In what seems to be a recurring theme, Richard Dawkins once again showed a shockingly callous and spectacularly uninformed view of child sexual abuse and adult rape. I've written about his misinformed opinion in the past. Tuesday's performance seems to have outdone the idiocy in his Time Magazine interview of last fall.
Taking to Twitter he attempted to rank different types of abuse and rape. It really has to be seen to be believed. The folks at the 'white guys doing it by themselves' Tumblr screen capped Dawkins' inanity for posterity.
While I find his insouciant dismissal of rape to be reprehensible, I specialize in investigating child sexual abuse, and will focus on that part of his sexual comparisons.
In my previous post I dressed Dawkins down for his misuse of the term pedophilia and I'll do so again. The term pedophile is a DSM V diagnosis. Unless a person has been diagnosed as a pedophile by a psychologist or psychiatrist, they are to be called child molesters or child sexual abusers. Dawkins prides himself on intellectual and scientific accuracy, but failed to research this.
His statement, "Mild pedophilia is bad, violent pedophilia is worse", illustrates his utter lack of knowledge about child sexual abuse. It is well documented by anecdote and statistics that very little child sexual abuse is violent.
Child sexual abusers don't want their victims to be frightened. In fact most child sexual abusers approach their victims with a friendly open manner. They want to build trust and develop a comfort level with the child. Think in terms of the Sandusky sexual abuse case. Most of those young men had known Sandusky for some time and trusted him.
If you recall the testimony of the victims, Sandusky showed them special attention, bought them gifts and groomed them slowly over time. Many of the victims were introduced to casual nakedness and horseplay showering with Sandusky before any overt sexual acts occurred. This pattern was not unique to Sandusky. It is repeated over and over again.
Dawkins' portrayal of "violent pedophilia" highlights another common myth about child sexual abuse. No doubt in the intellectually superior mind of Dawkins, violent pedophiles lurk on every playground waiting to rape the unsuspecting child. The fact is that according to recent research, 90 percent of child abusers are known by the victim.
Dawkins' categorization of the types of child sexual abuse also shows a shocking lack of understanding the human condition. Even in the instances I've cited in which the acts themselves were not "violent" as we may define it, sexual violence and degrees thereof are experienced differently by different people.
Dawkins' long ago "mild touching up" by a school teacher in boarding school, may have not had a lasting effect on him. That same level of abuse may be and often is incredibly traumatic to other victims. Deigning to cast all victims and victimization into bad, worse and worst does an incredible disservice to victims.
Dawkins has a reputation as a brilliant biologist and intellectual. His intellect serves him well in many instances. Tuesday, his pomposity and apparent need for grandiose pronouncements betrayed his lack of understanding of a serious subject and his lack of basic research into said subject.
Tuesday Dawkins' logic reminded us an ass is bad, a pompous ill informed ass is worse, if you think that's an endorsement of an ass Mr. Dawkins, go away and learn how to think.