In Reply to: Re: Sara D. was sexually molested as a child posted by Exer on February 17, 2004 at 14:31:37:
Now that I've read significant portions of The Story of Davidito, I will offer a professional impression of this material. Sara really and truly appears to have enjoyed herself in a self-gratifying manner. In other words, she "got off on it" and expresses a level of personal excitement, arousal and emotional release that I found astonishing.
I was astonished first as a mother who has raised sons and knows from experience that little boys get erections from infancy onward. I also know that little boys can be extremely affectionate. These behaviors are typical, run-of-the-mill stuff. Because I was not under the influence of Berg, I never felt the need to make my sons' sexual development the center of my interest and concern as a caregiver.
I was also astonished as a social worker whose experience in working with offenders is limited to young male adolescent perps with a history of abuse. My very limited experience with young male victim-offenders suggests their behavior is often tangled up with a socially-learned role of dominance and aggression.
Sara's vivid, enthusiastic descriptions of her sexualized exchanges with Davidito prompted me to read up on women perps. Case studies of these women suggest their behavior can be explained in terms of the 'cycle of violence & addiction' models of social interaction.
Simply put, a female offender like Sara perpetrates in response to social stressors and internal anxiety states. Emotional tension builds in relation to environmental stress. Who wouldn't feel stressed out living in the Zerby-Berg household? Who wouldn't generally feel stressed out living in TF and dealing with the paranoia inherent in that belief system?
When the female perp arouses and stimulates the child, she experiences a release of endorphins (brain chemicals) that calm her down and create a temporary state of feeling safe & secure. WOMEN WHO PERP ON INFANTS AND TODDLERS OFTEN HAVE AN HISTORY OF UNRESOLVED SEXUAL ABUSE. There is some evidence that they are unconsciously re-enacting their own victimization.
I am NOT sharing these observations to excuse Sara D's behavior or absolve her of responsibility for perpetrating on a child. As a woman with a history of abuse, I was deeply disturbed by Sara D's account of her "care-giving" behavior with a very small child. Those who want to understand what goes on with female perps may find the information I've shared helpful. It's not the same dynamic as what goes on with male perps.