``Papa is bad. She run away. She run away. She take from my mama $12--all the clothes. She got another lady. Is that your lady? Why do you write? I could write better than you because I go to school all the time. I never take money. I Catholic and Catholic can't tell lie. Well, I going to tell the truth now. I found it in bed, in paper inside. Then I give it to teacher and then I give it to nurse. I never tell lies.''
Before we had seen her this child had given some sort of description of a big boy in the institution who she said had assaulted her. There was no such person there, but her vehement statements caused much disturbance. Later she denied this to us and accused somebody at her own home. She came from miserable environment, as may be surmised from the fact that her father was a deserter and probably immoral. On account of her unreliability nothing could be done in the way of prosecuting the offender. We always felt it a possibility that some member of her own family was guilty and that was the reason she had told so many different tales about it. An owner was not found for the money which she had stolen. The person from whom she said she had taken it had not lost it. She took it under conditions when she had no chance to spend it. Her excessive lying was a continual source of trouble as long as she was kept in this institution. She was long treated in a public hospital for her gonorrhea. Since then she has been lost track of. It is interesting in this case to note that the child maintained that she belonged to a church, which made it impossible for her to tell lies. We have heard almost exactly this same assertion on numerous occasions. It is clearly made by way of affirmation when the offender covertly feels the need of bolstering up false statements.
--------------------------------------------------------------- Early sex experiences. Case 18. Bad companions. Girl, age 7. Physical conditions: Local irritation. Home conditions: Father immoral and deserter. Heredity(?): Father as above. Delinquencies: Mentality: Stealing. Fair ability. Sex. Lying. False accusations. ---------------------------------------------------------------
Summary: Girl of 18 made accusations to officials that a lawyer for whom she worked had been immoral with her. About the same time it was found that she herself had been stealing and lying about other matters. Later, when there was reiteration of the charges, a physician's examination showed that she had not been immoral. Some months afterward she went to other officials and insisted she ought to go to a reform school. A year still later she did have sex experiences and contracted venereal disease. Her succeeding record is totally different. For several years now she has been a young woman of thoroughly good character.
In its progress, after extended exhibition of exceedingly erratic conduct, to complete stability now long observed, this case is of considerable interest. It was after some months of effort on the case by experienced social workers that we were asked to study this girl. We found no difficulty in rapidly becoming intimately acquainted with her conditions and troubles.
Physically she was a normally developed young woman of distinctly good strength, but slouchy attitude. In expression rather dull and pleasant; laughs much in rather childish way for her age. Weight, 110 lbs.; height, 5 ft. 2 1/2 in. No sensory defect. Good color.
Mentally we gave her a wide variety of tests with the result, in general, that she did well on them. She had left school at 14 years when in the 7th grade, but had not forgotten what she had learned. Her arithmetic was done very well indeed and she wrote a very good hand. The tests, which brought her abilities in many directions into play, were done almost uniformly well. Her memory processes were distinctly good and showed her capacity by her remembering logical connections as well as details. Her casuistic responses which were asked for in two moral situations, verbally presented, Test XXI, were rather vacillating, but evidently sound. It was easy for her to appreciate the intricacy of the situation.
On the ``Aussage'' experiment, Test VI, out of 15 details given as remembered from the picture just seen two were imaginary, and of 9 more items given on cross-examination two were erroneous. Her account as given was functional, not at all enumerative as in the usual childish fashion. Out of 6 suggestions proffered she accepted 4. This was a poor result for a person of her age. Her range of information was normal. Her interests while at home had been very simple; for instance, she had not been allowed to read novels nor go to theatres. In all our work on tests and in our several interviews with her we never discovered any signs of aberrational tendencies. Her social conduct furnished the only evidence of erraticism.