Friday, June 22, 2012

Old White Men, Young Black Boys & The Sexual Legacy of Slavery.. In Light of Penn State

 This piece was written a few years ago, but I felt compelled to unearth it due to the recent (alleged)  sexual assaults and rapes of many  young black boys at Penn State.

In my experience, it’s been one of the most unspoken taboos in both gay and African American communities: White men’s consumption and fascination with black male bodies.
My first real experience with this was when I was at Arby’s in Midtown, years ago, after I had just moved to Atlanta. I was sitting in Arby’s eating a grilled cheese, and from nowhere this middle aged white man, maybe in his 50-60′s, comes and stands above me, lurking down upon me a like a parasite longing for new blood. His behavior initially puzzled me. I asked “Can I help you?” and he just stared at me and licked his lips, then he flashed me several dollar bills. Recognizing this was some sort of sexual innuendo that I had no interest in, I grabbed my food and walked out of there.
At this point, I did not know that the Spring Street Arby’s and the subsequent area around the club 708 is a space where many sex workers, most of them African American boys & trans women, are solicited. I had no idea as I would learn later through my work in HIV & AIDS prevention & education, that most of those young African American boys and trans-women would report that the majority of their clients are middle aged white men. At first I thought little of it. I mean, why wouldn’t the majority of them be middle aged white men, who in this country would be more likely to have the disposable income? As I continued my studies in African American literature and history I found a few things that took me somewhere else. Where to you might ask? Why to Slavery my dear friend.
You see, when reading over various slave narratives in undergrad and beyond, their is evidence to suggest that young black boys, and black men of all ages, were often forced to have sexual relations with their white male slave owners.
While the innuendos are mild, and likely doctored by both historians and African American studies professors who fear exposing such a history that they perceive would further “shame” black men, the likelihood of such things happening doesn’t at all seem far fetched.
Because same sex desire is an expression of humanity that conforms itself to the structural social hierarchy of the day, it would make sense that  many white male slave owners, corrupted by racism and bigotry, would use black male bodies, of which they had authority and control, as a site to express their same sex desire. It would also make sense that, like most of the social patterns from that not too long ago period, those patterns persist in dynamics today. This has hardly ever been spoken of but as James Baldwin would say: The consumption of young black male bodies by white men, is “The Evidence of Things Unseen.”
This is not just in the gay community, oh no. I think about the porn industry, of which I’ve been doing a lot of research on, and the very famous series “My Wife Likes Black Dick”.
In this porn series, which is not the only of it’s kind, white men look on as their white wives are penetrated, often aggressively by black men. The white men are present in the space when this happens, and in some clips, the white male looks on with fascination saying : “That’s right, take that Black dick/you like that black dick don’t you?”. Fawning over the male’s performance and focusing on that “big black dick”.
In other scenarios, the white male is seen crying or sobbing as he witnesses his white wife penetrated;and while she makes comments on how his “little white dick” is nothing like this. So why would white men want to consume a product of a conjured storyline of having their wives penetrated by a “black dick?” How is this not projected homo-erotic desire?
Let me make this clear, because unfortunately, many of us may be going there already-this is not some diatribe to suggest that white men should not date black men. What it is, is an invitation for both white men and black men, to further explore our relationships with each other and the  the historic social, spiritual pain and eroticization that exists between us.
What it is, is an opportunity for us to understand that patterns of sexual exploitation are not so rapidly dissolved, and maybe ponder, that the consumption of black male bodies by white men and white culture is not only almost always exploitative, it is, in a male context, almost always homo-erotic; it is an expression of the white male unconscious desire for the black male body, a body which has had a construct of “raw masculinity” projected upon it; a masculinity that in America, is deemed highly desirable no matter what your sexual orientation.
There is a lot more to be explored here, this doesn’t even scratch the surface.
But I think this maybe might open up a chapter…Much more to come…but for now..
What do you feel?
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by Yolo

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation

 Members of disliked minority groups are often stereotyped as representing a danger to the majority's most vulnerable members. For example, Jews in the Middle Ages were accused of murdering Christian babies in ritual sacrifices. Black men in the United States were often lynched after being falsely accused of raping White women. In a similar fashion, gay people have often been portrayed as a threat to children. Back in 1977, when Anita Bryant campaigned successfully to repeal a Dade County (FL) ordinance prohibiting anti-gay discrimination, she named her organization "Save Our Children," and warned that "a particularly deviant-minded [gay] teacher could sexually molest children".

In recent years, antigay activists have routinely asserted that gay people are child molesters. This argument was often made in debates about the Boy Scouts of America's policy to exclude gay scouts and scoutmasters. More recently, in the wake of Rep. Mark Foley's resignation from the US House of Representatives in 2006, antigay activists and their supporters seized on the scandal to revive this canard. It has also been raised in connection with scandals about the Catholic church's attempts to cover up the abuse of young males by priests. Indeed, the Vatican's early response to the 2002 revelations of widespread Church cover-ups of sexual abuse by priests was to declare that gay men should not be ordained.

Public belief in the stereotype.
The number of Americans who believe the myth that gay people are child molesters has declined substantially. In a 1970 national survey, more than 70% of respondents agreed with the assertions that "Homosexuals are dangerous as teachers or youth leaders because they try to get sexually involved with children" or that "Homosexuals try to play sexually with children if they cannot get an adult partner.

By contrast, in a 1999 national poll, the belief that most gay men are likely to molest or abuse children was endorsed by only 19% of heterosexual men and 10% of heterosexual women. Even fewer – 9% of men and 6% of women – regarded most lesbians as child molesters.

Consistent with these findings,Gallup polls have found that an increasing number of Americans would allow gay people to be elementary school teachers. For example, the proportion was 54% in 2005, compared to 27% in 1977.

Even though most Americans don't regard gay people as child molesters, confusion remains widespread in this area. To understand the facts, it is important to examine the results of scientific research. However, when we evaluate research on child molestation, our task is complicated by several problems. One problem is that none of the studies in this area have obtained data from a probability sample, that is, a sample that can be assumed to be representative of the population of all child molesters. Rather, most research has been conducted only with convicted perpetrators or with pedophiles who sought professional help. Consequently, they may not accurately describe child molesters who have never been caught or have not sought treatment.

A second problem is that the terminology used in this area is often confusing and can even be misleading. We can begin to address that problem by defining some basic terms. Pedophilia and child molestation are used in different ways, even by professionals. Pedophilia usually refers to an adult psychological disorder characterized by a preference for prepubescent children as sexual partners; this preference may or may not be acted upon. The term hebephilia is sometimes used to describe adult sexual attractions to adolescents or children who have reached puberty.

Whereas pedophilia and hebephilia refer to psychological propensities, child molestation and child sexual abuse are used to describe actual sexual contact between an adult and someone who has not reached the legal age of consent. In this context, the latter individual is referred to as a child, even though he or she may be a teenager.

Although the terms are not always applied consistently, it is useful to distinguish between pedophiles/hebephiles and child molesters/abusers. Pedophilia and hebephilia are diagnostic labels that refer to psychological attractions. Not all pedophiles and hebephiles actually molest children; an adult can be attracted to children or adolescents without ever actually engaging in sexual contact with them.

Child molestation and child sexual abuse refer to actions, and don't imply a particular psychological makeup or motive on the part of the perpetrator. Not all incidents of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by pedophiles or hebephiles; in some cases, the perpetrator has other motives for his or her actions and does not manifest an ongoing pattern of sexual attraction to children.
Thus, not all child sexual abuse is perpetrated by pedophiles (or hebephiles) and not all pedophiles and hebephiles actually commit abuse. Consequently, it is important to use terminology carefully.

Another problem related to terminology arises because sexual abuse of male children by adult men is often referred to as "homosexual molestation." The adjective "homosexual" (or "heterosexual" when a man abuses a female child) refers to the victim's gender in relation to that of the perpetrator. Unfortunately, people sometimes mistakenly interpret it as referring to the perpetrator's sexual orientation.

To avoid this confusion, it is preferable to refer to men's sexual abuse of boys with the more accurate label of male-male molestation. Similarly, it is preferable to refer to men's abuse of girls as male-female molestation. These labels are more accurate because they describe the sex of the individuals involved but don't implicitly convey unwarranted assumptions about the perpetrator's sexual orientation.

Typologies of Offenders
The distinction between a victim's gender and a perpetrator's sexual orientation is important because many child molesters don't really have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or children of both sexes. Over the years, this fact has been incorporated into various systems for categorizing child molesters. For example, Finkelhor and Araji (1986) proposed that perpetrators' sexual attractions should be conceptualized as ranging along a continuum – from exclusive interest in children at one extreme, to exclusive interest in adult partners at the other end.

Typologies of offenders have often included a distinction between those with an enduring primary preference for children as sexual partners and those who have established age-appropriate relationships but become sexually involved with children under unusual circumstances of extreme stress. Perpetrators in the first category – those with a more or less exclusive interest in children – have been labeled fixated. Fixation means "a temporary or permanent arrestment of psychological maturation resulting from unresolved formative issues which persist and underlie the organization of subsequent phases of development" . Many clinicians view fixated offenders as being "stuck" at an early stage of psychological development.

By contrast, other molesters are described as regressed. Regression is "a temporary or permanent appearance of primitive behavior after more mature forms of expression had been attained, regardless of whether the immature behavior was actually manifested earlier in the individual's development". Regressed offenders have developed an adult sexual orientation but under certain conditions (such as extreme stress) they return to an earlier, less mature psychological state and engage in sexual contact with children.
Some typologies of child molesters divide the fixation-regression distinction into multiple categories, and some include additional categories as well.

For the present discussion, the important point is that many child molesters cannot be meaningfully described as homosexuals, heterosexuals, or bisexuals (in the usual sense of those terms) because they are not really capable of a relationship with an adult man or woman. Instead of gender, their sexual attractions are based primarily on age. These individuals – who are often characterized as fixated – are attracted to children, not to men or women.

Using the fixated-regressed distinction, Groth and Birnbaum (1978) studied 175 adult males who were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child. None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation. 83 (47%) were classified as "fixated;" 70 others (40%) were classified as regressed adult heterosexuals; the remaining 22 (13%) were classified as regressed adult bisexuals. Of the last group, Groth and Birnbaum observed that "in their adult relationships they engaged in sex on occasion with men as well as with women. However, in no case did this attraction to men exceed their preference for women....There were no men who were primarily sexually attracted to other adult males..."

Other Approaches
Other researchers have taken different approaches, but have similarly failed to find a connection between homosexuality and child molestation. Dr. Carole Jenny and her colleagues reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic of a Denver children's hospital during a one-year period (from July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992). The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in fewer than 1% in which an adult molester could be identified – only 2 of the 269 cases (Jenny et al., 1994). In yet another approach to studying adult sexual attraction to children, some Canadian researchers observed how homosexual and heterosexual adult men responded to slides of males and females of various ages (child, pubescent, and mature adult). All of the research subjects were first screened to ensure that they preferred physically mature sexual partners. In some of the slides shown to subjects, the model was clothed; in others, he or she was nude. The slides were accompanied by audio recordings. The recordings paired with the nude models described an imaginary sexual interaction between the model and the subject. The recordings paired with the pictures of clothed models described the model engaging in neutral activities (e.g., swimming). To measure sexual arousal, changes in the subjects' penis volume were monitored while they watched the slides and listened to the audiotapes. The researchers found that homosexual males responded no more to male children than heterosexual males responded to female children .

Science cannot prove a negative. Thus, these studies do not prove that homosexual or bisexual males are no more likely than heterosexual males to molest children. However, each of them failed to prove the alternative hypothesis that homosexual males are more likely than heterosexual men to molest children or to be sexually attracted to children or adolescents.

The Mainstream View
Reflecting the results of these and other studies, the mainstream view among researchers and professionals who work in the area of child sexual abuse is that homosexual and bisexual men do not pose any special threat to children. For example, in one review of the scientific literature, noted authority Dr. A. Nicholas Groth wrote:

Are homosexual adults in general sexually attracted to children and are preadolescent children at greater risk of molestation from homosexual adults than from heterosexual adults? There is no reason to believe so. The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual

In a more recent literature review, Dr. Nathaniel McConaghy (1998) similarly cautioned against confusing homosexuality with pedophilia. He noted, "The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or in women".
This well known lack of a linkage between homosexuality and child molestation accounts for why relatively little research has directly addressed the issue. Proving something we already know simply isn't a priority. Indeed, a commentary that accompanied publication of the 1994 study by Jenny et al. in Pediatrics noted that debates about gay people as molesters "have little to do with everyday child abuse" and lamented that they distract lawmakers and the public from dealing with the real problem of children's sexual mistreatment

Other Sexual Abuse
In scandals involving the Catholic church, the victims of sexual abuse were often adolescent boys rather than small children. Similarly, the 2006 congressional page scandal involved males who were at least 16 years old. These are cases in which the term pedophilia – referring as it does to attractions to prepubescent children – can cause confusion. Rather than pedophilia, the accusations stemming from these scandals raised the question of whether gay people shouldn't be trusted in positions of authority where there is any opportunity for sexually harassing or abusing others.

Here again, there is no inherent connection between an adult's sexual orientation and her or his propensity for endangering others. Scientific research provides no evidence that homosexual people are less likely than heterosexuals to exercise good judgment and appropriate discretion in their employment settings. There are no data, for example, showing that gay men and lesbians are more likely than heterosexual men and women to sexually harass their subordinates in the workplace. Data from studies using a variety of psychological measures do not indicate that gay people are more likely than heterosexuals to possess any psychological characteristics that would make them less capable of controlling their sexual urges, refraining from the abuse of power, obeying rules and laws, interacting effectively with others, or exercising good judgment in handling authority.

As explained
Sexual orientation is a mental illness nor is it inherently associated with impaired psychological functioning.

Gay men and lesbians function effectively in a wide variety of employment settings. The research literature doesn't reveal any differences between heterosexuals, bisexuals, and homosexuals in job performance or ability to properly exercise authority in supervisory roles. As indicated by workplace policies around the United States, a large and growing number of private and public employers do not perceive a problem with hiring gay and bisexual people as employees or managers. Many corporations, educational institutions, and local governments have adopted policies that prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation. Many of those organizations provide benefits such as health insurance for employees' same-sex partners. Indeed, one widely cited reason for offering such benefits is that they enable a company to remain competitive by attracting high quality employees who happen to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
Thus, there is no factual basis for organizations to avoid hiring homosexual or bisexual people, simply on the basis of their sexual orientation, for positions that involve responsibility for or supervision of others, whether children, adolescents, or adults.

facts about molestation & homosexuality

Characteristics of Victims of Sexual Abuse by Gender and Race in a Community Corrections Population


The purpose of this study was to examine how victims of sexual abuse in a community corrections population differ as a result of their sex and race. Of the 19,422 participants, a total of 1,298 (6.7%) reported a history of sexual abuse and were compared with nonabused participants. The sample was analyzed by race–gender groups (White men, White women, African American men, and African American women) using univariate and logistic regression analyses, which were conducted separately for each group. White women were the most likely to report a history of sexual abuse (26.5%), followed by African American women (16.0%), White men (4.0%), and African American men (1.1%). For all groups, histories of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts were associated with a history of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse was associated with substance abuse problems for women but not the men. Cannabis dependence was associated with sexual abuse for the White women while cocaine dependence was associated with sexual abuse for the African American women. Several other variables were associated with sexual abuse for women but not men, including lower education (White women only), a history of violent offenses (White women only), and living in a shelter (African American women only). African American men tended to have higher levels of education; this was the only variable uniquely associated with either male group. Receiving psychiatric medications was associated with sexual abuse for all groups except African American men and a history of sex for drugs was associated with sexual abuse for all groups except White men. Consistent with national sample, women, particularly White women, were more likely to be victims of sexual abuse. The gender–race differences for the sociodemographic factors associated with sexual abuse, particularly the risk of substance abuse for women, suggest the need for tailored interventions for sexual abuse prevention and treatment. 

  1. C. Brendan Clark, PhD1
  2. Adam Perkins, MA1
  3. Cheryl B. McCullumsmith, MD, PhD1
  4. M. Aminul Islam, MD, MSc, DrPH1
  5. Erin E. Hanover, MD1
  6. Karen L. Cropsey, PsyD1
  1. 1University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL, USA
  1. Karen L. Cropsey, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurobiology, 401 Beacon Parkway West, Birmingham, AL 35209, USA Email:

The Sexual Abuse of Black Men under American Slavery

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: In 1787 an enslaved man in Maryland raped a free black woman. The story comes to us from the female victim in the incident, Elizabeth Amwood. One white man, William Holland, had her "Pull up her Close and Lie Down he then Called a Negrow Man Slave" "and ordered him to pull Down his Britches and gitt upon the said Amwood and to bee grate with her." A fourth individual in this horrific scene, a white man named John Pettigrew, operating with Holland, pointed a pistol at the unnamed enslaved man and Elizabeth Amwood. All the while, Holland taunted them both, asking if it "was in" and "if it was sweet." Afterward, William "went up into the Company and Called for Water to wash his hand, saying he had bin putting a Mare to a horse."
Scholars have suggested that rape can serve as a metaphor for enslavement-thus applying to both men and women who were enslaved. As Aliyah I. Abdur-Rahman argues, "The vulnerability of all enslaved black persons to nearly every conceivable violation produced a collective 'raped' subjectivity." The standard scholarly interpretation of how slavery affected black manhood is perhaps best captured by the comments of one former slave, Lewis Clarke, who declared that a slave "can't be a man" because he could not protect his female kin from being sexually assaulted by owners and overseers. Clark's concern, the rape and sexual assault of black women and girls, has been well documented by the historical record. Thelma Jennings and others have analyzed the literal sexual assault of enslaved women in a range of contexts. Physical sexual abuse of women and girls under slavery ranged from acts of punishment to expressions of desire and from forms of forced reproduction to systems of concubinage. Slavery violated the masculinity of black men who were denied the ability to protect vulnerable female dependents. According to Deborah Gray White, "Those who tried to protect their spouses were themselves abused." The emasculating psychic toll, White further argued, could have led men to eschew monogamy or resist marriage altogether.
The rape of Elizabeth Amwood reveals that black manhood under slavery was also violated in other ways that are less easily spoken of (then and now), namely, the sexual exploitation of enslaved men. The historical sexual assault of men and boys is well known, if mostly unarticulated. The scholarship on early America shows us numerous instances of rape and sexual assault of men and boys. Ramón Gutiérrez has argued that individuals of the Native American third sex, or berdaches, were frequently prisoners of war used for sex and emasculated. We also know through the handful of extant sodomy cases that males have been so abused. The seventeenth-century Connecticut gentleman Nicholas Sension, for example, sexually preyed on his male servants. Virtually all of the cases of sodomy that came to the courts in early America involved individuals violating status boundaries-instructors on students, masters on servants. None involved peers.
In the context of slavery, literary scholars have shown that sexual abuse of men was part of the Spanish slave system in Cuba. Robert Richmond Ellis argues that the account of former slave Juan Francisco Manzano "has commonly been regarded as a searing indictment of a physical mistreatment of slaves" but "can also be read as silent testimony to a kind of abuse largely unacknowledged by historians of slavery and critics of slave narratives: the sexual violation of male slaves." As Ellis points out, the topic has largely gone unexplored for a wide variety of reasons, including the obvious barrier of the historical record in that "male victims of slave rape left behind no biological record in the form of offspring" as well as the prevalent homophobia in traditional Latin American societies, which would have prevented men from telling their stories given that "male sexual passivity .

Right Wing Group: Protections To Prevent Prison Rape Are Too ‘Costly’ And ‘Heavy-Hand

A right-wing “think tank” released a report today criticizing the Obama administration’s new anti-prison rape protections as a “burden” that is too “costly” and “heavy-handed.”

This week, the Department of Justice published new standards addressing the epidemic of rape and sexual abuse in our nation’s prisons. The guidelines, which apply immediately to federal prisons and give financial incentives for states to comply, are a laudable, widely praised, and long overdue step in combating rape in the United States.

The American Action Forum, a Wall Street-funded group whose C(4) runs millions of dollars in attack ads against Democrats, responded by lambasting the move as too “costly” and “complicated.” From their report:

Analysis: Despite an admirable goal, this “landmark rule” imposes a costly, complicated regulatory framework on states currently battling recurring budget deficits, offers little assurance of success, and fails to explain this new burden to the states as required by the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act. Not only is success questionable at best, the DOJ’s own estimates illustrate the fiscal effects of such a heavy-handed approach.

The Weekly Standard echoed AAF’s response, bemoaning the cost of preventing people from being raped in prison. The total expected cost is less than 1 percent of the overall cost of our prison system and ultimately “end up saving money — for example, by avoiding the medical costs of injuries suffered by rape victims,” according to the New York Times.

Sexual assault in prisons is so prevalent that more men are raped in the United States than women. Actually doing something about that, however, is too “costly” a “burden” for conservatives.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sandusky's Victims Were in Plain Sight

Two things can be said of virtually anyone you meet: Either they have been a victim of sexual abuse or they know someone who's been a victim, although they might be unaware of the latter. Many people would be like former Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington, who was shocked to discover an acquaintance among Jerry Sandusky's alleged victims. Arrington was mentioned multiple times by the witness identified as Victim No. 4 as Sandusky's trial got under way this week.
"My sadness and disappointment are growing as I realize that I knew this young man fairly well but didn't grasp the full extent of what he was going through," Arrington wrote in his Washington Post column. "So it's mind-blowing to realize that a kid I took an active interest in during my time at school was suffering right in front of me and I had no idea that the pain allegedly came from someone in my own football program."
Prosecutors state that Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive coordinator, sexually assaulted 10 boys from 1995 to 2008. Testimony thus far from the alleged victims -- now ranging in age from 18 to 28 -- has been graphic and heartbreaking.
Victim No. 1 broke down in tears and sobbed while describing his ordeal. He told of multiple instances in which Sandusky kissed him, fondled him or engaged in oral sex with him. The 18-year-old said that he eventually went to a school guidance counselor, who didn't believe him and thought that reporting Sandusky to authorities would be unwise.
"They said we needed to think about it and [Sandusky] has a heart of gold and he wouldn't do something like that," Victim No. 1 said. "So they didn't believe me."
I imagine that guidance counselor feels a lot worse than Arrington. It's one thing to be clueless about why a youngster might be acting out. But to be in a position of authority and discount a youngster's allegation is almost criminal.
Stepping forward with such painful admissions is hard enough for a child. Which is probably why children do so reluctantly (if at all), often after the abuse has gone on for a while.
There could be victims in your midst without your ever knowing, as Arrington painfully found out. Sports and other youth-related activities are much more careful in monitoring who works with them nowadays, but we must try to be much more perceptive toward our youths.
The victims are in plain sight, which makes it incumbent on us to improve our vision.
Deron Snyder's Loose Ball column appears regularly on The Root. Follow him on Twitter and reach him at BlackDoor Ventures, Inc.