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Change of Tone
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« Truthiness | Main | Make Me An Offer I Can't Refuse »

October 07, 2006

Foley Fall-Out: Fabrications of the Faithful

Well, this is hardly a surprise:

Some conservatives have reacted to former Rep. Mark Foley's sexual messages to teenage boys and announcement he is gay by suggesting that homosexuals are more likely to molest children, a link that psychiatric groups say has no basis in fact.
Some of the article is much ado about nothing at all:
A columnist for the Wall Street Journal suggested that homosexuality exists on a continuum stretching from "just another gay guy" to "a compulsive, predatory sex offender."
...which isn't much different from saying that heterosexuality exists on a continuum stretching from "just another dude" to "a compulsive, predatory rapist." Granted, it shows a remarkable ignorance of human sexuality, rape, and pedophilia, but it's not like conservatives are dumb enough to fall for that. Well, some of them.
...and Ben Stein wrote in the American Spectator that "I hope it won't come as a surprise to anyone that a big part of male homosexual behavior is interest in young boys. (Take a look at anyone renting 'Endless Summer' next time you are at the video store.)"
Young boys or young adults? I, personally, haven't known any homosexuals that have told me that they really think that 10-year old kid on the monkey bars was a hottie... but maybe they were hiding it. And perhaps all of my straight friends are really digging on some prepubescent tykes... I mean, they haven't told me, so how can I know for sure??

Now, if we're talking young adults, say 18 onward, the kind that walk across college campuses around the nation...I have to ask: can you blame them?

I'm well-aware that when I turned 30 (some 5 years ago), I officially became invisible to any woman under the age of 25, but that doesn't mean that I don't find young adult women attractive. I have no interest in them other than thinking "Hey, she's pretty," but I am very much a male of the species.

Anyway, where were we? Ah, yes, Lying for the Lord:

...Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council wrote in an e-mail to supporters that "neither party seems likely to address the real issue, which is the link between homosexuality and child sex abuse." Perkins went on to assert that 86 percent of child molesters are identified as gay or bisexual.
They don't like to address the real issue because, well, it's not a real issue. However, when you believe in fanciful tales in dusty old tomes, does the truth really matter?
A Family Research Council spokeswoman said that figure came from an October 2001 article in the journal the Archives of Sexual Behavior. However, that article included no such data and instead reported that "most men who molest boys and most men who molest girls are heterosexual in their adult sexual preference."
Whoops. So much for "reading for comprehension."

But wait! They have science on their side!

The researcher who has done the most to find links between homosexuality and child molestation is Paul Cameron, chairman of the Family Research Institute -- a group with a stated goal of "stopping gay rights...."

Cameron's major argument is that while gay men make up a small percentage of the overall population -- he uses a figure of 3 percent -- they account for between a fifth and a third of all child molesters....

But Cameron has a broad definition of who counts as homosexual. If a man who is married, has children and identifies as heterosexual molests a male child, Cameron counts that man as gay.

Whoops. So much for "honesty and integrity."
Greg Herek, a UC Davis professor of psychology who studies prejudice and stigma, has written extensive critiques of Cameron's studies. He said Cameron has a reputation for producing questionable studies.

"The idea of sexual orientation being linked to child molestation is such an old stereotype that no one takes it seriously. A consequence of that is it is not a topic that is heavily researched," he said.

Alas, when he says "no one" is taking it seriously, he means "no one that knows what they are talking about." Sadly, the world is full of chumps, idiots, dingbats, and bigots; and the closest they've come to a scientific journal was watching Mr. Wizard at age 12 (now, thinking back, he sure did spend a lot of time with little kids...).

Perhaps they'd do well to read former WWR contributor Jon Darby's lengthy rebuttal to Cameron and others on their anti-gay idiocy.

Note: What are the Republicans thinking letting this high-school debate class reject be their talking head on the Foley matter?

(link to this story found via Angie)

Posted by Andy at 08:58 PM