Little Girls in Bikinis

The bikini is a garment designed to make the wearer look sexy, i.e. increase the sexual attractiveness of the wearer and make her more sexually arousing to the viewer. So why is it that despite the mass hysteria over child porn and child sex abuse, there is no controversy over little girls wearing bikinis? Even though a child’s motive for wearing a bikini is not to look sexy – she merely wants to imitate older girls and women, to look more grown up – the unintended effect may indeed be to increase her attractiveness as a sexual object to some individuals. So why no controversy?

Laws typically prohibit public nudity and specifically images of child nudity, but see no problem with bikinis on little girls, even though it could be argued that nudity is even less “sexy” than wearing a bikini. The extensive experience of naturists (social nudists) is that once the novelty of nudity wears off, nudity is actually not sexy. Seeing hundreds of naked people of all ages in normal everyday contexts tends to desensitize the viewer to the nude body. Especially in the case of children, a lack of clothing reveals the true immaturity of the child’s undeveloped body, the tiny size of the immature genitalia.

A modern fashion is to even allow or encourage little girls to wear padded bras. Again, the child’s motive is not to look sexy, but merely to imitate older girls and women, to look more grown up. But again the unintended effect may indeed be to increase her attractiveness as a sexual object to some individuals. So why isn’t there any criticism of padded bras for little girls?

The most likely explanation I can imagine is that the popular focus on child porn is hysterical. There is only superficial logic behind traditional laws against nudity, and courts are not rational in enthusiastically applying such laws to child nudity but not to bikinis or padded bras for little girls.

Typically laws do require that in addition to exposure of the genital area, there must be a sexual or erotic motive behind the specific case. But in practice prosecutors and judges may turn a blind eye to the technical requirement of “sexual intent,” and instead look for any flimsy excuse to claim that an image is “pornographic” and arrest and punish the accused “pornographer.”

Another possible explanation is that some individuals are not hysterical themselves, but are well aware of the mass hysteria and exploit it for personal profit. An example is the woman who filed for a divorce and then went to the police to show them nude photos of her daughter she had found hidden in her estranged husband’s drawer. The detective asked when she found the photos, and she replied “About a year ago.” That is, she did not run to the police to protect her daughter as soon as she found the photos; the woman waited until it was to her advantage to have her estranged husband arrested.

A few individuals in law enforcement and criminal justice might prefer to sit around looking at images of children to see if too much skin is showing, rather than do other kinds of investigations that are more difficult, boring and possibly much more dangerous. Those state employees are just as bad as thieves or other common criminals, because they pretend to be heroes protecting a child but in reality they destructively squander scarce resources, persecute innocent people, and undermine public confidence in the state.

Sexual Fascism

The modern Trans debate offers a new perspective on the long-standing battles over prostitution, pornography, sex education, and homosexuality. Different questions, but the same basic issue: Who decides what is allowed and what isn’t? Who decides what kids are taught in school? Who decides what the next generation will be like?

When conservatives and religionists were in control, they didn’t hesitate to impose their preferences on everybody else. Fascism is the rejection of democracy, the rule of law, free speech and other basic human rights. So sexual propriety was whatever sexual fascists said it is. Now that progressives seem to be gaining control, kids today may be exposed to information that is actually commercial advertising to sell hormone blockers, and political propaganda to reject the hetero models they normally see at home.

So what? If a child is abandoned by its parents and raised by the state, then the state must decide how to raise that child. But if parents keep and nurture their child, then the parents should decide what kind of environment the child is raised in, what models the child should be exposed to, what information the child should have access to – and at what age. Children naturally tend to imitate the models they are exposed to at home, with some exceptions, and there is nothing wrong with that. If the models at home are unsatisfactory (abusive, sexually dysfunctional) then children will be more prone to follow popular fashions, and more vulnerable to social contagion.

Some parents believe their preschool child is media literate, but I can’t imagine a preschooler understanding things like “non binary” and “gender non-conforming.” A preschooler might have difficulty understanding “concept” or “category.” But if some parents are that optimistic then they may allow their child access to information about gender transitioning and related topics. If some parents believe their 12-year-old is able to give informed consent for hormone blockers or surgery with potentially irreversible effects on sexual function and fertility, then who are we (other families, the state, etc.) to interfere?

Before people become parents I think they should be educated about mirror neurons and the effect of modeling on child development. They should understand critical thinking, and they should know what informed consent means. On the other hand nobody should dictate what kind of parents people want to be (within limits of course, children should be protected from any kind of insensitivity or exploitation). Otherwise the battles over dominance in sexual issues and every other sphere of life will never end.

Sexual Dysfunction in Women

Despite the extensive scientific literature on female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and despite multiple surveys in which many women report some form of sexual difficulties (1,2,3), some women flatly deny any sexual problems and merely fake arousal and orgasms. Although some women admit their own FSD, the true frequency is probably much higher due to the shame entailed in admitting the problem. Few girls or women are able to even describe what clitoral erection or orgasm feels like (4). In different individuals there may be some normal variation in sexual interest and the capacity for genital pleasure, but we should not deny that a gross and chronic lack of genital arousal or orgasm is accurately called impairment or dysfunction.

Most sexual dysfunction is attributed to “mental” causes which are curable – a convenient viewpoint for the therapeutic profession, and the cruel joke is that women are expected to wait until marriage (or at least until after puberty) to develop healthy sexual function – which is probably too late. Some women also express extreme hostility against any suggestion that even before puberty little boys are capable of genital erection, orgasm and ejaculation – at least a small amount of clear seminal fluid if not white semen, let alone the clearly visible fact that girls are likewise capable of spontaneous clitoral erections even in infancy. Little girls are probably capable of orgasm as well, but some women deny it because of the cherished traditional doctrine that genital pleasure is evil so “good” little girls have no interest whatsoever in the subject.

The possibility that clitoral function begins developing very early and if not cultivated the resulting impairment or dysfunction is often permanent, is merely a hypothesis in need of scientific confirmation, but is consistent with what we now know about how the brain develops (5). In addition, thousands of people have been exposed to that hypothesis over several years and yet nobody has offered any serious reasons for disbelieving it. Obviously a childhood origin of reduced clitoral sensitivity or clitoral erectile dysfunction (beginning around puberty) must be distinguished from the known causes of acute or late-onset FSD: hypertension, diabetes, hysterectomy, anti-depressant medications, radio/chemo/surgical therapy for cervical or rectal cancer, etc.

There are certainly strong reasons for not wanting to believe that healthy genital function requires early self-stimulation. Aside from the well-known history of religious hostility to sex before marriage, in one recent study nearly half of parents even refused to allow their adolescent offspring to participate in a verbal survey about sex (6). There is clearly a traditional interest in keeping scientists, teachers and legislators from learning more about sexual development. In addition, there is an economic interest in denying FSD. Educated women may suspect that FSD is not merely a temporary problem that can be cured by pep talks, but rather a permanent disability originating in childhood and is incurable. So women’s sexual exchange value would decrease if it became widely known that many women are permanently sexually dysfunctional. Prostitutes and other sex workers in particular might suffer a decline in the market value of their services, as would the many women who publicly condemn exchanging sex for money or other favors but actually do just that behind closed doors.

Fortunately FSD can probably be prevented through accurate, balanced and comprehensive sex education from the earliest age, including the clear acknowledgment that sexual desire and genital pleasure through self-stimulation are normal and healthy. If children’s innocent sex play is accepted as normal and healthy then it may be safely monitored by responsible parents and pediatricians, instead of being forced into hiding where kids are more likely to become victims of insensitivity and exploitation. Kids who are well-informed and behave responsibly deserve some privacy so monitoring does not have to mean constant surveillance, but rather the gentle offer of hygienic and safety advice beforehand, and the casual inquiry afterwards: “Did everything go OK?”

What really upsets some women (and men) is not the thought that a growing girl indulged in self-exploratory behavior or sex play with siblings or other children, but the possibility that in some cases she wanted to, initiated the sex play, enjoyed it, and did not suffer ill consequences (7). Women don’t often admit it publicly, and true hysterics find that idea shocking and akin to heresy, so they prefer to censor inconvenient evidence (8,9,10) and get rid of the witnesses. We need to ask where some individuals got such a militant idea from, and how they came to believe it with such conviction. I’ve already described the background of my point of view (11). In contrast to the shameful past history of quack medical theories and practices concerning childhood masturbation (beliefs still widespread in some third world countries), the belief that some forms of childhood sex play between peers are innocent and normal is now shared by most of the modern medical community.

The hysterical characteristics of prudishness are illustrated by the persistent paranoia regarding sex education. In contrast to some European countries the U.S. federal government finances abstinence-only propaganda (“sex is so dangerous just don’t do it, period”), even though research has found that such courses are actually less effective than comprehensive sex education in preventing teen pregnancy (12). This is the same government bureaucracy that publicly promotes the neurological principle of “use it or lose it” when it comes to the early development of language ability, but doesn’t apply the very same logic in the development of healthy sexual function.

Some critics fear that genital pleasure is an addictive drug like heroin or cocaine, so of course young children should not have access to it. But in reality sex is very different from illegal drugs. In genital pleasure there is no phenomenon of tolerance (larger and larger doses needed to achieve the same satisfaction), there is no withdrawal syndrome (e.g. vomiting), and there is no risk of overdose. Substance abuse – including alcohol and tobacco – actually inhibits sexual arousal and function. Although some individuals have blamed so-called “sexual addiction” as the reason why they cheated on their spouse, no category of so-called “sexual addiction” has been included in the American Psychiatric Association’s latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

It’s revealing that so much popular attention is focused on how to become aroused and how to reach orgasm, while in healthy sexual function arousal and orgasm are automatic, reflexive and inevitable. Equally unsettling is the person who blames herself or partner for failure to reach orgasm due to lack of skill or inexpert technique. While skill or technique can enhance the quality of orgasms (intensity, duration), skill or technique have nothing to do with reaching orgasm (13).

In a recent, preliminary study the number of women who reported no sexual attraction to anyone (men or women) during the past 12 months was more than three times higher than men, and women who reported absence of sexual attraction during the last year reported significantly more sexual dysfunctions than matched controls. In that study individuals who reported absence of sexual attraction during the last 12 months also reported a significantly lower frequency of sexual play in childhood compared to individuals who did not report absence of sexual attraction (14).

Developing healthy sexual function may offer positive benefits beyond mere recreational pleasure. Some research has found that in the long term frequent orgasms are linked to enhanced immune system function, higher levels of cognitive functioning, and longer lifespan. In an ideal world opportunities for self-stimulation could also be an effective incentive for kids to behave more responsibly and constructively at home and in school. From a pedagogical point of view such an incentive would certainly be preferable to primitive disciplinary methods still popular in some cultures.

To be perfectly clear, I’m not defending, excusing or trivializing sexual abuse. I’m not trying to lower the age of consent. I’m not trying to legalize child pornography. It should not be necessary to include such disclaimers, but some unscrupulous witch hunters look for any excuse to “read between the lines” and accuse an author of evil intent. Honest readers will consider my concrete and specific statements, rather than resort to straw-man arguments, slippery slope scare tactics, or ad hominum attacks.

The most important point is this: Women today who didn’t have the benefit of a healthy educational environment when they were growing up are not to blame for their own sexual dysfunction now. In the past thoughtful understanding of the development of healthy sexual function based on scientific research was not available. But today’s parents, educators and legislators who censor scientific research and don’t provide children with appropriate information resources and opportunities for self-stimulation are certainly to blame for the possibly permanent reduced genital sensitivity or clitoral dysfunction of future generations of growing girls.


  1. Sammy Elsamra, Michael Nasmy, David Shin, Harry Fisch, Ihor Sawczuk, Debra Fromer. Female sexual dysfunction in urological patients: findings from a major metropolitan area in the U.S.A. BJU International, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/1464-410X.2009.09091.x
  2. Laumann, E. Paik, A, Rosen R. Sexual dysfunction in the United States: prevalence and predictors. JAMA 1999;281: 537-544.
  3. “The American Sex Survey: A Peek Beneath the Sheets.”
  4. Tolman, Deborah L. Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk about Sexuality. Harvard, 2002.
  5. Clitoral Erectile Dysfunction
  6. Lehmiller, Justin J. The Psychology of Human Sexuality, 2nd ed. Wiley Blackwell, 2019.
  7. Lamb, Sharon. The Secret Lives of Girls: What Good Girls Really Do – Sex Play, Aggression, and Their Guilt. Free Press, 2001.
  8. Rind, Bruce et al. A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples. Psychological Bulletin ,1998, Vol. 124, No. 1, 22-53.
  9. Rind et al. The Validity and Appropriateness of Methods, Analyses, and Conclusions in Rind et al. (1998): A Rebuttal of Victimological Critique From Ondersma et al. (2001) and Dallam et al. (2001). Psychological Bulletin 2001. Vol. 127. No. 6. 734-758.
  10. Rind, Bruce, et al. Science versus orthodoxy: Anatomy of the congressional condemnation of a scientific article and reflections on remedies for future ideological attacks. Applied & Preventive Psychology 9:211-225 (2000). Cambridge University Press.
  11. Learning About Love See also: Photography vs. Pornography
  12. Levine, Judith. Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex. University of Minnesota Press, 2002.
  13. Ecstatic Orgasms
  14. Jannike Ho¨glund, Patrick Jern, N. Kenneth Sandnabba, Pekka Santtila. Finnish Women and Men Who Self-Report No Sexual Attraction in the Past 12 Months: Prevalence, Relationship Status, and Sexual Behavior History. Arch Sex Behav (2014) 43:879–889 DOI 10.1007/s10508-013-0240-8

Jaycee Dugard: The Whole Story?

The kidnapping of little Jaycee in California many years ago and her eventual rescue received a lot of attention in the mass media, but despite the victim’s books and interviews on the subject, it seems that we still don’t have the whole story.

You may already know that in 1991 when she was eleven years old she was walking to a school bus stop in Lake Tahoe when a convicted sex offender pulled up in his car, and assaulted her with a stun gun. He then brought her to a shack hidden in his backyard and repeatedly raped her over a period of 18 years, made her pregnant twice so they eventually had two daughters, and let them all go outside with him shopping and to the beach, until he apparently confessed to the police and the victims were freed.

In her first book Jaycee briefly describes her somewhat normal childhood before the kidnapping, but she never knew her real father and didn’t even really have a loving father substitute in her childhood. Although Jaycee’s book is rich in details, there are a few aspects of her story that suggest something is missing. I don’t mean to question the author’s sincerity, it’s possible that when she wrote it she herself was unaware of the gaps.

The perpetrator of the tragedy reportedly admitted that he had a “problem.” He was fixated on little girls, prone to violence to satisfy his fixation, and claimed that the kidnapping of Jaycee helped protect other children from being victimized by him. However, according to Jaycee’s book he nonetheless continued seeking bizarre gratification by videoing children on playgrounds. Jaycee believes he then used the videos to masturbate. And yet after Jaycee’s two daughters were born the mother has virtually nothing to say about what her own little daughters might have faced in their little prison.

She says that after years the rapes became less frequent, but that’s more cause for suspicion. The kidnapper was willing to risk a virtual life sentence by taking Jaycee, and after she had two daughters she was no longer a little girl herself. Who took her place as an outlet for his “problem?” When the kidnapper conveniently had two new little girls under his complete control, he suddenly reformed and did absolutely nothing to exploit the situation?

At one point the kidnapper reportedly swore he would never “hurt” his daughters in any way. But then he says he’s sure his second child will be a girl because that’s what he “needs.” The mother doesn’t say anything about the worry she must have felt, the precautions to be taken to prevent her daughters from being molested. She says practically nothing about her daughters’ relationship with their father during more than a decade of her daughters’ experience, their entire childhood.

Quite the contrary, Jaycee tells readers that eventually she slept in a tent in the yard rather than with her growing daughters. She even admits that on occasion her daughters stayed alone in the house where he was. Jaycee even went on outings and left her daughters alone at home with the kidnapper. Can anyone realistically expect such superhuman trust on the part of a loving mother who had been repeatedly raped by him?

At some point the kidnapper took up reading the Bible. Was he reading the Old Testament story of Lot having sex with his daughters, and God not punishing any of them? According to some biblical scholars, we are all descendants of Lot’s incestuous union with his daughters.

In the so-called “Stockholm Syndrome” the victim comes to accept and identify with the kidnapper, and even feels glad she was kidnapped, at least temporarily, as apparently happened in the Patty Hearst case. There is some debate about whether it is properly called a “syndrome,” but since her daughters were born in that situation, it’s possible that in Jaycee’s case there is a kind of cover-up of something far beyond the usual adaptation to a kidnapping.

I’m not criticizing Jaycee or being judgmental or moralistic in any way. I’m just saying that her story seems incomplete. Granted, Jaycee and her family have a right to privacy. We certainly want to avoid any additional suffering to her or her family. They have suffered enough. But a full discussion of what actually happened might be beneficial to everybody concerned.

Let me digress. In the fall of 2015, I published two long articles on this topic, and I almost immediately suffered a determined legal attack by the local police to censor my writing. There is no evidence yet that those events are related, but I am clearly a living victim of the mass hysteria over child porn and child sex abuse. I now feel a need to take up the discussion again, trying to be as sensitive as possible to everyone’s best interests. My practical experience with the modern criminal justice system in the country I live in has taught me that the truth is irrelevant to arrogant state authorities.

Prosecutors and state psychologists can tell blatant lies, falsify testimony, and leave out selected facts to distort the overall picture. At least some judges turn a blind eye to such crimes against the truth, supposedly to serve the “greater good” of promoting the current version of political correctness. This is no minor gripe. If prosecutors and court experts can cheat and lie, and judges look the other way, the public will soon be laughing at the law.

Science is so successful because it is based on open discussion of the whole truth. If scientists lie by omission, then science becomes a farce. But state authorities lie with impunity to protect a political narrative.

For 10 years I have tried to contribute to children’s best interests by attacking the mass hysteria over child sex abuse. The hysteria over pornography and sex abuse not only undermines public faith in government, it causes untold suffering directly to millions of children by terrorizing kids against so-called stranger danger, and worse it distracts public attention away from the thousands of child deaths and serious injuries every year due to physical abuse and neglect that have nothing to do with sex crimes.

Lawyers in general don’t reason logically or scientifically. They reason by political intuition. Most politicians are lawyers, which is why the state tries to censor scientific research. Lawyers don’t care about the truth. They only care about political consequences.

To be perfectly clear, I have no desire to defend or minimize what the kidnapper or others like him might have done. I’m not trying to promote any sexual agenda. There is no entertainment value in reading the sordid details of an inhuman tragedy.

In her 2011 book Jaycee said that at first she didn’t want to write any book at all, and she admitted that her thinking wasn’t very clear yet. She suggested that in 10 years she will have figured it out. The book for sale on Amazon has now had thousands of reviews, more than any other book I know of, mostly brief expressions of sympathy by other women. So now that 10 years have passed since she wrote her first book, I am asking politely and respectfully: Where is the whole story, Jaycee?

Now that your daughters are adults, are they free to talk about what (if anything) happened to them at the hands of their father? Are they free to tell their side of the story? Their childhood was radically different from their mother’s. Before she was eleven Jaycee did not even know what the word “rape” meant, but she says her little daughters knew that their father had already served time in prison for rape.

He picked the worst possible victim to kidnap and rape. Kidnapping any child is a despicable and monstrous crime, but Jaycee had grown up even more timid and inhibited than most. In contrast, the fixated criminal had complete control over his daughters’ early education and the development of their values. As Jaycee put it: “He controlled everything.” Did he make videos of himself having sex with their mother to show the videos to the girls as one of many kinds of inducement? Very young children tend to playfully imitate whatever they see. Jaycee admits: “He had the ability to turn every situation to suit his needs.”

Psychologists, prosecutors and other arrogant state officials have been known to put enormous pressure on crime victims to lie to promote a politically correct fairy tale. Are there some other special interests in this case selectively censoring certain aspects of the story to hide the whole truth? I’m sorry if I can’t help but wonder.


1) Dugard, Jaycee. A Stolen Life: A Memoir. (Simon and Schuster, 2011.)