It’s no surprise – those who would sexually abuse others, especially children, use many tactics to commit sexual abuse. Use of drugs and alcohol is one of the many tactics.
Parental views about alcohol and drugs should be clear to the child. Many parents may be inclined to share their personal experiences with drugs and alcohol with their children. A recent survey suggests that this may backfire.
That survey, published in the journal Human Communication Research, found that parental confessions about drug and alcohol abuse may make their kids have less negative perceptions about such use.
As part of the research survey, 500 11-14 year old middle school children were asked about their perceptions of drug and alcohol use. They were also asked about what their parents had told them about drugs and alcohol. An overwhelming majority (80%) of parents had admitted some drug/alcohol abuse in the past.
Researchers found that the more the parents discussed their abuse, the less likely their kids were to have negative opinions about drugs and alcohol. In essence, the kids adopted a “my parents did it and they seem ok” view.
This is important in the context of child sex abuse. Children who have a moderate view of drugs and alcohol may be more willing to accept them from an adult, especially one who is trying ply a child into engaging in sexual activity. That’s why it is important for parents to advise their children about the dangers of alcohol and drugs without relaying the message that it’s ok to try them.
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