On the front page their is an article about Bryan Fischer who claims that gays are pedophiles. Of course serious people know better. But I think it is important to know why we know better.
I followed the link from the front page article about Fischer. The first thing I will do is show you Fischer's reasoning. The next thing I will do is show you why experts on human sexuality disagree with Fischer.
Hereis Fischer's reasoning:
As Tony Perkins of FRC said in his update yesterday, "While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. About a third of all child sex abuse cases involve men molesting boys--and in one study, 86% of such men identified themselves as homosexual or bisexual. Try as they might, gays and lesbians can't shrug off the link. This is a homosexual problem."
Think about that for a moment. Homosexuals comprise less than three percent of the population, yet are responsible for one-third of all child sex abuse cases. There is an overwhelming correlation between homosexual preference and pedophilia. This is further evidence that homosexuality is in fact sexual deviancy. For this reason alone, no homosexual should be elevated to the United States Supreme Court.
First it is not activists who "like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation" from homosexual orientation. It is very serious social scientists who have studied the subject closely who differentiate homosexual orientation from pedophilia -- even when acts of pedophilia are homosexual in nature.
One of the world's foremost experts on the subject of pedophilia is Fred Berlin. Here's a summation of his view:
According to Dr. Fred Berlin, a Johns Hopkins University professor who founded the National Institute for the Study, Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Trauma in Baltimore, Md., pedophilia is a distinct sexual orientation marked by persistent, sometimes exclusive, attraction to prepubescent children. ~ Time
The simplest understanding of this, and a very correct understanding is to see that sexual abuse isn't about sexual orientation or sexual attraction. Unattractive people are often victims of sexual abuse and sexual violence. Sexual violence and abuse is about power, domination, and control. It's not about sexual attraction.
Fischer cites a study that says 86% of men who molest boys identify themselves as gay or bisexual with no breakdown of gay or bisexual perpetrators. The study Fischer references is strongly criticized by the consensus of experts in this field. The paper he's referencing is Erickson et al. (1988). Behavior patterns of child molesters. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 17, 77-86. The paper does claim in passing that 86% of molesters of boys identified as gay or bisexual, but the paper does not describe how this data was gathered, and how it ascertained the sexual orientation of these men.
"But wait!" You might begin. "If men molest boys aren't they necessarily gay?" The answer is no. Because , for one, sexual orientation isn't about behavior alone. For example, when Governor Jim McGreevy feigned heterosexuality most of his life and formed a heterosexual family, and presumably engaged in heterosexual behavior was he a heterosexual all of that time? Or was he simply a closeted gay man? Behavior isn't always consistent with sexual orientation and attraction.
Pedophiles are attracted, primarily, to children. The sex of those children matter less than that they are children. The sex of victim has more to do with access than sexual orientation.
The US Catholic Bishops commissioned a study on priestly child sex abuse from John Jay College. John Jay researcher Margaret Smith reported back to the Bishops on early findings from their study. From the USA Today:
We do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now ... It's important to separate the sexual identity and the behavior. Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature but not have a homosexual identity.
From the same article:
In the book Mental Disorders of the New Millennium (2006), author and psychology professor Thomas Plante writes:
Although the majority of clergy abuse victims are males, homosexuality cannot be blamed. First, many of the pedophile priests report that they are not homosexual. This is also true of many non-clergy sex offenders who victimize boys. Many report that they target boys for a variety of reasonsÂ that include easier access to boys ... pregnancy fears with female victims ... homosexuals in general have not been found to be more likely to commit sexual crimes against minors compared to heterosexuals. Sexual orientation is not predictive of sex crimes
Even Pope Benedict XVI, not exactly a liberal gay rights activist, has said the same thing:
Perhaps this is why Pope Benedict XVI himself, en route to the United States for his visit in 2008, responded this way to a question about the abuse crisis: "I do not wish to talk about homosexuality, but about pedophilia, which is a different thing." ~ Rev James Martin, SJ, It's Not About Homosexuality: Blaming the Wrong People for the Sexual Abuse Crisis, Huffington Post
This point has been established by mainstream social scientists for over 30 years:
Typologies of offenders have often included a distinction between those with an enduring primary preference for children as sexual partners and those who have established age-appropriate relationships but become sexually involved with children under unusual circumstances of extreme stress. Perpetrators in the first category – those with a more or less exclusive interest in children – have been labeled fixated. Fixation means "a temporary or permanent arrestment of psychological maturation resulting from unresolved formative issues which persist and underlie the organization of subsequent phases of development" (Groth & Birnbaum, 1978, p. 176). Many clinicians view fixated offenders as being "stuck" at an early stage of psychological development.
By contrast, other molesters are described as regressed. Regression is "a temporary or permanent appearance of primitive behavior after more mature forms of expression had been attained, regardless of whether the immature behavior was actually manifested earlier in the individual's development" (Groth & Birnbaum, 1978, p. 177). Regressed offenders have developed an adult sexual orientation but under certain conditions (such as extreme stress) they return to an earlier, less mature psychological state and engage in sexual contact with children.
Using the fixated-regressed distinction, Groth and Birnbaum (1978) studied 175 adult males who were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child. None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation. 83 (47%) were classified as "fixated;" 70 others (40%) were classified as regressed adult heterosexuals; the remaining 22 (13%) were classified as regressed adult bisexuals. Of the last group, Groth and Birnbaum observed that "in their adult relationships they engaged in sex on occasion with men as well as with women. However, in no case did this attraction to men exceed their preference for women....There were no men who were primarily sexually attracted to other adult males..."
There have been repeated attempts to link homosexual orientation with pedophilia. Each attempt has failed miserably. They have even gone as far as to test the arousal patterns of gay men and compared them to the arousal patterns of straight men:
In yet another approach to studying adult sexual attraction to children, some Canadian researchers observed how homosexual and heterosexual adult men responded to slides of males and females of various ages (child, pubescent, and mature adult). All of the research subjects were first screened to ensure that they preferred physically mature sexual partners. In some of the slides shown to subjects, the model was clothed; in others, he or she was nude. The slides were accompanied by audio recordings. The recordings paired with the nude models described an imaginary sexual interaction between the model and the subject. The recordings paired with the pictures of clothed models described the model engaging in neutral activities (e.g., swimming). To measure sexual arousal, changes in the subjects' penis volume were monitored while they watched the slides and listened to the audiotapes. The researchers found that homosexual males responded no more to male children than heterosexual males responded to female children (Freund et al., 1989).
In other words, gay men are no more likely to be sexually attracted to children than straight men.
Another important thing to understand about a pedophile is his inability to gender differentiate when it comes to sexual arousal. Those who prefer mature partners have arousal patterns that demonstrate gender differentiation consistent with preferred gender, pedophiles have difficulty with this:
Pedophiles differentiated erotically between females and males less than males who erotically preferred physically mature partners.
It is important to note that studies of bisexual males show that bisexuals gender differentiate in their arousal patterns. The only group that has difficulty gender differentiating with arousal patterns are pedophiles.
Our guts and personal experience tells us that gay men aren't any more likely to molest children than heterosexual men. So, we tend to just shake our heads when we hear the likes of Fischer spouting off about gay men being pedophiles. But it is important to know exactly why he is wrong.
For example, you might run into someone who has read something like what Fischer has had to say and innocently think he's right. How do you convince them that he is wrong? Well, the sites I link to here give you the scientific explanations for why he's wrong.
Human sexuality is complex. Sexual abuse, assault, and rape confuse the easy and finite sexual orientation continuum we have been taught. Sexual abuse isn't about sexual attraction. Pedophilia isn't about gay or straight or bisexual. Abusers abuse those they have access to. A high number of boys are molested, not because molesters are disproportionately gay or bi, but because men typically have more access to boys than to girls.