Is it safe to leave your kids alone with a homosexual?
This hub is written in response to a comment on my previous hub, Is the existence of homosexuality incompatible with the theory of evolution?
One commenter wrote, "PS. Don't leave your kids in the same room with [homosexuals] while you go shopping."
An estimated 15-25% of girls and 5-15% of boys will be sexually abused in childhood.
Homosexuality has long been associated with pedophilia in the popular imagination, from comments like the one above to hysterical claims that legalizing gay marriage will result in legalization of marriages between adults and minors.
The truth is, however, that homosexuals are no more likely to molest your children than anyone else... and in fact may be LESS likely to do so than heterosexual men.
Surveys of incarcerated child sex offenders have consistently found that 60-70% report being married, divorced, or separated.
But, you say, isn't it possible that married child molesters who abuse boys are simply repressed homosexuals who married women in an attempt to hide or deny their true natures?
Yes, certainly, and you've just hit upon a very good reason for society to become more tolerant of homosexuality, since homosexuals who are trained to regard their sexuality, and by extension themselves, as vile and sinful and to repress their true natures are more likely to experience the kind of stress and emotional trauma that can lead to certain types of situational offenses against children. (More about the distinction in a moment.)
However, the nature of most child sex offenses is such that repressed homosexuality is unlikely to be a major contributing factor to rates of child sex abuse.
Situational vs. Preferential Offenders
Criminal psychologists recognize two main types of child sex offenders: situational and preferential.
Situational offenders are by far the more common of the two. Situational offenders do not have a sexual preference for children, but usually become abusers in response to stress or emotional trauma. They tend to be highly opportunistic and some may commit sex offenses against the elderly, the disabled, and others who are physically and/or mentally weaker than themselves, in addition to children.
There are three main types of situational offenders:
- Regressed. Usually involved with adults, but a stressor causes them to turn to children, with whom they may feel more comfortable. Often have substance abuse problems and/or low self esteem.
- Morally Indiscriminate. Amoral and sexually adventurous, the morally indiscriminate offender abuses people of all ages and types, often including their spouses and biological children. Frequently charming and manipulative to outsiders, their facade of normalcy hides an ugly, often violent personal life.
- Naive/Inadequate. The most stereotypical type of molester, but not the most common, naive/inadequate offenders are often mentally ill and socially outcast. Unlike regressed and morally indiscriminate offenders, they are often single. They turn to children because they find them less threatening than adults. Fondling and other inappropriate touch is the most common offense by this type of molester - they rarely commit intercourse or oral sex with their victims.
Because they are so opportunistic, the sexual orientation of situational offenders can rarely be predicted from the sex of their victims. Far more important is the fact that the child was available, and vulnerable to the attack.
Situational offenders have a relatively low repeat offense rate after incarceration.
Preferential offenders, on the other hand, have one of the highest rates of repeat offenses of any type of criminal. This is because, unlike situational offenders, preferential offenders have a genuine, lifelong sexual preference for children. These are the true pedophiles.
Even though they are less common than situational offenders, pedophiles are responsible for an estimated 95% of all sexual abuse of children 12 years old or younger, largely because they are far more prolific than situational offenders. One study found that the average preferential offender has molested more than 70 children.
There are two types of preferential offender:
- By the standards of the general public, mysoped offenders are the sickest of the sick. They are sadistic and violent and usually kill their victims in
addition to abusing them. The sexual attacks and murders are often
carried out in ritualistic ways. Mysoped offenders are by far the most likely type of child sex offender to seek out victims who are strangers. Fortunately, they are also the least common type of child sex offender.
- Unlike mysoped offenders, fixated offenders profess a genuine love for children and often seek out positions of power or authority in schools, churches, and other professions that allow them easy access to children. They may "groom" their victims with gifts and special treatment for weeks, months, or even years before beginning their abuse. Fixated offenders are often childlike or immature in behavior or lifestyle themselves, but may use their professions to hide the degree of their obsession with childhood. Despite their immature behavior, they can be extremely charming and manipulative of both children and adults, sometimes even to the point of convincing a child's own parents that he or she is lying about the abuse.
Unlike situational offenders, who are highly opportunistic, preferential offenders often do have a specific "type," which usually includes a preferred age range and may include a preferred race, sex, or hair color. However, age, not sex, is the dominant factor in their fixation. Most preferential offenders are incapable of sustaining a normal sexual relationship with an adult of either sex, and pedophilia is considered by many to be a distinct sexual orientation.
Preventing Child Sex Abuse
As you can see, the sex of a victim is not an indication of the molester's sexual orientation. Situational offenders are opportunistic molesters who attack vulnerable children, regardless of sex. Preferential offenders may focus their attentions on children of one sex or the other, but are incapable of carrying on normal relations with adults of their preferred sex. The age of the victim is the defining factor in their fixation, not the sex.
You can therefore leave your children alone with homosexuals just as safely as you can leave them alone with heterosexuals, and perhaps more so, given that 60-70% of incarcerated child sex offenders are at least outwardly heterosexual.
Instead of examining a person's sexual orientation or marital status when determining if he or she is a safe caregiver for your child, consider some of the following factors:
- Does he or she seem preoccupied with children to an unusual degree?
- Does s/he work with children and spend his/her free time doing "special" things with them?
- Does s/he seem to touch children more often than normal? (Including casual touching, caressing, wrestling, tickling, combing hair or having children sit on their lap.)
- Does s/he allow children to do questionable or inappropriate things?
- Does s/he want to take your children on frequent outings or other activities that would include being alone with your child?
- Is s/he childless but very familiar with the current fads or music popular with children?
- Do your children seem to like or dislike him/her very strongly for reasons you don't understand?
Any one of these characteristics could be completely innocent. Any one could also be the sign of a molester. Trust your instincts and remember that more than 80% of all child sex offenses are performed by a relative or acquaintance of the child.
Teach your children about appropriate and inappropriate touching, and make sure that they understand that they will always have an understanding ear from you if something or somebody makes them uncomfortable.