No matter how much you learn, or how much you think you know, there is always the possibility of being wrong. I tend to keep my eyes open for the possibility I am wrong and I think I have been in one of my previous blog entries.
The original version of my entry titled Dads and Daughters contained the assumption that it was not uncommon for a man to find his pubescent daughter sexually appealing because I really thought that was true.
I never had a father of my own and my stepfather DID find me sexually attractive when I developed. Over the years since then I have had almost no contact with any father’s natural reactions to his developing daughter’s apart from my ex-husband’s reactions to our own daughter.
When she was tiny my ex worried that he might find our daughter attractive when she developed but, when the time came, he said it just didn’t happen. It was my first hint that my assumptions might be wrong but I simply thought my ex’s reactions were more due to the fact that he was a cut above the average man. I still thought it was pretty common and, therefore, reasonably normal for a man to find his daughter sexually attractive once she began to develop.
The second hint that my assumptions in this matter might be wrong came when I wrote the entry and my brother read it. He had a very strong reaction to the idea of ever finding his daughter sexually attractive. He said the very idea repulsed him. He was of the firm opinion he could never, would never, have such a reaction to any daughter of his no matter how physically attractive she was.
I toned my assumptions about how “normal” it was for a man to have an attraction to his daughter down a little after my brother had such a strong “Yuck” reaction to the idea. His reaction made me think maybe it was not quite as common as I had been thinking but, again, I tended to think he was another example of a man who was just a cut above average.
Now I am having to rethink my whole attitude to, and beliefs about, this matter.
When you have access to the statistics of a site you can find out what things people search for in a couple of ways. In webmaster tools Google will tell you what search terms are calling up pages of your site in the results and your own site statistical logs can tell you what search term a visitor used to find your site.
I often go to the search results page for terms visitors have used to find me to see whether my site was offered on the first page of the results for that term. I like to take a look at other sites that came up in the results for that term while I am there to see what “the competition” is offering.
The other day someone came to my site searching for the answer to the question “am I destined to be attracted to my daughter”. I have no idea who that someone was or whether they went to any of the other sites that were offered to them along with mine in the google search results. I just know there were a couple of sites that were placed above mine in the search results and one looked very interesting.
I went to that site and found the answer another psychologist has given to that question. I read his answer and all my instincts tell me he is right and I have been wrong all these years. (Link has broken)
Now I have a dilemma. I hate the idea of giving people incorrect information but that is what I have done – I’m sure of it now. I have three options for handling this and here are my thoughts on those options.
I can rewrite the original entry and remove the evidence of my false assumptions. If I do that, however, I will be hiding the evidence that I can be mistaken and I don’t much care for that idea. People NEED to know that, even with the best intentions and a good education, so-called experts CAN be wrong!
My instincts tell me it would be useful for people to know I made a mistake and see how I have handled THAT oh-so-common life experience too. Hiding or covering up my mistake will make me look better, more infallible, more trustworthy but it won’t do a thing for anyone who is reading me. For those reasons I have decided not to do that.
I can edit the entry, admit it contains inaccurate assumptions and add a link to the other psychologist’s page. This would allow me to admit my mistake quietly and with minimum fuss. Only the future readers of that entry will ever know I was wrong. I don’t much care for that option either since it will not tell those who have already read the wrong information that they got a bum steer from me.
People are entitled to know the information on this site may contain mistakes. I am not infallible, nobody is infallible, it is important for people to be aware of that fact. This is an opportunity to ensure they are aware of it. For those reasons I have decided not to take that option either.
I can highlight the fact that people need to be aware the information they are getting on the internet can, and often will be, wrong by writing another entry saying I was wrong. I can edit the original entry to advise people of the error and add a link there to this entry for them to read the explanation. In this entry I can add a link to the correct, in my opinion, information about the issue.
This is the option I have chosen. It allows me to show people the world does not end if you make a mistake. It allows me to prove to people they mustn’t believe everything they find on the internet and it allows me to give anyone who read that entry and thought I was wrong some encouragement to speak up if they see mistakes on this site.
I don’t shoot messengers who tell me I am wrong. I listen to them and examine the information they offer me. If I am wrong I try to put it right so, if you think I am wrong, say so. You might be able to prevent me from posting another mistaken assumption on this site.
If my error has caused anyone any kind of distress or harm I would like to offer my sincerest apologies but, as my legal disclaimer states, “All use of this site, its services and information, is entirely at the user’s own risk.”
It is my responsibility to offer you the best information I possibly can but it is NOT my responsibility to be perfect! Nobody has any right to ask, or expect, other people to be perfect. It is for this reason, because nobody can be perfect, that you should remember the only person who is really qualified to make decisions about your life is you!
This has been just one more example of just how far reaching the consequences of childhood abuse really are.
It has taken me 50 years to discover normal fathers DON’T get turned on by their developing daughters!
Sucks to be me hey hehehe.