: I think that these ROGD kids are such a mishmash of kids with a variety of personality pathologies and social problems. I wouldn’t really know what to tell you about what’s within that mix.
: Okay but as for what Littman describes as the “social contagion” element, I obviously understand that it’s very complicated and there are lots of moving parts, but do you have any sense of any particular thing that helps explain the sudden spike of cases of these kids?
No, I don’t. I think there have historically been precedents, and they have typically involved more females than males, which is also true like in the ROGD phenomenon. For example, recovered memory was a fad for a while, and ritual satanic child abuse was a fad. Typically, these involved more female adolescents than males for whatever reason.
If you want to go a little further back in history and look at the Salem witch trials in the U.S. in the late 17th century, most of the individuals who were claiming to have been attacked by witches and who were executed as witches were predominantly female. While it was older ladies who were hanged as witches, it was young ladies who accused them of witchcraft. So there seems to be something about a young adolescent female population that is particularly vulnerable to certain kinds of psychiatric phenomena.i
Ray Blanchard and Madeleine Kearns
Bill Evans and Jim Hall:
Photograph: Weekie Wachee, Florida; by Toni Frissell