A Dose of Stupid v36

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

Not All Sexual Abuse Is Equal

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a news story about a former priest who molested a male listed as John Doe:

On September 28, the Chicago Tribune reported that “former Chicago priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormick sexually abused him [Doe] while he was a grammar school student.” We then learn that the student was really a middle-school student, in the eighth grade, when the abuse began. The abuse reportedly continued for five years. According to the lawsuit, “McCormack inappropriately sexually touched, hugged, rubbed and/or abused Doe.”

It’s time to ask some tough questions. Why did this young man not object earlier? Why did he allow the “abuse” to continue until he was 18?

These are not tough questions; they are stupid questions. There is a wealth of information about why victims of abuse do not come forward, why they continue to associate with their abuser, and why they do not necessarily fight back. Donohue could have taken the time to read that information, but it appears he did not, possibly so he could make the following point:

The use of the quotes is deliberate: the charge against the former priest is not rape, but rubbing. While still objectionable, there is a glacial difference between being rubbed and raped.

Physically speaking, Donohue is correct. Being rubbed is not the same as being forced into intercourse. Those are two very different experiences and it would be unfair to conflate the two. Psychologically speaking, there is no difference. I have met men who were only fondled or had oral sex performed on them who are in as bad and often worse shape than men and boys who were forced to perform oral sex or intercourse. These men are just as psychologically harmed because it is the impact of the abuse that causes the most damage. It is the betrayal of trust, the manipulation, the coercion, lies, and trickery, not just the act. Again, Donohue could have read about this, but it appears he did not, probably so he could make the following point:

Here’s what we know. We know that this case, like most of them, was the work of a homosexual, not a pedophile.

That is incorrect. The majority of the men who sexually abuse boys identify as heterosexual. That information has been around since the late 1980s. Anyone peddling the “child molesters are gay” trope has gone well beyond intellectual dishonesty.

And like most of the cases of priestly sexual misconduct, there was no rape involved. Inappropriate touching is morally wrong, and the offenders should be punished, but the time has come to object to all those pundits who like to say that the scandal is all about child rape. Most of the cases did not involve children—they were post-pubescent males—and most weren’t raped.

Actually, that is incorrect as well. Most states count any sexual activity with children under 12 to 14-years-old as rape or sexual assault. Likewise, most state sex offense statutes do not limit rape to penetration. Most of them count any sexual act forcibly committed against a minor as rape or sexual assault. The Chicago Tribune does not specify exactly what the victim states happened, and since it is a lawsuit and not criminal charges, we cannot know what charges the police might have filed.

However, all of that moot. Any sexual act committed against a child can technically count as rape because a child has a limited capacity to consent. They are too easily manipulated and coerced. If it someone they trust, like, or love, it would be very easy for that person to get the child’s “consent.” This is why pundits call these acts rape. It is just to use provocative words; it is because in this situation it would be difficult to call it anything else.

As for the victims mostly being teenagers, that is correct. Most victims of child sexual abuse are between 12 to 17. However, we still consider them children, both legally and socially.

Again, all Donohue had to do was look this information up. It is readily available online, and it takes only seconds to find. However, it seems he wanted to make this point instead:

Why does this matter? Because those looking to sue the Catholic Church for being inappropriately rubbed decades ago are not exactly the poster boys for the victims of child rape. And because those who hate the Church continue to use the term child rape as a way of discrediting the Church. They lie about this being a pedophilia problem and they lie about the nature of the misconduct. That’s reason enough to call them on it.

Donohue has his facts wrong. According to the Tribune, the victim stated the abuse occurred between 2002 to 2007. So the abuse ended only three years ago, not decades ago.

Secondly, no one is using the term child rape to discredit the Church. The Church has discredited itself by failing to address instances of sexual abuse. Every week there is a news report about new documents or records revealing Church officials’ knowledge of abusive priests and nuns. In most of those cases, the offenders were simply moved somewhere else or the abuse was covered up. Again, these documents come from the Church itself. So it is not a bunch of anti-Catholics who have tarnished the good name of the Catholic Church. It was their own officials who did that.

Thirdly, from the most prestigious priests to the lowliest nuns, there does seem to be a problem with clergy in positions of power abusing children. The Church’s own documents and reports support this. Yes, some of the news reports do mislead the public by using incorrect terminology. The Tribune’s article was not one of them. The Tribune called the act “sexual abuse.” Unless Donohue wants to object to the calling the fondling of boys “sexual abuse,” there really is no problem here.

The only issue is that Donohue does not seem to like the attention all the sexual abuse is getting. That is too bad because no one will stop reporting about these cases just because it upsets the Catholic League president. We honestly have no idea how pervasive abuse is in the Catholic Church (or any religious group for that matter). What we do know is that there are a lot of men, women, and children who have come forward stating that some nun or priest abused them. Rather than playing politics with their allegations, or claiming that they are exaggerating them, perhaps we should take them seriously. The best way to keep this stuff out of the news is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

29 thoughts on “A Dose of Stupid v36

  1. “It’s time to ask some tough questions. Why did this young man not object earlier? Why did he allow the “abuse” to continue until he was 18?”

    What? This is the most insensitive, inappropriate question to bring up in an article on the sexual abuse of boys. I’ll bet the writer would think twice if the victim was female.

    Boys, like girls, can be coerced in case he didn’t know.

    Donahue should be reprimmended for asking this tough question. But not much of a stink will be raised about it and he’ll keep his job.

  2. “The majority of the men who sexually abuse boys identify as heterosexual. That information has been around since the late 1980s. Anyone peddling the “child molesters are gay” trope has gone well beyond intellectual dishonesty.”

    Am I to believe that someone is a certain sexuality because they identify as such? For example, is one supposed to believe that Thomas Beatie is a man because she tells everyone she is a man?

    Unless I am mistaken, the vast majority of abused children are boys, not girls. This lends credence to Donohue’s argument that child molesters are primarily gay, otherwise the percentage of girls abused would be much higher. Are the studies you refer to based on questionnaires given to pedophiles? If so, isn’t it possible that the abusers identify as heterosexual because they are reluctant to come out of the closet for fear of being treated worse because they are homosexual?

  3. Unless I am mistaken, the vast majority of abused children are boys, not girls. This lends credence to Donohue’s argument that child molesters are primarily gay, otherwise the percentage of girls abused would be much higher.

    That assumes that straight and gay people are sexually attracted to children of the opposite sex. I know of no evidence that supports that assumption. There are gay people who sexually abuse children of the same sex. There are also gay people who sexually abuse children of the opposite sex. Likewise, some people who sexually abuse children are not sexually attracted to children, but simply exploiting the situation.

    Are the studies you refer to based on questionnaires given to pedophiles? If so, isn’t it possible that the abusers identify as heterosexual because they are reluctant to come out of the closet for fear of being treated worse because they are homosexual?

    It is a much greater taboo to admit having sexual desires towards children than sexual desires towards members of the same sex, especially in prison. Being such, it seems fair to conclude that whatever a pedophile states is their sexual orientation is very likely their actual orientation.

  4. “That assumes that straight and gay people are sexually attracted to children of the opposite sex.”

    I’m not sure how you drew that assumption from what I said. My point is that gay people are attracted to people of the same sex and straight people to the opposite sex. If I understand you correctly, you argue that pedophiles in the priesthood identify as heterosexual. My point is that if it is true that the majority of pedophile priests are heterosexual, then why is it that their victims are almost exclusively boys? Wouldn’t more girls be victims if the pedophiles were heterosexual?

    I see your argument on the dislike directed toward pedophilia relative to homosexuality but it misses my point. I was arguing that ‘homosexual pedophile’ generates more opprobrium than ‘heterosexual pedophile’.

    Given the position of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, isn’t it possible that the priests who were accused of molestation simply declared themselves heterosexual so that if they were acquitted, they might return to the priesthood, which would otherwise be difficult or impossible if they declared themselves homosexual?

  5. My point is that if it is true that the majority of pedophile priests are heterosexual, then why is it that their victims are almost exclusively boys? Wouldn’t more girls be victims if the pedophiles were heterosexual?

    Allow me to make a correction. What I meant to write is that your argument assumes that straight people are sexually attracted to children of the opposite sex just because they are sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex. To my knowledge, no research backs that idea. The research I have read suggests that a person who is sexually attracted to children does not necessarily share the same sexual attraction towards adults (assuming they are sexually attracted to adults at all). So it is possible for a heterosexual priest to be attracted to adult women and barely pubescent boys.

    As for why priests molest more boys than any other group, I suspect that has to do with who they have access to, who they are around the most, and how sexuality is treated in the Church. The priests are around nothing but other males for extended periods of time, they are in this situation from their late youth, and the Church tries to repress any sexual desires they may have. That is not going to stop them from engaging in sexual activity, which would most likely happen with other males in the seminaries. Priests may continue this behavior with boys (most of whom are teenagers) because that is simply what they are used to doing. Some priests may be gay, others may be pedophiles, and some may just be exploiting their power. I doubt, however, that it is homosexuality that prompts this behavior.

    Given the position of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, isn’t it possible that the priests who were accused of molestation simply declared themselves heterosexual so that if they were acquitted, they might return to the priesthood, which would otherwise be difficult or impossible if they declared themselves homosexual?

    Again, the stigma of raping a child carries far more weight than the stigma of being gay. The Church also does not throw out priests just for being gay. They first attempt to “correct” the “gayness.” So it would cost the priest nothing to admit being a homosexual. In fact, it might be better for him to call himself gay than to say he is sexually attracted to boys as the Church might be more sympathetic towards him.

  6. “The research I have read suggests that a person who is sexually attracted to children does not necessarily share the same sexual attraction towards adults (assuming they are sexually attracted to adults at all). So it is possible for a heterosexual priest to be attracted to adult women and barely pubescent boys.”

    That strikes me as very curious. Why the preference for boys and not girls, and women and not men? Could you provide a link to the research you refer to?

    “Again, the stigma of raping a child carries far more weight than the stigma of being gay.”

    Again, I am not comparing ‘gay’ vs. ‘pedophile’, i am comparing gay vs. straight.

    I am looking at the default situation of ‘accused hetero pedophiles’ vs ‘accused gay pedophiles’. If they are reveal themselves to be gay AND are convicted, they go to jail as ‘gay pedophiles’ (as opposed to ‘heterosexual pedophiles’). If they reveal themselves as gay AND are acquitted, they must come back to the priesthood as ‘gay’ priests as opposed to ‘straight’ priests. Either way, the stigma of being gay would presumably worsen the situation for the priest. This is why, I argue, they are insistent on calling themselves heterosexual even though they might very well not be.

  7. That strikes me as very curious. Why the preference for boys and not girls, and women and not men? Could you provide a link to the research you refer to?

    These two links provide an explanation for what I am talking about. As for why the preference for boys and not girls, the links also give an insight into why that may occur. I think it is important to remember not every person who sexually abuses a child is a pedophile. In other words, a person who sexually abuses a child may not harbor any sexual attraction to children per se. I have seen this in my own experiences. Someone I know sexually abused his daughter despite being sexually attracted to boys. He apparently did so only because at the time he could not get access to a boy. So it is possible that a priest might abuse a boy simply because the boy is easier to get access to (and perhaps easier to conceal), not because he is sexually attracted to boys or men.

    If they are reveal themselves to be gay AND are convicted, they go to jail as ‘gay pedophiles’ (as opposed to ‘heterosexual pedophiles’). If they reveal themselves as gay AND are acquitted, they must come back to the priesthood as ‘gay’ priests as opposed to ‘straight’ priests. Either way, the stigma of being gay would presumably worsen the situation for the priest. This is why, I argue, they are insistent on calling themselves heterosexual even though they might very well not be.

    People will assume they are gay regardless of if they are just because their victims were boys. Likewise, the Church would offer priests help and attempt to “cure” or subdue their homosexuality. This would actually work to abusive priests’ benefit as it would probably keep them out of trouble with the police and get them the “treatment” they probably feel they need. If anything, saying “I’m gay” might make the situation easier as it would be provide an “explanation” for their behavior.

  8. I don’t agree with the researchers speculations in the Gay’s anatomy article on the motivations of the pedophiles as unanimously power based. It may be that way for some but I think a large fraction of pedophiles are looking for love in a deluded way. The article author appeals to feminist theories of rape which I don’t buy, in support of the power hypothesis. I think they did this because the majority of apprehended pedophiles are men, the public perception of a pedophile is male and nowadays anyone can get away with demonizing men.

    Gregory Herek is quite the gay activist and so I would tend to view his research with suspicion.

    In the other link you provided, heterosexual and ‘homosexual’ seem to be defined as ‘sex with adults’ while pedophilia is defined as ‘sex with children’. This allows the researchers to define sex with boys as different from sex with adult men.
    For instance, the following is mentioned: Dr. Nathaniel McConaghy (1998) cautioned against confusing homosexuality with pedophilia. He noted, “The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or in women”
    … and this is taken to mean that if pedophiles are abusing boys but not having sex with adult men, then they cannot be homosexual (a conclusion with which I disagree). Thus the pedophiles who have exclusively have sex with boys are classified in the ‘fixated’ category instead of the homosexual category. If one was to define homosexuality as a preference for sex with children or adults of the same sex, one suspects a different conclusion would be arrived at. Alternatively, if one were to categorize ‘exclusively heterosexual with adults’ and ‘other’ as the only categories, one could come about with a different result.

    Additionally, one of the conclusions was that bisexuals are not a threat. However, bisexuals are 13% of the pedophiles in the Groth and Birnbaum (1978) study and if one goes by a rate of 3.2% bisexuality in the US, bisexuals are 4 times more likely than their prevalence to be a threat. (In the Wikipedia article, 30-40% of bisexuals are described as later identifying as homosexuals). Even though heterosexual pedophiles were 40% of pedophiles in the 1978 study, heterosexuals conservatively represent over 90% of the population and thus 0.44 times more likely than their prevalence to be a threat. Thus it would appear that bisexuals are a much bigger threat vis a vis pedophilia than heterosexuals taking into consideration their respective populations.

    Wouldn’t pedophile priests, if they were heterosexual and with no recourse to have sex with adult females, seek out young girls at least occasionally to have sex with, just to reinforce their perception of their own heterosexuality? It strikes me as odd that If one were repeatedly having sex with boys, one would not convince oneself that one was homosexual.

    I agree with you that there are sexual abusers of children who are not pedophiles and these I would think are power motivated. It is plausible that pedophiles will have sex with whoever is available.

  9. I don’t agree with the researchers speculations in the Gay’s anatomy article on the motivations of the pedophiles as unanimously power based. It may be that way for some but I think a large fraction of pedophiles are looking for love in a deluded way.

    I concur, and it has been my experience that some pedophiles are genuinely just sexually interested in children and not necessarily looking to overpower their victims. However, even among the “nice” ones, the ones who do not use force or overt coercion, one still finds some element of control at play.

    … and this is taken to mean that if pedophiles are abusing boys but not having sex with adult men, then they cannot be homosexual (a conclusion with which I disagree). Thus the pedophiles who have exclusively have sex with boys are classified in the ‘fixated’ category instead of the homosexual category.

    I think that occurs because people who are attracted to children are not specifically attracted to the child’s gender so much as the child’s age. One can see this with serial offenders. They typically focus on a certain age range and rarely deviate. If pedophiles were attracted to children just based on the child’s sex, then one would expect pedophiles to abuse children of any age.

    Additionally, one of the conclusions was that bisexuals are not a threat. However, bisexuals are 13% of the pedophiles in the Groth and Birnbaum (1978) study and if one goes by a rate of 3.2% bisexuality in the US, bisexuals are 4 times more likely than their prevalence to be a threat.

    I am not sure if you can draw the conclusion you do based on two very different studies.

    Wouldn’t pedophile priests, if they were heterosexual and with no recourse to have sex with adult females, seek out young girls at least occasionally to have sex with, just to reinforce their perception of their own heterosexuality?

    That presumes that their adult sexual attraction matches the children they are attracted to. Again, I am unaware of any evidence supporting this. I have known lesbians who were sexually attracted to prepubescent boys, men sexually attracted to adult women and teenage boys, women sexually attracted to men and toddler boys, etc. The notion that if a person is attracted to a certain type of adult that they would share the same attraction towards children does not hold up. Your argument ignores that priests have much greater access to boys than they do girls. The priests may have also learned to divert their interest in women onto other males while their were in their seminaries. In other words, there are a lot of factors at play.

  10. “I am not sure if you can draw the conclusion you do based on two very different studies.”

    I was referring only to the 1978 study and was speaking in reference not to the ultimate conclusion at the bottom of the page (I haven’t yet gone through the other publications listed) but to the part in ‘Other Approaches’ where it does say the following:
    “Thus, these studies do not prove that homosexual or bisexual males are no more likely than heterosexual males to molest children. However, each of them failed to prove the alternative hypothesis that homosexual males are more likely than heterosexual men to molest children or to be sexually attracted to children or adolescents.”

    I understood ‘these studies’ to include the 1978 study. It appears that Dr. Herek has conveniently omitted the term ‘bisexual males’ from the alternative hypothesis. If it was included, the alternative hypothesis would be partially true.

    I am still flummoxed as to how and why pedophiles can have sex with primarily boys without it defining (or confirming) their sexuality.

    ” If pedophiles were attracted to children just based on the child’s sex, then one would expect pedophiles to abuse children of any age.”

    I speculate that this is a function of availability: for instance, priests are exposed to altar boys who typically function as such between the ages of 8 to their mid teens. I figure it takes some time to develop a ‘relationship’ and so the abuse starts a while after initial contact. I would imagine that a pedophile in general would want some form of reciprocity in a warped relationship and thus would tend to abuse older children who would be more capable of giving it rather than younger ones, ceteris paribus.

    “Your argument ignores that priests have much greater access to boys than they do girls.”

    Actually, I was taking that into consideration which is why I suggested that priests would seek out girls if they thought themselves to be heterosexual. Perhaps my primary question is better rephrased: “Why is it that the pedophile priests are not sexually attracted to adult men?” I understand that scientists have separated attraction to children from attraction to adults but I don’t understand the mechanism.

    The priests may have also learned to divert their interest in women onto other males while their were in their seminaries.

    If that were the case, wouldn’t they be adult homosexuals?

    On a sidenote, isn’t homosexuality a fluid category? For instance, bisexuals discover they are homosexual some 30-40% of the time and there is a degree of transition (from the wikipedia article on bisexuality). If that is the case, then it may well be that the pedophiles haven’t discovered their sexuality yet.

  11. I am still flummoxed as to how and why pedophiles can have sex with primarily boys without it defining (or confirming) their sexuality.

    Psychologists do not count sexual attraction to children as a sexual orientation. They think pedophiles are projecting their unfulfilled childhood sexual desires onto other children, and doing so well beyond what would be considered normal. If psychologists did count pedophilia as a type of sexual orientation, it would still differ from a general sexual attract to a specific sex.

    I speculate that this is a function of availability: for instance, priests are exposed to altar boys who typically function as such between the ages of 8 to their mid teens.

    That may occur in some cases, but in most cases pedophiles either target the age group they are interested in or a child slightly younger. The grooming process does not take years, and in the case of authority figures it may take less time to coerce a child. There are also the pedophiles who use threats and force to abuse a child.

    Perhaps my primary question is better rephrased: “Why is it that the pedophile priests are not sexually attracted to adult men?”

    The answer is obvious: their attraction is not homosexual in nature.

    If that were the case, wouldn’t they be adult homosexuals?

    Engaging in a homosexual act does not mean a person harbors homosexual desires.

    On a sidenote, isn’t homosexuality a fluid category? For instance, bisexuals discover they are homosexual some 30-40% of the time and there is a degree of transition (from the wikipedia article on bisexuality). If that is the case, then it may well be that the pedophiles haven’t discovered their sexuality yet.

    No, it is not that 40% of bisexuals “discovered” they were homosexual, it is that that 40% used the label bisexual as a waiting space until they felt comfortable admitting that they were homosexual. It other words, they were never bisexual to begin with.

  12. Psychologists do not count sexual attraction to children as a sexual orientation. They think pedophiles are projecting their unfulfilled childhood sexual desires onto other children, and doing so well beyond what would be considered normal.

    I will read more on this.

    “In other words, they were never bisexual to begin with.”

    But this means that some of the pedophiles categorised as bisexual are really homosexual. This would raise the percentage of homosexual pedophiles.

  13. But this means that some of the pedophiles categorised as bisexual are really homosexual. This would raise the percentage of homosexual pedophiles.

    Yes, however, it would still remain true that most pedophiles identify as heterosexual, so the raised percentage would be negligible.

  14. “Yes, however, it would still remain true that most pedophiles identify as heterosexual, so the raised percentage would be negligible.”

    Not true: if one describes the risk (40% of 13% (using the 1978 study as an example)=5.2%) in proportion to the source group (homosexual men~1.5% of population) one gets a risk of 3.5. Even if one adds the rest of the bisexuals to the hetero category, the heterosexual risk relative to the hetero population is conservatively 0.53. This would imply that the homosexual:heterosexual relative risk for pedophilia is 3.5/0.53 = 6.6. I would think this is close to a floor estimate of the relative risk.

    I watched a documentary on Kinsey (The Kinsey Syndrome) and came across this segment in which Judith Reisman speculates on how Kinseyan activists from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality went into the Catholic Church, post Vatican II, and corrupted the process of priest selection. What do you think?

  15. Not true: if one describes the risk (40% of 13% (using the 1978 study as an example)=5.2%) in proportion to the source group (homosexual men~1.5% of population) one gets a risk of 3.5.

    Again, I do not think you can combine the statistics in that way. The study only counted the orientation of known male pedophiles, not the rate of pedophilia among all men. So the only accurate statistic one could garner using the information from the wikipage is that about 5% of the men who identified as bisexual in the survey are likely homosexual. That is a fairly small number of men considering that the estimated population rate for pedophiles is 3% to 9% of the total population. If we go with the smaller number and assume all pedophiles are male (just for the sake of the argument), that would mean 1.41% were fixated, 1.2% were heterosexual, 0.24% were bisexual, and 0.15% were homosexual. Even if we went with the higher number, it would still only come out to 0.45% being homosexual.

    This does not mean there are not gay men who molest children or those men are not in denial about their sexuality. It only means that there is nothing supporting the assertion that men who molest boys are homosexuals.

    I watched a documentary on Kinsey (The Kinsey Syndrome) and came across this segment in which Judith Reisman speculates on how Kinseyan activists from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality went into the Catholic Church, post Vatican II, and corrupted the process of priest selection. What do you think?

    I have never seen the film, so I cannot speculate about it.

  16. I think the question people want to know is whether or not homosexuals are more likely to produce pedophiles than heterosexuals and there is no way to answer that question without standardizing relative to the source population. I assume that the homosexual pedophile: heterosexual pedophile ratio would be the same in the general population as described in the study.

    Consider a sample population of 10000 in which 200 are homosexual and 9000 heterosexual (assuming homosexuals are 2% of the population and heterosexuals 90%; the rest of the population is insignificant for this example). Now if the rate of pedophilia is 3% for both homosexuals and heterosexuals, we would have 3% of 200 = 6 homosexual pedophiles and 3% of 9000 = 270 heterosexual pedophiles. So the fact that we have 264 more heterosexual pedophiles than homosexual ones does not mean that heterosexuals are more likely to produce more pedophiles than homosexuals. If both groups were equally likely to offend, we would see 6 homosexuals for every 270 heterosexual pedophiles but my argument is that we see significantly more than 6 homosexuals for every 270 heterosexual pedophiles. Your stats indicate 1 homosexual pedophile for every 8 heterosexual pedophiles (with the 3% pedophilia figure). This comes out to 34 homosexual pedophiles for every 270 heterosexual pedophiles.

  17. We do not know that the rate of pedophilia is the same among all groups. That is part of the problem. All we can state is that the available research about the sexual orientation of pedophiles suggests that most pedophiles are heterosexual, a small portion are bisexual, and a smaller portion are homosexual. We cannot extrapolate much more than this without fudging a lot of numbers.

  18. My point is precisely that the rate of pedophilia is not the same among all groups.

    “most pedophiles are heterosexual…and a smaller portion are homosexual”

    This is true but it is a strawman considering the question at hand: “Are homosexuals are more likely to produce pedophiles than heterosexuals?”

  19. This is true but it is a strawman considering the question at hand: “Are homosexuals are more likely to produce pedophiles than heterosexuals?”

    It is not a strawman when taken in the full context of my statement: “We do not know that the rate of pedophilia is the same among all groups. That is part of the problem. All we can state is that the available research about the sexual orientation of pedophiles suggests that most pedophiles are heterosexual, a small portion are bisexual, and a smaller portion are homosexual.”

    My point is that we do not know what the rate of pedophilia is general, so we have no way to determine what the rate of pedophilia is among people of different sexual orientations, sexes, racial groups, etc. We do not have enough information to even make an educated guess, let alone state something with certainty.

    Your question about whether homosexuals are more likely to produce pedophiles than heterosexuals is a loaded and misleading one. It is misleading because we do not understand what exactly causes pedophilia. So to propose that a person’s sexuality causes it is unwise (I understand that is not what you intended, but the wording of your statement can be read in that manner). It is loaded because homosexuality has been viewed as deviant for quite some time, and as result a host of other things deemed deviant are attributed to coming from homosexuality. This begs the question then of why anyone would ask whether homosexuals are more likely to be pedophiles if the person was not playing on old stereotypes about gay people.

    That does not mean it is wrong to ask the question or that the question itself is wrong. Rather, it means that have no logical reason to ask it. After all, none of the available research suggests that gay people are more likely to abuse children. Most of the available research suggests that gay people are the least likely group to sexually abuse children.

  20. My point is that we do not know what the rate of pedophilia is general

    You quoted a general rate of 3-9%. The question is whether the rate applies equally to specific groups within the general popuation or not. It appears that you do not agree that the specific rates can be calculated at all. If this is your contention, I disagree with it. Certainly the numbers I calculated are just based on one study and approximations of populations, pedophilia prevalence etc. but if one averages across studies and gets reasonably accurate prevalence percentages, one would tend to get more accurate.

    This begs the question then of why anyone would ask whether homosexuals are more likely to be pedophiles if the person was not playing on old stereotypes about gay people.”

    I want to investigate whether there is any truth to the stereotype that more pedophiles emanate from homosexuals compared to heterosexuals or not. The logical reason is either to validate or debunk the stereotype. I assert that if we standardize based on the relevant source populations, we can get the specific rates and the stereotype does have some validity (based on the accuracy of the numbers used in the calculation). This is mainly because there are so few homosexuals relative to heterosexuals in general (a 1:50 ratio) which overwhelms the 8:1 heterosexual:homosexual pedophile ratio (in the 3% pedophile example you set out above). If the rates of pedophilia were equal within both the heterosexual and homosexual population, there would be a 50:1 heterosexual:homosexual pedophile ratio.

    A similar situation applies to Ashkenazi Jews, other people and Tay Sachs disease, if we analogize Ashkenazi Jews to homosexuals, other people to heterosexuals and Tay Sachs to pedophilia. To ask why it is that Ashkenazi Jews get Tay Sachs more often than others, does not imply that one is prejudiced against Ashkenazi Jews.

    I came across the following excerpt from a NARTH page:
    “While no more than 2% of male adults are homosexual, some studies indicate that approximately 35% of pedophiles are homosexual (9). Further, since male-on-male pedophiles victimize far more children than do heterosexual pedophiles (10), it is estimated that approximately 80% of pedophilic victims are boys who have been molested by adult males (11)”
    The relevant citations are:
    9. K. Freund et al., Pedophilia and Heterosexuality vs. Homosexuality, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 10 (Fall 1984): 197.
    10. Freund, K. and R. I. Watson, The Proportions of Heterosexual and Homosexual Pedophiles Among Sex Offenders Against Children: An Exploratory Study, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 18 (Spring 1992): 3443.
    11. Schmidt, Thomas (1995). Straight and Narrow? Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate. Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, p. 114.

    It does appear that at least some available research is reported as suggesting that a substantial number of pedophiles are homosexual.

  21. It appears that you do not agree that the specific rates can be calculated at all.

    No, I think they can, and I did so above when I broke down the sexual orientations of male pedophiles using the stats from the 1978 study. Where I disagree is that one can calculate the specific rates of pedophilia among different groups of males based on that study. The study’s results do not tell us the rate of pedophilia among men. The results only state that a certain percentage of convicted male pedophiles identify as heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual.

    If the rates of pedophilia were equal within both the heterosexual and homosexual population, there would be a 50:1 heterosexual:homosexual pedophile ratio.

    Again, the available research suggests the rate is not the same among heterosexual and homosexual populations. The 1978 results stated that no men identified as homosexual. Even if we factor in that 40% of the men who identified as bisexual are actually gay, we still end up with a very small number of gay pedophiles compared to straight pedophiles. The 3% number to referred to the total pedophile population. So the correct way to apply that number would be to break down how many of the 3% are male, then how many of those males are straight, bi, or gay, not apply the 3% number to each group.

    It does appear that at least some available research is reported as suggesting that a substantial number of pedophiles are homosexual.

    Such research does exist, however, I am not inclined to give weight to studies arguing for the normalization of pedophilia, and I remain skeptical about anti-gay organizations like NARTH.

  22. (thanks for fixing my italicizing error in my previous comment)

    “..we still end up with a very small number of gay pedophiles compared to straight pedophiles.”

    The question you are asking is: “Are pedophiles more often homosexual or heterosexual?”
    The question I am asking is: “Are homosexuals in general more or less likely than heterosexuals in general to be pedophiles?”

    The answer to your question does not take into account the proportion of heterosexuals to homosexuals in the general population because it doesn’t need to. The answer to my question must and does. This is why the answer to your question is a strawman wrt my question.

    Where I disagree is that one can calculate the specific rates of pedophilia among different groups of males based on that study. The study’s results do not tell us the rate of pedophilia among men.

    My assumption is that the proportions of male pedophiles in the 1978 study are an accurate representation of the proportions within the x% of male pedophiles in the general population. If the study is unrepresentative of the general male pedophile population, one would think it would have very limited value.

    “I am not inclined to give weight to studies arguing for the normalization of pedophilia”

    How do you conclude that the studies I cited argue for the normalization of pedophilia? I don’t think they do. NARTH has addressed the allegation that it is anti-gay. Could you cite instances of NARTH’s ‘anti-gay’ stance?

    In the ‘Notes’ section at the bottom of your cited page on “Facts about homosexuality and child molestation” Herek makes reference to a “survey was conducted under the auspices of the Kinsey Institute (Klassen, Williams, & Levitt, 1989).”

    I don’t know whether you know this but the Kinsey institute was founded by an alleged pedophile and both facilitated and encouraged pedophiles in their molestations for the purpose of obtaining data. In reference to my allegations, I suggest you watch the whole Kinsey Syndrome video, one link of which I attached in an earlier comment. One would think that if you were ipso facto dismissing advocates of pedophilia, you would dismiss those who uncritically use data from the Kinsey Institute.

    Additionally, Kinsey’s sexuality continuum regarding the general population (which Herek uncritically accepts) was based on studies on unrepresentative segments of the male population (prisoners suspected of pedophilia).

  23. The answer to your question does not take into account the proportion of heterosexuals to homosexuals in the general population because it doesn’t need to. The answer to my question must and does. This is why the answer to your question is a strawman wrt my question.

    Technically I never asked a question. I simply drew a conclusion based on the available research. Even if I asked that question, the answer would not exclude taking into account the proportion of heterosexuals to homosexuals in the general population. If anything, the answer would prompt one to make a comparison between the orientation rates among the general population and pedophiles.

    My assumption is that the proportions of male pedophiles in the 1978 study are an accurate representation of the proportions within the x% of male pedophiles in the general population.

    Yes, that would be fair. However, the study clearly suggests that homosexual men are less likely to be pedophiles than heterosexual men. If we were to take the results from the study and apply them to the assumed population rate of pedophiles, that dynamic would not change. It would still remain true that the vast majority of pedophiles are straight. The results of that application would also tell us the frequency that pedophilia occurs among different groups of men.

    To use my prior example again, the estimated population rate for pedophiles is 3% to 9% of the total population. If we go with the smaller number and assume all pedophiles are male (just for the sake of the argument), that would mean 1.41% were fixated, 1.2% were heterosexual, 0.24% were bisexual, and 0.15% were homosexual. Those numbers are not just a breakdown of the pedophile population, but also the breakdown of pedophilia among those groups of men. In other words, about 2.6% of straight men, 0.24% of bisexual men, and 0.15% of gay men are pedophiles.

    So the answer to your question is no, gay men are not more likely or as likely to be pedophiles as straight men, at least based on the 1978 study results.

    How do you conclude that the studies I cited argue for the normalization of pedophilia? I don’t think they do.

    You are correct. I was looking at the overall tone of the page, and not the specific studies.

    NARTH has addressed the allegation that it is anti-gay. Could you cite instances of NARTH’s ‘anti-gay’ stance?

    NARTH proposes that people may be “dissatisfied with their unwanted homosexual attractions.” This notion presumes that a person’s attractions fluid and that a person cannot be born with an attraction towards members of the same sex. NARTH seeks to “reorient” a person’s identity. That would make it an anti-gay stance.

  24. “In other words, about 2.6% of straight men, 0.24% of bisexual men, and 0.15% of gay men are pedophiles.”

    It is incorrect to add the ‘fixated’ to the ‘straight’ category. The ‘fixated’ have a ‘more or less exclusive interest in children’ (to paraphrase from the ‘typologies of offenders’ section in your link) as opposed to the other ‘regressed’ categories where the sexual preference is mostly for adults. So the correct ratio of heterosexual to homosexual pedophiles is 1.2:.15 or 8:1.

    So the answer to your question is no, gay men are not more likely or as likely to be pedophiles as straight men, at least based on the 1978 study results.

    This does not follow from your prior reasoning because it assumes a 50:50 distribution of total (pedophile and non-pedophile) gay and total straight men in the general population. For this example, lets assume there are 48 hetero men for every gay man in the general population (ignoring the women altogether). This is why you must now divide the pedophilic gay men with the total gay men (0.15/1) and the pedophilic hetero men with the total hetero men (1.2/48). The homosexual ratio is 6 times higher than the heterosexual one. (If I had used 2.6% for the staights, the homosexual ratio would still be 2.77 times higher than the heterosexual one).

    NARTH proposes that people may be “dissatisfied with their unwanted homosexual attractions.” This notion presumes that a person’s attractions fluid and that a person cannot be born with an attraction towards members of the same sex.

    Is it not the case that some homosexuals are voluntarily coming to NARTH? If so, NARTH is not coercing them into changing their sexual orientation.

    From the NARTH Page quoting the American Psychological Association: “Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles”.

    If NARTH was a sham, wouldn’t the success rate of its ‘therapy’ be very low or zero? NARTH claims its success rate is 30-70% which it claims is about the same for depression patients.

  25. It is incorrect to add the ‘fixated’ to the ‘straight’ category. The ‘fixated’ have a ‘more or less exclusive interest in children’ (to paraphrase from the ‘typologies of offenders’ section in your link) as opposed to the other ‘regressed’ categories where the sexual preference is mostly for adults.

    I missed that. Thanks for the correction.

    For this example, lets assume there are 48 hetero men for every gay man in the general population (ignoring the women altogether). This is why you must now divide the pedophilic gay men with the total gay men (0.15/1) and the pedophilic hetero men with the total hetero men (1.2/48).

    I am not sure why you dividing the numbers using a ratio, and I am also unsure why you are not dividing the numbers by the assumed population rate of straight, gay, and bisexual men. If we did that, the numbers would be .012%, .094%, and .267% using the population rate from Australia. However, we have a mathematical conundrum here because the smaller the total population, the higher the number we will get when we divide that number by the percentage of pedophiles among them. If we changed the numbers into ratios, then for straights compared to gays the rate would be 1:8 respectively, and for straights compared to bisexuals it would be 1:22 respectively, both of which contradict the majority of the available information.

    The reason I am not sure why you are dividing the numbers using a ratio is because the percentages I listed already show how much of the general population are pedophiles. The 3% represented how many of the general male population are pedophiles, so .15% counts the number of homosexual pedophiles in the general population, not just their number among other pedophiles. In other words, .15% of gay men are pedophiles.

    This would make the ratio of gay to straight pedophiles 1:8 respectively, and bi to straight pedophiles 1:5. Granted, my former co-blogger Daran is much better at math than I am, but I think my above numbers are correct. If so, the numbers clearly suggest that heterosexuals are more likely to be pedophiles than homosexuals or bisexuals.

    Is it not the case that some homosexuals are voluntarily coming to NARTH? If so, NARTH is not coercing them into changing their sexual orientation.

    It is possible, but not very likely. Most of those people probably go to NARTH due to social and religious pressures that cause them to feel at odds with or ashamed of their sexuality. I can think of no example of a gay person who wanted to change their sexual orientation just because they felt it did not fit them. In every instance I am aware of the person grew up in an environment where they had to hide their sexuality or were constantly shamed for it, and it was those experiences that drove them to try “reorientation” therapy. Now, I will concede that some people may engage in sexual behaviors due to life experiences, such as men having sex with other men due to sexual abuse as children. However, in most of those cases the people express their conflicted sexuality, meaning that they know they are doing acts that do not mesh with their actual orientation. That is not the case with the people NARTH claims to treat.

  26. The 3% represented how many of the general male population are pedophiles, so .15% counts the number of homosexual pedophiles in the general population, not just their number among other pedophiles. In other words, .15% of gay men are pedophiles.

    Your conclusion does not follow from your reasoning because the basis of the 0.15% is the general male population, not gay men. The correct conclusion is : 0.15% of the general male population are pedophilic gay men ( which is, and should be, analagous to the first part of your reasoning). 1.6% of the general male population according to the Australian survey are gay men. So we have a common basis (the general male population) and can therefore compare the two terms: ‘pedophilic gay men’ and ‘gay men’. The same goes for ‘pedophilic straight men’ and ‘straight men’.

    However, we have a mathematical conundrum here because the smaller the total population, the higher the number we will get when we divide that number by the percentage of pedophiles among them. If we changed the numbers into ratios, then for straights compared to gays the rate would be 1:8 respectively, and for straights compared to bisexuals it would be 1:22 respectively, both of which contradict the majority of the available information.

    I don’t think this is a conundrum but simply a matter of adjusting for population ratios. Your mathematical reasoning here is correct and follows from my conclusion above. I think various publications tackling this subject have drawn non-sequiturs in response to the question they have asked.

    It appears that if I theoretically meet a random pedophile, the pedophile is more likely to be straight than gay but if I theoretically meet a random gay man, that gay man is more likely to be a pedophile than a random straight man.

    What you say about NARTH may be correct. I will look into any publications made on their ‘success stories’.

  27. I don’t think this is a conundrum but simply a matter of adjusting for population ratios.

    It is a conundrum because the conclusion you draw — that gay men are more likely to be pedophiles than straight men — is based on a mathematical inevitability. The smaller the numbers you work with, the higher the result you will see. So obviously .15/1 will have a higher result than 1.2/48. What I do not understand is why you do not accept the 1.2% and 0.15% as the total number of straight and gay pedophiles in the male population.

  28. Sorry about the late reply….

    “What I do not understand is why you do not accept the 1.2% and 0.15% as the total number of straight and gay pedophiles in the male population.”

    I do accept this but as I have explained earlier, this is not incompatible with my conclusion in my prior comment: “It appears that if I theoretically meet a random pedophile, the pedophile is more likely to be straight than gay but if I theoretically meet a random gay man, that gay man is more likely to be a pedophile than a random straight man.”

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