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

godsbelow's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by godsbelow

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.”

This seems to me to be a deliberate attempt to distract attention from the central problem. Who cares whether the rapists and abusers meet some psychiatrists' definition of pedophilia? (Psychiatrists have a remarkable history of "diagnosing" behaviour that societies consider aberrant as mental pathologies: I seem to recall some "diagnoses" of homosexuality back in the earlier part of the twentieth century.) Who cares whether the rapists and abusers were fantisising about or attracted to their victims? The point is that they raped and abused young people under their care. Their actions make them pedophiles, so that is what they are called.

Although, as Hitchens has pointed out, pedophile isn't a particularly appropriate term for those who abuse and rape children, as the term suggests a degree of love which is obviously absent from such acts.

a temporary problem caused by....a permissive culture in the 1960s and 1970s

Ah, that makes sense: priests raped children because of hippies and rising divorce rates. Because the Catholic clergy were so down with the whole Summer of Love thing, right?

Thu, 19 May 2011 04:16:25 UTC | #628283