How child sex abuse grooming rhetoric impacts LGBTQ, abuse survivors

How child sex abuse grooming rhetoric impacts LGBTQ, abuse survivors

  • Some conservatives have begun using words like “grooming” often associated with child sex abuse.
  • Such rhetoric hurts the LGBTQ people, particularly gay men who have long been accused of predatory behavior.
  • Careless use of words connected to child sex abuse diminishes the experience of survivors, advocates say.

Grooming, a term associated with adults who sexually abuse children, has become an attack word in today’s battle over anti-LGBTQ legislation and is spilling out into the broader culture wars.

The term, coined in the 1980s, describes a process used to gain access to a potential victim, coerce them to agree to the abuse and reduce the risk of being caught, according to RAINN, a national anti-sexual violence organization.

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