The Harvey Weinstein disclosure is shocking! If you haven’t kept up with the front page news, allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment, and assault recently surfaced for Harvey Weinstein, a successful Hollywood film producer. The response has been overwhelming; “We can’t believe this!”
As appalling as it is, here’s the truth: this is the same old thing all over again. And to make matters worse, there is more on the way.
Harvey Weinstein’s long and sordid history of sexual violations and harassment screams of one thing: this is not simply an issue of sexual addiction—you are dealing with a sexual PREDATOR! Like many other directors and actors who have been exposed, Weinstein used his position of power to get what he wanted. For many of them, their position allows for easy access to vulnerable and dependent victims; those who would endure the abuse and remain silent. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
You might ask yourself, “Where are all these predators coming from?” A new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln gives us a chilling answer . Comprised of 330 undergraduate men, ages 17-54, this study discovered that the younger a boy is when he is first introduced to pornography, the more likely he is to develop a misogynistic belief that women should be controlled by men. While the age of first exposure to pornography has been dropping rapidly over the last decade, presently, the average is around 11 years old . Potentially, there is a tidal wave of women-abusers being trained by Internet pornography. “Wait a minute? That doesn’t necessarily explain Harvey Weinstein!” You may be right; but it gives you a hint of what the future holds.
Sexual predators are incredibly narcissistic. Despite the grandiose bravado they project to the outside world, on the inside, they struggle with a shattered core self; profound feelings of inadequacy and a fear of rejection. They lack empathy for others. Their distorted belief system allows them to abuse others with little, if any, shame. Typically, they do not attempt to stop their sexual abuse of others and feel little remorse.
On the other hand, individuals who struggle with sexual addiction often feel a need for treatment (though resistant at first), while sexual predators are not open to treatment until they are facing legal consequences. Interestingly, for any treatment to suddenly cure a sexual predator in one week, as Mr. Weinstein claims, is ridiculous!
Hopefully, my simple comments will clear the air about what is going on, despite all the confusion generated by the front page news. I also hope that this will give you pause to pray for Pure Desire Ministries. In our current culture, we are facing a tsunami of sexual bondage.
As we continue to educate people regarding the destructive nature of sexual addiction, may we persevere in bringing hope and healing.
Ted is the co-founder of Pure Desire Ministries. He is veteran fighter pilot with 30+ years of pastoral ministry and an IITAP certification as a Pastoral Sex Addiction Professional. Ted is a clinician on our Pure Desire Counseling staff. He has a M.Div from Asbury Theological Seminary and a D.Min from Western Seminary. He is the author of Pure Desire and co-author of Going Deeper and Sexy Christians. He is also a contributor to many of our group resources.