I'm quite amused watching a 17 year old California kid lecture a 55 year old who grew up in post war France on the hardships of life. Not disparaging you, lakerzz, it just struck me as funny for some reason.
I worked for a year and a half at a "children's home" (though it was mostly young teens, and run more like a JDC than a home, barbed wire fences and all) here in town that had over 80 children who had been sexually abused and specialised in SAO youth. I've been trying to avoid this discussion simply because I've talked and read so much about the subject I'm rather sick of it, and plan on doing so, but I wanted to reply to a certain thing:
Girls that get raped won't go on raping other girls. It doesn't work like that. What will probably happen is they will have sexual difficulties during relationships, have problems comitting, have anxiety when they step out on the street alone.
Guys that are abused or raped as little boys are the ones that are likely to become abusive later in their life.
While there is a marked positive correlation between being abused and being an abuser, it's NOT the same as cause and effect. There's quite a bit of discussion on the matter, but it's a very dangerous and foolish thing to say "that person was abused, so he'll likely be an abuser." It's one of the greatest myths of our society, largely fueled by people who are ignorant of both statistics and psychology.
Actually, males who have been abused are in a rather unique situation in that, if they cope with it properly, they can help guide and nurture other males recovering from abuse. Probably the worst thing you could tell a boy who's been abused is "you're likely to become an abuser" - you have no idea the amount of guilt and self-hatred already associated with being abused. In fact, this myth has been so wide spread that many males never come forward and discuss their abuse, because of the social stigma and suspicion attached to the abused.
So what's actually going on? As I said, positive correlation does not equal cause and effect. (you're a bright guy, and probably stayed awake in statistics, so you probably know this, but 95% of Americans can't seem to grasp that idea) Cause and effect are a lot harder to pin down, but some theories are:
1) The biggest one, a universal human trait (even among sociopaths) is the desire to feel justified - barring that, the desire to blame someone else. You've probably noticed certain people who constantly blame other people for their own problems - their parents, their boss, their landlord, their wife, the weather, etc. etc. etc. If you want a rather brilliant example, listen to Gee Officer Krumpke from West Side Story. It's just a desire to shirk responsibility instead of admitting fault. Possibly, most child molesters when caught blame their crime on the fact that they themselves were molested - even if it's not true.
2) Abuse may be far more prevalent in certain subcultures, religions, and societies. One of the highest (if not the highest) non-sexual physical abuser groups is alcoholics. (along with other substance abusers) Alcoholism is also at least partially genetic, so it could be substance abuse is what needs to be treated in those cases.
With sexual abuse, it's far more prominent among certain religious sects - extremist Mormon sects in particular. So religious beliefs (such as that all females exist solely for man's pleasure, for example) can be a contributing factor.
There are plenty of these.
3) Men who lack role models, and grow up feeling impotent and weak. Abuse is all about asserting power, and any man, perverted or not, who feels sexually powerless is going to try to assert that power. This is the biggest "cause" for abusers if you will, and it is men who grow up with negligent fathers/father figures, sexually abusive or not
are by far the most likely to be sexually abusive.
Ironically, this would mean that by far the best way to insure abused people turn into abusers is to tell them that they're to blame for the abuse that happened (and this happens indirectly CONSTANTLY, society holds such a disdain for abused people. If you don't believe me, I'll find you 5 quotes in 5 minutes), and that they're most likely going to abuse again because of what happened. That caused them to feel ashamed and powerless - and gives them some justification for abusing too. (I can't help it! It's just the way I am!)
The best response is "yes you were abused, and there was nothing you could do about it when it happened. But now you're in control, and you have the power to deal with it. You have the power to seek help, to be vulnerable and let yourself be helped, and to reach normalcy in the fullness of time. I believe in you, and have confidence you can."
Again, this is from working with these kids and hearing about all the terrible lies people would tell them about themselves, many of those people even meaning well.
I'll shut up now.