Though this blog is was originally intended as a resource for offenders in Massachusetts, much of what I write about is applicable to sex offenders in every other state and many countries around the world, especially in Western Europe. Even other non-sex offenders trying to navigate prison, probation and parole, or employment and education opportunities can glean relevant information from this blog and apply it to help overcome their own struggles.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hysteria

In response to this blog article:
http://www.newdirectionsacs.com/sex-offender-specific-treatment-provider/bid/27867/Sex-Offender-Hysteria

It seems every generation the public needs some group to hate in the name of protection.  Thanks to the internet, when it comes to sex offenders you can spread false information and scare others like never before.   The relative anonymity of the internet means one is not accountable for his comments, misinformation, and disinformation.  In a way, some of these folks are "cell warriors" in public; behind the safety of a computer they'll say anything but when they walk out their door they don't speak with as much bluster or righteousness.

Many comments in the media or news article comment sections aren't grounded in any sort of science.  Many times, these same people say sex offenders can never be cured.  I don't even think that's the appropriate question, whether or not we sex offenders can be "cured".  You don't cure sexuality or sexual behavior in any of its forms, you manage these behaviors.  There are sex offenders who reoffend with a sex offense, yes, but its not to the epidemic proportions many are lead to believe.  If that were the case, and with all of the many facets of protection parents and the public use to protect children, wouldn't we by now know about unseen daily rampage of child molestations by sex offenders?

To be blunt, many in the public don't know what they are talking about when it comes to sex offenders.  They've never looked at an actuarial table, talked with a seasoned chief probation officer, or followed a sex offender for years after he has been adjudicated.  But it's difficult and uncomfortable to have one's worldview questioned since it has been a cozy companion for years.   Any sentiment falling short of "kill all child molesters" "and throw them in prison for life" could mean you are a sympathizer or a soft-on-crime liberal, right?

It will take time, but the hysteria has reached it's apogee, and a more realistic and effective conversation  is taking place everywhere.  It may take a few decades or so, but American's obsession and hysteria toward sex offenders will subside to a more rational state.