Contoversial book "The Trauma Myth"

Recently I discovered the existence of a book called "The Trauma Myth: The Truth About the Sexual Abuse of Children and Its Aftermath " by a psychiatrist named Susan Clancy. Unlike what the title makes it sound, it is not a book that advocates sexual contact between children and adults, the author made it very clear in interviews that she would never be advocating criminal behavior such as child sexual abuse although she believes that it rarely rarely causes trauma to its victims. The description of the book on Amazon looks like this: “Drawing on the latest research on memory and traumatic experience, Susan Clancy, an expert in experimental psychopathology, demonstrates that children describe abuse and molestation encounters in ways that don’t fit the conventional trauma model. In fact, the most common feeling reported is not fear but confusion. Clancy calls for an honest look at sexual abuse and its aftermath, and argues that the reactions of society and the healing professions - however well meaning - actually shackle the victims of abuse in chains of guilt, secrecy, and shame. Pathbreaking and controversial, The Trauma Myth radically reshapes our understanding of sexual abuse and its consequences.”
So do you know this book, this psychiatrist or have you heard about this CSA approach? What do you think about all this?I am kinda curious to read the book, but I don’t know if I will


I’m curious to read as well and will likely check it out.

The premise makes sense to me because we already know that stigma doesn’t help anything and kids who experience CSA are often stigmatized and made to feel different after their abuse as if they aren’t still children. The whole “innocence” thing that makes it seem as if victims are tainted drives me batty. We basically heap the blame for abuse on the victim by othering them.

We could conquer so much with comprehensive sex and consent education…sigh. Imagine if we fucking gave kids the tools to recognize a bad situation BEFORE it escalates into something worse…

But yeah, I feel like there is a competition to make CSA the WORST possible kind of child abuse. To be completely and incredibly clear, children cannot consent and I stand behind that. There is nothing ok about CSA. But we do spend a lot of time actually telling children they are traumatized in situations where maybe they need protection from someone to end abuse but perhaps the abuse hasn’t left them as traumatized and adults want them to be. CSA victims get swept up in adult emotional kneejerk reactions and their own narrative gets taken away.

CSA, again, a terrible crime that is not justifiable, can be violent and scary and just as traumatizing as we think it is. But if a kid can walk away with information on why it shouldn’t happen but without scars, for the love of god, let them actually be kids and move on.

Anyway, I’m done ranting now and will go check out the book.


I was married to someone who would disagree strenuously to the “Trauma Myth”. She was 35 when diagnosed with PTSD as a result of childhood sexual abuse. That’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for anyone who isn’t familiar with what PTSD stands for.

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Complex-PTSD sufferer (childhood trauma, no CSA) here, if I may, I think you might have the wrong end of the stick here.

It feels like you’ve taken the title to mean that trauma from CSA is a myth. Blah blah, judge a book by it’s cover, etc and so on. My reading of the premise of the book doesn’t support that.

Survivors of abuse don’t fit into one box. Not everyone walks away with PTSD. Some kids just end up confused about what happened and maybe didn’t actually feel bad or traumatized until others told them they should. This does not condone CSA, it just leaves victims rooms to feel what they actually feel about the situation.

CSA is not ok. Adults owe it to children and themselves to not violate children, who, as it should be, cannot consent to sex with an adult. But we sometimes create and compound trauma by telling children something horrible has happened and that they should be uncomfortable and scared of what happened. There has to be more positive approach to helping kids through CSA and minimizing trauma.

Anywho, that’s just my understanding, not having read the book, and working only with the synopsis.


Well with a title like that, it does look that way. I know that not all CSA can cause trauma. My own experiences with it are actually treasured memories. But I would never tell someone who is traumatized that. It belittles the experiences they went through. And it appears to make less of what can be a horrifying memory.

And there is no way that I can think of to be able to predict what kind of outcome CSA will cause. So trauma is the safe bet, until proven otherwise.

I watched a movie called Sexuele Voorlichting which translates to Sex Education. It was made in Belgium and is in Dutch. It was an explanation of the changes that boys and girls should expect from puberty. It was either broadcast on TV or shown in schools to 5th graders or both. I have conflicting information on that. It had an all amateur cast and was jaw dropping and eye popping. An 11 or 12 year old, nude boy and girl demonstrated the changes that would be coming, what they mean and even showed masturbation. However, the information covered was simple, complete, did not patronize the children that were watching and did not moralize. It just stated the facts. I think such a movie, made with CGI children, would be useful for American 5th graders. It did not cover STDs, unwanted pregnancies, etc. but would be a good start.

Before everyone shouts CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, this was a serious educational film and thus covered by that exception.

Anyone want to create a Kickstarter campaign?

Which is why we read things like book synopses and the books themselves.

Maybe it’s a quibble but there is a difference between assuming trauma has occured and being prepared for if trauma has occured. It strikes me as a mistake to choose a default position about something that should probably be individualized to the victim and situation.


As a starting point, I think this default is better. Otherwise, you will have all sorts of nutcases claiming they know how to have sex with children and not to cause any problems. Given the scarcity of non-traumatic survivors, I think this is appropriate. However, if the child in question has been exposed to illegal sexual activities, I would agree that a therapist should step carefully through the child’s experiences and not blow it out of proportion and cause a trauma.

Cool, if you read the book, then it would be cool if you wrote about what you thought about it. I’m very curious to know. As I said the title of the book in fact scares, but seeing the summary, the reviews from who read it and what the author said, I realized that the book is definitely not what it seems to be


But yeah, I feel like there is a competition to make CSA the WORST possible kind of child abuse.

Maybe there are types of CSA that isn’t the worst possible kind of child abuse. There is some idiotic zoophile who sent beastiality porn to minor teens who were calling him out on twitter. Sending porn to minors is considered a non contact form of CSA according to stopitnow if I remember right. It’s not acceptable to send porn to minors, especially if content may include animal sexual abuse of any kind. But obviously there are plenty of non CSA types of abuse that are far worse than what this twat did.

But I would say for a non CSA to be on par with child rape, it would have to involve assault with deadly weapons against the child like beating a child’s head repeatedly with a baseball bat causing cranial fracture for it to be on par with child rape. So yes, not all forms of CSA is the “worst form of abuse”, but child rape is the worst form of abuse with very few exceptions. Those exceptions occur very rarely which is why we tend to treat child rape as THE worst form of abuse, short of murder.

Will the moderators please remove this racist from the forum? Thank you.


It is better to be quiet and thought an idiot, than to open one’s mouth and remove all possible doubt.


And just as an FYI, the quickest way to get a post or user removed of reviewed is to flag it/them. Mods don’t have time to read every thread and every reply, so we really appreciate a flag to let us know there is something to respond to.

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You’re proving my point AND using the phrase “child rape” as a cudgel. There is no value in this competition. No winners. You just end up downplaying other kinds of horrific abuse as “not as bad as” and this invalidates the feelings and experiences of the victim.

“Well sweetie, I know you were emotionally and verbally abused and physically intimated for years…but it’s just not horrific enough, sorry, you lose the abuse olympics.”

Like, wtf are you even trying to prove? Where is the value?


Like @Chie, I don’t approve of censorship. Especially over so called hate speech. However, that applies to the government. I don’t care for it on private venues, but I respect the right of @Prostasia and @terminus to run a polite, considerate, genteel forum, if they wish. That being said, my first thought when I saw this post was, “My first flame!” I don’t post on many forums and this is still new to me. My first experience with computers was the one at college. It occupied half of the Library basement and we used keypunch cards and teletypes to communicate in Fortran. I think of computers as tools, not social accessories. As I don’t have a social media presence (I tell people I’m not social) this was my first.

So, if a knuckle dragging, mouth breathing, imbecilic, mutton-headed, cretinous Neanderthal wants to use racist language to belittle me, I feel honored. I’m surprised there were no homophobic or xenophobic slurs as well.

BTW, I apologize to all Neanderthals out there for the insult of comparing them to this moronic, dimwitted nincompoop.


I’m adding the n word to our list of terms that will automatically flag and hide a post.


Thank you. It’s abhorrent. BLM

All this drama over the “N-Word”, you wokies know that this word literally means black in latin right? It’s not a racial slur. There are no black people on this forum anyways considering the usernames you picked, these do not sound like usernames blacks use, so even if its a slur it harms no one here. Either way if you live in my country follow my laws. It’s unlawful to knowingly possess, or view over the internet, photographic depictions of masturbating minors. Even if the film is designed to be educational there is no defense in the USA. Watching such depictions in US is considered pedofilia.

Have you ever heard of the film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song? It’s one of the first blaxploitation films ever made. In the beginning of the film, a young African-American orphan is sheltered by a Los Angeles brothel in the 1940s. Working as a towel boy, he is raped by one of the prostitutes. The women name him “Sweet Sweetback” in honor of his sexual prowess and large penis. As an adult, Sweetback performs in the whorehouse sex show. The part of the young Sweetback was portrayed by writer/director/producer/star Melvin Van Peebles’ thirteen year old son Mario. In the film, a very nude Mario is clearly humping the nude actress. If you don’t believe me, I suggest you rent a copy and see for yourself. Obviously illegal, right?

In 2020, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

In the film, a very nude Mario is clearly humping the nude actress.


The part of the young Sweetback was portrayed by writer/director/producer/star Melvin Van Peebles’ thirteen year old son Mario.

Seems super illegal lmao. Or they used a body double.

In 2020, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Probably used a body double. Or child porn laws are being enforced selectively.