I need resources for helping a sexually inappropriate adolescent boy learn to respect women. Some of the details are creepy and probably triggering.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (76 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
The boy is a young teenager, and his mother is a very close friend. My friend divorced the father when the boy was a baby, and I helped them considerably during the process of the divorce and custody battles, which continued on and off for many years.
The dad is arrogant, violent, sexist, and abusive. He has been arrested for domestic violence, including once against his son. He abuses his girlfriends physically and emotionally, and there is an extremely credible but unverified account of him forcibly raping someone some years back. For some reason, the courts decided that abusing the child wasn't sufficient reason to limit unsupervised visits, and none of his alleged victims went to the police.
During the early stages of their court battles, the court appointed a family therapist who tentatively diagnosed the dad with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, although he refused to cooperate much or to attend any non-compulsory therapy so he didn't get a definitive diagnosis. (The therapist did take my friend aside and tell her that she was unable to make a professional diagnosis, but recommended that she research NPD and be very alert to issues involving respecting others' space and behaving appropriately, especially sexually.) It might be significant that this guy blames me in some part for his divorce, and has plotted against me a couple of times that I know of. One involved telling his son to try to walk in on me in the bathroom or getting dressed, which the kid disclosed to me after I confronted him about all the jiggling of door handles. He said his dad told him it'd be funny.
The boy has always liked me, and I used to like him back. He had a sort of little boy crush on me when he was younger, but recently, it's gotten disturbing. He used to hug me and tell me he loved me a lot when he was little, but now, he's bigger than me, and is making inappropriate sexual comments and groping me.
I have explicit permission from his mom to discipline him as I see fit, and I don't really worry about my own safety with him. I do worry a little bit that his dad might be setting him up to make some type of false accusation, so I now have a policy that I will not be alone with him at all. His mom and my family are all aware of this policy. (And the 'no alone time' thing is a big deal, as I used to pick him up from school as a special treat, and we'd work on projects together until his mom came to pick him up.)
He does things like come up behind me and grope me and then persist in doing it when I tell him to stop; make inappropriate sexual comments, usually sotto voce so that other people in the room don't hear him; and try to cop a feel out of view of other people (e.g., under the table). Once I could no longer deny this was happening, I started to address it far more insistently than I had before, by physically pushing him off and loudly admonishing him, so that everyone in the room knows what he said or did. He also lies blatantly and denies doing what he did, but nobody believes him about that or lets him think they do. He is an extremely casual liar, and we have not been humoring him.
I think he's slowly if not completely learning that he won't get away with that behavior with me, but I'm not just worried about me.
My concern is for other girls and women, particularly the girls he goes to school with. He is a very big kid and he's still in middle school and at risk of being held back a year. It's one thing for me, a middle aged woman with a lot of people supporting me, to fend him off; but I am concerned that he's behaving like this with the 12 year old girls at his school, who are going to be a lot less prepared to deal with it.
His mother is in a little bit of understandable denial about the risk to girls--she knows he does this to me but thinks it's somehow specific to me either due to him having a crush or at the direction of his dad. And there have been no indications that he's behaved inappropriately with girls. However, I've pretty much convinced her that it is a risk and it needs to be addressed. He is probably not sexually active at this point, but who knows?
So I'm looking for sex ed resources for adolescent boys. Not the mechanics or biology of sex. He knows that stuff. More like educational material on Yes means Yes and enthusiastic consent and other "how not to be a goddamned rapist" type materials to counter his dad's training in "how to be a goddamned rapist" training.
He's fairly emotionally immature and not a great reader, so ideally, something written for kids would be best.
Things that are not options:
1. Therapy. The custody agreement requires both parents' consent for any non-emergency treatment, and the dad, for obvious reasons, won't consent to that.
2. Changes to the custody arrangements. We've tried and tried. It's not happening.
3. Appeals to the father's paternal instincts. He doesn't care.