Professor says minors can be 'enthusiastically involved' in 'initiating sexual activities with adults'

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Professor David Finkelhor of the University of New Hampshire participated in a March 23 talk discussing the “elements of voluntary participation” by juveniles involved in sex crimes, saying that when trying to prevent sex crimes against children, it’s key to realize that in some cases, it is the children themselves that are “initiating sexual activities with adults.” Finkelhor is the Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at UNH.

“If young people are initiating sexual activities with adults, or enthusiastically involved,” he said, “we can’t be effective in working with them if we assume that all such relationships start with a predatory or criminally inclined adult. As we’ve seen in the discussion, young people bridle at being forced into this box of being seen as being the victim of a predator.”

These remarks were made during a Haruv USA lecture about the “Implications for Prevention and Response” for sex crimes wherein there are “elements of voluntary participation” by the minors involved in those crimes.

It is Finkelhof’s view that “there are reasons for learning about what the dynamics are and how to talk about them so that we can better help the young people who are in these situations.”

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