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Channeling Paul Cameron at CrookedTimber

April 18th, 2005 · 6 Comments

From CrookedTimber:

I had to share this detail from the Family Research Council’s webpage for their book Getting It Straight:What the Research Shows About Homosexuality:

Chapter 6: Is There a Link between Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse?

Ã?· A study of 229 convicted child molesters in Archives of Sexual Behavior found that “eighty-six percent of offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual.” (emphasis added)

(W. D. Erickson, “Behavior Patterns of Child Molesters,” Archives of Sexual Behavior 17 (1988): 83.)

I’m reminded of Kieran’s classic question, “Why are so many of the closets I open full of my clothes?”

Here’s what I wrote in the comments:

This is actually not trivial; in fact, it’s almost certainly wrong. Most surveys of instances of child molestation have found that male molesters of male children are overwhelmingly not “homosexual” in any conventional sense (i.e. pursuing relationships with adult males). And that’s important because the proportion of instances of child molestation that involve male-male contact is much higher than the proportion of gay men in the population. That fact is used by conservatives to claim that gay men are more likely than other men to molest children; the reason they’re wrong about that is precisely because, in fact, the overwhelming majority of male molesters of male children are not “gay” in the colloquial sense.

The survey result is probably the result of men whose primary sexual attraction is to young boys (though they may be heterosexual or, more likely, totally asexual, in their relationships with adults) concluding that they must, therefore, be “gay” (since it is, after all, boys they’re attracted to—the conservative argument). But psychologists and social scientists tend to regard pedophilia as, in a sense, a separate orientation of its own. If someone’s primary sexual activity is screwing goats, you don’t ask whether the goats are male or female to determine whether the person is “straight” or “gay”. That’s a function of their relationships with adult humans (if they have any), and once you’ve determined that, you look to see whether it’s correlated in any way with the pathology.

Tags: Sexual Politics



6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jon Rowe // Apr 19, 2005 at 10:44 am

    Very nice.

    Check out my most recent post where I reference your post.


  • 2 Luka // Apr 20, 2005 at 7:01 am

    I really like the goat example. That’s useful.

  • 3 Gabriel Mihalache // Apr 21, 2005 at 3:08 am

    The same logic, if applied, would mean that if most paedophiles are Marxists/Liberals/Christians, then all Marxists/Liberals/Christians are paedophiles.

    Homosexual paedophilia doesn’t reflect on homosexuals more than male achoolism reflects on males.

    A more relevant number would be the percent of gay men who are also paedophiles.

  • 4 Julian Sanchez // Apr 21, 2005 at 9:49 am

    Well, no, the argument they’re making would be valid if they had their facts right. It doesn’t follow that if most pedophiles are Marxists, most Marxists are pedophiles, obviously. But if Marxists were represented among pedophiles at a much higher rate than in the general population, it would follow that Marxists were disproportionately likely to be pedophiles. But, as it happens, they don’t have their facts right.

  • 5 Anton Sherwood // Apr 29, 2005 at 1:49 am

    May I note in passing that it looks a bit funny when you copy over the words “emphasis added” and don’t copy the emphasis.

  • 6 Just Somebody // May 2, 2005 at 5:08 pm

    The goat analogy reminds me of a funny story my wife told me some time ago. She was talking to a police officer at a conference, and he related the story of being called to an apartment complex where someone was reportedly harming an animal in front of the facility.

    The cop gets there only to find a man openly engaged in intercourse with a dog. Right out in front of the apartments! The man put up no struggle, and as the officer was driving him to the station, he asked, “So was that a girl dog or a boy dog?”

    The man’s response was priceless: “I aint no fucking queer!”