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Homosexuality and bisexuality

Homosexuality and child sexual molestation

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Definitions of terms:

This topic contains a minefield of poorly defined terms. Misunderstandings are certain to happen unless we carefully adhere to a single list of definitions. Within this essay, we assign the following meanings to words:
bulletGay: a male with a homosexual orientation; they may be celibate or sexually active.

bulletHeterosexual: An adult person who is sexually attracted to other adults of the opposite gender, and not to other adults of the same gender. They may be celibate or sexually active.

bulletHomosexual: An adult person who is sexually attracted to other adults of the same gender, and not to other adults of the opposite gender. They may be celibate or sexually active.

bulletLesbian: a female with a homosexual orientation. They may be celibate or sexually active.

bullet Pedophile: In the past, this meant an adult who is sexually attracted to pre-pubertal children - whether he/she acted on this desire or not. However, the term is now generally used to describe an adult who sexually abuses children; a child molester. Some pedophiles are attracted to both boys and girls; some are attracted to children of only one gender.

bulletSexual Orientation: This relates to the gender of persons that one is sexually attracted to. Persons with a:
bulletheterosexual orientation are attracted solely to members of the opposite gender;
bullethomosexual orientation are attracted solely to members of the same gender;
bulletbisexual orientation are attracted to persons of both genders (not necessarily to an equal degree).

We have a larger list of definitions elsewhere in this web site.

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Public perception:

Probably the majority of adults in North America incorrectly believe that there is a high degree of pedophilia within the adult homosexual community. Such activity had been legally permitted in ancient times. Within the Roman Empire of the 1st century CE, many boys or young men (called "catamites") were kept as under-aged prostitutes by older men. They were usually slaves. A number of passages in the Christian Scriptures seem to refer to this practice. However, when the books of Romans, 1 Corinthians and Jude were translated into English, the original meaning was lost. Translators changed the text to direct condemnation against all homosexual activity and all extra-marital and pre-marital sexual behavior.

Belief that gays frequently abuse children is believed to be responsible for widespread opposition to gay teachers in the public school system. A study found that in 1977, only 27% of adult Americans would want to allow gays to be teachers in elementary schools. This has risen to 41% by 1992, and continues to rise. 1

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The reality of pedophilia:

We get often caught in a semantic conflict when discussing the sexual abuse and molestation of children. Depending upon our exact definitions of terms, it can be shown:
  1. that homosexual abuse of children is widespread, and
  2. that abuse of boys by gays is rare, and
  3. that the abuse of girls by lesbians is rarer still.
If we define the phrase "homosexual abuse of children" in the first statement to mean adults molesting and abusing children of the same sex, then this statement is true: Child sexual abuse is widespread. It is perpetrated by males in the vast majority of cases. And a substantial minority of their victims are boys. Data relating to men abusing boys is hungrily pounced upon by opponents to equal rights for homosexuals, who often use it against both gays and lesbians in civil rights battles. But it is not homosexuals, as the term is generally understood, who are responsible for the abuse. It is rather pedophiles who are attracted to children, and have decided to abuse them.

However, if we define the phrase "abuse of boys by gays", and "abuse of girls by lesbians" to mean adult persons with a homosexual orientation abusing children of the same sex, then these statements 2 and 3 above are also true. Gays and lesbians rarely abuse children.

The fact behind these conflicting statements is that most pedophiles are not homosexuals! Or to put it another way, most homosexual molestation is not done by homosexuals.

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Studies on the nature of pedophilia:

It is necessary to delve into the sexual interest and focus of child abusers in order to understand pedophilia. Unfortunately, this is too rarely done. An excellent, brief essay on this topic can be found in Gregory M. Herek's web site. 2

Sexual orientation is normally thought of in terms of an adult's sexual attraction to other adults, whether to members of the same gender, opposite gender or both genders. When we think of the term "lesbian" we normally visualize a women who has been sexually attracted to (or involved with) another woman. But there are adults who do not fit this definition. They may have never developed a sexual orientation towards other adults. Rather, they are primarily sexually attracted to children. Often, the gender of the child victim is immaterial. One researcher defines a "fixated child molesters" as any adult who is solely attracted to children. They also define the term "regressed child molester" as any adult who has developed a sexual orientation towards other adults, but is also attracted to children.

One study involved 175 male adults who had been convicted in Massachusetts of child sexual assault. They found that none of them were homosexuals; all of them would fit the description of a fixated child molester. They were sexually attracted only to children and not to other adults. 2 Another researcher studied sexually abused children seen in a hospital. Only 2 perpetrators (less than 1% of the total) were homosexuals (i.e. were attracted to same-sex adults). 

The Massachusetts study includes a reference to a survey of literature of child sexual abuse by Paul Cameron in 1985. Cameron's conclusion was that (on a per-capita basis) homosexuals were more liable to abuse children than bisexuals, and that bisexuals were more apt to abuse than heterosexuals. The fatal flaw in this survey was that the articles that Cameron studied assumed that in any case where a male adult abused a male child, then the perpetrator was, by his definition, a homosexual.

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Example of misinformation on pederasty

A report by Focus on the Family attempts to disseminate a Christian interpretation of homosexuality in a manner that appears to be scientific and objective. 3 Their section Pedophilia and Age of Consent Laws includes statements such as:
bullet"Studies indicate that around 35 percent of pedophiles are homosexuals"
bullet"...a child molester is 17 times more likely to be homosexual than heterosexual"
bullet"...whereas heterosexual pedophiles commit an average of 20 acts of child molestation, for homosexuals the number is 150."
bullet"Thus, in terms of the likelihood and the extent of child sexual molestation, homosexuals, as a group, represent a serious threat."
They cite three reports to support their assertions. 3,4,5 They make two very serious errors in this section of their report:

bullet They assume that all males who molest boys are homosexuals. This is not true; they are generally pedophiles with no sexual attraction to other adults. And many, if not most, are sexually attracted to both boys and girls.
bullet They assume that all homosexuals are males. They find something negative that they feel they can say about male homosexuals and extend it to all homosexuals; lesbians included. It is also seen very commonly in discussions of AIDS. Such groups will typically condemn gays for levels of HIV infections which are higher than among heterosexuals; they ignore the fact that HIV infections among lesbians are lower than among heterosexuals.

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  1. D. Colasanto, "Gay rights support has grown since 1982, Gallup poll finds", San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco CA, 1989-OCT-25, Page A21
  2. Web page on various aspects of homosexuality by researcher Gregory M. Herek at: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/
  3. Larry Burtoft, "Setting the record Straight: What Research Really Says About the Social Consequences of Homosexuality", Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO, (1994), Page 64-67

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Copyright © 1997 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2010-MAY-29
Author: B.A. Robinson

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