Cultural Revolutions

Often in the News

Child molestation has been much in the news in the past few months, and as always in such debates, the issue of homosexuality is never far from the surface.  For decades, conservative activists have argued that homosexual behavior is closely related to molestation and pedophilia, so that tolerating homosexuals ultimately endangers children.  According to the slogan, “Homosexuals aren’t born, they recruit.”  Homosexual activists angrily deny these charges.

Recently, though, the substance of the debate has changed significantly, as the homosexual rebuttal has become much more aggressive.  As expressed in op-ed pieces and talk shows across the country, a new liberal orthodoxy not only denies the gay/pedophile link but explicitly charges that pedophiles are virtually always heterosexual, even when they victimize boys.  When pressed on this point, activists respond that this is something that “studies have shown.”  In fact, studies have shown no such thing, and only one significant study has even claimed to prove such a point.  What we have here is a classic example of a popular myth drawn from the misinterpretation of social science.

The legend grew out of an article in Pediatrics magazine in 1994 by Carole Jenny, Thomas Roesler, and Kimberly J.  Poyer, who wrote a study entitled “Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals?” ...

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