The Truthfulness of Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse: Robbins vs. Benatar

1. Introduction

The debate over the truthfulness of recovered memories of sexual abuse is an ongoing one, with both sides having valid arguments. In this paper, I will be examining the arguments put forth by Robbins and Benatar in their respective articles on the matter. I will be comparing and contrasting their arguments, and ultimately coming to a conclusion as to which side is more convincing.

2. Benatar’s Argument

In her article “Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse: Robbins vs. Benatar”, Benatar puts forth the argument that recovered memories of sexual abuse are generally false. She begins by discussing Freud’s theory of repression, which posits that people repress memories of traumas in order to protect themselves from the pain. She argues that this theory does not hold up to scientific scrutiny, and that there is no evidence to support it. She then goes on to discuss two case studies which she believes show that recovered memories of sexual abuse are often false. The first case study is that of a woman who was told by her therapist that she had repressed memories of being sexually abused by her father, when in fact she had no such memories. The second case study is that of a woman who was convinced by her therapist that she had been sexually abused as a child, even though there was no evidence to support this claim. Based on these case studies, Benatar concludes that recovered memories of sexual abuse are often false and should not be trusted.

3. Robbins’ Argument

In his article “The Truth about Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse”, Robbins makes the argument that recovered memories of sexual abuse are generally true. He begins by discussing Freud’s theory of repression, and argues that it does hold up to scientific scrutiny. He then goes on to discuss two case studies which he believes show that recovered memories of sexual abuse are often true. The first case study is that of a woman who recalls being sexually abused by her father after undergoing therapy, and whose story is corroborated by other family members. The second case study is that of a man who recalls being sexually abused by his stepfather after undergoing therapy, and whose story is also corroborated by other family members. Based on these case studies, Robbins concludes that recovered memories of sexual abuse are often true and should be trusted.

4. Comparison of the Arguments

There are several key differences between Robbins’ and Benatar’s arguments. First, Robbins actually believes in Freud’s theory of repression, while Benatar does not. This difference is significant because it means that Robbins is starting from a position of believing that people do repress memories of traumas, while Benatar is starting from a position of disbelieving it. Second, Robbins focuses on two cases where the recall of sexual abuse was corroborated by other family members, while Benatar focuses on two cases where there was no such corroboration. This difference is significant because it means that Robbins is looking at cases where the memory has some external support, while Benatar is looking at cases where there is no external support for the memory. Third, Robbins argues that recovered memories of sexual abuse are generally true, while Benatar argues that they are generally false. This difference is significant because it means that Robbins is arguing for something which Benatar is arguing against.

5. Conclusion

Based on the above comparison, I believe that

FAQ

The key points of each argument are that Robbins believes sexual abuse survivors should be treated with compassion and understanding, while Benatar believes that they should be held responsible for their own actions.

Robbins and Benatar differ in their approach to sexual abuse survivors because Robbins believes that they should be treated with compassion and understanding, while Benatar believes that they should be held responsible for their own actions.

The implications of this debate are that it will change the way we think about and respond to sexual abuse.