Dr. Keith Ablow is a forensic psychiatrist who has treated dozens of men and women who have sexually abused their children. Dr. Ablow says that people are confused about what sexual molestation actually is. Is it touching? Is it only penetration? How does one define it?
"I define it as any sexual act or behavior that is uninvited or for which somebody's not prepared maturity-wise to respond to in an adult manner," Dr. Ablow says. "So it can be touching. It certainly can be, and we know, penetration, but there are also…fathers or mothers sometimes who are inappropriate with their children emotionally, in terms of being flirtatious, which causes its own kind of psychological damage. So it's all of that."
"I believe that our country is really confused about its notion of sexual abuse," Oprah says. "I think that the reason why the country is confused is because when you hear about [a child molester] looking at kids getting off a school bus you think, 'Oh, my God. That's terrible.' But that is somebody's husband, somebody's son, somebody's brother, and perhaps even somebody's father—and when it's in your house, you can find justifications for it. And so that consciousness that allows anyone, no matter who it is, to say, 'Maybe they can be helped' or, 'We had some good times' or, 'They're not all bad'—that way of thinking is what has us all confused."