Co-sleeping and sexual abuse? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-09-2006, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been recently presented the opinion that under no circumstances should parents and children of different genders sleep in the same bed, which I assume is related to the fear of sexual abuse of the child from a parent of the opposite sex.

I started doing some research and found this interesting tid-bit:
Quote:
Western observers even today often notice that Japanese mothers still masturbate their young children during the day in public and at night in the family bed - in order, they say, "to put them to sleep."(156) The average Japanese today sleeps with his or her children until the children are ten or fifteen years old,"(157) - one recent Japanese study found daughters still sleeping with their fathers over 20 percent of the time even after age sixteen.(158) Even when the home contains a dozen rooms or more, parents and grandparents feel "lonely" if they sleep apart from
the children in the family, and therefore go to bed with some child every night (the mean age in one study of children sleeping alone is 12.7 years).(159) Since so many families still practice what is termed dakine co-sleeping - with the parent or grandparent sleeping while physically embracing the child, a practice said to be beneficial to the health of the adult"(160) - and since most Japanese parents still regularly have sexual in-tercourse while the child is in bed with them,(161) one wonders how scholars can continue to maintain that nothing sexual usually happens to the Japanese child in the family bed, particularly since none have yet ask-ed the children themselves about their sexual experiences.
Source: http://www.psychohistory.com/htm/06a1_incest.html
I don't know how credible this source is, but the parts I read were "interesting". I don't know enough about the publication or subject to make a good judgement.

I thought I heard once that when children and parents are more emotionally connected (and cosleeping increases this), that chances of abuse are reduced. I don't remember the source. Anyone have any clues?

Personally, I'm not concered about this aspect with us, because frankly, I can't forsee either my partner or me doing such things to our kids! I also hope that we have healthy communication lines with our kids where they feel safe to tell either of us if something that someone is doing is making them uneasy/uncomfortable.

Perhaps someone else can shed more light on this issue?

Siana... co-sleeping mama to my two monkeys.
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Old 04-09-2006, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This article is more to my liking, but it doesn't delve in to this particular issue in that much depth:

The Family Bed: An evolutionary approach to family sleep
by Katie Allison Granju
http://www.breastfeeding.com/reading...amily_bed.html


I know this dilemma is just another one of those instances where of course some people who co-sleep will sexually abuse their children just as some who don't will. It's the connection between co-sleeping and increased sexual abuse that upsets me. I don't like when people make unsubstantiated accusations like that against co-sleeping, but I also need to get my facts straight (if enough evidence exists), even if they don't stack up in my favour.
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Old 04-09-2006, 07:47 PM
 
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Well that certianly is a disturbing study. I wonder how they were "observed"? How scientific could a study like that be? I can't wait to see what some others think.

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Old 04-09-2006, 07:49 PM
 
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I was speaking of the first Japanese study, I'll read the other one (thanks)

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Old 04-09-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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As an abuse survivor I am disgusted by the insinuation that co-sleeping and sexual abuse are related. Abusers do not need to sleep in the same bed to find ways and times to abuse children.
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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loveandkindness
You have a very good point there.
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:37 AM
 
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Studies I have read actually found that abusers almost NEVER commit the abuse in their own beds. They want to distance themselves from it. In that frame of mind, people should be looking at situations where the children are in their own beds in another room.

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Old 04-10-2006, 01:42 AM
 
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I would like to know were they got the information about Japanese openly masterbating their children.
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:25 AM
 
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I dont think so. I live in Japan. There are far less sexual abuse/molestation cases in Japan than there are in the USA. I wouldnt believe everything you read.
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:49 AM
 
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well i think that's a bunch of hooey. an abuser is far less likely to abuse in the *family* bed because there's a friggin *family* in it. it's out in the open. not exactly the primary choice. behind a closed door in a child's own bedroom is typically where these things happen.

as for the insinuation that extended family members sleeping together is somehow wrong, i'm deeply offended. my family in peru does this and there is nothing wrong about it at all. it's a beautiful expression of *healthy* closeness. my cousin slept with our grandmother until abuelita died...my cousin was 19 years old.

they can bite me.
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:56 AM
 
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My first question would from whom you were recently presented this opinion and why. Then I would wonder why you found only a single data point (one article) supporting the claim... and how they can make these statements without statistically qualifying them. Finally, I don't like statements like "children sleep with parents until 10 or 15 years of age"... you're talking about the difference between a child of 10 and a person who is sexually mature - you can't group them together for studies like this. It always makes me think "Hmmmm" when I see articles like this. If you are confident in your parenting style of co-sleeping and you're not abusing your child(ren), then I'd ignore such information.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:11 PM
 
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My gut reaction to the OP's link is that it's a crock. I dug around on the guy's website for a few minutes and am not impressed.

Would also like to know where he gets that stat about Japanese mothers. Sounds like racist bull**** to me. Have also heard about the markedly lower Japanese abuse rates from family who lived there. So it just doesn't gibe with what I've heard previously.



As a matter of fact, I'm finding the whole thing more and more offensive the more I think about it.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:13 PM
 
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That whole website creeped me out bigtime. I kept thinking there'd be a link to NAMBLA at the bottom.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:16 PM
 
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Okay, now I know why the name of the website was bugging me. As a sci-fi fanatic, should've picked up on it sooner, but the whole family bed=abuse scenario had me blindsided.


Wikipedia's entry on psychohistory.


Here's Wikipedia on the producer of the research in the OP's link.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:28 PM
 
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Umm...gross! That's just racist! Japanese mothers masturbate their children, yeah right.

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Old 04-10-2006, 12:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveandkindness
As an abuse survivor I am disgusted by the insinuation that co-sleeping and sexual abuse are related. Abusers do not need to sleep in the same bed to find ways and times to abuse children.
ITA!! That was my first thought too. I'm a survivor and sleep with my darling boy, and would NEVER dream of hurthing him. Especially like that.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:51 PM
 
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omg...http://www.psychohistory.com/htm/05_history.html
that is the most ridiculous piece of racist CRAP i have ever read in my entire life.
i'm gonna write to this sack of poop and give him a piece of my mind.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:59 PM
 
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GO Michele !

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Old 04-10-2006, 01:03 PM
 
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:13 PM
 
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He gave that as a speech at The National Parenting Conference in Boulder CO in 1997?

What kind of parenting conference is that? Listening to reams of questionably credible accounts of child sexual abuse described in uncomfortable and awful detail? Gee, that's educational. I'm sure the participants all walked out of that room better parents for that experience. :

I wonder who was the genius in charge of booking that guy as speaker. Afterward everyone was probably going 'Hey, uh, for next year's talk, don't even worry about it! We've got it covered! We'll take care of everything!'
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Old 05-11-2006, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your replies (sorry to respond so late )

Yeah, there's no wonder I couldn't find that info. from the speech anywhere wlse. He's a crackpot! Thanks for the links merpk
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Old 05-11-2006, 01:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michelemiller
well i think that's a bunch of hooey. an abuser is far less likely to abuse in the *family* bed because there's a friggin *family* in it. it's out in the open. not exactly the primary choice. behind a closed door in a child's own bedroom is typically where these things happen.
I had that same thought. It seems like the openness of the arrangement would be more likely to prevent abuse than cause it. Not to say there couldn't be sexual abuse in a co-sleeping situation, but I would think the non-abusing parent would be more likely to be able to identify and respond to something like that more quickly.
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Old 05-11-2006, 05:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveandkindness
As an abuse survivor I am disgusted by the insinuation that co-sleeping and sexual abuse are related. Abusers do not need to sleep in the same bed to find ways and times to abuse children.
ITA. That is just as bad as saying that not weaning your child from bf'ing by their first birthday is "sexual abuse" and that it makes young boys have an increased awareness of the female anatomy.

Personally, I don't see the correlation between AP and sexual abuse.
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Old 05-12-2006, 08:43 AM
 
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I've written this 3 times now in hopes of finding a more active thread! I still co sleep with my 13 year old son and the CAS is telling me to stop. All sorts of questions and insinuations from them about 'this sounds more like a husband and wife thing than mother and child'. Can they make me stop?
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Old 05-12-2006, 03:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSamara
I've written this 3 times now in hopes of finding a more active thread! I still co sleep with my 13 year old son and the CAS is telling me to stop. All sorts of questions and insinuations from them about 'this sounds more like a husband and wife thing than mother and child'. Can they make me stop?
Maybe you could request some kind of formal psychiatric evaluation (preferably from a friendly psychiatrist), so you would have documentation to back you up that what you're doing is healthy and normal?

Also, if you can afford it, you should talk to a lawyer about this.
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Old 05-13-2006, 02:55 AM
 
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We've been involved with psychiatric services in the past, and psychiatrists are probably of the same opinion that my son and i need more space because, as our former counsellor put it, we are "too close". This was back when my son was 9. i doubt if I could find a psychiatrist to back me up, frankly, and I don't really care for their opinions all the time.
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Old 05-13-2006, 03:57 AM
 
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That is crazy! You know what, my ds therapist who is Japenese recently expressed concern over my dh and I co-sleeping with dd, however, her concern was that we would have sex while dd was in the bed, as if we hadn't come up with more inventive ways to do our thing? Perhaps she read that study, since I was surprised that she thought co-sleeping was wrong, since she comes from a place where it is the norm.
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Old 05-13-2006, 04:18 AM
 
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I didn't know you could be "too close" to your child. My son and I share an incredible bond. He's very affectionate and can tell me anything.

I don't know if people are jealous or what. That counsellor, it sounded like she had some sexual concerns, but when i asked her, she said no.

Now I've got CAS on my ass and they're insistent that I make my son sleep in his own bed. This time they are being open about their sexual concerns, which quite frankly, the questions she asked me disgusted me. But what disgusted me more was the questioning that my son, in another room with another CAS member, was being asked.

I was so angry about this. Is this something they do to everyone as a matter of course?

So obviously the one talking with me had concerns cause we sleep (SLEEP) in the same bed, but the other one was asking my son about did his mother touch his private parts - like - out of nowhere.

Is what we do illegal? I can't find anything on the internet that says one way or the other that co-sleeping is harmful. ............. ???
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Old 05-13-2006, 06:51 AM
 
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what a crock of _____ (you fill in the blank). He's a racist and I can just see some nut thinking, "yep. that's why so and so co-sleeps..." just sickening...

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Old 05-13-2006, 11:38 AM
 
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tsamara - get a lawyer! now! seriously. i'm so sorry this is happening to you.
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