Testing The Premise:
Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?
December 17th, 2007
A bombshell exploded on September 29, 2006, when Congressman Mark Foley (R-Fla) abruptly resigned after sexually explicit e-mails and Instant Messages he exchanged with former pages were made public.1 Almost immediately, gays and lesbians were confronted with the familiar charge that there is an inherent link between homosexuality and pedophilia:
We have a Republican man in Congress who sent e-mails to teenage boys asking them what they were wearing, and an entire party, the Democrats, whose primary constituency, besides the teachers’ unions, is homosexual men and lesbian women. I hope it won’t come as a surprise to anyone that a big part of male homosexual behavior is interest in young boys. — Ben Stein, American Spectator 2
Where does post-modern American ethics place Mark Foley’s homosexuality on a scale of 1 to 10 – a 1 being just another gay guy and a 10 being a compulsive, predatory sex offender? — Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal 3
While pro-homosexual activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. Although almost all child molesters are male and less than 3% of men are homosexual, about a third of all child sex abuse cases involve men molesting boys. — Tony Perkins, Family Research Council4
While all of this was going on, Charles C. Roberts barricaded himself in an Amish schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania, where he intended to sexually molest the young girls in the classroom. But before he could do it, he started shooting. Ten girls were shot – five died – before he finally turned the gun on himself.5 This happened only a week after Duane Morrison burst into a classroom at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado. He took several girls hostage and sexually assaulted some before releasing four. Two were still in the classroom when a SWAT team shot its way in. Morrison shot one girl as she tried to run away and then killed himself.6 In neither case was the predator’s heterosexual orientation cited as an explanation for his crime. Psychotherapist and author Joe Kort points out that when men molest little girls, they’re specifically called “pedophiles” or “sexual predators.” But when men molest boys, they’re simply called “homosexuals,” as though sexual orientation were responsible for driving these men to their crimes.7 Gays are often singled out for suspicion of molesting children in numbers far out of proportion to their presence in the general population. In making this case, the arguments made by gay-rights opponents typically go something like this:8
- Almost all sex crimes against children are committed by men.
- Up to one-third of all sex crimes against children are committed against boys.
- Gays make up a tiny minority of the population. (Anti-gay opponents typically cite a figure somewhere between 1% and 3%.)
- Therefore, gay men are committing a disproportionate share of sexual crimes against children.
Child sexual abuse has a profound impact on victims and their families. Because we want to protect our children, we must ask: Are gays disproportionately abusing children?
The Starting Point: What Do We Know About Molesters And Their Victims?
When it comes to statistics, we know surprisingly little about child sexual abuse. Official statistics are notoriously incomplete because too many cases are never reported. Many researchers believe that many male victims who are molested by men may not come forward because of the stigma surrounding homosexuality. These victims often not only fear the false label of being gay, they may also fear harassment or condemnation because of it. Fortunately, our society has recently shown an admirable steadfastness in supporting these victims when they do come forward, and their example has, no doubt, emboldened other victims to do the same. If anything remotely positive could come from the tragedy of the clergy sexual abuse scandals, it would be the lowering of the stigma of same-sex abuse allowing more victims to come forward.9 The picture is very different when adult women molest boys. Sociologists and caseworkers note that many boys who are sexually involved with adult women rarely complain because they don’t feel they’ve been molested. In fact, they’re likely to brag about it to their friends, who in turn admire them for being enough of a “man” to have sex with an older woman.10 In one study of adult men whose first sexual encounter with an adult women occurred before the age of sixteen, 88% called it a positive experience.11 Because there is very little incentive in our culture to view this as harmful, such encounters rarely turn up in official statistics. Only now is there a slowly growing recognition that when older women exploit younger boys, these boys can actually be seriously harmed by the experience.12 Experts agree that official statistics significantly understate the sexual activity between adults and minors. One national probability-sampled survey of 4,008 adult women who were raped in childhood found than less than 12% of these incidents were reported to police.13 With so many cases not being reported, we cannot know the true proportion of males versus female victims. Because official statistics are so unreliable, estimates are made from other sources. The best guesses – and these are only guesses based on a large number of surveys – generally go this way:
- As of July 2000, about 94% of all sexual predators against juveniles who were reported to police were male,14 although the proportion of female predators being reported has risen sharply in recent years.15
- Using the best estimates from multiple sources, males appear to make up somewhere between 15% and 30% of all child molestation victims, with females making up the remaining cases.16
So, as far as we know, it appears to be true that almost all sexual predators are men. But notice however, that the “one-third” figure that anti-gay activists cite for the ratio of male vs. female victims represents the very highest end of the estimated range – which, of course, makes the problem of “homosexual molestation” appear worse than the data actually suggests.
How Many Homosexuals Are There?
We know that the proportion of self-described gay men in the general population is very small — certainly much smaller than the one-sixth to one-third of children abused children who are male victims of adult me. Many gay rights opponents place the proportion of self-described gay men quite low, around 1-3%. But most large-population surveys support something higher than 3%.17, 18 For the sake of this discussion, we’ll accept 3%. What does this mean? Well, let’s say we’ve gathered 10,000 adults in a stadium and asked them one simple yes-or-no question: “Are you gay?” If our 3% figure is correct, only 300 people in that stadium will answer “yes,” with the remaining 9,700 saying “no.” This much is pretty obvious. And for someone who answers “yes” to that question, what would we know about him or her? Again, most people would think this answer is pretty obvious as well. If he’s a man, that means he dates other men, he is sexually attracted to other men, and because he is comfortable enough to answer “yes” to a stranger with a clipboard, he is probably known by his family, friends and neighbors as being gay. And you can draw the same conclusions for a woman who answers “yes” as well: she dates other women, is attracted to other women, and is confident enough to say so when asked. In other words, visibly “out” gay men and women are typically the ones who answer “yes” to this question in surveys. And how do we know that this three percent mostly represents those who are “out”? Well, a recent online survey by Harris Interactive asked them exactly that. Those who identified themselves as gay reported that 92% are out to their close friends, 78% are out to their parents, 68% are out to other relatives, acquaintances and to casual friends, and 66% are out to co-workers.19 What’s more, many surveys show that this three percent does not include everyone who is behaving homosexually. Not only does this figure often exclude bisexuals, it also excludes those who don’t identify themselves as gay for any number of reasons – even though they may admit to engaging in same-sex sexual contact. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 57% of men who had sex with another man did not consider themselves to be homosexual or bisexual.20 A recent random survey of 4,193 men in New York City revealed that while 91.3% claimed they were straight, 9.3% of those “straight” respondents had sex only with other men in the previous year, while another 0.8% reported having sex with both men and women.21 When the authors included gays and bisexuals, they noted that among men who have sex with men, 73% identified as straight. Another representative survey found that more than 20% of all men have had a homosexual experience.22 And remember – these figures are all based on what these men voluntarily admit to doing. Who knows how many others refuse to acknowledge their sexual activity when asked for these surveys. It’s important to keep in mind exactly who we’re talking about when we’re discussing this three percent. A lot of people behave homosexually without being among the three percent who identify themselves as gay. In fact, when it comes to homosexual behavior, this three percent is barely scratching the surface.
The Statistical Breakdown Breaks Down
With this data in hand, let’s go back to the arguments made by anti-gay activists.
- Almost all sex crimes against children are committed by men. This appears to be true. According to reports to law enforcement, 92% of child sex abusers are men, although reports of women predators have been increasing in the past several years.
- Up to one-third of all sex crimes against children are committed against boys. This appears to be at the very highest rates of the estimates. A more reasonable range appears to be between one-sixth and one-third. Experts generally agree however that the true scope of the problem is barely understood due to massive under-reporting.
- Gays make up a tiny minority of the population (i.e., somewhere between 1% and 3%). This is a low-ball figure. The best estimates for out, self-identified gay men begin at about 3% and go up a little from there. But surveys which account for homosexual behavior regardless of identity range anywhere from 7% to 20%.
- Therefore, gay men are committing a disproportionate share of sexual crimes against children. Due to the flaws in the highly-selected data that anti-gay activists cite, this conclusion simply cannot be supported. What’s more, there may even be a significant overlap between the range of men who behave homosexually and the percentage of men who abuse boys.
Because of the great uncertainty surrounding these statistics – and the logical fallacy surrounding the use of the three percent figure – there is no basis for concluding that gays are responsible for a disproportionate amount of child sexual abuse. But because the data is so unreliable, we also can’t prove that those who behave homosexually are not abusing children disproportionately, regardless of whether they claim to be gay or not. That means that if we really want to understand what’s going on, we have to look much more closely at the predators themselves.
Are Gay Men Abusing Boys?
During the 1992 campaign for Colorado’s Amendment 2 (which would have barred local anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation), the group supporting the amendment, Colorado For Family Values, repeated the charge that 3% of the population was responsible for 30% of all child molestation cases. But Denver-area doctors, caseworkers and investigators knew that these charges didn’t match their own experience. Dr. Carole Jenny was the director of the Child Advocacy and Protection Team at Denver’s Childrens Hospital, and she also directed medical programs at the C. Henry Kempe National Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. Dr. Jenny and her colleagues reviewed 269 medical records of Denver-area children who were sexually abused by adults. Of 50 male children, 37 (74%) were molested by men who had been in a heterosexual relationship with the child’s relative. Three were molested by women, five were molested by both parents, and three others were molested by non-relatives. Only one perpetrator could be identified as being possibly homosexual in his adult behavior.23 Let’s consider what this means. If these men who abused boys in this study were in our stadium, all but one would have answered “no” to the question “Are you gay?” And not only did they say they were not gay, they were married, had girlfriends, or were otherwise known to have sexual relationships with women. If law enforcement had been looking for the perpetrators among gay men, they never would have found them. They would have missed 49 of these 50 sexual predators because they would have been hidden among the 9,700 in our stadium who said they were not gay. Dr. Jenny and her associates concluded that even if you use the worst case possibilities in their sample, no more than 3.1% of child sexual abuse cases reported to the Denver clinic were abused by someone who could be identified as possibly being gay, a proportion that closely matches the proportion of openly gay men and women overall.
Two Types of Predators
As surprising as this may be, it only confirmed what Dr. Nicholas Groth demonstrated many years earlier. Dr. Groth was a leading pioneer in the field of child sex abuse, having treated more than 500 sex offenders by 1982.24 In 1978, he and Dr. Jean Birnbaum published a study of 175 convicted male child molesters in which they found:
The child offender is a relatively young adult either who has been sexually attracted to underage persons almost exclusively in his life or who turns to a child as a result of stresses in his adult sexual or marital relationships. Those offenders who are sexually attracted exclusively to children show a slight preference for boys over girls, yet these same individuals are uninterested in adult homosexual relationships. In fact, they frequently express a strong sexual aversion to adult males.25
Dr. Groth identified two classic types of child molesters that he labeled fixated and regressed.26 The fixated molester is one whose development is “fixated” at childhood. In other words, he has never grown up. He typically lives a Peter-Pan existence, in a Neverland of childlike identity and behavior. He doesn’t form adult relationships easily, or if he does, the relationships tend not to be very stable. Instead, he sees children as his peers. Other adults often see him as being “very good with children”, which allows him to obtain a position of trust as a role model, leader, or caretaker. With his primary sexual interest in children and not adults, the fixated offender fits the classic definition of a “pedophile.” And because he is fixated on children, he cannot properly be considered to be either heterosexual or homosexual — he often finds adults of either sex repulsive. On the other hand, the regressed molester is very different. His attraction to children is usually more temporary. Unlike the fixated molester, the regressed molester’s primary sexual attraction is toward other adults. But stressful conditions that go along with adult responsibly or difficulties in his adult relationships may overwhelm him, causing his sexual focus to “regress” towards children. This regression sometimes serves as a substitute for adult relationship, and his attraction to children may vary according to the varying stresses he encounters in his adult life demands. In some cases, he may temporarily relate to the child as a peer, much as a fixated offender relates to children. But more often, he is simply lashing out against the stresses in his life, and the child becomes a convenient target. The offender may find a sense of power in his sexual relationship with a child that he doesn’t get with an adult. When that happens this relationship with the child is often violent. But regardless of the nature of the relationship, the gender of the child is often irrelevant — it’s the easy access and vulnerability that makes the child a target. Regressed offenders are typically heterosexual in their adult relationships. Unlike our three percent sample, they date women and marry them. They often are parents, stepparents or extended family members of their victims. By all appearances — and by their own self-identification — they are straight. Drs. Groth and Birnbaum emphasized this point, saying:
In over 12 years of clinical experience working with child molesters, we have yet to see any example of a regression from an adult homosexual orientation. The child offender who is also attracted to and engaged in adult relationships is heterosexual.27
While Drs. Groth and Birnbaum were emphatic on this point, there’s no reason to believe that there’s no such thing as someone who is engaged in homosexual adult relationships while also molesting children. Surely they’re out there. I don’t think any group of fallible human beings can claim perfect innocence on this. But the experts generally agree: the phenomenon is rare.
Are These “Straight” Abusers Lying?
You’re probably shaking your head right about now. Why would a man who claims to be straight molest young boys? How could he not be gay, even if he refuses to admit it? This contradiction concerned Dr. Kurt Freund and his associates at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto, where many convicted sexual predators were sent for treatment. Using an instrument connected to the subject’s penis, Dr. Freund and his colleagues measured changes in its volume while the subject looked at pictures of nude men, women and children. These phallometric (penis-measuring) tests, while controversial for many reasons,28 supported the conclusion that as a group overall, gay men were no more likely to respond sexually to male children than straight men. Furthermore these tests supported these sex offenders’ statements when they claimed to be gay or straight:
These studies show that only rarely are sex offenders against male children diagnosed as androphiles [homosexual in adult orientation] and that phallometric diagnosis of gynophilic [heterosexual in adult orientation] and androphilic volunteers almost always corresponds to their claimed erotic preference.29
So, they are telling the truth — at least according to how they responded physically to the nude pictures.30 When they say they are straight, they respond to pictures of adult women, and when they say they are gay, they respond sexually to pictures of adult men. Yet Dr. Freund determined that gays are less attracted to young boys than straights.
How Could “Straight” Men Be Attracted To Boys?
If these molesters aren’t lying when they say they’re straight, why would they abuse boys? What could possibly be the attraction? Dr. W.L. Marshall and his colleagues conducted a similar set of phallometric tests on a sample of gay and straight men, except this time they used more photos of young boys and girls covering a wider age span. They noticed that for those gay men who were attracted to males under 18, they tended to be attracted to young men who were well past the age of puberty (age 15 or older), with fully-developed adult genitalia and other features that were characteristically masculine. But when heterosexual men showed an attraction towards younger males, they tended to be attracted to pre-pubescent males (ages 9-11):
Amongst the heterosexuals, the commonest remarks concerning attractive features of the victims, were that the young boys did not have any body hair and that their bodies were soft and smooth.31
This explains the apparent contradiction of straight men abusing young boys. They really are straight – they’re responding to the feminine qualities of pre-pubescent boys, qualities that gay men didn’t find appealing. After all, gay men are, by definition, attracted to men; the feminine characteristics of young boys were a turn-off to them.
“Homosexuality” and “Homosexual Molestation”
Part of the confusion between homosexuality and the molestation of young boys comes from the terminology used by researchers themselves. If an adult male molests a young boy, that type of molestation is typically called a “homosexual molestation.” But when described this way, the term “homosexual” is used as an adjective in its most literal sense — the victim and perpetrator are of the same sex. It doesn’t refer to the sexual orientation of either the victim or the perpetrator.32 Unfortunately, researchers aren’t always careful with how they use the word “homosexual” in their academic writings. After all, they understand the clinical meaning of the word according to context. “Homosexual abuse” merely describes the same-sex nature of the abuser and victim, not the sexual orientation of either the abuser or victim. And they often use the shorthand “homosexuals” to describe the men who abuse boys. But when they go the extra step of determining the actual sexual orientation of child molesters, they tend to be more careful. Some, like Dr. Freund, prefer the clinical terms “androphile” (attracted to men) and “gynophile” (attracted to women) to describe those who are attracted to adults. This point is crucial, one that many anti-gay activists are very hostile towards. Peter LaBarbera, of Americans for Truth, exclaimed, “Who cares if a guy is married? If he’s molesting boys, that’s homosexual behavior. It’s academic nonsense to talk about these people as heterosexuals.”33 But it’s not nonsense at all. If a man is married, he’s not among the 3% who said they were gay in our stadium survey. He’s not among the gay couples who are adopting children or seeking to marry. He’s hidden among those who claim to be straight. If law enforcement were to focus their efforts on finding sexual predators among the “out” 3% who claim to be gay, 97% of male abusers of young boys would go unpunished.34
A Firmly Established Tactic
Yet anti-gay activists insist on spreading this misinformation. Dr. Timothy Dailey (Ph.D., religion) of the Family Research Council quoted Dr. Freund’s statement of “199 offenders against female children and 96 offenders against male children. This would indicate a proportional prevalence of 32 percent of homosexual offenders against children.”35 But he ignored Dr. Freund’s clarification in the very same report that:
Androphiles [homosexuals in adult orientation] actually responded significantly less to the male children.36
This echoes what Dr. Groth reported in 1982:
The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be a homosexual.37
Of course, you don’t see what the research really says in Dr. Dailey’s article. Instead, you’ll find massive misrepresentations of the research — including that of Dr. Groth, who denounced Dr. Dailey’s misuse of his work:
Since your report, in my view, misrepresents the facts of what we know about this matter from scientific investigation, and does not indicate that my studies on this topic reach conclusions diametrically opposed to yours, I would appreciate your removing any reference to my work in your paper lest it appear to the reader that my research supports your views.38
Easier to Nauseate Than Educate
It doesn’t matter how often the lie is repeated; it still remains false. Dr. Michael R. Stevenson conducted an exhaustive review of the literature in 2000, and concluded that “a gay man is no more likely than a straight man to perpetrate sexual activity with children,” and “cases of perpetration of sexual behavior with a pre-pubescent child by an adult lesbian are virtually nonexistent”.39 The research is so strong that the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists40 and the American Psychological Association41 are on record saying that there is no relationship between homosexuality and child sexual abuse. These anti-gay activists know that their claims are false. They’ve read the research from the most knowledgeable experts in the field — the same research I reviewed here in this article. They must know that the falsehoods they are spreading contradict what the researchers themselves are saying. But they keep spreading their accusations because they know how effective they are. Every parent would consider it his or her worst nightmare to discover that their innocent child has been sexually violated. And anti-gay activists feed on that fear to further their agenda because, as Colorado for Family Values founder Tony Marco observed, “It is easier to nauseate than it is to educate.”42 And while this lie is horribly libelous to gay men and women, that’s only a small part of the problem. The real harm is to our children. As long as we remain suspicious of the wrong people, predators will continue to have free reign to abuse innocent children. If they remain free from scrutiny because everyone else is focusing on gays and lesbians, more young lives will continue to be shattered and more parents will suffer the agonizing heartache of learning that they trusted someone who destroyed their child’s future. We must not allow those leaders who oppose equal rights for gays and lesbians to cynically jeopardize our children’s safety to further their agenda. The consequences are far too severe for the next generation.
1. Stein, Ben. “Hypocrisy, Democrat style.” Web site, American Spectator (October 2, 2006): http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=10434.
3. Henninger, Daniel. “Without Restraint.” Wall Street Journal (October 6, 2006): Available online at http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/dhenninger/?id=110009050.
4. Perkins, Tony. “Pro-homosexual political correctness sowed seeds for Foley scandal.” Web site, Washington Update. (Family Research Council; October 2, 2006): http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WU06J01.
7. Kort, Joe. “Homosexuality and pedophilia: The false link”. Kort’s Corner no. 38 (2005). http://www.joekort.com/articles50.htm (accessed September 21, 2005).
Cameron, Paul. Brochure: “Child molestation and homosexuality.” (Family Research Institute: 1999). Available online at http://www.familyresearchinst.org/Default.aspx?tabid=71.
Dailey, Timothy J. “Homosexuality and child sexual abuse.” Insight (Family Research Council: May 23, 2002). Available online at http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS02E3.
Traditional Values Coalition. Pamphlet: “Exposed: Homosexual Child molesters.” (Undated). Available online at http://www.traditionalvalues.org/pdf_files/HomosexualChildMolestersUrban.pdf.
10. Holmes, William C.; Slap, Gail B. “Sexual abuse of boys: Definition, prevalence, correlates, sequelae, and management.” Journal of the American Medical Association 280, no. 21 (Dec. 2, 1998): 1855-1862. Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=9846781.
11. Okami, Paul. “Self-reports of ‘positive’ childhood and adolescent sexual contacts with older persons: An exploratory study.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 20, no. 5 (October, 1991): 437-457. Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=1747040.
12. Koch, Wendy. “More women charged in sex cases: Double standard over molestation charges, arrests could be fading.” USA Today (November 30, 2005): 3A. Available online at http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-11-29-women-sex-crimes_x.htm.
13. Hanson, Rochelle F.; Resnick, Heidi S.; Saunders, Benjamin E.; Kilpatrick, Dean G.; Best, Connie. “Factors related to the reporting of childhood rape.” Child Abuse and Neglect 23, no. 6 (June 1999): 559-569. Abstract available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0145-2134(99)00028-9.
14. Snyder, Howard N. Sexual Assault of Young Children As Reported To Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. NCJ-182990, July, 2000). Available online at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf.
15. Shakeshaft, Charol. Educator sexual misconduct: A synthesis of existing literature (Washington, DC: US Department of Education, June, 2004). Available online at http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf.
16. Finkelhor, David. “Current information on the scope and nature of child sexual abuse.” The Future of Children: Sexual Abuse of Children 4, no. 2 (Summer 1994): 31-53. Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=7804768.
17. Smith, Tom W. American Sexual Behavior: Trends, Socio-Demographic Differences, and Risk Behavior. (April 2003) Chicago: National Opinion Research Center; shows that in 2002, 3.3% of men and 2.6% of women participated in exclusively same-gender sexual activity in the preceding twelve months. The survey notes that these percentages fluctuate depending the length of time in which the same-gendered sexual activity occurs, (12 months vs. 5 years) and the age of the respondents. For example, 5.1% of all men aged 30-39 participated in same-gendered sexual activity in the past five years, and 3.7% of all women aged 30-39 participated in same-gendered sexual activity in the past five years. This survey also reviewed numerous other surveys between 1970 and 1997 that indicated percentages of adult Americans with same-gendered sexual partners or identifying with homosexual/bisexual orientation ranging from 1.6% to 6.5%, depending on the definitions and methodologies used.
18. Mosher, William D.; Chandra, Anjani D.; Jones, Jo. “Sexual behavior and selected health measure: Men and women 15-44 years of age, United States, 2002” Advance Data From Vital and Health Statistics; No 362 (Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics, September 15, 2005). Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad362.pdf. Of men aged 18-44, 90% identified as heterosexual, 2.3% homosexual, 1.8% bisexual, 3.9% “something else”, and 1.8% did not answer. Of women aged 18-44, 90% identified as heterosexual, 1.3% homosexual, 2.8% bisexual, 3.8% “something else”, and 1.8% did not answer. Unknown numbers those who answered “something else” may have objected to the term “homosexual”, preferring “gay” or “lesbian”, as many gays and lesbians find the term “homosexual” offensive. See page 3.
19. Harris Interactive. Press release: “Seven out of ten heterosexuals today know someone gay.” PR Newswire (October 11, 2006). Available online at http://sev.prnewswire.com/computer-electronics/20061010/NYTU15810102006-1.html.
20. Mosher, William D.; Chandra, Anjani D.; Jones, Jo. “Sexual behavior and selected health measure: Men and women 15-44 years of age, United States, 2002” Advance Data From Vital and Health Statistics; No 362 (Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics, September 15, 2005): 30. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad362.pdf.
21. Pathela, Preeti; Hajat, Anjum; Scjillinger, Julia; Blank, Susan; Sell, Randall; Mostashari, Farzad. “Discordance between sexual behavior and self-reported sexual identity: A population-based survey of New York City men.” Annals of Internal Medicine 145, no. 6 (September 19, 2006): 416-425. Full text available online at http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/145/6/416.
22. Seidman, Stuart H.; Reider, Ronald O. “A review of sexual behavior in the United States” American Journal of Psychiatry 151, No. 3 (Mar 1994): 330-339. Abstract available online at http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/151/3/330.
23. Jenny, Carole; Roesler, Thomas A.; Poyer, Kimberly L. “Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals?” Pediatrics 94, no. 1 (1994): 41-44. Abstract available online at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/94/1/41.
24. Groth, A. Nicholas; Hobson, William F.; Gary, Thomas S. “The child molester: clinical observations.” In Social Work and Child Sexual Abuse. Edited by Jon R. Conte and David A. Shore. (New York: Haworth Press. 1982): 129-144.
25. Groth, A. Nicholas; Birnbaum, H Jean. “Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 7 no. 3 (1978): 175-181. Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=666571.
26. Groth, A. Nicholas; Hobson, William F.; Gary, Thomas S. “The child molester: clinical observations.” In Social Work and Child Sexual Abuse. Edited by Jon R. Conte and David A. Shore. (New York: Haworth Press. 1982): 129-144.
27. Groth, A. Nicholas; Birnbaum, H. Jean. “Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 7, no. 3 (1978): 175-181. Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=666571. Emphasis in the original.
28. There is considerable controversy surrounding the use of phallometric devices (otherwise known as plethysmography). Much of the controversy stems from why these devices were developed and how they were first used.
One of the early developers of plethysmography, Dr. Kurt Freund, began his work in Czechoslovakia in the 1950’s, where these methods were used to prosecute homosexuals in civil society and to weed out homosexuals in the military. What’s more, phallometic measurements were later used to determine whether homosexual men were cured of their “affliction,” often following some of the barbaric treatments which were common at the time. Some of these treatments involve injecting the “patient” with apomorphine, which causes extreme nausea, retching and vomiting, and the use of electric shock. This inauspicious history has cast an exceptionally dark shadow on the ethics of plethysmography from the very start.
Complaints about the use of plethysmography intensified when Dr. Freund continued his work at the Clarke Institute in Toronto, where transgender sex-reassignment surgery candidates were referred for psychiatric evaluation and subjected to sexual orientation evaluation. This occurred despite the fact that transgender experience has little to do with sexual orientation or attraction. These experiments were seen as an outrageous invasion of their privacy. And since the Clarke Institute was the primary treatment center for sexual offenders, this was seen as the most personally invasive part of a very humiliating process.
Bancroft, John. “The application of psychophysiological measures to the assessment and modification of sexual behaviour.” Behaviour Research and Therapy 9 (1971): 119-130.
Freund, Kurt; Diamant, J.; Pinkava, V. “On the validity and reliability of the phaloplethysmographic diagnosis of some sexual deviations” Review of Czech Medicine 7 (1958): 145-151.
Freund, Kurt. “Laboratory differential diagnosis of homo- and heterosexuality: An experiment with faking” Review of Czech Medicine 7 (1961): 20-31.
Freund, Kurt. “A Laboratory method for diagnosing predominance of homo- or hetero- erotic interest in the male” Behaviour Research and Therapy 1, no. 1 (1963): 85-93.
McConaghy, Nathaniel. “Subjective and penile plethysmograph responses following aversion-relief and apomorphine aversion therapy for homosexual impulses.” British Journal of Psychiatry 115, no. 523 (June 1969): 723-730.
30. There has been considerable discussion concerning the validity of plethysmography. Like polygraphs, plethysmography results are not admissible in a court of law. There are no standards for measuring sexual attraction, and individuals respond very differently from one another. For this reason, phallometric tests are not universally accepted as diagnostic tools — they cannot prove that a given individual is gay, straight, or attracted to children. But they are useful in assessing how large groups of people respond generally to different situations, which is what we are discussing here.
One point of contention centers on whether test subjects can fake their physical responses to sexual stimuli. Most researchers who have looked into this have noted that while some test subjects can suppress their response to sexual stimuli (by not paying attention or ignoring the photos and spoken descriptions, for example), it was rare for a gay subject to be able to consciously fake an arousal in the presence of heterosexual stimulation or vice versa. More information can be found in the following sources:
Adams, Henry E.; Motsinger, Patrice; McAnulty, Richard D.; Moore, Aubrey L. “Voluntary control of penile tumescence among homosexual and heterosexual subjects.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 21, no. 1 (February 1992): 17-31. Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=1546933
Mahoney, John M.; Strassberg, Donald S. “Voluntary control of male sexual arousal.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 21, no. 1 (Feb, 1991): 1-16. Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=2003767.
McAnulty, Richard D.; Adams, Henry E. “Validity and ethics of penile circumference measures of sexual arousal: a reply to McConaghy.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 21, no. 2 (April 1992): 187-195. Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=1580788.
32. Newton, David E. “Homosexuals behavior and child molestation: A review of the evidence.” Adolescence 13, no. 49 (Spring, 1978): 29-43. Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=665354.
33. Walker, Ken. “Homosexuals more likely to molest kids, study reports.” Baptist Press News, (May 30, 2001) http://sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=11002 (accessed July 29, 2005).
34. Jenny, Carole; Roesler, Thomas A.; Poyer, Kimberly L. “Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals?” Pediatrics 94, no. 1 (1994): 41-44. Abstract available online at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/94/1/41.
35. Dailey, Timothy J. “Homosexuality and child sexual abuse.” Insight (Family Research Council: May 23, 2002). Available online at http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS02E3 .
36. Freund, Kurt; Heasman, Gerald; Racansky, I.G.; Glancy, Graham. “Pedophilia and heterosexuality vs. homosexuality.” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 10, no. 3 (1984): 193-200. Abstract available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=6512871.
37. Groth, A. Nicholas; Gary, T.S. “Heterosexuality, homosexuality and pedophilia: Sexual offenses against children and adult sexual orientation.” In Male Rape: A Casebook of Sexual Aggressions, edited by A.M. Scacco (New York: AMS Press, 1982): 132-152.
38. Groth, A. Nochilas. Letter to Timothy J. Dailey, Ph. D., Family Research Council. June 10, 2002. Included in the Human Rights Campaign’s press release dated June 14, 2002, http://www.hrc.org/Content/ContentGroups/News_Releases/20021/Researcher_Cited_in_Anti-Gay_Report_Criticizes_the_Study_as_Biased_and_Misleading.htm. While Dr. Groth’s study has been removed from the footnotes, it was still referenced indirectly in Dailey’s article as of March 28, 2005.
40. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Policy statement: Sexual Orientation and Civil Rights (October 1992). Available online at http://www.aacap.org/page.ww?section=Policy+Statements&name=Sexual+Orientation+and+Civil+Rights. According to the policy statement, the AACAP “finds that there is no evidence that lesbians and gay men, per se, represent any threat to the development of child or adolescents.”
41. American Psychological Association. Resolution on Sexual Orientation, Parents and Children. (July 2004) Available online at http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/policy/parentschildren.pdf. According to the policy statement, the APA states that “fears about children of lesbian or gay parents being sexually abused by adults, ostracized by peers or isolated in single-sex lesbian or gay communities have received no scientific support.”