There is a lot to digest in this article, so I’m not going to pull out a quote, instead I’m going to simply suggest you go read the entire thing.
As you do though, I think there are two important points, controversial as they may seem. Kids who are sexually inappropriate with other kids are not destined to a life of pedophilia, and we should really give some serious thought to how we treat them, and whether we view them as potential victims as well. It appears from the work being talked about here that we are ruining people’s lives at 14 years old, or younger, , branding them in ways we do not do with any other type of criminal or inappropriate behavior.
Secondly, I think this really also hammers home the point about educating kids at a young age about sexual abuse and boundaries. It’s not just protecting your kid from being a victim, it’s also about teaching your kid what proper behavior looks like when they interact with other children. We don’t expect pre-teens or early teenagers to just “know” what’s appropriate touch and what isn’t. We have to teach them, so they can identify when it’s happening to them, and where they should draw the line in their own interactions with siblings, cousins, friends, etc.
Early education works both ways. Don’t let your kid become a victim or an abuser because they just didn’t know differently.