Profile of a Child Molester
This is not a complete list. I've begun adding characteristics and red flags that I can think of that I watch for in protecting my grandchildren. Please send us any that you are aware of. Most of these will be relating to men, or the male gender, but please be aware that women also abuse children. Please keep in mind, too, that having some of these traits does not mean the person is a molester.
Remember, you can't pick an abuser out of a crowd. There are no social or economic barriers. An abuser can be the president of a company, your brother, friend, father, grandfather, uncle, neighbor, teacher, babysitter, delivery person, straight, gay, married, single, male or female, adolescent to elderly, rich or poor, can be in a position of power or some nameless homeless person in your community.
- Have been abused as children themselves
- Be Sexually attracted to children (most can't or won't resist these urges)
- Find positions where children are available (leader of children's clubs, ministries, etc., coaches, camp counselors & chaperones, daycare centers, school positions, offers to babysit for friends & family, etc.)
- Seem to love children, children seem drawn to person
- Seek out women with children (or friends with children)
- Spend a lot of time with a child (not their own)
- Seem rigid, moral, a pillar of the community (too often accusations of abuse have not been believed because the person seemed to be too good, too outstanding to do such a thing
- Groom a child--create a special bond (this may involve giving child gifts, money, or even alcohol, or other 'forbidden' things that make it appear he is a special friend and creates atmosphere for secret keeping. Could also include playfully touching, tickling, etc., but moves toward inappropriate touch)
- Be an authoritarian or timid and unassertive
- Frequent places like video arcades
- Be addicted to child pornography
- Be uncomfortable in adult relationships (i.e., doesn't relate well, insecure)
- Have symptoms and after-effects of a survivor
- Deny or rationalize their behavior
- Be Manipulative
- Befriend single mothers in order to get to the children. They prey on the desperation of the woman who has no support system. They often sleep with the mother
- "Roughhouse" with children--tickling, slapping buttocks, etc.--and use this playful guise when they are in fact touching inappropriately
- Calling young teenage girls "sexy" or making other sexually suggestive comments
There are some myths surrounding the issue of female abusers. Here are some of them.
Myths About Female Abusers
- Females do not sexually abuse
- Females only abuse if coerced or accompainied by a man
- If females sexually abuse, it is gentle, loving, or misguided "motherly" love
- Females only abuse boys
- If you are female and you were abused by a female, then you will be lesbian, if male, gay or misogynist
- If you were sexually abused as a child, you will abuse as an adult
- People who say they were abused by a female are fantasizing or lying. If you are male, you are having sexual fantasies, and if the perpetrator was your mother, you are having incestuous wishes.' If you are female you are muddled and it was a man who really abused you
- Women only sexually abuse adolescents
- If a 30-year-old woman were to seduce a 14-year-old boy it would not be sexual abuse, but if a 30-year-old man were to seduce a 14-year-old girl, then it would undoubetedy be so. If a mother has an incestuous relationship with her son in his late teen/early twenties, it is sex between two consenting adults and not sexual abuse
- It is worse to be sexually abused by a woman than by a man.
In my opinion, child molestation is a progression.' The perp may have been abused as a child and is acting out his/her own abuse when abusing another child.' Or he/she may have observed another child being abused. He/she may have been introduced to pronography either as a child or in later years.' Whatever started it, the person continued to feed his fantasies, or whatever you want to call them, and then he/she got the courage to act out the fantasies.
I strongly believe that child pornography will be proven to be the most harmful vice that puts more of our children at risk.' I don't think someone can continue to look at these pictures, getting sexual pleasure from them forever and be satisfied.' They are going to want more...it'll take more to give them the same sexual thrill.' So when the opportunity rises, a child is there and this person is aroused, he/she will act on those urges.' I believe this is especially true when the same people who promote child porn believe sex with a child is good and loving. It is sad and disheartening to think that a few sick, evil people can continue getting their way and destroying the innocence, safety, and often the life of our children.