FRR Mar 2018 | Pedophilia By Any Other Name is Still Homosexuality

As a scientific organization, FRI is concerned about recent discussions regarding clergy sexual abuse. Numerous authors, such as a recent Chilean post by Riccardo Cascioli1, seem to believe there is a significant difference between ‘pedophiles’ and homosexuals. Indeed, Riccardo Cascioli re-makes a point often made: “the so-called ‘pedophilia cases’ are actually an overwhelming majority of incidents of homosexuality” where

“pedophilia properly refers to the attraction of adults for pre-pubescent children. When such attraction is directed towards teenagers, one must instead speak of ephebophilia which is initiated by homosexual persons. This is what we are talking about in Chile, but it also is true for at least 80% of the cases which erroneously reported in the news as cases of pedophilia in the Church. This is at least the conclusion which emerges from the reports of John Jay College on the cases of abuse registered in the Church in the United States.… [These facts allow] us to say clearly that the problem in the Church is not pedophilia but homosexuality.”

While we heartily agree that the problem is one of homosexuality, we would make five points:

  • ‘Pedophilia’ is not an exclusive orientation.

The definition of ‘pedophilia’ as used by American psychiatrists focuses on the client and does not assume his sexual interests lay solely with children. Laymen, on the other hand, tend to use the term as an exclusive preference. In the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM IV, 2000), a ‘pedophile’ is an adult who has,
“over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activities with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger). B. The person has acted on these urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.”

The John Jay reports do not provide enough information to determine how many perpetrators only had sex with children under the age of 13. In 1970, the Kinsey Institute2 surveyed 671 randomly-selected gay males regarding the proportions of their homosexual “partners” who “were 16 or younger when you were 21 or older” (i.e., at least 5 years below the age of consent in California at the time of interview). Among the respondents, 77% said “none,” 23% said “half or less,” and no one said “more than half.” Thus, none claimed to be ‘pedophiles’ in the laymen’s sense, yet 23% admitted to having sex with boys.

In Alfred Kinsey’s original survey, 27% of 646 homosexual men and 2% of 222 homosexual women reported having homosexual sex with at least one partner aged 15 or under, and 10.2% of gays but no lesbians to having sex with children under the age of 13.3

  • Many, probably most, child molesters victimize a range of ages, and may also engage sexually with adults.

Both the John Jay reports and our systematic compilation of news stories captured by Google News (2011-2015) indicate that about half of the sexual abuse victims of clergy were 12 and under. Table 1 is a partial summary of our data for news stories about religiously-affiliated perpetrators in which the age of the victim(s) was reported, compared against the John Jay results. In the Google News reports, 28 Catholic clergy perpetrators included at least some boy victims under the age of 13, while 24 perpetrators only victimized boys aged 13 and above. Note that homosexual child molesters accounted for the bulk of both perpetrators and victims, and heterosexual molesters more frequently abused older victims. The last two columns of Table 1 include results from all clergy-related news stories, including those which did not report victims’ ages.

Table 1. Clergy and Religiously-Affiliated Google News Stories, USA (2011-15)

Clergy Type Homosexual Perps (N) Heterosexual Perps (N) % Perps Who Abused Homosexually % Victimized by Homo Perps
Victim Ages Some or all <13 yrs All 13+ yrs Some or all <13 yrs All 13+ yrs
Catholic 28 24 3 7 84% 98%
Protestant 20 10 16 23 43% 64%
Jewish 3 1
Mormon 2 1 2
John Jay Catholic Priest Study Victims aged <10 = 1259; Aged 10-12 = 2970 (47% of same-sex victims) Victims aged 13-17 = 4727 (53% of same-sex victims) 78% 84%

It is unknown how many perpetrators who molested kids aged 12 and under would have preferred all of them to be pre-teens; time and opportunity play large roles in who gets molested. For example, teachers who were caught almost always stuck to the age of those in their classroom. All we know is what was reported about the age of victims at the time the perpetrator made the news, not his mental state.

Importantly, anyone trying to differentiate the sexual preferences or ‘orientations’ of those who molest pre-teens (<13) vs. teenagers (13+) must account for the testimonies of molested boys. These usually indicate that the sexual contacts lasted a few (2-5) years. So, if a boy is listed as 14 in a news report, he may have recently been molested, but more likely his molestation began when he was between 10 to 12. Thus, when Fr. James Talbot of Freeport Maine was listed as having 17 victims aged 9 to 17, we know some, and perhaps all, of the boys were first recruited as pre-teens.

It is also noteworthy that those who engage in homosexuality may also have sex with the opposite sex. Perhaps 10-20% exclusively have sex with their own sex. Further, those who engage homosexually with adults may also engage in sex with children.

  • The corrosive influence of homosexuals in positions of authority was well known generations ago.

Three generations ago, in 1950, U.S. government officials testified before Congress that

“Most of the authorities agree and our investigation [which included psychiatric testimony] has shown that the presence of a sex pervert in a Government agency tends to have a corrosive influence on his fellow employees. These perverts will frequently attempt to entice normal individuals to engage in perverted practices. This is particularly true in the case of young and impressionable people who might come under the influence of a pervert.


“Government officials have the responsibility of keeping this type of corrosive influence out of the agencies under their control. It is particularly important that the thousands of young men and women who are brought into Federal jobs not be subjected to that type of influence while in the service of the Government. One homosexual can pollute a Government office.”4

That same year, the U.S. Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments concluded “that homosexuals were not qualified for federal employment and that they represented a security risk because they could be blackmailed about their sexuality. In response to this report, President Eisenhower issued an executive order dismissing all homosexuals from federal employment,…”5

  • The Christian Church historically condemned all forms of homosexual child sexual abuse.

While the Old Testament condemned homosexuality, it only obliquely mentioned the predilections of homosexuals toward youth, referring to boy prostitutes. The Christian Church amplified this by explicitly condemning the homosexual seduction of boys. At that time, the Jewish standard for adulthood was age 13 for males, which approximated the sign of adulthood in the Roman world, when boys donned the tunic (14–15 years old). So the Church probably regarded ‘corruption of boys’ as seduction or attempted recruitment before the age of about 15. Further, there is no evidence that the Church distinguished between pre-teens and teenagers — sodomy is just as painful and injurious in either case.

  • ‘Mental healthism’ is not the answer.

Making a distinction between pre-teens (<13) and teenagers (13+) — a distinction apparently irrelevant to homosexual molesters and past investigators — does nothing to protect boys. Let the mental health ‘experts’ argue about whether raping boys of this or that age indicates a different ‘orientation’ — it is still male-on-male homosexuality. Calling a skunk by a different name does not make it stink any less. And is either worse, abusing a pre-teen or a teenager? The Church should not defer to those who would parse the homosexual nature of these sexual crimes into a narrow slice, as if somehow a fundamentally different ‘thing’ depending on the victim’s age.

Almost all the American school shooters have been under treatment by these experts. Yet, laymen diagnosed the Valentine’s Day Florida shooter as a clear and present danger, while mental health experts took pains to keep sharp objects (but not guns!) away from him lest he harm himself or family. They apparently believed Nicolas Cruz could be contained by talking to one of their number (i.e., ‘therapy’). But the treatment outcomes for drug or alcohol addiction are as dismal with or without a mental health expert on the team. And rare is the priest who has not re-offended after ‘treatment’ by these selfsame experts.

Likewise, their client-centered, rather than society-protecting perspective, has little place in the Church. The Church has an obligation to protect boys (pre-teens, teenagers, etc.) from assault. Eliminating homosexuals from positions of authority is the best way to achieve this, not by adopting psychiatric argot in a bid to appear ‘sophisticated.’


  1. Cascioli, R. (2018) “In the Church, The Problem is not Pedophilia but Homosexuality,” February 8, 2018,
  2. Bell, A. P. & Weinberg, M. S. (1978) Homosexualities: a study of diversity among men and women. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  3. Gebhard, P.H. & Johnson, A.B. (1979) The Kinsey data: marginal tabulations of the 1938-1963 interviews conducted by the institute for sex research. Philadelphia: WB Saunders.
  4. “Employment of Homosexuals and Other Sex Perverts in Government,” S Rep No 81-241, 81st Congress, 2d Session (1950) at 4.
  5. Graham, R., et al. (2011) The health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. National Academy Press. Section 2, p. 9.