Category Archives: Karl’s blog entries

Entries by Karl J Krayer, PhD

Where to Start to Reduce Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

Where to Start to Reduce Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

Karl J. Krayer, Ph.D.

A great friend of mine encouraged me to investigate domestic violence against women and sexual abuse.   After reading extensively about many sub-topics on these two subjects, I believe that the root cause is a massive failure to instill in young boys and young men the virtue of honoring womanhood.  I have come to this conclusion, and believe that it has little or no emphasis in the literature.

I contend that at a young age, little boys need to learn how to treat little girls properly, and at an older age, young men need to learn how to treat young women properly.  Instilling that learning experience about proper treatment – what you do and don’t do – is important for men in producing proper respect for women.

I believe that proper treatment yields respect.  Conversely, I believe that improper treatment yields a lack of respect.

When men do not respect women, they are then objects for mistreatment, abuse, and debauchery. There is where you see physical strikes and sexual abuse.  It all goes full circle.

When I was 15 and continuing through age 22, I traveled throughout Texas reciting a poem from the Order of DeMolay called the Flower Talk.  I must have given it close to 1,000 times.  In part, a mother speaks to her son when he reaches the threshold of manhood at age 21, “for my life, make no woman weep / for my life, make no woman cheap / and for my life, give no woman scorn, for that dark night when you were born.

Not everyone has the chance to hear these lines.  But, we don’t need poetry to instill proper treatment, which yields proper respect, which yields proper activity.  If we had this as a baseline, we would have much less domestic violence against women, because men would actually know better.

And, they should learn about proper treatment at a very young age.  It should be a core value that will stay with them throughout their lives – one that does not waver with circumstances or conditions.




By Karl J. Krayer, Ph,D, –


Right before Christmas, I was in two meetings where we needed to be candid with each other.  As the conversations continued, the tone and language began to change and I felt that others were not being truthful with me.  I thought they were just telling me what I wanted to hear so they could get out of the meetings quickly.  This was an example of people who are afraid to say what they really think.  Why did they simply want to tell me what I wanted to hear?


Does that happen to you frequently?  Do you have a person in your life who will tell you the way it is from their perspective, instead of what you want to hear?


Some examples happen all the time. You are dressed to go out and your family says, ”you look great tonight!”  Or, you are with friends and they say that this is a great car to buy!  What about a student who writes a paper and asks you “what do you think?”


Who is the person who will not tell you just what you want to hear, but instead will tell you exactly what they think?  In the first example, who will say “that color does not look good on you,” or “I have read a lot of complaints about this vehicle”?  In the last one, what if you said, “it looks like an A to me,” when in reality you should have said, “these two sections are not organized very well. You need to start over.”


In my view, those people could be one of the most valued persons in your life.  They will shoot straight with you. They tell you what they really see and feel.  Now, I do not know if you need too many of them because that could get you down quickly.  Maybe only one is all you need.


But, it is true that we think it is better to hear something that we approve of, even if it is not the truth.


Just because someone sees things differently than you do does not mean they are right.  Remember that their opinion may be as good as anyone else’s, including your own.  When people give you honest feedback, you do not have to do anything you do not want.  But, what you can do is weigh options, and at least consider different viewpoints.  Doing that will slow down the decision-making to stop you being so impulsive.


Think about people who you are with on a regular basis.  Notice that you enjoy their company and they are easy to talk with.  But, how difficult is it to talk about what they really think?


You may not like this question.  The real issue is, are you around people who are just “butt-kissers”?  That may be the best thing you could do for yourself, especially around people who are superior in rank or status to you.  For example, are you really going to tell a vice-president of a company that “I think this sales campaign will not work?”  Most people just say this is a great idea just to save face.  When in reality, that is not what they think at all.


Obviously, if the person has status and power over you, it takes courage to say what you really believe. You could get fired, or lose your position.


My first job was in sales in a department store. I kept the tables and racks clean and attractive.  That is what I thought was good to do.  If my store manager said, “this doesn’t look very good,” should I have said, “you’re right, I will fix it.”  Or, should I have argued that “I think it will boost sales the way it is now.”  Since I was only 18, I did not say anything except what he wanted me to do.


When people are afraid to say what they think, their feelings do not go away.  When do you hear them?  Not in a meeting where they belong – you hear them in the restroom, at lunch, or on the phone after work.  Notice that is too late.  The damage is done.  They are left with unfilled input because they could not be genuine about what they really wanted to say.


Think about this one.  On your way to visit an elderly friend in a hospital, you run into a doctor in the hallway, and you ask about how much time does she have.  The doctor tells you that she has probably a week to live.  So, what would you do?  Suppose that you are a person who is uncomfortable lying.  Would you just say, “I do not know. I am not a doctor,” even though you heard what the doctor said.   Do you really want to say to your friend, “I just saw the doctor in the hall today, and he says that you have only a couple of days left to live.”  You may – but many others would not. .


Realize there is a consequence to telling people exactly what you feel.  If the person is not open-minded about looking for options or counter-views, the relationship may be scarred forever.  If someone does not want to hear what you really think, you must consider the damage that may occur.  Maybe you know people who have their minds made up easily and quickly, and who are not open to new ideas.  Unfortunately, the world does not spin the way that you want it to.


If you asked one person “what do you really think,” and she does not want to hear it, at least you know that you are not going to repeat that again.  If she cannot handle it the first time, why would she handle it any better the next time?  You may have your feelings hurt, when just you only tried to help her.


Consider the context.  I try to make requests like this in private, They probably will take what they ask you better. This works especially well when you preface the request with the importance or urgency of what you are talking about.  Consider how you might feel when a person has had a dilemma or is making tough choices.


I am part of a group that is called BIND (Brain Injury Network of Dallas).  One of our activities is called “ThinkTank,” where we suggest solutions for members who have problems that they want to solve. The key is to ask people to not fight the person who is giving a suggestion.  It does not do much good when someone is only content with what they already know, and they are not open-minded about other options.  In our group, we ask everyone to listen to suggestions, and not reply with responses like “I tried that before, and I did not work for me” or “That is too much trouble,” or “I cannot afford that.” This will kill the enthusiasm in the group quickly.


This is a complex issue.  How do you work with someone who thinks differently about talking with others in a candid way?  How do you cope with the possible conflicts that these situations pose?  In many ways, the real questions are answered not by how we feel, but how we act.  That is always the challenging problem we need to solve.




Books marked as asterisks* are best sellers:
Books I am reading in March:
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Dark Sky by C.J. Box*
Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
Three Single Wives by Gina Lamanna
Books I read in February:
Killing Crazy Horse by Bill O’Reilly*
Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner*
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell
May be an image of book


Books marked as asterisks* are best sellers:
Books I am reading in February:
Killing Crazy Horse by Bill O’Reilly*
Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner*
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell
Books I read in January:
Daylight by David Baldacci*
Talking to Goats by Jim Gray*
Never Tell by Lisa Gardner
In an Instant by Suzanne Redrearn
Books I read in December:
You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Bedpan Commando by June Wandrey
Your Next Five Moves by Patrick Bet-David
Near Dark by Brad Thor*

Why We Have a Holiday Today

On April 4, 1968, I was in a barbershop late in the day. My father took
me for a haircut and while I was waiting, a bulletin came in on the news to

explain that Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. had been killed. I was only 14

years old. What I remember the most was that my dad said “why can’t

people just vote against someone? Why do they have to kill anyone?” That

is a good question even today.

When I later visited the tombstone of Dr. King it was a very solemn

experience for me. To think for a minute about the causes that he stood for,

and how much courage he had, especially to stand up for people who could

not defend themselves, is amazing.

Not everyone was so excited. I taught Management at the University

of Dallas for 19 years before my stroke hit me. It was only two years ago

that the school decided to observe the holiday.

It is also true that President Ronald Reagan was opposed to the

holiday, claiming that if we have any more, why do people need to go to

work? On the floor of the U.S. Senate, without evidence, Jesse Helms

claimed that King was a communist supporter. When asked, Reagan said

“we will know in about 35 years won’t we,” talking about when the

ceremonial capsule would be unsealed. However, under pressure, Reagan

capitulated in the final months of 1983. He sat on the White House lawn and

signed a bill establishing a federal holiday for a man he had spent the

previous two decades opposing. What did they do? They sang “We Shall

Overcome,” which was very appropriate for the occasion.

It is impossible to cover everything he did, and what he was, in this

space. Dr. King was known as an activist and minister who promoted and

organized nonviolent protests. He played a pivotal role in advancing civil

rights in America. Dr. King won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to fight

racial inequality in a non-violent matter.

While he is most famous for his “I Have a Dream” speech, it was the
letter from the Birmingham Jail that is more memorable. If you have never

read it, you can find it in many different sources. The letter demonstrates

his command of figurative language. He used a strong call to action tone

both in writing and speaking. You cannot ignore how he turned the

non-violent protests around in America and showed people how to lead in a

different, but stronger way. Unfortunately, some supporters did exactly

what King did not want to do, by resorting to violence in streets.

In “The March on Washington” in 1963, Dr. King helped lead over

200,000 people to the Lincoln Memorial overlooking the Washington

Monument. The King march was organized by him and groups of civil rights,

labor, and religious organizations. The purpose was to gain civil and

economic equality for African-Americans (then, called Negros). It was the

strongest call ever to put an end to racism. His march was crucial in helping

to pass the Civil Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination based on race,

color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Dr. King also was famous for the Montgomery Bus Boycott and
Birmingham Campaign. As a leader of the Southern Christian Leadership

Conference, he brought many new ideas for which had never been publicly

expressed. He was also the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

History tells us that the assassin of Dr. King in Memphis was James

Earl Ray. You can see the photos taken on the balcony when King was shot.

Among them is the Reverend Jesse Jackson and others who pointed up to

that floor of the motel. Yet before his death, the family claimed otherwise.

They said that James Earl Ray did not kill Martin Luther King. “It pains my

heart,” said Bernice King, “that James Earl Ray had to spend his life in prison

paying for things he didn’t do.” Until her own death in 2006, Coretta Scott

King, was very clear that she believed that a conspiracy led to the

assassination. Her family filed a civil suit in 1999 to turn more information

publicly, and a jury ruled that the local, state, and federal governments were

liable for King’s death.

The low point in his career was plagiarism. While working on his

dissertation for his doctorate at Boston University, he heavily relied on

another author who had done research on the topic. An academic

committee later found that over half of King’s work was plagiarized yet

would not revoke his doctorate. Since he was dead by that time, a review

panel said the action would serve no purpose. The committee found that the

dissertation still “makes an intelligent contribution to scholarship.”

In the week when I wrote this blog, a group of men at BIND (Brain

Injury Network of Dallas) discussed the topic about “how the world would be

different if they were never born.” The idea came from the story about

George Bailey in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We can see that there is

no question about how the world would be different without Dr. King. My

view is that the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act would have been

extremely slow. The leadership of the non-violent movement would have

been in shambles. We would not have experienced his oratory, which was

best anyone would have wanted. His murder was senseless. But, like

martyrs before and after him, the contributions are timeless.

That is why we honor him today with this holiday.

Books for December and January

Books marked as asterisks* are best sellers:
Books I am reading in January:
Daylight by David Baldacci*
Talking to Goats by Jim Gray*
Killing Crazy Horse by Bill O’Reilly*
Never Tell by Lisa Gardner
Books I read in December:
You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Bedpan Commando by June Wandrey
Your Next Five Moves by Patrick Bet-David
Near Dark by Brad Thor*
No photo description available.