Posts Tagged As: Child Sexual Abuse
November 28th, 2011
That’s actually an Onion headline:
…”Many of you will no doubt be relieved to know the proper course of action is really quite simple: Just contact the police. Call 911, go to your local precinct, stop an officer on the street—the bottom line is, if you see one of us getting raped, notify the police, and do so as quickly as possible.”
“It doesn’t matter who the boy being raped is, and it doesn’t matter who is doing the raping, just please, please alert law enforcement,” Pearson added as the 10-year-old boys surrounding him nodded soberly. “And by the way, under no circumstances is it ever okay for an adult to rape a 10-year-old boy, so you really can’t go wrong by calling the police when something like that happens.”
Maybe it really does take satire to state the obvious.
November 14th, 2011
I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it again a thousand more times: I cannot fathom what it is that gets into people who think that the appropriate response to witnessing the commission of a felony is not to call the police. Instead, they “report” it to a bureaucrat of an institution in whose best interest it is for the “scandal” — no, it’s not a scandal, it’s a crime — to be brushed under the rug and kept out of the newspapers. For decades, children were molested by Catholic priests and nobody thought to call the police. For decades, gay kids have been feloniously assaulted in the schools and an administrator is called upon to do what the prosecuting attorney is legally constituted to do.
And so we see the familiar pattern repeated again at Penn State. A grad student witnessed Penn State’s defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky raping a ten-year-old boy in the football team’s shower room and what was his response? If you had guessed that the burly former star Penn State quarterback stepped in to rescue a defenseless child from a rapist, you’d be wrong. Instead, he told Joe Paterno, who told someone in the administration, and everyone along the line let the matter drop after, I assume, a stern scolding of Sandusky. “Don’t do that again!”, I’m sure they told him. Except he did, of course, for more than ten more years and who knows how many more victims. Meanwhile, Mike McQueary, that grad student, went on to become an assistant coach. And Paterno, that paragon of virtue and civic responsibility, y0u know his response would have been very different had McQueary told him that something funny was going on between Sandusky and Paterno’s grandson. But that’s not who the victim was, and so Paterno revealed that all of his virtues went toward defending Penn State, and not an innocent young rape victim at the hands of his former employee in his own shower room.
Sandusky has finally been arrested, along with two Penn State officials who covered up his crimes and enabled him to continue raping God knows how many more kids in the decade since McQueary and Paterno’s shrug. The more he know about Sandusky, the more we can see that he fits an exceptionally well-defined pattern of a pedophile. First off, this case shows that heterosexual adult men — Sandusky is married and the upstanding father of six adopted children — can and do abuse boys. In fact, it’s the norm. Sandusky’s targets were mostly prepubertal males between the ages of 7 to 12. (Gay men, if they do engage in sexual conduct with underage males, are much more likely to choose post-pubescent males, not pre-pubescent ones.) A pedophile typically prefers a specific pre-pubertal male or female body type, but will sometimes abuse the other gender if their preferred type is not available, To a pedophile, pre-pubertal children’s bodies are sufficiently similar. He carefully selected his victims and “groomed” them with gifts, tickets to Penn State games, and access to the child’s football heros before and after the game. Plying them with gifts like these not only won over their trust — and their parents’ trust as well — but also ensured their silence when payback time came around:
The coach’s actions, according to his accusers, followed a pattern. He’d invite them places, pick them up in his car and then, they say, place his hand on their thigh while driving.
At the Penn State football facility, the grand jury alleges, he’d take them to work out and then suggest they shower together, where the touching progressed: soap fights, back rubs and naked bear hugs. It would allegedly lead to more.
Some accusers described a basement room in Sandusky’s house where they stayed overnight. He’d lie down and tickle them, rub their backs, and blow on their stomachs, they said. One alleged victim, now 24, told the grand jury he “would roll over on his stomach to prevent Sandusky from touching his genitals.”
If any of the boys tried to avoid him, the coach would stalk them by calling dozens of times and by visiting their homes, according to the grand jury report.
He’d try to regain their favor by buying them gifts: shoes, electronics, clothes, anything a kid might want.
Sandusky’s tactics didn’t always work. Many boys resisted. But others didn’t. And in the most insidious aspect to this whole mess, Sandusky set up an entire charity which may well have done some good in the lives of some of these young boys, but we also know it served as a conduit of victims for Sandusky’s ongoing criminal activities. That alone makes this case rather unique. Most pedophiles don’t have the resources to create their own supply chain. But other than that, Sandusky’s case represents a textbook case of what has been identified as a “regressed” type pedophile. For more information into this phenomenon, please see our report, Testing the Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?
And finally, some on the extreme right are taking this case as a reason why gays and lesbians shouldn’t be around children. That reaction is as predictable as it is nonsensical. If there had been a nationwide ban on gays being within 100 yards of a child, these crimes would have still gone on undetected. Remember, he was married and would have been completely protected by both this imaginary ban and the ongoing collusion of Penn State officials. This has about as much to do with homosexuality as the Charles Manson murders has to do with gun control or John Lennon.
April 14th, 2010
From the Times Online
The Pope is ready to meet victims of clerical sex abuse when he visits Malta at the weekend, but only if the encounter is conducted in a “calm and discreet” atmosphere rather than under the media spotlight, his spokesman said today.
The diocesan authorities in Malta said this week that of 45 child abuse allegations against priests on the island, 19 were found to have no basis but 13 were going ahead and another 13 cases were “pending”.
At a press conference on Monday eleven former victims of abuse by priests on Malta, led by Lawrence Grech, 37, who claims that he was abused regularly at an orphanage at Santa Venera, asked to meet the Pope “for a few minutes to help us heal and to overcome this trauma”.
Really? Santa Venera, Malta?
I mean c’mon. The island nation of Malta is about the same size as Oakland, CA and Santa Venera has about 6,000 residents. But I guess that’s big enough for at least one pedopriest.
April 14th, 2010
If you live in Connecticut, you must take bold action to protect your parish. Politicians want to change the statute of limitations on child molestation, and we must not let them attack the Holy Mother Church in this way.
Currently the law protects priests, perhaps your pashish priest, from being charged for any sexual molestation of children once the child has grown up and reached the age of 48. This protects our beloved servants of Christ from the malicious attacks from former altar boys who are being pushed by the homosexuals, the Jews, and the press who hate the church because it defends the familiy from same-sex marriage.
Call your Congressman now!
This would be a tasteless parody if it weren’t what the Catholic Church in Connecticut is actually doing. (CNN)
A bill in Connecticut’s legislature that would remove the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases has sparked a fervent response from the state’s Roman Catholic bishops, who released a letter to parishioners Saturday imploring them to oppose the measure.
In a letter inserted in Sunday bulletins, the bishops appealed to parishioners to take action to fight the change.
This bill would retroactively eliminate the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits related to allegations of child sexual abuse. Connecticut already has the longest retroactive statute in the United States – 30 years past the age of 18. Over the past several years in states that have even temporarily eliminated the statutes, it has caused the bankruptcy of at least seven dioceses. House Bill 5473 would make Connecticut the only State without a statute of limitations. This bill would put all Church institutions, including your parish, at risk.
And as for the victims… well, the Church is the real victim here.
This unfairness is greater because Catholic institutions have largely resolved their problem of childhood sexual abuse through zero tolerance practices implemented in 1992 and excellent safe environment programs beginning in 2002.
So Catholics should oppose the change because it would allow the Church to be held liable for the molestation of their children by pedophile priests and might cost the Church some money. They make no pretense, it’s all about money.
Almost every day I am dumbfounded at the way in which the Catholic Church just doesn’t get it. Rather than show repentance for the horrific and inexcusable pattern of systematically covering up heinous acts of abuse by those entrusted to be the Church’s most intimate contact with the World, they continue to shift blame, circle the wagons, protect their leaders, blame the victims who “want it”, and do anything to protect their assets and power.
April 14th, 2010
The Catholic Church and an Italian news source are in a dispute over statements purportedly made by Monsignor Giacomo Babini, the Bishop Emeritus of Grossetto. Babini says he never made the remarks and Pontifex claims to have tape. (Time Online)
A retired Italian bishop has provoked fury by reportedly suggesting that “Zionists” are behind the current storm of accusations over clerical sex abuse shaking the Vatican and the Catholic Church.
Monsignor Babini’s reported comments follow a series of statements from senior Vatican cardinals blaming a “concerted campaign” by “powerful lobbies” for accusations that Pope Benedict XVI was involved in covering up cases of clerical abuse both as Archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982 and subsequently as head of doctrine at the Vatican.
None has explicitly blamed Jews or any other group. However Bishop Babini, 81, said Jews “do not want the Church, they are its natural enemies”. He added: “Deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are deicides [God killers].”
The Catholic Church is in crisis over criticism of the way they enabled and protected priests who molested the children in their care. So far, their response has been to deny any institutional fault and to seek to push the blame to those whom they already consider to be their enemies.
They’ve blamed the gays outright and some now may be suggesting it’s all a Zionist Plot. History cautions against going in this direction.
April 12th, 2010
That’s how the AP is reporting it:
“Many psychologists and psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relation between celibacy and pedophilia. But many others have demonstrated, I have been told recently, that there is a relation between homosexuality and pedophilia. That is true,” said (Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio) Bertone. “That is the problem.”
…At least one of the highest-profile pedophiles in the Chilean church victimized young girls, including a teenager who became pregnant. At the time, the archbishop of the capital, Santiago, received multiple complaints about Father Jose Andres Aguirre from families concerned for their daughters. But the priest — known to his parishioners as Father Tato — continued serving at a number of Catholic girls schools in the city. Later the church sent Aguirre out of Chile twice amid abuse allegations. He was eventually sentenced to 12 years in prison for abusing 10 teenage girls.
The Cardinals assertion is a willful faith-based slander, similar to the kind of blame that has been levied against gays here in the U.S. against priests who are equal-opportunity abusers. It’s worth noting that the California priest who Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) in 1985 demurred from defrocking for tying up and raping boys in his parish, was finally convicted in 2004 of molesting a young girl at the home which that very same by-then ex-priest shared with his wife. His crimes also led to a lawsuit against the Oakland diocese by seven women who said he abused them in the 1970’s, apparently before he tied up those two boys.
Experts on child sexual abuse point out that for many perpetrators the gender of the victim is inconsequential. But who needs experts or common sense when gays makes such a convenient scapegoat?
March 22nd, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI has sent a Pastoral Letter to Irish Catholics in response to the Church’s crisis over child-molesting priests. It has been fairly universally condemned as inadequate and uncaring. Personally, I find it to be one of the most arrogant and self-serving of all possible responses the Pope could have given. But perhaps I’m biased.
I did, however, note two things I want to note.
First, the Pope writes as though this were a letter to the Southern Baptists, rather than to part of the Catholic family. All condemnations are directed at “you” and “the Church in your country”. It seems to me that this Pope wishes to make clear that he holds neither himself, the Vatican, the hierarchy, nor the political, legal, or pastoral policies of the Church as a whole to have any share in the failings.
It seems that he wishes to portray this tragedy as a singular incident, a failing of the Irish, rather than as a part of what is rapidly becoming a global epidemic.
Second, the Pope seems to want parents to take their share in the blame. He writes:
8. To parents
You have been deeply shocked to learn of the terrible things that took place in what ought to be the safest and most secure environment of all. In today’s world it is not easy to build a home and to bring up children. They deserve to grow up in security, loved and cherished, with a strong sense of their identity and worth. They have a right to be educated in authentic moral values rooted in the dignity of the human person, to be inspired by the truth of our Catholic faith and to learn ways of behaving and acting that lead to healthy self-esteem and lasting happiness. This noble but demanding task is entrusted in the first place to you, their parents. I urge you to play your part in ensuring the best possible care of children, both at home and in society as a whole, while the Church, for her part, continues to implement the measures adopted in recent years to protect young people in parish and school environments. As you carry out your vital responsibilities, be assured that I remain close to you and I offer you the support of my prayers.
While this, on the surface, appears as sage counsel to live up to our duty to our children, I wonder if His Holiness has considered the meaning of this advice.
The Pope has said that it is the duty of parents to ensure the best possible care for children. Taking this in the context of priest abuse it means, in effect, that parents failed by trusting the Church and her officers.
When the Church said, “bring your children to us for altar duty”, parents failed by listening. When the Church said, “send your children to Catholic boarding school”, parents failed by agreeing. When the Church said, “teach your children to trust God and trust the Church as His representative”, the parents failed by doing precisely that. When the Church said, “you can trust us”, the parents failed by believing.
This Pope seems to be arguing the con-man’s defense: “I may have deceived you, but it’s your fault for believing me”.
Perhaps he’s right.
March 19th, 2010
Across the country boys bond in scouting, enjoying the experience of nature, learning social values, and earning recognition for doing good deeds. And the Boy Scouts of America provide a memorable and often rewarding experience for boys – provided that these boys are not same-sex attracted or skeptical about the Abrahamic God.
But for fourteen percent of Scouts, their experience could be more accurately described as religious training in the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the “Mormons”). Unlike a scouting group hosted by the local Methodist Church which meets in their basement, for the Mormons scouting is a part of the church, an official teaching mechanism that places theology as a higher priority than socialization. It serves not only for inculcating the beliefs of the church, but as an outreach tool.
Elder Robert Backman was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America in 1986 for his efforts in incorporating Scouting into the LDS Church’s Young Men organization. He is quoted in the Aaronic Priesthood Boy Scout Guide:
As you know, we are vitally concerned about our youth and feel that with the proper attention we can save many more than we are doing at the present time. I am convinced that Scouting is a mighty activity arm to hold these boys close while they learn to appreciate the honor of holding the priesthood of God.
If we do all else and lose the young man, we have failed in our sacred stewardship. We must not allow a separation of priesthood, Scouting, or athletics.
Every phase of the Scouting program should help young men and their leaders understand that Scouting activities are carried out to accomplish priesthood purposes.
For Mormons, family is a valued concept. But part of the definition of “family” is the concept of church brotherhood and the expectation that Mormons will raise their children to be integrated into the faith at a young age. Scouting is more of an expectation or obligation than an optional club.
And evidence is arising that the Boy Scouts of America may have taken steps to hide evidence of sexual abuse. And they may have done so for decades. (No. County Times)
The “perversion files,” a nickname the Boy Scouts are said to have used for the documents, have rarely been seen by the public, but that could all change in the coming weeks in an Oregon courtroom.
The lawyer for a man who was molested in the 1980s by a Scout leader has obtained about 1,000 Boy Scouts sex files and is expected to release some of them at a trial that began Wednesday. The lawyer says the files show how the Boy Scouts have covered up abuse for decades.
And it further appears that the Mormon Church may have played a roll in giving some predators access to children.
The lawsuit also named the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because the Mormons acted as a charter organization, or sponsor, for the local Boy Scouts troop that included the victim. But the church has settled its portion of the case.
The Mormon bishop who also served as head of the Scout troop, Gordon McEwen, confronted Dykes after receiving a report of abuse by the mother of one boy in the troop in January 1983.
In a video deposition played for the jury, the bishop said Dykes admitted abusing 17 boys. But McEwen said he contacted the parents of all 17 boys and the boys themselves, and none would confirm any abuse.
Dykes was arrested in 1983 and pleaded guilty to attempted sexual abuse, received probation and was ordered to stay away from children.
Clark told the jury Dykes continued with his scouting activities until he was arrested in July 1984 during a routine traffic stop while he was driving a van full of Scouts on a camping trip.
It has yet to be determined whether Mormons are a significant segment of the thousands of Boy Scout sexual abuse cases. But this is not the first time that the Church has been accused of enabling predators.
The three men, who are brothers now aged 39, 41 and 43, claim that William E. Knox, 65, a Mormon church and Boy Scouts leader, molested them repeatedly in Sunnyvale between 1977 and 1987.
A brother identified as John Doe 2, who now lives in Georgia, said, “I’m a victim and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It was devastating to me. I’ve been abused hundreds of times over several years.”
The brother alleged, “During the abuse, I told the church leadership responsible to protect me and they did nothing to protect me.”
The Idaho Falls Post Register chronicles a story of abuse at an LDS scouting camp in the 1990’s which boggles the mind.
1988 Brad Stowell, 16, admits to Blackfoot police, his mother and his LDS bishop that he molested a 6-year-old neighbor. He is sent to LDS Social Services counseling.
1988 Stowell is hired to teach first aid at Camp Little Lemhi. He has testified he started preying on campers that summer.
1991 Richard J. Scarborough reports to the national Boy Scouts of America that a child molester has been hired to work at Camp Little Lemhi.
January 1994 Richard Scarborough writes to the LDS church president, complaining that local church leaders are ignoring his warning about the pedophile in the LDS Scout troop.
January 1995 Carol Scarborough tells Camp Little Lemhi program director Jim Summers that Brad Stowell molested a neighbor boy.
1995 Camp Little Lemhi director Richard Snow hires Stowell as aquatics director.
It continues in horrifying detail until Stowell is arrested in 1997 after repeated abuse.
And such abuse will continue for as long as the Scouts (and the Mormons and the Catholics and a whole host of other) continue to focus on and exclude gay people while ignoring the true source of the problem. They fear and expel gay men who are attracted to other adult men while ignoring the married, church going, men who secretly prey on available children of both sexes.
Now advocates for victims of child abuse are eagerly awaiting what the newly opened files will tell them. I’m certain that the Scouts are worried. I wonder if the LDS Church has reason to be concerned.
March 17th, 2010
Surely, surely, there are Catholic priests who haven’t molested children. And there simply must be a Cardinal or Archbishop somewhere who didn’t cover up abuse. However, now the Catholic Church is beginning to appear as though abuse and cover ups were the norm rather than the exception.
With newly reported cases in the growing scandal in Germany, along with bizarre developments in Brazil, the ten people dedicated to inspecting cases and paying settlements are beginning to feel overwhelmed. (NY Times)
In a rare interview, by telephone on Tuesday, Monsignor Scicluna acknowledged the concern. Asked if he wanted reinforcements, he said with a laugh: “I would hope we have less work. That’s my hope. Not more people, less work.”
He added that if the number of cases averaged 300 a year, “We can continue doing our job well with 10 people. The problem is: Are these numbers going to settle?”
Despite the small number of people in the Vatican working on such cases, he stressed that his office was the last step in a long process for the cases, after they have been investigated by “hundreds of canon lawyers” in dioceses worldwide.
“It’s not that these people are doing every case from A to Z, otherwise we’d really be bonkers,” he said.
The investigative arm is bonkers, but the PR division must be going crazy. Because the Brazilian scandal was televised (AP).
The case came to light after the SBT network aired a video purportedly showing an 82-year-old priest having sex with a 19-year-old altar boy who worked for him for four years. Other young men appeared on the report saying that they, too, had been abused by Monsignor Luiz Marques Barbosa.
March 15th, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI is quick to condemn the “intrinsic evil” that comes from committed same-sex partners pledging devotion and care for each other. He finds same-sex attracted persons to be such a threat that he purged them from the seminaries.
But pedophiles? Not such a problem for him.
The Times Online is reporting
The Pope was drawn directly into the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal last night as news emerged of his part in a decision to send a paedophile priest for therapy. The cleric went on to reoffend and was convicted of child abuse but continues to work as a priest in Upper Bavaria.
To recap, while Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict’s former name) was in charge of the
church in Germany Archdiocese of Munich & Freising, Priest H (whose identity is being kept secret) molested an 11 year old boy. The church didn’t report him but instead “rehabilitated” him and sent him to another parish. Where he sexually abused more minors. That would be, AFTER his rehabilitation.
Now the Pope is saying, “Who me?” and laying all the blame on an underling.
The Vatican said that Mgr Gruber had taken “full responsibility” for the priest’s move back into pastoral work but did not comment further.
Mgr Gruber said that the Pope, who was made a cardinal in 1977, had not been not aware of his decision because there were 1,000 priests in the diocese at the time and he had left many decisions to lower-level officials. “The cardinal could not deal with everything,” he said. “The repeated employment of H in pastoral duties was a serious mistake … I deeply regret that this decision led to offences against youths. I apologise to all those who were harmed.” He did not indicate whether the convicted paedophile would be allowed to continue working in the church.
Deal with everything? Everything?
What on Earth is of more importance than, “OH MY GOD, we have a priest molesting children!!”
Was the German Catholic Church so full of pedophiles that this was an every-day mundane unimportant administrative matter to be shuffled off? Really? Is that what you want us to believe?
Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the head of Germany’s Catholic bishops, apologised yesterday to the victims of clerical sex abuse after meeting Pope Benedict. He said that the German-born Pope had expressed “great dismay” over the scandals and had encouraged him to take “decisive and courageous steps” to tackle the problem.
Oh no doubt the scandals caused Il Papa great dismay. It’s a pity the molested children never did.
June 30th, 2009
Anti-gay extremists are all over this news item from Durham, North Carolina:
A Duke University official has been charged in federal court with offering his 5-year-old adopted son up for sex. Frank Lombard, associate director of the Center for Health Policy, was arrested Wednesday in Raleigh, the FBI said.
An unidentified informant who already faces child porn charges in a different child sex case pointed investigators to Lombard, according to court documents. The informant told investigators he had met Lombard on the Internet four years ago. The informant described in graphic detail how he allegedly observed Lombard molesting an African-American child on four occasions over an Internet video chat service called ICUii.
…During the chats, according to the affidavit, “FL” [Frank Lombard’s screen name] told undercover investigators that he had himself molested his child, whom he adopted as an infant, and that he had allowed others to molest his child. “FL” stated that “the abuse of the child was easier when the child was too young to talk or know what was happening, but that he had drugged the child with Benadryl during molestation.”
Predictably, anti-gay extremists are already using this horrific crime as “proof” that all gay people are unfit to be parents. They’ll tell you that this is how virtually all gay men behave. LifeSite is already eating it up, as are Dakota Voice’s Bob Ellis and Town Hall’s Mike Adams.
We’ve seen them equate homosexuality with pedophilia by tagging the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act with the libelous “Pedophile Protection Act” moniker. Adams piled onto that them by following his first post up with another one noting that Lombard was Facebook Fan with Rev. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Bishop of the Anglican Church. The Right Rev. Robinson has 3,668 other fans, but that didn’t deter Adams from asking, “Is this arrest thwarting an effort by Lombard to promote tolerance of pedophilia in the Episcopal Church?”
This episode even gave discredited anti-gay “researcher” Paul Cameron the chance to come out of the woodwork to claim that this sad episode “demonstrates why gays should not be able to adopt.”
Kiliann Melloy has a great rundown on anti-gay reactions to Lombard’s arrest at EDGE Boston, including a blog which claims to be a “grassroots network of the Republican Party of Virginia.” And she reviews the contention by Paul Cameron and another so-called “researcher,” Dr. Judith Reisman, that gay men are more likely to molest children. (Reisman’s Ph.D. is in Communications, but as Melloy notes, that doesn’t stop her from writing about the physiological effects of pornography on the brain without the aid of any research.)
The lesson we ought to learn from Lombard’s arrest is that being a horrible, abusive parent is an equal-opportunity crime. Gay individuals are no more immune from engaging in criminal conduct with five-year-olds than straight people. Like this heterosexual couple from Indiana, just to name one tragic example.
But it’s gay men in particular which get the blame for molesting children. Anti-gay activists will claim that gay men are guilty of this horrible crime in numbers far exceeding their proportion in the overall population. The problem with that assertion though is that there is absolutely no evidence to support that claim. That’s not to say that there are no gay predators. But there is no evidence to suggest that gay men are more likely to molest children than straight men, which is the fear-mongering message that extremists return to again and again.
The real tragedy in this case is that a very young boy has been horribly abused. The crime that anti-gay extremists engage in by slandering all gay people with this episode is, without a doubt, the much lesser crime. But it is a crime nevertheless, and it’s one they will have to answer for someday. Just like this Lombard bastard.
October 20th, 2006
Three weeks ago, I wrote about the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins going on various media outlets to claim that gays are much more likely to molest children. I examined the “evidence” that he offered and found it to be quite lacking.
When I wrote that, I had tried to contact the FRC to get some clarification on exactly what source material Tony Perkins was using when he made his claims. My e-mail went unanswered for more than a week, and when I did get a reply, they just referred me to their online tract, Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse, which wasn’t much help.
A few days ago, someone passed on an E-mail he received from the FRC which clarifies one point, namely the following claim:
…the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy found that boys molested by men are almost four times more likely to become homosexual or bisexual than boys who weren’t molested.
When I wrote my examination, I couldn’t find the relevant article in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. My detective work led me to believe that claim actually came from a third-hand reference to a book written in 1979 by David Finkelhor. I now stand corrected.
According to the email I received, the claim actually comes from an article written by James R. Bramblett, Jr. and Carol Anderson Darling entitled “Sexual contacts: Experiences, thoughts, and fantasies of adult male survivors of child sexual abuse” (Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, vol 23, no. 4, Winter 1997; pp 305-316).
And right there on page 313, we read the following:
In this study, 46% of the abused men, as opposed to 12% of the non-abused men, defined their sexual orientation as either bisexual or homosexual.
This study examined two groups of men, one group of 35 men who had been sexually abused and another non-abused group of 33 men to serve as controls.
That’s right. The Family Research Council is basing its evidence on thirty-five men who somehow are to represent all men who were sexually abused — that’s not very compelling evidence.
And notice the non-abused group. Twelve percent identified themselves as being gay. Now, if this group were representative of non-abused men, would the Family Research Council concede that gay men make up 12% of the male population? I doubt it.
Another interesting fact is that the composition of the abused group broke down this way: 54% straight, 32% bisexual, and 14% gay. In other words, the number of gay men in both groups is the same. What’s more, there were no bisexuals in the non-abused group. They were either gay or straight.
So why the large numbers of bisexuals in the abused group? The authors note that “according to existing literature, gender identity confusion and gender preferences are often cited as being affected by childhood sexual abuse.” The very small number of participants makes it extremely dangerous to try to draw broad conclusions. Not all bisexuals — and perhaps not even significant numbers of bisexuals — are bisexual due to past abuse, for example. And this is not to say that bisexuals generally are “confused”, but it certainly begs the question of whether abused men suffer a greater degree of uncertainty over their sexual orientation than non-abused men.
The most this study proves is that abused men are more likely to report being bisexual than being gay. That’s an important distinction given the difficulties involved with overcoming child sexual abuse. But the Family “Research” Council won’t recognize that very important distinction. Instead, they’ll do just about anything for a smear, including misrepresenting the lives of abused men to denigrate others.
October 15th, 2006
There is a remarkable double standard when it comes to adults having sex with children. Right here in my adoptive home of Tucson, Arizona, Veronica Bullock, 27, faced 7½ years in prison for having had sex with a twelve-year-old boy. Instead, she was given a thirty day jail sentence and probation. She also has to register as a sex offender.
Meanwhile, our nation obsesses over former Congressman Mark Foley’s disgustingly inappropriate behavior with sixteen-year-old male pages. Mark Foley’s behavior, while deplorable, does’t appear to have been illegal as far as we know. There have not been any allegations that he actually had sex with these pages, but if he did, sixteen is the legal age of consent in the District of Columbia and in many states.
If it were Mark Foley who had been found having sex with a twelve-year-old boy (or even a twelve-year-old girl, for that matter), what sort of punishment do you think he would face?
With all of the recent interest in the supposed link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, I have decided to update the report, Testing the Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children? It’s not only available in regular web format (HTML), but it is also available as a PDF document so you can download it and pass it along to as many people you like.
October 8th, 2006
Over the past week, Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, has tried to make himself something of a media expert on the supposed link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse. Since October 3, he appeared on CNN’s The Situation Room, MSNBC’s Hardball and MSNBC Live, Fox’s The Big Story, with Charmaine Yoest on CNBC, and all three nightly network newscasts. And wherever he’s appeared, he’s been making the claims that he made in this blurb, entitled “The Politically Incorrect Truth” that he posed on his web site:
The more recent revelation that Foley himself was molested as a teenager, and his lawyer’s acknowledgment that he is indeed a homosexual, simply reinforce a pattern well-attested in the scholarly literature. For example, the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy found that boys molested by men are almost four times more likely to become homosexual or bisexual than boys who weren’t molested. Homosexual activists don’t want you to know that, because it undermines the myth that people are “born gay.” Although homosexuals and bisexuals are less than 3% of the male population, male-on-male abuse accounts for about a third of all child molestation. The Archives of Sexual Behavior reported that “eighty-six percent of offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual.”
Three specific statistical claims, but only two cited sources. Let’s examine them one by one.
…the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy found that boys molested by men are almost four times more likely to become homosexual or bisexual than boys who weren’t molested.
I looked high and low in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy for this statistic. It was nowhere to be found. But after searching through the FRC’s website, I was able to find it repeated in another document that carried this footnote: Watkins and Bentovim (#35).
Update (10/20/2006): Almost there weeks after writing this post, I have learned the actual source for this claim. You can read that update here.
Okay. Here’s the first example of shoddy research: Tony Perkins got his source wrong. He should have referred to Bill Watkins and Arnon Bentovim’s “The sexual abuse of male children and adolescents: A review of current research”, which originally appeared in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry vol 33, no. 1 (January 1992): 197-248.
I happened to have that report on file, and this is what I learned:
Finkelhor (1984c) note it is a traditional mythology that molestation leads to homosexuality, but at the same time he found, in his college study, that boys victimized by older men were over four times more likely to be currently engaged in homosexual activity than were non-victims.
With that, I went to our local university library and found David Finkelhor’s 1984 book Child Sexual Abuse: New Theory and Research (New York: Free Press) and found this on page 195:
Boys victimized by older men were over four times more likely to be engaged in homosexual activity than were nonvictims.
For this statistic, David Finkelhor cited yet another book he wrote clear back to a book he published in 1979, Sexually Victimized Children (New York: Free Press). This book presented some preliminary results of a survey that he conducted in the mid-seventies among social science college students at six New England colleges. Notice that now we’re talking about data that is some thirty years old. And since it comes from a convenience sample of social sicence college studients, the data is not representative. David Finkelhor plainly discusses the weakenesses of his sample in pages 38-41 of his book.
But that’s not all. Finkelhor’s claim about boys victimized by men doesn’t actually appear to be in the book (I can’t find it, anyway). So how did he determine that these kids were “currently engaged in homosexuality” as he said in his later book? I found my answer in appendix B, where the questionnaire was reproduced:
In the last year, how many sexual experiences have you had with someone of your own sex?
4. 11 or more
So this is what it took for Tony Perkins to come up with his statistic that he’s so proud of. It wasn’t a comprehensive survey of adults who were molested as children. Perkins had to find an obscure third-hand reference to a thirty-year-old study that was not peer-reviewed, and was based on a convenience sample of college students taken at the very height of the sexual revolution (college students who were enrolled in social science classes in New England, no less). And that statistic included those who may only have had a single experimental experience in the past year.
How’s that for cherry picking?
Let’s skip Perkins next claim for now — that 3% of male homosexuals account for a third of all molestations, a claim we’ll come back to in a moment — and move on to his other attributed statement.
The Archives of Sexual Behavior reported that “eighty-six percent of offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual.”
This is a very poor choice of support for such a broad contention. That 1988 study (Erickson, W.D.; Walbek, N.H.; Seely, R.K.; “Behavior patterns of child molesters.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 17, no. 1 (1988): 77-88; abstract available here) consisted of a convenience sample of only 63 convicted molesters against male victims. The brief sentence of “eighty-six percent of offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual” is the only mention of sexual orientation. There was no attempt to follow up on whether any of these predators had any adult relationships, or if so, what kind of relationships they were. There was no description of how they may have measured these predator’s sexual attractions. There was no attempt to quantify their erotic age preference. Just one single sentence in passing, with no further explanation or support.
This is important. As you can imagine, it’s much easier to label oneself as a homosexual than as a pedophile. Members of the Aryan Nation, for example, call themselves Christians instead of bigots, a claim which most Christians would vehemently disagree.
I’m sure the “researchers” at the Family Research Council had to dig long and hard to find that statistic, because it runs completely counter to what the most respected experts have to say about the subject — Dr. Carole Jenny, Nicholas Groth, and the late Kurt Freund, for example. They have all found that this supposed connection between homosexuality and pedophilia simply don’t exist.
Although homosexuals and bisexuals are less than 3% of the male population, male-on-male abuse accounts for about a third of all child molestation.
Here’s a news flash: that 3% statistic only applies to men who openly acknowledge their sexual orientation. It does not include those who engage in same-sex sexual activity but identify as straight.
A recent random survey of 4,193 men in New York City revealed that among men who have sex with men, 72.8% identified as straight. And these only represent those who admit to such sexual activity when questioned.
In short, this claim is not only unsubstantiated, it is logically false and demonstrably wrong. But he’s not the only one to make it. You can read an extensive analysis of that myth in my report, Testing the Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?
Friends, this is what passes for research at the Family “Research” Council: cherry-picking of thirty-year old data, ill-supported conclusions, and statements built on faulty logic. In other words, the same old stuff. It’s time we — and specially the press — called them on their so-called “science” and exposed it for what it is: junk.
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Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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