ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

Quest for Fire at 6:
The Psychology of Exposure

Mrs. Tawny Abalos, the mother of the girl abused by exposure to Quest for Fire had asked our Director - Child Psychology Support, Steven Kossor, licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist, for his assessment of the effect of Quest for Fire on 6 year old kids. This is Steve's assessment.

Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)


While I was employed at a nationally known residential treatment center for mentally disturbed youth (some as young as eight years of age, most under 16), the standing policy was that movies rated R were absolutely inappropriate viewing because the viewing of this material produced increased aggression, increased sleeplessness, increased sexual predation and increased victimization of the younger boys by the older boys. I am familiar with Quest for Fire; it presents a romanticized version of what "cave people" were like. It contains a number of historical inaccuracies, including the development of the spear throwing device a long, long time before it actually appeared. I cannot fathom how a sane adult could justify the playing of that movie, with all of the brutal scenes depicting raw sexuality and graphic violence that it contains, before an audience of six year-olds. The fact that the lady who perpetrated this abuse "fast forwarded" over the most graphic scenes is no balm -- on "fast forward" the picture is still viewable (albeit "jumpy") and a six year-old with his/her eyes open will be perfectly able to view and perceive all of the carnage that those "fast forwarded" scenes contain. The fact that they speed by at double speed does little to reduce the psychological and emotional impact that the viewing of such scenes has on a six year-old's mind. I heartily support your condemnation of this "art" exercise as the most thinly disguised and rationalized example of the emotional abuse of children that I have heard about in some time. Parents who prematurely expose their children to sexual imagery are guilty of child abuse in every state in our nation. There should be no "protection" for teachers who perpetrate the same abuse, whether THEY think it can be defended as "art" or "educational activity" or not.

Steve Kossor

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Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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