This isn’t a “fun” post, but hopefully it’s a helpful one. One of the best ways to protect yourself or your kids is to get informed about the specifics of the threats you face.
When it comes to sexual predators, knowing how they operate could give you advance warning before something truly bad happens.
Here are some of the manipulation techniques to watch out for:
Remember the Milgram experiment? The one where researchers asked people to administer electric shock to an unseen person? They found that people were willing to do this when told to so by an authority figure. This phenomenon also allows predators in positions of power to target victims such as children or other people with less power. Authority bias is what helped Dr. Larry Nassar victimize so many people.
THE DOOR IN THE FACE METHOD
This when someone makes a big request of another, hoping it will be denied. The asker then garners sympathy, and makes what seems like a smaller request, but is really the thing they were seeking all along.
An experiment in the 1980’s did a great job of demonstrating this principle. Researchers asked college student to take a survey. When they told then it would take 15 minutes, many declined. Then they asked students to take the survey, telling them it would take TWO HOURS! Obviously, almost everyone declined. But when they followed with a request for the students to take only one part of the survey in 15 minutes, they all agreed. Thus, the researchers were able to get everyone to do what they really wanted by first asking for something much bigger.
Many victims of abuse report that the perpetrator first attempted something extremely invasive, and then, when rebuffed, tried for something less extreme.
The sad fact is that sexual predators are often clever and tenacious. So be on the lookout for these kinds of manipulations.