email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
269 Amazing Sex GamesA History of MarriageA Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth CenturyActionAll the WayAlways Forever MaybeAmerica UnzippedAmerica UnzippedAmerica's Sexual TransformationAmerican EugenicsAmerican GirlsAmerican HookupAn Interpretation of DesireAnarchism & SexualityAnatomy of a BoyfriendAnatomy of LoveAnthony GoicoleaAnticlimaxArt and HomosexualityArt/PornAssuming a BodyAutoportraitBachelors and BunniesBecoming OrgasmicBehind the Red DoorBest Sex Writing 2005Better Sex Through YogaBetter Sex Through YogaBetter Than EverBetween Mom and JoBeyond Diversity DayBeyond SexualityBeyond SpeechBeyond ToleranceBig Porn IncBill HensonBodies in DoubtBody ImagesBonkBoys & SexBoys Don't CryBreasts - A DocumentaryBrothelBuying SexCase Studies in Communication about SexCase Studies in Sexual DevianceCaught in the WebCelibaciesChildren and SexualityChildren and the Politics of SexualityChildren with Sexual Behavior ProblemsChildren, Sexuality and SexualizationChristy ReportClay's WayClinical Manual of Women's Mental HealthClose toYouClumsyCold HitCollege SexComing of Age in AmericaConfessions of the Other MotherCybersexCyborgasmDare... to Make Love with 2, 3, 4... or MoreDare... to Try BisexualityDating: Philosophy for EveryoneDeadly ButterflyDebating Same-Sex MarriageDeep GossipDeparting from DevianceDesire, Love, and IdentityDigital DiariesDilemmas of DesireDirty MindsDirty StoriesDisorders Of DesireDisorders of Sex Development:Doing ItDoing ItDoing It Down UnderDown and Dirty Sex SecretsDude, You're a FagEarly Embraces IIIEmerald City BluesEmotionally InvolvedEnjoying Guilty PleasuresErotic CapitalErotic InnocenceErotic PassionsEthics, Sexual Orientation, and Choices about ChildrenEveryday PornographyEvolution and Human Sexual BehaviorExploring TranssexualismFade to BlackFagbugFaking ItFamilies Like MineFast GirlsFinal JeopardyFinding H. F.Fire on the Mountain DVDFor Lesbian ParentsFor The Bible Tells Me SoForbiddenFrictionFrom Disgust to HumanityFrom Shame to SinFuckologyGay, Straight, and the Reason WhyGender in the MirrorGender OutlawsGeography ClubGetting OffGetting RealGetting the Love You WantGirls & SexGirls Gone MildGirls Gone SkankGLBTQGoddess WorshipGoing DownGood GirlsGood PornGood Sex IllustratedGreat Answers to Difficult Questions About SexGuide To Getting It OnHandbook New Sexuality StudiesHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHard to GetHardcore from the HeartHear Us Out!HeterosyncraciesHit & MissHomosexualitiesHookedHooking UpHow Sex Became a Civil LibertyHow Sex ChangedHow Sex WorksHow To Be GayHow to Do Things with Pornography How to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Have Magnificent SexHow to Make Great Love to a ManHow to Make Great Love to a WomanHow to Make Love Like a Porn StarHow to Think More About SexHypnography for MenHypnography for WomenHysterical MenI'd Rather Eat ChocolateI'll Be Your MirrorIf Men Could TalkImpotenceIn a Queer VoiceIn Praise of the WhipIn the Mood, AgainInsatiable WivesIntense Games DVDInvestigating Young People's Sexual CulturesIt's Perfectly NormalIt's Perfectly NormalIt’s Your HourJane Sexes It UpJock SturgesJust Between UsKama-Sutra--The Secrets to the Art of LoveKids Gone WildLegalizing ProstitutionLegalizing ProstitutionLet's Get This StraightLets Talk about SexLetters to Penthouse Vol. 50Likely to DieLittle ChicagoLoose GirlLosing Matt ShepardLoveLove and DesireLove and SexLove JunkieLove Lust DesireLove SickLustMad for FoucaultMagical ThinkingMaking American BoysMaking Babies the Hard WayMaking Chastity SexyMaking Peace with PornMaking ScenesMale SexualityMalefemaleMaster BreastsMating in CaptivityMedicalized MasculinitiesMelancholia and MoralismMenMental Health Issues in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Communities MiddlesexMoney ShotMoral Panics, Sex PanicsMy Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me UpMy HeartbeatMy Horizontal LifeName All the AnimalsNatural BeautyNerveNerveNew Sex Now DVDNightswimmingNone of the AboveNormalNormalNot GayNot My ShameNot The Marrying KindNot Under My RoofNothing PinkOedipus WreckedOn Being RapedOne Hot SecondOne Hour in ParisOpenOrgasmOrgasm Inc.OrgasmologyOrgasmsOver 100 Truly Astonishing Sex TipsOverexposedPeekPeriod PiecesPervPhilosophizing About Sex Philosophy of Love, Sex, and MarriagePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and Marriage: An IntroductionPhilosophy of Sex and LovePin-up GrrrlsPINSPlease Don't Kill the FreshmanPolicing SexualityPolyamory in the 21st CenturyPornPorn NationPorn StudiesPorn UniversityPornifiedPornlandPornographyPornographyPornographyPornography, Sex, and FeminismPosition Of The Day PlaybookPray the Gay AwayPredatorsPremarital Sex in AmericaPrinciples and Practice of Sex TherapyPrivate Dicks - Men ExposedPrivate Practices DVDProblem GirlsPrudePsychopathia SexualisQueer PhilosophyRapeRape Is RapeRated X - A Journey Through PornRazmatazRecruiting Young LoveRedefining GirlyRedefining RapeRegulating SexRelax, It's Just SexRethinking Gender and Sexuality in ChildhoodRethinking RapeRunning with ScissorsSatan's Sex BookScreening SexSelling Sex ShortSexSex & Single GirlsSex (Ed)Sex and SpiritSex and the American TeenagerSex and the SoulSex and the Soul, Updated EditionSex and WarSex at DawnSex by NumbersSex DetoxSex Fiends, Perverts, and PedophilesSex in AntiquitySex in CrisisSex in the World of MythSex ObjectSex OffendersSex on the BrainSex PositionsSex Q & ASex, Family, and the Culture WarsSex, or the UnbearableSex, Therapy, and KidsSex, Time and PowerSextasySexting and Young PeopleSexual ArtSexual Boundary ViolationsSexual DevianceSexual DisordersSexual EcstasySexual EthicsSexual FluiditySexual IntelligenceSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapySexual Orientation and School PolicySexual PleasureSexual PredatorsSexual Teens, Sexual MediaSexuality in AdolescenceSexuationSexyBookShameShameShamelessShy GirlSlutWalkSmall FavorsSmutSocial Control of Sex OffendersSome Assembly RequiredSplit ScreenStir-FryStraight to JesusStrange BedfellowsStripped BareSurviving Sexual ViolenceSymptoms of Being HumanTalkTalk to Me FirstTechniques of PleasureTestosterone RexThe Anthropology of SexThe BabiesThe Better Sex Guide to the Kama SutraThe Big Book of PornThe Birth of the PillThe Blue Moon Erotic Reader IIIThe BodyThe Breast BookThe Breath of Tantric LoveThe Busy Couple's Guide to Great SexThe Case of the Female OrgasmThe Chemistry Between UsThe Clitoral TruthThe Dangerous Art of Blending InThe Education of SophieThe Emergence of SexualityThe End Of AliceThe End of SexThe Erotic EdgeThe Erotic Lives of WomenThe Essential KamasutraThe Evolution of BeautyThe Fate of GenderThe First Man-Made ManThe First TimeThe Gay Baby BoomThe Good Vibrations Guide to SexThe Happy Hook-UpThe Hite ReportThe Humble Little CondomThe Illustrated Guide to Extended Massive OrgasmThe Illustrated Story of OThe Incurable RomanticThe Love CureThe Madness of WomenThe Men They Will BecomeThe Mirror of LoveThe Miseducation of Cameron PostThe Moral Panics of SexualityThe Naked Truth About SexThe Nature of Sexual DesireThe New Erotic PhotographyThe New Gay TeenagerThe Notebook GirlsThe Only Girl in the CarThe Order of the Poison OakThe Origins of SexThe Other HollywoodThe Other PlaceThe Other Side of DesireThe Perils of MasculinityThe Perversion of YouthThe PervertThe Phenomenology of Sex, Love, and IntimacyThe Philosophy of PornographyThe Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary ReadingsThe Pleasure's All MineThe Politics Of LustThe Porn TrapThe Pornographer's GriefThe Pornography IndustryThe Praeger Handbook of TranssexualityThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Purity MythThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Right to Be ParentsThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Sex Addiction WorkbookThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Sex MythThe Shared HeartThe Sleep of ReasonThe Smart Girl's Guide to PornThe State of AffairsThe Story of SexThe SurrenderThe Ten Minute Sexual SolutionThe Tenth CircleThe Transformations of GwenThe Transformations of GwenThe Trauma MythThe Ultimate Guide to Sex and DisabilityThe Vagina MonologuesThe ValleyThe Violence of CareThe Virgin BlueThe Virginity ClubThings Tom LikesThings We Didn't Talk About When I Was a GirlThinking KinkThinking XXXToo Hot to HandleTransTransTransgender Children and YouthUltimate JudgementUltimate SexUndoing GenderUnlikelyUntangling the WebUntrue VirginVirgin NationVirgin Sex for GirlsVirgin Sex for GuysVirginity LostWhat Does Consent Really Mean?What Women WantWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhat's Happening to Tom?What's Wrong with Homosexuality?When Jeff Comes HomeWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen the Piano StopsWhere Do We Fall When We Fall in Love?Who Has What?Who's Been Sleeping in Your HeadWilhelm ReichWired for IntimacyWomen and Child Sexual AbuseWomen and MadnessWritten in the FleshYou Know Me WellZen Sex

Related Topics
PredatorsReview - Predators
Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders : Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children
by Anna Salter
Basic Books, 2003
Review by Jack R. Anderson, M.D.
Dec 10th 2004 (Volume 8, Issue 50)

     The pages of this book are fraught with red flags and sounding alarm bells. Salter wants us all to wake up and do something about the sexual predators who live, undetected, among us, and wreak physical and emotional damage upon defenseless women and innocent children with their secret and deceptive agendas for satisfying their perverse sexual appetites.

     The author has impressive credentials for writing such a book: a Harvard Ph.D. in psychology; more than two decades researching the subject; lecturing in more than forty states and in ten countries; giving keynote addresses at national conferences in four of these countries; and receiving, in 1997, the Significant Achievement Award of the Association of the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, an award given to only one person in the world every year.


     This book  can be roughly divided into three parts: beginning; middle; and end. The Introduction and Chapter 1, "The Problem," constitute the beginning; Chapters 2, "Deception," 3, "Techniques of Deception," 4. "Child Molesters", 5, "Rapists," 6 "Sadists," 7, "Psychopaths: Fooling People for the Thrill of It," and 8. "Staff Seductions," make up the middle portion; and Chapters 9, "Rose-Colored Glasses and Trauma," 10, "Detecting Deception," and 11, "Protecting Our Children and Ourselves: Deflecting Sex Offenders," are included in the ending. 


     In the book's beginning--the introduction and first chapter--the author tries to dispel the erroneous belief that sexual offenders are all monsters who differ so much in their appearance and behavior from "normal" people that they can be easily recognized. Instead of sneaking into a house in the middle of the night, they are more apt to "…come through the front door in the middle of the day, as friends and neighbors, as Boy Scout leaders, priests, principals, teachers, doctors, and coaches."

     She also gives statistics to help us readers understand the scope--the enormity--of the problem. Research beginning in 1929 documented sexual abuse of female children as being from 24 to 37 percent, and of male children between 27 to 30 percent. A modern study found that two hundred and thirty-two child molesters admitted attempting more than 55,000 molestations, 38,000 of which were successful, involving more than 17,000 victims. In a larger sample of five hundred and sixty-one offenders involving all kinds of sex offenses--exhibitionism, voyeurism and adult rape as well as child molestation--they admitted to more than 291,000 sexual offenses and more than 195,000 victims.

     Even more astounding than the number of sexual offenders, offenses and victims is the report that most of the offenses had never been detected by the authorities. "Crime pays, it seems," writes Salter, " and sexual crime pays particularly well." 


     The seven chapters in the middle section of the book are filled with reports given to the author by different kinds of sex offenders. Many of these offenders had been committing offenses for years and decades before finally being identified. They had been able to continue their molesting, raping and other sex offenses for so long because what Salter sees as most people's trusting nature. Even mental health professionals were frequently taken in by the sex-offenders proficiency at deception.

     The author believes that the various psychoanalysts who hypothesize that child victims of molestation unconsciously lure the molesters because of their own repressed sexual desires, are themselves part of the problem rather than the solution.

     Salter gives an extreme example of how easy it is for sex-offenders to deceive people. A correctional officer and his wife made friends with a convicted child molester during his term in prison, and invited him to live with them after his release, despite the fact that they had a nine-year-old daughter. They were so taken with this offender that they initiated adoption proceedings after he had lived with them a few months. The offender molested their daughter the entire time he lived with them , and when this was discovered he was again convicted and re-incarcerated. Despite this development, the officer and his wife were still so attached to the prisoner that they continued to visit him in prison.

     Throughout this middle section of her book, Salter emphasizes the two principal reasons for the astounding number of undetected sexual offenses: the offenders' unbelievable deceptive skills and the gullibility of the general public.


     At the very beginning of the final section of her book, Chapter 9, Salter compares her own view of the world with that of one of her friends. Her friend voices her belief that "there is good in everyone." Salter believes that this point of view is not only naïve--it is also dangerous. She writes: " The most optimistic viewpoints on the world can be shown to make us healthier and happier, but can--unchecked--make us vulnerable to predators as well." She further contrasts her own viewpoint with the "rose-colored" one of her friend by saying: "She would reason with an intruder. I would shoot him."

     In Chapter 10, "Detecting Deception,"  Salter points out  that there is no such thing as a checklist that we can use to spot predators. She advises that the first step we must take to recognize sexual offenders is to become aware of our own biases--our "positive illusions" that cloud our judgment by making us believe that we live in a much kindlier and gentler world than is really the case.

     Once we manage to convince ourselves that there really are sexual predators all around us, looking for circumstances that offer opportunities for rape or molestation, we are ready to learn the tell-tale signs of lies and other forms of deception. Salter, who gives training sessions on detection of deception, tells us that most people believe that gaze aversion and fidgeting are reliable signs of lying. Not so. These are only signs of nervousness, and many sexual offenders are such practiced liars that they feel no nervousness at all while prevaricating. The author gives us a long list of different kinds of body language that are indicative of deception--the kinds of "tells" that gamblers look for to recognize when an opponent is bluffing. However, at the end of the chapter she gives us a caveat : "We should not put all our eggs into the basket of detecting deception; we should consider deflection instead."

     In the final chapter, Salter suggests that, since the detection of sexual predators is so difficult, "…we must pay attention to ways of deflecting any potential offenders from getting access to us or to our children." She goes on to give us some common sense suggestions as to how to do this. For example, if we accompany our children to school and church events, our very presence is a deterrent to attempts at molestation. We can avoid high-risk situations--for example, don't leave our children unattended with men who involve themselves in youth activities although they have no children of their own or children of that age.


     The last paragraph of the book reads: "If I do my job right, my children's lives will be filled with so many opportunities and interests, they will not even notice what they're missing. The only one who will notice is that friendly, smiling, affable man with a secret life, the one at the sock hop, the one who's waiting for an opportunity that will never come."

     All of us who have children--particularly if we also have grandchildren--owe Salter a debt of gratitude for writing this book. If we read it carefully and follow her advice, there will be a noticeable decline in the incidence of sex offenses and the devastating effects these offenses have on their victims.      


© 2004 Jack R. Anderson


  Jack R. Anderson, M.D. is a retired psychiatrist living in Lincoln, Nebraska. 


Welcome to Metapsychology.

Note that Metapsychology will be moving to a new server in January 2020. We will not put up new reviews during the transition. We thank you for your support and look forward to coming back with a revised format.

We feature over 8300 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our Google Group!

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716