Late on the Friday afternoon of Sept. Had you, we asked, ever behaved toward girls or women in ways you now regret? Not all of them were from men recounting past experiences of committing or witnessing sexual assault. A number of women said they were frustrated to see that we were once again seeking to view the world from a male perspective. But a remarkable number of stories poured in from men about past misbehavior. The stories covered a wide spectrum of sexual misconduct, some of it deeply disturbing: There were multiple submissions that discussed participating in gang rapes. We had to leave out many compelling submissions, because The Times decided we would not publish these stories anonymously. And so, many of the same men who submitted searching accounts of who they once were declined to attach their names.
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In the early s, a therapist named Robert Longo was treating adolescent boys who had committed sex offenses. Their offenses ranged from fondling girls a few years younger than they were to outright rape of young children. As part of their treatment, the boys had to keep journals — which Longo read — in which they detailed their sexual fantasies and logged how frequently they masturbated to those fantasies.
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Most parents want to know why this happened. Why did their teen sexually harm someone else? There is almost never a single reason why a teen engages in illegal sexual behavior. More often such behavior is the result of many factors. Following are the most common reasons. Most adolescents are curious about sex. Some of them will take advantage of an opportunity to find out more—with younger children. The police may charge them, and even arrest them, perhaps at school, and take them into custody and that they may be held in detention and charged as a delinquent, or in some cases, with an adult crime.
The reason is because it happened to me. One evening, when I was six, he offered to babysit me and my older sister at his house. He could do these pitch-perfect character voices, and in that way, he was charismatic and appealing to children. The werewolf would howl, he said, his thirst for the blood of children relentless, until one night he came charging through a window of a house trying to catch the little girl inside. The broken glass pierced his throat, and then he was dead, his head hanging over the sill, blood dripping down the wall to the floor. And then my sister went to bed, and I sat in his small, dimly lit kitchen, on his lap, as he nuzzled my hair and then my ear and neck, and squeezed me hard and soft at the same time. I remember staring fixedly at the window in his kitchen, into the dark snowy night, through a pane of cold glass, the moon casting shadows, a dark tree, listening for the howl of the werewolf, trying not to pay attention to what was actually happening. After a couple of years, when I started to understand how inappropriate his behavior was, I refused to have anything to do with him. I never told my parents anything. Uncle Doug did not hurt me physically, but he laid the groundwork for who and what I would become with men throughout my adolescence and into my early adulthood — a wreckage of fondled girlhood looking out a dark window whenever a man was on top of me.