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Thread: Dangerous Attitudes

  1. #1
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Dangerous Attitudes

    Hello all.

    I want to bring up the topic of dangerous attitudes in life. I'm specifically referring to one particular way of thinking in relation to my work, sexual offences.

    The other day I checked out snopes.com and found this page;

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/people/peppers.asp

    Gruesome, eh? Well what is it about this which has bothered me?

    The fact that to appreciate the horror of the crimes this guy has likely committed, the man himself has to be hideously ugly. He fits what people stereotypically think of when they think of violent offenders in that he's ugly and deformed so in slinking around in the shadows, he's committing some disgusting act or at least thinking about it, constantly in a search for his next victim. I guess it's understandable; these acts have a unique level of horror for those who imagine them so to imagine the horror, one must imagine the horrible person committing the acts, right? So why is this sort of thing dangerous?

    Reality is very different. For one thing, most sexual crime isn't committed by guys like Peppers who slink in the shadows preying on their next victims. Stranger offences are exceedingly rare relative to non-stranger offences. Most violent offences against the person, let alone sexual offences, are committed by people known to the victim. Proven fact.

    For two, paedophiles are generally of the softly-spoken, very polite, intelligent, articulate, funny, etc. variety of person. Think about it; who's going to be more likely to ilicit the trust of a family or of victims to get close enough to offend; a polite, intelligent, trustworthy, seemingly moral, friendly person or Mr. Peppers? Which category have priests over the decades largely fit into? Not the Peppers category.

    So the above attitude is dangerous in the sense that it creates an unrealistic expectation of what a paedophile or sexual offender looks like so that whilst you're busy watching out for Mr Pepper, friendly Mr Jones is busy 'grooming' your sister/son/daughter/you. Parents are too busy looking out for the 'dirty old man' and not the clean-cut 20-something-year-old (tip; paeds were young too and didn't only start offending when they were old). Remember reading stories about Jack the Ripper and how a rumour started that a man with a black bag was doing the murders? No-one saw that is was actually likely to be the charming, handsome aristocrat from out of town.

    Another 'dangerous' angle for this story is more obvious; it unfairly stigmatises those who look like Peppers or just look 'different'. The problems here become clear as those in this group are unfairly stigmatised and instantly suspected when bad things happen.

    So why does the public need to look at guys like Peppers in this way? Because it makes them feel better. Why? Because if sex offenders actually looked like Peppers, well they'd be easy to spot, right? It scares people to death that the threat to their kids might not be obvious or visible and might, in fact, come in a very charming package. So in watching out for Mr. Peppers, they've covered their bases in their own minds and lulled themselves into a false sense of security which will hopefully never be tested.

    Anyway, that'll do for now. Anyone else have a comment or wish to discuss inherently dangerous attitudes? I'm bringing them up because I think we can educate people of all ages about this sort of stuff before, well, they pay for it.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 26-05-2005 at 07:01 AM.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    wow. eloquently and meaningfully said there top_cat. too right, top post
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    International Vice-Captain KennyD's Avatar
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    Wow...incredible.

    But tell me, what is "Gross Sexual Imposition" what does it entail.

    And I reckon that whatever it is, it can only be made worse by having someone hideous like that doing it to you. I'd rather the Mr Jones...
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    International Captain masterblaster's Avatar
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    Fantasic Post there Corey, really interesting reading. Your absolutely right though, stereotyping can be really dangerous and you've summed it up perfectly.

    Keep up the good work however, you obviously are doing your job wonderfully well.
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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat
    Hello all.

    I want to bring up the topic of dangerous attitudes in life. I'm specifically referring to one particular way of thinking in relation to my work, sexual offences.

    The other day I checked out snopes.com and found this page;

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/people/peppers.asp

    Gruesome, eh? Well what is it about this which has bothered me?

    The fact that to appreciate the horror of the crimes this guy has likely committed, the man himself has to be hideously ugly. He fits what people stereotypically think of when they think of violent offenders in that he's ugly and deformed so in slinking around in the shadows, he's committing some disgusting act or at least thinking about it, constantly in a search for his next victim. I guess it's understandable; these acts have a unique level of horror for those who imagine them so to imagine the horror, one must imagine the horrible person committing the acts, right? So why is this sort of thing dangerous?

    Reality is very different. For one thing, most sexual crime isn't committed by guys like Peppers who slink in the shadows preying on their next victims. Stranger offences are exceedingly rare relative to non-stranger offences. Most violent offences against the person, let alone sexual offences, are committed by people known to the victim. Proven fact.

    For two, paedophiles are generally of the softly-spoken, very polite, intelligent, articulate, funny, etc. variety of person. Think about it; who's going to be more likely to ilicit the trust of a family or of victims to get close enough to offend; a polite, intelligent, trustworthy, seemingly moral, friendly person or Mr. Peppers? Which category have priests over the decades largely fit into? Not the Peppers category.

    So the above attitude is dangerous in the sense that it creates an unrealistic expectation of what a paedophile or sexual offender looks like so that whilst you're busy watching out for Mr Pepper, friendly Mr Jones is busy 'grooming' your sister/son/daughter/you. Parents are too busy looking out for the 'dirty old man' and not the clean-cut 20-something-year-old (tip; paeds were young too and didn't only start offending when they were old). Remember reading stories about Jack the Ripper and how a rumour started that a man with a black bag was doing the murders? No-one saw that is was actually likely to be the charming, handsome aristocrat from out of town.

    Another 'dangerous' angle for this story is more obvious; it unfairly stigmatises those who look like Peppers or just look 'different'. The problems here become clear as those in this group are unfairly stigmatised and instantly suspected when bad things happen.

    So why does the public need to look at guys like Peppers in this way? Because it makes them feel better. Why? Because if sex offenders actually looked like Peppers, well they'd be easy to spot, right? It scares people to death that the threat to their kids might not be obvious or visible and might, in fact, come in a very charming package. So in watching out for Mr. Peppers, they've covered their bases in their own minds and lulled themselves into a false sense of security which will hopefully never be tested.

    Anyway, that'll do for now. Anyone else have a comment or wish to discuss inherently dangerous attitudes? I'm bringing them up because I think we can educate people of all ages about this sort of stuff before, well, they pay for it.
    Yeah, a similar example is Ted Bundy - extremely intelligent, articulate, etc etc...and killed 30-odd+ women. Represented himself in court.

    There's a book called 'The Stranger Beside Me' written by Ann Rule who actually worked with Bundy at Lifeline (or something similar) when everything started. Good read, especially for girls out there - makes you realise that it's important to be careful. I often wonder about the mentality of people flirting to get lots of drinks bought for them etc etc - it's a very risky behaviour and the more you drink the less care you take.
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  6. #6
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    First off, thanks for the comments, people. Much appreciated and I'm somewhat humbled by them. That said, I'm also looking for debate and/or contributions about what everyone else thinks are dangerous attitudes, not necessarily crime related. Just curious to hear what everyone else thinks because if we stop someone on here from hurting themselves in some way, well that can't be anything other than a good thing, particularly from those with some knowledge and/or expertise in the area. For example, I believe Son of Coco has a psyche major?

    Now to address a few specific points before raising another 'dangerous attitude';

    But tell me, what is "Gross Sexual Imposition" what does it entail.
    http://www.highlandcoso.com/2907.05.htm

    We don't have an equivalent specific charge here in SA so my best guess is that it's a charge brought upon someone who forces someone else into a sexual act of any kind with threats of violence, impairing the person physically or otherwise or knowing they're impared (by alcohol or drugs), takes advantage of them. Children under 13 years are also subject to this.

    Yeah, a similar example is Ted Bundy - extremely intelligent, articulate, etc etc...and killed 30-odd+ women. Represented himself in court.
    Was a lawyer too and handsome, further lulling people into a false sense of security;



    I'm pretty sure he had a somewhat pathological hatred of women too (no surprises there!).

    I any murder, the scene of the murder is the most important facet of a crime. Remove the body from the scene and the investigators lose around 85% of their evidence. That's why Bundy wasn't caught for so long; he always moved the bodies of his victims and also removed another essential factor in crime pattern analysis by committing crimes well away from where he lived. In fact, it was only when he had to leave quickly from the last of his crime scenes that any genuine physical evidence was found i.e. he didn't have time to move the bodies, hence enough physical evidence was found to identify him.

    Onto another of Top_Cat's series on 'Dangerous Attitudes'.

    "Part A: AIDS is dead"

    Sounds stupid, right? Worldwide around 3.1 million people died in 2004 from AIDS. It's the worst plague the world has seen and we're still not really on track for a cure, per se (although there are effective treatments to prolong life, one doesn't cure it).

    So where's the problem?

    Well, because not everyone knows someone who's been afflicted and it's rarely in the news any more, people figure we've got it licked. Or at least 'everyone knows' if you're careful, you'll be fine. Yes using protection has certainly cut down the infection rate by a significant degree but as with any virus, if there's one person afflicted out there, they have the capacity to infect someone else, who then has the capacity to infect someone else, etc. Since we have no ways of combatting it, we have to avoid getting it so we're only a couple of years of bad attitudes away from kick-starting the epidemic again. Certainly the government here in Australia has pre-empted something of this nature with an advertising campaign reminding people that it's still with us.

    This global malaise is somewhat dangerous because the world-wide nature of AIDS has meant that people are seemingly becoming less careful with their behavioural choices which affects tham but more alarmingly, direct affects anyone else they sleep with. Certainly the probability of infecting several people before the problem is detected is really frightening because of the slow-gain momentum of the virus; peope generally aren't symptomatic in the first 3 months of infection. So what is one factor causing this malaise about sexuality in general?

    "Part B: Sexual Education Isn't Necessary For Children"

    Now THIS might raise some eyebrows. Why is a lack of education dangerous in this instance?

    Well, we're seeing it. The infection rate for AIDS is rising and a some of it can be put down to a lack of sexual education in young kids. I found it disturbing in a recent study I read about that high-school level children displayed a level of ignorance about basic sexual practice in areas such as how reproduction works (i.e. if you don't know how it works, you can't know how to prevent it hence unwanted pregnancies), how virus/bacterial transmission works and how contraception works. Younger people seem to be rejecting prophylactics and the pill but without changing sexual habits accordingly, problems ensue. Sexualisation starts at a younger age but education and preventative habits are disappearing, hence the results of these conflicting demands are gradually coming to light.

    This is dangerous for several reasons; obviously there are more unwanted teenage pregnancies occurring in Australia. Although the overall fertility rate is dropping, this is affected by the aging population. However, younger females are displaying an alarming increase in the frequency of unwanted pregnancies which has then affected a correspondingly large increase in the number of 1st trimester abortions of late. The occurrance of serious sexually transmitted diseases such as Hepatitis and AIDS is increasing and most teens are ill-equipped to handle the consequences of these problems other than to start on drug therapies (you want to make money? Invest in a medium-sized pharmaceutical company RIGHT NOW).

    So where do we find the cause? This is a toughie but certainly more conservative attitudes towards sex education are a causing problems. The higher prevalence of people advocating abstinence has been causing problems but it seems as if sex has become nothing more than a marketing tool; sell it to people, show it to people, encourage people to buy stuff related to it but for God's sake don't talk about it!

    Anyway, again that'll do for now. I'll post more as I think of it. Anyone want to raise some points in relation to this?

  7. #7
    International Captain masterblaster's Avatar
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    Sex Education for the pre-adolescent and adolescent demographic is vital. Although sex is something that's natural and something that we're all born to do, it must also be given a great deal of respect and it must be treated with a great deal of responsibility.

    One thing is definitely inter-connected with the other. The world as you said, is more blase about sexuality in general. Youngsters listen to it in music, buy products due to great marketing or watch it on television. Most adolescents want it, and want it badly.

    Every teenage boy's fantasy is to have it, as quickly as possible and unfortunately some teenagers put it to practice with irresponsibility which often have irreversible consequences. Although it may feel quite a tedious excercise to explain the methods and positives of safer sexual practice and although it may fall on 'deaf ears' to the adolescent who thinks he/she 'knows all', I still feel that it's a must.

    After all it is our youth's physical health and psycholgical well being that we are looking after. Something like teenage pregnancy or the onset of early HIV/AIDS or STD's can have a disastrous affect on a child not only physically, but psychologically as well.

    We can't prevent kids from having sex, as for most adolescents their at most inquisitive and curious at their age, but what we can do is educate or at least try to educate about the dangers of unprotected sexual activity. Sex is great, it's natural, it's fantastic, but equally, children must realise that it needs to be taken with a great deal of thought and responsibility.

    It's certainly a hot topic and an interesting one at that.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    sex ed is essential for kids… I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know, and yet in my recent sex ed unit in pe, I learnt a hell of a lot. The most disturbing thing I learnt was that in America, most schools teach abstinence and only abstinence, which, in my opinion, is pointless, because teenagers are just not going to abstain from sex. In fact, my American health textbook didn’t even have the word ‘contraception’ in the glossary

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    Quote Originally Posted by andyc
    sex ed is essential for kids… I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know, and yet in my recent sex ed unit in pe, I learnt a hell of a lot. The most disturbing thing I learnt was that in America, most schools teach abstinence and only abstinence, which, in my opinion, is pointless, because teenagers are just not going to abstain from sex. In fact, my American health textbook didn’t even have the word ‘contraception’ in the glossary
    I suspect "evolution" has been similarly expunged too..... God just put the fossils there to mess with our minds!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby
    I suspect "evolution" has been similarly expunged too..... God just put the fossils there to mess with our minds!
    that clever, scheming *******!

    but i see absolutely no case for evolution not being taught. god knows if any teacher tried to teach me creationism as fact id walk out of the classroom

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    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    Interesting topic this. Just to bring it back to your first post, T_C, something that is quite relevant now. I'm sure everyone has heard of the Schappelle Corby case - it's no surprise that so many people think of her as obviously innocent because she doesn't look like she would be a drug smuggler type. Another example of... profiling, or is it mistaken stereotyping?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dasa
    Interesting topic this. Just to bring it back to your first post, T_C, something that is quite relevant now. I'm sure everyone has heard of the Schappelle Corby case - it's no surprise that so many people think of her as obviously innocent because she doesn't look like she would be a drug smuggler type. Another example of... profiling, or is it mistaken stereotyping?
    Yeah, I remember my mum saying that it'd be interesting to see what the media coverage of Corby would be like if you replaced her (physically) with that girl who looks like a bloke out of the Bali 9. I doubt we'd be having live broadcasts for her...

    It's just been another case of media opportunism...

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    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox
    Yeah, I remember my mum saying that it'd be interesting to see what the media coverage of Corby would be like if you replaced her (physically) with that girl who looks like a bloke out of the Bali 9. I doubt we'd be having live broadcasts for her...

    It's just been another case of media opportunism...
    It's a shame... Can't blame the media I guess, they're there to make money. In an ideal world, they'd be reporting everything accurately and fairly but that's never going to happen.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    It's just been another case of media opportunism...
    Shocking, in a word. I refused to watch it and I did my best to encourage the others I work with to do the same. Maybe it's an indication that they respect me because they listened!

    But yeah, it was just horrific to see what happened (I saw it on the news later). Reality TV at it's most extreme. Here we are playing water-cooler politics with the life of someone who will quickly be forgotten. Guilty or not, it was just an abomination and all those who covered it LIVE! should be ashamed. And I havd no doubt that had the defendent not been quite so pretty, she might not have garnered the same level of media interest. And we'll see just how shallow our news outlets are when I'm sure they'll ignore after she's had a couple of years in a Bali prison.

    I felt ill when I saw the footage later. Really ill. Sad state of affairs.

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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    In the end, the thing that I worry about most, is that the girl herself (who just quietly looks like there are a few cogs missing in the machinery, if you know what I mean) has probably been damaged by the media in Australia, with the outrage vented against the Indonesian consulates and embassies in Australia.

    And then to see the brother talking about how, because Australia gave aid to Indonesia after the tsunami, and how 9 soldiers died in doing so, that this seemed to give Indonesia some sort of moral obligation to let Corby off the hook.

    And what the hell was with the sister's screaming? I'm not making fun of her, and I understand that the situation was rather unworldly, but that was crazy.

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