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← [UPDATE] Priest sex abuse scandal was temporary problem, study finds

Andrew B.'s Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Andrew B.

Comment 11 by mirandaceleste :

One of the most egregious aspects of this report is that they arbitrarily define "pedophilia" as sexual abuse of victims that were ten years old or younger at the time, despite the fact that the DSM sets the cutoff age at thirteen. Defining it as "ten years old or younger" allows the study's authors to make claims like:

Less than 5 percent of the priests with allegations of abuse exhibited behavior consistent with a diagnosis of pedophilia (a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by recurrent fantasies, urges, and behaviors about prepubescent children). Thus, it is inaccurate to refer to abusers as “pedophile priests.”

and

It is worth noting that while the media has consistently referred to priest-abusers as “pedophile priests,” pedophilia is defined as the sexual attraction to prepubescent children. Yet, the data on priests show that 22 percent of victims were age ten and under, while the majority of victims were pubescent or postpubescent. ... whereas if they had stuck to the DSM's guidelines (age thirteen or younger), most of the abusers could legitimately be called "pedophiles". Changing the age from thirteen to ten was a very sneaky and self-serving thing to do, and, unfortunately, I imagine that many media outlets will probably report those "5%" and "22%" figures without explaining the study's authors' arbitrary re-definition of "pedophilia".

(& The report is available here (.pdf))

Kind of like the attempt by Republicans to redefine rape to only include "forcible rape" in their battle to eliminate abortion. What kind of person thinks like that? "Well, what if we redefine pedophilia to exclude those of 11 years of age and up? Would that improve our image? How would that sell with the public? What would be the church's liability if that were the case?" Very lawyer-ly of them.

Thu, 19 May 2011 02:36:05 UTC | #628274