"Precursor event"

I came across an argument on Reddit wherein folks debated wether or not bathing with your own children was appropriate or not. Of course, I pointed out that parents bathed with their children in various cultures across the world and that it was perfectly normal. I showered with my own parents up until I was probably 3-4ish.

Somebody responded to me with something that just sounded so silly to me when I read it aloud:

Open up any psychological handbook and exposure to nudity or sexuality is the main precursor event to sexually abused children.

Perhaps I’m misinterpreting, but is this person seriously suggesting that a kid simply seeing somebody else naked is the precursor event to CSA? Because I find that rather difficult to believe! Is there any truth whatsoever to this claim, or is it hogwash? The best I found was this:


As part of the UCLA Family Lifestyles Project (FLS), 200 male and female children participated in an 18-year longitudinal outcome study of early childhood exposure to parental nudity and scenes of parental sexuality (“primal scenes”). At age 17-18, participants were assessed for levels of self-acceptance; relations with peers, parents, and other adults; antisocial and criminal behavior; substance use; suicidal ideation; quality of sexual relationships; and problems associated with sexual relations. No harmful “main effect” correlates of the predictor variables were found. A significant crossover Sex of Participant X Primal Scenes interaction was found such that boys exposed to primal scenes before age 6 had reduced risk of STD transmission or having impregnated someone in adolescence. In contrast, girls exposed to primal scenes before age 6 had increased risk of STD transmission or having become pregnant. A number of main effect trends in the data (nonsignificant at p < 0.05, following the Bonferonni correction) linked exposure to nudity and exposure to primal scenes with beneficial outcomes. However, a number of these findings were mediated by sex of participant interactions showing that the effects were attenuated or absent for girls. All effects were independent of family stability, pathology, or child-rearing ideology; sex of participant; SES; and beliefs and attitudes toward sexuality. Limitations of the data and of long-term regression studies in general are discussed, and the sex of participant interactions are interpreted speculatively. It is suggested that pervasive beliefs in the harmfulness of the predictor variables are exaggerated.

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I’m not aware of the research in that area (and the study you found suggests that there is not a correlation), but I believe this person’s argument is flawed regardless because of the lack of clarification regarding the definition of “predictor event.”

Even if we assume that most kids who were abused were exposed to nudity first, it’s still statistically possible for the rate of abuse among kids who were exposed to nudity to be equal to or even lower than the rate of abuse in the general population. I’ve provided an example of such a case below.


Assuming by “predictor event” they meant that abused kids were often exposed to parental nudity first, it bears no relevance to the impact that nudity has on abuse as a causal factor.

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Since I was very young, me and my family would, at times, walk around the house naked. Most of the time, this would happen before/after someone used the bathroom. For us, it was normal.

When I was a kid, I used to own a book about the human body, which was intended for 4-8 year olds. The book contained drawings of nude adults and children (only drawings, no real pictures). There was also a drawing of two adults (a man and a woman) having sex.

The book explained what sexual intercourse was, that it’s for procreation and that it can be pleasurable.

Though, as a kid, I didn’t understand why adults would want to hug each other naked. Couldn’t adults just hug each other with clothes on? I know what the book said, but even then… I just didn’t get it (as an adult, I do get it now).

Amusingly, there was a drawing in the book of a family (a father, a mother and two kids) watching a sex scene on a TV. The TV screen was showing the drawing of a man and woman having sex that I mentioned earlier. The mother was shielding her children’s eyes from viewing the TV screen, while the father looked embarrassed. Interestingly, the man and woman having sex looked similar to the father and mother…

Anyway, as I mentioned, the book showed drawings of nude children as well. These were shown to illustrate how a person grows from a child to an adult (from a boy to a man and a girl to a woman), as well as physical changes.

The book also mentioned that some families considered nudity less “prude” than others, meaning that it can be considered normal for parents and/or children to see each other naked. As an example, there was a drawing of a boy and his father brushing their teeth, while nude. In another drawing, a girl and her mother were drying their hair, also while nude.

There’s a certain bit of irony seeing nude drawings of children in a book (about the human body, but still) for children being sold in Canada. The reason why it’s legal is because the kids aren’t being “sexualized”, which apparently makes it okay. Just ignore the man and woman having sex in the book (again, for kids).

As a sidenote, I’ve seen pictures of real kids naked… But only in certain books, such as from National Geographic, which should be noted are legal because they’re not sexualizing kids. Also, most of the nude kids that I’ve seen in photos are of little boys from Africa.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that nudity in and of itself isn’t sexual. Context matters.

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Can’t say I’ve known any three-year-olds who managed to bath themselves at that age 'cause, you know, they’d drown without some form of supervision.

Americans are incredibly weird…


Seconding this as an American


I’m beginning to suspect that a lot of this pedo-panic is over-sensationalized, even for the average person.

I was talking with my mother about this and she was…well… disturbed, but when I told her about all the crazy things like @Jigsy , she just said

“People are crazy. You wouldn’t be here if I didn’t bathe you when you were little, people need to let parents be parents and let kids be kids.”


I mean we had someone on this forum try to claim that mothers were committing abuse by feeding their children. I kinda gave up on humanity at that point.


I remember about two years ago, I saw an anonymous user on 4chan make a claim that “all parents are pedophiles, because they see their children naked” and argued with others about it.

Unsurprisingly, the user got ridiculed.


“Changing your own child’s diaper? Believe it or not, CSA.”


It’s probably a very warped form of virtue signalling.

“I’m more against child sex abuse than you are!”


“I’m more against child sex abuse than you are!”

I’ve brought up in the past that whenever I have a mental breakdown over my attractions, I tend to say stuff like this. A vain effort to convince myself that I’m not a “degenerate” and that I’m above others. All the anti talking points, I’ve spewed them during my moments of madness.

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