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Confronting Child Sexual Abuse
Aired December 2, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.
A little boy weighs more than 200 pounds. The question, is that child abuse? Someone thinks so.
Then, meet the 30-year-old virgins, are they a minority or are millions of adults in fact waiting to have sex?
And we have the latest from Syracuse University.
So let`s get started.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s been a week full of controversy. Take a look.
KRIS HUMPHRIES, PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER: I am going to rub your face in it.
KIM KARDASHIAN, TELEVISION PERSONALITY: Stop. Oww. You just [bleep] ruined my pedicure. You [bleep] my whole toe just [bleep] broke in half. PINSKY: What`s you`re seeing there is domestic violence. And a lot of people watching this may not understand that, I get that. It looks playful, what`s the big deal? But anybody listening at home and viewing this has to understand the spectrum of domestic violence and this is an incontrovertible piece of evidence of someone engaged in a domestic violence relationship.
URVASHI RANGAN, PH.D: We`re not talking about a glass of apple juice killing you. This isn`t about acute - acute health risks. What it is about, however, is chronic exposures and chronic health risks like cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer.
PINSKY: You need to understand how viewers hear your words. They hear I`m going to get cancer if I drink this product. The fact is there is no causational link that is certain between any amount of arsenic and cancer that I`m aware of.
Tom Arnold is an actor, comedian, and a child sex abuse survivor. Tom, let`s tell your story.
TOM ARNOLD, COMEDIAN AND SEX ABUSE SURVIVOR: This guy across the street, everybody knows him in the neighborhood, and he started pretty quick playing a game with me.
The game was we`d go into this - this room and he`d shut the door and he started with fondling, which I just remember thinking this is so weird. Why is this guy who`s got a hairy body and so different from me, why does he want to touch me and be touched by me?
PINSKY: And so when did you realize that this was abuse?
ARNOLD: Honestly, probably when I was an adult.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN CORRESPONDENT: Syracuse University has now fired long time assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.
PINSKY: After three men come forward saying he abused them as boys. You know, if somebody is a perpetrator, there`s an overwhelming probability that they were abused themselves. They can`t use that as the defense. That`s just simply a fact of how that stuff evolves.
PINSKY: Joining us now, Heath Evans, former NFL player and current advocate for children who have been sexually abused; and Jake Goldenflame, he himself is a convicted sex offender.
So Jake, you know, this is - this is a conversation now that is becoming top of mind. But I think you and I both know these are very, very common crimes.
JAKE GOLDENFLAME, CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER: Yes. You know, in my case, my wrongful activity took place 25 years ago. Since that time, I`ve had the opportunity to not only get the help that I needed to ceasing that kind of conduct, but to go on and actually help other men do the same thing, get control of their lives, prepare for release and recovery, instead of going back to - coming back to the community and representing a continuing threat.
And again and again, the more that I meet these men and I hear their histories, it`s amazing how very common it is for both boys and girls and especially for boys, to be victims of sexual abuse. It`s far more common than the public realizes.
PINSKY: I have to agree with that. I have been dealing with it years and years, both on the radio, I hear about it every second or third call. And then in my practice in the addiction field where you`re seeing abuse, it`s at the point now where in my practice where if you have severe enough addiction, you need to see me. There`s virtually 100 percent probability of physical or sexual abuse in your past.
PINSKY: But my question, Jake, though, is do you feel that everyone is rehabilitatable or there are some that just are not?
GOLDENFLAME: Well, you know, that`s almost an impossible question to answer is everyone rehabilitatable. Obviously, the category is so broad. That`s going to include people who are being damaged in other ways, such as neurologically would not be fit for therapy.
On the other hand, there are specialists now in the therapy fields who are working with emotionally disabled offenders, so that they, too, can be part of the therapy conversation.
I would say this, that given the success that we`ve obtained so far, by and large, the greatest majority of people who have offended against children, yes, I would say they could be people who are candidates for recovery, the greatest majority.
PINSKY: Heath - I think a lot of people are skeptical about that, aren`t they?
HEATH EVANS, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Well - and I am skeptical as well.
And, Jake, I would love to ask you, I mean, you talk about preparing these predators to be released back into society. What are those steps that you walk them through, because for me, accountability is such a huge issue when I think about letting any predator back out on the streets around children, I don`t care if they`re within 15 miles of a child. What are those steps? Walk me through that process of preparing a predator to be released.
GOLDENFLAME: The first step very definitely (ph) is to get the predator to the point where he can take responsibility for what he has done and admit to it, where he can say yes, I really did commit the crime, yes, I really did do this, and, yes, I have to hold myself responsible regardless of my past or what may have been done to me in my past, I am the one responsible for this particular crime.
The second thing that they have to do is they have to have a real commitment to want to recover. You know, there are some wonderful tools out there, cognitive behavioral therapy, relapse prevention, things that Dr. Drew could tell you a good deal about in detail, I`m sure. But the tools by themselves don`t do anything unless you use them.
GOLDENFLAME: And you don`t use them unless the commitment is there. And this is the thing that I`m focusing on -
PINSKY: And this is - but, you - but, Jake, that is the conundrum in all fields when we`re trying to change behavior. You know, how do we get an addict to get better, why is there such a high recidivism when all we`ve got to get them to do is follow our direction and the problem is to get them to follow our direction.
EVANS: Well, how do we really know, Jake, how do we really know? I mean, listen. I can put on a good front for my wife all day long when I`m really, truly angry at her. But, ultimately, how do you know these guys - and we`re talking about the lives of children that were just being devastated, how do ever to get to the point where you really know these guys are truly cured and they can be trusted back in society?
GOLDENFLAME: Well, for one thing, parole especially in California is using lie detectors all the time with these guys. And so they`re constantly being screened and given evaluation based upon lie detector technology.
If you are really concerned, you can go beyond lie detector technology. There`s a very invasive technology called penile plethysmograph - penile plethysmography. And with that particular device, it`s like a lie detector, but in addition to measuring your pulse and your respiration, it also measures your deviant arousal, if any, while you`re being shown a series of non-pornographic, but somewhat suggestive photographs.
They actually graph your responses during that test. And if then indeed you`ve been doing the work that you are called upon to do to prepare for recovery, the deviant response level should be much lower than it was in the very beginning. It`s either there or it`s not and you can`t fake this one.
This is on a level where they`re actually doing a scan on your brain as it were. You can`t fake the brain scan. The reaction is going to be there and there`s no way to hide from that. That`s the additional technology to use.
PINSKY: Gentlemen, I`ve got to wrap. Thank you. Interesting conversation. You`re going to stay with me for the next segment.
The real story of what alleged victim Bobby Davis says happened when he spent nights in bed with former Syracuse coach Bernie Fine.
And later, allowing your child to overeat, bad parenting perhaps, but is overeating child abuse? One judge thinks so.
Stay with us.
PINSKY: Welcome back.
Former coach Bernie Fine`s alleged victim Bobby Davis painfully details what he says happened when he slept at Uncle Bernie`s house as a young boy. Davis says the neighborhood kids idolized Fine. They looked at him as a local celebrity who could make them Syracuse ball boys and maybe even star basketball players. They were jealous that Davis seemed to be a special friend.
Fine was the father figure Bobby Davis never had. He was the man he looked up to, admired. He was also his worst enemy.
Straight to my guest, Heath Evans, former NFL player and advocate for sexually abused children; convicted sex offender himself, Jake Goldenflame; and a former NHL player, Theo Fleury, joins us. He was abused by a coach. He`s the author of "Playing With Fire."
Theo, does all of this manipulation sound familiar to you?
THEO FLEURY, FORMER NHL PLAYER: Yes, absolutely. Just kind of makes me, you know, shake my head a little bit. And what am I surprised? I`m not surprised at all. You know, this is - you know, it`s almost like, you know, we have to say like who`s next, like who`s going to come, you know, what major organization, what major corporation is going to come forth next. And so -
PINSKY: Well, Theo, let me ask you this. Is the fact this has become such a conversation, do you think it`s not the organizations that are going to come forward, it`s the kids that were victims in these organizations?
Because I mean just statistically that`s likely to happen. It is exceedingly common problem, and now we`re finally beginning at least to having a public conversation, public discourse about this.
So I think, don`t you think - you`re right, yes, you`re going to hear a lot more stories I suspect?
FLEURY: Yes. You know, it`s obviously the biggest epidemic we have on the planet, and for many, many years, you know, we`ve always swept it under the rug, covered it up. But, you know, when the richest organization in the world, the Catholic Church has to talk about this subject every day, you know, up here in Canada, you know, the Boy Scouts are involved in a huge scandal up here as well.
Penn State, you know, now Syracuse, so I really believe that, you know, people are watching this, victims, survivors are watching what`s been going on, and it`s you know, because for many years, you know, I personally myself, you know, felt that I was like the only person in the world that this happened to, and you know, I really believe it`s giving people permission to now get up off the couch and say you know what, me, too.
PINSKY: And, Heath, that`s one of the common things, right, is that people hide, they feel they have this grandiose preoccupation that they`re the only one this happened to. And you and I were talking off the air, your wife has been a victim of abuse.
PINSKY: And she very kindly has allowed us to speak about this, and one of the things that happens is that they disavow a part of themselves.
PINSKY: For some of them, that part of themselves becomes an offender.
PINSKY: For some, it becomes a part of themselves that they attach to other not so good people.
EVANS: Definitely. You know, and for me and my wife, when I met her and I would see these other guys that she was dating or in dating relationships with, and I`m thinking to myself, you`re the most beautiful woman I ever laid eyes on and you`re a straight A law student and you have all these things going for you and you`re with these bozos.
PINSKY: Yes, yes.
EVANS: It didn`t make sense. And she was like, "Oh, you`re just jealous." And I think now she`s go to come to the light of these guys were bozos. And it is that part where she just kind of detached from this is all I`m good enough for.
PINSKY: When something like sexual abuse happens to - to an individual, particularly child, their brain develops in a - I wouldn`t say abnormal, but in a different way than it does otherwise, and parts of self, that parts of self literally get walled off, parts of brain structure don`t interconnect with other parts, and that part interestingly is what they associate with their sexual self and it`s something that they disavow.
So if they are going to have intimate relationship with somebody, they can only have it with not such great people because that`s what they feel about that part of themselves.
Now, Bobby Davis, this kid that was allegedly abused, tells ESPN, quite, "Why I did allow it? Why did I allow it to happen for so long? Did I think I was gay? Or I don`t know why. I just didn`t know. He, you know, kind of programmed it in me, in a sense."
Now, Jake, go back out to you. Is this one of the common reasons that sometimes these younger males stay quiet, is they start to - they sort of get sucked into the victim`s world, start to identify with the victim - the victimizer, excuse me - and actually start to kind of like it, in a way, and then feel guilty about that, and then are terribly confused?
GOLDENFLAME: There`s both guilt and there`s also a sense of shame. They don`t want to let anybody know that they were a victim of this kind of thing.
A typical example would be one adult I know who told me how when he was in his mid teens, he was abused by a neighbor, and, after a couple of instances, he made it stop himself. And I said to him, "Did you ever turn him in?" And he said, "No," and I said, "How come?" and he said, "I didn`t want the hassle."
GOLDENFLAME: "I didn`t want the hassle."
PINSKY: Yes. That was - there`s a - there`s a lot packed into that statement.
But Heath, I think what I`m seeing in Davis` statement there, though, is that he - he felt like he was in a relationship, a sexual relationship, with an older man, and that made him gay and he was confused about that and didn`t want to admit it.
EVANS: Well, there`s so many ways to look at it.
EVANS: There`s something, A, we`re sexual being, so sexual touch feels good, and when that sexual kind of clock is turned on in a homosexual manner or in a molesting manner like this was, you know, why wouldn`t you naturally think in - in that direction? I mean, listen, we were created to be sexual beings -
EVANS: -- and so there`s just so much pollution of the mind that goes on when it`s done in a form and fashion that is, you know, on a predatorial state.
PINSKY: And, particularly, oftentimes before, the parts of the brain are sort of online, that the child, I`m going to say to you (ph) as a child, a child can manage the overwhelming feelings, and, literally, it shatters the brain`s limits of its capacity to regulate.
Now, Davis tells ESPN also that Fine`s wife took a special interest in him, like buying him clothing and allowing him to use her credit cards. He also claims Laurie Fine told him she once saw Bernie touch him in the basement of their home.
Listen to this, from ESPN.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
LAURIE FINE, BERNIE FINE`S WIFE (via telephone): Because I care about you, and I didn`t want to see you being treated that way -
BOBBY DAVIS, ACCUSES BERNIE FINE OF ABUSING HIM (via telephone): Yes.
FINE: -- and it`s hard for - if it was another girl, like I told you, it would be easy for me to step in because you know what you`re up against. You`re - you`re - when it`s someone, it`s another guy, you can`t compete with that.
It`s just wrong, and you were a kid. You`re a man now, but you were a kid then.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PINSKY: Jake, this is a very twisted situation with - with the wife. But, oftentimes, the - the -
PINSKY: But the wives, oftentimes, themselves had been sexually abused, that`s why they - or - and people - crazy - I want my viewers to understand, it`s the crazy thing about humans is when things are terrorizing in childhood, we have uncanny capacity to recreate these things in our young adult life, or even in our adolescent life.
And so, here, she is maybe sexually abused, and then is attracted to an abuser. And then, because she was abused, has all kinds of boundary issues with her sexuality and starts acting out with this same kid. Is that your take on this?
GOLDENFLAME: Add this as well. There`s the allure of mystery. There`s a mystery to this for the - for the offender, for the - for the victim themselves, of offense. They can`t understand it. They can`t cognize it. They can`t wrap their brains around what it is that happened.
And this mystery draws them back to - to explore it and look at it again, which sets - which sets them up for being abused again, so that maybe they can understand it then. And, of course, it doesn`t give them understanding, it makes the mystery all the more. So they become lost in it.
That`s what happens, and now they`re proceeding blindly at this point.
PINSKY: And then, Jake, in terms of getting well from this, how long does it take? What are the kinds of interventions you feel need to be done? Is it something we got to - we got to look at for years and high degrees of instruction (ph) but great degrees of motivation?
GOLDENFLAME: Well, I think it`s fair to say that within seven years, most psychological problems can be pretty well alleviated. I know that as far as victims go, that`s - and offenders, seven years is - is about the full range, normally, you`re looking at in some kind of counseling program, counseling relationship. I would say that to protect children, to prevent this from happening in the first place, the - the public has to really get behind the idea of raising their children with a very strong sense of self- respect so that they turn down inappropriate offers.
Because, remember, in most of these cases the offender is not somebody who`s using force. He`s using seduction. And if a child is instilled with the right values and personal values, they`ll turn those down and it will never happen at the beginning.
That`s missing in a lot of our - in a lot of our families now.
PINSKY: Theo, last word to you. I think not only is it about values and a sense of self-respect, but it`s also that`s - the people that love them are present in their life all the time. Don`t you agree?
FLEURY: Yes, absolutely. You know - you know, we put our kids in programs, you know, to enhance their, you know, abilities and their choices and their friendships and being a part of a team, but you can`t do that anymore, you know? You have to watch your kids 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Never leave them alone with coaches where they have one on one time away from - from your sight with coaches. No - no rides home, and -
But, you know what? This - we`re going to be talking about this for a long time. You know, again, my heart always goes out to - to the victims, and, you know, hopefully they - they can find the support and - and the love and the caring that they really need to - you know, to start their path of recovery.
PINSKY: Thank you, Theo. Thank you, Jake. Thank you, Heath.
Yes, these are - these abuse experiences, again, create - are the source of many if not, I dare say, most of the mental health issues that we see today. Not just sexual abuse, but neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse. This is the triad that accounts for so much of the addiction, the behavioral problems, criminal issues. It`s at the core.
Coming up, a child is removed from his mother`s care because he is morbidly obese. Is that the right thing to do? I don`t know.
Later, we`ll speak to some people who are proud to be 30-something and virgins. Stay with us.
PINSKY: Now, many of you continue to try to understand the allegations of sexual abuse being reported on the news lately. Remember, this is just what we know. Think of all the cases out there that go unreported. I`m telling you, this is commonplace.
Let`s hear more of what`s on your mind on this topic. Nichole in New York, go ahead.
NICHOLE, HASTINGS, NEW YORK: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hey, Nichole.
NICHOLE: I just wanted to make a comment. I`m about 20 miles north of Syracuse, and we`ve always had a great basketball team here. But I`m really embarrassed of all this.
I truly believe Coach Boeheim had no idea of what was going on, and I hope he doesn`t go down with Bernie and his wife, who I think are guilty. But, no matter what, I will continue to support Syracuse University, as I always have.
PINSKY: Well, I - I hope so. I mean, it`s a great university, and I`m not saying the entire institution needs to be brought down because of this. But I have been questioning how college administrators function. I just - there`s something going on there that so much of this stuff goes on in secrecy, where people feel they know what`s best and they can handle things on their own.
When we hear - in work, you know, in the clinical work, when you hear families that talk like that, we know they`re in big trouble. It`s not OK for institutions to think that way, either.
Hilda tweets, "I may have lost you when you said, `sexual abuse forms a cycle that goes forward as a defense for behavior.`"
Yes, Hilda, I`m sorry, that is not what I said, but what I did say is that abuse has intergenerational effects. So, if somebody is physically abused by their parents, they will likely abuse their kids, who will abuse their kids.
Same thing is true of sexual abuse. They will bring perpetrators in their life, who will perpetrate against their kids. It`s a trans- intergenerational process, which is why it has to stop, has to stop with social service intervention, cultural intervention, and clinical services.
Back to the phones. Sue in New York, go ahead.
SUE, SCOTIA, NEW YORK: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Sue.
SUE: Just a quick comment.
SUE: I`m originally from Central New York, and it saddens me greatly that a lot of these pedophiles are under the guise of coaches, teachers, et cetera, and they are protected by the, quote-unquote, "ol` boy network" while the victims suffer. Yes, they`re innocent until proven guilty, but they at least need to conduct a proper investigation.
PINSKY: Well, I think we all would agree with you on that. But the fact that you - you shouldn`t be surprised that they are in environments where there are children. In fact, so many of these perpetrators, before they really cross that line where they`re perpetrating physically, kind of have the sense that they just love kids. They just love them so much, and they just, oh, I have such a special connection with them. Not - sometimes, not even realizing that there`s a sexual energy behind that.
And certainly their family and spouses and whatnot don`t see it as such. We keep hearing those stories over and over. They just thought they loved kids. And that`s kind of sometimes where the perpetrator starts. So, of course, they go to environments where there are kids.
Brianna tweets, "I found it very interesting when you said families that aren`t working very well often have lots of secrets."
And that`s a saying I hopefully share with you here in this program many times, which is families are as sick as their secrets.
Aaron, finally, Facebook, quickly, "What did you mean by `compartmentalization is creating a sense of self that is very different from the perpetrator`?"
What I`m saying is that they compartmentalize the perpetrator self and then they have a self that they want to identify with, they show to the world, and that perpetrator self becomes compartmentalized. They disavow and pretend it isn`t even there, many times.
When we come back, children are typically removed from homes and put in a foster care when there`s physical abuse, neglect, undernourishment. But an Ohio mom lost her child because, well, because he was too fat. I think there`s a little bit missing in this story. There`s got to be more to it.
We`re going to talk about whether we`re heading down a road where the state is rushing in, social services is rushing in because somebody is spending a little too much time at the fast food. I don`t think so. Talk about it after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Coming up, they`re virgins and proud of it. It`s hard to believe that in today`s supercharged sexual culture that men and women well into adulthood are in no rush to hook up. We`ll meet some 30-year-old virgins.
And next, we all know the perils of packing on the pounds, but could you be abusing your child by allowing him or her to get fat? What happened in one home may be a cautionary tale for us all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): Welcome back. An eight-year-old boy has been taken from his mother and placed in foster care. County case workers say his mother wasn`t doing enough -- get this -- to control his weight. He tips the scales, eight-year-old, at 200 pounds. Here is a social worker talking about why the boy was taken out of the home. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAT RIDEOUT, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES ADMINISTRATOR: This was a case of medical neglect in the opinion of healthcare professionals that this child had some severe conditions that if not dealt with differently than his family had been able to up to that point could be life threatening. We hope that we`ll be able to work with this family so that they`re better capable of meeting this kid`s needs so that he can go home and be healthy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Now, look abuse of children is a serious issue. We`ve seen a young girl being beaten on YouTube by her dad, and of course, all the sexual scandals we`ve been talking about at Penn State and Syracuse, but the question here is, is it abuse if a child is overweight?
Here to discuss this is pediatrician, Dr. Harvey Karp. He`s the author of "The Happiest Toddler on the Block." Dr. Sumana Narasimhan, she is co-medical director of Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight, and Rainbow Babies and Children`s Hospital in Cleveland. That`s the program that is actually working with the young boy we`re discussing here tonight, and professor of bioethics and medical ethics at University of Pennsylvania, Professor Arthur Caplan.
Professor Caplan, what`s your opinion? I mean, where do we draw the line? You know, overweight kid, take him out of the home? Should we take the anorectic kids out, too?
PROFESSOR ARTHUR CAPLAN, BIOTHIECS AND MEDICAL ETHICS, UNIVERSITY OF PENN: Bad idea, Bad idea. I think, at the end of the day, if we knew that we could get people skinny by taking them out of their home and putting them in somebody else`s home, we`d have a lot less fat people running around America than we do.
Look, we don`t have the answer to why this kid is 200 pounds. I don`t have all the facts. Some of the other guests may know more than I do, but what I do know is this. That kid, ultimately, is going back to that home. That kid needs an intervention in that home, not in somebody else`s house, not somewhere else.
That child is going to have to grow up with that parent. Ultimately, the courts aren`t going to keep him out of there for long. You`ve got to have a focus on the entire family for behavior change.
PINSKY: Do you think, professor, that we`re getting into a problematic bioethical stance of paternalism, that we`re going to tell everybody what`s right for them and how to manage their life under all circumstances of health?
CAPLAN: Well, I know that people are worried about the nanny state, knocking on your door, and yanking out your chubby child. That is just too much government activity. This kid at 200 pounds is a time bomb. I don`t mean to minimize it. He`s at huge risk of diabetes, hypertension, many other health problems.
I try to put that aside, but we don`t know that taking him out and putting him in foster care is going to do him any good. There`s no evidence that people get thinner when children go to foster care. A foster care mom, I understand in this case, is already overwhelmed with trying to deal with him for various reasons.
So, you`ve got a system of foster care that`s broken. It`s already trying to deal with, as you said, Drew, kids getting raped, kids getting beaten, kids going to be denied medical care. It`s going to save their lives in the morning, trying to think that that`s the place to turn to solve obesity, I just don`t see it.
PINSKY: Dr. Karp, do you agree with that? Also I smell like, there`s so much missing here. You know, kid`s chubby, the state comes in and takes him out. Social services know what they`re doing. There`s no way that`s just what happened, is it?
DR. HARVEY KARP, PEDIATRICIAN: No, it can`t possibly be. This is the first time this has ever -- as I understand, it`s the first time this has ever happened --
PINSKY: So, there must be other issues at work here. Yes.
KARP: Exactly. You know, he`s eight years old. He`s been in the county system for 20 months. A quarter of his lifetime, he`s been in the county system getting intervention and he hasn`t been able to lose weight.
I mean, again, as you`re saying, I don`t know all the facts in this situation, but this is not a usual situation that would just take fat kids out of their home and put them in foster care. I mean, this is an exceptional situation.
PINSKY: Let me go to Dr. Narasimhan who`s running a program that deals with these kinds of kids. Are we on the right track here that there`s more than meets the eye, it`s not just the states running in and taking heavy kids out of people`s homes?
DR. SUMANA NARASIMHAN, CO-MEDICAL DIRECTOR, "HEALTHY KIDS HEALTHY WEIGHT": No. I cannot -- while I cannot comment on the specifics of this case, I can tell you that the instance of obesity is rising rapidly, and about one in three children in Ohio and across the United States are obese.
And in our program alone, we have at least more than about 900 kids that we have evaluated since the start of this program in 2005. And even in the past year, we evaluated 150 children who are moderately to severely obese in our program.
PINSKY: Yes, but listen, I`m going to interrupt you. I`m going to have to interrupt you. The problem here is not the weight as an issue. We know that weight is a massive issue in this country, though, I keep hearing that hunger is an issue, too, so I get a little confused.
But the fact is, we`re talking about whether or not the state should be running in and taking kids out of their home and putting in foster care because of overeating and obesity, or for that matter, whether it`s anorexia. I mean, is that OK?
NARASIMHAN: I can`t say that`s OK or not. I think it has to be evaluated on case to case. basis.
PINSKY: All right. I agree with you on that. I`m going to interrupt you again. I have an ethicist. I`m going to ask the same thing in ethicist. Aren`t we getting into some dangerous territory here, professor?
CAPLAN: You know, the usual standard when you take a kid out of the home is imminently in danger of death, that is within hours, within a day. That`s not a 200 pound kid, although, he`s certainly a train wreck, but he`s not imminently in danger of death.
You don`t want to establish the principle that if somebody thinks your kids at risk of having a tougher road in life down the road, years to come, foster care is the option and the state can come in, take your kid out, absolutely no way. I don`t think this is going to hold up in front of a judge, unless, there are other facts out here that we don`t know about.
PINSKY: Right. Right. Which there may well be. Dr. Karp, there`s something that`s really trouble me about this whole obesity thing. And this idea of putting a kid in foster care only makes the thing I`m worried about worse, which is people don`t talk about some of the emotional concomitance and risk factors for overeating.
A lot of them, we come talk about abuse all the time now, but let me tell you something, abuse is something that causes overeating, too. Kids will actually put a big body around them as a subconscious way to try and protect themselves. I see this all the time.
PINSKY: Nobody talks about whatever abusive issues or neglectful issues are going on in the home that may result, and certainly putting them in foster care only makes those issues worse.
KARP: No, that`s absolutely right, but obesity is a symptom of other stresses and problems, really starts to ramp up as you get older. For younger kids, I mean, it can happen with younger kids as well. But, for me, I want to just point out that it`s not just the family`s responsibility. We have responsibility as society as well.
I mean, look at the companies that just pushed Congress into allowing pizza to qualify as a vegetable in school lunch. We can`t allow that to happen, and then, say to other families that they`re doing a bad job in terms of overfeeding their kids.
PINSKY: Here is a statistic from the Centers for Disease Control. Approximately 17 percent of children ages two to 19 are considered overweight. Two million kids are considered obese. Now, again, I brought up the question of whether or not they should run in and intervene on kids with anorexia and eating disorders. That status, anorexias are between one and five percent of all female adolescents in young women.
KARP: Yes, but nobody is saying that all these kids should be taken out of the home. This, again, it`s a very -- it`s happened three or four times in the entire country, but what this really is a wake up call to America to say that we`re doing the job of our enemies. We`re hurting our kids, we`re killing our citizens, and we`re bankrupting our country with medical cost.
There`s no way we can handle the medical cost of the wave of diabetes and the other diseases from obesity that are coming. So, we`ve got to get smart now. We really have to look at this from a systemic and a community view point.
PINSKY: I absolutely agree. And again, so much of this, though, is structural in the families and how we raise our kids and how we deal with our health. It`s not about the obesity and overeating and the fast food itself, it`s the risk factors for all that. I` not sure we`re educated enough about that.
OK. Well, I want to thank my panel. Thank you, Professor Caplan, thank you, Dr. Karp, and thank you, Dr. Narasimhan. I appreciate it.
Now, remember the movie, "The 40-year-old Virgin?" Next, we`ll be talking to a few adults who are holding on to their virginity in a sexually charge culture. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZA MARZIALI, 30-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN: Thirty is like being a 14-year-old boy. It`s like, you know, take it up a notch and you`re like OK, so, where`s the nearest guy and let`s just get this over with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: -- they had sex. Some of them may have been in their teens, some of you in your 20s, some possibly 30s. Now, it`s hard to believe that in this day and age, 30-year-olds are waiting for the right mate to come along before they consummate their relationship or any relationship. The Learning Channel profiled a few of these adults in an upcoming special called "Virgin Diaries." Take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re saving our first kiss for our wedding. And, a lot of people are just like shocked when they hear that. Like really, is that hard to do? As if no one ever does it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I`m a little nervous. Just nervous about the actual intercourse, I guess, I would say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It`s starting to hit that it`s really going to happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I now declare you to be husband and wife. Ryan, you may kiss your bride.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like I`m really, really, really inexperienced.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you a virgin?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow.
MARZIALI: I`m Lisa. I`m 30, and I`m a virgin.
DANIELLE MICHAUD, 29-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN: I`m Danielle, and I`m 29, and I`m a virgin.
TAMARA LARSON, "RECLAIMED" VIRGIN: I`m Tamara, and I`m 29 years old, and I`m a reclaimed virgin. I had had sex before with each of my boyfriends, and I`ve dated probably about seven guys in the past.
MARZIALI: For the record, I have never seen a penis before.
PINSKY: Well, joining me tonight to discuss that, my friend and colleague, co-host from "Loveline," Michael Catherwood, and a few of the participants from a documentary are here as well. We have Carry R, there you are, and roommates, Lisa Marziali and Danielle Michaud, and Tamara Larson. Now, Liza, why did you decide to participate in this documentary?
MARZIALI: I decided to participate in the documentary because I thought it was a good way of really just getting our story out there, just really telling people that people are actually choosing this lifestyle, and successful, beautiful, confident women are choosing this lifestyle. So, I thought it`s an important thing to talk about.
PINSKY: All right. So, let`s get into it. Why is it important -- why did you feel this was an important road to go down?
MARZIALI: Yes. I think that so often we`re bombarded with sex in our every day, everywhere on TV, in our everyday life. And so, why not give an opportunity to talk about the opposite, talk about the people that are waiting.
PINSKY: Liza, I`m going to interrupt you. I get that`s your point, but I want to ask about you and ask Danielle also, why did you wait? Why was it important to you? Did you have some bad experiences early on that made you aversive to this? Did you have social phobias? Was it just something you were committed to for religious reasons? What is it for each of you that sent you down this path?
MARZIALI: Yes. For me, it was definitely my relationship with God. Definitely, that has a big contributing factor. Not any bad experiences, not anything like that. But, just it was my belief and what I thought was valuable. I think sex is valuable, not just to be given to just anybody and I think it`s to be shared in a committed relationship.
PINSKY: All right. Danielle, let me ask you then. If it`s a similar -- Go ahead. You can answer. Go ahead.
MICHAUD: Yes. It is a similar story. I think, at first, it was about my faith-based reasons like my relationship with the Lord. And then, as -- when temptation got stronger, it was like what is this all about, and I really did see that there was a purpose behind it, not just like a religion, not just a religious act, but actually, there`s a purpose behind saving sex for marriage, because I want it to be in that like secure relationship, because I think that it actually is a cool gift to give to my husband.
PINSKY: All right. Fair enough. And Tamara, I know you are literally a born again virgin, and I`m going to talk to you about your sort of path in a few minutes. Mike, you wanted to say something?
MIKE CATHERWOOD, CO-HOST, "LOVELINE": I didn`t know you could be a born again virgin. You just decide? Is there some surgery that --
PINSKY: But I`m not sure that`s what Tamara went through. Tamara, you just decided that this was not for you and you want to recommit to chastity? Is that right?
LARSON: Well, for me, it`s, you know, as much as, you know, the whole title of reclaimed virgin. Actually, for me, it`s not so much a story about sex, it`s not (ph) a story about identity and the story about love and story about redemption. And you know, I`ve done the whole relationship thing, dysfunctional relationship thing.
I have done the self-sabotage thing, you know, the cutting, eating disorder, that sort of thing. And I went searching for love in kind of all the wrong places. So, for me, it`s more that kind of redemption that I`ve experienced.
PINSKY: All right. Well, Tamara, listen, you`re describing something very, very complicated. You talked about trauma survivorship. You talked about dysfunctional abusive relationships. You talked about cutting.
And then, would you describe, frankly, what we call bipolarity of your sexuality where you feel like you were overly sexual and now you`re sexually anorectic. Neither are healthy, by the way. Carey, you tell us what your story is.
CAREY AHR, 35-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN: Well, in my case, I think, it`s really a lack of effort for the last years 35 years, I guess, well, since I`ve hit puberty.
PINSKY: Let me ask you something. Let me ask somebody. In the male, sexuality so deeply embedded that we have a male that is completely unmotivated. I`ll tell you, we start looking at it as we look at prolactin secreting (ph) with tumors of the pituitary gland. Have you had a medical workup?
AHR: And the pituitary glands?
PINSKY: I`m just telling you that if a male has a dramatic loss of libido, of sexual drive, where to the point where they have no desire --
AHR: I have a sexual drive.
PINSKY: So, why haven`t you been dating? Why haven`t you been out there?
AHR: It could be a fear of failure on my part.
CATHERWOOD: I think that`s a cop out, though, because all men deal with the fear of failure.
CATHERWOOD: I mean, if there`s truly that lack of desire for you to go out and find young women and not only have sex but to develop relationships that you can get to that level of intimacy, there most likely is something seriously wrong. That`s my fuel to do everything in life.
PINSKY: I know --
CATHERWOOD: I would be employed and play Playstation all day long if I didn`t want to have kicks (ph).
PINSKY: But Carey, we call that social phobia.
AHR: It`s scary. It takes effort, and it`s effort that I haven`t made.
PINSKY: Mike, you have to make effort not to do it.
CATHERWOOD: You`re a good-looking guy. He seemed to have a level head on your shoulders. I don`t see any reason why you should have -- like I said, every single guy suffers from the fear of having a girl reject them. It`s paralyzing at times, but you just figure out a way to get past it.
And you know, I feel like there`s a lot more damage being done by you making a conscious decision to wait than would be if you were to engage in, you know, carefree, carnal expletives.
PINSKY: You seem great. You seem good. You`re good now, Carey, though, right?
AHR: Well, I guess I would say that I am trying to make more of an effort now than I used to. One thing that has worked out for me in the last few years is that I have more self confidence and better self esteem.
PINSKY: So, there you go.
AHR: Because I think that used to be my problem long ago.
PINSKY: Absolutely. And again, that`s not to use too strong a word, but that`s pathology. If you have such low self-esteem that you don`t feel you`re worth love, that`s a problem. That`s not oh, I chose to be a virgin. That`s a problem.
Now, Carey, I`m going to say goodbye to you, but the girls are coming back. TLC`s one-hour special, "Virgin Diaries" airs this Sunday at 9:00 p.m.
Next, abstinence, we`re going to keep on this conversation and about reclaiming your virginity. Stay with us.
PINSKY: Welcome back. We`re talking about virginity and whether or not someone should wait until marriage to have sex. The TLC special, "Virgin Diaries" airs this Sunday. It profiles men and women in their 30s who`ve never had sex, and one who is reclaiming her virginity. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARSON: I have had sex with quite a few guys in past relationships. And now, I feel like a lot has happened, actually feel like such a different person than I was, even from the last time that I did have sex with someone. So, I almost feel like that it will be like I`ve never had sex before.
MARZIALI: Of course, you think, well, if I just do it one time, then I think maybe I then could be reclaimed and everything will be fine, but I don`t think it works quite like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: So, Tamara, you say you`re feeling better since you reclaimed your virginity. Are you having relationships now?
LARSON: I am in the process of looking for a man that I will marry.
PINSKY: That`s not my question. My question was, are you having relationships with men? Are you dating? How is that working out for you, you know? And, are you having any unusual feelings you didn`t expect when you try to relate to guys in a different way?
LARSON: So, currently, am I in any relationships? I haven`t. I was in a relationship early in this year which ended. And that was really difficult situation for me, so it`s something that I`ve kind of been recovering from and seeking in life in different areas, things that I`m really passionate about and being alive, you know, and living fully.
PINSKY: And so, I imagine there was some not so pleasant experience that sent you down the path. What happened that caused you to decide to reclaim this?
LARSON: Well, with regard to reclaiming my virginity, you know, if I`m really honest, it had more to do with the fact that I didn`t really love or value myself. So, you know, obviously, if I don`t love and value myself, I`m going to be going and looking in other places, including looking to men to fill that void in me.
And so, for me, right now, it`s been a slow journey, but I`ve come to a place where, you know, I`ve learned to love and value and honor myself, so I`m in a better place to welcome that kind of love and respect into my life with somebody else.
PINSKY: Are you -- we`re doing a lot of talk about trauma these days with the Penn State scandal and what not. Are you a trauma survivor?
PINSKY: No trauma?
LARSON: Like what kind of trauma are we talking about?
PINSKY: Well, the kind that sends you to quite having difficulty with self esteem --
PINSKY: -- acting out sexually. We talk about this all the time on the radio. I mean, how many calls an hour do we take with these kinds of issues?
CATHERWOOD: Yes. It`s understandable for young ladies in particular to kind of spin out of control when using their, I guess, sexuality to kind of fill some void --
PINSKY: And people need -- when they see a young lady is acting out sexually, hey, she just needed sex. No, uh-uh. It`s not that, that she is really acting out pain, typically.
CATHERWOOD: I think it`s strange that you said you`re getting to a place where you can feel desire. I think that`s a lot of times number one reason why a lot of young girls sexually act out to feel that desire, you know?
PINSKY: I mean, it`s hard to -- let`s face it.
PINSKY: We talked about this you and I at length about how challenging it is and how vulnerable people feel in a relationship. And I think, the important point about this entire conversation is, is that sexuality is deeply embedded in who we are in our emotional lives. It`s very meaningful, and it should not be taken lightly.
Again, you can see the special, "Virgin Diaries," this Sunday, 9:00 p.m. Thank you all for watching. I`ll see you next time.