Sexually Profiling Men: Should We Really Be Looking At All Men As Potential Sexual Predators?

26 comments
November 13, 2012 ‐ By Charing Ball

shutterstock.com

I can’t say that I’m all that surprised to read the allegations against Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind Sesame Street’s most beloved character, Elmo, who has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a young man that started when the individual was 16.

I don’t have any inside information about whether the allegations against him are true or not – I’ll just wait for the investigation to conclude before totally disavowing a crucial part of my childhood (i.e. Elmo). But I will admit that whenever I hear these stories of adult men, who spend their time in the company of children, being the subject of some sort of inappropriate conduct involving children, I say, “yeah, I can see that.” In fact, I know a few women who are outright hostile to the idea of leaving their children in the company of men, including teachers, coaches, even among family members. “As a woman, a mother, a concerned citizen and mostly a survivor, I am very skeptical of men being around children,” said one friend via Facebook.

Statistically speaking, men are the gender most represented among offenders of sexual assaults, abuse and violence. That fact alone is probably the best argument to be made for our skepticism. But is this a healthy attitude to have towards men in general? Is it fair to assume all men are potential predators of sexual abuse and aggression until proven otherwise?

Recently, I saw this provocatively titled documentary, Are All Men Pedophiles, which as the title suggests, raises the question of whether or not we are being conditioned to assume that all men are sexual predators and pedophiles. According to Jans-Willem Breure, director of the film, all men are potential “hebephiles” — that is, attracted to pubescent children. Our society is built on idolizing youth, he theorizes, and usually sexualizes children through the media, fashion and through music. Therefore, you can’t necessarily blame men for finding teens sexually attractive.  Breure’s other theme in the film is that since the age of consent is arbitrary and has been culturally and throughout history, maybe it is time to retire the archaic belief that frowns upon adult and teenage relations.

I don’t know if I am quite ready to have sympathy for pedophiles (nope, don’t see that happening), which is why I can’t totally co-sign this documentary. Breure, who said in an interview that his inspiration for this film came from his own attraction to teenage girls, might be playing fast and loose with the technicalities and gray areas. Overall, the documentary is very one-sided and narrow in scope. Sexuality is reduced down to a fetish as opposed to an expression of genuine love and affection. We are lead to believe that age is nothing but a number, but missing from the documentary are voices of the teens and children to articulate how they feel about being the object of a grown person’s sexual desires. Instead, we only get to rely on the opinions of “experts,” some of whom are pedophiles and people with pedophilic thoughts and tendencies.

But not to throw the baby totally out with the bathwater, Breure does raise a compelling point about how society is almost always hush about female pedophiles. The way stories of female abusers are presented in the media tends to take on a more mocking tone or looked upon as a farce. The female offenders are treated as seductresses and their young male victims as “lucky boys.” No wonder woman-on-man sexual assault is less likely to be reported than the reverse.

As we become increasingly more suspicious of the male sexual predator, the more it becomes socially acceptable to excuse, or flat out ban men from certain corners of society – you know, for the sake of the children. Recently I read a story about a play center in the UK, which absolutely banned boys/men over the age of nine from its facility. A couple of days ago, I read another story about an Australian man, traveling on Virgin Airlines, who was asked by a flight attendant to change seats with a female passenger so he would no longer be next to two unaccompanied minors. In his blog post titled My Virgin Experience as a Pedophile, Johnny McGirr wrote of his experience:

“Men are policemen, doctors, social workers, teachers… people who are entrusted to the care of children but according to Virgin once you step on one of their planes you are a pedophile or a potential pedophile.”

Even in my own personal prejudices and biases, if a woman was sitting alone in the playground, I would probably guess that she is enjoying nature or her alone time. But if it was a man sitting alone in that same playground, I might assume more dubious motivations. For that, I kind of feel sorry for men. However, for every falsely accused man in the world there are dozens – if not hundreds of heartbreaking stories of folks doing God-awful things to children. So it is best to always air on the side of caution and pay attention, regardless of gender, to who these people are that we have around our children.

 

More from Styleblazer

More from Mommynoire

MadameNoire Video

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • donalda

    It’s not surprising to me that men are more subject to the reprehensible
    behavior surrounding child sexual abuse. They are more sexually driven in general and more aggressive owing to testosterone. However, we need to look deeper than simply “keep any male away from a child.” After all, women are guilty of abusing children as well. I will venture to say that something else is at work here in our society. A large part certainly has to do with the sexualization of our children (or I could argue the infantalization of adult women in the media, the obsession with being built like a 12-year-old and waxing ones privates to correspond with that of a prepubescent girl) Couple all of this with the cultural pressure that men experience to not fully express their emotions, and you have a recipe for disaster. If anything, men need more exposure to the realm of child care and to develop more empathy and a more nurturing mindset. We need men more invested in children not less.

  • Pingback: Should We Be Looking At All Men As Potential Sexual Predators? | Sex Offender Issue's Blog

  • dbatt001

    Absolutely! Id rather be safe than sorry.

  • Machelle Kwan

    At the end of the day, I just don’t trust men PERIOD. It’s a sad feeling to have but I honestly have no reason but to think the worst of them..There are just too many wicked men out here these days. Smh.

    • brightdays

      Sad! I will pray for you! That you will change your Spirit! Because you can not change the way ((SOME )) people think! I would hate for you to have felt that way about your <<Father/Brother/Son/Uncle if you @ All have these people who Love you for just being who you are. Because I care 4 you "don't even know you"! God Bless You!

    • dbatt001

      exactly , just to many experiences , too many experiences of others, too many stories. I just cant trust men, just cant do it.

  • Rosetta Stone

    Hell, the way women are sleeping with underage boys, I guess you can say the same.

  • gmarie

    kind of off base but kind of not off base. I saw a story this morning on the news talking about a school that banned leggings for girls because it was a distraction to the boys. Then the male principal makes a statement about those types of articles of clothing being too revealing yadda ya.

    My issue with this was, instead of teaching self control to our young men and boys, we simply tell our young ladies to get use to it and adjust. That isn’t solving the problem long term. If boys or even adult men find something sexual in an article of clothing that reveals no skin (and is on a child above all) the problem is internal. Young men are not being made to take any accountability in their sexual development, we just put a band-aid over whatever issues they are having shun women and young girls. it sends the message of whatever it is you are doing (even if inadvertently) to distract and stir the loins of men is WRONG. when all they are doing is being students..

    • chanela

      then when school is done people will continue to tell women to not do ______ instead of telling men to not street harass or rape. it’s always women’s fault!

  • http://twitter.com/SeikoIsKING Seiko

    As a mother you should ALWAYS look at any man (or woman) as being capable of hurting your babies. I was molested ALOT when I was younger by 2 of my uncles and instead of my mother seeing the signs she continuely left them alone with me. Until 1 of them got locked up for touching my sister and the other one’s brother damn near killed him after I stopped being scared and told my aunt.

  • brightdays

    This is touching. Even speaking from a victims point of view it is crazy that we overlook this a we have relationships and our children do too! Anyways this is the amazing part! That what a person can assume can have you convicted and sent up the river. For a female that cries wolf! This is sick! But when it happens to the boys. It’s like brush it off! Naw she couldn’t do such a thing. Yeah right! You have some of the ((DARKEST SECRETS)) THAT ARE held back and just walked over when he states what she has done to him. Rather that be verbal or physical. I think that the person that holds the pen in the report holds a lot of weight on the situation. Let the investigation be about the bullshiyt! A system made up to fail us in some way. Where justice is blind!

    See when it comes to females we look for support in the ((READ BETWEEEN THE LINES ACT))! Seriously! This is how we move. Most and many are “”CONTROL FREAKS””! THE SEXUALITY IS there! To those Women who cannot tell the difference. Bullshit! We know early as girls what ((MAN WE CAN HAVE! COntroL! AND It is really an alter EGO THING. SAD BUT TRUE! There must be a person who is dominant in the situation! I have explained this to my Sons! This is why we have to lace our Sons shoes up And keep their hands in their pocket! In this very sad world of judgement! The alligations that STICK! THRU THE BULLSHIYT! When you really have a ((PHYCO)) That is roaming the streets amongst us all looking for some persons life to ruin! This topic must be dealt with. Because when they are dealing with our kids. The Authorities are the last to bring nothing but Criminal justice to light!

    God Bless Our Children

    • Kitsy

      What?

    • Lena

      I’m just going to assume English is not your native language.The thought of anything else makes me sad.

  • Kiyoko Kayo Hisoka

    This is false equivalcency.

    • RJ Carne

      Exactly what purpose does the word “potential” have? It is a meaningless word used by the author to soften the sexist vibe of this article. Feminism seems more often about hate than betterment of the sex. There are so many ways to help and empower women without teaching them to be afraid of their fathers and brothers.

  • get real

    “All men” I would laugh if I didn’t think u were serious. But u should start with white men. Whom are the biggest pedos in the world.

    • Gye Nyame

      A child abuser has no profile, and it takes place in EVERY racial, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic background.

    • gmarie

      I think it’s pretty even across the board racially. But you keep thinking that. Along with sadly a good number of black people who agree with you on this…and we’ll continue to wonder why so many of our children have been touched repeatedly by the people close to them and had it swept under the rug..

  • real rap

    while i will agree that statistically speaking there are more men abusers but i think the author did not do her do due dilligence because if the news reports are any indication, women engaging in sex with underage children has been steadily on the rise AND they are less likely to receive the amount of jail time a man would serve. in texas, a MARRIED woman had sex with FOUR teens at the same time while a FIFTH teen videotaped it. its not a gender issue but a reflection of our declining morals as a society.

    • Kiyoko Kayo Hisoka

      Let’s not ignore the facts and turn this into a ‘women do it too’ argument.

    • Nehemiah53

      The author is grinding on her hate males feminist axe, because older females have always preyed on young males as much as older males have preyed on young females the only deference is young males use to enjoy it and saw it as a badge of honor and now with technology and social media they post something about their perceived sexual conquest with older women and the women are now getting caught. Remember young males very seldom report female predator as abuser they brag about having sex with a older women but young females will almost always report a male predator as a abuser as they should, again the only way female predators get caught is the young male brag about it or his mother find out and report the female predator.

      • Kiyoko Kayo Hisoka

        I can’t tell if you are talking about animals in the wild or women and men.

    • NaturalJem

      i totally agree with your last sentence “it’s not a gender issue but a reflection of our declining morals as a society”

    • brightdays

      This EYE DO AGREE! And even being a Victim of that here! With me it sounds like there is still a double standard when it comes to boys! Young Men in my mind all the way intil the rightful age of 16! They will ((NOT)) And I mean will not speak up! This is a problem! For when our children come across these issues! We cannot keep changing our lives according to what was studied. But not Actual Behavior. I mean aour we studing these (FEMALE INTERPERSONAL REACTIONS INVOLVED IN & ON THIS ISSUE IS THE FACT”!

  • Cleo

    Women and men can both be predators, but men are mostly viewed as “monsters” just don’t leave your kids with people you don’t trust, everyone gets that feeling when something isn’t right.

  • Kiyoko Kayo Hisoka

    We don’t, but I will.

No thanks