Thursday, May 19, 2011

John Jay study on child abuse

Yesterday I heard National Public Radio report on a research study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice -- The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States. This study, commissioned by Roman Catholic bishops in the U.S., was designed "to analyze the pattern of clergy sex abuse" of minors.

There seems to be a lot of criticism of the study. One criticism I have, not of the study itself, is that the online information is difficult to navigate -- especially to figure where certain info reported in the news will be found in the study. This may be as much a defect of the news reporting as of the online set-up.

But what caught my attention was NPR saying something about this child sex abuse having nothing to do with homosexuality. I may or may not have heard correctly on the radio. All the online news reports I found say that the study concluded that the sex abuse was not caused by homosexuality. With this second statement I agree. With the first I would not.

We have reached a point in the homosexuality debate in the United States in which both sides, pro & con, tend to define people as either "heterosexual" or "homosexual". This creates a unclear thinking. A person is either male or female. We need to return to this common sense thinking based on simple facts.

Sexual behaviour itself does not define who we are, but what we do. Human sexual behavior is a choice. Whether married couples engaging in heterosexual sex, adulterous heterosexuality, homosexuality, bestiality, or whatever, all of these are chosen behaviour. One's personal identity is not the same as what sexual choices he or she chooses to engage in.

BTW, though clergy child sex abuse may not be caused by homosexuality, the majority of the acts are homosexual. The study found 4 out of 5 alleged victims were male.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is too hard for some to return to common sense when viewing the facts at hand. It has gotten to the point that those in question will probably not be dealt with in too harsh a manner. Something will be done or said to help them maneuver their way out of their actions.

It is ironic in some ways that the publicity received is about the only way some will now ever hear about the Catholic church, as its power and influence has been diminshed greatly.