Paul Okami, the Nudists, the Naturists, NAMBLA and the Pedophiles and the Children
Paul Okami, Ph.D, is Consulting Editor of The Journal of Sex Research, and author and co-author of numerous sexuality studies. Okami's studies are often selectively quoted by nudists and naturists and he is frequently quoted by William D. Peckenpaugh as well. What the nudists and naturists don't report about Paul Okami is that his studies also say adults sleeping with children and having sex with them is not necessarily harmful either. --Nikki Craft
"Okami, Paul. "Childhood Exposure to Parental Nudity, Parent-Child Co-sleeping and 'Primal Scenes': A Review of Clinical Opinion and Empirical Evidence." Journal of Sex Research 32.1 (February, 1995): 51-64." -- Cited in 205 Arguments and Observations In Support of Naturism Extensively --The Naturist Society
"In 1995, UCLA psychology professor Paul Okami published a review of existing clinical and empirical studies of childhood exposure to parental nudity. In his review, Okami expresses concern over an increasing number of behaviors being redefined in terms of childhood sexual abuse. More and more social scientists are referring to parental nudity in front of children, for instance, as a form of "subtle sexual abuse" (51-52). The problem as he sees it is that there is simply no clinical or empirical evidence to support this concern and the attendant desire to turn naked parents into outlaws." --The Federation of Canadian Naturists
"Dr. Paul Okami, Professor of Psychology at UCLA, recently surveyed all academic studies on the effects of nudity on children. He concluded that there is no reliable evidence that mere nudity has a negative effect on children. Moreover, he concluded that the studies indicate casual nudity in the home might actually be of benefit to younger boys." --Naturist Education Committee, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Paul Okami, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
Excerpted from: International Academy of Sex Research Joins the Debate: Is Pedophilia a Mental Disorder?
[See: The Rind Study Debunked]
OTHER RELATED MATERIALS
"Further, professionals should reserve the use of condemnatory terms to those situations where damage is clearly established. Nelson and Meller recommended that the terms, "molestation" and "rape," should be used only when it has been determined that coercion was indeed present. To define experiences as abusive which are described by the allegedly abused as loving, caring, or noncoercive is a contradiction in terms (Okami, 1994). Hence, the term, "abuse," should be replaced by such terms as "experience" or "incident" until it is determined that the episode was, in fact, harmful. --Identifying and Dealing with "Child Savers" Thomas D. Oellerich
"Social work practitioners and the profession must educate the community and, most especially, the courts about the myths that surround the problem of child sexual abuse. It is these myths that fuel the hysteria surrounding considerations of childhood sexuality (Okami, 1994). First, professionals need to rebut the myth that early sexual experiences are necessarily and inevitably psychologically harmful.--Identifying and Dealing with "Child Savers" Thomas D. Oellerich
"I write '1, 5, 21, 50' on the board and ask my students, 'Which is the percentage of pedophilesin the country?'" said Paul Okami, in the University of California at Los Angeles psychology department, who has analyzed the data on pedophilia in America. "The answer is all of them." That's because "pedophile," depending on the legal statute, the perception of the psychologist, or the biases of the journalist, can be anything from a college freshman who has once masturbated with a fantasy of a twelve-year-old in mind to an adult who has had sexual contact with an infant. (Levine 25) From Judith Levine's Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex
see also: Okami, P. (1992). Child perpetrators of sexual abuse: The emergence of a
problematic deviant category. Journal of Sex Research, 29(1).
Children aren't hurt or helped by sharing bed with parents
Routine parent-child bedsharing before 6 years of age appears to have no major impact on a child's subsequent development or behavior -- for better or for worse, the first long-term study of the practice reveals.
The researchers' finding that there is "no evidence linking [early parent-child bedsharing], when engaged in responsibly, with any sort of problematic outcome" should give experts who caution against the practice reason to reconsider their advice, according to lead author Paul Okami, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles.
Okami notes that a large majority of the world's children share a room, if not a bed, with their parents. Yet American parents receive conflicting messages about the practice.
"Many -- perhaps most -- experts do not advocate bedsharing, and the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions against 'routine' bedsharing," he explains. These detractors voice concerns that the practice may have such negative impacts as causing sleep disorders and interfering with normal psychosexual development.
At the same time, Okami observes, "A number of clinicians and child-rearing experts have advocated purposeful parent-child bedsharing, or 'the family bed' as it has come to be known." These proponents claim such long-term benefits to the child as an increased capacity for intimacy.
Okami and his colleagues followed a group of 205 California-born children and their parents since the children were born in 1975. Three-quarters of the families led "unconventional" lifestyles, such as single parenthood and collective living, at the study's beginning; many endorsed "natural" child-rearing practices. For this reason, the larger study -- known as the Family Lifestyles Project -- provided an unusual opportunity to investigate patterns of bedsharing and their effects.
As described in the August issue of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, the investigators asked parents to describe their children's usual sleeping arrangements four times: age 5 months and 3, 4 and 6 years.
At 5 months, 35 percent of the parents reported having their infants in the same room or bed with them at least intermittently, but only 9 percent reported regular bedsharing. The overall rate of regular bedsharing held steady at 6 percent between ages 3 and 5, then fell to 3 percent at age 6.
Bedsharing at some point before age 6 years was most common among those unconventional parents who considered themselves "pronatural" (20 percent) and least common among the conventional parents who were married and living together (2 percent).
Extensive analysis of bedsharing and various developmental and behavioral outcomes, Okami reports, "[did] not support fears that bedsharing would lead to psychosexually troubled relationships later in childhood and adolescence, behavior problems and difficulties in peer and intimate relationships, or early childhood sleep problems."
Children whose parents reported that they were regularly part of a "family bed" at 5 months were no more likely than their non-bedsharing counterparts to experience sleep problems at 2 and 3 years of age.
At age 6, there was no obvious relationship between bedsharing score and behavioral maturity, emotional maturity, mood and affect, or creativity. Nor was there evidence that bedsharing had a negative or positive effect on a child's sexual fantasies, concerns or preoccupations.
At age 18, the amount of time a child had spent in the "family bed" had no significant impact on his or her ability to relate to parents, adults in general, other family members or peers. Nor was there evidence of a link between bedsharing history and a child's likelihood of using alcohol, tobacco or hard drugs; having problems with self-acceptance or considering suicide; engaging in vandalism, fights or serious crimes; being sexually active; or having either positive or negative sexual experiences.
If anything, the investigators note, their data indicate small but widespread benefits to children where bedsharing is "part of a wider set of pronatural child-rearing practices and framed by humanistic/egalitarian values," as opposed to a reflection of an underlying pathology such as sexual abuse.
Okami, P. Self-reports of positive childhood and adolescent sexual contacts with older persons - an exploratory study. Archives Of Sexual Behaviour. 20 (5), 1991
>> Date: Sun, 19 Jul 98 11:13:57 -0600
>> From: under006 <email@example.com>
>> To: "Paul Okami" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>
>> CC: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> For those concerned about the topic of child pornography there may be
>> some interest in an article we published in the journal, Issues in Child
>> Abuse Accusations. Here is the reference. Schuijer, J., & Rossen, B.
>> (1992). The trade in child pornography. Issues in Child Abuse
>> Accusations, 4(2), 55-107.
>> Schuijer and Rossen did a content analysis of over 10,370 photos in child
>> pornography magazines and report on the nature of the depictions. The
>> sample is estimated to be 1/4th of the Eureopean material and that is
>> about 1/5 of the world production. They developed a hardness scale and
>> report that 62% of the photographs do not depict any sexual activity. On
>> their scale 9% of boy photos and 26% of girl photos are hard. They
>> provide estimates of the number of children involved and the economic
>> size of the trade in child pornography. They also deal with the response
>> of children to being involved in the production using the police dossier
>> of interviews with children photographed by the most well known Dutch
>> photographer of naked children who was charged and convicted.
>> If anyone is interested, please let us know and we will provide copies of
>> the study. Their claim is that there is a mythology about child
>> pornography and they seek to present facts that may be more accurate.
>> Ralph Underwager
BACK TO NUDIST/NATURIST HALL OF SHAME