An Eye for an Eye? Jerry Sandusky, Male Survivors and Prison Rape


Jamie Utt notes that while revenge may be our first reaction to violence, it does nothing to solve the problem, nor does it support survivors in their healing.

As the verdict was handed down that Jerry Sandusky, convicted child rapist and former Penn State football coach, would spend the rest of his life in prison, the twitterverse exploded!

(it’s notable that this came from a widely-followed sports reporter)

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Now, I have to admit that while I consider myself on the road to understanding peace through pacifism, few things make me want to inflict violence on another more than violence against children, particularly sexual violence. It robs children of their innocence and scars them for life; any person that would inflict such violence on a child is seriously disturbed, and they deserve punishment.

But is wishing rape upon those who have committed atrocities the measure by which we should understand justice?

One of the great failures of our so-called “justice” system is that there are virtually no resources or effort put toward healing and rehabilitation. In short, restorative justice is all but absent from the U.S. understanding of justice and punishment.

Now, Jerry Sandusky did some terrible things, and for that, he should be punished.  However, we also need to remember with as much empathy as we can muster that those who commit such violence against children are often doing as a result of their own trauma. Perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse are significantly more likely to have experienced similar abuse when they were children, and they are often suffering from tremendous hurt and depression as a result.

Does this excuse their abhorrent actions? Absolutely not. But does punishing violence with violence, rape with rape, help anyone or anything?


When one of my best friends told me that she was drugged and raped, I told her that I wanted to beat the shit out of the man who did that to her. Only later did I find out that such language only hurt her more. One of the first things we were told when I was trained to be a sexual assault survivor’s advocate was, “Never introduce more violence into the situation. Even if you are angry and want to act in violence, to tell a survivor this or to act on your anger can often be tremendously retraumatizing or triggering for survivors.

When I see the twitter rants calling for Jerry Sandusky’s rape in prison, I can’t help but think about the survivors of his violence.  Do calls for Sandusky’s rape help them heal? Do calls for his rape help them feel that justice is done?

From all of this, three things are clear:

1.  We fail to effectively support survivors of sexual violence in their healing.

With as many as 1 in 6 women (or 1 in 4 by other measures) and 1 in 33 men experiencing sexual assault in their lifetimes in the U.S., every single one of us knows survivors of sexual violence. However,42% of rape survivors never tell anyone about what happened.

Yet the topic is, so often, brushed under the rug. While my father had many talks with me about sex, he never once talked to me about consent, its importance, or how to ask.  If sexual violence is discussed in mainstream culture, it is to encourage women (and only women) to take certain precautions to prevent themselves from getting raped.

Where is the discussion of prevention, of consent, of positive sexuality in popular culture? What are we doing to help 1 in 4 women and 1 in 33 men heal from the trauma of sexual violence? Where are the national healing programs and initiatives to help those who have experienced trauma? When so many people are calling publicly for another person to be raped in response to such a terrible act, are we taking into account the effect on survivors or on our cultural consciousness? Considering that only about 4% of Americans go to counseling or psychotherapy in a given year, there seems to be a problem of access . . .  or stigma.

2.  We particularly fail to support male survivors of sexual violence.

10% of all survivors of sexual violence are men, and most (all?) of Sandusky’s victims were young boys. ”A greater percentage of juvenile sexual assault victims [are] male (18%) than [are] adult sexual assault victims (4%).” Yet outside of the often sheltered world of sexual violence prevention advocates (and even sometimes within this circle), there is little discussion of men as survivors. What discussion of men being raped that exists tends to only refer to prison rape, and that is often in the context of humor. However, 60,500 inmates are raped each year in prison, the vast majority of whom are men.

While the national numbers say that 42% of rape survivors never tell anyone, I would wager that number is far higher among male survivors of sexual violence. This is, in part, due to the gendered construction of rape. In the language and representations of sexual violence in our culture, women are the ones who are raped. This leads to a serious problem: the invisibility of male survivors of sexual violence.  How can we help male survivors heal and move forward if we do not even acknowledge they exist? What are we doing to ensure that sexual violence never happens, no matter the gender of the survivor of the gender of the perpetrator? How can we help male survivors feel safer in acknowledging and seeking help after their trauma?

3.  We fail to help rehabilitate and heal perpetrators of sexual violence so that it does not continue.

So often the attitude toward those in prison is, “They did something to deserve to be there, so they deserve whatever they get.” This leads to two problems: 1. we ignore the violence that prisoners experience at the hands of guards or other prisoners. 2. we assume that prison is and should be simply a place of punishment rather than a place of rehabilitation, healing, and preparation to re-enter society.

The recidivism rates in the United States are absolutely out of control. This is because in the U.S., our criminal “justice” system exists for one purpose: punishment. God forbid we deal with the problem that caused the crime.  In the case of sexual violence, how far might counseling, positive masculinity workshops, anger management training, and consent and positive sexuality training go in preventing the crime from being committed again?

After all, Sandusky is not going to see the outside of a prison in his life. However, the average sentence for rape in the U.S. is 11.8 years.  Do we think that being raped brutally in prison as a punishment is going to make a person somehow less likely to commit sexual violence once they are released?  Are they really going to say, “Ooooh . . . Now I know how it feels.  I won’t do that again”?


We all have a responsibility to end rape culture.

Whether through the most simple actions like our Tweets or through building healthy, positive sexual relationships or talking with our young people about positive sexuality, each and every one of us has a responsibility to work to end rape culture. No matter how much anger we feel toward people like Jerry Sandusky, we have to remember that, as Twitter user Tara Murtha says, “Rooting for the rapist to get raped perpetuates rape culture.”

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Originally appeared at Change From Within



Lead image courtesy of Chris_Samuel/Flickr

About Jamie Utt

Jamie Utt is a diversity and inclusion consultant and sexual violence prevention educator based in Minneapolis, MN. He lives with his loving partner and his funtastic dog, Chloe. He blogs weekly at Change From Within. Learn more about his work at


  1. Where do you get the 1 in 33 number from? Most reliable sources put the number of boys who are abused before the age of 18 at 1 in 6… You ask: “How can we help male survivors feel safer in acknowledging and seeking help after their trauma?” Acknowledging how prevalent the problem is, would be a good start.

  2. Right on Jack Owens!

  3. I think that the comments about this article have gotten a little off topic.

    To respond to the original article: I would say That as male survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse myself, I believe that the author ‘s 1st premise is completely WRONG and erroneous. I say this because I do not think that he is a Survivor or at least to me sounds as if he is writing from the vantage point of someone that hasn’t experienced the full Agony of Childhood Sexual Abuse!

    The second point on rehabilitation is important, but still cannot be confused with the rage one feels to someone in a place of absolute power and and Abused it in the most horrifying way Absolutly!!!


    • I agree Logan. Fully. But I want the self-proclaimed-civilization membership to go a few steps further. the premier focal point that is readily ignored is the damage to the child. The some replies above evolved into including seductive 15-yos being traumatized or not…being culpable or not…

      They fail to see or acknowledge the rule carved in titanium: Children cannot consent! They can only conform.

      Beneath that rule comes: It is ALWAYS the adult’s job to recognize and endure protective measures, including self-control.

      A basic premise of United States Criminal Code: “Those whom cannot control their unacceptable behavior will be penalized and/or removed.”

      I am greatly saddened but not surprised when is fail to read preeminent valuation of the child’s soul. emotion, physical health and mental health. This is what causes me to have little regard for humanity. That is; Satisfying one’s own desires is more important than anything else in their radius. It is only a matter of time until our courts devolve similarly.

      Check-out the videos on my blog if you need some modern-day modal visuals.

      • Billy Jay says:

        I think Ms. Schroeder’s point about the seductive 15-yos girls is somewhat of a weak argument in this discussion. The reason so is because then we delve into the argument on why do 16 and 17-year old boys get to treat 15-year old girls like dirt once they get them pregnant just because they’re lucky enough to be on the same side of the legal age line as them, whereas, on the other hand, American culture has the unfair inclination to treat a marriage between a 15-year old girl and a 22-year old man as a form of legalized pedophilia. Way too many double standards come to surface in this event. Then we find ourselves absorbed into the debate on why do many European cultures believe that 14 and 15-year old girls are capable of consent, whereas here in the puritanical black hole of the United States, people think we should raise the age of consent to 21 nationwide. Let’s stick to the subject. That is, Jerry Sandusky. Prepubescent child victims.

  4. Jackson Owens says:

    Perhaps this will give the defenders of Jerry Sandusky a different perspective. Until you are bent over a desk and anally raped by your coach at 9 years old (which I was) I would invite you to keep your uninformed opinion to yourselves. Go to and be educated.

  5. John Anderson says:

    Jamie, it was a pretty good piece, but something to think about. There are some estimates that will suggest that as many as 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused. It’s somewhat off topic, but many of us believe that infant MGC is a form of sexual violence also. I’ve seen estimates of MGC in the U.S. as low as 55% or so. Some people would believe that the vast majority of men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetimes.

    It’s much more a comment or some food for thought than a criticism. We don’t like to fail to recognize any victims of sexual predation. You might consider using the expanded 1 in 6 definition in future posts.

    What you brought up about victims and expressions of violence is interesting. I’ve had an experience similar to your friends and another one prior to that in childhood, yet whenever I hear first person accounts of sexual victimization especially concerning children; I’ll often get so angry that my first thought is to commit violence on the perpetrator. It’s a little different when I don’t hear the details.
    I remember reading about the De Anza case on a site started by a rape survivor. I was the first commenter to denounce the men who stood around and watched. It would have been hard to overcome my first instinct to start dropping people rather than do the smart thing and call the police. It wouldn’t do either of us any good for me to fight 50 guys or whatever, but it’s hard to reason with emotion. In your experience / training do men and women react differently to portrayals of violence? Does the sex of the perpetrator make a difference? Recently a man just killed one of his abusers and I remember a story a while back where a guy was put in the same cell as his abuser and was acquitted of beating the shit out of him.

    As far as rape in prison, Just Detention reported that most victims were male and were raped by staff and not other inmates. The majority of their rapists were actually women.

    “About half of all prisoners reporting abuse were victimized by corrections staff. Contrary to common stereotypes, female staff were by far the most likely perpetrators. Among survivors of staff sexual misconduct, 79 percent were males reporting sexual abuse by female staff. Additionally, female inmates were sexually assaulted by other inmates at a rate three times higher than male inmates (13.7 percent versus 4.2 percent).”

    Yes, men get raped in prison, but it’s usually by women. When people talk about prison rape as a punishment, they’re usually thinking of homosexual anal rape (I’m making the distinction because female correctional staff can also anal rape). Do you think it would make a difference if people thought of prison rape as heterosexual oral or rape with a vagina?

    I’m not bringing that up to suggest that women are somehow worse than men, but to highlight the homophobic aspect of the perceived punishment.

  6. wellokaythen says:

    This “eye for an eye” sentiment shows a pretty horrible attitude by men towards other men.

    I’m not talking about the hatred of Sandusky, forget that for the moment, I’m talking about the idea of other prisoners agreeing to rape him. It’s this easy assumption that you can readily find a bunch of men who will line up to rape another man and get away with it. Presumably these designated prison rapists will really enjoy it, as any man would, because after all we men are happy to rape someone if there’s a good reason. We just tap into something all of us men have, right, that thing where we use rape to keep people in line. [Sarcasm, by the way.] What the hell is that about?

    As a large man myself, I couldn’t help noticing the tweet suggesting you get the really big guys to rape him. That’s what we big guys are, you know: extra-bad rapists.

    Amazing how easily some men volunteer other men to be rapists. What the hell?!

  7. wellokaythen says:

    Maybe my earlier post was a little obnoxious and too “slippery slope.” In simpler terms, what I’m trying to say is:

    I don’t want to create a system that says it’s good to rape someone if the person really, really deserved it.
    Or that it’s okay to rape someone as long as there’s a “good reason.”

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Yes, that I’m 100% in agreement with.

      I think the idea that a minor is either “innocent’ or “not innocent” is not good, as you say. Then if a 15 year old is “flirting” with a 22 year old man, the man assumes that she isn’t innocent, therefore it’s totally fine to have sex with her. Fact is, she doesn’t have to be completely innocent to still be victimized.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Don’t get me wrong. I think sexually assaulting a child is a worse crime than sexually assaulting an adult. I don’t think they should be treated exactly the same. I would say the main difference is in the power of the victim to resist and the absolute clarity of the lack of consent. Below a certain age and there is no question of consent happening, never any gray area about consent. Less power to resist means the crime is worse. And, there’s a good case to be made that the damage to a child is worse than the damage to an adult. That’s somewhat different than saying that it’s worse when children are involved because of the “loss of innocence.”

        Unfortunately, the logical corollary is kind of disturbing. If raping a child is worse than raping an adult, that means that raping an adult is “not as bad as” raping a child. It’s “not as bad” if the victim is above the age of consent. If the person’s “innocence” is already gone, then less harm done, right?

        This whole “childhood innocence” thing keeps alive the idea that an adult victim is somehow complicit, as if adult victims are blameworthy even if children aren’t. Shouldn’t every real rape victim be considered “innocent”?

        Good point about the 15-year old example. “Sexual innocence” shouldn’t really be a factor in whether it was rape or not, or in determining how bad the crime was.

        • As is often the case, wellokaythen summed it up better than I could have. I don’t think you (Joanna) and I have any disagreement about the horror of the crime, but the “innocence” angle just doesn’t work for me for the kinds of reasons wellokaythen gave. It leads to a sliding scale where you have “most innocent” (a newborn), to “extremely innocent” (e.g., your son who knows nothing of how sex works yet), to decreasing levels of innocence on up to adult victims, but who it feels wrong to categorize as lesser victims because knowing about sex made them “not innocent”. For example, I was 14 when I was molested. I had no sexual experience with anyone else, but I already knew plenty about it, craved and fantasized about it, and knew about sexual feelings and orgasms from masturbation. All that didn’t make me “less innocent” than your son when an abuser made me his next target. I even knew that child molesters existed – I just didn’t think this guy was one or that I would ever be “selected”. Innocence really had nothing to do with it.

          I think the real issue is that we don’t have a better word or phrase for what we mean. I think we mean something like, “exposing the victim to a harm they didn’t think could happen to them, or didn’t know was possible,” and if that’s the meaning, I agree. I just think “taking their innocence” or “losing one’s innocence” is a lousy way of saying that, and some of the ways of interpreting it actually lead to more harm, not empathy.

      • I read this and hand hit forehead!

        “I think the idea that a minor is either “innocent’ or “not innocent” is not good, as you say. Then if a 15 year old is “flirting” with a 22 year old man, the man assumes that she isn’t innocent, therefore it’s totally fine to have sex with her. Fact is, she doesn’t have to be completely innocent to still be victimized.”

        It’s that gendered view and dynamic that just keeps on rolling along. 15 year olds flirt – it’s gender independent. Being 22 years old is also gender independent as is the activities of 22 year olds to have sex with 15 year olds and progress to statutory rape (US Style).

        When is t says ” Then if a 15 year old is “flirting” with a 22 year old woman, the woman assumes that he isn’t innocent, therefore it’s totally fine to have sex with him. Fact is, he doesn’t have to be completely innocent to still be victimized.” …. well that day I may just consider that progress is possible.

        When language shifts and is treated with care and respect, it may be possible for some constructive dialogues to take place – but whilst language gets automatically polarised and is littered with gender assumption – presumption and unfettered bias, it means only dealing with the constant camp fires getting out of control rather than dealing with the blazing Forest Fire.

  8. wellokaythen says:

    Let’s say we allow rape as a justifiable form of punishment. Take a look at what’s down that road:

    Vigilante justice – “he was accused of rape, I believed her, so I sodomized him real good. I should get a medal, right?”

    Juvenile court system justice – the 12-year-old was caught abusing a younger cousin, so the court sent him to be raped to teach him a lesson. That ought to do wonders for his development of a healthy sexuality.

    Parental/school instruction – Do a pre-emptive rape as a “scared straight” tactic, just to make sure the young person knows what prison is like. Here’s what’s waiting for you if you do not act appropriately.

    My point is that thinking of rape as a valid punishment is not much different from the way that Sandusky thought of his victims. The people baying for his blood are not necessarily all that different from him, in some ways. Then again, I think imagining children as innocent, pure angels (more than vulnerable human beings who can’t consent) can be part of the same psychosis that imagines them as sexual partners. That’s really just the flip side of the same coin.

    • Then again, I think imagining children as innocent, pure angels (more than vulnerable human beings who can’t consent) can be part of the same psychosis that imagines them as sexual partners. That’s really just the flip side of the same coin.

      Agreed. Even children are flawed. That’s not in any way saying they can deserve to be sexually abused, but the “pure angel” treatment is one of those thing people seem to believe to soothe their troubled emotions, because it doesn’t match up with real kids if you’ve ever had, known, or worked with any.

      It also bugs me when I see descriptions of sexual abusers “taking their [victims’] innocence”. What’s that supposed to mean? If the victims aren’t innocent anymore, what are they – guilty? It seems to me like it’s supposed to sound like sympathy for the victims, but what it really expresses is a belief that sexual behavior is so dirty and corrupting that even a person subjected to it against their will has been defiled in the eyes of society. It strikes me a more “civilized” version of thinking a raped woman is unsuitable for marriage because only virgin brides are worthy marriage prospects. Instead of telling such people they’ve had their innocence taken, it would make more sense to me – assuming we want to help – to acknowledge and remind them that they’re just as innocent after being victimized as they were before. I don’t see the upside to implying guilt for their own trauma.

      • Agreed. Even children are flawed. That’s not in any way saying they can deserve to be sexually abused, but the “pure angel” treatment is one of those thing people seem to believe to soothe their troubled emotions, because it doesn’t match up with real kids if you’ve ever had, known, or worked with any.
        True. The presumption that someone is an angle (or a demon) is a bad way to go. It’s possible to believe that someone deserves the benefit of the doubt (a fair shake if you will) without thinking that they are the second coming. At the same time is possible to have doubts about someone without thinking they are evil incarnate.

        And this is especially damaging when these presumptions are based out on characteristics that have no inherent relation to whether or not someone is good or bad.

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        No, I think it means that when a child’s first sexual encounter is one at the hands of a predator, and not consensual (or in the case of statutory rape) not entirely consensual, takes away the innocence of being able to feel safe about sexuality. They were exposed to sexuality before they were ready, and their innocence of childhood has been taken from them.

        For instance, my boys literally know nothing about sex or even that there’s an option that someone would touch them sexually (thank god). They’re not at a point yet to learn about “penis and vagina” (though I would tell them if it came up) or partnered sexual activity. That makes them innocent and I would like to keep them innocent in that way until they are ready to “lose their innocence” consensually.

        I don’t think it has anything to do with guilt, more about childhood.

      • “innocence” is not the opposite of “guilty.”

        Innocent: marveling over a butterfly on blades of grass.

        Defiled: not giving a fk about butterflies cuz…whatever. You’ve seen the dark-side and bled.

        Innocent: Seeing a star-rich sky out at the lake camp and being blown-away at infinity, at significance, at possibilities.

        Defiled: Freaking-out, wondering when the camp counselor is going to make the tent zipper scream for whats about to happen to you.

        Let’s stop apologizing for the satanic animals. They are not people! They do not deserve humane treatment.

        ***what it really expresses is a belief that sexual behavior is so dirty and corrupting that even a person subjected to it against their will …***

        There was no “sexual behavior” between Sandusky and ANY of those boys. There was only RAPE. CHILDREN cannot CONSENT. Children can only comply (at best). Society and the courts are realizing this less and less with every evil defense attorney.

    • I’m fascinated by the supposed “Logic” of calling for Sandusky to be raped in prison and where it leads – and also just how much bias, sexism and wrong headedness it reveals. It just makes it all very clear how many people are on band wagons and have never actually thought about the subject of rape – never considered the subject beyond a very limited view – have just been lazy and gone with the flow .

      I have heard one Bloggista saying Sandusky has to be raped – it’s justice – and any right thinking woman would agree. I got told I was mad when I pointed out that if that was true the best place for Mr S Would be a Women’s Prison so that these “Right Thinking Women” could do the raping daily.

      Odd how some will decry Rape Fantasy whilst fantasising over a man being raped in prison. Is that biased by any chance?

      It’s odd – but supposedly right thinking women who object to rape want “men” to rape when it’s convenient for these right thinking women – but these same women don’t want to be doing the rapping when they want the rape to happen. If you want Prison Rape to be A Right – you have to take the responsibility for doing the rapping!

      By inverse, I also pointed out that If Male Sex Offenders are to be subjected to Prison Rape as Justice, then Female Sex Offenders (Yes they do exist) also need to be raped daily – so that means either having women prisoners doing the rapping – else those women need to be placed in male prisons so that the old stereotypes of only men are rapists can be perpetuated and the supposed innocence of all women maintained. It’s basic logic, unless you want to be sexist and promote discrimination on grounds of gender?

      Hell why not make it so much easier and just have mixed sex prisons and a whole wing set aside for rapping with prison guards binding those to be raped to pommel horses or shower heads!

      As soon as a person calls for another to be raped – even says that they think rape may be a good idea – even says that others calling for rape can be justified ….. at that point those people have lost all moral, ethical and even sane authority to speak on the issue of rape and against rapists – the issues of rape victims/survivors ….. and they have also justified their own rape – be that historical – in the present – or lined up for some future date!

      I mean – If people really had faith in their own ideas and convictions they should be lining up outside of the Prison where Sandusky now resides and asking to be allowed in to do some rapping – or lining up on Capital Hill to lobby for some rape initiatives in prison!

      Of course – Prison Rape is now not seen as “De Rigueur”, so how about some torture – burning with branding irons, stretching on a wrack or how about some Chinese water and sleep deprivation?

      Why not just have a single prison where rape is sanctioned to make it easier – put it in an out of the way place and make sure people can deny what is going on – and make sure there are no visitors – Hell, Let’s call it Guantanamo or how about Abu Ghraib?

      How is it possible for someone to call for investigation of certain institutions whilst calling for others to allow and even facilitate rape? I really would love to get my head around that supposed logic! I’ve dealt with the mind sets and thinking of sociopaths, psychopaths and paedophiles for over 20 years, but I still can’t get my head around the thinking and mindsets of supposed right thinking people!

      I really do wish some would follow through the logic of what they say is right and just – and take responsibility for what they say SHOULD be done by others to others.

      If you not willing to rape you are a coward – and abuser – an enabler, if you call for others to be raped, or even attempt to justify the rape of another person and are not willing to do the rapping yourself.

      • ***I’m fascinated by the supposed “Logic” of calling for Sandusky to be raped in prison…***

        Dude! There’s absolutely zero logic involved in rape, child sex abuse, murder, etc. Application of logic may work fantastically-well in SO many venues and topics. Sandy and all the other millions of rapists apply zero logic, but again…wrong application. Its a crime of emo.

        It can be power rush, sexual appetite, sadism, worms in the brain…anything…anything but logic. So why do any of us try to apply logic to governing the human reactions. Violence is a natural reaction to violence. Elimination of a hazard prior to it “going-off” is a human reaction and I think quite logical too.

        The blind and uniform rejection of “eye-for-an-eye” violence does seem so darned civilized, but only for the offender and the cocktail-sipping pontiff.

        There are about 100,000 inner children (very chique these days, those “inner children”) reading this concern for the offending pedos and going absolutely berserk with rage.

        Violence begets violence, yes!
        Pacifism begets unnecessary additional victims. And I’ve seen it up-close and personal.

        • So, let me see if I get the rule you’re proposing: If the crime is irrational, the punishment should be irrational too?

          Interesting. Since virtually all felonies involve ‘irrational’ acts, perhaps we should open up the sentencing optiont to things like public stonings, stocks, dunking stools, branding irons, etc. etc. After all, “justice” is just a word, right? REVENGE is what matters!

          • Not proposing anything.

            All crime is irrational according to public policy. Law & PP are generally a function of social values and mores. Only in recent times (post WW2) has a nation (USA, France and … umm….no one else really) had the LUXURY of pondering prisoner rights and reform.

            It may come as news to some that criminal incarceration is a function of Law & PP and invented to punish (since BC). Dreams of reforming a sociopath is, again, a luxury of a society that values such a thing.

            Even in liberal/commie mecca of The People’s Rep of China, incarceration is meant to make every minute of every day of your stinkin life suck beyond any tolerance…and China does not fk-around. Summary-execution-day could also be called “Heavy Landfill Day.”

            Revenge? I don’t recall “revenge” as a motivation of the People’s Court in the USA.

            During sentencing, judges will typically use the terms “justice, punishment, equity, removal…” But I’ve yet to hear any judge, even in Child Sex Abuse cases use the term “Revenge.” If the criminal justice system is used as a tool for “revenge,” we instantly become a banana republic.

            Judges in the USA know pretty much everything that goes on in jails and prisons. When I am in-session, I typically hear/see numerous (maybe 5 per-day) cases of prison rape, assault, drug-sales, theft, vandalism, assault on a Corrections Offcr, etc. So the judges in this nation hear ALL the gory details.

            The public as well knows by vast majority that the physically vulnerable get fairly well fkd-with in prison. Its “common knowledge” that prison suck, prison is violent, you don’t wanna go to prison, etc.

            But back to L & PP: “CRIMINAL Justice,” is the balancing of accounts between society and the criminal by debiting the crim’s time on earth…NOT tween the victim and the criminal. So the victim doesn’t even enjoy “revenge.” Revenge is for God. But here on earth, victims seek something like revenge. They will have to reconcile with God, but they enjoy personal justice.

            I’ve spoken to SO many victims who voice a desire for “revenge.” I tell them that they will not find R in the courts, nor should they. Parents of vics usually understand that R will never be found through the courts. They DO feel satisfaction that the perp’s next X# of years will be hell-on-earth, or greatly shortened.

            L & PP also seeks to remove hazards from the populous it represents. Offending Pedos pose a unique array of hazards to society. I hope I need not explain those in detail. But for the offending pedo, prison’s social network rarely presses the LIKE button. Incarcerated pedos will even make their way to the Law Library to tear-out the page reporting any appellate action they may have tried, from the case reports. Why? Cuz the prison social net won’t think highly of their crime.

            Believe it or not, crimes have degrees of severity, heinousness, etc.

            BTW: I get a freakin woody over this particular case found on YouToob:

            Watch it! You can see what warms my heart for the remainder of the day!…brings tears of joy!

            That method is not for all parents, but it worked-out well for this particular guy.

            And to answer all your likely questions from THAT, let me say YES, YES and YES I do!
            Oh and….8 inches worth!!!

  9. Can pedophilia be effectively rehabbed, though? I’ve heard a lot of people in the psychology and social services fields say that a pedophile can never really be “cured” even with rehab and therapy.

    I don’t know and I’m not making an argument either way. I just wonder if there are some “crimes” spurred by a mental condition or predisposition that can’t be rehabbed away.

    Not knowing anyone who is or has been in prison, or who works in a prison or in criminal justice, I guess I’ve always assumed that prison rape is just a stereotype or that it doesn’t happen nearly as often as is joked about. Can someone point me to some reliable resources to learn more?

    • NAMBLA has lots.
      But with what children, victims and I can consider “rehabilitated;” The answer is “yes!” Yes I can rehabilitate any one of them with a 100% rate of success.

      • Yes, yes, we’re all impressed with your macho and manly hate-on, Rob. Care to crush a beer can for us while yer at it?

  10. Firstly, 1 in 6 males experience sexual assault by the age of 18, so the actual rate of sexual assault against men and boys is much higher than 1 in 33. If we keep saying that there are no male victims or that they are rare, which is what the stats from RAINN imply, then people will only believe that women are victims and will only look for female victims. The way to acknowledge that male survivors exist is by simply acknowledging them and not relying on misleading statistics.

    Secondly, the rate of recidivism for sex offenders is about 5%, which is hardly an epidemic. One of the reasons why sex offenders re-offend is because we ostracize them. Much of the treatment they receive is built around communal support, so once you take that away, there is a greater chance they will go back to their old habits.

    As for people wishing violence against Sandusky, I do not know why anyone finds it surprising. We are vindictive by nature, and we show it particularly when someone violates a social boundary. One curious thing about that visceral hatred is that people will want pain inflicted on the offender even when they find out that the offender was a victim of abuse themselves. So much for people’s compassion. Hurting Sandusky does no one any good, and I speak from experience that hurting him will only make him angry and resentful or make him internalize so much that one could never help or change him.

    • Jakob, thanks for bringing up the statistics about male sexual victimization, especially those from RAINN, and their unfortunate misleading nature. I know that RAINN has responded to questions about the validity of their statistics — in fact there is something posted at NSWATM about it… ht tp:// — and as a male survivor it always pains me to see well-meaning people use them in their writing as though they are an accurate representation of the number of boys and men affected by sexual violence.

      As for the desire to take from Sandusky what he took from those boys, I don’t believe in that kind of vigilante justice. Rape in prison is a huge problem, and I don’t believe subjecting anyone else to that kind of torture is helpful.

      We should be promoting a zero tolerance to rape in prison, just as we would anywhere else.

      Sandusky will live the rest of his life behind bars and that punishment is a lot greater than many other child rapists and abusers receive. I am content to see him paying for what he did and never being able to hurt another child ever again.

    • ***Secondly, the rate of recidivism for sex offenders is about 5%,*** Que?

      Recidivism Of Sex Offenders Released From Prison In 1994
      Matthew R. Durose, Patrick A. Langan, Ph.D., Erica L. Schmitt

      November 16, 2003 NCJ 198281

      Presents, for the first time, data on the rearrest, reconviction, and reimprisonment of 9,691 male sex offenders, including 4,295 child molesters, who were tracked for 3 years after their release from prisons in 15 States in 1994. The 9,691 are two-thirds of all the male sex offenders released from prisons in the United States in 1994. The study represents the largest followup ever conducted of convicted sex offenders following discharge from prison and provides the most comprehensive assessment of their behavior after release.

      Highlights include the following:

      Within 3 years following their release, 5.3% of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime.
      On average the 9,691 sex offenders served 3 1/2 years of their 8-year sentence.
      Compared to non-sex offenders released from State prisons, released sex offenders were 4 times more likely to be rearrested for a sex crime.
      The 9,691 released sex offenders included 4,295 men who were in prison for child molesting.

      — Raise your hand if you want your child to be one of the 5%ers 100 avg victims?

      ***Rape in prison is a huge problem, and I don’t believe subjecting anyone else to that kind of torture is helpful.***

      Helpful? Helpful? Buddy, rape of children is a real problem committed by men who already fkg know what lies in wait for them once they are caught. Its also amazing how the Kiddy Porn stats never-ever-ever find their little integrated way into the 5.9% garbage.

      MANY MANY baby-rapists have the good sense to off themselves prior to incarceration. I would give them a post-judicial choice just in case they did not have adequate time to tie the rope or load the pistol.

  11. For me, it’s the same way I think about the death penalty: the way we treat prisoners is a reflection of our society. It’s not so much about Sandusky as the national psyche: we cannot be a society that condones rape for any reason.

  12. “Eye For An Eye” would require that a bullet pass through Sandusky’s brain, but only doing enough damage to make him as f’d-up as me and every other survivor I know. THAT would be “Eye For An Eye!”

    Prison Rape would happen to that turd if he were just a convicted tax evader.

    The psychotic beatings will be tweaked just a bit given the nature of his crimes, but the rape…eh…who give a flip!?!?

    Anyone up for a “death pool” on Sandusky? I’ll pick April 2013.

    • So, are you saying you disagree with the verdict–he should have been executed?

      Or are you saying that the verdict–life in prison–should be assumed to automatically include beatings, rape, and murder because that’s what prison is for?

      • Prison is what it is today. Its a uniform treatment of all types of people. What is experienced therein ought to remain just. OUGHT to. but society has never been able to maintain a just-treatment for its inmates. If you are a juvie in Massachusetts in 1950s-70s, you were 100% likely to be raped repeatedly and continuously. If you did not die or take your own life, you may have grown large enough to fight somewhat. The world new this fact about Massachusetts Juvies. No one did anything for children being devoured.

        Thus, I think I can reasonably say that mankind will be extinct before this nation’s prison systems are what some of us think they out to be. But I certainly don’t think they ought to be rape and torture dens.

        Sandusky is a separate issue. He deserves, as do all offending pedos, to be devoured. The devoured children’s lives are nothing the un-raped would ever recognize. I hope you don’t know it first-hand, but your soul gets shredded prior to deep-frying.

        If PA were to ask for volunteers to dismantle Sandusky and every other convicted baby-raper in their system, I would buy my way to the front of the line.

        In child-rape, “eye-for-an-eye” requires the death of the offender, but only after brutal and heinous rapes. I can’t draw any clearer a picture than that. And YES YES YES YES!!!! I THANK GOD the prison population will not tollerate Convicted Pedos!!! And YES YES YES! I could hug every one of the convicts that shreds Sandusky’s soul.

        Though vengeance is God’s and he does not ever command us to be his account-balancers, I feel a duty to my brothers and sisters to remove such evil as this/that from the earth.

        “Society” has a excessively passive collection of ideas surrounding child-rape penalty. I don’t!

        And BTW: (this is where you’ll really hate me): I hold child-rape enablers and conspirators as full and direct equals to the one getting his jollies. And YES…that means death for them too.

        So I say to the men of “society,” Grow some fkg nads!

  13. How can we help male survivors heal and move forward if we do not even acknowledge they exist?

    This is a big part of the issue right here. Somehow it’s still apparently debatable if a male can even be raped because of his gender. If the rapist is male the idea is that he deserved it because he couldn’t fight him off if the rapist is female the idea is that he is always willing and you can’t rape the willing.

    Here is a post I did a while back on the whole, “He’s so lucky.” bit that comes up with a young boy is raped. (Also read the comments there were a few good ones in there.)

  14. A lot of this venting is probably due to (1) the fact that Jerry Sandusky hurt a lot of boys and (2) lots of citizens want him to get hurt for what he did to others. It may not be the most noble impulse to want to beat the crap out of a child molester, but it’s a pretty typical and understandable one. All the more so when he is sheltered and given the benefit of the doubt by a powerful institution (in this case it was Penn State, but the Catholic Church has done this for much longer and with many more criminals).

    At his age, he will live out the rest of his days in prison, but even if he were a lot younger, he would still have earned life in prison.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      I think it’s totally natural to want Sandusky to be raped/beaten/murdered for his crimes. It’s most people’s first instincts, and I don’t think the thought makes us bad. But Jamie makes such a great point about how it’s just not productive, and at times can be the opposite of productive.

      • Quadruple A says:

        I will never get the vastly disproportional sense of outrage people have toward some child molesters. I imagine that I am not the only one and cultural attitudes toward sexual behavior change rapidly from one century and even generation to the next. Of course it is only some child molester rather than all child molester that produce this inscrutable sense of an overbearing cruelty. So it would be patently false that say that all child molesters enrage us to the point that we want to rape, beat and murder them. Only male child molesters enrage us to the point that we want to rape, beat and murder them. Whereas a woman’s sexual touch touch is intrinsically, biologically and symbolically less cruel and less capable of cruelty. The act of a woman touching a child in a sexual manner is seen as in and of itself as something which is much less evil, if indeed even evil at all, and even the mind that produces the activity is not considered so much as evil but as mentally ill or even merely misguided. In a world where we protest double standards who is to say which side of the double standard is the side which we should eliminate?

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          Where are you getting this information from?

          Who says that people are less angry at female child abusers? To me that seems like total bullshit. I’ve never heard anyone say that, nor have I ever read it. I think you’re either building upon your own experience or making a guess.

          If you read the Jezebel piece about the man who wanted his feet burned during masturbation because he was burned while a child by his abusive aunts, I bet you will feel the rage to want to beat or kill those women. I did. I feel no differently about them than I do about Jerry Sandusky, and I’d be interested, but surprised, to learn that there are people who think that the sexual and physical abuse those aunts did to that boy (who is now a man) does anything but sicken and enrage them.

          What I will give you is that there are a lot of people who simply have a hard time believing that a woman would sexually abuse a child, but that is not the same as wanting the same fate for the women who did it.

          And ultimately, why do you say that we have to choose between which double-standard we are going to produce? If you can show me some documentation that society somehow hates female sexual abusers less than male ones, then I would say that that is a huge problem. But I would ALSO say that Jamie is exactly spot-on in this article about the way we’re handling Sandusky.

          Beyond that, Quadruple A, in no way did Jamie make this article only about men. In fact, Jamie makes a huge point about male survivors. But it seems to me sometimes that some people will never be satisfied with keeping a discussion on-topic. For some reason, some of you must always bring into the conversation, “Women are bad, too!”

          But the point of this ENTIRE article is that the way we handle sexual abusers in our society is ineffectual for both the abuser and the victim. The fact that you could come in here and make this somehow about your own agenda about how good women have it just leaves me shaking my head.

          • Quadruple A says:

            I personally don’t agree with the idea that expressing a view about a complex and nuanced subject matter is reducible to pushing an “agenda”.

            My specific point, however scandalous that might, perhaps more than you cared to even acknowledge, was that we should not view child molesters as monsters in the first place who we should beat, rape, and murder.

            I brought in the subject matter of how women are viewed differently not to say that women have it better but to drive home the point that our attitude toward child molesters is not universally applied and hence not as substantially founded as we believe.

            Those aunts were clearly exceptionally cruel. I think that a woman burning a child is a different manner than touching a child for sexual gratification.

            • Quadruple, I agree with you that our social outrage does not extend to all sex offenders. Everyone I know who works with male survivors or deals with female offenders sees the different standard with how people regard female offenders. I cannot think of any recent case involving a female offender that sparked a similar level of anger that the Sandusky case did. As a society, we do tend to view women’s acts as less evil, and I do not think there is any agenda in mentioning or acknowledging that, although some people uncomfortable because it does not jive with their own gender-biased worldview.

              That said, I do not think it is limited to women. If Sandusky had been some unknown guy off the street, I do not think the level of outrage would be as intense. Sandusky’s status and how Penn State handled the allegations prompts a lot of the anger. This was a guy with prestige, respect, and power. It may be difficult for people to admit it, but I think the outrage is more that he violated their trust and their understanding of the world than what he did to those young men. We really do not like when people shatter our happy view of the world, and we throw everything that we have at them when they do.

              • Quadruple A says:

                Well the fact that you know people who work closely with this issue lends credence to an essential part of my thesis that Joanna disputed. I did not want to rebut the claim women are looked at as equally evil in cases of child sexual abuse because I did not to look like I was pushing an agenda.

                As much as we want to think otherwise Sandusky probably did not see himself as betraying anyone’s trust, Denial is an essential component of the psychological complex that drives child molesters.. With women offenders we tends to think that their seemingly genuine “romantic” feelings for their victims excuses them to some degree. On the other hand if we did not exaggerate the intentionality of male abusers but looked at their intentionality in the same way we perceived male abusers then we not feel the same degree of outrage. Recognizing that fact also makes things easier for the victims because then they will be less likely to see themselves as consciously and purposely humiliated and degraded.

                • wellokaythen says:

                  More specifically, I cannot imagine anyone saying that a woman sent to prison “deserves to be raped daily,” no matter what her crime, even if it were serial child rape. At least I can’t imagine anyone on the GMP expressing that sentiment or expressing empathy with that sentiment. I think the idea of men raped in prison is currently more socially acceptable than the idea of women raped in prison. (To be fair, it is overwhelmingly men joking about male prison rape more than women joking about it. I don’t think this is something easily blamed on women or feminism.)

                  • Joanna Schroeder says:

                    Now this I can get behind completely.

                    And I actually agree with Jacob 100%.

                    The aunts in that article I believe were sexually abusing this boy when they were burning him and blowing smoke in his face. Now he hires women to come in and burn his feet with cigarettes and blow smoke in his face while he masturbates.

                    I really do think Jacob nailed the naunce of the gender differences very well.

              • Good point, Jacobtk, but it goes a lot deeper than that. American society makes the mistake of placing people like Jerry Sandusky high on a pedestal to the point that they believe he is incapable of any wrongdoing. Somehow just because he fits the Mike Huckabee/Pat Boone mold of being the social prima donna who was popular in high school, married his puppy love sweetheart, and exceled in sports, it doesn’t necessarily make him a saint. It infuriates me that whenever our culture goes looking to point the finger at someone as being a suspect in a child abduction or child rape, somehow society seeks to single out the socially awkward, 40-plus virgin loner as the most likely culprit. My response to that is that most of these social misfits are too afraid to even step out of line with kids, because they don’t even have the social skills to entice anyone into doing anything they don’t want to do. It’s like there’s this oddball belief that these social outcasts who never seem to appear at any of their high school reunions spend their free time stalking kids and cornering them in dark alleys. It only shows you how majorly retarded people in our country are on this subject matter.

          • Where are you getting this information from?

            Who says that people are less angry at female child abusers? To me that seems like total bullshit. I’ve never heard anyone say that, nor have I ever read it. I think you’re either building upon your own experience or making a guess.
            You can see it in the way people express anger at child abusers based on gender. Even in cases of statutory rape you can see that male teachers that have sex with students are treated much more harshly in the court of public opinion than female teachers that have sex with students (to the point in fact that when its woman offender you might have a hard time finding news sources that will even call it rape but instead “sex with a student). Its even pretty evident in crime dramas like Law and Order. (No I’m not trying to say that crime drama shows are accurate protrayals of reality but I do think they are influenced by reality.)

            If you read the Jezebel piece about the man who wanted his feet burned during masturbation because he was burned while a child by his abusive aunts, I bet you will feel the rage to want to beat or kill those women. I did. I feel no differently about them than I do about Jerry Sandusky, and I’d be interested, but surprised, to learn that there are people who think that the sexual and physical abuse those aunts did to that boy (who is now a man) does anything but sicken and enrage them.
            Oh I’m sure that rage is there. It’s just that thanks to the idea that things like rape and abuse are things that “men do” it is possible to see a difference in response to abusers if they are men or women.

            What I will give you is that there are a lot of people who simply have a hard time believing that a woman would sexually abuse a child, but that is not the same as wanting the same fate for the women who did it.
            But it does contribute to curbing an anger and rage that would be unleashed fully against an abusive man. (Now also bear in mind that this presumption that a woman “would never do such a thing” does work in reverse and in some cases and can incite a greater rage instead of a lesser rage.)

            And ultimately, why do you say that we have to choose between which double-standard we are going to produce? If you can show me some documentation that society somehow hates female sexual abusers less than male ones, then I would say that that is a huge problem. But I would ALSO say that Jamie is exactly spot-on in this article about the way we’re handling Sandusky.
            I’m not sure how it goes with sex offenders specifically but it does seem that data suggests that women offenders in general do recieve lighter punishments than men even when adjusting for the severity of the crime.

            With that said. Quad A I do think those double standards you point out shouldn’t be placed at odds as if only one of them should be confronted.

          • I read the Jezebel article, and while there was a lot sympathy for the man I didn’t read any real condemnation of the aunts.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              That’s because the article wasn’t about the aunts, the article was about the man and that’s what made it so great. It wasn’t a story of his victimization, it was about his extreme fetish and told in a very respectful manner.

              I’m just saying that I doubt anyone read that story and said, “Well, I’m sure those aunts were good people, deep down, and very troubled.” I think they read it and thought, “I could go beat the shit out of those fucked up women.”

              At least I did. I don’t feel any differently about the woman who was a sunday school teacher who murdered the little girl (I can’t remember the name) than I do about any man who did the same thing. Sure we were shocked, but that’s because it’s just very rare to hear of a woman sexually assaulting and then murdering a child all on her own. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t all want to find her and beat the shit out of her. Not that we WOULD, just that it’s our first instinct out of rage.

              But I agree with Wellokaythen that probably very few people thought she should be raped daily.

              REGARDLESS – the whole point is that Jamie is saying that we must resist this instinct regardless of who the perp is. He’s not asking a gendered question, or raising a gendered debate. He’s merely talking about this one set of issues.

  15. J.R. Reed says:

    Great piece, Jamie.

    I hope to God that Sandusky gets exactly what he gave and then some. To keep denying that he did anything wrong is a joke and I hope that people see him for who he is–an old man who has a thing for boys and who found a way to have as many as he wanted. There’s a special place in hell for guys like him and I hope Satan is saving him a spot there. Chances are that he won’t last long in prison and if that happens you won’t find me crying.

    • How is Sandusky supposed to “get exactly what he gave”? Sandusky is not a child who can be abused an older authority figure.

      More to the point, are you saying that you approve of prison rape as long as it affects people you hate? Would you be okay with making it official–say, “The defendant is sentenced to five years in prison, including monthly rapes?” Would that be an improvement to our justice system?


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