Friday, January 11, 2008

Ask Dr. Helen: Should Men be Kicked out of the Church Nursery?

My PJM column is up:

There’s a double standard in our society when it comes to sexual abuse, writes Dr. Helen Smith, who reminds readers what the PC books won’t: women also commit sexual offenses against children.

Go take a look and let me know if you think that men should be barred from volunteering at places, like the church nursery, that have children present.



Blogger Jeff Y said...

The discrimination against men is an outrage. Yet, there is another more serious problem: men are stupid and weak.

I've broached this subject with men many times. Guys often don't care that boys are abused by women. They often see it as a good thing for the boy, an opportunity they never had. Also, men very rarely speak up. Most are wussies who won't stand up for themselves.

I'm a man, so I can say it. Screw men. If they won't stand up for their own just causes, they deserve to be trampled upon like the pathetic wimps they are.

I'm a men's rights advocate. Men are the problem, IMHO.

6:34 AM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


Yes, men are part of the problem, but I think there is a real discrepancy between the way that men view things as they used to be and where they are now heading. Men have been taught to be strong, silent and protective. But in the culture of yesterday, they were rewarded for this behavior. Now, they are heading towards being in the position that women were in many years ago--discriminated against, their rights trampled, and their very maleness held up as a crime. They think to fight back by fighting for their rights is to act like women and don't want to come off like that. Their very prejudice against women combined with a sense of chivalry is what will keep men from doing anything until it is too late. Standing up for justice is showing strength and both men and women can have this characteristic.

7:03 AM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger BobH said...

To Jeff:

"Abused" is a very broad word. From the context, I'm assuming that what you mean by "boys are abused by women" is adolescent (i.e., underage) males who engage in sexual intercourse with older women, what used to be called statuatory rape. If that is the case, count me as just another guy who thinks that most of these boys not only don't feel "abused" at all, they actually feel complimented and lucky. My quintessential example is a headline that read "Women Rapes Boy 23 Times in 8 Days". Then there was the case of the 17-year old boy who borrowed his father's car something like six times to go to the women's house to be "abused".

This is typical behavior for a male mammal. So I have to ask you this: Who's behavior are you trying to constrain, the boy's or the woman's?

To Helen:

There is another possible response to dealing with the high percentage of American women who are closet or open feminazis, one that men use all the time because it's generally safer. (It also seems to be more typically male.) That is for men to severely restrict their interaction with all or most women. Just because men don't whine and complain about being oppressed, as women have done for the last 4 years, doesn't mean that this male behavior is defective. In fact, in most other situational domains, it is considered entirely rational to avoid people who damage our lives and be attracted to people who improve them. Why is it that women can't understand that "being afraid of strong women" means the same thing as "not wanting to deal with obnoxious bitches"?

10:11 AM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Many churches, like other organizations dealing with children or child care, are now requiring background checks on everyone, male and female, who wants to work in the children's ministries: Sunday school, nursery, whatever. I think it's a good idea. It isn't an absolute guarantee of no danger, of course, but that's true anywhere. The organization for which I volunteer is doing the same thing with new volunteer-applicants--and probably paid employees, tho' I haven't asked. It's a better idea than asking for references.

11:09 AM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Currently, three of the counties around Maysville, KY there are 3-4 cases where a woman had sexual contact with a under age male. Almost an epidemic.

Many years after I graduated from high school, I found out a cheerleader, who I dated a little and was known as a straight arrow, would take off her blouse and bra and have the children play with her breasts. This type of contact would not leave any evidence and, for whatever reason, the kids never said enough to their parents or the parents never did anything about it. (She never let me touch her. :-()

If women were being excluded from an activity for such a reason, you would probably be hit with a lawsuit.

11:33 AM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Dr. H. If you wanted additional information on female sex offenders I just completed a paper for a grad class on the topic and it discusses several recent journal articles (with citations), just let me know. Dr. Donna Vandiver who is now at Sam Houston State University has published several recent articles on the subject that discuss known tendencies, behaviors, etc. As you allude to--it is a relatively unknown topic.

11:53 AM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger goesh said...

There is plenty of ignorance to go around out there. I once had a woman tell me that if a man couldn't get sex from a woman, he would get it from a female child. She was a licensed, clinical Social Worker.

1:03 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

I'm surprised this would be an issue at a Mormon Church since they tend to be really conservative, but it makes sense if some high-profile cases where a male teacher, teaching alone, sexually abused a child in the Sunday School class.

Ramsay-Klawsnik (1990) found that adult females were abusers of males 37% of the time and female adolescents 19% of the time. Both of these rates are higher than the same study reported for adult and teen male abusers.

This part doesn't compute with me, if less than half are women, doesn't that mean more than half are men?

1:05 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

bobh --

And the guy who satisfies the randy fifteen year old girl who goes over to his house repeatedly isn't doing any harm? Keeping in mind that in most cases the young girl contacted via the internet goes and meets the object of her desires, he doesn't come to her.

Same or different? You tell me and explain why.

1:53 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Derek said...

I've worked in nurseries and Sunday school rooms. I've changed diapers and wiped smelly bums. No one ever looked askance at me, but I often received thanks for being willing.

I think that in any room of more than one child, there should be two adults. It's not about protecting the children from the adults. It's about protecting the children from themselves. Four eyes (glasses not included) are better than two.

2:09 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger BobH said...

To oligonicella:

1. Fifteen year old girls get pregnant, fifteen year old boys don't. I'm a big fan of a double standard in paternity fraud cases.

2. To what extent is any psychological trauma to the minor the result of the relationship itself and to what extent is it the result of an overly hysterical societal reaction to that relationship?

3. In retrospect, Helen is talking about minors much younger than teenagers. But Jeff brought up the subject and I took the bait.

3:49 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger BobH said...

Let me add something to 1. above. I find myself increasingly annoyed with "prostitots". (The word was invented about 5 years ago, for Jamie Lynn Spears, who is now 16 and pregnant.) These are girls who are using visual and behavioral cues to make offers that they're much too young to make good on. If the entire premise of statuatory rape is that the minor is too young (i.e., too stupid) to have sex, then maybe it's time that society, particularly their parents, called these girls idiots right to their faces.

Fat Chance! We wouldn't want to injure the poor little dears' psyches.

4:06 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

bobh --

Girls get pregnant, so do adult women. And the boys pay the bill, even in adolescent fatherhood.

That's a push.

I'm no fan of double standards, period. Can't have it both ways; if the girls are too young and stupid, so are the boys, just for different reasons.

5:11 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's the Catch-22 that gets me. If we faunch in horror every time the guys come anywhere near the kids, we should not complain that the guys don't do any fostering type stuff.

5:46 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger BobH said...

To oligonicella:

"And the boys pay the bill, even in adolescent fatherhood."

That's only because Amerika is a feminazi police state with women who are just prostitutes trying to be expensive prostitutes. It's just a "societal reaction" (i.e., law) which can be changed.

6:15 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger NDC said...

Dr. Helen, something struck me in your column when you mentioned a Jr. High teachers from your school who was notorious for sleeping with the male students.

Was there proof this was occurring? How did she keep her job?

I have an easier time imagining that adults were amused by rumors about the possibility of such behavior than that they would really laugh off a serial molester, male or female.

I'm sure you were a very intelligent middle schooler but is it possible you're remember middle school social rumors as fact? It just really shocks me that a teacher's having sex with students would be well known and continue to go on.

6:35 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


She mysteriously left the school a year after the rumors started and we heard later that she had been fooling around with the boys. Before that, some of the boys mentioned having been with her but you are right, it could have been a rumor--can't vouch for it 100%, but then, most men are fired with much less proof. This was many years ago and people really did not take the behavior seriously.

6:53 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

bobh --

You rationalized your double standard with a dystopian screed. Not much of a defense.

7:02 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger NDC said...

It sounds like something was up all right.

I will say that I don't know of any cases in which the men were fired for mere rumor or accusation. Encouraged to resign, absolutely, but actually terminated based on a rumor, I've never heard of.

In the case of the church nursery teacher, I think the man should be grateful to the church he was stopped from volunteering. If some parent in the class was crazy enough to complain about the mere presence of a male volunteer, no doubt the risk of false accusation was greater than he could have anticipated.

It's unfair that people see men as more likely to abuse, and yet, once this mindset become apparent, don't risk your good name.

Dr. Helen, am I wrong to be distracted by the wording about verbal sexual abuse? It hardly seems that someone saying something inappropriate equates with sexual abuse that involved physical contact. Do you know exactly what that study measured?

7:55 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger caplight said...

As a pastor I can say the following:
1. Require background checks on all kid and teen workers. Not fool proof but helps.
2. Ask for a reference from previous churches the person volunteered in.
3. Always have two or more people in a room with children.
4. Don't have men changing girl baby's diapers or assisting girls in pottying in anyway.
5. Keep you eyes open and listen to the intuition of women who the male is volunteering with. BTW there should always be a female in the room with infants and toddlers.

8:41 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Sid said...

I agree with Caplight's recommendations for a preventative protocol. The United Methodist Church uses a very similar format in the Safe Sanctuaries training.

But, this is straining at a nat. Sexual abuse is the LEAST likely form of abuse. Physical and emotional abuse are far more common and (if research is to be believed) commited far more often by women. Biological mothers are the most likely abuser in a child's life.

To nursery responsibilities, the best policy to take is to keep the environment as open as possible with multiple forms of supervision. Other adults should report suspected abuse of any type. But a policy that restricts men from serving young children is a policy that removes advocates from the children's lives.

10:39 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Caplight, I agree with each point except #4. When I think of all the daddies I've seen changing their baby girl's diapers or taking their daughters to the potty, I'm wondering just how long it will be before that behavior will become grounds for criminal charges. "He wiped her butt, for heaven's sake!"

Sheesh. Yes, it's probably the safest way for churches, nurseries, etc., because it reduces potential exposure to liability. But it seems to me that, if the other recommendations are following, that one shouldn't be necessary.

11:18 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Jeff Y said...

bobh wrote, "If that is the case, count me as just another guy who thinks that most of these boys not only don't feel "abused" at all, they actually feel complimented and lucky."

Fine. Then let's be clear: girls like sex too. Under your view, most of the cases of statutory rape of a girl involve under-age girls "feeling complimented" by sex with an older man. This also is "typical behavior for a [fe]male mammal." Nevertheless, the justice system still treats it like rape.

So, either under your view or mine, the justice system still treats men with an abusive double standard.

1:58 AM, January 12, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

I don't get it. Every house of worship needs people to supervise kids in the nursery. This particular church is ostracizing its own parishioners from much-needed volunteer positions. Therefore I don't understand why men are still hanging around. There are other good house-of-worships out there. Don't go where you aren't wanted, I say.

8:50 AM, January 12, 2008  
Blogger Joe said...

I personally don't know anyone who was been sexually abused as a child nor who sexually abused a child (not to say they weren't--people don't alway talk about such things) but I do know several who were psychologically abused by women and know a few women, my mother-in-law being one, who are very emotionally abusive.

One reason I stopped going to church was the way too many adult leaders treated teenagers. However bad the men were, the women were FAR worse, especially toward teenage girls. (In one situation, my mother got so upset she almost smacked a woman putting down a girl. I wish she had.)

Add to all this the guilt trips many conservative churches--mine in particular--lay on teenagers and I decided I wouldn't put my kids through it.

BTW, I do think we as a society need to make a distinction between sex obtained predatorily, regardless of age, and teenage boys and girl who make it clear they are interested in sex with peers and older adults.

7:53 PM, January 13, 2008  
Blogger Mercurior said...

i would never ever ever ever be in the same room as any children, i dont want to volunteer or even work in any environment where i could be accused of being a child molester. Not only because i and childfree. but if a job was working with children.. i would refuse it even if i needed that job.

Just the accusation of a possible abuse situation where men are concerned is wnough to ruin that mans life forever. so to any men who want to work with kids i say DONT. it may not be the best solution but it saves your soul and reputation.

so i avoid children, in any area because i know some parents are so.. stupid to beleieve the idea that all men are abusers. better safe than sorry

4:45 AM, January 14, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

Expanding on the two person policy for a nursery, how about one man and one woman?

1:06 PM, January 14, 2008  
Blogger cmouse said...

I ran into the same thing. I was a member of the Board of Directors of a community daycare center. By circumstance I was by myself for a few hours until closing. I had to send a child home with dirty diapers because I was afraid to change him. As a guy, I would be scared to death 10 years later to even be left alone with small children lest the allegation of child molestation rear it's ugly head. It is impossible to prove something didn't happen. One irrate parent and your life and business is ruined. How is it that people have gotten this crazy?

10:27 PM, January 14, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


"How is it that people have gotten this crazy?"

A lot of it is the hype of sexual abuse in the news, talk shows etc. Sexual abuse used to happen but it was not talked about. Now people talk about it non-stop and tell or act like it is the worse thing that can happen to a person, worse than death. This fear mongering has actually made things worse, for the average person, particularly men, but certainly women too, are afraid that they will be seen as a molester and stay away from children and those who are abused feel far more damaged than they could have imagined by the stigma of being told what a horrible thing has happened to them. Sexual abuse can be overcome and those who are victims of it can lead a fine and normal life.

6:36 AM, January 15, 2008  
Blogger K-Man said...

This whole scenario is an example of how extreme feminization has taken over many churches. Everything fits into the feminist agenda:

1. Churches said virtually nothing when no-fault divorce passed 49 of 50 state legislatures in the 1970s and 1980s.

2. Churches have typically said and done nothing about the family court and child custody system inequities against men.

3. According to a number of posters on other forums with firsthand experience, pastors (ministers, etc.) typically tell men that problems in the marriage are their fault, never the wife's. This is a classic anti-man agenda. Women good, men bad—the attitude so often expressed by extremist feminists.

4. Pastors unwittingly continue this agenda by praising mothers and women in Mother's Day sermons, for example, but trashing fathers and men during the equivalent on Father's Day. In one example on another board, on Father's Day the poster's minister told the husbands in the service to turn to their wives and apologize for everything they had done wrong! Women good, men bad again, even on a day for men.

5. Church activities are typically all woman- and child-centered, seldom appealing to men, thereby continuing neglect of male church members' desires and interests. Women good, men bad yet again. Let's just ignore and demoralize the men and maybe they'll go away. (Oops, they are going away.) The point is that churches are largely run for women by women, except for the figurehead preacher.

6. Now churches are unwittingly (or maybe wittingly) adopting the feminist line that all men are abusers and rapists by casting suspicion on men around children at church functions. Women good, men...well, you see the pattern.

Mark my words, all of this will get worse before it gets better. Yet these same churches usually push single male parishioners to marry and have children.

I'm so glad I gave up on organized religion years ago.

7:36 AM, January 15, 2008  
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