A REVIEW OF RECENT DATA ON PEDOPHILIA - April 2002
FACT SHEET ON
SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND CHILD ABUSE
Studies show that there is no connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse.
Dr. Carole Jenny reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic of a Denver children's hospital during a one-year period (from July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992). The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in only 2 of the 269 cases in which an adult molester could be identified, less than 1 percent of the cases. (Jenny et al., 1994).
Groth and Birnbaum (1978) found that none of the 175 adult males in their sample - all of whom were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child - had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation. In one review of the scientific literature, noted authority Dr. A. Nicholas Groth wrote: Are homosexual adults in general sexually attracted to children and are preadolescent children at greater risk of molestation from homosexual adults than from heterosexual adults? There is no reason to believe so. The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual (Groth & Gary, 1982, p. 147).
The heterosexual partner of a relative is more likely to sexually abuse children than someone who is gay.
A 1994 study found that a child's risk of being molested by his or her relatives heterosexual partner is 100 times greater than by someone who might be identified as a homosexual. (Carole Jenny et al., Are Children at Risk for Sexual Abuse by Homosexuals?; 94 Pediatrics 41; July 1994; study of 269 sexually abused children when an adult offender was identified.)
A sexual abuser who molests a child of the same sex is usually not considered homosexual.
Dr. Nathaniel McConaghy (1998) cautioned against confusing homosexuality with pedophilia. He noted, The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or in women (p. 259). It is meaningless to speak of fixated molesters in these terms - as heterosexual or homosexuals - they are attracted to children, not to men or women. (Groth & Birnbaum, 1978).
** Note: The term fixated molesters refers to adults exclusively attracted to children.
The experts agree that there is no link between homosexuality and child abuse.
The American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Child Psychiatrists and the Child Welfare League of America all have policy statements stating there is no correlation between homosexuality and child abuse. When asked about this question, the American Psychiatric Association wrote to the Senate stating: While we are all concerned by the issue of sexual abuse, there is no credible evidence that lesbians and gay men are more likely to commit such offenses than others. Gay men and lesbians do not pose any particular threat to youth and should not be singled out or discriminated against in any manner.
Jenny, C., Roesler, T. A., & Poyer, K. L. (1994). Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals? Pediatrics, 94(1), 41-44
Groth, A.N., & Birnbaum, H.J. (1978). Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 7 (3), 175-181
Groth, A. N., & Gary, T. S. (1982). Heterosexuality, homosexuality, and pedophilia: Sexual offenses against children and adult sexual orientation.
In A.M. Scacco (Ed.), Male rape: A casebook of sexual aggressions (pp. 143-152). New York: AMS Press.
Freund, K., Watson, R., & Rienzo, D. (1989). Heterosexuality, homosexuality, and erotic age preference. The Journal of Sex Research, 26 (1), 107-117.
Carole Jenny et al. Are Children at Risk for Sexual Abuse by Homosexuals?; 94 Pediatrics 41; July 1994; study of 269 sexually abused children when an adult offender was identified.McConaghy, N. (1998). Pedophilia: A review of the evidence. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 32(2), 252-265.
Groth, A.N., & Birnbaum, H.J. (1978). Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 7 (3), 175-181.
Klassen, A. D., Williams, C. J., & Levitt, E. E. (1989). Sex and morality in the U.S.: An empirical enquiry under the auspices of the Kinsey Institute. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.
Herek, G.M., Public Opinion Quarterly, 2002.
Nebraska Psychological Association; Minutes of the Nebraska Psychological Association;
Oct. 19, 1984 Lincoln Star; Sociology Group Criticizes Work of Paul Cameron; Sept. 10, 1985
K. Freund and R.J. Watson, The Proportions of Heterosexual and Homosexual Pedophiles Among Sex Offenders Against Children: An Exploratory Study, J. of Sex & Marital Therapy 4; 1992