Pedophiles / Ephebophiles and Sexual Child Abuse

By: Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD

The media reported the Michael Jackson case incessantly for the duration of his trial. What was tragically lacking are the facts regarding pedophiles/ephebophiles and sexual child abuse.

Studies reveal 62% of girls and 31% of boys will be sexually abused by age 18—considered low based on health services.

— 80% are sexually abused by a family member
— 19% are abused by someone the child knows and trusts
— 1% according to government statistics are abused by strangers

The unbelievable truth: Pedophiles/Ephebophiles conduct themselves as average and ordinary to the world. He or she may be a leader in the church; the community; or business. Pedophiles/ephebophiles seldom fit a classic stereotype—education, socioeconomic status, career or culture.

Furthermore, sexual abuse/incest is more difficult to believe or accept when the person we like, admire, love, and/or marry is the perpetrator. This is precisely why Jackson’s family, fans and the uninformed can unequivocally believe he could not possibly be an Ephebophile—sexual attraction to adolescents.

Pedophiles/Ephebophiles are cunning predators with a honed mode of operation. They are experts at manipulation, thus escaping adult reality. They feel entitled, justifying their actions as loving; not harming the child. They expend considerable energy maintaining this illusion to themselves and others. They create a persona of goodness beyond reproach. They go to great lengths to present themselves as exemplary people, who love children. Jackson’s defense attorney, Mesereau, invoked this convoluted tactic in response to the judge’s ruling that previous accounts of sexual abuse claims, which were settled, was admissible. Mesereau countered, "He [Jackson] also has spent millions on children with AIDS. We can drown them with examples of where Mr. Jackson has been so benevolent, so generous, so charitable, so giving for good causes, that it will make their theory look silly."

Mesereau’s statement exemplifies, anyone who sees through the perpetrator’s façade is met with admonishment and rebuke for being critical, irrational, racist, out-to-get the person, and/or jealous. The perpetrator is the family emperor with no clothes. "I know my son, and this is ridiculous," Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, said in an interview on CBS "The Early Show." She said people who believe Michael is guilty "don't know him." Jackson's father, said his son was beloved around the world but had trouble in the United States because of racism. He said the accuser's motives were clear: "It's about money."

Even more frightening Pedophiles/Ephebophiles do not hold beliefs reflecting society’s moral and ethical values. Therefore, coupled with the child’s innocence and trust of the abuser usually pressure or violence is seldom required. Thus, the perpetrator can unequivocally state, “I love children. Never-ever. I could never harm a child or anyone. It’s not in my heart. It’s not who I am." --Michael Jackson, 1993.

There is another insidious aspect to Jackson’s contact with adolescents—he flaunts the relationship as ‘sweet and innocent’ admonishing anyone for believing it is sexual. Using the definition of sexual abuse, Jackson’s befriending adolescent boys under the guise of helping them with a life threatening illness and/or sleeping with them, albeit, he slept on the floor and the child slept in his bed, is in and of itself sexual abuse.

"Incest is both sexual abuse and an abuse of power. It is violence that does not require force. Another is using the victim, treating them in a way that they do not want or in a way that is not appropriate by a person with whom a different relationship is required. It is abuse because it does not take into consideration the needs or wishes of the child; rather, it meets the needs of the other person at the child's expense. If the experience has sexual meaning for another person, in lieu of a nurturing purpose for the benefit of the child, it is abuse. If it is unwanted or inappropriate for her age or the relationship, it is abuse. Incest [sexual abuse] can occur through words, sounds, or even exposure of the child to sights or acts that are sexual but do not involve her. If she is forced to see what she does not want to see, for instance, by an exhibitionist, it is abuse. If a child is forced into an experience that is sexual in content or overtone that is abuse.

As long as the child is induced into sexual activity with someone who is in a position of greater power, whether that power is derived through the perpetrator’s age, size, status, or relationship, the act is abusive. A child who cannot refuse, or who believes she or he cannot refuse, is a child who has been violated." (E. Sue Blume, Secret Survivors).


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