Sexual Citizenship and Human Rights:
What Can the US Learn from the EU and European Law?
Eidman Courtroom, Room 2.306
Connally Center for Justice (CCJ), School of Law
The University of Texas at Austin
727 East Dean Keeton St.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22
4:00-4:15 p.m. Introduction to Conference
Director, Center for European Studies, UT Austin; Co-Director, EU Center of Excellence, UT Austin; Superior Oil Company-Linward Shivers Centennial Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Professor, Department of Classics, UT Austin; Fellow of Mary Helen Thompson Centennial Proffesorship in the Humanities
4:15-6:30 p.m. Session One: Same-Sex Marriage and Family
Moderator: Thomas Hubbard
Helmut Graupner: Keynote Speaker
“Sexual Orientation - The Case-law of the European Court of Human Rights”
With the right to individual application and the binding force of judgments the European Court of Human Rights became the most powerful international human rights tribunal making the European Convention of Human Rights the world´s most effective human rights treaty. During the past 30 years the Court has been developing the by far most comprehensive and most progressive case-law on sexual orientation among international judicial bodies. This presentation will provide an overview on this case-law by the Court competent for over 800 million people, from criminalization in the beginning to marriage- and family-issues these days.
“Three Cheers for Equality! But Don’t Forget that Marriage is about Money”
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 received royal assent on 17 July 2013 and is expected to come into force in England and Wales in the summer of 2014. There was very little lobbying for it – even Stonewall, the gay pressure group, was uninterested – and the Act, supported by all three main political parties, passed with very little fuss or notice. What media attention it received focused on issues of equality and the struggle against homophobia; the legal consequences of marriage were largely ignored, as they had been when the Civil Partnership Act 2004 was passed. Though the CPA conferred identical rights, the conservative appeal of the word ‘marriage’ ensured that advocates would not stop until they had won the status in name as well as in fact. Yet heterosexual marriage has been in long-term decline in the UK for decades, as in all western countries. It has been argued that one reason for this has been women’s increased economic power, with the availability of alternative means of support making marriage to a breadwinning husband less essential and, therefore, less likely. Indeed, the reciprocity of marital support obligations on divorce has made it financially disadvantageous for women at both ends of the wealth spectrum to formalise relationships with dependent men. The absence of a gendered power dynamic in same-sex relationships has led some advocates of same-sex marriage to present the institution as a new, equality-based model for all marriages. Such a representation ignores the profound, historical and continuing economic basis of marriage and the fact that protection of an economically weaker partner lies at the heart of our marriage laws. It is only on the ending of a relationship that the true effects of legal regulation become clear. Interviews conducted with people who have dissolved their civil partnership reveal that, for those with property to dispute over, the court’s discretion on dissolution to override previously agreed arrangements or understandings often comes as an expensive surprise, particularly when the judge is influenced by heterosexual models of marriage. This paper will explore the effects that ignorance or greater understanding of the economic effects of legal regulation might have on decisions made by same-sex couples, and will make some predictions about the future of same-sex marriage and the civil partnership in England.
“The Law and Public Opinion on the Freedom to Marry in Texas 1997-2013”
Before 1997 only practice prohibited two people of the same sex from marrying in Texas. Since then rule, statute, court precedent and event the State Constitution have changed creating what can seem like an insurmountable barrier to the freedom to marry. At the same time public opinion has shifted dramatically. Where once the law was silent and public opinion was almost universally opposed to same-sex marriage. Now the law is vocal and the majority of Texans support some form of legal recognition for same-sex relationships. "The Law and Public Opinion on the Freedom to Marry in Texas 1997-2013" walks, step by step, through these cultural and legal shifts and demonstrates how they interact with each other.
“Neoliberalism and Gay Marriage”
The United States is set to recognize Gay Marriage in all states, possibly in five years or less. This is being hailed as nothing less than an end to "second-class citizenship" for gay citizens and the end of a form of inequality. This presentation will demonstrate, through historical details and analysis, that, in fact, Gay Marriage in the US (and elsewhere) is a sign of the triumph of neoliberalism, particularly in its shoring up on of a privatized state where resources and even life-saving benefits like healthcare are now only available through the contractual obligations established by filial and marital relations.
6:30-8:00 p.m. Reception, Buffet, and Cash Bar
8:00-9:20 p.m. Session Two: Transgender Rights
Moderator: Richard Schott, Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs, UT Austin
Carla LaGata/Carsten Balzer
“The Human-Rights Situation of Trans People in Europe – Legal Rights, Health Care, and Safety”
Based on years of research of Transgender Europe’s Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide research project as well as additional sources, the presentation will provide a general overview of the complex situation of European trans people’s human rights in terms of legal rights, health care, and safety. The existence of diverse legal systems and especially differing practices throughout Europe has led to a highly varied legal situation. Therefore, the TvT research focuses not only on the existence or absence of trans-specific/-inclusive legislation, but also on the actual practices that shape the legal situation. In terms of legal gender recognition, for instance, so-called “gate-keepers” –medical specialists who are responsible for diagnosing trans people with “Gender Identity Disorder” and thus can grant or deny a person from changing documents – play a significant role. The research results also show a differentiated picture of trans people’s health care situation in Europe. The analysis of the availability of trans-specific healthcare and informed health-care professionals, the specific requirements for access to trans-specific healthcare, and the limitations of funding for trans-specific health-care have led to some problematic outcomes. These outcomes center on ‘alternative’ practices that can be found throughout Europe, for instance, acquiring hormones on the black market or on the Internet and taking them without medical supervision, which can lead to serious health problems. The presentation will also draw on some results from TvT’s research on trans people’s experiences with transphobia, transphobic hate violence and incidents, and their impacts on communities and societies. Here, the TvT research results show that in Europe intersections of discrimination play a significant role and especially affect migrants, people of color, and other marginalized groups. Furthermore, the analysis suggests that societal transphobia does not only directly relate to or abet violence against and murders of trans people, it also serves to conceal the very existence of transphobic hate violence and murder.
Phyllis Randolph Frye
“Current Status of Transgender Law in the United States”
Transgender Law in the United States has changed radically and for the better over the past five decades. In the 1960's there was no protection from outright and overt discrimination against transgenders in the areas of employment, family, health, insurance, housing, education, documents, prison, military and other areas of the law. While transgenders and their legal and political advocates are still fighting for a variety of rights in some of these areas, the accomplishments are many and momentum for continued positive change is clearly visible and palpable. Attorney Phyllis Randolph Frye of Houston, Texas, will speak on this and on how she became the first out transgender judge in the United States.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23
9:00-11:00 a.m. Session Three: Anti-Discrimination
Moderator: Karen Engle, Professor, School of Law, UT Austin, Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair
“Soft Law against Discrimination - What's the Point? The Origins, Contents and Purpose of Council of Europe Recommendation [CM/Rec(2010)5] to Combat Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.”
The Council of Europe is a European intergovernmental human rights organisation. It includes 47 member states, 28 of which are also members of the European Union, with a population of about 820 million. All Council of Europe member states have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The sovereign interpreter of the Convention is the European Court of human rights. The Court hands down rulings on alleged Convention violations, rulings that are binding upon the member states. The highest decision making body of the Council of Europe - apart from the Court - is the Committee of Ministers, which is made up of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of all 47 member states.
In March of 2010 the Committee of Ministers unanimously adopted a Recommendation to the governments of all 47 member states to take measures against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. As the name of the document indicates, the Recommendation is not in itself legally binding, but contains guidelines for action to be taken by governments with respect to legislation, policies and practices in accordance with the principles and measures set out in the Recommendation proper as well as in its appendix. This presentation will give an overview of how the Recommendation came about and its contents. It will also discuss what possible impact the Recommendation may have on the situation of tens of millions of LGBT citizens of Europe.
“Legal Coming Out. Does It Work in Poland?”
In my paper I will try to highlight the necessity of including the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity into legal texts and its direct impact on the quality of lives of LGBT people in Poland. I will focus on employment discrimination and hate crimes which are very good and illustrative examples of progressing LGBT rights in my country. Just to let you know that Polish labour law directly prohibits discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation but stays silent with regard to criminal law which results with visible differences in reporting discriminatory actons.
Nathan Berg & Donald Lien
“Measurement Problems in Linking Sexual Orientation to Labor Market Earnings”
Against the backdrop of the common stereotype that GLB workers tend to have more disposable income than their heterosexual counterparts, General Social Survey data indicate that GLB workers are paid less than heterosexual workers with similar markers of workplace productivity. Conflicting results in previously published studies concerning the existence of GLB/hetero wage gaps will be discussed in light of different labor market conditions, policy environments, and statistical approaches. Methodological choices by quantitative researchers studying GLB populations are fraught with several distinct challenges that leave room for ongoing debate about descriptive facts characterizing GLB populations. For example, several frequently cited studies reporting no GLB wage disparity "measure" GLB status as having cohabitated with a non-related same-sex adult. Loose definitions such as that obviously suffer from high rates of both false positives and false negatives. Our efforts to extract valid information from data with multiple measurement errors indicate evidence of unequal outcomes for equivalently qualified GLB workers and suggest that a larger GLB population is effected than most previous studies have indicated.
Ryan H. Nelson
“Remedies for Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace: What Is and What Could Be”
Laws aimed at eradicating sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace take two forms: laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) applicants and employees (equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws), and laws that require employers to take affirmative action to recruit and advance in employment LGB applicants and employees (affirmative action laws). This paper analyzes the growth and effectiveness of EEO and affirmative action laws in terms of effectively curbing discrimination against LGB applicants and employees while concomitantly minimizing the burden on employers. Moreover, this paper examines the difficulties of eliminating discrimination on the basis of a relatively-inconspicuous classification like sexual orientation as compared to other such classifications (e.g., religion, national origin, veteran status) and as contrasted to relatively-apparent classifications (e.g., race, sex, age, disability status). Finally, this paper takes a look at what could be. To date, there remain no federal laws(EEO or affirmative action) addressing sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. Foremost, this paper takes a look at how states and localities have served as laboratories of experiment in terms of determining the most effective ways to curb sexual orientation discrimination. And finally, this paper will assess the pros and cons of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as well as the proposed “ENDA Executive Order” – the proposed affirmative action law addressing sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace on a national scale.
11:00-11:15 a.m. Coffee Break
11:15-1:15 p.m. Session Four: Youth Sexual Rights
Moderator: Thomas Hubbard
Kathryn Bond Stockton
“The Queer Child Now and Its Paradoxical, Global Effects”
What is the figure of the ghostly “gay” child? How has it been changing, conceptually and politically, in our current century? Has its ghostly specificity subsided? Is the trans-child a more distinct entity with a different relation to “consent”? Is the judiciary in the U.S. starting to imagine children’s right to queerness and what would this mean for sexual childhood? Engaging these questions, this talk speculates on something that’s been surfacing in Anglo American public culture over the last eight years or so. A future the public fears is coming—child sexuality—evidenced by sexting, “gay” kids in middle school, and sexual bullying —is now accompanying exportation of a fading child (the figure of the innocent child) to other lands, where it seems available to be rediscovered. Quite paradoxically, aesthetics of world documentaries on the-child-in-peril-in-the-third-world (a genre enjoying conspicuous success on the art-film circuit in the U.S.) may be “restoring” the Western-style innocent child through, of all things, the sexualized, racialized, HIV child. What explains this odd development? Moreover, how does literature, especially experimental literary form, run against this fray? These are the questions explored by this talk.
“Sexual Rights for Youngsters and the Fight for Their Self-determination in the Netherlands Since the 1950s”
In the slipstream of the sexual revolution, a pedophile movement developed in the Netherlands since the late 1950s that separated itself from the homophile movement. Its main leaders were psychologist Frits Bernard and senator Ed Brongersma. Its main successes were in the 1970s when police officers, psychiatrists and politicians supported claims of self-determination for all, including young people and journalists gave these demands serious attention. The sexual revolution saw a strong critique of authority be it in the family, psychiatry, justice, education or church also from inside these institutions. A main focus was the will to change oppressive structures of the past and create (sexual) freedom for all including for youth. Feminists and gay activists denounced the family because of its patriarchal and homophobic character. But part of the sexism feminists attacked from the 1980s on was the sexual abuse of girls by fathers (replacing the topic of physical abuse of children by parents) that was soon extended to all sexual abuse of minors by adults. The idea of children who should be empowered to determine their own sexual lifes, was transformed into a perspective that sexuality was a risk and danger for young people. From the late 1990s on ("Dutroux"), the pedophile became the pivotal monster that endangered the sexual innocence of children. Risk prevention replaced self-determination. The control of the nuclear family on "their" children became more strict again and the idea of young people's sexual self-determination got totally lost.
“Pedophilia in Germany – How to Create a New Anti-social Enemy by Former Anti-Social Protagonists”
Discourse about pedophilia in Germany today is the result of a successful emancipation – of the homosexuals of course, not the pedophiliacs. Homosexual emancipation and its turn into a civil rights club for well-off white people instead of a social movement made it necessary to emancipate from former allies, who will never be part of a common society. Next to some radical peace groups, especially pedophiliacs have been nixed from the list of welcome friends of the homosexual emancipation movement. The same liberal, social democric, green and socialist think tanks that during previous decades had supported emancipation of pedophiliacs and end of penalization today use the old medical-biological interpretations to doom pedophilia, which had been used before to condemn homosexuality or female emancipation.
“Governing Children and Youth and the Socio-legal Regulation of Sexual Danger:Exploring Youthful Sexualities, Age Relations, and Legislation in Canada, 2001-2008”
In the first decade of the 21st century Canadian lawmakers have intensified the social and legal regulation of child and youth sexualities spearheading a law-and-order agenda on child protectionism. My paper critically examines recent laws, such as the Omnibus Bill C-2, which increased the age of sexual consent in Canada from 14 to 16 and placed tighter restrictions on child pornography. I seek to understand how the regulatory scope of legal and governmental discourses, especially as represented by the various justice committee discussions pertaining to the age of consent and child pornography laws, draw upon conceptions of the child at risk from sexual malfeasance as a pre-eminent way of conceiving of and mobilizing child protection. Drawing from the work of Michel Foucault at others, I investigate the social organization of governmental practices and legal regulation as they serve to construct objects of thought about the child as a site of social regulation that draws on normative conceptions of bodies, sexualities, gender, desires, and families and their connection to shifting relations between the law, the state, and criminal, psychiatric and medical expertise. My paper aims to uncover how discourses of child/youth sexualities have become a discursive formation that enables the intensification of governmental and sovereign power in the lives of children and youth as it constructs a figure deemed to be ungovernable and in need of totalizing forms of surveillance and security measures.
1:15-2:15 p.m. Lunch On Your Own
2:15-5:00 p.m. Session Five: Pornography and Children
Moderator: Sabine Hake, Professor, Department of Germanic Studies, UT Austin; Center for Women's and Gender Studies; Department of Geography and the Environment; Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture
“The 17-Year-Old-Child – European Union Sex Offence Legislation between Protection and Paternalism”
Since 2003 the European Union has been legislating on child-pornography and other forms of child sexual exploitation. The adoption of supranational measures has been crucial and overdue given the cross-border dimensions of these serious violations of children’s human rights. These measures contain not only sexual offences, penalties and procedural rules but also care for child victims and treatment for offenders. Proposed and, to some extent, even adopted legislation however also involved aspects nothing to do with children, pornography or exploitation, and caused criminal law practices which seem highly problematic under a human rights perspective. This presentation will outline the development of European Union sex offence legislation in its tension between protection and paternalism, which, similar to the “war on terror”, involved dangers to a rational concept of criminal law hard-won since the Enlightenment, to fundamental rights and also to the very aim of this legislation itself: to effective protection of children from sexual exploitation.
Alisdair A. Gillespie
“Child Pornography as Expression?”
Child pornography is widely accepted as a vile and harmful product of the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. However technological advancements have led some to question whether traditional understandings of child pornography continue to apply to all forms of material. This paper will focus on whether there are any aspects of child pornography that can be classified as a form of expression and thus arguably protected by concepts such as free speech, artistic merit or personal integrity. Two principal forms of material will be examined: those that are presented as ‘art’ and those where teenagers send sexualised images of themselves to other teenagers (so-called ‘sexting’). Legal instruments will be analysed to assess the extent to which it can be claimed that any form of the presentation of a child in a sexualised form can be protected as a form of expression.
“Pederasts, Parents, Police and Moral Panic; the Ongoing Saga of Child Pornography”
This paper reviews the politics of child pornography laws from the 1970s to the present day, and the laws relationship to the concept of moral panic. Recent developments, including young teens exchanging naked images through social media and court decisions concerning compensation reprise questions about the intent behind the law and application.
“The Construction of the Harmfulness of Pornography”
There exists a long list of negative discourses on the subject of pornography and its consumption. These criticisms are in many cases not directly connected with pornography itself, but with various anxieties, contradictions, prejudices, and especially with traditional sexual morality. This paper deals with the nebulous concept of pornography and the hopeless or senseless strategies for banning it. What does pornography do to youth? This question will be approached from the standpoint of sexological research and youth studies. What does youth do with pornography? On this issue, the young person will be seen as an active subject of his own sexual socialization, and the consumption of pornography will be considered as a common or uncommon, meaningful or meaningless element of this socialization. According to my own research and inquiries, a fundamentally harmful effect of pornography upon the young cannot be confirmed. This popular fiction proves to be without scientific substance.
5:00-5:15 p.m. Coffee Break
5:15-7:00 p.m. Session Six: Sex Work, Migration, And Trafficking
Moderator: Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, UT Austin; Center for Mexican American Studies
“Contentious and Contradictory: Prostitution-law Campaigns in Europe”
Despite the sex-industry’s proliferation into areas where prostitution laws hardly apply, Europeans quarrel tirelessly over which law is correct. Notions of how to protect and serve women compete: 1-the Swedish/Nordic model, which prohibits buying sex whilst allowing its sale, holding that prostitution is violence against women and an absolute impediment to gender equality; 2- regulationism (partial legalisation), which favours allowing middle-class commercial establishments (clubs, bars, brothels) and prohibits street prostitution; 3-decriminalistion, which demands removal of all laws that penalise sex work and favours independent work. Ill-informed campaigns about sex trafficking obstruct pragmatic discussion of now dysfunctional migration laws. Essentialist notions of national sexualities compete with Europeanist proposals, and academic claims about ‘evidence of harm’ muddy the waters. The result is a constant barrage of contradictory messages.
“Toward an Understanding of Modern Day Slavery: Definitions, Typologies of Traffickers, and Voices of Survivors”
Despite that the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution abolished slavery it has re-emerged as a major national and international human rights problem. Modern slavery, defined as compelled service, involves force, fraud, or coercion where adults or children are trafficked for the purposes of sex and or labor. Trafficking in persons may include victimization through the sex industry, forced labor, debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude, or the unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers. This discussion will summarize the current knowledge about modern slavery including important definitions, typologies of traffickers, and what we know about needs of survivors as described by survivors themselves.
Sunday, November 24
9:00-11:00 a.m. Session Seven: Do Sex Offenders Have Human Rights?
Moderator: Thomas Hubbard
“Sex Offender Registries: History and Consequences”
Sex Offender Registries are slowly but finally being recognized as the deeply problematic tools of a punitive state which do nothing but increase the reach of a carceral state, bound to the logic of the prison industrial complex. In recent years, there has been some resistance to their growth, especially in cases like that of Kaitlyn Hunt, the Florida teenager arrested for her relationship with a younger girl. This presentation will consider the history of cases like Hunt's, which involve same-sex relations, and demonstrate that SORs and their consequences get even murkier when it comes to the LGBTQ population. In the case of Hunt, for instance, her presence as a blindingly white and beautiful young woman turned hers into a case of love gone awry. Meanwhile, gay men arrested for relations with younger teens remain demonized as pedophiles and monsters. The history of SORs is implicated in a long-held loathing for gay men in particular, and the fear of the gay man as pedophile still holds sway in the cultural imagination. This paper will present a history of SORs in general, with attention paid to the LGBTQ population.
Mary Sue Molnar
“Residency Restrictions and Child Safe Zones”
One of the most disconcerting aspects of current sex offender laws and policies is the imposition of residency restrictions and child safe zones upon thousands of registrants. These policies often result in unintended consequences, creating instability, harming family members, and wasting resources. Residency and proximity restrictions based on fear and hysteria have no empirical support. In fact, research shows that there is no correlation between residency restrictions/child safe zones and reducing sex offenses or improving the safety of children.
“The New Victims of the Sex Offender Registry”
Research regarding the effectiveness of the sex offender registry shows that it does not reduce recidivism but it does increase victimization. The new victims of the sex offender registry are the family, friends, and loved ones of the registrants. These new victims suffer tremendous harm at an alarming rate and they have done nothing to deserve it. There might be a way to reduce the number of new victims. A small percentage of those on the registry can get off the registry, or deregister, at their own expense. In Texas, the legislature has created deregistration that allows all but the high risk offenders to deregister. Fortunately, there is a sound scientific basis for identifying high risk sex offenders and it may be possible to safely let some sex offenders deregister, which may bring a backlash against deregistration. In order to overcome this backlash, it might be necessary to use the media to address the deep seated biases and emotions that threaten to undo the good that come from deregistration.
William H. Andriette
“Sexual Politics beyond Human Rights”
Both the concept of human rights (HR) and its postwar institutionalization face critique from a variety of angles: that HR are concomitant and cover to hyperbolically powerful states and enervated polities; that they represent a Western imperialist or colonial agenda; that they downplay material, cultural, and political realities more important to basic human well-being; that they encode Western values and neoliberal economics; that they bracket out the natural world. These criticism, however, have largely failed to 'take' in that HR (both as concept and as institutionalized) are seen as the essential legitimizing standard of policy. The inclusion of GLBT issues under the HR umbrella -- Amnesty International exemplifies -- has been one of the most notable developments in HR in the last generation. Yet the success of Western sexual-identity politics, whose embrace by HR is a high water-mark, has proven paradoxical. Sexual liberalization seems inextricable from a repressive backlash that by some measures (erosion of fundamental legal protections, numbers imprisoned) exceeds the space for individual freedom gained (elimination of sodomy laws that for generations were rarely invoked; largely symbolic recognition of same-sex marriage, anti-discrimination protection). In particular, GLBT 'nationalism' is intertwined the counter-nationalism of 'pedophilia', which nonetheless encodes anthropologically dominant forms of homosexuality. The invocation of sexual-identity claims in HR terms provides a rich set of contradictions which shed light on critiques of HR and its adequacy as final and fundamental basis of legitimacy. In particular, the HR-bearing subject has become sexually identified in a manner that perniciously deprives some of those most in need of claims to HR.
11:00-11:15 a.m. Coffee Break
11:15-1:15 p.m. Session Eight: Therapeutic Approaches to Sex Offending
Moderator: Thomas Hubbard
Fred S. Berlin
“Understanding Pedophilia and Other Paraphilias from a Psychiatric Perspective”
The word “pedophilia” is a diagnostic term employed by the psychiatric community to designate a specific type of mental disorder. However, today that term has taken on a different meaning in society’s collective consciousness, serving as a demonizing pejorative that ostracizes those manifesting the condition. This conceptual review is intended to bring enhanced clarity to the matter of how one should understand pedophilia from a psychiatric perspective, its cultural context, and its treatment. The presentation will also give an overview of other paraphilias as well. The review addresses (1) the nature of pedophilia, differentiating it from disorders of character, (2) etiological contributory factors, (3) whether those with it are deserving of treatment, (4) why treatment is even needed, (5)psychosocial and medical interventions, (6) treatment outcome, and (7) recent legislative initiatives related to the condition. From a mental health perspective, it is important to appreciate that pedophilia is meant to designate a diagnosable, and potentially treatable, psychiatric condition, rather than a “criminal mind-set” reflective of a disregard for society’s values.
“The European Perspective on Prevention Programs Aimed at Minor Attracted Adults”
There are several European programs aimed at the prevention of child sexual abuse by targeting the potential abuser. There are now programs that offer anonymous help in Germany, Denmark, Great Britain and the Netherlands. The Dutch Stop it Now! program started April 2012 and is quite successful. In this presentation I shall report on the organization of the program, on our mission, on the group of men we are reaching and on the reaction of the public and of the paedophilic community. I shall compare the different European programs and also report on a research project from the Dutch and British Stop it Now! (subsidized by the European Union) that aims at developing a toolkit for European countries for the implementation of a prevention program.
“Sex Offender Treatment: the View From the Inside”
The Free on-line dictionary defines “treatment” as “the care and management of a patient to combat, ameliorate, or prevent a disease, disorder, or injury.” A synonym that is offered is “therapy.” The term “sex offender treatment” therefore, suggests that the sex offenders are being offered a form of psychotherapy. Drawing on my own experience, both as a sex offender who has been through “treatment” and as a mental health professional (MSW) I would suggest that the corrective procedures to which I have been subjected are not treatment at all, but a form of law-enforcement that exacerbates rather than ameliorates the presumed disorder that it purports to “treat.” This claim will be explored in relation to the following generally accepted principles of psychotherapy: (1). The need for clarity with regard to who the client is. (2). The central importance of careful listening. (3). The thoughtful and appropriate use of individual and social narratives. (4). The importance of facilitating social integration and adjustment. (5). Enhancing self-esteem. (6). Respect for boundaries.(7). Simple honesty. Finally I will very briefly suggest some of the elements that might be important if sex-offender treatment were to actually become a form of therapy.