Is this nothing but homophobia?

I’ve been disturbed this week by a story posted on a leading conservative anglican website. The news piece is a report about two gay policemen in the UK who have been acquited of child porn charges:

A pair of homosexual police "partners" have been cleared of charges of possession of child pornography, both in their shared home and on the computers used in their work. The jury of eight women and four men at Southwark Crown Court returned unanimous not guilty verdicts on all six charges.

Prosecutor Tim Hunter had told the court, "The case is that the images on the disk are illicit or illegal and they didn’t seem to relate to a professional task."

The story has been lifted from lifesitenews.com and includes the following concluding paragraphs:

In 1990, the Journal of Homosexuality, a peer reviewed academic journal that publishes research into same-sex attraction and examines homosexual practices, produced a special double issue devoted to adult-child sex, entitled "Male Intergenerational Intimacy".

In one article, a writer said that a "loving" paedophile can offer "companionship, security and protection" and that parents should look upon a paedophile who loves their son "not as a rival or competitor, not as a thief of their property, but as a partner in the boy’s upbringing, someone to be welcomed into their home…"

A British university professor wrote in the same issue, "Boys want sex with men, boys seduce adult men, the experience is very common and much enjoyed".

Hmmmmmmmmmmm………

Why the final paragraphs? It reads to me as a very crude attempt to link homosexuality with paedophilic behaviour. But in the legal case cited there is absolutely no evidence that either of the two gay men have ever had sex with children, consensual or otherwise. Indeed, good research shows that the are many men and women who look at child pornography but never engage in sexual contact with children, in the same way that may people look at S&M porn without ever engaging in it.

I have to ask in all seriousness, what does this story have to do with the current debate in the Anglican Church over blessing same-sex unions? Are the two policemen Anglicans? Are they even Christian? There’s no indication that they are. Given that, why is this particular website bringing up the story? The only reason I can think of is of a unconscious prejudice against homosexuals.

And I think this conclusion is confirmed by the fact that another story has been headlining in the British media this week which also involves children and sex. But in this story, the man in question has had sex with under-age girls and is obviously heterosexual, as well as wanting you to be in his gang. I think most of us agree that sexual abuse is entirely worse than just viewing child porn, even though that itself is objectionable.

Has the conservative anglican website that ran the gay policemen story run anything on Gary Glitter? No, and I think that demonstrates my point. If the website was really interested in raising the issue of child porn and the clergy and laity then in the past few weeks they would have picked up on this story and this story and this story.

They didn’t. So what then was the reason for highlighting a gay couple with absolutely no connection with the Anglican Communion caught with child porn?

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23 Comments on “Is this nothing but homophobia?

  1. If you are referring to AM, Peter, I think the answer to your question is that Gary Glitter is not getting off scot-free, whereas the gay policemen are.

    Once again, some people are more equal than others.

  2. The gay policemen are *not* getting off scot free. They were found not guilty so there’s nothing they’re guilty of. And further more, the fact that they are gay has NOTHING to do with the fact that they are viewing child porn. The link in the lifesite piece to paedophilia is unnecessary and nothing to do with homosexuality. The huge vast majority of homosexuals aren’t even vaguely interested in haveing sex with kids and the attempt to make that link is just bigotted.
    This is nothing but homophobia – there is no connection whatsoever between this story and the current Anglican problems.

  3. Pure homophobia, I agree. I would guess just that the ediors/readership like the thought of manly, macho blokeish type men doing the policemanly job of protecting the public from crime and danger… and that, stereotypically-speaking, a gay couple into photo-collecting might not be seen as up to the task. But yes, irrelevant, anyway.

  4.      Well, Peter, it seems that we are making different connections.  When I read the article in question I wondered if these two policemen would have got away with having paedophilic material on their computer if they had NOT been homosexual.  The link between homosexuality and paedophilia didn’t occur to me as the prime motivation behind the article.  But now you mention it, we all know there is a clear link between the two, just as we all know that the majority of paedophiles are heterosexual – which is not unexpected, as most people are heterosexual.  So I don’t quite see your point here.
     
         Personally, I am not interested in naughty vicar stories or anything of that nature.  (Or even sexually predatory gay-rights activist stories, for that matter!)  It happens.  The above story is different because there is a principle at stake – which is certain not to have gone unnoticed by the Human Rights brigade as a legal precedent.  We have to be aware of the danger of people becoming ‘untouchables’ in law simply because they are homosexual.
     
         Then there is the question of trust, mentioned earlier – does the public feel comfortable with people in positions of authority, such as the police, who have pictures of this nature on their computer?  The public doesn’t want poor old Gary Glitter, do they?  He has served his sentence and should be able to resume his life with a clean slate, but this will not happen because he can never be trusted around children.  The media have made much of this, splashing it all over the headlines, but there is very little coverage of the policemen incident.  This is about the best one I could find with a Google search.
     
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7506284.stm
     
    So presumably it is felt that they CAN be trusted around children.
     
         I’m all for equality and fairness, but let’s have equality and fairness for ALL.
     
         Nor do I quite understand your comment about the article having nothing to do with the state of the Anglican Communion.  I think that the Church has a great deal of responsibility to uphold Christian teaching and doctrine, and we must all be aware of, and guard against, anti-Christian practice.  The site in question carries a number of articles on, for instance, abortion, but I see no protests about that!

  5. Jill,

    The two police officers were not being treated any differently than anybody else. The case went to a court of law and the jury decided that the defence that they presented was reasonable. I simply don’t understand how you believe they were treated any differently than anybody else, unless you are accusing the jury of somehow being biased?

    Given that the couple were innocent there is no moral interest in this story apart from the fact that they happen to be homosexual. As we’ve established, there were reasonable reasons for the child porn being found on their PC and there is absolutely no evidence that either of them are sexually attracted to children. If they had been found guilty then you would have a case, but as a jury found them innocent we can’t go around making assumptions which we can’t substantiate (and which a court of law has examined and rejected).

  6. ‘No moral interest’??  My, how values have changed!  I am somewhat surprised that a serving officer of the law freely admits to downloading homosexual pornography in bulk from websites such as ‘Daddy Swap’ and an Anglican priest doesn’t bat an eyelid.  (Call me naïve, but would a site entitled ‘Daddy Swap’ contain pornographic images of children?)  
     
    These men were found with 80 child-porn images on their computer, some of them under their bed.  Gary Glitter was jailed in the UK for exactly that crime.  I certainly uphold that great principle of law that individuals are innocent until proven guilty, so from that point of view they are technically innocent, but I feel that the Scottish ‘not proven’ might have been a more appropriate verdict in this case. 
     
    Political correctness is a creeping and invasive poison which is getting its tentacles into every area of life.  Even juries.  I wonder how many people thought ‘pull the other one’ when these men came up with their defence.  No such luck for Gary Glitter, though – he wasn’t believed (and quite rightly so, as it turned out.)
     
    And where is the media interest?  The media loves paedophile stories.  Not homosexual ones, though, apparently.  This puts me in mind of the Mathew Shepard/Jesse Dirkhising coverage.  In the month after gay poster-boy Mathew Shepard’s murder, 3,007 stories about his death were recorded, compared to only 46 in the month after the Dirkhising murder.  This is despite the fact that Mathew’s murder turned out to be not a homophobic attack after all, and that Jesse was a 13-year old boy tortured, sodomised and murdered by two homosexual men.
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Dirkhising

    I hope you don’t think that it is ‘homophobic’ to point this out.  However, I take your point about making assumptions which cannot be substantiated.  But I don’t feel that LifeSite News or anyone else should be cowed into silence over this for fear of being regarded as homophobic.  If Gary Glitter had ‘got off’ his charge of downloading kiddy porn – which he might well have, as he denied it – would we all be so reticent?  Or would we be allowed to comment freely without being called names?

  7. Jill,

    I have no idea where you got that website name from, but it isn’t mentioned in the news article you linked to. And you simply need to accept the fact that the jury found them innocent.

    The really pernicious sentence in the lifesite piece is this one – The use of child pornography and the interest of homosexuals in children and adolescents are well documented, despite the vociferous denials of homosexual political activists. That is simply an unacceptable statement. While it may be true that some homosexuals have an interest in child porn, you cannot infer from that (as the lifesite piece very clearly does) that all homosexuals are into kiddie porn. That is the issue here and individual cases (like the Jesse Dirkhising case) are not a basis upon which to make the kind of assumptions that the lifesite piece does. That has nothing to do with political correctness and everything do with basic fairness.

  8. Jill,
    To be fair, I don’t think Peter is giving them a free pass on the gay porn, but the point is that looking at  and possessing gay porn is not illegal, and is a different kettle of fish entirely from looking at child porn, which is illegal.

    Now any porn, of course, is morally objectionable – but that is really beside the point in this instance.  12 good men and true have accepted that these men were not users of child porn, and thus they are not guilty.   Lifesite is free to castigate them for their use of pornography, but it is a bit much to scrape up all the old innuendoes about gay child abuse. 

  9. Peter – so you cannot say that ‘the use of child porn and interest in children and adolescents is a mainly heterosexual problem’ either, then.  Or would this not be ‘pernicious’?  Why does this only apply when it is said about homosexuals?
     
    Sorry about the Daddy Swap mix up – this must have been in another newspaper, I can’t remember which one.  But if Daddy Swap (which these two guys claim they downloaded the porn from) does indeed have child porn images, then that makes a nonsense of the confident claim that homosexuality and paedophilia are not connected.  (I’m not checking out the site to find out – I don’t want the police knocking on my door to examine my computer!)
     
     
    Wicked, I accept all that, but it is far from old ‘innuendo’ – there is indeed evidence of a proportionally higher incidence of child sexual abuse from gay men, partly because of the higher level of predation.  I think Lifesite have every right to air this.  Perhaps they could have supplied the odd reference to back this up. 
     
    Just have a look at our own dear Peter Tatchell’s site, OutRage, to see the clamouring for the lowering of the age of consent – ‘sex rights for the under-16s’ – also an article entitled ‘I’m 14, I’m gay and I want a boyfriend’.  ‘Lee is 14. He’s been having sex with boys since the age of eight, and with men since he was 12.’  Whereas most of us would (I hope) feel Lee should be removed to a place of safety, Tatchell thinks his human rights are being impinged upon and his abusers would be classified as paedophiles.  You will also see from that article that Project Sigma in 1993 shows that 9 percent of gay men had their first homosexual experience by the age of 10, 19 percent by the age of 12, and 35 per cent by the age of 14.  I would call that sexual abuse.

    Because of the lack of newspaper reporting and commentary on the case in question, there are unanswered questions here, such as the ages of the children, because this is where we stray into slightly different territories such as pederasty and ephebophilia – all perhaps irrelevant because it all comes under the general heading of paedophilia.  But there is a lot of confusion here, which is possibly why gay people vociferously deny being interested in children, (meaning small children) while they may well be interested in post-pubescent boys who are still technically children.  (I believe they call them ‘chickens’.)  The gay subculture is youth orientated.  I read a very sad story about a middle-aged man who decided late in life to ‘come out’ as gay, and went along to a gay bar, only to find that nobody took any notice of him at all, as they were too busy chasing the young and beautiful boys.
     
    I think that, instead of splitting hairs over technicalities, we should wake up and see where all this is leading, bring the whole issue out into the open, and get some proper research done on the subject.  Which of course will not happen because of political correctness, and stifling of debate.  (Including the castigation of LifeSite News.)

  10. Hello Peter

    I must say I am amazed. Not by your comments which seem sound and sane but by that woman’s comments and, of course, her subtext. She proves exactly your point. Apart from seeming close to being defamatory and libellous of the two acquitted men and perhaps being actionable if they so wished, I wonder if it isn’t in contempt of court to spread rumours that there was something corrupt about a non-guilty verdict, for instance by saying it was on a technicality or by invoking the non-existent (in our law) verdict of not proven to somehow subvert their innocence of the crime? Perhaps you know a lawyer. But I’ll tell you something. Every time a Christian makes comments like that about gay people she might convince a few Christians to hate gay men, if they don’t already,  but she convinces a whole world of gay men there is reason to hate Christians.  

  11. I’m not sure Tom has said anything that is a threat.

    A little bit of guidance on the law over here in England (not the UK as Scottish law is different to English). To be in contempt of court is to disregard the instructions of a court. If the court’s instructions don’t concern you then you cannot be in contempt of it by simply stating that you disagree with it. So for example, if I was found guilty of a crime and fined £5000, my refusal to pay the fine would be contempt of court, but somebody else’s stating that they think I shouldn’t have been given the fine isn’t contempt.

    Libel and slander are a touch more tricky because in order to libel/slander somebody you need to make a claim about them which it could be reasonably argued was defamatory AND do so in an environment that has an audience. So for example, posting “Joe Bloggs is a paedophile” on an obscure blog that 2 people a day read isn’t going to get you lots of damages in court when you sue the author for libel. Printing “Joe Bloggs is a paedophile” as the main headline in the Times is going to land you with a huge damages fine (assuming of course that Joe *isn’t* a paedophile).

    I believe that it *is* defamatory to make a claim about somebody that they are guilty of a crime. However, the view of acourt on such a defamation would depend on the audience that saw it.

  12.  Peter, we obviously disagree on a lot of things but I thank you for indicating, in your responses to Jill, that you yourself are not a proponent of mere demonising ugly homophobia.  Jill – as a rule, Daddy sites  in the gay world are men looking for older men (perhaps bears).  I’m 29 – if I wanted to date a fifty something then I would look on daddy sites (although obviously one can find all the gays one needs in the Scottish Episcopal Church).Twinks, conversely, is the term for young and boyish lust objects but they are still very much legal. An anti-gay argument founded on Jilly’s emotive stereotypes, or Cameron’s (not Dave!) wackier statistics, is very much the definition of a castle built on sand and  disservice of those who try to genuinely proclaim with grace a male-female rule for sexuality.

  13. Hi. I’m coming rather late to this discussion, which may be running out of steam, but an admittedly cursory look through the initial posts and comments suggests there are number of overlapping issues which have raised the temperature, perhaps unnecessarily, amongst people who ought to be basically in agreement.

    One is the sheer outcome of the case – which I admit I’d heard nothing about until looking at it here, as referenced on the BBC website.  Peter writes of this to Jill and others, “you simply need to accept the fact that the jury found them innocent”. However, it is perfectly legitimate to wonder whether a verdict is right, or indeed whether a legal case has been adequate.

    Remember the case of Kevin Noye, found innocent on the charge of murder after stabbing to death a plain-clothes policeman in the grounds of his home (see here)? Noye pleaded self-defense, which the jury accepted. And, in law, we must accept its verdict. Yet given later developments (Noye was found guilty of stabbing a man to death after an altercation on the M25) one can’t help wondering.

    In the case of the two police officers, there was no attempt to deny accessing pornographic material. There is also no denial that they had illegal images in their possession. We must accept, however, that the jury will have heard more evidence than will have appeared in press reports, and will have reached its verdict accordingly.

    Nevertheless, one may still express surprise, on the face of what was in the public domain … and also at the fact that police officers downloading pornography now seems to be regarded as ‘unexceptionable’ and a matter for no further comment!

    The legality of their action in this specific regard does not seem to have been in question, but, in response to Wicked conservative, it cannot simply be assumed, provided no images of children were involved.

    The definitive position on the internet seems to be expressed in this answer to a Parliamentary question in 2006 (emphasis added):

    Pornographic Websites
    Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Obscene Publications Act 1959 applies to internet websites offering pornographic material, with particular reference to child protection on the internet; and if he will make a statement. [108336]
    Mr. Coaker: The Obscene Publications Act 1959 applies to all published material whether on the internet or offline. Material is published if it is circulated, distributed, sold, given, lent or offered to another person. It will be deemed to be obscene if the court finds that its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely to read, see or hear it.
    The Criminal Law Subgroup of the Home Secretary’s Task Force on Child Protection on the Internet has considered the implications of a judgment in the Court of Appeal (R v. Perrin [2002] EWCA crim 747) which indicated that where children are likely to access material of a degree of sexual explicitness equivalent to what is available to those aged 18 and above in a licensed sex shop, that material may be considered to be obscene and subject to prosecution. This applies to material which is not behind a suitable payment barrier or other accepted means of age verification, for example, material on the front page of pornography websites and non-commercial, user-generated material which is likely to be accessed by children and meets the threshold.

    It would seem it is thus possible to access material which is itself deemed illegal (i.e. is liable to deprave and corrupt) because the website makes no charge or has no age-verification system to keep out minors.

    Furthermore, it is also an offence for a person to be in possession of an “extreme pornographic “image. “Pornographic” material is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal. “Extreme” is an act which threatens a person’s life, or which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals, or involves sexual interference with a human corpse, or a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive) and a reasonable person looking at the image would think that any such person or animal was real. (See here)

    However, in the case of the police officers these questions were not considered and we must presume therefore they did not arise. (I am simply pointing out the complexity of the law – and that as a non-lawyer!)

    There is also, however, the overlapping question of how we respond to those who, we believe, are being unhelpful, or even sinful, in their criticisms and comments. And here I wonder at the usefulness of the term ‘homophobia’, which we know is used by all and sundry against traditionalist Christians collectively.

    The problem is that the term is imprecise or superfluous. Like ‘fascist’, it has become simply a “boo-word”, without any precise content. Thus calling something ‘homophobic’ no more means it entails a fear of homosexuality than calling someone a ‘fascist’ means they are a supporter of Mussolini’s political doctrines. Instead, the use of the word sometimes plays into the users own prejudices, actually telling us more about what they really dislike than it does about the offending action or person.

    On the other hand, if an actual wrong has occurred, there are precise words which can be used to identify this: “the facts are wrong”, “this involves sloppy thinking”, “it would have been better to have put it this way”, “it doesn’t take into account this evidence”, and so on.

    Of course this requires more effort than saying, “such-and-such is homophobic”, but in the end it will take us further, not least in enabling us to identify what is actually wrong and how it can be put right.

    Well, that is my two-penn’orth anyway.

  14.  The gay world also has the term heterosexist – although Peter, to his credit, doesn’t say a heterosexual fornicator is preferable to a celibate homosexual, Gagnon and the like certainly do proclaim heterosexuality expressed correctly (i.e. in Christian Marriage) superior
    to homosexuality.

  15. Thank you Peter for that clarification. It seems to make sense. 
    Jill, I hope I was not threatening you.  I am glad Pete doesn’t think so, nor do I want to close down debate. (We are having it now, aren’t we?) Accusing me of it is a bit of a jihadist’s defense, though. In the area of paedophilia and child-porn (as against homosexuality which is entirely distinct and is only muddled with it by mischievous people or slack speech as in the French slang term pédé which ought to be challenged whenever it is used) I think we have to tread extremely carefully.  The volatile nature of the public’s reactions to it, preyed on by the Mail and the Express to sell copy makes it dangerous. Once the finger has been pointed the innocent have a hard enough job proving it, despite the “innocent until proved guilty” maxim which hardly seems to apply in such cases. I realise all this is going off at a tangent from Peter’s main point. I still think Peter’s point that Christians should try to keep their discussions within the limits of theological and biblical discussion is not simply to protect gay people from the kind of unjust persecution that Christians would NOT want to be part of, but also to protect Christians themselves from the growing perception by not only gay men but also an increasing number of non-Christians against Christianity that they want none of it because too often Christianity appears as an excuse for bigotry, hatred and scape-goating gay people. I also think Jill’s kind of argument from the particular to the general, citing a case about which none of us knows the evidence if we weren’t on the jury dangerously mixes homosexuality which is incidental with supposed paedophilic intent. Christians getting hot under the collar about it may tell us more about their intention than the defendants and will probably backfire IMOH.

  16. Evening all,

    only want to make one or two comments as so many good ones have already been made I reckon.

    Jill, you wrote that “there is indeed evidence of a proportionally higher incidence of child sexual abuse from gay men”. Could you cite any sources for this? http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com has a long article called ‘Testing the premise: are gays a threat to our children?’ (scroll down their homepage; it’s under ‘Featured Reports’). One of the concluding paragraphs says, “Dr. Michael R. Stevenson conducted an exhaustive review of the literature in 2000, and concluded that “a gay man is no more likely than a straight man to perpetrate sexual activity with children,” and “cases of perpetration of sexual behavior with a pre-pubescent child by an adult lesbian are virtually nonexistent”. The research is so strong that the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and the American Psychological Association are on record saying that there is no relationship between homosexuality and child sexual abuse”. Are you aware of evidence that counters this?

    As an aside you remark that, “The gay subculture is youth orientated”, and I don’t doubt you’re right – but would you say that ‘straight culture’ is any less so? From tabloid page 3s to billboards to women’s magazines, we’re deluged with images of women, the vast majority of whom are young and thin.

    You also said “we should wake up and see where all this is leading” - where is this leading, in your view? I’m wondering what it is that you fear. Making one guess: am aware that Peter Tatchell has had the article campaigning about the age of consent on his site for some years now. But there have been no moves to lower the AOC to anything below 16, and indeed the most recent Sexual Offences Act (I might have its title wrong and have forgotten the year – 2003?) actually raised the AOC in specific circumstances (to 18, where a young person is the responsibility of a teacher or youth leader for instance).

    John – “However, it is perfectly legitimate to wonder whether a verdict is right, or indeed whether a legal case has been adequate”. Indeed – but only if you have grounds for doing so. I don’t think that you or Jill have given any such grounds from this particular case.

    in friendship, Blair

  17. Blair,

    You wrote that it is legitimate to doubt the outcome of a case if one has grounds for doing so.  My first reading of the BBC report indeed made me wonder how the ‘not guilty’ verdict had been reached. To quote from that report, “A disc containing 57 movie clips of indecent images of children was found when Mr Ferguson’s desk was cleared” and “At their home, officers found a floppy disc under the pair’s bed which contained 25 child porn pictures”. Had that been my desk and home I think it would be agreed I was in severe trouble and would need a very convincing explanation. That the images had been in an inadvertent bulk download of other pornography would not, I think, have washed. So some question remains in my mind as to how the jury reached their verdict, though clearly they had their reasons. Media interest, compared with, say, Pete Townsend, has been limited, so we must accept their are things we will never know unless we are prepared to follow up the court transcripts.

    You also asked Jill for sources for evidence of a proportionally higher incidence of child sexual abuse from gay men. Jeffrey Satinover in his Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth (1996) refers to a study by Freund and Watson, 1992, which, according to him, found that whilst heterosexuals outnumber homosexual males by about about thirty-six to one, heterosexual child molestation cases outnumber homosexual cases by only eleven to one, implying, according to Satinover, that “pedophilia is three times more common among homosexuals”. One could question this conclusion (as presented, the evidence might indicate a number of other things), but it is, nevertheless, a citation.

    One of our problems in debating the latter area is that we have seen how, in the case of adult homosexuality, what used to be regarded universally as a perversion (I use the word to describe the historical attitude) is now regarded as acceptable. The argument that a thing is “unthinkable” therefore does not hold (as in, “It is unthinkable that sexual relationships between adults and under 16s could be accepted as normal.”) We have to ask on what grounds secular society now holds any ‘line’ against, for example, incest, polygamy, polyandry or bestiality (on the latter, I would reference the work of Australian philosopher, Peter Singer).

    At the same time, though, we must be very careful how we debate these things amongst ourselves. We have enough mutual enemies, without adding to them (Gal 5:15).

  18. Blair, it is difficult to know where to start in terms of the ‘evidence’ you require.  In addition to John’s reference above, there is this, http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27431 and this http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1399042/posts and of course this one on the US ‘paedophile priest’ scandal, from which it should be noted that 81% of victims were male, and over 40% of all victims were males between the ages of 11 and 14.  http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/PriestAbuseScandal.htm
     
    Yet it is still referred to as the ‘paedophile priest’ scandal – with the hidden implication that the children were very young and that many were female.  It would be more appropriate to call it a ‘homosexual priest’ scandal, but the media is complicit in this smokescreen.  With the result that, when the Vatican recently confirmed the ban on ordination and seminary admission of men with ‘deep-seated homosexual tendencies’ or who support ‘gay culture’, there were howls of outrage from the gay lobby at the ‘discrimination’ against gay men.   Well, they can’t have it both ways (if you’ll pardon the expression).  The Vatican has (quite rightly) paid huge sums in compensation to abuse victims, and knows that they cannot afford to put men in the way of temptation to molest boys.
     
    And talking about having it both ways – going back to the court case just for a moment – one of the defendants claimed that the child porn had been downloaded from a site called ‘Daddy Swap’ when we have it on good authority from Ryan that such a site is unlikely to contain this sort of image.  Maybe the court also heard evidence of downloads from ‘Twinks’ that were not reported in the Press.  (More complicity???)
     
    Just a brief response to the all-too-predictable accusations of ‘hatred and bigotry’- there is no room in the Christian faith for hatred of any kind.  I certainly don’t hate anyone (not even Gary Glitter).   

  19. Jill,

    The issue isn’t really to do with whether paedophilic attraction occurs at a higher rate in homosexuals than in heterosexuals. I have no problem with such research though I do think it’s vital to make the distinction between homosexuals who abuse children of the same sex and heterosexuals who abuse children of the same sex. Most of the research you have cited doesn’t make this distinction clear.

    Many, many paedophiles are normally functioning heterosexual men with *no* sexual attraction to adult males, who despite this sexually abuse boys. The reasons for this is complicated, but may be something to do with paedophilic sexual attraction being a sexual cannibalism for that which is perceived lacking in the abuser – perhaps a particular period of the abuser’s childhood that they feel lacked the emotional integrity that they needed. I only have anecdotal evidence of this, but most of the paedophiles I have spoken to report dissatisfaction with their childhood and a lack of clear identity in their youth. Paedophilic attraction to children *may* be an attempt to sexually recover from that child what they perceive they themselves lack.

    So just to be clear, reporting that most paedophilic activity is same-sex is *not* the same as arguing that homosexuals are more likely to prey on children. The situation is much more complicated than that.

    The second issue is to understand that even if paedophilic attraction is more prevalant amongst homosexuals, that does *not* mean that there is any attempt by GLBT in general to make adult/child sex more accessible. Talk to any of the gay commenters on this blog and they will all probably repudiate the idea of having sex with children, even if they might recognise within themselves that they are sexually attracted to children. This I believe is the main objection to the way that you are presenting your information, not that it may or may not be true, but that you are implying that somehow *all* homosexuals are interested in sex with children. Take for example this paragraph in the WorldNetDaily piece you link to:

    Though the homosexual community and much of the media scoff at such accusations, Baldwin says in his report that homosexual activists’ “efforts to target children both for their own sexual pleasure and to enlarge the homosexual movement” constitute an “unmistakable” attack on “the family unit.”

    Now, all that’s a highly offensive paragraph, and let me demonstrate why. Simply inserting one word into the paragraph gives a much more accurate portrayal of the actual situation:

    Though the homosexual community and much of the media scoff at such accusations, Baldwin says in his report that some homosexual activists’ “efforts to target children both for their own sexual pleasure and to enlarge the homosexual movement” constitute an “unmistakable” attack on “the family unit.”

    “some”

    It’s one simple word but it’s much more truthful and changes the whole tone of the debate. It’s perfectly acceptable to claim that some of the GLBT lobby support sexual activity with children, but the way the piece is presented is equivalent to writing a story saying, “Roman Catholic priests abuse children” rather than “some Roman Catholic priests abuse children”.

    Now, a few bits of hard sums, looking at the Free Republic piece you linked to:

    A very recent (2000) study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that “The best epidemiological evidence indicates that only 2-4% of men attracted to adults prefer men. In contrast, around 25-40% of men attracted to children prefer boys. Thus, the rate of homosexual attraction is 620 times higher among pedophiles.”
    The last statement (620 times higher) simply doesn’t follow because (as we have seen above) not all of those who sexually abuse children of the same sex as them are homosexual. You cannot make an accurate comparison of the rates of paedophilic attraction between homosexuals and heterosexuals on the basis of the sex of the child abused in comparison to the sex of the abuser. Firstly, that is trying ot look at sexual activity and equivalate orientation from it, and secondly not all those who have sexual attraction to children ever sexually abuse children. The only basis on which you could compare rates of paedophilic attraction and activity in relation to homo/hetero orientation you need to actually ask gay and straight people questions about their sexual preferences and activities.

    The 1989 JSR quote is flawed because it chops out the section detailing heterosexual men who had sex with children of their own sex. I find such an editing (to make the quote argue something different to what is intended) disturbing.

    The 1988 ASB quote about over 80% of abusers of children being homosexual is also out of context, because the only abusers questioned were those who abused boys. The 1984 JSMT piece is a much better piece to cite because that takes into account all the data and also recognises implictly the confusion of presumed orientation that you are making when it says “The proportional prevalence of [male] offenders against male children…” This kind of data is backed up by the 1992 JSMT piece claiming that homosexuals are three times more likely to enagage in sexual activity with a child. That is the kind of figure that fits with the best research and is certainly nowhere near the levels that some calculations make (when they assume that all same-sex child abuse is by homosexuals).

    As for the “chicken hawk” data, well a chicken in the gay community is *not* a child – he is a twink who has had little or no previous sexual activity. The data given on that has *no* bearing on the abuse of young children.

    Let me summarise what I am saying Jill:

    • While it is fine to quote research that shows that paedophilic attraction in homosexuals may be higher than that in heterosexuals, you need to be careful about understanding the data that you are presenting. Certainly, you cannot draw conclusions from assuming that *all* or *most* of those who abuse children of their own sex are necessarily homosexual (and this, unfortunately, is the assumption of the most rabid figures you present)
    • It is simply unnaceptable to present the figures in such a way that makes the direct link between homosexual attraction and paedophilia. While some homosexuals are paedophiles, the vast majority are not in the same way that though some Roman Catholic priests abuse children, the vast majority do not. To not make this clear distinction is what leads some to believe that the presentation of the data is homophobic.
  20.  Jill, I hope you realise that even if all paedophiles were homosexual that would not mean that all homosexuals are paedophiles or that homosexuality was intrinsically disordered and immoral? My knowing about Daddy’s and twinks is not a failing, although knowing about Freepers (Free Republic) does help me know what kind of anti-gay argument you will be citing. Would you pointedly describe a man who raped women as a heterosexual rapist first and a rapist second or what you (accurately) assume that the distorted sexuality of such an individual was the drive to rape, irrespective of whether it was towards men or women? Somewhat suprised you haven’t invoked NAMBLA.

  21. Peter, I find comment rather odd – ‘Certainly, you cannot draw conclusions from assuming that *all* or *most* of those who abuse children of their own sex are necessarily homosexual’ – the prefix ‘homo’ meaning ‘the same’, from which can be inferred that they are certainly homosexual.  However, I do know what you mean, and I would certainly not conclude that the average gay man is attracted to prepubescent children any more than straight men.  I have no data at all on that.  And I know perfectly well that not all gay men are attracted to adolescents (such as our policemen who prefers ‘daddy’ types!).
     
    And here is the rub, in my opinion.  I think that puberty is a key factor here.  In the case of the RC sex abuse scandal we have seen that the abused boys were mostly 11-14 year olds, i.e. post-pubescent. But this is still paedophilia, in the eyes of the law.  Most parents would not want their 14-year-old sexually abused any more than their 6-year-old, and even though straight men may look lustfully upon (or even abuse) a 14 year old girl, (girls mature more quickly than boys anyway) the push for lowering the age of consent does not come from them – as mostly parents themselves, they want the protection of the law for under-16s to remain in place.
     
    Peter Tatchell’s blog is an education.  It shows the different mindset of a childless man.  He talks a great deal of children’s sexual ‘rights’ whereas the most basic instinct of most parents is to preserve the innocence of childhood and protect their children from sexual predators. Under-16s simply do not have the maturity to make this sort of decision, which can affect their self-esteem, and physical and mental health, for the rest of their lives. They can be coerced and manipulated by people who will then claim that they ‘consent’.  It is true that in other times and other cultures the ‘age of consent’ varies considerably, but in our society, with our expectations, I think 16 is reasonable, and that children below that age need the protection of the law.  Gay activists’ wish to reduce it to 14 would instantly decriminalise a lot of people who wish to abuse vulnerable adolescents.
     
    Back to the gay police court hearing for a moment – one or two other puzzling things.  Why did their colleagues shop them?   They will have known the individuals far better than any jury, and they were obviously not convinced by their rather lame explanation of the presence of these images.  And why was the pink press so quiet about the case?  Pink News carried a brief article before the case was heard, but nothing since.  You would have thought they would be jubilant about the outcome.  These things may or may not be significant, but the whole thing adds up to a marked reluctance for light to be shone into this murky area of the swamp.
     
    Which brings me neatly on to NAMBLA – thank you, Ryan, for this reminder.  Some years ago there was some truly hair-raising material on this website.  Then the site closed to public gaze, open only if you wanted to register (which I didn’t – wrong sex anyhow) but it has now reopened, has cleaned up its act considerably, and now presents itself as a victimised and persecuted minority misunderstood by the public.  I find this a very worrying development.

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