We are writing regarding the obvious misunderstanding of many who believe the Boy Scouts Of America made the correct decision in excluding gays from their organization. The letter writer last week indicated that BSA’s decision was sound because it was meant to keep those predator gays away from those young boys. It breaks my heart to write that last sentence.
Imagine yourself a young boy questioning his sexuality and hearing all of these negative remarks from supposed informed, intelligent adults. It’s already tough enough being a kid without having to listen to these kinds of untruths.
The truth is the vast majority of pedophiles and child molesters are in fact, heterosexual males. Pedophilia is the sexual attraction of an adult to a child. Homosexuality is the sexual attraction of an adult to an adult of the same gender.
Sex abuse crimes are a major problem and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of sex abuse criminals are heterosexual males.
Dr. William C. Holmes, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, authored a study in the December 1998 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association that indicated that 98 percent of all male perpetrators who had sexually abused boys were identified in their families and communities as heterosexual.
Researcher Carole Jenny found, in a 1994 study, that “a child’s risk of being molested by his or her relative’s heterosexual partner is 100 times greater than by someone who might be identified as homosexual.” Of the 93,000 sexually abused kids in the US in 1999 (the last year of available statistics), half of the children were sexually abused by their parents (Sandusky), while other relatives committed 18 percent of the offenses.
In other words, sexual orientation isn’t a factor in determining child sexual abuse.
The research is clear that the sexual orientation of an adult is not a factor in the analysis of 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.
We just wanted to be sure to say this is not a gay problem as the Boy Scouts Of America would have you believe and we are sure we will hear arguments to the contrary.
Jim Batty, President
PFLAG Wilmington/North DE