Saturday, February 20, 2010
Homosexuality and Pedophilia: The False Link
This is a very good question, and there are several ways to respond to it. First, we need to clarify our definitions. When discussing sexual abuse and molestation of children, there's often conflict over terminology. One frequently quoted researchers on the topic of homosexuality and child molestation, Gregory Herek, a research psychologist at the University of California, defines pedophilia as "a psychosexual disorder characterized by a preference for prepubescent children as sexual partners, which may or may not be acted upon." He defines child sexual abuse as "actual sexual contact between an adult and someone who has not reached the legal age of consent." Not all pedophiles actually molest children, he points out. A pedophile may be attracted to children, but never actually engage in sexual contact with them. Quite often, pedophiles never develop a sexual orientation toward other adults.