|Unbelievably, two local Christian Right pressure groups have dredged up that disgusting old chestnut about homosexuality and paedophilia from the depths of the junk science vault. Let me correct them.
The culprits are the fundamentalist "Family First" pressure, and The Barking Mad Room aka the Briefing Room, the antechamber blog of that awful tabloid Investigate magazine. Family First and Investigate have both seized on the same news item, which deals with inadequate background checks carried out on two paedophiles who were allowed to foster a little boy and sexually abused him.
While I suspect that our communities would probably retort, 'and what about the three little girls that Graham Capill raped, you hypocrites', I would also respond that the Christian Right is basing its case on the usual pseudo-scientific drivel associated with Paul Cameron and wholesale distortion of what social science actually does say about the relationship between adult sexuality on the one hand, and paedophilia and incest on the other.
Firstly, Cameron. According to UCLA's Gregory Herek, at the website cited below, Cameron is a charlatan. He has repeatedly forged and misquoted respondents to badly designed 'research' of his own, has been expelled from the Naebraska Psychological Association, American Psychological Association (1983) and American Sociological Association (1987) for ethics violations and misrepresentation.
He cannot find a reputable professional publication to purvey his drivel, which is mostly published in non peer reviewed journals. Fundamentalist Louisiana-based "Huntington House" publishes his wares because mainstream academic publishers won't touch such methodologically flawed travesties of social scientific research and practice. His work has been repeatedly discounted by mainstream professionals, and disregarded in courts of law.
Secondly, the fundamentalist community itself has a sorry history of continually misrepresenting mainstream social scientific research on matters of child sexual abuse. It's the usual sad and sorry story. The Christian Right engages in cherry picking, taking a particular sentence or paragraph out of context of an article which shows quite the opposite, or else doesn't bother to cite complete data sets which do not demonstrate any extraordinary relationship between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, or else distort mainstream academic research.
According to independent researcher Mark Piertzyck, Cameron, Judith Reisman, Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council all routinely rely on distortions of the work of real experts in the field of child sexual abuse investigation, like Gene Abel, Kurt Freund and Nicholas Groth. These researchers have indicated that there are a sizable proportion of paedophiles out there who prey on little boys, although Abel quite correctly noted that the reverse is the case when it comes to incest, where the victims are predominantly female children, and the perpetrators are adult males.
Abel, Freund and Groth repeatedly state in their research that as a predatory paraphilia, paedophilia is substantially different from male homosexuality. Paedophiles are attracted to the youth of their victim, instead of the gender, and in some cases, may be attracted to 'feminine' attributes of young male offenders. Most forensic studies indicate that perpetrators are married men with children, and may prey indiscriminately on male or female children.
Let me state that I abhor what those two paedophiles did to that little boy, as well as the negligence that led to his abuse, and I hope that the responsible officials within the social service agency pay for their incompetence and negligence with sacking,and prison sentences.
However, let's not pretend that this was anything other than a sad example of the need to screen all potential caregivers to insure child safety from potential predators, whether the children be male or female.
As for Family First and Investigate, might one respond that if neither organisation is prepared to accurately or correctly report the truth behind child sexual abuse, then they should shut up about matters where they have no outstanding professional expertise? Their homophobia is bad enough, but so is diverting attention from the real causes and evidence-based studies that underlie the investigation of child sexual abuse.
Mark Piertzyck: "Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse":
Greg Herek: University of California (Davis): http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_cameron.html
[Cameron Biography and Fact Sheet] http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_cameron_survey.html
[Criticism of Cameron's "Research" Methodology] http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_cameron_journals.html
[Cameron's "Journal" Sources]
Christian Right Pressure Groups and Fringe Media:
The Barking Mad Room Craig Young - 10th September 2007