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Destroying the junk science spewed by FRC's Tony Perkins

Big kudos to Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin, who spent a day at the library investigating some of the questionable statistics being bleated by Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins all over the mainstream media in the wake of the Foley scandal.

Jim noted that Perkins has been on CNN’s The Situation Room, MSNBC’s Hardball and MSNBC Live, Fox’s The Big Storyand all three nightly network newscasts (gee, Tony’s got nothing better to do), spouting crap from the FRC web site like this:

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.”

Jim dug around and quite easily debunked this.

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.

Surf over to Box Turtle Bulletin for more of Jim’s exposé of this junk science.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding