Quote Originally Posted by mmmm8 View Post
Woody used the coach example first, so I was just responding to him.

The assault statistics don't really prove anything, other than that proximity and children having their guard down make things easier for abusers. How do you know it's NOT the indoctrination of "stranger danger" in children (it's a really stupid phrase...) that protects them and leads to lower rates of abuse from stranger? I'm not saying that's likely, I'm saying the stats cited don't dispute it.

I guess when you were in your earlier teens, you've never had middle aged men try to "get to know you" while your mother turned away for 5 minutes, paint you because you look "just like a Renaissance Madonna" ("how about a topless painting?"), or invite you into a threesome. These are just some of the examples from before I turned 15 that I can actually laugh about.

I think you're right in your last point (lalck of role models leading to toxic masculinity) but it contradicts what you're saying (close males are likelier to abuse?)
I had edited out big chunks of what I said earlier to get it closer to concise bullet points, but I do agree with you about girls in preteen/early teen years. There's something about that age that brings out a very specific type of male attention. It's when girls are the most vulnerable, and the most malleable. I also think it's a blind spot for a lot of men, who couldn't understand the idea of being attracted to a preteen, even though it's a universal experience for girls. I think in this conversation, you're talking mostly about propositioning/catcalling (which is clear in retrospect by the use of 'leering'), while I'm talking about grooming/molestation. Propositioning/catcalling would certainly come almost exclusively from strangers.

I'm sure "stranger danger" has prevented some random kidnappings, but not by some gigantic percentage. I'd guess that ratio has stayed fairly consistent, even throughout history. Articles say that the idea became popularized in the early 80s when there were some well televised kidnappings. I suspect that it's increasing popularity is also partially a reaction to scandals from the Catholic Church.

I think "be terrified of strangers" is a way of deflecting guilt about parents/society frequently trusting the wrong people. If it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to abuse a child. There are so many cases where the parents and the community had multiple red flags, but gave power and access to predators. It's much easier to tell your child to be terrified of the strange man down the street then it is to have a serious conversation about bodily autonomy, or to do due diligence on the pastor or coach.

I thought the role models thing might need more explanation. I think that "known male" isn't specific enough. "High status male" is probably closer to the truth. It's more about power and access. Parents won't think twice about giving power to a family friend, or coach, or priest, but will think it's creepy if the 3rd grade teacher or pediatric nurse is a male. In those cases, certain high status positions are considered automatically known or trustworthy.