Monday, July 21, 2008

Abuse Or Oral Sex?

image 68 year old Luella McAdoo was left to care for a 34 year old handicapped man in his mothers absence.  Instead of fulfilling her role as a caregiver she decided to fulfill her sexual needs by allegedly coercing him into performing oral sex on her.

Upon catching her in the act of allegedly abusing her son,  Ms. Davis asked her to leave her home, and then reported the crime to the police. She contends that he doesn't have the ability to make a decision about sex on his own.  McAdoo is currently charged with lewd or lascivious battery on an elderly or severely disabled person and is being held at the Orient Road Jail on $7,500 bond, according to jail records.

My initial response to reading this story was outrage.  I mentally heaped all kinds of abuse on her, in complete belief that she was a sex parasite worthy of the worst kind of feelings that I reserve for sexual predators.  I firmly believe that anyone that violates another sexually deserves a special place in hell. As I began to type what I thought would be a vitriolic rant dedicated to decrying this woman a thought occurred to me...How do we know that he did not consent? His mother says he does not have the requisite mental capacity to consent but this does not mean that he is not a sexual being.  Often times people that are mentally disabled are constructed as asexual because it makes us uncomfortable to think of them as sexual beings.  Even though he  may well have the mind of a child it is in the body of a sexually mature adult. He went through puberty the same way as everyone else, and therefore would be subject to the same sexual desires.  So the question is, does this incident constitute a sexual violation?  Does his mother have the right to say that he cannot participate in a sexual relationship? What are your thoughts?


Danny said...

I would say that just like most other allegations there is a possibility of truth. It is very possible that McAdoo forced him into sex thinking since he is mentally disabled no one would believe him if he spoke up about it. But it is also very possible that he was able to consent but his mental disability will render him an unbelievable.

Instantly discounting this story under the notion that he could have consented would be just as bad as discounting the story of a person getting drunk and having sex with someone.

I say this is definitely worth investigating.

cooper said...

If it were a 64 year old man doing the same thing to s mentally handicapped 34 year old women what would we say? Not really having an understand of his condition, the article says he is non verbal but that is the extent of it, I do not know how impaired he is.

Either way it is not the position of a caregiver to have sexual relations with those who are in their care. Just as it is not the position of a teacher or a physician to have relations with their students or patients. The power one holds over the other due to their position makes it in my opinion a no no.

Renee said...

@Cooper good point about the power relations, I had not thought about that. I am just trying to develop a better understanding of disability and how it constructs the body and therefore I am tying not to make the usual assumptions about him based on what society tells us the disabled body feels.

Bubbles said...

I have to agree with Cooper. A care giver should not abuse the trust given by the parent and patient to her. Even if the mentally handicapped man had developed sexual desires, if McAdoo initiated the actions then the chances are that it is a sexual violation.
Since his mental handicap is not explained in detail, we can't be sure of his ability to make a decision for himself.

Anonymous said...

"@Cooper good point about the power relations, I had not thought about that. I am just trying to develop a better understanding of disability and how it constructs the body and therefore I am tying not to make the usual assumptions about him based on what society tells us the disabled body feels."

Assuming there's not enough consent isn't about what society tells us the disabled body feels. It's about the ability to express that consent to someone else. When someone can't get a genuine "yes" or "no" across to someone else who wants sex, assuming there might have been consent is too damn convenient for abusers("but maybe he wanted it even though he couldn't say so!" "but maybe she wanted it and was just too paranoid to say so when she was less drunk!" "but maybe she wanted it and would have said 'I do' even if her family didn't tell her to!" etc.).

Matt said...

"How do we know that he did not consent?"

Would you ask that question if it was a 68 year old man caught recieving oral sex from a 34 year old mentally handicapped woman whom he was supposed to be CARING for, rather than taking advantage?

This is a complete sexual violation, and I can only assume you're giving her the benefit of the doubt based purely on the fact that she's a woman.

Renee said...

@Matt actually no I gave her the benefit of the doubt based on the fact that we normally construct the disabled body as asexual. Since Cooper brought up the issue of power dynamics in a caregiver relationship I have rescinded the benefit of the doubt that I originally offered.

Lindsay said...

These are all really good points - the power dynamic, the general consensus that people with disabilities are asexual (or uncomfortableness with it - I think it's somewhat along the lines of how people think about sex between older people in nursing homes), but what if the caregiver is giving him the care he needs - sexual care - that complicates the situation more. Just because his mother doesn't approve doesn't mean it wasn't consensual. Not that it was... just that it raises a lot of issues most people aren't comfortable confronting.

jlynnrvrdl said...

You made great points on the matter but, even if he is a sexual being, his mind is child like. At least that's what I'm gathering. With that being said even if he did want it it should never have happened. I am mortified by this story. The mother left him with a caregiver. She abused her authority.

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