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  #1  
Old 04-10-2009, 02:20 PM
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Do molesters typically molest their own gender, the other, both, or...?

Why do priests mainly molest boys? What about molesters in general? How relevant is the molester's own sexual orientation, the gender of their molester (if applicable), accessibility to the other sex in their environment/culture... any/all of that?

Forgive the ignorance. It just strikes me as odd that otherwise heterosexual individuals would find any pleasure in playing with parts they already have, and furthermore that they would prefer them to the other sex's.
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2009, 03:03 PM
GreasyJack GreasyJack is online now
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In many cases, particularly with priests, they're repressed gay men in societies that vilify homosexuals. Because they're too afraid of getting found out and/or too full of self loathing to conduct a healthy relationship with another consenting adult, they prey on children who (so they think) can be tricked or intimidated into keeping quiet. In societies that treat homosexuality as a disease or worse, people who are gay also tend to get huge amounts of emotional trauma with regards to their sexuality and are more likely to develop the mental problems that lead to molestation.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:16 PM
Kolga Kolga is offline
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I would ask for a citation for your statement GreasyJack, since it does not match with the data I have seen, which seem to state several things. First, there are different types of child molesters, with some being fixated (only engaging in sexual behavior with children) and others being situational (engaging in sexual behavior with children when given the opportunity). Second, it's difficult to get a good handle on true statistics, but from the research I've read, the vast majority of situational molesters are heterosexual in their adult relationships.

In what I've read, true fixated pedophilia is considered its own class of orientation, not a form of homosexuality or heterosexuality.

Last edited by Kolga; 04-10-2009 at 03:21 PM.. Reason: clarification
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  #4  
Old 04-10-2009, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Kolga View Post
...from the research I've read, the vast majority of situational molesters are heterosexual in their adult relationships.

In what I've read, true fixated pedophilia is considered its own class of orientation, not a form of homosexuality or heterosexuality.
But with kids, are they homo, hetero, or bi?
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  #5  
Old 04-10-2009, 03:59 PM
Kolga Kolga is offline
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About 75% of reported victims are female. About 96% of those knew their attacker at the time of the attack/molestation.

About 95% of offenders are male.

One thing that people seem to forget about the priest scandal is that at the time of most of the reported molestations, only boys would have been allowed to be altar boys (or altar assistants, or whatever they're called, I'm not Catholic). That doesn't make the priests involved gay, or fixated, so much as situational - young boys are what they had access to.

The problem with reported victims is that many many times, males either do not report, or are not considered victims if the perpetrator is female (the Mary Kay LeTourneau effect).

The problem with pedophiles is really complex, and doesn't lend itself well to black and white categories. Attraction to children doesn't really have much to do with gender, per se, as with other aspects of the child and the molester. So, asking if they're homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual with their child victims doesn't really fit well with the data. It's true that some fixated pedophiles have a preference for a particular child gender, but some do not - it's the "child" part that they're attracted to, not the gender part.

Last edited by Kolga; 04-10-2009 at 04:03 PM..
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  #6  
Old 04-10-2009, 04:03 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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One of the things I have read is that people who molest really young children are less likely to care about the gender of the child than people who prey on older children. As the child becomes older (especially once they enter puberty), the sexual predator is most likely to follow their normal sexual orientation. Remember that many molesters are not just acting out of sexual urges; children are weaker, lower in status, less likely to be believed, and perceived as being less judgmental.

Other than that, I think molesters tend to fit the profiles of regular people - most are hetero in about the same proportions that most non-molesters are hetero.

As for priests... I think it's mostly an issue of opportunity. My understanding is that priests spend more time with boys than girls as a general rule.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:23 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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Originally Posted by GreasyJack View Post
In many cases, particularly with priests, they're repressed gay men in societies that vilify homosexuals. Because they're too afraid of getting found out and/or too full of self loathing to conduct a healthy relationship with another consenting adult, they prey on children who (so they think) can be tricked or intimidated into keeping quiet. In societies that treat homosexuality as a disease or worse, people who are gay also tend to get huge amounts of emotional trauma with regards to their sexuality and are more likely to develop the mental problems that lead to molestation.
Cite.


Molesters usually identify themselves as heterosexual. As there is no blood test you can do to identify a persons sexuality its kinda hard to determine what it actually is. Individuals can argue based on a persons actions what there sexuality is but short of mind reading you can't confirm your suspicion. As it is far easier to go unnoticed in out society by claiming to be heterosexual.

Priests molest boys because that's what the news tells you. There has also been a number of cases where priests have molested girls. Molesters molest children they have opportunity to do so to. In the case of priests they have a lot more opportunity to molest boys.

I think in the cases of the reported priest molestations, they were molesters who chose to become priests. There are a number of reasons for them to do so. I highly doubt being a priest makes you become a child molester.

Molesters have a mental compulsion to commit there acts. In some cases they might prefer a victim of one sex to another. In other cases only the age is relevant.
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  #8  
Old 04-10-2009, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
I think in the cases of the reported priest molestations, they were molesters who chose to become priests. There are a number of reasons for them to do so. I highly doubt being a priest makes you become a child molester.
You know, that's an interesting theory. I always assumed those molestations were the result of pent-up sexuality, oppressed by religion and propriety, finally bursting through... but obviously I could be wrong. Is there data either way?

Last edited by Reply; 04-10-2009 at 05:07 PM..
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  #9  
Old 04-10-2009, 05:18 PM
Kolga Kolga is offline
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Originally Posted by Reply View Post
Is there data either way?
I doubt it. Given that a large number of priest scandal stories are from "way back" and not recent (not that there AREN'T recent stories, just referring to the bulk of them), things like that weren't really talked about, much less researched.

Plus, what's a priest going to say? "Yes, I am entering the priesthood so I can fornicate with helpless children, not because I want to serve the Lord"?
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:18 PM
Revenant Threshold Revenant Threshold is offline
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Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
I think in the cases of the reported priest molestations, they were molesters who chose to become priests. There are a number of reasons for them to do so. I highly doubt being a priest makes you become a child molester.
I don't think the argument is being a priest makes you a child molester, per se, just that being a priest lends several advantages in favour of the molester; a position of power and respect over both targets and the general community, and an avaliability of kids. There's probably just as many potential child molesters working on oil rigs, for example, but for obvious reasons they don't get as much opportunity.

Of course, those are all reasons why a molester might deliberately choose to enter the priesthood too.
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  #11  
Old 04-10-2009, 06:00 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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Originally Posted by Kolga View Post
Plus, what's a priest going to say? "Yes, I am entering the priesthood so I can fornicate with helpless children, not because I want to serve the Lord"?
One hell of an interview response if they did say that. It would give us a much better data set to speculate with.

As with everything dealing with sexuality it simply isn't possible to determine why a person made a mental decision to do something. We can only go on what people tell us their mental process was. In studying cases like child molestation we can hardly count on the sexual predators being honest about there motivation.

From my point of view on the priests, if I was inclined to have sex with children taking a position that gives you power over them and private access to them. Much like jobs like teaching or overseeing children in a detention center or orphanage. Those are also jobs that have a higher then average correlation with child molestation. We don't know if they seek positions with children or if because there job happens to give them access to children they eventually give into temptation. I'm more inclined to believe they seek positions that give access.

The only thing that's certain is if you put someone willing to molest children in a room with a child they are interested in molesting you will end up with a victim.
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  #12  
Old 04-10-2009, 06:16 PM
Kolga Kolga is offline
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There's also the possibility that priests enter the priesthood without the intention of molesting children, and something happens over time to change that. Stress, loneliness, alcoholism, a crisis of faith...maybe something changes a person. Maybe sublimation can only last for so long. Plus, we're not hearing much about adult women who had affairs with priests back in the day, and I would be willing to bet that those things occurred, too.

You're right in that we're speculating about that particular aspect of this thread. But there's sufficient evidence outside of the priesthood that GreasyJack's response is (and this is a kind description) somewhat inaccurate.
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  #13  
Old 04-10-2009, 07:27 PM
GreasyJack GreasyJack is online now
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I guess I'm willing to cede that there is little data clinical or otherwise out there to back up my post, especially since it delves into contentious questions about the nature of sexuality itself. The point Kolga makes about most molestation being hetero and domestic is a very good one and that the other forms have been blown up by the media. But the OP did ask specifically about priests and this is the most convincing explanation I've heard, though I suppose it only really holds up if you subscribe to the notion that sexuality is not a conscious choice.

If you do assume that one can be born gay and be a devout Catholic, the priesthood seems fairly appealing because, being gay, your faith requires you to suppress your sexuality anyways. I have an old friend who entered the seminary with this logic before losing his faith and dropping out and coming out. In his case anyways, he was encouraged into the priesthood when he discussed his suspected sexuality with his priest. He's also the one who told me the general gist of what I said in my first post. So, yes, it's anecdotal and second hand and probably wouldn't apply much to society in general anyways, so I ignoring it is reasonable.
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:08 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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The thing is there are really different classes to molesters.

As another poster noted, some molesters are attracted to children. This means they like the hairless bodies and such that exist before the onset of puberty.

The issue becomes more problemsome once the kids, especially males, hit their teens.

As a gay male, I was very isolated in the mid 70s when I turned 13. I can tell you if I met an older gay male, I likely would've had sex with him and it wouldn't have been molestation. I wanted sex, like any other teen aged male, but there simply was no one to do it with. Maybe there was but I didn't even talk to another gay person till I was 19.

I used to volunteer at a youth program (sort of akin to Big Brothers) and frankly the gay teens were very aggressive. Now I am an adult and it's MY job not their job to say "Go away kiddo." But not every adult is going to be responsible enough.

So this somewhat clouds the issue. But molestation involves power. One person is using physical or mental or emotion or even sexual sway to get sex from someone that is weaker.

I have a female friend in her 40s and a similar situation exists. She gets hit on by college men all the time. She's pretty and for some reason there's a "Mrs Robinson Factor," among young college males. They think it's really hot to sleep with women in their 40s. They don't want to date them or hang out, just the sex.

So you can't classify everything in a big lump. However for legal reasons we do this. Because there is no other way to do it. Certainly some teens at 18 aren't ready for sex. Some are ready at 14. But legally we set a cut off age. Just like for drinking, voting or learning to drive an auto.
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  #15  
Old 04-10-2009, 08:17 PM
not_alice not_alice is offline
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Here is a good place to use as a starting point for finding the state of the art in research on these matters: http://www.atsa.com/

Last edited by not_alice; 04-10-2009 at 08:20 PM..
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  #16  
Old 04-10-2009, 10:32 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Originally Posted by GreasyJack View Post
If you do assume that one can be born gay and be a devout Catholic, the priesthood seems fairly appealing because, being gay, your faith requires you to suppress your sexuality anyways. I have an old friend who entered the seminary with this logic before losing his faith and dropping out and coming out. In his case anyways, he was encouraged into the priesthood when he discussed his suspected sexuality with his priest. He's also the one who told me the general gist of what I said in my first post. So, yes, it's anecdotal and second hand and probably wouldn't apply much to society in general anyways, so I ignoring it is reasonable.
I don't think anyone objected to the idea that gay men are more likely to become priests. But since gay men who haven't entered the church don't molest children any more than straight men (or do so even less, I've forgotten), it seems more likely that you're seeing an instance of correlation not causation.
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  #17  
Old 04-11-2009, 12:41 AM
Hypnagogic Jerk Hypnagogic Jerk is offline
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Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
From my point of view on the priests, if I was inclined to have sex with children taking a position that gives you power over them and private access to them. Much like jobs like teaching or overseeing children in a detention center or orphanage. Those are also jobs that have a higher then average correlation with child molestation.
That's a possible motivation. Another one I could see is that maybe people who feel the urge to molest children, or who have actually done it, may feel shame about it and wish to change their life and become a loved and respected moral leader. These people could find the priesthood an attractive choice. But becoming a priest won't necessarily cure them of their pulsions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revenant Threshold View Post
There's probably just as many potential child molesters working on oil rigs, for example
This made me think of the King of the Hill episode where Peggy's brother (I believe Hoyt is his name) gets out of prison, and everyone is telling his daughter Luanne he was "working on the oil rig". At the end of the episode he "gets a lifetime contract". (Okay, he wasn't a child molester, just a thief and drug addict.)

Last edited by Hypnagogic Jerk; 04-11-2009 at 12:45 AM..
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  #18  
Old 04-11-2009, 01:48 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Kolga View Post

The problem with pedophiles is really complex, and doesn't lend itself well to black and white categories. Attraction to children doesn't really have much to do with gender, per se, as with other aspects of the child and the molester. So, asking if they're homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual with their child victims doesn't really fit well with the data. It's true that some fixated pedophiles have a preference for a particular child gender, but some do not - it's the "child" part that they're attracted to, not the gender part.
Right. True pedophiles (as opposed to ephebophiles) are not really gay or hetero, they are pedophiles.


Of course, with Catholic priests, they have more access to young boys than young girls. Altar boys,choir boys, etc. Maybe that's why it seems so many of hte Preist-molestors choose male victims.
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