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More on the Foley Legal Issues:

Most of the legal discussion that I've seen of the Foley case has focused on whether he could be on the hook for attempting to physically seduce the pages. Might it be a crime, though, for him to try to get the page to masturbate? (It's not clear from the material that I've seen whether he was in fact trying to do that, but I suppose it's possible.)

Masturbating isn't a crime, fortunately, whatever the age of the person's who's masturbating; but getting a minor to masturbate for you might be, depending on the jurisdiction and on the minor's age. People v. Imler., 9 Cal. App. 4th 1178 (Cal. App. 1992), for instance, held that Cal. Penal Code § 288()a), "Any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, ... upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a felony," outlawed a person's telephoning a child and ordering him (through threats of harm to the child's parents) to masturbate while the child is on the phone:

It matters not that Imler could not touch his victim. "The touching necessary to violate Penal Code section 288 may be done by the child victim on its own person providing such touching was at the instigation of a person who had the required specific intent." The accused does not have to commit the lewd act. The defendant's intent may be inferred from his conduct which was to order the victim to commit a lewd act upon himself.

(The logic of the case would extend to persuasion without the use of threats as well.) Likewise, People v. Poplaski, 616 N.Y.S.2d 434 (N.Y. Dist. Ct. 1994), held that N.Y. Penal Law § 260.10(1), which prohibits "knowingly act[ing] in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than seventeen years old," made punishable the defendant's phone conversations in which he directed 12-to-15-year-olds to masturbate.

My sense is that such a theory is a longshot, even if Foley was trying to get a minor to masturbate during their electronic conversation; among other things, I'm not sure that all similar statutes would be read this way, and I'm not sure that many states have such statutes that reach up to the level of the older minors who seem to have been involved in the Foley case. (I should note that some states ban using a child in a "sexual performance," which conceivably could include getting the child to masturbate in front of one person, but the Florida statute, for instance, is limited to visual performances rather than acts which someone merely hears, or is told about.) And, more importantly, it's hard to figure all this out without knowing more about exactly what Foley said, and exactly where the minors were at the time.

Enoch:
Masturbating isn't a crime, fortunately,

Or they'd never be able to build a big enough prison. =)
10.4.2006 3:59pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
"Masturbating isn't a crime, fortunately, whatever the age of the person's who's masturbating...."

Is there a history where laws against masturbation were ever on the books in the US? I don't see how such a law could survive Lawrence. But masturbation, like sodomy, does violate Aquinas's natural law and some Protestant fundamentalists believe the Bible forbids it as well.

And Justice in his dissent in Lawrence specifically mentioned masturbation in his parade of horribles where once we hold sodomy a constitutional right, then laws against X,Y, and Z are also suspect.
10.4.2006 4:08pm
Plato:
Didn't Scalia advert to the evils of masturbation in his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas?
10.4.2006 4:09pm
Plato:
Yes, Scalia did. He wrote in his dissent:

"State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices."
10.4.2006 4:11pm
WHOI Jacket:
I always thought that masturbation laws were on the books for acts of public masturbation intended to shock or distress others. Like a guy pulling it out in front of a Girl Scout troup and their parents?

(Or is it supposed to be self-enforced. "Officer, I've come to turn myself in. I'm tired of running from the law..........")
10.4.2006 4:21pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Often violations came to the attention of authorities as a result of other violations. See William Bradford's account of bestiality in 1642 at Plymouth in Of Plymouth Plantation. After discussing the chance discovery of Thomas Granger for

buggery, and indicted for the same, with a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves and a turkey. Horrible it is to mention, but the truth of the history requires it. He was first discovered by one that accidentally saw his lewd practice towards the mare. (I forbear particulars.)
After discussing Granger's execution, along with all of his "partners" (as required by Leviticus 20:15), we find that there were others engaged in his Granger's sin:

Upon the examination of this person and also of a former that had made some sodomitical attempts upon another....
10.4.2006 4:29pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Wow, Of Plymouth Plantation seems to be much less dreary reading than I'd imagined!

Of course, that excerpt didn't make it to my 11th-grade lit textbook.

Sadly, the Puritans lacked the grace of Friedrich II of Prussia, who when he saw a cavalryman being led off for execution, and learned that the man's crime was carnal relations with a horse, expostulated, "Fools, don't hang him -- transfer him to the infantry!"

"Sorry you'll lose your horse," the king is said to have added by way of consolation to the weeping, pardoned man.
10.4.2006 4:41pm
WHOI Jacket:


Heh, who says that history is a boring subject?
10.4.2006 4:48pm
Randy R. (mail):
And just why is masturbation considered 'lewd' anyway? I mean, I can understand it from the perspective of the Victorians, who thought basically everything is lewd. But today? We all know that most men and women engage in it at least occasionally, therapists tell us it's good for the psyche, doctors tell us its good for the prostrate. Heck, it's the ultimate pleasure that harms no one, not even yourself.

I can understand it's lewd if done in public, but there are lot of things that are, in my mind, lewd if done in public -- trimming your nails, pulling out the lint from your belly button, picking your nose -- Personally, those examples should be a greater crime than jerking off in your own bedroom.
10.4.2006 5:06pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
There is nothing new under the sun. Every generation until the last two, it seems, thinks it has rediscovered sex, in both its beautiful and depraved forms.
10.4.2006 5:06pm
Tony2 (mail):
...buggery, and indicted for the same, with a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves and a turkey.

Wow, sounds like it was quite a party. More fun than the ones I get invited to, anyway.
10.4.2006 5:06pm
Humble Law Student (mail):
Thanks for the analysis Eugene. It's great having you guys cover the big topics for us.
10.4.2006 5:22pm
Malvolio:
A turkey?
10.4.2006 5:43pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):

"Sorry you'll lose your horse," the king is said to have added by way of consolation to the weeping, pardoned man.

Was he weeping from joy or because he was losing his horse?

It reminds me a story I heard about the Foreign Legion back the French Colonial days. A new leiutenant is assigned to a remote outpost and as the Sergeant Major is showing him around he points out a camel and says "When the men get lonely, they avail themselves of the camel, you can to if the urge strikes you". The young officer, quite taken aback, replies, "I am sure I will never become that desperate". After a few weeks though, he sneeks into the camel's pen and has his way with it. As he emerges, buttoning up his pants, he runs into the Sergeant Major and asks, "is that how the men do it". The Sergeant Major looks at him and says "Well, they generally just ride the camel into town."
10.4.2006 6:13pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Malvolio:

That was my reaction too.
10.4.2006 6:20pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
BLEG REQUEST

The revelation that Foley was molested as a child raises the questions:

What is the relationship between childhood molestation and homosexuality?

And, if there is a relationship, what does this say about the nature versus nurture debate over the origins of homosexuality?

Doesn't the hypothesis that homosexuals are "born that way" seem specious if it turns out that 60% of homosexual men were molested as a child as compared to, say, 20% of heterosexual men.

Has anyone seen studies like this?
10.4.2006 6:43pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Rob Johnson,

I haven't seen studies one way or the other. (This means nothing-- I haven't searched for any.)

I would, however, be cautious about thinking the Foley case tells us anything. Being somewhat cynical, I need to ask this: other than the presumption that people don't ordinarily go around making things up, is there any reason to believe Foley's claim of youthful molestation?

I don't disbelieve Foley out of hand; he may be revealing a truth. However, I am suspicious of this sort of revelation when it is made public in the wake of a scandal and particularly if the revelation seems to be provided as some sort of mitigation.

If I were trying to do a scientific or even non-scientific study, based on what I've heard so far, I'd put the Foley claim in the "seriously dubious" category!
10.4.2006 7:02pm
Peter Wimsey:
I think that most states have "vicarious sexual gratification" (as my state calls them) laws that fairly specifically prohibit encouraging a child to masturbate. I.e.,

Indiana Code Sec. 35-42-4-5 Sec. 5. (a) A person eighteen (18) years of age or older who knowingly or intentionally directs, aids, induces, or causes a child under the age of sixteen (16) to touch or fondle himself or another child under the age of sixteen (16) with intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of a child or the older person commits vicarious sexual gratification, a Class D felony. However, the offense is:
(1) a Class C felony if a child involved in the offense is under the age of fourteen (14)...


But, as EV correctly notes, most of these statutes only apply to children below the age of consent (typically 16, sometimes younger), which would appear to exclude Foley. (For some offenses the age can go to 18 if there is a guardian-type relationship, such as student/teacher or juvenile correctional officer/ inmate, but this would likely not apply here either).
10.4.2006 7:25pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

The revelation that Foley was molested as a child raises the questions:

What is the relationship between childhood molestation and homosexuality?

And, if there is a relationship, what does this say about the nature versus nurture debate over the origins of homosexuality?
Don't ask that question here! Here's some abstracts that a lot of regular commenters here won't want you to see.

Interesting Citations About Sexual Abuse &Sexual Orientation

I pointed out in a comment over here that sexual abuse of children and adult homosexuality are positively correlated, and this really shouldn't be any surprise, especially for lesbians. Not surprisingly, the homosexual law professor and law student brigade started calling me names. Another commenter put up a rather extensive list of abstracts from recent journal articles on the subject.

Sexual assault and alcohol abuse: a comparison of lesbians and heterosexual women. Hughes TL, Johnson T, Wilsnack SC. J Subst Abuse. 2001;13(4):515-32.

RESULTS: Lesbians reported more childhood sexual experiences, were more likely to meet the study definition for childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and were more likely to perceive themselves as having been sexually abused as children. CSA was associated with lifetime alcohol abuse in both lesbian and heterosexual women.


Sexual Orientation, Sexual Abuse, and HIV-Risk Behaviors Among Adolescents in the Pacific Northwest. Saewyc E, Skay C, Richens K, Reis E, Poon C, Murphy A. Am J Public Health. 2006 May 2

Conclusion. Sexual minority adolescents who attended school reported higher HIV risk behaviors, and higher prevalence of sexual victimization may partially explain these risks.


Victimization over the life span: a comparison of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual siblings. Balsam KF, Rothblum ED, Beauchaine TP. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2005 Jun;73(3):477-87.

Compared with heterosexual participants, LGB participants reported more childhood psychological and physical abuse by parents or caretakers, more childhood sexual abuse, more partner psychological and physical victimization in adulthood, and more sexual assault experiences in adulthood. Sexual orientation differences in sexual victimization were greater among men than among women.

Lesbian survivors of childhood sexual abuse: community, identity, and resilience. Baker S. Can J Commun Ment Health. 2003 Fall;22(2):31-45.

Adult lesbian survivers of childood sexual abuse were interviewed using grounded and structured methods to explore the interaction between being, or coming out as, a lesbian and healing from childhood sexual abuse (CSA). A history of CSA was found to render coming out as a lesbian more complicated and often more difficult. Having or developing a lesbian identity caused significant changes in respondents' social support networks and spiritual beliefs and communities, afforded many opportunities for greater healing, and in the balance seemed to facilitate the healing process.

Comparative data of childhood and adolescence molestation in heterosexual and homosexual persons. Tomeo ME, Templer DI, Anderson S, Kotler D. Arch Sex Behav. 2001 Oct;30(5):535-41.

In research with 942 nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation than did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation. Twenty-two percent of lesbian women in contrast to 1% of heterosexual women reported homosexual molestation. This research is apparently the first survey that has reported substantial homosexual molestation of girls.
10.4.2006 7:29pm
Randy R. (mail):
I don't know of any studies regarding this topic. However, there have been innumberable studies that have tried to determine what determines a person's sexual orientation. So far, the research is quite unanimous and has shown that sexual orientation is set by the age of 7. (Some studies say earlier, but it gets very difficult to establish sexual orientation the earlier the age).

Most studies, therefore, have concluded that sexual orientation is set either by the time the person is born, or shortly thereafter.

If, however, IF it is true that a large number of gay men were molested when they were young, it is would be difficult to say that this 'caused' them to be gay. We know that there are plenty of men who were molested who do NOT become gay, and we know plenty of gay men who were NEVER molested. So the best you could say is that molestation, plus some other important factor, would need to be present to say that this affects sexual orientation.

One step further: Being sexually molested can be quite devestating to a person. In extreme cases, people can be left unable to function as a adult. if true that molestation in some way causes a person to become gay, then it would be clear proof that a person does not 'choose' to be gay. Moreoever, all the homophobia and hate directed at gay people, especially by religious groups, would look pretty damn insensitive at best.
10.4.2006 7:31pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
Thanks lucia. Foley's claim certainly has not answered the homosexuality nature versus nuture debate. It has, however, caused me to ask the question.

Wikipedia references studies that purport to show a biological basis for homosexuality. It also references studies that purport to show a psychological basis for homosexuality (namely, the relationship between a homosexual man and his father), but I do not see any studies regarding relative molestation rates among homosexual and heterosexual men.

Is it just me, or doesn't it seem that this data would be relatively easy to collect and extremely damaging to the "nature hypothesis" if homosexuals, in fact, suffer from significantly higher molestation rates than heterosexuals?

Anyone disagree? Endogeniety (reverse-causation) does not seem plausible. That is, it does not seem likely that boys who become homosexual "attract" molestors more than boys who become heterosexual.
10.4.2006 7:35pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
If true that molestation in some way causes a person to become gay, then it would be clear proof that a person does not 'choose' to be gay.


True. Demonstrating that nurture, not nature--and I suspect that it's a mixture of both--determines sexual orientation, a person would nevertheless have no more "choice" in their own sexual orientation unless they can influence whatever "nurture" factors that cause homosexuality.
10.4.2006 7:49pm
ReaderY:
The North Carolina Court of Appeals held in 2003 State v. Every that explicit conversations with a minor of a sexual nature constitute indecent liberties with a minor, even though the only overt act involved is mere words:

State v. Every

However, that court limited its holding in State v. Brown, when it held that expressions of attractiveness and affection, which while improper stopped short of being explicitly sexual, are not covered by the indecent liberties with a minor statute.

State v. Brown
10.4.2006 8:03pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

If, however, IF it is true that a large number of gay men were molested when they were young, it is would be difficult to say that this 'caused' them to be gay. We know that there are plenty of men who were molested who do NOT become gay, and we know plenty of gay men who were NEVER molested. So the best you could say is that molestation, plus some other important factor, would need to be present to say that this affects sexual orientation.
Different people respond to trauma in different ways. There is a lot of reason to think that age of victimization and its severity plays a part. Certainly, younger victims are more likely to repress memories of what happened. I know a woman who completely repressed memories of sexual abuse that happened when she was three. When she asked her older sister about this (after memories were recovered during hynopsis), the older sister, who was about five, confirmed that the stepfather had molested her as well.

One step further: Being sexually molested can be quite devestating to a person. In extreme cases, people can be left unable to function as a adult. if true that molestation in some way causes a person to become gay, then it would be clear proof that a person does not 'choose' to be gay. Moreoever, all the homophobia and hate directed at gay people, especially by religious groups, would look pretty damn insensitive at best.
I have not seen much hate directed towards gay people--at least, by any organized religious groups (with the notable and quite exceptional case of Fred Phelps' little hate cult). I have seen a lot of people arguing that homosexuality is not immutable, and we have some evidence that for those who are highly motivated, about half are successful (with therapies that in some cases are secular, and in other cases religiously based) at changing not just behavior, but also orientation.

If the correlations do indicate causality, it means that homosexuality is not an immutable congenital trait, like race. Nor is it a choice in the sense of, "I'll have chocolate."
10.4.2006 8:07pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Rob Johnson writes:

Is it just me, or doesn't it seem that this data would be relatively easy to collect and extremely damaging to the "nature hypothesis" if homosexuals, in fact, suffer from significantly higher molestation rates than heterosexuals?

It has been gathered (as I point out above), and it is extremely damaging to the "nature hypothesis" (at least, as an explanation for all homosexuality). But what are mere facts when you have a fully developed political movement built around a beautiful theory? This is doubtless why enthusiasm for this theory is far stronger among intellectuals than among ordinary people.
10.4.2006 8:10pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Clayton:

While some gays and lesbians are intellectuals, most are "ordinary people." And they, by overwhelming majorities, believe it's nature. But why take their word over yours?
10.4.2006 8:21pm
JB:
It seems to me that getting solid, reliable accounts of molestation for every out gay person would be next to impossible, and considering the number of gay people in the closet, even that data would be totally unreliable for this purpose.

Atop that, one would then need to find out every straight person who had been molested, to judge how often molestation turns people gay. This would be roughly 10 times as hard as the impossible first task.

So sadly I think this theory is one that really can't be confirmed.
10.4.2006 8:47pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
Clayton,

Thank you! The links you pointed me to are precisely what I was looking for: Comparative Data of Childhood and Adolescence Molestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual Persons

I haven't had a chance to read the entire article, but here's what the abstract says:

Abstract In research with 942 nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation than did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation. Twenty-two percent of lesbian women in contrast to 1% of heterosexual women reported homosexual molestation. This research is apparently the first survey that has reported substantial homosexual molestation of girls. Suggestions for future research were offered.


Wow! The implications of the "molestation as cause of homosexuality" model are huge. It would be easy, for example, for Christians to maintain that God did not intend homosexuality.

Why isn't this model more publicized, with articles discrediting it if it deserves to be discredited? Wikipedia's entry on homosexuality doesn't even reference the model. There is no excuse for that.
10.4.2006 8:47pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Clayton:

While some gays and lesbians are intellectuals, most are "ordinary people." And they, by overwhelming majorities, believe it's nature. But why take their word over yours?
1. For the same reason that a doctor who is his own patient is a fool--they are a bit too close to the subject to be objective.

2. I'm not asking you take my word for it. The data is very persuasive showing a correlation. That isn't enough to prove causality--but along with the many related correlations (adult substance abuse and child sexual abuse, adult substance abuse and adult homosexuality, disproportionate sexual abuse of children by homosexuals--typically 7x to 10x higher than you would expect for their trivial percentage of the population) and a plausible causal relationship (someone gets sexually abused when they are too young to process it and as an adult, their sexual behavior is abnormal), it is pretty apparent that there's a political agenda involved that prevents discussion of this.

3. While I don't have any data that proves this, I think everyone knows that paraphilias (such as sadomasochism) are more common in the gay population than the straight population--hence many of the enduring and necessarily inaccurate stereotypes that homosexuals hate, expect when the Village People are doing it, or it is someone marching in a gay pride parade. Of course, the paraphilias are also a notable characteristic of adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
10.4.2006 8:59pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
JB,

I think you are overstating the difficulty of getting valid data.

To get correlation:

Take a random sample cross-section of the population. Inquire about their first sexual experience, including molestation. Find out whether the individuals are homosexual or heterosexual. Compare molestation rates amoung homosexuals with molestation rates amoung heterosexuals.

Causation will be more difficult, but I don't know why it would be more difficult than the typical "soft science" inquiry.
10.4.2006 8:59pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Concerning self-identification of sexual orientation, this quote from William H. Masters, Virginia E. Johnson, and Robert C. Kolodny, Human Sexuality, 4th ed., (New York, HarperCollins Publishers Inc.: 1992), 399, is instructive:


Some homosexuals say that they were aware of being gay as early as age five or six, while others don't make the discovery until sometime in adulthood. However, it is not very likely that the young child has a real sense of homosexual orientation. The sense of being "different" during childhood that some homosexuals recall as adults is not always an accurate barometer of later sexual orientation, since many "straight" adults also feel "different" as children. Furthermore, adult recollections of childhood feelings and behaviors may possibly be influenced by social expectations of what homosexuals "should" have felt (Ross, 1980).
10.4.2006 9:04pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

It seems to me that getting solid, reliable accounts of molestation for every out gay person would be next to impossible, and considering the number of gay people in the closet, even that data would be totally unreliable for this purpose.
Why? It's not like homosexuals are afraid to identify themselves anymore.

Atop that, one would then need to find out every straight person who had been molested, to judge how often molestation turns people gay. This would be roughly 10 times as hard as the impossible first task.
What makes this difficult? There's no shortage of survey data on this--and unfortunately, you don't a large survey to get data on this, since sexual abuse of children is disturbingly common.
10.4.2006 9:07pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
By the way, here's an overview of surveys concerning sexual abuse of children. As I point out here:

One of my readers emailed me to criticize my use of this study, claiming that:

1. Those rates of child sexual abuse really aren't all that high compared to the general population.

2. The study in question was focused on substance abusers, who are almost certainly atypical, and very probably disproportionately child sexual abuse victims (which would contradict claim #1).

3. The study says that its results are not indicative of the state of gays and lesbians in San Francisco, because it wasn't a random survey.

Let me deal with these, one by one.

"Rates of Child Sexual Abuse On That Study Aren't All That Much Above the General Population"

The reader directed me to this report by David Finkelhor, "Current Information on the Scope and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse," and told me that the numbers in that study were in line with those in the S.F. Dept. of Public Health study. I notice that the surveys listed in Finkelhor's report, however, are generally below the general population sexual abuse rates for females, and in line with the numbers that I was quoting for males. Of the nineteen studies Finkelhor's report summarized, nine included males. Eight of those surveys produced numbers that roughly matched the numbers I quoted: 8%, 6%, 7%, 3%, 1%, 3%, 4%, and 9%.

The one very notable exception: a study by Finkelhor, Hotaling, Lewis, and Smith (1990) that reported 16% of males reported sexual abuse as children. This one outlier, however, still just over half the rate reported in the San Francisco Dept. of Public Health survey for homosexual males. This outlier study asked questions that included all unwanted contact, including that involving no age differential between victim and aggressor. I would suggest that this outlier study may include a lot of locker room "unwanted contact" of a sexual nature (snapped towels, hazing), or the sort of young teen peer masturbation activity which is pretty common--and for which some boys as adults may feel guilt, and regard retrospectively as unwanted. I am not denying that these are bad situations, but it might explain why this one study is such a serious outlier. I notice also that in box 3 of Finkelhor's report, when trying to make a guess at the number of child sexual victims, he used rates of 20% and 7% for women and men respectively, suggesting that he considers these to be responsible percentages. The percentage in the S.F. study--48% of lesbians, and 28% of gay men--is still quite a bit higher than you would expect relative to the general population.
10.4.2006 9:16pm
CLS (mail):
And exactly what is it that causes people to be heterosexual? I think it was nightmares or perhaps bad spinach. Maybe a birth defect that is hereditary, probably their parents were heterosexual as well. It could go back generations.

I guess we don't ask that question do we? Does it dawn on anyone how offensive all this speculation about what "causes" gay people to be gay is to those who are gay. It reeks of pity, paternalism and contempt.
10.4.2006 9:31pm
Asinine Off Topic Conversations (mail):
Quite an enticing lovefest between Rob and Clayton; makes you wonder if they were molested as children.
10.4.2006 9:35pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
Clayton,

One big problem with the study you cite is the self-selection effect for people who choose to hang out in overtly gay and lesbian locals. Likely this will reflect a disproportionate number of gay and lesbian individuals hoping to hook up or in need of greater social support. At least in my experience my best adjusted homosexual friends seem to spend the least time in overtly gay and lesbian enviornments. They just happen to have a s.o. of the same sex and mostly engage in the same activities as anyone else while my friends who are more uncomfortable with their sexuality seem far more likely to hang out in gay bars or seek social support in explicitly homosexual enviornments. Secondly just doing the sample in SF, which has a large number of gays and lesbians who felt the need to relocate from elsewhere, is a biasing effect in and of itself.

I'm generally annoyed by this tendency of people to assume that the people who most strongly identify as gay/lesbian (as opposed to identifying as a lawyer and happening to be gay) are representitive of homosexuals in general. I think it's no more reasonable to generalize from people at gay/lesbian events/stores than it would be to generalize about black people from the people at bookstores focusing on black heritage or overtly black oriented events (NAACP meetings).
10.4.2006 9:42pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

Abstract In research with 942 nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation than did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation. Twenty-two percent of lesbian women in contrast to 1% of heterosexual women reported homosexual molestation. This research is apparently the first survey that has reported substantial homosexual molestation of girls. Suggestions for future research were offered.


Even if the numbers are right, (see my *) this confuses correlation for caustion. And it also depends on what the meaning of the word "abuse" is. If "abuse" includes consensual behavior -- as we all agree it does -- then it makes sense that a homosexually oriented youth would be more likely to consent to sex with an adult of the same gender.

Occam's Razor also suggests that someone interested in a younger partner of the same sex will take the path of least resistance and hence would target a homosexually oriented youth who would more likely consent to the behavior.

* It's doubtful that 46% of homosexual men were molested, as most people understand the term. What may be true is that 46% of homosexual men report having sex before they were 18 with a party over 18. If that qualifies as "molestation" then you are likely to find similar number among heterosexuals.

Note that the "7 percent of heterosexual men and 1 percent of heterosexual women " refers to heterosexuals who report "homosexual" molestation. If a 21-year-old male having sex with a 16-year old girl, etc. qualifies as "heterosexual molestation," then you will likely find similarly high numbers of them who report "molestation."
10.4.2006 9:42pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
Clayton,

In short while the general gist of the results may or may not be right (I don't know) the problem is that someone who was molested as a child, particularly by someone of the same sex, is going to be way more likely to require reassurance that their sexuality is okay and not bad.

--

On a different point I find that law interestingly written. It seems to suggest that if I was to induce an underage individual to masturbage for someone else's sexual gratification (not mine or theirs) I wouldn't be guilty of anything.
10.4.2006 9:49pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

disproportionate sexual abuse of children by homosexuals--typically 7x to 10x higher than you would expect for their trivial percentage of the population


Clayton knows that this isn't true given that some unknown but huge % of "homosexual molestations" are committed by adult men, often married to women, who have no attraction to adult members of the same-sex, don't identify as "gay" and have no otherwise connection to the gay community.

If you want to lump such a person into the "gay or bi" box, then such a box's definition (and size) radically changes. While it may be true that self-defined gays and bisexuals -- those with a full or predominant same-sex attraction, are a "trivial" number of the population (2-3% probably), they don't represent all or probably even the majority of people who have same-sex experiences. Self-identified gays and bis probably constitute 3-6 on the Kinsey scale (with 0 being perfectly straight, 3 perfectly bi and 6 perfectly gay). If we add in all of the 1s and 2s as *some* kind of bisexuals then the gay or bi box expands into the double digits, and perhaps may be as large as 1/3 of the population.
10.4.2006 9:49pm
Randy R. (mail):
Clayton: Why? It's not like homosexuals are afraid to identify themselves anymore.

Patently untrue. Ex. Gov. McGreevey, and Rep. Foley. Didn't identify themselves as gay until late in life and only when it was already exposed for them. There are tons of gay people who are currently married with kids, but can't, for whatever reason, come out.

Rob: Wow! The implications of the "molestation as cause of homosexuality" model are huge. It would be easy, for example, for Christians to maintain that God did not intend homosexuality.


Not really. They study you cite says that 46% of the gay men were molested. That's less than half. Why are the remaining 54% gay then? 22% of lesbians were molested, but what of the remaining 79%? How did they become gay, if not molested?

And it doesn't mention how many young boys were molested by older men who did not turn gay.

One thing the studies that I mentioned is that they have been able to identify people who are gay at least to the age of 7, sometimes earlier. Many researchers have interpreted the data to say that it reflects that some older men are able to discern which children are likely gay, and then molest them. That's at least as plausible an explanation as any brought forth on this board.

I'm a gay man, very happy, no real issues, and I was never molested in any way as a child or as a youth. I didn't choose this: Rather, I am just attracted to other men. Why is that? Your theory gives no explanation.

One last point: Who we find attractive in a sexual way is very subjective. You might find blonds really hot, other's find redheads. Ever have a friend date a girl who thinks she's the hottest, only to have you wonder what he sees in her? That's the nature of love and attraction. Poets from Shakespeare to today have wrestled with this issue. We really don't know what makes us attracted to certain people, and everyone is attracted to others. There is no explanation to it, and it's one of the enduring mysteries of human life. I prefer to keep it that way: I really don't see the point of trying to figure it out. The fact is it just IS, and all our attractions, be they to redheads or blonds, men or women, fat or thin, ought to be respected and accepted.
10.4.2006 9:56pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
And exactly what is it that causes people to be heterosexual? . . . I guess we don't ask that question do we?


On the contrary, the whole theory of Darwin answers that question. Not trying to hurt your feelings CLS, just trying to get information and answers on a scientific question.
10.4.2006 9:56pm
lpdbw:
CLS,

Must we get your approval for every area of study in physical and social sciences? Do we need to be sure that all the questions we ask are not offensive to every group, majority or minority?

Here's a thought problem for you. Suppose the entire world was light-skinned. Except, apparently randomly, 1% (or 5%, or 10%, you choose) of babies are born with dark skin. They grow up and are in the general population, and some of them form political interest groups for the dark-skinned, based solely on chromatic affinity.

Are you saying that scientists can't study what makes their skin dark and look for causes and explanations, just because some of them would be offended?

What other areas of study would you like to see blocked?

Personally, I was offended by the guy that tried to show how preschool and kindergarten bullies grew up to be conservatives, but I could just laugh at him and get over it.
10.4.2006 10:00pm
pmorem (mail):
The entire question of legality is moot if, as Drudge is reporting, the Page in question was 18.
10.4.2006 10:01pm
andrewdb:
Professor - I seem to recall the IM had Foley saying something about his 7.5 inches (or maybe it was the other guy) - how about wire fraud?
10.4.2006 10:08pm
Cornellian (mail):
I've seen a number of articles suggesting a genetic basis behind sexuality. A recent issue of the Economist had an article about a study which determined that odds of a man being gay rise dramatically with the number of older brothers his mother has borne before giving birth to him. Nuture was ruled out, since this effect was present even when the man in question did not grow up with his older brothers. Similarly, the effect was not present even if the man did grow up with older brothers who were not blood relations (e.g. step brothers, or half brothers with a different mother). In other words, this effect could not be the result of growing up with older brothers, but in some way was connected to the fact that the mother had borne sons prior to the gay son, whether or not the gay son had any contact with his older brothers.

Sexuality is a difficult subject, and even the idea that sexuality is bipolar, that everyone is either straight or gay, is an extreme oversimplification. There are far too many counter examples, gay men who were never molested, straight men who were molested etc. for any glib conclusions about a "cause" of homosexuality.

Suffice to say that some people feel sexually attracted to others of the same sex, and some people are so agitated by that fact that they seem rarely to think or talk of anything else.
10.4.2006 10:13pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
Randy R. says:

One last point: Who we find attractive in a sexual way is very subjective. You might find blonds really hot, other's find redheads. Ever have a friend date a girl who thinks she's the hottest, only to have you wonder what he sees in her? That's the nature of love and attraction. Poets from Shakespeare to today have wrestled with this issue. We really don't know what makes us attracted to certain people, and everyone is attracted to others. There is no explanation to it, and it's one of the enduring mysteries of human life. I prefer to keep it that way: I really don't see the point of trying to figure it out. The fact is it just IS, and all our attractions, be they to redheads or blonds, men or women, fat or thin, ought to be respected and accepted.


The origin of sexual preferences is a scientific question. I hope you will not try to to put the kibosh on the inquiry because you do not like some of the potential answers. I'm not trying to be offensive here, just trying to answer a scientific question.

Randy R. says:

Not really. They study you cite says that 46% of the gay men were molested. That's less than half. Why are the remaining 54% gay then? 22% of lesbians were molested, but what of the remaining 79%?


You overstate the Christian's burden. He does not have to explain why every person is gay. It is enough if the Christian can demonstrate that molestation played a role (it need not be the sole role) in a significant number of people becoming gay.

Randy R. asks:

I'm a gay man, very happy, no real issues, and I was never molested in any way as a child or as a youth. I didn't choose this: Rather, I am just attracted to other men. Why is that? Your theory gives no explanation.


If the molestation explains a portion of homosexual behavior, that is significant finding even if it cannot explain it all. I personally suspect that homesexuality is explained by both biological and environmental factors. One of the environmental factors appears to be childhood molestation. How else to explain the correlation? (I'm sorry but the hypothesis that molestation causes homosexuality strikes me as far more likely than the hypothesis that homosexuality (in children) causes molestation. I am just not persuaded that molestors could or would preferentially identify and molest homosexual children.)
10.4.2006 10:20pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

Sexuality is a difficult subject, and even the idea that sexuality is bipolar, that everyone is either straight or gay, is an extreme oversimplification.


That's true. My hunch is that Kinsey -- whatever overall problems exist in his research -- was right in positing that sexuality exists on a continuum, which potentially gives us infinite shades of gray. But many other traits -- for instance height, weight, IQ and race, -- exist on a continuum as well.

This article is interesting. It doesn't exactly illustrate my point in the above post about how the numbers on the continuum likely spread. But it does show that more self-identified straights are having gay sex than self-identified gays or bis.

A survey was done among men in New York and apparently 19% of them qualify as "gay or bi." But here's the rub. Only 9% identified as "gay or bi." 10% of the men surveyed had same-sex experiences and identified as "straight."

But -- here's where the results differ from what I would expect -- that 10% of MSM who identify as "straight" apparently didn't have sex with women, only homo sex. I would expect this crowd to be predominantly hetero, incidentally homo. The article suggests a different reason: Many of them are immigrants from cultures who don't accept homosexuality.
10.4.2006 10:25pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
Suffice to say that some people feel sexually attracted to others of the same sex, and some people are so agitated by that fact that they seem rarely to think or talk of anything else.


Cornelian,

Are you suggesting that inquiring whether childhood molestation is more common among homosexuals than among heterosexuals is innapropriate? If so, why? Especially, after Foley announces that he was molested as a child. Don't you at least want to challenge the relevance of his announcement?
10.4.2006 10:34pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

I am just not persuaded that molestors could or would preferentially identify and molest homosexual children.)


How does that study with the 46% define "children"? It might be very difficult to identify a homosexually oriented 5-year old, but not so difficult to identify a homosexually oriented 15-year-old. Also, if the adult is simply looking for same-sex contact with underaged same-sex members, he could simply "put out the vibe" and the homo teens with the raging libido that all teen males have are the ones likely to consent.

Bill Donahue makes an apt point. He's apparently ticked off that Foley is trying to blame a Catholic priest for the molestation. He notes,


“As for the alleged abuse, it’s time to ask some tough questions. First, there is a huge difference between being groped and being raped, so which was it Mr. Foley? Second, why didn’t you just smack the clergyman in the face? After all, most 15-year-old teenage boys wouldn’t allow themselves to be molested. So why did you?”


I'm not saying I agree with Donahue's sentiment completely. It's entirely possible for a clever Priest in their revered position of authority to manipulate a straight teen to consent to sex. It would be a lot easier for a Priest, however, to seduce a homosexually oriented teen, which is likely what happened with Foley.
10.4.2006 10:34pm
Randy R. (mail):
Rob: How else to explain the correlation? (I'm sorry but the hypothesis that molestation causes homosexuality strikes me as far more likely than the hypothesis that homosexuality (in children) causes molestation. I am just not persuaded that molestors could or would preferentially identify and molest homosexual children.)

Well, there are many ways to explain the correlation. That you find one explanation more persuasive than another based on nothing more than some vague gut feeling doesn't mean that there is only one explanation. And any explanation that leave a majority of people unexplained is hardly a good correlation, as any statician will tell you. For the lesbians at coming in at 22? That's simply too low a number for any degree of correlation. Don't argue with me: argue with staticians who do this for a living.

A recent study in NY indicated that there was a group of men who self-idenfitied as heterosexual, yet only had sex with men. How do you explain that? It certainly contradicts Cramer's view that all gay men identify themselves as gay. if you watch Oprah, you will find that there are plenty of men who think and act striaght, when they are out have sex with other men.

A friend of mine who is a prominent oncologist says that they used to ask men if they are gay when getting their medical histories. That wasn't getting the right answers, so they started to ask, are you having sex with men. That still wasn't getting the right answers, so now they say, do you fuck other men. This question comes closer to getting an accurate sexual history of men than anything else. Whether it's still completely accurate is another matter.

The point is that asking people if they are gay or straight doesn't always get you the answer you want. Therefore, altough the study you cite says that 46% of homosexuals say they were molested, how many where actually molested, and what is there sexual orientation today? The bottom line: no one really knows. We don't even know if the labels gay or straight, hetero or homo, really do the job that we need. Many people are somewhere in between -- how do you count them in the equation?

But the real bottomline: what's the point? Even if true that there is a correlation between molestation and sexual orientation (which I doubt), for more than half the gay population, it simply isnt' true. What would you do with it? It still means that we deserve the same rights as you do, and the same respect. It still means you can't assume that any person you met has been molested. It doesn't give any gay people a pass if they molest someone else. I really don't know what it would mean.
10.4.2006 10:51pm
Toby:
Switching to an area less charged with this crowd (I think - but don't really care)

It is a well known / well researched observation that mid-late Victorians males who had German nannnies, nannies who believed that "regularity" was supremely important, and who would administer enemas to ensure regularity, were excited by enemas when they were grown.

See Konrad Lorenz and Imprinting in Ducklings. It used to be considered particularly amusing for Grad students to imprint Ducklings on a beer bottle for the elucidation of sophomores.

There are probably as many reasons to be gay as there are people who are gay. Within the shades of gray, those far from the middle have ended up straight, and some close to the middle have ended up gay. The multiple male birth thing, whose closest analog is RH- syndrome, does affect some, but not all. TO here the arguments you would think that every 3rd boy was gay. Yet as a 7th son who has younger brothers, none of us are. So it means something, but not everything.

Many gay people have argued that their lives are very much less happy than they would be otherwise (in arguing that it is not a choice) Why is it then evil to understand what the factors are, and see if, for some, they can be remediated and/or avoided.

Some of this reminds me of the discussions in the deaf community, passionately arguing against cochlear implants, lest they reduce deaf culture.
10.4.2006 10:53pm
illlogical:
In california, as it was, since revised to include "child enticement" if memory serves:

Penal Code:

647.6. (a) Every person who annoys or molests any child under the age of 18 shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment.

Decision:

8] We now consider the range of conduct proscribed by
the state Annoy/Molest misdemeanor statute. See Taylor, 495
U.S. at 602. We should note first that California has a felony statute that prohibits lewd and lascivious acts against minors, see Cal. Pen. Code § 288(a), 6 which requires (1) the touching of an underage child’s body (2) with a sexual intent. See People v. Lopez, 19 Cal. 4th 282, 289 (1998). The misdemeanor statute at issue here applies to less serious conduct. See id. at 290. As the California Supreme Court has put it, “Section 288, subdivision (a), requires a touching . . . done with lewd intent. Section 647.6, subdivision (a), on the other hand, requires an act objectively and unhesitatingly viewed as irritating or disturbing, prompted by an abnormal sexual interest
in children.” Id. (emphasis in original). In short, whereas the California felony statute requires a physical touching, the misdemeanor statute requires only an act that is irritating or annoying.

Pallares-Galan, 359 F.3d 1088 (9th Cir. February 20, 2004)
10.4.2006 11:06pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
Randy R. says:

But the real bottomline: what's the point? Even if true that there is a correlation between molestation and sexual orientation (which I doubt), for more than half the gay population, it simply isnt' true. What would you do with it? It still means that we deserve the same rights as you do, and the same respect.


First answer: Let's get the science right, then let's worry about the implications.

Second answer: You are right. You are entitled to respect, regardless of the origin of your sexual preferences.

Third answer: If it really doesn't matter, why are you (and others) trying so desperately to find a biological basis for your homosexuality? Why is the hypothesis that childhood molestation causes homosexuality so threatening to you? I think the reason you and I both think that the hypothesis is important is because it goes to the question of whether nature, or nature's God, intended you to be homosexual.
10.4.2006 11:15pm
Michael Roach (mail):
Excuse me professors and other learned scribes but I came to this site seeking information about its posted topic. Instead, I stumbled upon a mostly off-topic &frankly inane discussion and "analysis" re: sexual identity.
As a 51-year old gay man, who has been "out" since the age of 23, perhaps I am "too close to the subject" to give a dispassionate contribution to this discussion. As a guest, and in a valiant attempt to refrain from ad hominem attacks on some of the posters, I will limit my participation to a simple question to the "straight" posters. When did you know you were a heterosexual?
Yes folks, it’s that simple for us too. Get over it!
If your analyses of legal issue matches your analyses of sexual identity issues, I truly feel sorry for the current state of legal education.
10.4.2006 11:53pm
Randy R. (mail):
Scientific inquiry is good. We should keep looking for answer, and not be afraid of them. However, until we find the answers, we have to live with mysteries.

WE gay people don't really care about the origins of sexual orientation. Most, but not all, gays go through a period of denial, then closetedness, then finally openness. Self-acceptance can be especially difficult, especially when we have religious and conservatives groups constanting harping upon us that we are not 'natural', that we chose this lifestyle and so on.

If you look at the dis- information propagated by these groups, they often say that the 'homosexual lifestyle is a chosen one, and it leads to destruction, it's immoral, it's unnatural' and worse. So we react by saying, no, we did not 'choose' this lifestyle. When people keep calling you an abomination, unclean, branding us all as child molesters, well, you get a little defensive. Ever been beaten up for being straight? Gay kids get picked on and roughed up far more than straight kids do. (Sourse: US dept of Education).

We are very happy to conclude that we are gay because of something deep within us, most likely we were born with it. It can't be changed no matter how much 'reparative therapy' you throw at us.

The molestation issue is a particularly sensitive one for us. There are many straight people. people on the VC even, who assume that every gay man wants to molest young men, and usually does. The foley incident gives them fodder for it. However, it simply isn't true, but that doesn't matter -- they think I'm lying.

The issue of child molestation is serious one, and it deserves serious study. But assuming you know a lot about it because you read headlines, or a study, or know someone who was a abused is not being serious. Jumping to conclusions doesn't help either, especially if you have no background in the subject area.

So by all means, more study! More light on the subject. But your last sentence is the most revealing, about nature or God's intentions. Nature has NO intentions -- it just is. (And BTW, there is plenty of evidence of homosexuality in many species of animals) What God intends for me is between God and me, and I'm perfectly sure that God intended me to be gay. It's frankly none of your business. Even if I didnt' believe in God, though, I would be happy to let others live the life that they lead, secure that it is not for me to judge whether God intended you to be a Democrat or a Republican or a Green.
10.5.2006 12:00am
Rob Johnson (mail):
Michael Roach,

I hope not to provoke an ad hominem attack, but the question some of us have been asking is not "when do homosexuals first learn of their sexual preference," but "what causes homosexuality."

As for your relevance criticism, mea culpa. I'll stop posting on this thread. Thanks to Clayton for the links and to others for the discussion.
10.5.2006 12:37am
lyarbrou (mail):
Re the genetics of sexual orientation, Demir and Dickson (Cell 121, 785-794, 2005) published a fascinating paper regarding sexuality and courtship behavior in the fruit fly, Drosophila (fruitless splicing specifies male courtship behavior in Drosophila). They found that male courtship of the female requires products of the "fruitless" gene which is spliced differently in male and females. Male splicing is essential for male courtship and sexual orientation. Moreover, females which were genetically engineered to produce the male specific form of fruitless exhibited typical male courtship behavior toward females. Male specific splicing also inhibited male-male courtship.

Sequencing of the human and Drosophila genomes has shown that a large fraction of the genes in both species are orthologs, that is they have a common evolutionary origin and similar function in both species.

Human behavior is obviously much more complex than that of Drosophila. However, I believe it most likely that human sexual orientation is determined in large part by genetics.
10.5.2006 12:39am
Rob Johnson (mail):
Randy R.,

One more quick post to thank you for the discussion. I am happy you are open to more research. It is not obvious to me why asking the question "why are some people homosexual and others not" should be any more controversial than asking "why are some people deaf and others not." Whatever the answers to these questions, one thing is for certain: homosexuals, heterosexuals, deaf people and hearing people are all entitled to respect.
10.5.2006 12:52am
Randy R. (mail):
Thanks buddy!

ONe more point: There has been a lot of research done about genetics and sexual orientation. For instance, it has been found that there is high correlation between a small thalmus in the brain and gay men. Lesbians tend to have one finger shorter than another, and there is also something about the shape of the ear.

In other words, studies have found some sort of correlation between certain physical aspects of a person and homosexuality. These correlations are not strong, but they are stronger that your example of child molestation. And they have been criticized as not proving much at all, even though they seem to support a genetic component to sexual orientation.

My belief is that we will likely never find a definitive answer as to why one person is gay, another straight, and I'm perfectly okay with that. The sad fact is that we know very little about sexuality in general. However, I DO believe that the more we research, the more we know, and that's a good thing.
10.5.2006 1:13am
Speaking the Obvious:
Prof. V wonders: "Might it be a crime, though, for [Representative Mark Foley, R-Fl] to try to get the page to masturbate?"

It's my recollection that it doesn't actually require much to induce a teenage male to masturbate...

Foley should, however, be prosecuted for abject stupidity and not a little hubris.

As for his 7.5 claim, wasn't Rep. Foley a big advocate for metric conversion?
10.5.2006 4:15am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
Prof. V wonders: "Might it be a crime, though, for [Representative Mark Foley, R-Fl] to try to get the page to masturbate?"

Not in the District of Columbia, where the sexual age of consent is 16. If physical sex with a 16-year-old is legal, cybersex with said teen must be legal also.

I've been wondering who lobbied for lowering the age of consent to 16 in DC. Those with such inclination have a long history of not allowing laws to interfere with sexual predation, but aren't they even more likely to hit on 16-year-olds when the laws allow it?
10.5.2006 5:07am
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Wow! The implications of the "molestation as cause of homosexuality" model are huge. "

So what we're saying is that the Republicans, by molesting children, are actually spreading homozexuality!

Fascinating.
10.5.2006 8:53am
Michael Roach (mail):
Rob Johnson:
Perhaps the more relevant question is whether molestation causes heterosexual identity. Run the numbers.
10.5.2006 9:34am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
So what we're saying is that the Republicans, by molesting children, are actually spreading homozexuality!


"Republicans [are] molesting children"...hmmm...doesn't that draw on the same statistical errors that crank out statements like "homosexuals molest children," "blog commenters make crude jokes about Michelle Malkin," or "Democrats claim that Bush is manipulating the price of oil for political purposes"?

(That last one is representative of only some Democrats - but not a small number.)
10.5.2006 10:02am
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
"I've been wondering who lobbied for lowering the age of consent to 16 in DC."

Are you sure it was actually "lowered" to 16 in DC? Historically, ages of consent were far lower than they are today; and the push to "18" in the modern era represents an upward drift or a raise in the age of consent.
10.5.2006 10:17am
Lawstsoul:
"Comparative data of childhood and adolescence molestation in heterosexual and homosexual persons. Tomeo ME, Templer DI, Anderson S, Kotler D. Arch Sex Behav. 2001 Oct;30(5):535-41."

I haven't been able to find any peer review of this paper. I did find some an that challenged the methodology and validity of the sample used.

OBTW, 98 percent of male victims and 99.6 percent of female victims are molested by heterosexuals.
See: pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/94/1/41
I'm not sure what correlations might be drawn from those stats.
10.5.2006 10:19am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

A recent study in NY indicated that there was a group of men who self-idenfitied as heterosexual, yet only had sex with men. How do you explain that? It certainly contradicts Cramer's view that all gay men identify themselves as gay. if you watch Oprah, you will find that there are plenty of men who think and act striaght, when they are out have sex with other men.
What did Lincoln say about calling a tail a leg not making it so? You can call yourself heterosexual, but if you have sex with other men, you aren't.

The claim that men who molest little boys but have sex with adult women aren't "really" homosexuals is in this same category of nonsense. Of course, men (and sometimes women) who identify themselves as homosexual do molest kids, and it sometimes makes the papers. Paula Poundstone, for example. Here's another example that doesn't fit your "molesters aren't homosexuals" model:
A convicted pedophile duped the Northampton County Children and Youth department and the state into placing a 12-year-old foster child in his Allentown home where the boy spent three months before the ruse was discovered.

According to court documents obtained by The Morning Call, Ira Butt, who was convicted earlier this month for possessing child pornography, used his adult son's Social Security number to elude a criminal background check required to place the child in the home he shared with his partner.

The sham by Butt, a former Boy Scout leader who admitted in court to sexually abusing a half-dozen children throughout his life, has prompted the agency to change the way it screens applicants.

''They pulled one off,'' said Kevin Dolan, director of Northampton County Children and Youth.

Children and Youth lawyer Dan Spengler is investigating whether criminal charges should be filed against Butt and his live-in partner, Kenneth Anthony Sr. He said the decision to prosecute will most likely be up to the Lehigh County district attorney because Butt lives in Allentown.
Obviously, most homosexuals aren't molesters, and it is quite clear that much of the sexual abuse that seems to cause little girls to grow up to be lesbians is done by heterosexual men. (They may have sex with adult women, but they are still heterosexuals if they are only interested in sex with females.) Redefining a guy who likes sex with little boys as "not homosexual" makes about as much sense as men who have sex with men calling themselves "straight."

Concerning the study about older brothers and homosexuality--an interesting study, and not impossible, but my thoughts on why this might be quite as significant as it first appears are here.
10.5.2006 10:58am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Randy R. writes:

The molestation issue is a particularly sensitive one for us. There are many straight people. people on the VC even, who assume that every gay man wants to molest young men, and usually does. The foley incident gives them fodder for it. However, it simply isn't true, but that doesn't matter -- they think I'm lying.
I don't think you are lying. While child molesters are disproportionately homosexual, it is still a relatively tiny fraction of homosexuals. While it appears that molesters were almost always sexual abuse victims themselves, most victims don't become molesters. There's a lot of head scratching about psychiatrists who have studied the problem trying to figure out why some become molesters.

Still, it would help a lot if homosexuals had early on told NAMBLA where to go--instead of welcoming them into gay pride parades, and not engaged in heated internal debates about whether NAMBLA was part of your movement or not. Of course, then you would have had to tell poets like Ginsburg where to go.
10.5.2006 11:02am
Cornellian (mail):
OBTW, 98 percent of male victims and 99.6 percent of female victims are molested by heterosexuals. See: pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/94/1/41 I'm not sure what correlations might be drawn from those stats.

From the logic one sees in some of the posts around here, clearly the implication must be that heterosexuality causes one to be a child molester.
10.5.2006 11:03am
Anderson (mail) (www):
heterosexuality causes one to be a child molester

Sure! Lots of empirical evidence for that!
10.5.2006 12:50pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

Redefining a guy who likes sex with little boys as "not homosexual" makes about as much sense as men who have sex with men calling themselves "straight."


Clayton, if a man molested male dogs only, I could see you writing a headline "gay man" molests dog.
10.5.2006 1:53pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Clayton, if a man molested male dogs only, I could see you writing a headline "gay man" molests dog.
Really? There's a pretty clear definition of someone who has sex with animals.

I realize that many of you would like to define "gay man" as "decent, caring, responsible person who never does anything wrong" but that would be as accurate as defining that a guy who rapes women isn't a heterosexual. He's a screwed up heterosexual, sure, but pretending that he's not a heterosexual is silly.

And yes, I know what it is like to be assumed to be a monster. I think almost all men over 30 have had at least one experience where they have seen a woman react with fear, because as far as she is concerned, any man who she doesn't know might be a rapist. Is it fair? Not at all. But all she knows is that men are roughly twice as likely as the "general population" (all men and women) to be rapists. Her "bigotry" in assuming that a man she doesn't know is a rapist is completely unfair, because most men aren't rapists. But what does she risk by assuming that every strange man is not a threat? What does she gain by operating on the side of prudence with respect to a strange man.
10.5.2006 4:33pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
"Really? There's a pretty clear definition of someone who has sex with animals."

Pedophile = a pretty clear definition of someone who has sex with children.

Just as you can use "homosexual" to qualify "pedophile" you could also use "homosexual" to qualify a man who likes male dogs only.

Doesn't necessarily mean either one has anything to do with "homosexuals"/"gays" meaning adults who have an attraction to other adult members of the same-sex.

My understanding of the social science is while there may be exceptions to the rule, those who like little boys (pre-puberty) tend to have no attraction to adults of the same sex, don't identify as "gay," are often married to women, and have no otherwise connection ot the gay community. See for instance, Arnold Friedman. They are not what we typically think of as "gay men" anymore than a man who likes male sheep only is what we think of as a "gay man." Thus, lumping them into a stastics about "gay" men is dishonest.

Those who are into underaged teens -- like Mark Foley --tend to also be attracted to adults and are what we think of as gay men. If a study were done that shows that gay men are more likely to have sex with underaged teens than straight men, then we'd be comparing apples to apples. But 1) I'm not aware of any such study, and 2) My common sense tells me given straight men have been boinking underaged teen girls since time immemorial at very high rates -- indeed given so many prominent historical marriages with girls well under the age of 18 -- you won't find gays more likely to be involved in the behavior.
10.5.2006 5:59pm
Broncos:
From the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident and Offender Characteristics:

82% of all sexual assault victims under the age of 18 are female. (Pg. 4 of report, 7 of pdf.)

94% of offenders who sexually assaulted juveniles were male. (Pg. 8 of report, 11 of pdf.)
10.5.2006 6:10pm
Randy R. (mail):
So I guess that we should really be worried about the straight people among us. They are responsible for the bulk of sexual assaults.
10.5.2006 6:13pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
Just so we are clear about the question I've been asking:

It is not: Who molests children, homosexuals or heterosexuals?

It is: Does being molested cause (even partially) children to become homosexual?
10.5.2006 8:20pm
Broncos:
Two First Amendment questions. (Looking at Oklahoma Law.)

1. Definition of "patently offensive."
Sct. 1021(A)(3) states that:

Every person who willfully and knowingly either: Writes, composes, stereotypes, prints, photographs, designs, copies, draws, engraves, paints, molds, cuts, or otherwise prepares, publishes, sells, distributes, keeps for sale, knowingly downloads on a computer, or exhibits any obscene material or child pornography; or

shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a felony and shall be punished by the imposition of a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Twenty Thousand Dollars ( $20,000.00) or by imprisonment for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ten (10) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.


Sct. 1024.1(B) states that:

As used in Sections 1021 through 1024.4 and Sections 1040.8 through 1040.24 of this title: "Obscene material" means and includes any representation, performance, depiction or description of sexual conduct, whether in any form or medium including still photographs, undeveloped photographs, motion pictures, undeveloped film, videotape, CD-ROM, magnetic disk memory, magnetic tape memory or a purely photographic product or a reproduction of such product in any book, pamphlet, magazine, or other publication, if said items contain the following elements:

a. depictions or descriptions of sexual conduct which are patently offensive as found by the average person applying contemporary community standards,

b. taken as a whole, have as the dominant theme an appeal to prurient interest in sex as found by the average person applying contemporary community standards, and

c. a reasonable person would find the material or performance taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, educational, political, or scientific purposes or value.


(Putting aside jurisdictional questions), my understanding is that, under Miller, Oklahoma is required to specifically define the conduct which is "patently offensive." Is this definition of "obscenity" unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, because it just leaves it to the average person applying contemporary community standards?

2. Can a state prohibit "communication" without defining it to be obscene?

Sct. 1040.13a(A) states that:

A. It is unlawful for any person to facilitate, encourage, offer or solicit sexual conduct with a minor, or other individual the person believes to be a minor, by use of any technology, or to engage in any communication for sexual or prurient interest with any minor, or other individual the person believes to be a minor, by use of any technology. For purposes of this subsection, "by use of any technology" means the use of any telephone or cell phone, computer disk (CD), digital video disk (DVD), recording or sound device, CD-ROM, VHS, computer, computer network or system, Internet or World Wide Web address including any blog site or personal web address, e-mail address, Internet Protocol address (IP), text messaging or paging device, any video, audio, photographic or camera device of any computer, computer network or system, cell phone, any other electrical, electronic, computer or mechanical device, or any other device capable of any transmission of any written or text message, audio or sound message, photographic, video, movie, digital or computer-generated image, or any other communication of any kind by use of an electronic device.



Sct. 1040.13a(D) states:

Any violation of the provisions of this section shall be a felony, punishable by a fine in an amount not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of not more than ten (10) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment. For purposes of this section, each communication shall constitute a separate offense.


Can Oklahoma prohibit "communication for sexual or prurient interest with any minor" without defining it as obscene, or would it just be constitutional as a necessary measure to achieve a compelling interest?
10.5.2006 8:27pm
Broncos:
Rob Johnson:

Just so we are clear about the question I've been asking:

It is not: Who molests children, homosexuals or heterosexuals?

It is: Does being molested cause (even partially) children to become homosexual?


Just to be clear, I was responding to comments such as "While child molesters are disproportionately homosexual..."
10.5.2006 8:30pm
Elais:
Clayton,

There are pedophiles. Pedophiles molest little girls exclusively or molest little boys exclusively or molest them 'em both. The point being that pedophiles like CHILDREN. Homosexuality has no more relevance to pedophilia than heterosexuality is.

Boy, you are the most persistant gay-hater I've run across. There is almost no arguement you can't twist into some gay-bashing session.
10.6.2006 12:44am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Are pedophiles by definition not homosexuals? It's an article of faith in some circles, but someone better tell the scientists getting worked published in places such as Archives of Sexual Behavior. See Ray Blanchard, Howard E. Barbaree, Anthony F. Bogaert, Robert Dickey, Philip Klassen, Michael E. Kuban and Kenneth J. Zucker, "Fraternal Birth Order and Sexual Orientation in Pedophiles," Archives of Sexual Behavior 29:5 [2000] 463-78. The abstract describes the paper's purpose:
The purpose of the paper is to examine whether the well-known "birth order effect" (homosexual men are more likely to have older brothers--but not necessarily older siblings than heterosexual men) applies to homosexual pedophiles as well: Whether homosexual pedophiles have more older brothers (a higher fraternal birth order) than do heterosexual pedophiles was investigated. Subjects were 260 sex offenders (against children age 14 or younger) and 260 matched volunteer controls. The subject’s relative attraction to male and female children was assessed by phallometric testing in one analysis, and by his offense history in another. Both methods showed that fraternal birth order correlates with homosexuality in pedophiles, just as it does in men attracted to physically mature partners. Results suggest that fraternal birth order (or the underlying variable it represents) may prove the first identified universal factor in homosexual development.
The paper itself acknowledges what has been long known--homosexuals are more likely to be interested in children than heterosexuals:


The best epidemiological evidence indicates that only 2–4% of men attracted to adults prefer men (ACSF Investigators, 1992; Billy et al., 1993; Fay et al., 1989; Johnson et al., 1992); in contrast, around 25–40% of men attracted to children prefer boys (Blanchard et al., 1999; Gebhard et al., 1965; Mohr et al., 1964). Thus, the rate of homosexual attraction is 6–20 times higher among pedophiles.
I've pointed out before that the evidence is clear that homosexuals are overrepresented among pedophiles, and that a very PC journal like Archives of Sexual Behavior published a paper that uses a term like "homosexual pedophile" shows that the gay claim that pedophiles can't be homosexual is simply wrong.
10.6.2006 4:28pm
Caliban Darklock (www):
@ Rob:

No. There is no demonstrable causal relationship between child sexual abuse and future sexuality in men.

However, there appears to be a statistical anomaly with women. Women molested by men as children seem more likely to become lesbians, in my decidedly non-scientific experience.

I would thus postulate that sexual molestation impels the child in the opposite direction: same-sex molestation impelling toward heterosexuality, opposite-sex toward homosexuality. Since most abuse of boys is same-sex, the resulting impulse toward heterosexuality gets lost in the noise, but the primarily opposite-sex abuse of women becomes noticeable.

But like I said, not even remotely scientific. Just my own little hypothesis, and I lack both the funding and the qualification to back it up with real research. It would be nice if someone else took an interest in the question, but I don't think that's likely.
10.6.2006 4:55pm
Broncos:
A 'separate sexual orientation'

But NARTH's claim that 35% of pedophiles are gay stems from "a flawed assumption" that men who prey on young boys also are attracted to grown men, says Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist Frederick Berlin, an expert on sexual disorders.

Psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, president of NARTH, declined to speak to USA TODAY. But when asked about evidence of a gay-pedophilia link, publications director Linda Nicolosi responded in an e-mail that the link is "hard to track down." Many pedophiles, she said, "are married men homosexually seducing boys. So are they bisexual? Homosexual?"

No scientifically conclusive research exists that would answer questions about pedophiles' sexual orientation, says Berlin.

But clinical experience with pedophiles suggests "it's kind of a separate sexual orientation," says David Finkelhor, author of four books on child sexual abuse and director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. "Often they have no attraction to adults whatsoever."

Bancroft agrees. "They're men interested in children. They're more interested in boys than girls, but they're interested in kids, not adults."
10.6.2006 5:15pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Caliban writes:


No. There is no demonstrable causal relationship between child sexual abuse and future sexuality in men.
Just ignore the strong correlation.


However, there appears to be a statistical anomaly with women. Women molested by men as children seem more likely to become lesbians, in my decidedly non-scientific experience.
There's plenty of statistical evidence that would suggest this as well. But I have also seen this, many, many times among people that I have known.


I would thus postulate that sexual molestation impels the child in the opposite direction: same-sex molestation impelling toward heterosexuality, opposite-sex toward homosexuality. Since most abuse of boys is same-sex, the resulting impulse toward heterosexuality gets lost in the noise, but the primarily opposite-sex abuse of women becomes noticeable.
It has long been a question why, if sexual abuse as a child causes homosexuality, why boys would grow up to prefer the sex that abused them, and girls would grow up to prefer the sex that did not. Surprisingly enough, men and women are different. They respond differently to traumas. Men who were sexually abused often end up quite destructive of others; women often end up self-destructive.
10.6.2006 6:29pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

No scientifically conclusive research exists that would answer questions about pedophiles' sexual orientation, says Berlin.

But clinical experience with pedophiles suggests "it's kind of a separate sexual orientation," says David Finkelhor, author of four books on child sexual abuse and director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. "Often they have no attraction to adults whatsoever."

Bancroft agrees. "They're men interested in children. They're more interested in boys than girls, but they're interested in kids, not adults."
Demonstrably false. I've pointed to a recent (2000) paper in Archives of Sexual Behavior that demonstrates that while there are indeed both homosexual and heterosexual men with preferences that include prepubescent children, the researchers had no problem whatsoever identifying these as homosexuals and heterosexuals--and that many had sexual orientations towards both children and adults.

Why is it necessary for people to tell these outrageous lies? To claim that there is no research on this--and that pedophiles have no sexual attractions to adults--is clearly false, and the research on the subject is very clear.

I guess a lot of lies are required to make homosexuals happy.
10.6.2006 6:33pm
Caliban Darklock (www):
@ Clayton:

> Just ignore the strong correlation.

What strong correlation? Every man I've ever met that was molested as a child is straight, and I know a lot of gay people.

> Why is it necessary for people to tell
> these outrageous lies?

"Often they have no attraction to adults", says the article; "many had sexual orientations towards both" you respond. Those statements can both be true.

Likewise, "clinical experience suggests" doesn't directly contradict "researchers had no problem whatsoever". Those statements can both be true, too.

Looks to me like the outrageous lie is that there's any real solid consensus one way or the other.

But I see a suggestion myself: since the vast majority of pedophiles who have molested boys self-identify as heterosexual, it's apparently far more common for pedophiles to go off-gender - to molest the gender other than what they prefer, because they see an opportunity. The population at large has only a tiny minority of people who, lacking an available member of the appropriate gender, will pursue a partner of the other gender - probably less than 2%. But if we are to believe the statistics on pedophile self-identification, pedophiles overwhelmingly elect to switch gender to gratify their desires... more than 90% of the times pedophiles molest boys. If I remember correctly, the figure exceeded 98 percent.

> I guess a lot of lies are required to make
> homosexuals happy.

No... just you.
10.6.2006 10:33pm