Jonathan Zimmerman: Sandusky and Sexual Abuse: From Apathy to PanicRoundup: Historians' Take
Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history at New York University and lives in Narberth. He is the author of "Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory" (Yale University Press). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the 1970s, I went to a summer camp whose director liked little boys. That's how we described pedophiles at the time, and all the kids figured he was one.
Our parents did, too. I remember telling my folks that the director often visited our cabins at the end of swim period, because he knew we would be changing out of our bathing suits at that point. He also showed up at skinny-dips with a movie camera. True story.
If you think that's astonishing, consider this: We thought it was funny. My parents laughed it off, and so did I. Later, after I became a counselor at the same camp, the director's proclivities remained a source of mirth. There was a playful, Keystone Kops aspect to it; we would station a kid on "director watch," for example, to warn everyone when he was on his way....
Today, his inclination could have triggered a criminal investigation and a media blitz. The camp that we loved would almost certainly have closed down. And none of that would have been good for the kids who went there.
Unless, that is, they had been sexually abused by the camp director. Since the 1980s, a wealth of psychological research has demonstrated the negative long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse....
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump Angled for Soviet Posting In the 1980s
- Places That Are Actually Worth Visiting
- JFK’s last birthday: Gifts, champagne and wandering hands on the presidential yacht
- Bozeman schools prefer kids in class on MLK Day
- Universities across the country are facing up to their past association with slavery
- Historian David Kaiser says the most exciting day of his life was JFK’s election
- Michael Bliss, Historian Who Dispelled Myths of Insulin’s Discovery, Dies at 76
- Jill Lepore: Americans Aren't Just Divided Politically, They're Divided Over History Too
- AHA joins protest of Trump’s plan for drastic cuts to the NEH
- Diane Ravitch says the Democrats paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools