Joan Nelson's rebuttal

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My article advocating an impartial, scientific continuum model for professionals dealing with issues of intergenerational sexuality has obviously met with severe condemnation from Wendy Maltz. Her reaction is an excellent example of the current professional bias that produces ignorance of the big picture. My paper clearly states that I agree completely with Maltz about victims and offenders in that very real, problem-centered category of intergenerational sex which is, indeed, child sexual abuse. My main thesis is that what we as society and profession currently believe to be the whole truth is only part of that truth.

I wouldn't bother to make an ideological issue out of it if I weren't convinced that professional ignorance of the big picture does major harm by making "victims" out of people who were never victimized except by professionals who state as diagnosis what is really value judgment. I have stated that current semantics represent only part of the entire terms "offender" and "victim" to "participant," and "incest" to "intergenerational sex." This is not so. I want to include all child-adult liaisons, not just the consanguineous ones. And I want to include children who are not victimized as well as adults who offend nothing but other adults' sensibilities.

All sexual behavior, no matter what the relationship or age of the partners, exists on a continuum from violent rape to nurturing lovemaking. When professionals and society learn to define exploitation in terms of actual harm done, rather than age difference, we will have fewer iatrogenic victims.

source: 'Joan Nelson's Rebuttal' by Joan A. Nelson, Ed.D.; Republiced in 'FreeWill Report #14 (Project Truth); April 1989; Original: Journal of Sex Education & Therapy, Vol. 15, No. 1; 1989