Is Ally Fogg so insecure that he cannot abide the statistical analysis that child abuse is almost always by males?

Millennium Wheel London, November 2003

Millennium Wheel London, November 2003

Is Ally Fogg so insecure that he cannot abide the statistical analysis that child abuse is almost always by males?

Ally Fogg wrote a piece for the Guardian’s Comment is Free – Children do not have affairs with older women, they are abused by them.

The following is the combined two posts of magnoliaboulevard, challenging some of Fogg’s assumptions and intentions. Both posts were deleted within a couple of hours of appearing on the thread following the article.

Ally Fogg starts by referring us to a case in 1982 in this latest of his attempts to suggest that the sexual abuse of children and young people is shared equally between males and females or at very least that the latter is as prevalent and important as the former. He writes:

“While admittedly at the extreme, the father’s comments stem from our society’s degenerate and ignorant perspective on the sexual abuse of boys by women.”

And quoting the NSPCC“The judge’s comments in this case send out completely the wrong message and confirm a common view in society that the abuse of a young boy by a woman is somehow less serious than the abuse of a girl by a man.”

Which based on the fact that a “young boy” has yet to be made pregnant by a woman, the “common view” is actually correct. It is also correct when frequency of the crime is examined.

Research in 2000 also by the NSPCC on the prevalence of child abuse and neglect showed that the overwhelming amount of sexual abuse of children is carried out by men and boys:

Very few children (less than 1%) experienced abuse by professionals in a position of trust, for example a teacher, religious leader or care/social worker.
“For the children who experienced sexual abuse in the family, the most common perpetrator was a brother or stepbrother:”
38% of penetrative/oral acts of sexual abuse in the family were by a brother/stepbrother
23% were perpetrated by a father
14% were perpetrated by an uncle
13% were perpetrated by a stepfather
8% were perpetrated by a cousin
6% were perpetrated by a grandfather
4% were perpetrated by a mother.

For other forms of sexual abuse (attempted penetrative/oral acts, touching, voyeurism/pornography and exposure) brothers were also the most frequently cited perpetrator.

For the children who experienced sexual abuse outside of the family, the most common perpetrator was a boyfriend or girlfriend.

70% of penetrative/oral acts of sexual abuse outside of the family were by a boyfriend/girlfriend
17% were perpetrated by ‘someone I recently met’
10% were perpetrated by a fellow student/pupil
6% were perpetrated by a friend of their parents
6% were perpetrated by a friend of their brother/sister.

Very few children (less than 1%) experienced abuse by professionals in a position of trust, for example a teacher, religious leader or care/social worker.

Cawson, P. et al. (2000) Child maltreatment in the United Kingdom: a study of the prevalence of child abuse and neglect. London: NSPCC. p.81.

Fogg writes:

“That said, it is the intervention of the victim’s father that people will surely find most chilling and distressing. One might question how anyone could hypersexualise their own child in such a way and to such an extent.”

Fogg doesn’t explain how he has reached this conclusion about the father given that all he quotes the father saying is that his son was “sex mad” and ‘“fully up for the experience”… acquired a “notch on his belt” and that he was “totally unaffected by it”.

Is Fogg claiming that the father deliberately and consciously “hypersexualised” his child? It seems to me to be a rather reckless thing to publish in a national newspaper.

We are not told by Fogg whether pornography was involved in this “hypersexualisation”, but it is the availability of online pornography, much of it of an extreme kind, that daily does most to “hypersexualise” boys and young men and there are increasing amounts of research to demonstrate this.

Paula Hall is a psychologist who treats people for sex and porn addiction. She has seen demand for therapy take off.

“Some of the clients I’ve worked with who are addicted to porn have experienced really significant consequences as a result. Fifty per cent have lost a relationship because of it, 20% have suffered from mental health issues, 25% have sexual dysfunctions but critically about 20% have experienced a serious desire to want to commit suicide.”
She is particularly worried about adolescent males. “There is more and more research suggesting porn is having a direct impact on the brain. Particularly on the adolescent brain,” she says. “We know our brains thrive on novelty. What pornography is doing is giving us super normal stimuli, it’s exaggerating what is a natural and instinctive desire to seek out attractive natural partners, but it is exaggerating that – the brain is
becoming more wired towards those pornographic images than it is towards partnered sex.”

Yet Ally Fogg is not only silent about this here but is on record defending the availability of freely available porn with the following nonsense:

“Apart from anything else there is some “high art” which can be as damaging to the participants and offensive to the audience as any porn.”

(Guardian article – I’ll save my sympathy for the exploited women, Cath Elliott, April 2009)

His views may have changed in the intervening years as more evidence of the availability of online pornography becomes available, along with the distorting effect it has on boys’ and young men’s perception and understanding of what sexual relationships are about.

However, this view in effect is saying that “any porn” is harmless as an internet search of “pornography as high art” reveals very few examples, one of which is described by Jonathan Jones in the Guardian article on Egon Schiele:

“What happened in Schiele’s case? There is no question that his drawings and watercolours are provocative. Nude Girls Reclining (1911), depicts two very young girls lying side by side. Schiele draws their bodies with a steady hand, capturing the curve of one’s breast in close juxtaposition with her companion’s tuft of pubic hair between neatly defined legs; the sharp drawing of their bodies contrasts with the wash of colour that is the drapery among which they lie, and the dark waterfalls of their hair. The girl in the foreground looks at Schiele, her eyes turned down, her mouth slightly open, a blush on her cheek. It is as unequivocal as a cheap pornographic postcard bought in a Vienna back street (and such images definitely provided Schiele with iconographic ideas).”

Two Women Embracing, Two Girls (Lovers) – the titles get monotonous. There are plenty of solitary women posing for Schiele, too. In 1912, the year he was arrested, he got an – adult – prostitute to pose for him, lifting up her skirts. In another drawing from that year, a woman stretches and, yawning, shows us her vagina. It must have been pieces like this the parents and police in Neulengbach feared Schiele had shown to their daughters. And he surely had.”

Incidentally Jones concludes – “That’s what is extraordinary about Schiele’s art: it does not comment on life, it takes part in life. It is not like pornography. It is pornography. It is also high and serious art, a doubleness that may only have been possible in Vienna on the eve of the first world war.”

It is a view with which I don’t agree. It is nothing like the violent pornography of today’s internet.

And how many boys and young men are going to seek out Schiele’s works to “hypersexualise” themselves when far more extreme and damaging porn is available 24/7 at the click of a mouse?

Fogg concludes his article with another of the tiny number of cases (less than 1%) of abuse of children and teenagers by professionals in a position of trust, for example a teacher, religious leader or care/social worker, with that of Caroline Berriman, a 30-year-old teaching assistant who was convicted on three counts of illegal sexual activity with a child. The child here was a 15 year old although Fogg, for some reason declines to inform his readers of the student’s age. Instead he tell us:

“You will have to scour the cuttings long and hard to find any mention of child abuse, molestation, paedophilia or rape. In many cases such language would not be pejorative, it would be entirely accurate.”

Does “Paedophilia or rape“, feature in either of the teachers’ cases he writes about or in any of the “less than 1% committed by professionals in a position of trust, for example a teacher, religious leader or care/social worker.?

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