New Information - A Typical Child Molester
When George's neighbors heard of the first accusation, they took his side. They didn't know who this 10-year-old girl from another city was, but they knew George. Some of them knew his parents.
When he admitted that he had molested so many little girls, their shock reverberated in their stories: "He was the last person you would imagine." "A very unusual case." "I've known this guy since grade school, it's unbelievable."
Everyone who knows George is sure of one thing: George is nothing like a typical child molester.
After all, he comes from a good home. His wife comes from a good home. George and his wife, their two children, and both sets of grandparents live near each other and go to the same church. He was baptized in the church and still attends regularly. He pays close attention to the rules. He pays all his bills a week before the due date. He has a college fund for his two sons. He rotates his tires. He drives within the speed limit.
George's wife and his neighbors believe that it's impossible - or extremely unusual - for an ordinary man in an ordinary family, a hard working responsible, husband and father of two, a man with high moral standards to be a child molester. They mistakenly believe that his family life, his acts of responsibility, his education, his moral values all protect George from becoming a child molester. In fact, they believe that those same things protect his family - and their families' children - from any connection with child molestation.
Is this an unusual case? If you lived in George's community what facts could you tell? You could repeat this fact: George's case is not in the least unusual. George is the typical child molester. He's married, educated, working, and religious.
Most people will tell you that this couldn't be right.
Researchers asked the 4,000 admitted child molesters in the Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study to answer questions about their lives. These abusers were men aged 18 to 80.
How does George compare? George is typical.
First of all, he's married, just like 77 percent of the more than 4000 child sexual abusers in the Child Molestation Prevention Study. George is religious, like 93 percent of the abusers. He's educated. More than 46 percent had some college education and another 30 percent were high school graduates. Like 65 percent of the admitted abusers, George was working. Numerous studies of adult victims have sought to link child molestation victims to lower social class and lower family income. All have failed. Child victims and their abusers exist equally in families of all income levels and classes. And, now from the study, we know that child molesters are as equally married, educated, employed, and religious as any other Americans.