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Redefine Manhood – 5/52 Ways to Stop Pedophiles

January 30, 2013

It’s commonly said that child sexual abuse is not about sex. It’s about power and domination. Not all pedophiles are sexually aroused by immature bodies, but they target kids because they are easier to manipulate than adults. Such men may become conditioned to find excitement only with children they can control – the weakest links.

Culturally, our boys are expected to be powerful. If not with their body, then powerfully smart. Failing smart or strong, they must try to become well-connected. When a boy doesn’t fit any of these molds, he may use the power of intimidation and weapons to make his mark in a challenging world.

We’ve been moving the bar higher and higher, pressuring boys to man up. Girls are increasingly in competition for the same type of power, and conflicted when they primp in preparation for being taken as a prize.

I know, these are generalizing statements – not about all boys/men. The topic here is pedophiles –  men who use the power of distorted manhood against children. Much of that distortion comes from how we raise our boys.

Colin Stokes says, “I think we have got to show our sons a new definition of manhood.” Stokes touches on sexual assault in his TEDx Beacon Street talk, The Hidden Meanings in Kids Movies. Please, watch his thoughtful talk about what our children are learning on the screen. He notes that adults also take in the messages unaware of the poison.

A rallying cry akin to burning bras in the 70’s is a recent call to action by Clay Bonnyman Evans that appeared in the Daily Camera. Read his editorial titled, Evans: Let’s burn our ‘man cards’ and start over.

Evans, who has written many insightful pieces about CSA, relates a compassionate view about preparing boys for their future. He writes, “It’s time we all protested by burning those old, distorted ‘man cards’ and started talking about what it means — or rather, what it should mean — to be a man.”

Redefining manhood and redirecting misused power is key to stopping pedophiles. There’s plenty to learn, and much to be done. Let’s huMan UP and do better.

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