I answered the questions of a concerned family member in a private message regarding female sexual abuse of a younger male. I have decided to post it. I hope it helps. Her questions are bold
What is your relationship like with your sister now?
I have only email and occasional contact with my sister. I live on the other side of the country from them, and while I am civil (send presents, cards, etc.), and have never 'confronted' her, I have no real interest in being in closer contact at this time.
What is your wife's relationship like with her?
My wife also has little to no relationship with her, but she is angry and, I think, hates her for what she did to me, and by extension, what my sister did to her relationship with me.
Did you ever believe that you were responsible for it?
This one could take up a whole page. Yes, I thought I was an equal partner in it. In fact, when she ended it, I didn't want to stop. This is part of the manipulation of abuse. Whether from guilt or so that they don't feel as responsible themselves, perpetrators weave the experience so the victim feels responsible. This is particularly insidious in the adolescent girl on prepubescent boy abuse. Society just doesn't view early sexualization of boys by girls as any real problem. Just imagine, for a moment, that a 16-year-old boy had sex with an eight-year-old girl. is there any way it would be perceived the way 'our' abuse is?
This is also part of what makes it so hard for the victim to realize that he has been abused himself.
How did you come to the realization that you were the victim?
Even yesterday, as I wrote to you, I had difficulty expressing how this whole process has been for me. I hear the voices of society, "Well, how did you SUDDENLY realize it was abuse? if it is abuse, you would know right away." and "Every boy should be introduced to sex with a beautiful young girl."
I realized the effect in retrospect, and after years of therapy. I noticed a lot of things: never stayed with a woman for more than a year; I craved outside attention; I never felt that I was getting what I deserved out of life. These were issues tied in with the abuse, but they are not so obvious that one could say they were direct effects. But I had a secret, a shameful hidden secret I couldn't share with anyone. I was an exhibitionist. I showed my naked picture to women, played sex games with women on the internet, saw prostitutes, went to strip clubs for solace, at 12, I ran naked past the secretary of my church! Ten years ago, I was arrested for flashing a woman while I was driving. But still I didn't see what was going on. The same shame I felt about what had happened with my sister, and the incredibly deep feeling of rejection I had because she STOPPED (that is ironic, huh?) was replaying over and over, as I tried to get women to respond, immediately and sexually. But it was also set up to fail.
My bf and I completely disagree right now on whether a 16-year-old girl ought to know better.
This is a sticky point. Can a minor child be this 'horrible' abuser? My only answer is that an ordinary eight-year-old doesn't know about sex, has no hormonal impulses driving him or her to sex, and will only react sexually if 'primed' to do it. Kids just don't learn this stuff until their bodies tell them to!!
Leave off whether she should have known better. He won't be able to be objective at all about that. Again, if he is like me, his sister was his first romantic physical love experience. She opened up a realm of physical feelings he didn't even know existed. She is the idealized lover for him.
HE LEARNED SEXUALITY INCORRECTLY. From her. And whether she was malicious or not doesn't matter. The person who hits you with the car may not have done it on purpose, but you still got hit. An eight year old, hell, an ordinary 11 year old just doesn't have the plumbing yet!!
Just go back to the 16-year-old boy and the eight year old girl, if that helps to get the picture. And don't give me the boys are different from girls bullshit. A child introduced to sex before they have the hormones and proper body parts is a child, no matter the gender. He or she has no sex. He or she shouldn't have sexuality.
She is now 41, divorced after cheating on her husband, and is a blatantly sexual person, as though she's proud of it.
I hope you can let go of some of the vitriol you feel for her. Realize that she, too, probably learned the overt sexuality at an earlier age, from someone else, and pity her that she has not yet been able to deal with it. Try to get off the subject of the sister and onto the subject of your lover. You are really angry that she demolished the sexuality of your boyfriend. Too late to go back and change that, but not to late to start the process of recovery.
I make this sound simple...it ain't. My sister has had five children by three different fathers, the last baby at age 47 and out of wedlock. Her oldest is a drug user and in trouble with the law. I want to wring her fucking neck at the idea that she might have done something to her boys. But that is externalizing my struggle. Do you see?
It is easier to look at someone else's troubles than to look at my own. But we all need to shine the light on our OWN darkness. You included. This is triggering something in you, too. What is it? Look inside yourself.
What do you think the most beneficial approach would be when he & I discuss it?
Do you bring it up? Or does he? if he is not bringing it up, I would steer somewhat clear of it. If you can, express UNCONDITIONAL acceptance of him. You see, he feels unlovable, deep down inside; he is convinced that if you learn who he 'really' is, you will hate him and leave. He may even try, unconsciously, to get out of the relationship himself in order not to feel that pain. You are reminding him, every time you bring it up, that he did something horrible and wrong and shameful.
I think I'm so scared that he may never blame her
Sorry to criticize so much here at the end, but he doesn't have to blame her right now, he has to realize the effect the abuse has had on him. Blame might come later, if at all.
That said, I firmly believe there cannot be a 'big happy family.' I do think you can say you do not care to get together with her alone. Or maybe be a little subtle and just not be available when they are getting together. Perhaps he will get the picture.
He is trying to relive the relationship with his sister. he is trying to not to be alienated from her because he is in love with her. There, I said, it - I am sorry to put it so strongly, but that is probably true.
And let the darkness fear our light.