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Unspeakable Acts: Why Men Sexually Abuse Children Paperback – January 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0814766668 ISBN-10: 0814766668 Edition: 1st

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Unspeakable Acts: Why Men Sexually Abuse Children + Not Monsters: Analyzing the Stories of Child Molesters + Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press; 1 edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814766668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814766668
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,480,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

”A superb book that takes us into the subjective world of the child molester. It breaks new ground and provides a major contribution to sex research. Vital reading for all those interested in the interpretations of the men who commit unspeakable acts.”

-Martin S. Weinberg,Indiana University at Bloomington

”An example of how interviewing and life course methods can be done in ways that yield an empirically rich analysis useful for theoretical development. . . . A nicely written book using excellent methodology.”

-Contemporary Sociology,

”Victims, survivors, and their supporters most want to know how and why people can sexually assault and terrorize children who love and trust them. Finally, after reading Doug Pryor's Unspeakable Acts, I feel a have a vivid and reliable answer to that question. This book is must reading for every student of child sexual abuse.”

-Hal Pepinsky,Indiana University at Bloomington

About the Author

Doug Pryor is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and co-author of the recent ground-breaking book Dual Attraction: Understanding Bisexuality.
  [Author Bio]


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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The book is relatively detailed, but it's not boring.
Red Devil
I highly recommend the book, and encourage future readers not to put it down when the reading gets tough!
ESCHELL@TRIB.COM
Begin reading this book by setting your personal feelings aside.
Angel M. Gonzales

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By "socialworker8976" on January 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a social worker, I have to deal with men who sexually abuse children - and try to help them. This book helped me to understand such men WITHOUT excusing their acts. I am now able to talk to these men and work with them much better. There is little in the literature about sexual perps and the stuff is usually about the effects on the victims. This book accepts the victims, however, focuses on the men.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By ESCHELL@TRIB.COM on June 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Although the explicit nature of Unspeakable Acts was oftentimes difficult to read, I made myself finish. I'm glad I did. I read the book just after my husband went to jail for fondling our daughter. Getting a glimpse of the mentality and motives of other sexual abusers helped me to finally understand --- and ultimately forgive --- my husband. Standing beside him through the legal process and in dealing with mental health professionals for both him and our daughter has been a difficult task for me, but one I've chosen to take on. I appreciate the candid content of Unspeakable Acts as it helped me to better understand the atrocity we call sexual abuse. I highly recommend the book, and encourage future readers not to put it down when the reading gets tough!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By R. WALKER on August 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
I received this book only yesterday and I am half way through reading it the writer does challenge convential wisdom of lock them up and throw the key away he questions the approach to the flog and hang them brigade.If you read it objectively there is information on how to identify abuse, listening to your children dealing with your own disgust facing the issues of child abuse. He does not excuse what they have done but he reasons why they have done it,he challenges the lying deception of paedophilies who deluded themselves of the child initiating sexual contact with an adult,he shows the child as a person in their own right not to be abused.This book should be standard text for all who work with offenders and children.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Right after I was caught for molesting one of my young children, I bought this book to learn who the hell I am and a little bit about how I got into that narrow-minded hell-hole of child sexual interest and action. This book REALLY opened my eyes, and gave hugely rewarding insights into myself (not ones I expected to find!). The author writes clinically and compassionately, and offers superb suggestions at the end on how our criminal justice system could do an awful lot better with family offenders. I've since plead guilty and was sentenced to jail time, treatment, and many years of probation. This book helped me understand myself as an offender, the impact on the child, and the range of conventional and possible public responses to punish and treat this terrible offense. I highly recommend it for troubled offenders who WANT insight into this mindset, as well as for loving spouses and close relatives that want to better understand and support the offender. The writing is good.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Red Devil on July 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was a student of Pryor's his first year at TU (and for several years thereafter) and this was a required read for us. This book is unique in the sense that Pryor studied offenders and not the victims (and he does it without being sympathetic to the offenders too). I believe he was one of the first social researchers to do this. The book is relatively detailed, but it's not boring. That surprised me considering how most sociological reseach reads. If you're interested in sexual deviance, specifically pedophilia, read this book because it looks at a completely different perspective than most research on the topic does.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I read this book for a paper in my psychology class and this book is like no other on child sexual abuse. This is a real candid look into the abusers' mind, told by the abusers themselves. The stories go into enough detail to understand what the abuser was thinking at the time, while not going into too much detail making the book extremely disturbing to read. If you are into psychology, sociology, or just want to know what makes these men do these Unspeakable Acts, this is a great book to read.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Courageous enough to even ask the offenders - what is without doubt a great advance in research - I missed (more) informations about which influences in childhood have had not allowed to set the appropriate boundaries or lowered them to the state which allowed the mans to overlook or even not to recognize the boundary crossing. There is a lot more to do in this field, but I fear there are too less people able and willing to do this work (and duty to society).
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful By working clinician-- education, consultation, and training on November 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
It is regretable that mindless mass media level reactors have the need to srtrike out thoughtlessly at a scholar's efforts and thereby reduce an excellent book's ratings-- in the process creating doubt in the minds of people who might need to acquaint themselves with this work and its findinds (I notice, to my great surprise, that a significant number of people rated these "one star" review as helpful???).

Of those two very negative reviews, one seemed to be looking more for some kind of lurid and sensationalistic page-turner novel, and the other a brimstone and fire "from on high" Puritamical condemnation of child molesters. Long ago, a philosopher once said, "Noting human is alien to me," and this must be the motto of clinicians working with people whose unfortunate life course causes them to crave experiences that seek satisfaction at the expense of others. But if what one needs is to play the balme game, then we don't have to seek ever more effective treatment approaches: We can just keep turning to the "chain them to the walls and throw away the keys" methods that seem to be coming so much in vogue these days among so many state legislatures.

However, before we go too far in sharpening the knives of blood lust vegenfulness, let me remind you that America discovered child abuse as a mass cotatge industry for the most part durind the Reagan administration. This was the time when we made fashionable our hysteria regarding all the weird things supposedly happening to children from the world filled with hordes of Satas-ritualists and kiddie-porners that seemed to be JUST EVERYWHERE.
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