Southern Religion

USCCB Study: Homosexuality play no role in priestly sexual predation

John Jay College of Criminal Justice researchers told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops they found “no evidence that gay priests are more likely than heterosexual clergy to molest children.”

USA Today reported:

“What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse,” said Margaret Smith of John Jay College, in a speech to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now.”

[And] many experts on sex offenders reject any link between sexual orientation and committing abuse. Karen Terry, a John Jay researcher, said it was important to distinguish between sexual identity and behavior, and to look at who the offender had access to when seeking victims.

According to Tuesday’s interim report on the $2 million study, Catholic clerical sexual abuse peaked in the late 1960s and 1970s before declining in the 1980s, and researchers believe there has been no resurgence. That pattern, they argued, parallels to some degree changes in the society at large during those periods.

Dubbed The Causes and Context Study, it was funded by the USCCB, the National Institute of Justice and several foundations. A complete reported is scheduled for December of 2010.


November 18, 2009 - Posted by | Catholic, Crime, Health | , , ,

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