DEAR ABBY: I had cause recently to see a psychiatrist. When he took my history, I revealed that at age 12, I was raped five times by an older brother.
The psychiatrist objected to my using the word "rape," and told me the correct terminology was "molested." To me, being molested is far less severe an intrusion than being forced to submit to intercourse.
Could it be denial on the psychiatrist's part? Don't people get sent to prison for raping women -- not "molesting" them? Is this kind of thing widespread among psychiatrists? -- OFFENDED IN CONNECTICUT
DEAR OFFENDED: I hope not, because instead of acknowledging what was rightfully a very traumatic event in your life, that doctor chose to argue semantics. My Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth Edition) defines "molest" as "1: to annoy, disturb or persecute esp. with hostile intent or injurious effect; 2: to make annoying sexual advances to; esp: to force physical and usu. sexual contact on."
While the doctor was technically correct, it was more important for you to feel comfortable than for him to "one up" you. If I were you, I'd continue interviewing psychiatrists because this one appears to lack empathy.