I have 2 young daughters and this article scares the heck out of me! I think of what's out there online and yikes! I can't believe the ages that are engaging in sex. I'm a concerned parent already! My kids use a computer and that's scary. I'm getting them a disney netpal so at the very least I can set up good parental controls. Worth it obviously. Yikes!
Wow... this one is so broad that I have honestly no clue where you are going with it, and so important that it deserves four or five shows. Would you please clarify a bit where you see this one going? Who will you have on? I see at least six vastly different directions you could be taking, any of which deserve long posts... let me give you a hint of what I mean:
Why is only one or the 3 R?s mentioned? Why aren?t we considering that teens (especially young ones) are not learning Respect, Restraint, and Responsibility? Are parents not modeling these things enough for our youth to have learned/caught them?
What is the role of parents in American Society? Have we abrogated leadership and training for trying to be friends? What are other successful societies on planet earth doing?
What ever happened to statutory rape? Why are we allowing youth who are hormone driven to be abused?
What role does sex in the media, entertainment, and advertising have on youth? Do we need to change this?
Are we as a society concerned that there is a stereotype saying that any woman who isn?t driven to be a corporate ladder-climber is limited to worth based on her ability to be a self-propelled sex toy? Isn?t it important to re-humanize women for our youth (and our adults, for that matter)?
Why is feminism missing the dichotomy that they are promoting the emotional equivalent of harems for men? Why does protecting women from this nonsense fall to folks our society considers troglodytes instead of the ?enlightened? women who are supposed to be leaders?
Actually, I could go about a dozen more directions. Since I normally don?t know which way Emily and Dave are headed until the show starts (at which point I am working), I appeal to you to give us a bit more info. Please!
I guess this is just going to be a show expressing surprise that this sort of thing is happening more or earlier than it did when we were that age without a realistic look at why or what can actually be done. If that is actually the case, my only comment is that microscopes, hand-wringing, and band-aids won?t address the problem.
I appreciate your comment, but I actually do feel this show has quite a specific focus: relationship violence -- both physical and emotional -- between youth and teens. It is not meant to also encompass adult/teen relationships. I hope you'll have a chance to listen to the show, or watch as the posting happens here, to see if what I think is a focus show actually is.
Thanks for the clarification (the on-air ad also clarifies some of the tone). I do find it a bit odd that your post almost implies that parents and their relationships with their children have no responsibility for the situation. If that is indeed your position, I must respectfully disagree.
Emotional bullying and obsessive hormone driven relationships aren?t new, just the tools. Notes taped to lockers aren?t as intrusive as texts, but only if a young man or woman doesn?t have a strong enough self image and family support system to deal with it.
Perhaps I don?t understand after all. Is the point of the show to say abuse happens without addressing why? I would submit that anyone who has worked with or spent any time with youth (yes, I have, though not for the last four years) could confirm the situation without ever resorting to a study.
Was your point that preteens and teens are pressured or lured into sexually active relationships before they are old enough to make rational informed decisions? Who should actually know that person well enough to advise them? Their friends? Why not their parents?
For a moment, lets say that there is no interaction of drugs or alcohol in any of these relationships, that boys aren?t still trying to get ?lucky? by altering their dates emotional states to the point they will say ?yes?... no, wait, that still happens today, doesn?t it? If you went to a public high school, I would bet your or one of your friends was on the losing end of that ploy, right?
Isn?t becoming an adult confusing enough? I must suggest that without a responsible adult to help a young person figure it out that we wind up with an entire culture of Narcissists. Isn?t a logical extension of that enough selfishness that hurting someone else that you have emotional power over something that only matters if you get something? Why should the teens be any different if the adults are that way?
Are you honestly meaning that a positive adolescent transition to maturity doesn?t ideally depend on parental leadership? Aren't there enough immature self-centered adults all around us to call that into question? Isn?t it just that much harder to actually grow up when you don?t have someone who should really know you and have your respect? Someone with enough authority to tell you the truth even when you don?t want to hear it, someone who can set boundaries that protect you from your own foolishness?
Maybe you were implying that the willingness teens have for putting themselves into compromising situations has nothing at all to do with what our culture claims the norms for adult interactions should be. If so, I would submit you are wrong; they watch us and in their eagerness to become adults themselves they copy messages into their own lives that make them as hurt and confused as many of us were when we made the same mistakes.
What can we do about relationship violence? What do we do about it in adult relationships? Support the hurt person and get them out of harms way if at all possible, right? Who has not only the right but the responsibility to do that if not a parent? In this current social climate where actual legal rights of the parent to intervene are curtailed, isn?t the strength of a parent?s relationship with their adolescent the best hope to add enough sanity to change the situation?
I hope the show goes well. I fear talking about whether the problem exists is just an exercise if it doesn?t look at a realistic need to address mitigating the risks for the kids in our lives.
I feel like you may have gotten the wrong impression here. We're not going to only be talking about the "what" of abuse among teens; we'll also be talking about the "why." And if our guests -- one of whom is a father who is very vocal about parents in this equation -- don't specifically bring up the role of parents and other adults, I will.
Thanks. I noted that you commented on how it would be difficult to summarize what I was saying, and I sympathize... the thoughts were more my actually trying to challenge what I felt Sarah was saying. I would have given you something a touch clearer if I could have guessed what direction the show would take or even known who the guests were going to be. BTW, I know Sarah works hard, not trying to get on her case as such... I just care a lot about youth and have spent a lot of time reflecting on the issues as I've seen them and have strong opinions (yeah, I have to admit that I can really get going if I feel things are being glossed).
Honestly, I think you did well at finding what I think is the most important issue. Considering that the majority of your audience isn?t likely to be teens who need help, but their parents and adult social network... we need to be challenged to face our collective responsibility for modeling something better than blind ambition, self-centeredness, and insatiable hunger for power or we shouldn?t be surprised if our sons (and daughters) act the same way. I especially thought what the gentleman from K. Falls had to say was particularly appropriate... I can tell he works with young men and cares about what they become.
What kind of parenting creates a child who is attracted to someone who abuses them? An abused person.
And on the opposite side, what kind of parenting creates a child who abuses someone they?re attracted to? An abuser.
What kind of Religion created those parenting styles?
Revised to try and clarify my points.
I don't know exactly how to begin addressing your points here but felt like some sort of response was necessary. My initial reaction is to say that parents do not raise abusers or victims. There are plenty of children and adults who grow up in abusive homes that do not go on to be perpetrators or victims. While parenting may play a role in domestic and dating violence, it is not the cause.
I would also like to say that victims do not seek out abusive relationships. Perpetrators are extremely good at finding vulnerable women/parterns. Domestic and dating violence relationships often includes pervasive and intense emotional abuse. Over time, women's self-esteem is eroded and there is often a lot of self-blame and doubt that goes on. Perpetrators pick up on these things and are very charming upon starting a relationship, convincing their partners to trust them. Over time, they slowly begin to use abusive behaviors more frequently. It is a complicated issue, but it is not the parent's fault and it is not the survivor's fault.
To reduce domestic and dating violence to parenting style is to ignore the many other factors that contribute to this social problem. You must also take into consideration other factors such as systems of oppression, socialization, individual personality traits, etc.
I have read your post.
Please read my post below about religion and parenting.
Thanks you for talking this.
I am not a teen, but a 45 year old woman.
Having grown up in middle class Portland, I left home at 15 and thus entered a 30 year walk down the path of abuse of all sorts--teen dating abuse is only the beginning of a potentially devastating walk on the dark side of existence.
For me, walk started with the need to love and feel loved, and with having an unrealistic view of what others can provide in making one feel 'whole.' Along the way, one might engage in all kinds of behaviors (or tolerances) in order to achieve this goal. Drugs, alcohol, unsafe sex, toxic enviornments and people are probably part of the intensly scienic tour we've begun in our innocence (the teen years).
Ultimately, we must face our pain and ourselves and accept the rewards of the difficult journey we have been on. Of course, I know that the story is not the same for all; but certainly this potential is there when one begins with (or is predispositioned to) teen dating abuse.
There is an awful lot to say about this subject-it's huge. I am not sure that starting the story in the teen years is really where it begins, and most likely it won't end there either.
There is always hope though (at whatever age or stage [or type] of abuse), and if I didn't have to go to work I would stick around to interact. I'll be listening though, along my way.
I am a high school teacher, and I see this everyday in my halls. Beyond physical, mental and emotional abuse, I believe that a lot of young women are sexually abused as well. I see young girls pinned up against lockers being man handled by boyfriends charged by hormones. You can see by the looks on their face that they are uncomfortable, but unable to say no. As a teacher we break up the "love birds," make phone calls home, and talk to the students about appropriate behavior... But it doesn't stop them from going at it again the next day. We live in a sexually charged society, with celebrity teens getting pregnant, and "Gossip Girl" advertising the fall season with flashes of sex scenes staring the main character and multiple partners. Young girls feel it is expected of them to be sexually active. They are growing up too fast.
There are so many local programs around the state trying to do prevention work in the schools but there is almost NO money to fund these efforts. I think there also needs to be a discussion about why prevention of abuse is so unpopular to fund and how we can make it a priority- especially amoung youth when it can actually truly make a difference.
What kind of parenting creates a child who abuses someone they?re attracted to?
What kind of Religion created that abusive parenting style?
There is another dimension to this problem, which is the cause of the abusive behavior in the trouble teens who are engaging in it. I don't think that simply imploring a troubled, perhaps emotionally disturbed child to be more respectful is a compolete solution.
Why did you remove this post? What was/is wrong with it?
"What kind of parenting creates a child who abuses someone they?re attracted to?
What kind of Religion created that abusive parenting style?"
I just think as a parent of 3 girls now ages 22 (twins) and a 27 year old. I would not have allowed them to "date" at 12. I just think are children are growing up too early and we are letting them.
A 12 year old needs so be involved in his/her own life and have "friend" that enhance that life.
We need to be having conversation with are children at all time but I just want to understand why a 12 yr old even wants to "date"
My experience is that break-ups are about the most emotionally difficult events with long term effects. After one break-up I remember not being able to eat for two weeks and losing a dangerous amount of weight. The event that burned deepest was when a young woman dumped me for a crass, swaggering, bully who because of his behavior was very popular. It took decades to overcome the emotional scars, although I can't point to anybody to blame for it. It's just life I guess.
Your guests have been allowed to talk about what my posts addressed, the parenting environment, so why do you remove my posts addressing the same thing? Is someone complaining about my writing that religion has an affect on parenting?
Because it's already up there! The same post!
I went back and combined the two posts to attempt to clarify my point that there are two sides of an abusive relationship, the abuser and the abused and somehow they both learned to be attracted to each other.
In a healthy person, alarm bells go off like crazy when either of those two sides come around, but somehow those alarm bells are not functioning properly in the, well, dysfunctional person.
Sorry for my lack of clarity.
I think it is great that you have such strong beliefs in a "healthy" person's ability to avoid abusive relationships. However, in our experience working in the domestic violence field, we have found that perpetrators often seem like "normal" people. They often have good jobs, are charming, have good social skills, sometimes status within the community, and are generally well liked. As I mentioned before, perpetrators don't often start out being abusive. They begin a relationship being charming and thoughtful. They know how to say and do the right things to get their partners to trust them. Once the partner is invested in the relationship, the perpetrator will start to use the abuse tactics. Even then it isn't extreme physical violence all of a sudden... It is a subtle comment here or there, maybe a little push and then a lot of apologies. The abuse builds over time.
Due to these things, even "healthy" people find themselves in abusive relationships. Domestic and dating violence is not specific to one population of people, it touches the lives of the rich (who have more resources to hide it), the poor, latinos, europeans, african americans, everyone. It can happen to people young and old. To those who are highly educated and those with limited education.
I would recommend that you check out http://www.domesticviolence.org/ or the loveisrespect.org site to learn a little more about the cycle of abuse, abuse tactics, barriers to leaving, and why people say in abusive relationships. I can tell that this is an issue that you are interested in and it never hurts to have more information!
Thanks for your recommendation.
I have some thirty years of studying and thinking about this, working back to root causes.
?However, in our experience working in the domestic violence field, we have found that perpetrators often seem like "normal" people. They often have good jobs, are charming, have good social skills, sometimes status within the community, and are generally well liked.?
Of course they seem normal. I woke up in the middle of last night on this one. Let?s take a look at what is normal in our communities. In my town there is a normal church called Church of the Nazarene. They teach that babies are born with a black heart and need to be beaten to make them good. Let me repeat that; they teach that babies are born with a black heart and need to be beaten to make them good. I suggest that some of the normal lessons learned from that are that if you love someone you beat them and if someone loves you they beat you. Those normal lessons are learned from very early babyhood and reinforced all through their normal life.
I suggest that what we accept as ?normal? in our communities is not actually healthy.
That idea is a version of the idea of original sin, that babies are somehow born bad, a base idea of all versions of the Abraham religion, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
I understand that some 90% of Americans believe in some type of God, and some 80% are Christians. So that idea of original sin is normal to some 80% of the people in our communities.
I think that domestic violence is taught and learned from very early in childhood development and I am not surprised at all that it shows up later in life.
Another example of ?normal? is the Evangelicals promoting the idea that wives should ?obey? their husbands. Consider how that gets enforced. Within that ?normal? range of behaviors is everything up to and including beating the wife into obedient submission. Is that ?healthy?? I don?t think so. But the Conservative Evangelical Christians comprise a very large percentage of the American population, and so their behaviors are viewed as ?normal?.
I think we ought to reconsider what is ?normal? and compare it to a higher standard, what is ?healthy?.
Gosh people are such a terrible bore---with their constant middle-class blame. Gee I'm not a fan of parents either. Quite frankly anyone who would have kids automatically has some strikes against them in my book. It certainly can't all be chocked up to parenting---because then where did these bad parents come from? If parents were allegedly so great in the past and everything is terrible now.
People are depressed in this country, that alone is often enough to create an atmosphere and personality that allows itself to be abused. The cause of this depression is certainly not just parenting, there is lots of research indicating modern culture and lifestyles might have something to do with these high rates of depression. I am not suggesting there is something wrong with prosperous countries and their cultures---but perhaps this newness will take a while for the evolution to catch up.
The standard of parenting for some three thousand years has been the religious dictum of "Spare the rod and spoil the child", that is, creating an atmosphere of fear in the child.
Children and even adults living in a state of fear develop behaviors to try and alleviate and lessen that fear, including depression, giving up, learned helplessness, sullen compliance, outright rebelliousness, self sabotage, trying to be more loving to the abuser to get them to stop, excessive perfectionism, usage of drugs and alcohol and religion, and a myriad other dysfunctional behaviors, including sneakiness and lying to both the abuser and the self.
In the fifties, BF Skinner did experiments in psychology about behavior modification in rats or what psychologists call "conditioning". Studies since then have developed far more effective animal training methods and also far more effective parenting methods.
The basic idea is to reward or positively reinforce desired behaviors and very importantly to not punish undesired behaviors because you don't want to focus attention on them and thus reinforce them.
So Skinners work has turned on its head some three thousand years of religious teachings, and specifically King Solomons "Spare the rod and spoil the child". Solomon was wrong! And three thousand years of parenting based on Solomon was wrong!
Raising children in a state of fear results in a very high percentage of damaged humans who end up needing counseling in later life.
Raising children with modern scientifically designed methods results in a very high percentage of successful and confident human beings.
Now, I find it interesting that all through history there have been people who "talk" to the animals, the horse whisperers and such like. I think that what they did/do is essentially the same as scientists do, they watch the animal grow and notice what the animal needs as it grows up and what the parent animal does that is effective in creating a successful animal.
OPB has done a documentary on an old horse whisperer out by Prineville who gentles wild horses instead of breaking them like a traditional buckaroo bronc rider. It is absolutely amazing to watch the difference on both the trainer and the animals.
This is a great discussion which is long overdue. I have spent the majority of my adult life counseling children, especially teens. A consistent theme throughtout my career has been to label girls as the victim and boys as the perpetrator. Lip service, as noted in your current program and demonstrated by your guests (except the man from K-Falls). Why are so many resources exclusively directed at girls and little for boys? There is no excuse for anyone to abuse anyone or be abused by anyone. It takes two to play the game and sometimes girls are not as innocent as we paint them and boys not as evil as we paint them. All teens need the services which parents, for whatever reason, seem unable or unwilling to provide. In the long run, its cost effective for society.
When we do our presentations to middle and high school students we constantly hear from boys, "what about us." It is a great question and one we are working to address. The reason that men are painted as perpetrators is tha,t from what we know, men often are the perpetrators. This in no way negates the need to provide services and education to men, especially those who are survivors but it does help to explain why most services are directed towards women.
At Clackamas Women's Services we are constantly working to improve our curriculum and school based services to be more inclusive of men. If we hope to ever end domestic and dating violence we have to work together (men and women). We are also interested in starting boys groups (in addition to our girls' groups). Finding men and partner organizations to do this is turning out to be quite a challenge. However, please know that we are not just providing lip service and that we do recognize the need and are working to do something about it.
Stacyb, sincere "thanks" for the additional information. I appreciate the fact that you have a challenging task regardless. The bottom line is that girls are not born with a predisposition to become victims or abuser and neither are boys. Many, many boys respond to certain life and environmental events and patterns with aggression and acting out which often triggers discipline or negative consequences. Many, many girls respond with aggression and acting out and/or tears which often results in emotional support. There is a societal predisposition to care for girls regardless of their behaviors. The same societal predisposition is not present for boys. As the guest from K-Falls stated, boys are expected to behave like men. Unfortunately, the adult men and women in our society frequently fail boys. This is not likely to change anytime soon. Thanks for your efforts on behalf of the boys in your county. I sincerely hope and pray you are success.
The last speaker, talking about the "increase in confidence" of the boy after the abusive relationship is indicative of the fact that this boy was not well. This low self esteem and insecurity of these young boys is the cause of this problem, not a dad saying "suck it up" when a boy has a hurt finger.
I just wanted to provide a few resources for those working with teens who may be in domestic or dating violence situations. There is a great organization called the Oregon Youthline that provided a free, 24 hour helpline specifically for teens. Their number is 1-877-553-Teen. If you call them they can send you info cards to hand out to teens and flyers to put up. The kids that we work with who have used it thinks it's great. They also have a myspace page.
Speaking of Myspace pages, we (Clackamas Women's Services) have one as well! It is meant for teens and offers information and links to other great service providers. You can access our page at www.myspace.com/cwsor.
Clackamas Women's Services also has a 24 hour crisis line that anyone can call (even men!) The number for that is 503-654-2366. Clackamas Women's Services opperates 2 shelters, a transitional housing program, free counseling, legal advocacy, community-based case management, family violence advocates at 2 DHS offices, school-based presentations on healthy relationships and dating violence, as well as trainings for community members, police departments, service organizations, busnisess, medical facilities, teachers, and more. If you want to learn more about domestic violence in relation to whatever population you work with we'd love to offer you our services, free of charge. If you are interested, you can reach us at 503-722-2366
Thanks for coming on, both on-air and here. What you are doing is very important, please keep up the good work.
I appreciate your work also and I think prevention ought to be started at a very early age, in early childhood development where kids are learning from their role models how to relate to each other, how to be adults.
I have watched 3 or 4 year old siblings treating each other the way their parents treated each other. A boy and a girl. At the time I thought it was funny. Now I take it more seriously.
I guess if you start dating and acting older than you are, you will eventually run into problems. Parents need to be more strict and limit their kids. Bearpaw Boots on Sale
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