they tended to validate each other. Finally, the general picture which emerged from the collective testimony of the informants has been corroborated in many respects by other researchers who have directly observed incestuous fathers, mothers, or entire families." [mijn nadruk] (70-71)

[Alsof je Freud hoort praten. 'Het klonk voor mijn gevoel eerlijk en levendig, dus moet het wel waar zijn. O ja, ook andere onderzoeken zeggen dat het waar is.' Pardon? Die zeggen in ieder geval niets over deze vrouwen.]

"The informants described their fathers as perfect patriarchs. They were, without question, the heads of their households. Their authority within the family was absolute, often asserted by force. They were also the arbiters of the family's social life and frequently succeeded in virtually secluding the women in the family. But while they were often feared within their families, they impressed outsiders as sympathetic, even admirable men." [mijn nadruk] (71)

[Het is bijna onvoorstelbaar dat al die gezinnen nog in de 70-er jaren zo traditioneel zouden zijn. Het doet eerder aan de veertiger / vijftiger jaren denken. Maar als het waar is wat ze zegt is het een gevolg van de keuze van Herman voor conservatieve religieuze gezinnen met autoritaire mannen als vaders. Je kiest voor patriarchale gezinnen in je onderzoek en daarna trek je conclusies die zeggen dat alle families waar incest voorkomt patriarchaal zijn. Hoe kun je vanuit deze ggroep ondervraagden ook maar iets generaliseren naar anderen buiten de groep? Dat is gewoon onmogelijk.]

"One of the most significant distinguishing characteristics of the incestuous fathers was their tendency to dominate their families by the use of force. Half of the informants reported that their fathers were habitually violent and that they themselves had seen their mothers beaten. Other children in the family were often beaten as well."(73-74)

[Zo onwaarschijnlijk ... Allemaal gewelddadig, alcoholverslaafd, etc.]

"Economically dependent, socially isolated, in poor health, and encumbered with the care of many small children, these mothers were in no position to challenge their husbands' domination or to resist their abuses. No matter how badly they were treated, most simply saw no option other than submission to their husbands. They conveyed to their daughters the belief that a woman is defenseless against a man, that marriage must be preserved at all costs, and that a wife's duty is to serve and endure."(78)

"At the time, most of the daughters took their fathers' side. It was easy enough to sympathize with the fathers' feeling of deprivation, for most of the daughters themselves felt slighted or neglected by their mothers.(...)
Many of the daughters remembered their mothers only with bitterness and contempt. They described the women who had borne them as selfish, uncaring, and cruel. In their moments of despair, these daughters felt the absence of the most primary bonds of caring and trust."(81)

"In the special alliance with their fathers, many daughters found the sense of being cared for which they craved, and which they obtained from no other source. The attentions of their fathers offered some compensation for what was lacking in their relations with their mothers."(83)

"These daughters, in short, were alienated from their mothers, whom they saw as weak, helpless, and unable to nurture or protect them. They were elevated by their fathers to a special position in the family, in which many of the mothers' duties and privileges were assigned to them. They felt obligated to fulfill this role in order to keep their families together. Moreover, their special relationship with their fathers was often perceived as their only source of affection. Under these circumstances, when their fathers chose to demand sexual services, the daughters felt they had absolutely no option but to comply.
Most of the daughters (80 percent) were under thirteen years of age when their fathers first approached them sexually. The average age was nine. The sexual contact was limited at first to fondling and gradually proceeded to masturbation and oral-genital contact. Most fathers did not attempt vaginal intercourse, at least until their daughters had reached puberty. Force was rarely used. It was not necessary ..." [mijn nadruk] (83)

[Na alle verhalen over moeders die door de dochters gehaat werden en vaders die door hen geadoreerd werden, komt Herman met termen als 'obligated', 'demand sexual services', 'no option but to comply.' En dan verderop weer 'force was rarely used'. Wat een dwangsituatie, zeg. Ik denk dat het vanzelf ging en dat die dochters er in mee gingen en dat pas veel later de negatieve beoordeling van die ervaringen kwam na het opdoen van bepaalde kennis op seksueel en relationeel vlak en het internaliseren van de dominante ideologie. Natuurlijk zeggen ze dan in de interviews dat ze helemaal geen seks wilden ...]

"Although many of our informants were too young to have a clear idea of the significance of the father's behavior, the father's furtive attitude usually indicated to the daughters that there was something wrong with what they were doing ..."(86)

[Vaag en niet onderbouwd.]

"Few of the daughters had anything positive to say about the sexual contact itself. Though many enjoyed other aspects of their special relationship with their fathers, most dreaded the sexual encounters and invented whatever pitiful strategies they could to avoid them ..."(86)

[Ik geloof er geen bal van.]

"Those daughters who did confide in their mothers were uniformly disappointed in their mothers' responses. Most of the mothers, even when made aware of the situation, were unwilling or unable to defend their daughters. They were too frightened or too dependent upon their husbands to risk a confrontation. Either they refused to believe their daughters, or they believed them but took no action. They made it clear to their daughters that their fathers came first and that, if necessary, the daughters would have to be sacrificed ..." [mijn nadruk] (89)

"Sooner or later, most of the daughters realized that the only way to escape from their fathers was to find another powerful male protector." [mijn nadruk] (92)

[Voorbeelden van hoe vrouwen hun eigen ellende in stand houden. Uiteraard geen woord van kritiek op die moeders die hun dochters op de beschreven manieren verraden hebben. Die konden het gewoon niet helpen want hadden geen macht. De vaders hadden wel macht dus die konden het wel helpen. Tenenkrommend simplisme.]

"For many of the daughters, marriage appeared to be the passport to freedom. Some confessed the incest secret for the first time to their husbands or fiances. A number of the men responded in a very caring and appropriate manner: they were angry at the fathers and concerned about the harm that had been done to the daughters. Women who were lucky enough to find men who responded in this way usually felt extremely grateful."(94)

[Nee maar, iets aardigs over mannen. Kan dat wel?]

(96) 6 - The Daughter's Inheritance

[Het leidt allemaal tot veel narigheid, als je dit zo leest. Maar die wordt wel erg gemakkelijk teruggevoerd op de incestervaringen. En geen woord over de dominante ideologie die veroordeelt wat ze meegmaakt hebbenbij familie, therapeuten, politie etc., en schrijvers van boeken over incest. Laat staan over de rol van de media, de Kerk, religie en noem maar op. Mannen zijn de daders, vrouwen de slachtoffers, zo simpel wordt het allemaal gemaakt.]

(109) 7 - Seductive Fathers and Their Families

Dit gaat over interviews met 20 andere vrouwen - groep met dezelfde kenmerken als de vorige groep - bij wie geen sprake was van incest, maar wel van verleiding door de vaders.

[Door haar meteen typisch genoeg 'covert incest' genoemd tegenover de 'overt incest' van hiervoor.]

"We defined seductiveness on the part of fathers to mean behavior that was clearly sexually motivated, but which did not involve physical contact or a requirement for secrecy. For example, some fathers constantly talked about sex with their daughters, confiding the details of their love affairs and ceaselessly interrogating their daughters about their own sexual behavior. Others habitually left pornographic materials for their daughters to find. Others exhibited themselves to their daughters or spied upon them while they were undressing. Still others courted their daughters like jealous lovers, bringing them presents of flowers, expensive jewelry, or sexy underwear. Although all these behaviors stopped short of genital contact, they clearly betrayed the fathers' intrusive sexual interest in their daughters, which was a form of covert incest." [mijn nadruk] (109)

[Ik vraag me langzamerhand af wat die vaders nog wel mogen?]

"In general, having grown up with a covert or mild form of incest, the daughters of seductive fathers exhibited a mild form of the incest-victim syndrome in adult life. Like the incest victims, they tended to feel contempt for women and to hold men in excessive regard. Like the incest victims, they had many difficulties in establishing rewarding personal or sexual relationships, difficulties that were ultimately related to their own lack of self-respect. Unlike the incest victims, however, they did not develop a confirmed negative identity as the guardian of a malignant secret. They did not think of themselves as irredeemably evil and did not feel doomed to exclusion from normal society. As a result, they were spared some of the worst punishments of the incest victim. They felt obliged neither to submit to physical abuse from others, nor to make attempts to destroy themselves."(124)

"The similarities between the incest victims and the daughters of seductive fathers once again confirm the contention that incest represents a common pattern of traditional female socialization carried to a pathological extreme. Covert incest fosters the development of women who overvalue men and undervalue women, including themselves. Overt incest fosters the development of women who submit to martyrdom and sexual slavery. Those who consider masochism, selflessness and deference to men desirable attributes of mature womanhood may be unable to recognize the harmfulness of incest, and may even consider a little bit of paternal seduction desirable for proper feminine development. But for those who aspire to an image of free womanhood, incest is as destructive to women as genital mutilation or the binding of feet."(125)

(126) Three - Breaking secrecy

(127) 8 - The Crisis of Disclosure

Kinderen komen over dit soort zaken niet gauw met de waarheid. Pas als de betrokkenen volwassen worden praten ze er over. Aldus Herman.

[En dat heeft enorme gevolgen. Niet alleen omdat de volwassenen zich feiten moeten herinneren van vele jaren geleden - wat de meeste mensen op zich al slecht in zijn waardoor een gekleurd vertekend beeld ontstaat - maar ook omdat die volwassenen terugkijken met de kennis en waarden en normen die via vele wegen tot hen komt waardoor die herinneringen ingebed worden in en ook weer gekleurd worden door een bepaalde ideologie. Meestal is dat een religieuze, in ieder geval een negatieve.]

"Most incest victims both long and fear to reveal their secret. In childhood, fear usually overcomes any hope of relief; most girls dread discovery of the incest secret and do not reveal it to anyone outside the family. They believe that no recourse is available to them and that disclosure of the secret would lead to disaster. But as the daughters grow up, the burden of secrecy becomes increasingly difficult to endure. The child who has remained silent for many years may finally be driven to seek outside help.
Unfortunately, given the current state of law enforcement, child protective services, and the mental health professions, the child victim has good reason to fear exposure. Too often, because of bias and ignorance within the helping professions and the criminal justice system, the intervention of outsiders is destructive to both parents and child. The victim who reveals her secret implicitly challenges a traditional and cherished social value, the right of a man to do as he pleases in his own home. And in effect, if not by intention, society punishes the child who has the temerity to accuse her father." [mijn nadruk] (129)

[Herman geeft dus af op de jeugdzorg, de politie, de rechtspraak, andere hulpverleners en zo verder omdat die het slachtoffer niet serieus nemen. En waarom doen ze dat niet? Omdat anders de dominante rol van de man aangetast zou worden. Ja, zo simpel is het vast. Herman heeft het standpunt dat een incestslachtoffer altijd de waarheid spreekt. Maar instanties moeten juist beoordelen of dat werkelijk waar is voordat ze iemand valselijk gaan beschuldigen. Waarom zouden ze iemand die met een incestverhaal komt meteen moeten geloven? Niets zo erg als hulpverlening en politioneel apparaat / rechtspraak die zo iemand meteen als slachtoffer willen zien zoals Herman doet en niet de nodige afstand kunnen bewaren.]

(144) 9 - Restoring Families

[Het belangrijkste, zegt ze in dit hoofdstuk, is het herstel van de band tussen moeder en dochter. Die moeder dus die in de meeste gevallen geen vinger uitstak om de incestsituatie te voorkomen ... Tja. Vrouwen doen niets verkeerds, vrouwen zijn het slachtoffer ... aldus Herman.]

(162) 10 - Criminal Justice

Het door mannen gedomineerde rechtsysteem geeft de slachtoffers weinig kans op rechtvaardigheid en op bestraffing van de daders, vindt Herman.

(177) 11 - Remedies for Victims

[Dit hoofdstuk gaat helemaal uit van het idee 'trauma': de vrouwen die incest meemaakten zijn allemaal slachtoffers die littekens hebben voor het leven. Alleen een vrouwelijke therapeut die het zelf heeft meegemaakt en verwerkt kan echt helpen. Hert wantrouwen tegenover andere vrouwelijke therapeuten, laat staan tegenover mannelijke, is enorm bij Herman. En zo versterken alle betrokkenen elkaar in die slachtofferideologie. Je zou ook een argumentatie op kunnen zetten waarom iemand die incest heeft meegemaakt juist niet geholpen zou moeten worden door een lotgenoot.]

"Most incest victims reach adulthood bearing their secrets intact. It is not known how many successfully bury their past and go on with their lives, and how many continue to suffer the effects of their victimization. There is reason to suspect that a substantial proportion, perhaps even the majority of incest victims, feel lastingly scarred by their childhood experience. The complaints of the women we have interviewed about their experiences are so similar as to suggest the existence of a syndrome common to all incest victims, a syndrome that often leads to repeated disappointments in intimate relationships in adult life."(177)

"The male therapist encounters a different set of problems, for his natural tendency is to identify with the offender. This leads to a different, potentially more destructive, set of common errors." [mijn nadruk] (185)

"The male therapist's sexual response evokes in the patient all her original feelings of shame, guilt, and disappointment, even when the therapist is careful not to act upon his feelings. When the therapist does choose to eroticize the relationship, the result is a calamitous repetition of the original incest. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon event."(187)

[Mannen kunnen niets goed doen in de ogen van Herman. Ja hoor, ze gaan gelijk de vaders verdedigen en worden seksueel opgewonden van de verhalen van hun cliënt. Wat een negatief manbeeld heeft deze vrouw.]

(202) 12 - Preventing Sexual Abuse

"The sexual abuse of children is as old as patriarchy itself. Fathers have had sexual relations with their children from time immemorial, and they are likely to continue to do so for a long time to come. As long as fathers dominate their families, they will have the power to make sexual use of their children. Most fathers will choose not to exercise this power; but as long as the prerogative is implicitly granted to all men, some men will use it. If incestuous abuse is indeed an inevitable result of patriarchal family structure, then preventing sexual abuse will ultimately require a radical transformation of the family. The rule of the father will have to yield to the cooperative rule of both parents, and the sexual division of labor will have to be altered so that fathers and mothers share equally in the care of children. These ambitious, even visionary changes will not be the work of one lifetime."(202)

[Ze zou ook de vraag kunnen stellen waarom in een patriarchale 'male dominated' samenleving de meeste mannen helemaal nooit iets seksueels aangaan met hun dochters. Het gaat immers om een relatief kleine groep van mannen. Maar die vraag stelt ze natuurlijk niet, want dan zou ze de conclusie moeten trekken dat de meeste mannen zich heel gedisciplineerd gedragen in het gezin. Het streven naar gelijkwaardigheid is inderdaad van groot belang en die ontwikkeling zie je dus ook. Maar die komt nooit tot stand als vrouwen zich de hele tijd als slachtoffer blijven zien. Seksuele voorlichting is ook een heel goede manier om kinderen weerbaarder te maken. Maar:]

"This means sex education for children, an idea that much of society still finds controversial. In particular, the idea of sex education seems to be anathema in highly traditional, devout, authoritarian, and male-dominated families—that is, in families where children are most at risk for sexual abuse." [mijn nadruk] (203)

[Dat is zo'n beetje het geheel van de Verenigde Staten met zijn conservatieve christelijke zwijgende meerderheid. Als je elders de verhalen leest over de totale afbraak van zinvolle seksuele voorlichting daar, over de vrijwel totale ontkenning van de feiten over kinderen en lijfelijkheid / seksualiteit, dan kun je ook daar niet op hopen. Analyseer die angst, analyseer de vijandschap tegenover kennis van zaken over seks eens, analyseer de rol van het christendom, van die zwijgende meerderheid, dan kom je misschien ergens. Maar nee, Hermans doet dat niet. Ze komt wel een verhaal waarin seksuele voorlichting transformeert in voorlichting over seksuele aanranding. Typisch.]

"Only in the last decade have feminists dared to suggest, not only that men come home, but that they engage in the work that is done there: housework and child care."(213)

"The integration of fathers into families cannot be carried out under the banner of "father power." Women have had quite enough of that. If it comes about, it will be as a result of the organized and self-conscious struggle of women to win for child care the dignity and respect that any essential human activity deserves. It will also have to be carried out gradually and with a certain amount of caution. Men cannot be expected to overcome their abusive tendencies or to develop their nurturant capacities overnight, and it makes no sense to expose children to the unsupervised care of men whose interest in them may be ambivalent at best, and perverse at worst. Women are going to have to be the teachers and the protectors for some time to come." [mijn nadruk] (216)

(219) Afterword, 2000: Understanding Incest Twenty Years Later

[Alles wat ze hier te berde brengt bevestigt volgens haar haar eerdere onderzoek en het perspectief - de patriarchale gezinsstructuur - van waaruit dat gedaan werd. Ze vindt dat een feministische analyse de enige manier is om het probleem aan de orde te stellen. Het idee van 'valse herinneringen' of dat therapeuten die herinneringen aanpraten - dat na de eerste editie van het boek opkwam - wijst ze uiteraard af: ook al komen die herinneringen na lange verdringing of amnesie terug, ze zijn volgens haar in 93% van de gevallen accuraat. Yeah right.]

"Offenders' arguments have apparently changed little over the past two decades. Investigators who study offenders consistently encounter the same standard repertoire of rationalizations and excuses. Incestuous fathers seem to persist in their beliefs that children are or should be free to consent to sex with adults, that children are not harmed and may in fact benefit from such experiences, or that if any harm does occur, it must be someone else's fault. Many offenders seem to consider themselves part of a privileged elite exempt from the moral rules of ordinary people."(231)

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