Affidavit of Ralph Underwager, Ph.D.

Institute for Psychological Therapies

I.  I have prepared this affidavit at the request of attorney Elliot Clauss.

II.  I received the M. Div. from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO in 1955 and was in the parish ministry before entering the University of Minnesota in 1962 as recipient of the Wheat Ridge Foundation Mental Health Fellowship.  I received a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1970 in clinical psychology with a medical minor and a collateral field in child therapy.

I worked on several national research projects (A Study of Generations; Project Youth; Clergy-Youth).  I have been a research scientist at Youth Research Center, a staff psychologist at the Nicollet Clinic in Minneapolis, an associate professor at St. Olaf College, and, since 1974, Director of the Institute for Psychological Therapies.

I am a licensed consulting psychologist under statute of the state of Minnesota.  My license number is C-55.  I am a member of the American Psychological Association, the Minnesota Psychological Association, the Lutheran Academy for Scholarship, and I am accepted and listed in the National Registry of Health Providers in Psychology.

A current copy of my Curriculum Vitae is attached.

III.  The question Mr. Clauss presented is the relationship between a statement alleging a person is an unchaste woman, slatternly, or an harlot and a statement alleging a person is a child molester.  The reason for inquiring about the relationship between these two assertions is that the law apparently recognizes a statement alleging promiscuity or harlotry is intrinsically and explicitly damaging and therefore it is not necessary to demonstrate damage in order to assert damage has been done and the person so denigrated has been damaged.  If an individual is alleged to be a child molester does that classification carry the same type and level of opprobrium as an assertion of promiscuity or harlotry?  If so, does the law or should the law extend to an allegation that a person is a child molester the same judgment of intrinsic and explicit infliction of damage?

IV.  History of chastity versus unchastity.

A statement that a given person is unchaste, a whore, harlot, licentious, or promiscuous woman, is a classification decision and an assignment to that category.  The history of the cognitive, emotional, and moral content of the classification of harlot, whore, licentious, promiscuous or unchaste woman requires first a distinction between cultic and secular prostitution.  The ultimate roots of both are in the prehistorical period of matriarchy though this period is for the most part wrapped in obscurity.  It is at least clear that there are differences between oriental and Semitic culture on the one side and Greek culture on the other.

In cultic prostitution a further distinction must be made between the single act of a devotee of a goddess whose worship required such ritualistic behavior and the permanent state of temple prostitute.  A single act of cultic prostitution was customary in many cultures and accrued no shame.  Temple prostitution was widespread in cults of mother and fertility deities in Asia Minor, Egypt, Syria, and India.  Through the Canaanite cults of Baal and Astarte it penetrated into Hebrew culture though it quickly became the object of condemnation and prophetic resistance.  Temple prostitutes were paid for their services and the income maintained the shrine.  Taxes were also collected on this income.

In Greek culture temple prostitution was found only in Corinth and Athens.  The Corinthian temple of Aphrodite was famous for its 1000 hierodules.  However, prostitutes and brothels were unknown in the Homeric period.  Masters could keep concubines or engage in casual intercourse with female slaves who were mere chattel and were at the mercy of the master's lust.  Solon (circa 594 BC) forbad Greek women to take up prostitution.  However, the Athenian Law of Purification (circa 451 BC) denied citizenship to foreigners and children of mixed marriages.  This forced alien women to become self-supporting and led to professional female friends, Hetairae, becoming a phenomenon in Greek life.  However, men visiting brothels was scandalous.  Plato offered a compromise.  Intercourse with harlots was permissible so long at it was done in secret and caused no offense.

However, sexual contacts outside of marriage were permitted only for men.  Wives were forbidden to engage in extramarital intercourse.  The penalties for wives who broke the law were draconic and could include execution.  Stoicism tried to correct this double standard and taught that all sexual intercourse outside marriage was unlawful.  The Stoic, Muson, insisted a man who had intercourse with a female slave or an hetaira sinned against himself.  Ocellus stated chastity for men is best and said that the man who is not capable of this should at least avoid the delights of love until age 20 and then confine himself to the minimum.

Historically the harlot was a familiar figure in Hebrew culture.  Tamar veiled herself like a harlot and achieved her goal of intercourse with her father-in-law, Judah (Gen. 38:15).  Caleb and Joshua were familiar enough with the house of Rahab, the harlot, to seek succor and concealment there (Joshua 2:1).  Samson visited a harlot when he went to Gaza (Judges 16:1).

Extramarital intercourse was not forbidden to men so long as the woman was not the wife of a fellow countryman.  But a woman who showed licentiousness was stoned to death on the ground that she threatened the life of the whole people and made her father's house into a house of whoredom.  A priest could not marry any woman thought to be licentious and a priest's daughter guilty of licentiousness was burned alive because she desecrated the sacred person of her father (Lev. 21:7-14).  The toleration of intercourse outside of marriage by a daughter of Israel defiles the whole land and brings it under the judgment of God (Lev. 19:29).  Although cultic prostitution is known in Hebrew culture, it is unconditionally forbidden (Deut. 23:17).  In Jeremiah and Hosea the people are charged with infidelity to God and cultic prostitution of the Canaanite gods is uncompromisingly rejected.  The Apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon expresses the judgment that sexual licentiousness is a denial of the true God (Wis. Sol. 14:12-27f).  Licentiousness is more characteristic of women, since they are intrinsically bad, than of men.  For this sin there is no forgiveness (Testament of Abraham, 30:7-33:18).  Philo (Leg. III, 51) says licentiousness and whoring is a disgrace, a scandal, and a blot on all mankind.

In New Testament thought all extramarital and unnatural intercourse is repudiated.  Licentiousness is incompatible with the Kingdom of God.  Therefore licentious acts of individual members defile the entire community.  There can be no fellowship with those who lead lives of sexual misconduct.  In Revelation the churches at Pergamon and Thyatira are excoriated for tolerating licentious sexual conduct (Rev. 2: 14-20f).

Roman views of extramarital sexual behavior are reflected in the fact that for 500 years after the foundation of Rome there was no instance of divorce and no legal process by which a divorce was possible.  The discriminatory double standard existed in Rome as well as Greece and Israel.  Unmarried men and husbands could lead their sexual lives without fear or anxiety, consorting with slaves or prostitutes as long as they did not copulate with wives of other Romans.  Wives were subject to banishment and death if they were unfaithful.  Prostitution was widely practiced and economically poor Romans could cohabit with whomever they chose.  Horace recommended that young men filled with lust should should patronize brothels rather than "grind some husband's private mill."  However, Romans entered brothels with covered heads and concealed faces so that no one could identify them.  Women who took money or gifts for sexual services were despised.  Gaius Petronious, advisor on pleasure to Nero, in his novel, Satyricon, describes the world of brothels, pimps, baths, whores, and catamites of the twilight of the Roman Empire.  The Roman cults of Venus and Priapus were associated with general fecundity and the rites were crude, vulgar, and licentious.

In the Post-Apostolic period the two themes of chastity and licentiousness of women were combined by Tertullian (160-230 AD) in the saying that woman is a temple built over a sewer.  Origen (185-284 AD), sought personal celibacy by castrating himself.  Augustine (354-430 AD) maintained a baby is guilty of original sin because of the depravity of nature shown in sexual passion (concupiscence) and genital union of the parents.  He wrote Intra feces et urinas nominem natus est (Man is born between feces and urine).  Augustine solidified the view that any sexual passion or concupiscence is evil, even that between a married couple.  In the early middle ages Vincent of Beauvais wrote a marriage manual which included this advice.

... a man who loves his wife very much is an adulterer.  Any love for someone else's wife, or too much love for one's own, is shameful.  The upright man should love his wife with his judgment, not his affections (quoted from Boswell, 1980, p.164).

The belief that a common evil disposition of concupiscence undergirded unchaste behavior led to the next development in western civilization's response to human sexuality pursuit and extinction of witchcraft.  The heresy of sexual passion became evidence and proof of the heresy and sin of witchcraft.  For almost 300 years the social contagion of relentless pursuit and slaughter of witches pervaded Europe and extended to colonial America, both English and Spanish speaking, Protestant and Roman Catholic.

From the fifteenth century to the last known illegal burning of a witch in Poland in 1793 millions of women were executed as witches in Europe and America.  The allegation at the base of the concept of witchcraft was concupiscent and licentious sexual behavior between women and various demigods and demons.  The theory of demon possession has its roots in unfounded dogmatic beliefs about unchaste sexual acts.  Pope Innocent VIII charged in a papal bull issued in 1484:

It has come to our ears that members of both sexes do not avoid having intercourse with demons, incubi and succubi; and that by their sorceries and by their incantations, charms and conjurations, they suffocate, extinguish, and cause to perish the births of women, the increase of animals, the corn of the ground, the grapes of the vineyard and the fruit of the trees, as well as men, women, flocks, herds, and other various kinds of animals, vines and apple trees, corn and other fruits of the earth; making and procuring that men and women, flocks and herds and other animals shall suffer and be tormented both from within and without so. that men beget not nor women conceive and they impede the conjugal actions of men and women (quoted in Money, 1985, p.44-45).

The historical belief that women were more licentious and evil than men was built into the pursuit of witches.  They were more often accused of entertaining demons than were men.  By one estimate women had intercourse with incubi nine times more frequently than men did with succubi.  The alleged witchcraft behaviors were most often sexual in nature.

Women were put to death by burning, strangulation, beheading, beatings, whippings, stonings, and other means.  In two German-Swiss villages every living female regardless of age was burned as a witch.  The records of the Archbishop of Cologne show that three villages totaling 300 households executed at least 125 women between 1631 and 1676.  One Inquisitor in Como, Italy, recorded burning 1000 witches in the year 1523.  The last legal execution of a witch was in Switzerland in 1782.

There was little chance that those in pursuit of witches would fail to find them.  Guilt was proved by accusation.  A woman accused was coerced and tortured until she falsely confessed to intercourse with a demon in a dream, which, in fact, she had never dreamed.  Then she was put to death to save her soul.  Having made a confession she was in a state of grace.  Therefore an immediate death preventing opportunity for backsliding meant she had a better chance to be in heaven eventually.  Throughout history an accusation of licentious, unchaste behavior against a woman has had the power to establish guilt without determination of the facts.  Shakespeare's Othello is the paradigm of this unfortunate social reality.

As the theory of witchcraft faded, it was replaced by the medical model of diseases caused by the concupiscent and licentious dispositions of men and women.  Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), Philadelphia physician also regarded as the father of American psychiatry, was greatly influential in presenting his view of nutrition, exercise, and sex. He wrote regarding sex:

This appetite which was implanted in our natures for the purpose of propagating our species, when excessive, becomes a disease of both the body and the mind ... When restrained, it produces tremors, a flushing of the face, sighing, nocturnal pollutions, hysteria, hypochondriasis, and in women the furor uterinus.  When indulged in an undue or promiscuous intercourse with the female sex, or in onanism, it produces seminal weakness, impotence, dysury, tabes dorsalis, pulmonary consumption, dyspepsia, dimness of sight, vertigo, epilepsy, hypochondriasis, loss of memory, manalgia, fatuity, and death (Tissot, 1832, p. 109).

The link between a disposition of concupiscence, licentious behavior, and disease is stated in the lectures and books of Sylvester Graham, the originator of graham crackers which started out as a health food.  The fight against degeneracy and concupiscence set off great interest in health and fitness and a good, clean life style that contrasted sharply with the debauchery of concupiscence.  In 1834 Graham wrote:

The convulsive paroxysms attending venereal indulgence are connected with the most intense excitement, and cause the most powerful agitation to the whole system that it is ever subject to.  The brain, stomach, heart, lungs, liver, skin and the other organs feel it sweeping over them with the tremendous violence of a tornado.  The powerfully excited and convulsed heart drives the blood, in fearful congestion, to the principal viscera, producing oppression, irritation, debility, rupture, inflammation, and sometimes disorganization ... so much troubled with habitual concupiscence, that they were inclined to consider themselves peculiarly constituted; and were sometimes disposed to reason themselves into the belief that, being thus tempered by NATURE they would be justifiable in acts of incontinence... by adopting a proper system of diet and general regimen, have not only improved their health, exceedingly, in every respect, but so subdued their sexual propensity, as to be able to abstain from from connubial commerce, and preserve entire chastity of body, for several months ... (Graham, 1834, pp.33-37).

John Kellogg, M.D., originator of corn flakes, again initially presented as a health food, in his Plain Facts for Old and Young, (1880) explicitly included a detailed description of the "social evil," prostitution, which is the embodiment of all that is concupiscent and licentious. It is the siren song of lust, degeneracy, and riddled with disease.

Nell Kimball, after twelve years as a whore in St. Louis, opened a brothel in New Orleans in 1880 and ran it until she retired in 1917.  After describing a typical day in a brothel, she says it is nothing like the whore houses in books and plays and later the movies.  "There never was a real sporting house in any of them, just men's ideas of them, the average John's idea of people they didn't know a goddamn thing about, except the dreams we were supposed to make real for them" (Longstreet, 1965, p. 27).  She further describes the reality of whoring and brothels and the secret support and profiteering of the establishment, showing the linkage of prostitution and crime:

The police and the people higher up didn't like trouble either.  The cribs and the sidewalk workers were run out and the parlor houses were permitted to take care of the trade in a better atmosphere.  Of course costs went up all the time .but I ran a good tight house and didn't toss money around where it didn't show ... I also had backers in high places who held about fifty per cent of the shares in the house ...You had to stay on your toes when Storyville was going along with the law, for the graft went on just the same and they could close you up for an ash can left in the wrong spot ... (p.28).

Prostitution continues throughout the world today.  The news reports today, February 18, 1989, included a report of a demonstration in the Philippines of over 25,000 people supporting the presence of American military bases.  They were described as garishly dressed bar girls who provide services to American GIs.  During a short period in the '60s and '70s what was touted as a sexual revolution in America led to an appearance of abandonment of chastity versus unchastity as a social norm.  However, more recently the underlying conservatism of the American populace and the continued power of the concept of chastity versus unchastity has become evident.  The alleged sexual revolution, if it existed, has failed under the impact of increased risk of disease, including AIDS, and the recognition that relaxed standards for sexual behavior did not deliver the promised benefit of freedom and intimacy.

V.  Summary of the classification of unchastity.

The elements of the cognitive, emotional, and moral significance of the category of unchaste, licentious, concupiscent, or promiscuous demonstrated in the brief historical review are:

1. Women are held to be more concupiscent, subject to passion, and therefore more wicked than men.

2. Women are held to a stricter standard than men and any deviance from that standard is severely punished at a level of violence greater than that for men held similarly guilty.

3. Women who engage in sexual behavior outside the boundaries of marriage are held guilty of licentious behavior more than men.

4. Sexual behavior by women for commercial or economic gain is clear evidence of concupiscence and licentiousness.

5. Concupiscence is a disposition ascribed to women and is held to produce disastrous consequences for those victimized by it.

6. The evil and wicked nature of female concupiscence is exploited by criminals and therefore is associated with a variety of criminal conspiracy theories.

7. Concupiscence is a disease and is incurable.

8. The mere accusation of licentious, unchaste behavior establishes guilt without investigation of facts.

9. Very primitive, atavistic emotions are generated by accusations of licentious sexual behaviors. These powerful emotions can cause societal movements to repress and punish those accused.

The cognitive, emotional, and moral content of the classification of unchaste, promiscuous, concupiscent, and licentious behavior by women has remained constant across cultures and time.  It is pernicious, baneful, and baleful.  This fact is the basis for the law's awareness that an accusation is damaging in and of itself and does not require further proof of damage.

VI.  History of child molestation.

In the prehistorical period children appear to have had little meaning other than providing a labor force and additional defenders for the group if attacked.  In the pre-Greek era the concept that children brought glory to a house was becoming prevalent.  By Hellenic times the birth of an eminent child in a city was a signal for feasts and embassies from neighboring countryside brought congratulations.  The Romans had similar practices but there was nothing personal related to the child.  From Tertius on sons were simply numbered.  It has been hard for antiquarians to find more than 18 Roman first names.

This relatively positive, though impersonal, attitude toward children is set against the widespread ancient practice of exposing children and the prevalence of infanticide.  Killing children by exposing them, cultic sacrifice, or simply murdering them had the effect of disposing of cripples, handicapped, and children deemed unfit.  Many times this was simply an unwanted female child.  Depopulation sometimes followed.  The Roman need for grain sank from 14,600 hectolitres of grain daily under Augustus to 6,600 under Severus largely due to the negative perception of children and attendant population decline.  Philosophically Epictetus advised against marriage and having children though he says he likes them.  The twelve tablets of Romulus show that exposure of newborn Roman infants was common.  Historians regard infanticide as "the crying vice of the Roman Empire" (Summer, 1906, p.319).

Nevertheless, infanticide has been recorded as a regular feature of numerous cultures, including Eskimo, Polynesian, Chinese, Egyptian, Scandinavian, African, American Indian, Indian, and Australian aborigine.  Polynesians regularly killed two-thirds of their babies.  Australian aborigines killed any children beyond two a woman could carry.  Social class is a significant determinant.  The poorest were the ones required to kill their children while the wealthy could avoid it.  The British colonial government of India strenuously sought to stop the practice of infanticide into the Twentieth Century.  Today, as a matter of birth control, Chinese are practicing female infanticide on a wide scale.

Here, too, a distinction between secular infanticide and cultic practices requiring the sacrificing of children can be drawn.  Canaanite cults required children be sacrificed by being thrown into the red hot hands of statues of Baal where they fried to death.  Jeremiah (7:32) calls Hinnom, the valley where children were burnt, the "valley of slaughter."  King Ahaz "burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom and burnt his children in the fire" (II Chron. 28:3).  King Solomon built shrines to Chemosh and Moloch, deities to whom children were sacrificed ('Kings 11:7).  King Mannasseh sacrificially burned his children in the valley of Hinnom (II Chron. 33:6).  Religious killing of children included the upper class and the desirable children.  For the Roman sacrifice of the Decemviri ten virgins were selected, originally from the privileged families, but later from the servant class.  Nine young lads and virgins were required for sacrifices to Zeus, a Greek god.

Whereas children had been basically negatively evaluated, Hellenism began to counter the diminished population by depicting the child positively.  Greek vase painting, drama, literature, and exquisite statues of children show the glorification of the child.  This effort reached its peak in the 2nd century AD.  However, antiquity does not see children as innocent in a moral sense, rather as immature and childish.  Only children with normal abilities and regarded at best as raw material that could be shaped and trained by adults are valued.  There is no awareness of the limits of adults who educate children, no sense of a developing personality of the child, and no profound love for the child (Kittel, 1967).

Although children were regarded as sexually uncomplicated, there are condemnatory references to sexual contact between adults and children.  During the Hellenic period Xenephon Eusebius lists jealousy, adultery, murder of wife or husband, procuring children, selling sexual services of children, and pederasty as reprehensible and shameful.  Heliodor puts adultery and traffic in girls for sexual acts in the same classification.  Hellenic literature describes relationships of coy, childish love including eroticism and sexual acts involving children and adults (Kittel, 1967).

Hebrew culture saw children as without understanding, self-willed, naughty, and needing discipline.  "The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth" (Gen. 8:21).  There is no concept of innocence of children.  The child in rabbinic literature is recognized to be especially vulnerable to sensual and sexual desires.  Yet the child is a gift of God and belongs to God.  Firstborn sons belong to God, must be presented to him, and redeemed by a sacrifice.  Hebrew children also belonged to the community from the very beginning.  Circumcision is an act of reception and the first sign of the duty of the community to the child.  After the destruction of the temple and a shift to greater emphasis on learning the Torah a sharper distinction between boys and girls arose.  Only the man is obliged to keep the Torah in its fullest, therefore only boys are justified in learning it.

The New Testament period included children in God's grace and Kingdom.  Baptism became the sign of acceptance into the community and the obligation of the community to protect and nurture the child.  The early church protected marriage, fought licentiousness, and imposed stringent sanctions on contraception, abortion, cultic sacrifices of children, exposure, and sexual exploitation.  This emphasis united with the best in the pagan cultures to produce a shift to the idea that loss of children is grievous and having children is a blessing of god.

There is reference to immuring children in the foundations of buildings (Joshua 6:26).  Archaeologists report finding jars containing the bones of newborn infants in footings.  There are reports of children immured in the dikes of Oldenburg in the seventeenth century and of putting them into foundations in India (Bakan, 1971).

What we would consider sexual abuse of children is documented throughout history.  From the time of Greek and Roman civilization there are reports of boy houses of prostitution and of castrating males in infancy to enhance their later appeal as boy prostitutes.  In medieval Europe children were masturbated by adults to help bring on sleep and facilitate growth.  Since family sleeping arrangements were simple, often a single room house with everyone sleeping together near the fireplace, it was routine to have intercourse in view of the children.  It was commonplace to make coarse jokes, play with the child's genitals, and make sexual gestures to children (Schultz, 1982).

One of the best examples of the prevailing attitude toward children and sexuality at the beginning of the seventeenth century is found in the diary of Henri IV's physician, Heroard, in which he recorded details of young Louis XIII's life.  At one year of age Louis XIII had been taught to show off his penis.  His Nanny played with it.  He asked people to kiss it and he was encouraged to make jokes such as holding his penis and pretending to "give you all some milk from my cock."  The court was amused to see his first erections and commented upon them.  By the time he was seven, these jokes disappeared he had become a little man and he had to be taught decency in language and behavior.  But at age fourteen he was married and put by force into his wife's bed, where his sexual performance was encouraged and monitored (Aries, 1962).

These attitudes continued through the 17th century.  But as early as the mid-16th century legislation in England reflected a sense that there was some need for protecting children from sexual exploitation.  A law was passed in 1548 protecting boys from forced sodomy and in 1576 a law protecting girls under ten from forcible rape.  By the end of the next century moralists recommended separate beds and rooms for children, although these did not become common until some 200 years later (Schultz, 1982).  About this time the first censorship of children's literature began.  Aries states that this is a very important stage, which he regards as "... marking the beginning of respect for childhood" (Aries, 1962, p.109).

In the 18th century, one of the first advocates of a change from the traditional attitudes regarding children and sexuality was the French educator, Henri Gerson.  Although Gerson's views found little support at the time his approach is similar to our ideas today.  Gerson, in 1706, wrote that parents should induce guilt if they caught their children masturbating.  He believed that children felt no guilt to begin with it was the responsibility of the adults to make them feel guilt.  Gerson also warned adults to change the way they behaved towards children in dealing with sexuality.  He advised speaking to children with chaste expressions, guarding against any promiscuity between adults and children, and teaching the child that he must prevent others (both adults and children) from touching and kissing him.  He advised separating children at night, not letting adults and children share the same bed, and forbidding adults and children from touching each other when they were nude (Aries, 1962).  Around this time, another philosopher and educator, Blaise Pascal, warned parents to supervise their children, to prohibit their nudity near adults, and to control time servants spent alone with children (Schultz, 1982).

What followed was a long period in which increasing efforts to curb all sexual activity in children paralleled a broader historical movement towards sexual privacy.  Today the ways suggested to control the sexuality of children would be considered child abuse.  Parents were told to keep candles burning in sleeping areas so that the children could be watched for masturbating.  Servants and clergy were warned against developing close relationships with children.  Some children were given repeated enemas to remove "evil" from their bodies.  During this time, children were considered to be potentially sexually dangerous and asexuality was to be enforced (Schultz, 1982).

By 1850 it was assumed that many pediatric problems could be attributed to early sexual activity.  Parents were therefore advised to do everything they could to control children's sexual play and exploration.  Parents were told to separate boys and girls in toilets and when walking to school together, keep girls from climbing ropes, dress children in loose clothing and give them regular cold baths, avoid sexual talk around children, avoid whipping the buttocks of children and prohibit children from viewing animals in heat (Schultz, 1982).

Masturbation was believed to cause debility, illness, derangement, and mental retardation and extreme efforts to prevent it were sometimes made.  From around 1850 to 1900 this included surgical removal of the clitoris, cutting of nerves to genitalia, cauterization of the clitoris and penis, circumcision, and even castration of sexually active boys.

From around 1875 to 1925 various constraints were recommended including encasing the child in canvas and splints, encasing in plaster of Paris, and blistering the genitalia with red mercury.  Parents could purchase chastity belts made of leather and bone to prevent touching.  Other methods included immersing the sex organs in ice water, dressing the child caught masturbating in special uniforms, placing bells on the child's hands at night, and strapping the child's hands to the bed.  But by the 1920s, these efforts gradually came to an end (Schultz, 1982).

In America at this time there were no laws against parents abusing children, a parallel of the wide scale abuse of children in factories and other industrial settings.  But in 1874 two events occurred which marked the beginning of a new era of public attitudes toward child abuse in general as well as child sexual abuse in particular.

In 1874 the Society for Prevention for Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) intervened in a case of a child whose stepmother beat her with a leather thong and allowed her to go scantily clothed in bad weather.  A neighbor reported these facts to a social worker.  But at that time, no one could do anything.  There were no laws prohibiting parents from abusing their children.

The social worker therefore went to H. Bergh, the founder of the ASPCA.  The organization became involved on the grounds that the child was a member of the animal kingdom.

The newspapers gave the case front page coverage for months.  It was argued in court by Elbridge T. Gerry, counsel to the ASPCC.  The child was removed from her home and the the stepmother was also sentenced to prison.  Following this, in 1875, Gerry led the formation of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (SPCC).  The model of the animal protection societies, today seen as the prime example of frivolous Victorian do-gooder reforms, is the beginning of a new cycle of awareness of child abuse (Nelson, 1984).

That same year, 1874, the first recognized social welfare agency dealing specifically with sexual abuse and children's "immoral" behavior was established in New York.  For the first time in the history of the United States the government assumed the authority to remove children from their parents because of sexual abuse or children's immoral conduct.  But most of the initial cases dealt with the latter.

America approached the problem of sexual abuse in two ways.  First, the criminal law developed a floor of sexual protection for children from sexual abuse from adults, spelling out the importance of variables such as the age of the child, possible consent of the child, and degree of force used.

Secondly, the juvenile court system enforced commonly accepted concepts of behavior for children through the creation of status offenses.  Between 1877 and 1885 the Social Purity Alliance, whose mission was to preserve childhood sexual innocence and rescue "fallen women" and "sexual drunkards," forced the age of sexual consent to rise.  The higher age of consent gave the police and social welfare agencies jurisdiction over a greater number of children.

Nell Kimball, New Orleans madam till 1917, expresses her view of sex between adults and children:

Sometimes a John wanted a boy and girl together for this pleasuring but I didn't cater to such tastes.  I ran a good old-fashioned whorehouse and they knew what l had to offer, and if they didn't like it they could go elsewhere. I'll say this, there were plenty of places in New Orleans they could get what they wanted.

Large urban areas in the 1920s attempted to clean up commercial sexual activity by establishing Morals Courts.  Reformers passed laws that attacked adolescent prostitution and then turned to the profession of social work to carry out their program.  The major goals of that program were to curb sexual behavior in adolescents and develop interventions for sexually abused children (Schultz, 1982).

As public child welfare agencies took over the functions of the child protective societies the problem of abuse went underground and protective work received less and less attention.  By World War II, the SPCC movement was dead.  By the 1950s there was no public awareness of the sexual abuse of children.  Even social workers did not regard it as a significant professional concern.  Sexual abuse of children was not a matter of public policy until after the resurgence of interest in the physical abuse of children (Nelson, 1984).

During the close of the 19th century and into the 20th century children were noted being brought into the hospital by parents who told stories of bizarre accidents to explain their children's strange injuries.  The suspicion slowly grew among the medical profession that it was the parents who were causing the injuries.  This suspicion received support with the development of the X-ray machine.  In 1946 radiologist John Chaffey first reported in the American Journal of Roentgenology the frequency of subdural hematoma in infants who also showed fractures of the long bones.  This combination of injuries was unlikely to have been caused by accidents.  Following the publication of this article, radiologists began to also notice another unusual pattern a number of different injuries in various states of repair.

The next major breakthrough in the identification of child abuse was in 1962.  Dr. C. Henry Kempe conducted and reported a nationwide survey about children with unusual symptoms of physical abuse.  In his article in the Journal of the American Medical Association he coined a new term, the "battered-child syndrome" (Kempe, Silverman, Steele, Droegemueller & Silver, 1962).  Within weeks of its publication, stories on child abuse were featured in popular magazines like Time and Saturday Evening Post.  Although the publication of Kempe's article is often used to date the rediscovery of child abuse, the articles in the popular press were equally important in creating the public opinion that child abuse was an urgent national problem (Bakan, 1971; Fontana, 1973; Leishman, 1983; Nelson, 1984).

This rediscovery of child abuse occurred during an era when issues of equity and social responsibility dominated the national consciousness, beginning with the civil rights movement of the late 1950s.  Child welfare services in every county were supported in the amendments to the 1962 Social Security Act.  The "War on Poverty" stressed the significance of services to children as a way to break the poverty cycle.  In 1967 the Supreme Court's In re Gault opinion extended Bill of Rights' protections to children.  The high level of interest in issues of social equity happened during years of great economic prosperity.  The real GNP doubled between 1950 and 1970.

Nurtured by this climate the focus of the problem of child abuse shifted from a private, personal issue to a public policy issue.  Between 1963 and 1967 every state and the District of Columbia passed some kind of reporting law for child abuse.  This is remarkably fast for an issue to diffuse through the society.  The average length of time for diffusion of an issue of public policy is 25.6 years.  Child abuse took 5.8 years.  These reporting laws are the first evidence of public recognition of the problem at the state level.  After the reporting laws generated a completely unexpected heavy demand for services, the states began to take steps to meet those demands (Nelson, 1984).

As the message filtered from the states to the national level, Congress began to attend to the issue of child abuse.  A number of unsuccessful efforts climaxed in the ill-fated Comprehensive Child Development Act (CCDA).  Walter Mondale had been the primary sponsor of this act which was one of the most heavily lobbied human services bills ever presented to Congress.  President Nixon vetoed it saying it "would commit the vast moral authority of the National Government to the side of communal approaches to child-rearing over (and) against the family centered approach."  After the veto a public opinion poll showed that 75 percent of the people believed Nixon (Nelson, 1984).

In a Senate now dominated by liberals, the president's veto both angered them and made them aware of the hazards any human service legislation would face.  New legislation centered around child abuse was developed and passed with Mondale again providing the leadership.  The Senate-House compromise on this new legislation passed by voice vote on December 21, 1973.  President Nixon signed it on January 31, 1974.  The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) became Public Law 93-247.  Congress did nothing except reauthorize the legislation until 1981 (Nelson, 1984).

At the present, child abuse is defined by law as a public health matter.  Sexual abuse of children is within that classification as a social illness which has not been effectively treated by the family.  The notion of medical deviance is the rationale for the intervention by the state into the family.  The procedures that have been developed by the combination of social workers, law enforcement officials, the judiciary, and a small group of mental health professionals to deal with sexual abuse derive from that conceptualization (Nelson, 1984).

Child abuse and child sexual abuse are thought to be epidemic in our society.  Much is made of the rapid increase in reports of abuse.  It is sometimes claimed that not only have reports increased, but the actual frequency of abuse has dramatically increased to produce such startling numbers as 1,500,000 American children abused every year.  This is fifteen to twenty times the estimates of the frequency in other societies.  The conclusion then drawn is that our society is sick.

It has been asserted that Americans, for all practical purpose, American males, have suddenly and inexplicably begun to abuse children in larger numbers and with more bizarre behaviors than have ever been known in the world before.  The explanations given are familiar.  Men accused of sexual molestation are declared to be emotionally sick.  The moment an accusation is made, prior to any adjudication of facticity, men are required to accept treatment for their supposed illness.  Child protection workers, guardians ad litem, and prosecutors insist upon sexual abuse evaluations by their approved list of programs and professionals.  Accused molesters are said to be out of control, to have fixated upon childish sexuality, to be unable to alter or subdue their sexual drives.  Molesters are said to be unable to change.  Treatment can only hope to place checks on their behavior, not change their inner disposition to abuse children.

If men are imprisoned for sexual abuse of children, there is fear for their lives.  They are more likely to be assaulted, victimized, and possibly murdered by the other inmates than any other class of prisoner.  Frequently they are isolated for their protection.  If possible they conceal the crime for which they were convicted.

Penalties and sentences for child molestation are severe and harsh.  Laws have been changed to permit exceptions to the hearsay rules.  Special procedures are approved for trials of alleged child molesters.  Some basic constitutional rights appear to be denied when a person is accused of child molestation.  A person accused of child molestation is more likely to be convicted and less likely to get a fair trial than any other class of accused person (Wakefield & Underwager, 1988).

The justice system's response to child sexual abuse is shaped by the community's sense of justice.  This is shown in the remarkable speed with which legislators have passed child abuse and child sexual abuse laws (Nelson, 1984).  Throughout the nation legislation continues to be passed which creates laws specific to child sexual abuse.  The effect of this new legislation is to set up a special category of offender child sexual abusers and create special conditions for their discovery, prosecution, and punishment.  Persons accused of other crimes are not treated the same way as are those accused of child sexual abuse.

In creating these special conditions the justice system is responding to the community's sense of justice (Van De Kamp, 1986).  Child sexual abuse is viewed as heinous and reprehensible.  Physical child abuse preceded sexual abuse in public consciousness, but as sexual abuse of children was publicized, laws concerning child abuse were radically reformed.  These new laws increase the exposure to culpability by special provisions such as admissibility of hearsay statements, child testimony through videotape, and broad definitions of sexual abuse.  Harsher punishments have been given to child sexual abusers than to those accused of physical abuse (Diamond, 1984).  Several states have made child sexual abuse a capital crime.  Both the substantiation rate of reports and the conviction rate for child sexual abuse are higher than for physical abuse (Abramczyk & Sweigart, 1985).

Society's attitudes about child sexual abusers is illustrated by a statement of the Lieutenant-Governor of Nevada:

I can sum up my feelings on this sick subject pretty damn quick.  Social workers wouldn't like it but you (law enforcement officers) should unstrap that pistol and shoot them on the spot (Reno Gazette-Journal, 1984).

A California judge, in the course of a preliminary hearing, told a child psychologist accused of sexual abuse that if "he dealt with my child, I would kill him.  Now, that's on the record. . ." (CA vs. Miller, #F89471 A-87986, p. 95, 1985).  A Minnesota statewide poll found almost half of the population ready to throw those accused off buildings, string them up, or dispatch them in sundry fashion (Minneapolis Star & Tribune, 1985).  In Arkansas a man accused of child sexual abuse was assaulted in his home and castrated by two masked men (AP, 1986).  No arrests were ever made.  One prosecutor, after an acquittal in a sex abuse case, said, "I'm sick to death of things like the presumption of innocence" (McEnroe & Peterson, 1984, p. 1).  She also said, "But I would just like to put a sign on their houses that says, 'Pervert Lives Here.'" (Black, 1984, p.1).  Attorney General Elkenberry, Washington, has called for "a religious crusade" against sexual abuse, adding the instruction to "go after it with fervor" (Duncan & Balter, 1986).  Diamond (1986) reports a study which found that attorneys and judges assumed guilt "much more frequently" in sexual abuse cases than in any other criminal case.  It is an oft-repeated truism that child sexual abusers are in grave danger in prison because other inmates regard them as the worst of all prisoners and are likely to assault them.

There are a number of possible interpretations of this intense reaction.  Child sexual abuse taps a primitive and atavistic emotion.  Bakan (1971), a personality theorist, discusses child abuse and links it to sexuality in this fashion:

Informed by the cosmic significance attributed to sex in the Jewish mystical tradition and the psychological significance attributed to sex in psychoanalysis ... I searched the empirical literature on sexuality and sex differences. ... If the man-woman-child "holy trinity" is a kind of ultimate paradigm of wholeness, wholesomeness, and holiness, what then corresponds to sin?  I came to believe that the answer must be infanticide, the killing of the new life that results from the coming together of the male and the female.  The crushing out of the life of a child is, in my opinion the most heinous of all crimes (p. xi).

The progression in our society's consciousness from physical abuse to sexual abuse means that the emotions generated by the former are attached to the latter.  Add the anti-sexuality evident in the prevention literature, the broad definitions of sexual abuse so as to include almost any touching, and the genitalized view of sexuality found in the literature and rhetoric dealing with child sexual abuse.  The result is the society's emotional investment in the pursuit and punishment of sexual abusers.

An unusual aspect of the consensus on a vigorous and aggressive stance toward child sex abuse is that it brings together the liberal left and the radical right.  The various ideological strands that are entwined in the consensus include political liberals and conservatives, feminists, humanists, anti-male, anti-pornography, intellectuals, pro-family and pro-life, and traditional family ideology.  All agree that sexual abuse of children is heinous and widespread, that accused persons are guilty, and that perpetrators ought be severely punished.  The single law-and-order issue that both extreme left and extreme right can enthusiastically endorse is the get-tough stance toward child sexual abusers (Broom & Lalonde, 1986).  The moderating center does not need to get involved since both extremes agree and are not pushing the center from either direction.

VII.  Summary of the classification of child molester.

The cognitive, emotional, and moral content of the classification of child molester has persisted across cultures and time.  The main concepts are as follows:

1. Accused child molesters are held to be more concupiscent, subject to passion, and therefore more wicked than other persons.

2. Accused child molesters are held to a stricter standard than others and any deviance from that standard is severely punished at a level greater than that for those convicted of other crimes.

3. Child molesters are held guilty of licentious behavior more than others.

4. Sexual behavior of accused child molesters for commercial or economic gain is often alleged as part of the accusation (child pornography) and is offered as evidence of greater concupiscence and licentiousness.  Seldom is actual evidence of child pornography found when it has been alleged during the investigation, indictments, and charges.

5. Concupiscence is a disposition ascribed to child molesters and is held to produce disastrous consequences for those victimized by it.

6. The evil and wicked nature of child molester's concupiscence is exploited by criminals and therefore is associated with a variety of criminal conspiracy theories.

7. Concupiscence of child molesters is a disease and is incurable.

8. The mere accusation of licentious, unchaste behavior establishes guilt without investigation of facts.  Child molesters are often immediately judged to be guilty by the system of child protection workers, the general public, and the justice system prior to adjudication, but the full coercive and punitive power of the law descends upon the person accused.  The task of an accused child molester is to prove his innocence.

9. Very primitive, atavistic emotions are generated by accusations of licentious sexual behaviors.  These powerful emotions can cause societal movements to repress and punish those accused.

VIII.  The historical and content analysis of the classifications of unchaste woman and child molester have demonstrated extensive similarities between the two concepts.  Both are equally opprobrious, pejorative, baleful, and baneful.  If the law accords the presumption of damage to the statement indicating classification of individual as an unchaste, promiscuous, or licentious woman, then it must do so for a statement alleging classification as a child molester.  The damage done is equally as devastating, if not more so, than an appellation of unchastity.

IX.  In the specific case Mr. Clauss has described to me, he states it is established that staff people said of his client to children, "Watch out! John Doe is known for liking young boys.  If he ever tries anything, let one of us know!"

It is my professional opinion this is an unambiguous and clear statement classifying Mr. Clauss's client as a child molester.  The meaning and the content of the statement is an allegation of concupiscence, licentiousness, and propensity for sexually acting out with children.  Children hearing this statement would likely understand its import and believe the man was a likely child molester.

I declare that the foregoing is true and correct.

Ralph Underwager, Ph.D.
Licensed Consulting Psychologist
License Number C-55


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