User Review - Flag as inappropriate
Clancy's theory and book makes one very large error. She claims that child abuse is rarely traumatic when it happens. Yet, this is not true. The betrayal of the child, using the child inappropriately for the adult's benefit, is incredibly traumatic. She claims the child is "confused" and not traumatized. She states that sexual abuse rarely physically or psychologically damages a child. Yet almost all of the research in the field of child abuse contradicts this.
A person may feel pleasure when given a free hit of heroin. And then another. And so on. Then they are hooked. Yet the first hit damaged them and repeated hits damage them more. A child may not be able to interpret the damage done to them when they are abused because they have no language for this kind of betrayal, yet they are horribly damaged.
She claims that recovered memory doesn't exist. Yet, many studies show that not only does it exist, but that it is often accurate. There are legal cases that back this up, including the recent Paul Shanley case decided in Massachusetts.
One of the most damaging things about this book is that it ends up blaming those that help the victims of these crimes. According to her, the level of traumatization of the abused person is influenced by those to whom they discuss the crimes of abuse to, like a therapist. Actually, the act of discussing these sexual abuse crimes is the beginning of the healing from them.
The most damaging thing about this book is that it can easily be misinterpreted to mean that child abuse is never traumatic. The next step is to state that there is nothing wrong with it (though Clancy does not go this far). She does state that children often enjoy sexual abuse. This is another dangerous statement to make, one that an abuser can use to justify their actions.