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post-exposure stress disorder
Author Jim Devine
Date 05/01/29/02:08
Hit Count 721

U.S. CHILDREN STILL TRAUMATIZED ONE YEAR AFTER SEEING PARTIALLY EXPOSED
BREAST ON TV


WASHINGTON, DC -- As the nation approaches the one-year anniversary of
the Super Bowl XXXVIII tragedy, an FCC study shows that millions of U.S.
children were severely traumatized by the exposure to a partially nude
female breast during the Feb. 1, 2004 halftime show.
Jackson irrevocably damages millions of American children.


"No one who lived through that day is likely to forget the horror," said
noted child therapist Dr. Eli Wasserbaum. "But it was especially hard on
the children."


The tragic wardrobe malfunction occurred approximately 360 days ago,
during Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's performance of "Rock Your
Body," when Timberlake tore Jackson's costume, accidentally revealing
her right breast.


"By the time CBS cut to an aerial view of the stadium, the damage was
done," said Wasserbaum, who has also worked extensively with orphaned
and amputee children in Third World war zones. "I've found that children
can be amazingly resilient, but this event was too much for many of them
to take. The horrible image of that breast is likely to haunt them for
the rest of their lives."


According to the 500-page report filed by the FCC, more than 90 percent
of the children who saw the exposed breast said they were "confused and
afraid."


"Mommy has dirty chest bumps," said a 5-year-old boy quoted in one of
the thousands of case studies compiled by the FCC. "She's like the bad
lady on TV. I'm afraid Mommy will take off her shirt and scare everyone.
I hate Mommy."


Girls were traumatized as well, often expressing apprehensions about
sexual development. According to Wasserbaum, one 8-year-old girl told
her parents that she didn't "want to get evil breasts."


Wasserbaum said children of both genders associate their trauma with
footballs, presumably because of the context in which they were exposed
to the breast.


A great number of children who witnessed the tragedy are still plagued
by nightmares of sun-shapes that recall Jackson's nipple ring. Of the
infants who saw the breast, 76 percent are unwilling to breast feed or
use a bottle, forcing their parents to nourish them intravenously.


"When the tragedy took place, we knew it would cause psychological
trauma, but we had no idea how long the effects would last," Wasserbaum
said. "Our worst fears have been confirmed. It will take years to repair
the damage."


Cases of deviant sexual development induced by breast-glimpsing are
widespread amongst older children. Pathologies range from schoolyard
exhibitionism to gender-role confusion and violent shirt-tearing.


"The FCC imposed the maximum $27,500 penalty on each of the 20 CBS-owned
television stations," Wasserbaum said. "But the government offered no
recompense to the individuals exposed to the breast. And neither Jackson
nor Timberlake has ever specifically apologized to the children whose
lives they ruined, or donated a penny for the adolescents' psychiatric
care."


Across America, parental concern over the condition doctors have dubbed
Nearly Naked Breast Disorder continues to grow.
Drawings by children who saw the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show.


"How can my son Brandon be expected to make it through something like
that unscathed?" asked mother of four Shonali Bhomik of the San
Francisco-based What About the Children? Foundation, one of many
social-awareness groups spearheading the fight for increased NNBD
funding in Congress. "For approximately 1.5 seconds, he saw a breast.
The image was seared into his innocent, tiny retinas. He can't close his
eyes without replaying the whole ugly scene over and over in his little
head."


"For the love of God-that breast was almost nude," Bhomik added.


Bhomik said she has concerns about her son's development.


"I shudder to think how this could affect my son once he reaches
puberty," Bhomik said. "Little Brandon just wanted to watch the fun
halftime show with his family. He was only 10 years old."


Bhomik is one of millions of people facing every parent's worst
nightmare: that their child will see a partially exposed breast.


Wasserbaum said there is no way to predict whether the children will
recover.


"One thing is certain," Wasserbaum said. "For us as a nation, the
horrific consequences of almost-nakedness have only just begun to make
themselves apparent."


Wasserbaum added that children who saw the televised breast in Europe,
Australia, and various other nations throughout the world were somehow
unaffected by the sight.


[from THE ONION, Jan. 26, 2005]


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