Thursday, June 20, 2002
More on Pederasty

In my comments on Eric S. Raymond's piece (his piece, here; my comments, here), I never really addressed his question of whether homosexual men are either biologically or culturally more likely to engage in pederasty with young men or older boys or in pedophilia with little boys. I have no expertise in the matter of developing accurate statistics to characterize such, but I do know anecdotally of two episodes of pederasty that happened in my own little redneck town of origin. While my knowledge of those events is clearly sketchy, I think they, coupled to what we know about what might've happened in the Roman Catholic Church in the US, tell us a lot about the kinds of social structures in which pedophilia and pederasty are more likely to occur. Hint: They're not gay bars.

The first episode concerned the local scoutmaster at the time. I was, in fact, in this guy's troop for all of a couple of months. On the only camping trip I went on with the troop, he stayed up until the wee hours with the older boys and a collection of Playboy magazines (and other possible porn?).

It was several years later, after I'd gone off to prep school, that I found out that this guy had been run out of town for inappropriate behavior of a pederastic nature. I never heard the details, but it's not too hard to imagine what might have been, given his station as scoutmaster.

Even with my obviously incomplete knowledge, I doubt very strongly that this guy was part of any gay community. I doubt if he even identified to himself that he was homosexual. I could probably find out more -- like if he dated women (attempted to or was successful at it) -- and I might.

The second case was a school teacher at the middle school, junior high level, if I recall. I wasn't there when this one unfolded; in fact, I read about it as one of the daily state-by-state blurbs in USA Today. Anyway, it seems like this teacher in the fairly densely settled but still unincorporated eastern part of the county (closest to Nashville) had either photographed or done something with numerous -- hundreds, if I recall correctly (always suspect) -- boys. And had the pictures when they busted him.

I think they put him under the jail. To my knowledge, again incomplete, based on what folks from back home told me, I don't think this guy identified as gay, either. Instead, he was the confirmed bachelor schoolteacher type.

My point here is not to develop statistics about the likelihood of someone, gay-identified or not, of molesting children. It is to point out that what is in common -- and most people without some kind of subtextual homophobic agenda seem to recognize this -- is the power relationship between the perp and the victims.

I'll repeat what I said in my earlier post on these matters: It creeped me out to find out that some of the alleged perp priests were part of gay communities in their locales. But I think it's very likely that a substantially greater fraction of pederastic and pedophilic perps are isolated individuals, not part of any community when it comes to their criminal activities.

The whole issue of the Roman Catholic Church, its organization and its history, may mean that that kind of analysis doesn't apply, though, because if you have an institution that is protecting the kinds of behaviors we're talking about here, then there may be entire collectives of perps, at various institutional levels, who look out for each others' backs and the like. There clearly seem to be networks of pedophiles who connect via the Internet, so it's not unimaginable that there are or have been networks of pedophiles that connect within the Roman Catholic Church in the US.

If one honestly wants to look for an understanding of social structures that hide, support, even nurture pedophilia or pederasty, you look first to institutions where adult men have various types of power and authority over young men, older boys, and little boys -- the priesthood and ministry, secondary and lower school teachers, correctional officers in juvie facilities, etc. -- before you start laying the blame on the gay community or gay-activist groups.