- Some conservatives have started using words like “grooming” often associated with child sexual abuse.
- Such rhetoric hurts LGBTQ people, especially gay men who have long been accused of predatory behavior.
- Careless use of words related to child sexual abuse diminishes the experience of survivors, advocates say.
Grooming, a term associated with adults who sexually abuse children, has become a word of attack in today’s battle over anti-LGBTQ legislation and spills over into the wider culture wars.
The term, coined in the 1980s, describes a process used to gain access to a potential victim, coerce them into accepting the abuse and reduce the risk of being caught, according to RAINN, a national sexual violence organization.